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Kitchen remodel

I'm going to be redoing my kitchen within the year. I have plenty of space with which to work. I can't decide if I should go with a double wall oven and a cooktop or a 48" range with two ovens.

Pros and cons of each?

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  1. Personally, I prefer wall ovens (or at least, raised ovens). It's so much easier if you don't have to bend over to deal with what's in your oven! I don't know of any reason why it would be preferrable to have an under range oven if your space allows otherwise.

    1. Best reason is that things break. And they will be beyond repair at different times. If your oven in a range can't be repaired, you have to replace the range even though the cooking surface may be fine and a second oven may be as well. Not much goes wrong with gas appliances but electric circuits wear out.
      My 20 year old convection oven broke last year. The difference between repair and replacement was $200. No brainer. The separate 20 year old gas cooktop is in perfect condition.

      The combined cost of separate wall ovens and cooktops is comparable to or less than dual-fuel range which is the most common choice. You do have to purchase a specialty cabinet to accomodate the wall ovens and that does mean loss of some counterspace unless you mount an oven under-counter.
      Separate units also allow you to choose from two different manufacturers. You may covet the $2500 BlueStar cooktop and be perfectly happy with the $1500 GE Profile convection oven (or something even less expensive.) That's a lot less than the cost of the BlueStar range. Depends on how you cook.
      A separate cooktop allows space underneath for pot storage. It also keeps the heat of the oven away from the work area which is important if you live where it's really hot. Even if you can't stand the heat, you can't always get out of the kitchen.

      1. When we did our new house I put in two wall ovens, not a double oven. Normally with the double ovens the lower one is smaller which I didn't want. The cost for two ovens was basically the same as a double oven. Plus, I was able to get larger overns, 29" or something in that area. And, both were self cleaning.

        1. Thanks for your opinions. I was really leaning towards the wall ovens for some reason and I'm thinking that's the way to go.

          1. Couple of items to consider when looking at wall ovens that no sales person in the world will mention.

            Exhaust vent. Find out if it vent from the top or the bottom. Mrs Jfood is 5'0" and when the wall ovens are on she gets a blast of air as she walks by, not a happy camper. Our old one vented from the bottom and only the dog knew about it.
            Exposed versus hidden coils. Major trade-off to consider. The hidden coil on the bottom makes it easier to clean but adds time to the pre-heat cycle. It takes me 20 minutes to 350 and over 30 minutes to 425-450. Something to consider if quick roasted chicken is a staple duringthe week.
            Convection - Think about three different convection settings, conv bake, conv roast, conv broil. Difference among the three is which element(s) come(s) on to cycle up the temperature.

            Cooktop - your major decision will be the venting system. Up or down. We have the 36" viking with down. There are pluses and minus to this system versus an updraft.

            Once you get a little further along, post and see if we can give some more defined guidance.

            1. I always envisioned the venting system going up, but that's not a necessity, does a downward venting have advantages? At this point, anything can go anywhere. You have to realize I'm currently working with an electric 30" range. How sad is that???

              1 Reply
              1. re: puss58

                I have a Jennaire with grilltop and downdraft in the center of the range, but I also have a hood, up top. I need both to keep the smoke detectors from going off.

              2. After you decide between wall ovens and freestanding range, check out the door length of the various finalists. I was very surprised to find several inches of difference between like-sized ovens of different brands. For me, the wall oven with the shortest door length was the winner -- everything else being equal.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Sherri

                  Also - check out the inside dimensions of the ovens. I used to have a GE profile, 27" because of space considerations (standard is 30"). I did not have a single baking sheet that would fit inside. All were too wide.

                  I thought I would need to move to a 30" oven, but then I checked out the Thermador and the inside dimensions of the 27" are several inches wider than the GE. Both are 27" on the outside, but because of superior design, I gained around 3" of interior space with the Thermador. Now all my old baking sheets fit with room to spare.

                  I also have the Wolf gas cooktop which I love. Not so happy with the hood. Its quite loud, and no real difference between the high, medium, and low settings on the fan. They're all high. If I did it again, I'd get the Vent A Hood. They are very quiet and quite powerful. The noise factor is a big deal since we have an open Kitchen/Dining room.

                  1. re: wak

                    I just replaced my old Thermador with a new GE. Had the exact opposite experience as wak did - the GE was much larger. It's because the insulation is much improved on the newer models so the walls can be thinner and the oven cavities larger.
                    Lesson: if you have beloved roasters or other kitchen equipment, take them with you when you shop for an oven. Or check on the internet for the dimensions of the oven cavity to make sure your things fit. Replacing everything you own is a real pain.

                    1. re: MakingSense

                      Making sense...do you have a GE profile or monogram..and can you tell me the difference. Considering the Monogram, but wondering about the profile

                    2. re: wak

                      Before our kitchen remodel, I had the Viking hood with an interior motor/blower. I went nuts every time I had to put it on high - it sounded like an airplane taking off.

                      When we did the kitchen/house renovation, I purchased a new Viking hood with an exterior motor/blower, and was able to have the hood vented through the roof above the second storey of our house. It made an immense difference!

                  2. I have a Viking 6-burner 36" cooktop with downdraft on LP.

                    I love it with one reservation. When I turn the vent on high it actually pulls the flame on an angle so i need to adjust where the pot/pan sits on the burner. The simmer burner actually works, a feat that not all cooktops can claim, or better said they claim but can not perform.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: jfood

                      Amen to the Viking simmer feature! It is one of my favorite things about this cookstop - I have a 48" six burner + griddle. Last night I was cooking a stuffed veal breast on low, low simmer that I had to nudge up a bit to get the occasional bubble. What a nice problem!

                      Tonight, I'm cooking Chicken Tikka Masala with Saag Aloo and both are quietly simmering as I type. Yum and three cheers for the Viking "simmer" feature.

                      1. re: jfood

                        Hi I am looking to buy the Viking vgsu163-36 inch 6 burner gas cooktop and was worried that it wouldn't be big enough to fit 3 large pots on at the same time. Also was worried about the simmer function. Sounds like you love yours. Which model is it. The one we are thinking of getting only comes in Stainless steel and was afraid of scratching. What are your thoughts?

                        1. re: avignon

                          Love my 6 burner Viking. You surely can use 3 large pots. And simmer is great.

                      2. I did a kitchen remodel about 2 years ago and went for the wall oven/cooktop combo. Pros of the wall oven: it's spacious, keeps perfect temp, looks sleek, has lots of cool electronic features. Cons: slow to pre-heat, I never use the cool electronic features, and getting stuff in/out of the oven can be a pain (have burned myself more than once). Pros of the cooktop: also sleek-looking, easy to clean, has powerful flame. Cons: there are only 5 burners, knobs get in the way, no residual heat from the cooktop filters into the oven. If I had the patience, time, and money to re-do my re-do, I'd go for for the monster range.

                        1. I'm going to have to go mess with the wall ovens and see just how much of a pain it is to get pans in and out. That was my first negative thought about them. I'm guessing they can be installed at the most comfortable height for me.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: puss58

                            Unless you manage to find a side-opening door on a wall oven. I lucked out a couple of years ago, when one of the local appliance stores was selling a discontinued Gaggenau swing-open-door wall oven at half-price.

                            Gaggenaus can be very pricy, but I adore this oven. And, unlike other ovens as commented on here, it preheats to 400 in under 15 minutes, faster than the ovens in my Viking range.

                            Regarding the venting of your cooktop, I think it all depends on whether you're installing a cooktop with built-in gas grill. My 48-inch Viking has six burners and a grill, and I bought the Viking hood to go with it. It's extremely powerful, but totally necessary when I'm grilling well-marbled steaks and fish, particularly salmon.

                            1. re: FlavoursGal

                              Those new french door ovens look great. If price were no object, I'd go for something like that.

                              And, I'd get one smaller oven. I hate heating a large oven and only needing part of it.

                              1. re: chowser

                                Actually, mine was purchased 3 years ago and it's a one-door model (it opens like a microwave).

                          2. I have a GE Profile Convection wall oven that preheats to 350 in 8 minutes. Timed it. Since it's convection, I'll often put things in before it's completely pre-heated if they're going to cook for more than a couple of minutes to no apparent harm.
                            I mounted it under-counter to preserve the counter space.
                            Great oven, big interior space, and I have been very happy with it. The price is much lower than the foreign brands.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: MakingSense

                              I love the GE Profile oven, wish I had sprung for the convection but we're not planning on staying here so I passed at the time. I'd avoid the free standing range, though. The back burners are virtually useless, because there's a lip from the control panel that juts out over them and unless you have a small pan or a flat pan, can't use them.

                              1. re: chowser

                                Check out Dacor as well. I have the GE Monogram and wish I went Dacor. Thinking of replacing after only five years.

                                1. re: jfood

                                  Why do you wish you had gone with Dacor? Why would you replace a perfectly good oven?
                                  I have a hard time seeing the differences for ordinary use. There's bells and whistles but none that I use, even between the GE Profile and Monogram, especially considering the price differences.

                                  1. re: MakingSense

                                    The major problems are:

                                    1 - The GE vents at the top and is exactlythe same height as Mrs Jfood eyes. Every time she walks in front of it ihear muttering
                                    2 - If takes FOREVER to heat. 20 minutes for 350 and 35 minutes for 425. I also think the temp is very uneven
                                    3 - We had Dacor double-ovens in our last house and they were fantastic. My only issue with the Dacor was the knobs kept melting. After ten years I always had knobs for every day and those for "company."

                                    I probably use every bell and whistle on both, so these are imprtant to me.

                                    1. re: jfood

                                      Wow! The variation is amazing. My GE Profile heats to 350 in 8 minutes. The vent is a slit between the control panel and the door that is barely noticeable, especially since I have it mounted undercounter. It doesn't even ruffle my skirt. Gotta look for it.
                                      It's only a year old so maybe in the 4 years between when you bought yours and I got mine there were some engineering changes. Guess we have to add some stuff to checklists when we go shopping.

                                      1. re: jfood

                                        I just timed my GE profile and it took 8 minutes to get to 350, too. Maybe you should ask GE why your higher end one takes longer. I bought mine less than three years ago.

                                        Oh, my oven temperature is even, too. I don't need to switch cookie trays halfway. Shirley Corriher had the hint to put a pizza stone in the oven and it would help w/ oven temp evenness.

                                        1. re: chowser

                                          is the lower element hidden or exposed?

                              2. I also am remodelling my kitchen and am weighing the pros and cons of a 36" gas cooktop. I am leaning toward buying the Wolf although it's most expensive. The Viking and Thermador brands are reported as very unreliable by Consumer Reports. However, they didn't rate the Wolf brand. Has anyone had any problems with their Wolf cooktop?

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: RBCal

                                  I have the 36" propane viking. No reliability issues at all. I love it.

                                  1. re: jfood

                                    Ditto for the 48" propane Viking. Don't understand the "reliability" issues I hear about - my cooktop is fantastic!

                                    1. re: Sherri

                                      Ditto for my 48" natural gas Viking, which I purchased about 7 years ago based on its top rating in Consumer Reports. :-)

                                      1. re: FlavoursGal

                                        If you search the board you also will find several people reporting horror stories with Viking. This and the Consumer Reports rating (20% of owners report problems) is enough for me to not get a Viking.

                                        Any Wolf owners out there?

                                2. You get more options with a range as opposed to the wall oven. With a range, you get a full size oven and then another three quarter oven. With the wall oven you only get (2) three quarter ovens. One negative thing about the range, however, is that you have to bend down and if you have a bad back and/or don’t like having to bend down, you’ll get tired of it pretty quickly.

                                  1. I'm also considering replacing my wall oven with a double - but I've found I don't have quite enough space for a double (without losing part of the cabinet above or the drawer below). BUT, an oven with a convection oven on top does fit. (Right now I have a single wall oven and a separate microwave in the space - I also have another microwave so don't need one there).

                                    So, my question is, will I learn to love a convection oven (have NO idea how to use them), or should I get the double oven I want with modifying the space (which is easier to modify - making a cabinet or a drawer smaller?)

                                    If it helps, I often cook things together that require 2 separate temperatures, no need for speed (we're retired) so have never thought/cared about convection.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Eujeanie

                                      I don't think convection is really for speed; but rather for even heating for baking and things like that. So if you make a lot of cookies or bread, then you will probably like convection. In my new kitchen we're getting a Viking dual fuel range that has convection in one of the ovens, but the convection feature can be turned on and off. Maybe the convection oven you're looking at has this on/off feature?

                                    2. We redid our kitchen two years ago as well...I really wanted a cooktop and double ovens, but two things stood in our way - space and money. If you are NOT going with a duel fuel, straight gas ranges tend to be cheaper than going cooktop/wall oven. I also could not afford to give up all the space for the two wall ovens.

                                      But I think that our compromise was great - got a 36" all gas Wolf Range and a built in Kitchen Aid microwave/convection oven. The Wolf has a convection that you can turn on/off (note this is not true convection but just a fan, which a lot of ovens have) and it's a beast. I love it. The KA is great, it's 27" and I can fit a muffin pan in there and some of my smaller roasting pans for any kind of baking/cooking in the summer and I've used it in addition to the Wolf at the holidays.

                                      Another thing to consider with the cooktop/wall oven situation is you want to make sure that they are not too far from one another so you don't have to walk across your kitchen to take something from the cooktop to the oven...

                                      I'm pretty happy with out set up and it was cheaper than the other option as well. Good luck!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: tkln

                                        Hi Everyone!

                                        We just redid our kitchen last year. It was a major rehaul, moving stairs and walls and all that! But, it's a great kitchen now!

                                        We had the same issue as you have. We decided on something of a combination solution. We got a 6-burner wolf range with a single 36" oven and also a wolf wall unit that included a microwave, warming drawer and single 30" oven.

                                        The reason we didn't go for the 48"with two ovens is size. I felt that the 24" ovens are just too small. Before we re-did the kitchen, I had a sinlge 24" oven and it was really small. Once you account for all the insulation, the oven space itself is only about 20".

                                        At thanksgiving, I was able to make two full size turkeys in the 36" oven and then used the wall oven for the side dishes. It worked out really well.

                                        Hope this helps! Good luck!

                                        -Mary
                                        www.bestinkitchen.com

                                      2. double oven, 36 inch 6 burner cooktop dishwasher and big fridge. make sure you can fit a pizza box i the fridge. I have jenn air oven and fridge, viking cooktop, and a sirius hood, sirius is the name. the hood is direct vent and could suck so hard my dogs hairs get pulled up when he walks by. lol.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: chefsklls

                                          Hi what kind of 36 inch 6 burner cooktop. I like the look of the viking professional drop in cooktop but as I mentioned above am worried that I won't really be able to fit 3 large size pots (including a large saute pan) on all at the same time. I worry that the simmer won't be as good as a brand with duel stacked burners and I worry that with only one large btu at 14,000 it might not have enough power. What can you say about yours that might help some of my concerns.
                                          Thanks!

                                          1. re: avignon

                                            I greatly prefer ranges with up venting. If you buy higher end like Viking the longevity is not an issue. You will not be disposing of a unit in a few years due to a part like you might be with some of the other brands. That is the design of the product. They are completly modular. The question is if you need multiple ovens. I'm not at all a fan of the newest built in oven/microwave combos. If those systems or styles change in the future you are making a serious commitment when you purchase cabinets. I want to echo what JFoods said about hood systems.

                                        2. maybe not responsive to the original post but: (1) wish I had a REAL pizza oven, (2) KA Archictect series (36" bottom fo the line) -- LOVE the gas oven....love two of my four burners. The other two are way underpowered. (3) Got a GE profile French door, bottom freezer...like it better than mother in law's side by side Sub Zero.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: tim irvine

                                            A wood burning pizza oven ........

                                            Sigh.

                                          2. The benefit of a 48" oven is the cooktop surface. I have a 6 burner cooking surface and love it. You aren't so crowded and can handle big events. I especially like to do canning in the fall and I couldn't be nearly as efficient on a regular stove top. I would love 2 ovens but didn't have the space but I did put a hood fan with heat lamps and a rack. Love the rack below heat lamps.