high-end ranges: dacor or thermador?
- tom philpott
Anyone have any experience with the high-end ranges, rangetops, or ovens of these two brands?
I have a 5-burner Dacor gas range. I like it a lot. The hot burners are hot enough; the low temps are low enough; when I boil over the mess is contained; and it's easy to clean. I'm a bit more mixed about my Thermador double convection oven. It's very slow to preheat and the fan runs forever when you're done with it. Also, I just had to replace the display kit, which is a very expensive repair for a three-year-old unit. Before I moved, I had a Kitchenaid with similar features. It worked great and is cheaper than the Thermador.
Tom, I have the Dacor Epicure dual fuel range. This unit has the advantage of a gas top, electric oven with ceramic gas broiler. As mentioned before, it's very easy to clean and the oven is remarkably versatile. My only complaint is the autmatic starters on the range have to be perfectly clean and in critical position to start. They seem kinda weak. The Dacor will give you professional results especially when cooking meats, fish or pastries. Dacor's microwave could start a Mid-East war if used on high. I like their products.
My sister and her husband recently did an extensive remodel on their home. The installed a Dacor range, double conventional/convcetion ovens and microwave. They love them. I've cooked on them when I've visited and I like them as well. Good performance and easy to clean.
I've also had the opportunity to use older Thermador products and I've always been amazed at how durable they are and how well they work for their age.
I've had a 48" Epicure dual fuel Dacor range for 6 years. It cooks very well for me, but has been fraught with problems from the beginning. So far I've replaced the oven heating element once, the ignitor for the ceramic broiler 4 times and the mother board once. I'm well over $1,000 in repairs on it. I also have a Sub Zero fridge and Bosch washer that have had their share of issues. I usually try to wait until at least two appliances need service before calling so I can save on the repair call charge. To be fair, the guy who has been out the last couple of times says that he finds the Dacor to usually be a reliable product. I hate being on a first name basis with my repair guy. My current problem is that the auto starter on the front left burner (its my favorite one) doesn't know the burner is actually lit. Click click click click - never stops. Since the door on the Sub Zero isn't sealing properly I guess I'll go ahead and schedule my quarterly service call now.
I have had that same auto-ignition problem on my favorite burner of my 8-year-old Thermador. One service man suggested that I clean it well with alcohol and then not let water get around the ignition area. That did help a bit and I let it go until I needed other service. The latest service man replaced a part that surprisingly didn't cost all that much. I think the ceramic piece might have been cracked. That helped much more, but it still isn't perfect and probably never will be at this point.
Interestingly, it works much better for me than it does for my husband. When it is really touchy, I find it works to turn on another burner at the same time, in which case it always lights for me--but not for him!
Please, do not overlook the most outrageous range that I've ever owned---Wolf!!! I have the 36 inch 4 burner/char grill gas cooktop with electric oven cavity. One year in our home and I am still grateful every day!