Need feedback on professional gas ranges
lolabrown
July 20, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I am finally getting to build my dream kitchen. I need feedback from owners of professional gas ranges. At first my heart was set on either a Wolf or Viking. After doing research, I've read a lot of negative comments from those who have the Viking. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed and somewhat discouraged.
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PRO
Harding Construction & Sustainable Solutions
I haven't had any issues with wolf and Viking other than being expensive. What sort of things are you worried about?
July 20, 2013 at 5:56pm   
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savannahnana
If it helps any, I have the large Viking 6 burner cooktop and love it! Never had any problems and it performs beautifully.
July 20, 2013 at 7:35pm      Thanked by lolabrown
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prairiegourmet
When you say professional, do you mean commercial? If so, be aware that they get very hot to the touch on the exteriors and wouldn't be recommended if you have young children or even pets. Also, they make a residential kitchen very warm. They are a bit cheaper but they are designed for commercial areas, not family kitchens.

If you mean high end residential ranges that look commercial, they are insulated so the exterior burn danger is greatly reduced. In my home I have a large Viking range with 4 burners, griddle and grill with one small and one large oven below. I have been very happy with it, but I did have some problems very early on which were due to quality control issues at the factory. When the defective parts were replaced under the warranty, I have had no further problems for the past 10 years. The only thing I would change is to go from all gas to dual fuel (natural gas burners and electric oven) for baking consistency.

I cook/bake a lot, entertain often, and cook/bake in large quantities. The Viking has been an indispensable tool for me.
July 20, 2013 at 8:35pm      Thanked by lolabrown
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lolabrown
Thank you so much for your feedback. I am looking at the high end residential dual fuel range. We went to a showroom that sells the Viking, Wolf and Thermador and of course I loved the appearance of all, This is such a huge investment and has been a life long dream. I just want to make the right purchase. My boss has the 36inch GE Monogram and they love it. I've also read a lot about the Blue Star.
July 21, 2013 at 4:08am   
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piaffediva
I have a 30 inch blue Star rangetop I absolutely love it
July 21, 2013 at 4:25am     
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prairiegourmet
Unless you do a great deal of cooking (I mean large family or entertaining large groups) you could probably be just as happy with a less expensive stainless steel range. The extra dollars are worth the investment if you need large oven space and 4-6 burners all being used at the same time and you need durability for the heavy use. If not, buy a less expensive range with similar looks. They are more practical for normal household use and use the money saved to invest elsewhere in the kitchen.
July 21, 2013 at 12:08pm      Thanked by lolabrown
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lolabrown
we have 5 grown children and 7 grandchildren. I cook large family meals nearly every weekend, so I'm going to need at least 6 burners and 2 full size ovens. I've looked at a 36 inch stove with 6 burners and thought about getting a built in oven. Soooooo much to ponder.
July 21, 2013 at 1:43pm   
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piaffediva
My 30 inch Blue Star has four burners, I think it's the only one on the market that does not have sealed burners which is better. Much easier to clean, And was less expensive than the Viking are the Wolf! And cooks like a dream.
July 21, 2013 at 6:39pm      Thanked by lolabrown
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piaffediva
To Wes Harden I don't have any concerns with my Blue Star It performs perfectly. Mine runs on propane, I can make stirred custard without a double boiler Or stirfry without a problem.
July 22, 2013 at 10:47am   
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lolabrown
I have read several comments about bad igniters on the Viking. Also there seems to be a service issue with any of the high end ranges. I have read some good reviews about the Blue Star but there's not a dealer near me. Hopefully the good here will help me narrow down my decision.
July 22, 2013 at 6:41pm   
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Sigrid
The thing to pay attention to is size. A "professional" stove will have an oversized oven. My American oven is a DCS below a huge range. I tend to use my toaster oven a lot, as the oven is just ginormous. My oven in my European house is about 1/2 the size and I've cooked a turkey to serve 15 in it. Make sure you aren't going to end up with an oven that you rarely use because it's just too big.
July 22, 2013 at 6:49pm   
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raineycarole
I have a Kenmore 40" dual fuel range. I love it. I have cooked St Patrick's Day dinner for 70 people on it. I looked at the higher priced Viking, etc and am so glad I went with the Kenmore. Same quality,, a third of the price.
July 22, 2013 at 6:56pm   
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PRO
GE Monogram
Glad to see you're looking into investing in a professional gas range, Lola. If you have any questions about any of our products, feel free to reach out to us. We would love to help with your search!
July 29, 2013 at 11:15am     
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Toxchick
I'm in the middle of picking appliances for our new house, and I've been looking at wolf and Viking. I think I'm going to get the 36 in wolf range. I think either one would be great. Somehow, I just liked the way the wolf felt more. I'm dithering over the oven, maybe the thermador microwave/oven/warming drawer? Once you've had two ovens, you can't go back! I have GE monogram cooktop, and I don't love it. Looks nice. The oven is fine, but I the cooktop takes FOREVER to boil water. Very frustrating for the endless pots of pasta my kids eat. Don't even get me started on the fridge... I don't know about you, but I feel paralyzed about making the wrong decision! Don't even get me started about fridges...
July 31, 2013 at 6:46pm   
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lolabrown
Toxchick, You sound like me! I have also made a decision on the Wolf 36" dual fuel range. As for the other appliances I'm not as worried. It's just such a huge investment so you don't want to pay $10,000 for a piece of junk. Good luck!!
August 1, 2013 at 4:17am   
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piaffediva
Before you invest in that Wolf I highly recommend you check out the Blue Star. You can get different color knobs if it's the red knobs that you like! I found the engineering to be superior to the Wolf When you look closely at the way the seams are finished (Tighter seals and no gaps). As for ovens I have a 30 inch double Electrolux (That was as close as I could get to the turbo chef) I am not particularly thrilled with it! It won't hold a temperature! And you can't get a repair person for love or money! That was a $3500 mistake.
August 1, 2013 at 6:21am   
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lolabrown
I can't find a blue star dealer nearby so I'm afraid the service could be an issue
August 5, 2013 at 9:38am   
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piaffediva
Where I live I can't get service for anything! Fortunately with my Bluestar I haven't needed it.
August 6, 2013 at 4:47am   
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lesliemahler
I understand what you are going through because a few months ago I went through the same exhaustive search! I ended up buying the floor model Wolf 48" dual fuel and saved a couple of thousand. After using it for a month I am very pleased with my choice. The flame control is very precise and the oven is not hot on the outside to little hands. The most useful feature has been the griddle which cuts the grilled cheese or pancake cooking time way down. Can't speak to the convection yet because I' m inexperienced and already incinerated something lol. Good luck and enjoy what you finally choose.
August 6, 2013 at 5:40am   
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cellen22
Considering Thermador 36" rangetop and double wall oven. Is the BlueStar Range that much better than Thermador? If I go with the BlueStar Range - what Double wall oven would I go with? I am so overwhelmed.
August 8, 2013 at 6:16pm   
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lolabrown
Cellen, I totally understand! I've decided on the 36" Wolf dual fuel. One of my deciding factors was the service. I really like the looks of the Bluestar but the nearest dealer is 4 hours away. It's such a major purchase so you dont want to buy a $10,000 piece of junk. I've cooked all of my life and not always on the greatest of stoves. Right now we are in a tiny rental house while we are building and my husband jokes about how I still manage to prepare great meals even on a 20 year old basic electric stove. I can't wait to finally get my dream kitchen. Good luck
August 9, 2013 at 4:48am     
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1890reno
I just purchased a 36" Thermador cook top and two separate Electrolux wall ovens. The reason I did two separate ovens, they have their own control panel so are not dependant on each other, easier if a repair is required. They still can go one on top of the other, but dont have to if you need to tweak your space. Another important point...find out who will repair your appliances after warranty.. Not all service people repair blue star.

My husband is a chef so he was very picky on what we put in our new kitchen.
August 9, 2013 at 5:14am   
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cellen22
it amazes me that when we consider spending so much on these appliances the first thing we have to consider is how we are going to fix them when they break!!!!! Anyways, thank you for your input!!!
1890Reno - have heard that the Thermador rangetop is hard to keep clean bc of the sealed burners, have you heard that? I can also get a really good deal on the viking range top and double oven (save $2500) but I have heard ALOT of negative feedback from these blogs. Have you guys heard anything?
August 9, 2013 at 5:24am   
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PRO
Custom Range Hoods
We have done work in many high end kitchens with all of these high end semi commercial ranges and just to add more information into the pot we come across a fair percentage of Capital Culinarian - never heard any complaints from clients and they certainly are very robust and apparently get really high btu's and hence heat.....
August 9, 2013 at 5:45am   
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1890reno
I know!!!! Just spent close to 30k on appliances and I don't cook... I do however do the clean up, hubby tends to think he's at work and uses everything within reach. He does the pots and pans as he goes, must be ingrained in them during school. The Thermador looks to be okay, it's with the star burner arrangement, Voya likes them the best for even heat etc.... A little elbow grease once a week with general clean up during the week should do the trick. Lets face it clean ups a pain whatever cooktop you have. My appliances are still in the box...hope to move back in November. I know too much info. Sorry about that.
August 9, 2013 at 6:05am     
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piaffediva
Sealed burners are the pits! If you make any messes there's no place for it to go! So it either looks bad RUR constantly cleaning. I had sealed burner KitchenAid My husband put it in the dumpster when I built my new kitchen! Before I bought my 30 inch Blue Star range top I found out who serviced them, I called and asked what was the most common problem with them, He said he did not know because he had never had to service one!!! I wish I could tell you about their wall ovens but I don't have one. (Just don't invest in the Electrolux Wall oven You will be greatly disappointed It can't keep a constant temperature) With the unsealed burners the mess goes underneath to hide and you can clean it up later. You might look at the Turbochef wall ovens! Good luck.
August 9, 2013 at 6:35am     
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zenhome
Couldn't be happier with my Viking range!!
August 9, 2013 at 6:43am   
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feeny
I know a lot of happy Viking owners, and we are very happy with our Wolf range.
August 9, 2013 at 6:47am   
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cellen22
Thanks Piaffediva! zenhome and feeny any recommendations on double wall ovens - I was sold on all thermador but now i am all over the place!
August 9, 2013 at 7:28am   
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feeny
Sorry, cellen22. I live in a neighborhood with historic houses, which means small kitchens, which means everyone I know has a range.
August 9, 2013 at 7:43am     
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hoganfour
cellen22 - I'm in the market for a 36" professional range too - so this discussion has been very helpful - thank you! I just found out that the Wolf gas-only range does not have a self-cleaning feature - seems incredible that you can spend $7,000 on a range and then have to scrub it on your hands & knees! On my way back to the store to look at the Wolf dual fuel range which has self-cleaning. My question for everyone is: Is it better to get the 6 burners or the 4 burners plus griddle/bbq? The salesman was pushing me toward the former saying that I would burn down my house and make a big mess with the bbq. He suggested just putting a griddle on top of 2 burners when I want one. Love to hear from anyone who made that choice one way or the other and is happy/not happy with it?
August 16, 2013 at 11:15am   
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PRO
Sustainable Dwellings
I have had both Viking and Thermodor. Liked both, added to the re-sale of property. There are many others to consider. Have you looked at dual fuel with induction oven?
August 16, 2013 at 11:21am   
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mmilos
My parents have a Viking all gas range. It was purchased in the mid-90s. The big issue is the oven burner igniters wear out and need to be replaced, at around $500 every few years. I think a dual fuel range is better.

Also, the large 36" gas oven takes a long time to pre-heat.
August 16, 2013 at 11:39am   
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1890reno
Over the last 30 years I have had quite a few different appliances...some good some bad, in fact my kitchen-aid refrigerator lived in fear of my hammer. The trash compactor also kitchen-aid, felt the same way.

I have come to the conclusion that what's right for me may not or will not be right for someone else. What I do know is.... You have to buy what's right for you in respect to your budget, kitchen size and usage. After that, I think you have to find out who will service your appliances after warranty.

It's a big investment whatever brand you go with...
Whew.....

I have attached pictures of my new kitchen...still at the kitchen store. After what it's all cost I won't be able to afford food anyway, so clean up and service will be a breeze.
J.
August 18, 2013 at 8:08pm   
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PRO
Diana Bier Interiors, LLC
I'm confused about the sealed burner controversy. Wouldn't you rather clean up a spill that is directly on top of the cooktop rather than having it flow underneath? Isn't it more difficult to have to open up the cooktop to clean what's fallen under the burners? I have a very old chambers cooktop (26 + years) made before the advent of sealed burners. Anything that boils over drips underneath and if you don't clean it right away it gets crusted on and smells very bad!
August 18, 2013 at 8:23pm     
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piaffediva
With the unsealed burners (at least with the Blue Star), There is a tray underneath and it catches everything and it's very easy to clean. With the seal burners it goes everywhere and burns on and you have to scrub it off.
August 18, 2013 at 8:34pm   
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PRO
Sustainable Dwellings
Some of the sealed burners actually come apart for cleaning.
August 18, 2013 at 9:33pm     
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carolandgigi
Ok folks. I have a Viking 6 burner dual fuel. 8 yrs old now. The cooktop has worked fine but the oven---A PIECE OF ,,,?,@

It has benn out three time, each for at least a month and once for 3 months,,, because there were no parts to repair it. Plus, finding some one to come to my lake house to diagnose and repair was a royal pain.

Viking has been sold so this will only get worse. Pick another brand please
August 18, 2013 at 9:53pm     
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chefjohnny
I'm a professional chef that works privately for clients and I can tell you from experience that wolf ranges are far superior to Viking in terms of performance and reliability. The Vikings tend to have igniter issues which have never experienced with wolf ranges and the wolfs tend to bake more evenly for some reason.
August 19, 2013 at 2:28am     
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lbrummitt
Rangetop vs cooktop? This discussion has been lights out good! That being said my wife and I are building a house (electrical walk thru today) and I have allotted 36" in my kitchen for a rangetop or cooktop. My builder's appliance guy (Friedmans) is recommending that I go with a DACOR 36" rangetop but I have considered going on my own with either an electrolux rangetop or a Thermador cooktop. Anyone have experience or recommedation? I'm looking at electrolux oven with convection microwave for a double oven look, either electrolux or Samsung counter depth fridge (have to go counter depth due to cabinetry design) and then rangetop or cooktop. Just torn and I do TONS of cooking. Thanks for any help!
August 19, 2013 at 3:49am     
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PRO
Sustainable Dwellings
Dacor would be a good choice. Name not as big, price not as big either..
August 19, 2013 at 7:18am   
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hoganfour
I'm trying to choose between Wolf, Viking & Thermadore - best names for resale in my city. Wolf seems to have the best reputation of the 3. But I'm wondering if Viking fixed their problems with their newer models. Has anyone heard anything about the Viking Dual Fuel Electronic Control Range?

I'm having a tough time choosing between gas and dual fuel - the latter costs so much more! It seems like the Wolf gas range would be the safe choice - as far as reputation and cost is concerned. But 1) it doesn't have a self-clean feature - and I don't think I can live without that. Viking and Thermadore do have gas ovens with self-clean. But does gas self-clean as well as electric? and 2) I'm wondered about gas being a good choice for baking. My old gas oven is infamous for burning cookies on the outside edge of the cookie sheet - but I'm wondering if that is more an issue of the age of the oven vs. the gas.

So do I pay the big up charge to get the Wolf dual-fuel?
August 19, 2013 at 8:56am   
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feeny
Serious bakers seem to prefer the dual fuel option, as the electric oven provides a more consistent temperature for baking. We love our all gas Wolf range, but we also don't bake that often.
August 19, 2013 at 9:03am     
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hoganfour
feeny - thanks for the feedback! how do you deal with cleaning the oven?
August 19, 2013 at 9:05am   
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Parisa Nasirzadeh
What about Jenn Air? I am going to start my kitchen and I was about to buy Jenn air stove and oven.
August 19, 2013 at 9:12am   
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feeny
Honestly, hoganfour, I had never cleaned an oven before (having always had self-cleaning ones), and I thought it would be a big pain, but it was surprisingly easy. I just sprayed on the oven cleaner (we bought the one without fumes), waited overnight, and wiped. So it has turned out to be a non-issue for us. But I totally understand those who don't want to bother with the cleaning step at all, no matter how easy.

I should add that I read a lot about the pros and cons of self-cleaning ovens before we bought our gas Wolf, which made me feel more comfortable about forgoing that feature.
http://www.thekitchn.com/why-you-should-almost-never-use-the-self-cleaning-function-of-your-oven-175110
August 19, 2013 at 10:39am     
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