High-end ranges, etc.
- tom philpott
Having trouble finding reliable ratings for high-end ranges/stovetops.
Anyone have an opinion about DCS, Viking, Wolfe, Blue Star, etc.?
For the record, I'm looking to buy a 36 inch stovetop with 6 burners (I think grills and stuff are gimmicks. opinions?), and a double convection oven. I may do a full range (stovetop and oven combined), plus a single oven on the side.
This is for a food-based non-profit that holds regular cooking events to feed 30 at a time.
The only one of those you named that is actually used in the restaurant industry is Wolf. At one time Vulcan and Wolf were one in the same. Wolf was found in the Western portions of the country and its counterpart, Vulcan was found in the eastern part of the US.
If you can afford it, I'd go with the Wolf. You can also check out Garland.
For what it's worth, I don't think grills are gimmicks... but then I lived for years in Seattle, where the opportunity to grill outside is limited. Also, from my food service experience, I doubt you'll need 2 ovens to feed 30, but I don't know your exact requirements.
I'm going to try to include a link to a discussion of a few years ago that I still remember. Made me want to quit the restraunt biz and make enough money to just buy my own equipment for pleasure.
There is always epinion.com.
You might want to bop over to the appliances board over at That Home Site...those people have done their research ad nauseum and are truly kitchen obsessed. You could post your questions:
(1) How reliable has your DCS range been (how long have you had it? Have you needed service)?
(2) How reliable has your Viking range been (how long have you had it? Have you needed service)?
(3) How reliable has your Bluestar range been (how long have you had it? Have you needed service)?
(4) How reliable has your Wolf range been (how long have you had it? Have you needed service)?
And I would post your questions separately to make it easier to get just the owners' opinions on each brand.
My comments regarding the ranges (not the cooktop + separate ovens)...
FWIW, I have heard issues regarding Viking's igniters needing to be replaced every couple of years (on your dime). I am also not convinced that the technical capabilities of the range are worth of a premium price.
Regarding the DCS, the only one I looked at was the 5 burner 30", but I was sorely disappointed and quite shocked when I opened the oven door only to find a rather tiny oven capacity.
If you are doing duel fuel, the Wolf is probably your best bet. If you are doing gas only, the Bluestar is likely your best bet.
I've enclosed a link on the Rosengarten article on bling ranges, where Bluestar won hands down...and that was the older style, lower BTU version of the range. IMHO, star shaped burners are the way to go for some serious cooking power on the range top.
Reliability ratings are a bit tricky, as the manufacturers are constantly tweaking their ranges, so year-to-year they can change quite a bit. The Bluestar has only been available since 2002, and this year they have come out with the high 22K BTU version...so no reliability ratings as they haven't been in consumers home for any appreciable lenght of time...
.and ratings reviews do change over time...I am sure first time bling range owners (or any appliance owner that has made a thoughtful decision regarding appliance choice) are absolutly in love with their ranges when they first get them...and then when things break, because they have paid such a high price for them, there seems to be less tolerance for anything less than perfection...of course I don't think that it is unreasonable to be peeved if you pay $XXXX for a range, and then have to replace the igniters every two years at $XXX. Plus, if they get a total run-around from the manufacturer regarding what's under warranty and what isn't...that's a whole 'nother can of worms. Along with servicing issues if you live in Podunk Town, USA where they are not used to seeing bling ranges, let alone work on them.
And I do believe a disproportionate amount of unhappy consumers post about products rather than the long-term happy owners of them....and every product category is bound to have a lemon or two in the batch...
re: Anne in SF
Regarding the Wolf range, I would never be able to subsantiate paying nearly 4k for a range that doesn't even have sealed burners. I like the fact that the DCS 30" comes with 5 burners. Rather nifty for wok cooking.
All in all though, the Viking range is one that I'd say offers the most well rounded 30" range on the market. It has looks that kill and performance that rivals any other high-end range on the market.
Couple that with the fact that Viking offers a whole line of products of similar design and you can complete a uniform kitchen that you will be proud to show off for years to come.
re: Tony Ramirez
Does anyone have any experience with the GE Monogram dual fuel 30"? I'm going to be purchasing a pro-style range and have begun my research recently, figuring a budget of approx $5K. Could stay with all-gas if unit has all the right features, that is plenty of power on top and 4 burner simmer with an accurate convection oven. I'd appreciate any info...
Din-din at camp Jeff and Owen---Friday Feb. 25, 2005.
Two Kansas City New York steaks on the bone. Dry aged and prime---$32.00 WHOLESALE! At a high end market these two steaks would have set us back well over $50.00. Thank God potatoes are cheap! Anyways---back to my shpiel. Wolf range Char Grill----A toy??? I think not! Preheated the Char grill---slapped on the seasoned steaks, 4 1/2 minutes per side---crispy tasty char, medium rare juicy steak. ABSOLUTELY ummmazing. Ruth's Chris----eat your heart out!