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Which range is best: Wolf, Viking, or DCS?

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We are remodeling and trying to decide on a 36-48 inch commercial-style range. There aren't many comprehensive reviews out there, but we are looking at Wolf, Viking, and DCS. We are thinking all gas but are open to duel fuel if it's a clearly superior (but I'm not sure that's the case). It seems one gets more for the money with DCS. We'd also be open to other brands, perhaps Blue Star. Please help!

  1. I've been told by several friends who have both brands that Wolf is almost identical to Viking, but substantially cheaper. Have you been to a specialty high-end kitchen store to check things out? We're in the process of starting a kitchen remodel ourselves, so I'm just starting some research as well. I'd love a La Cornue stove purely for the looks, but I've heard terrible things about how they cook.

    I do have one friend who is recommending that we check out the GE Professional Line. I haven't seen them yet, but if they're comparable to the Wolf in quality, I can forego the name on the door for the extra cash in my pocket. We'll see where we land, though!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Suzy Q

      We just built a new house and installed a Viking 48 inch dual fuel with 6 open burners and a griddle. I absolutely love it. The griddle is a lot of fun, the burners are really hot (whatever you do, don't skimp on the fan), the simmer function is great, and the ovens are great (especially the broiler--it's adjustable and the big oven has two different convection functions). And the small oven has a setting for proofing bread dough that works well to.

      1. re: Suzy Q

        We've been to a store that sells high-end stuff. They said Wolf is the best quality - but I hear conflicting advice and I'm not sure sealed burners are an option with Wolf. Wolf and Viking are comparably priced. DCS is about $1000-1500 cheaper.

      2. I have a DCS 30" DF range and love it (5 burners). I used to have a DCS 30" AG range and loved that too. Left it behind when we moved (because I got the DF cheaper than my AG, but that's another story). The performance of the cooktop and flexibility it provides is great. I have an older model where all burners are 16,000 BTU with the center burner 17,500 BTU. Newer models have varied BTUs on the burners, which I don't care for.

        AG or DF is a personal decision and really depends on what you use the oven for. Gas is better for meats; electic is better for baking. Gas is a moister heat; electric is dryer.

        If you want a place to review some serious appliance discussions, I highly recommend the GardenWeb forums. I did a lot of research there before buying my DCS. You'll hear good and bad about almost every brand made. I can't recommend it enough.

        http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/

        You should also know that a lot of brands are not made by the name on the machine. You'll find a lot of those discussion on the forums as well. Start with the Appliance forum.

        Good luck!!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Dee S

          I too have the 30'' DCS, all gas, 5 burners, sealed burners, self cleaning, and love it. Listen -- the sealed burners make clean up easy. The self clean works great. Here's a little tiny tidbit, that means a lot to me: The oven racks have heavy duty casters, rather than just racks than scrape and slide in and out. Those regular racks always get hung up and stuck, seems to me... the heavy casters are a dream... glide in and out. DCS is solid.

        2. We recently installed a Blue Star 36" and are very pleased with it. The burner power is awesome but surprisingly, the simmer burner is most impressive--turned to low and with a heavy copper pan, a stick of butter will melt, not burn, but bubble a bit to let you know it's ready.

          As a professional, I don't find dual fuel, sealed burners and self cleaning at all useful. I do have and use the convection oven feature, however. Also, note that whatever the brand, a 36" stove gives you the biggest oven--only one but it's big.

          6 Replies
          1. re: GeezerGourmet

            That IS an important consideration. I tend to think the 48" is bad compromise -- if you want a BIGGEST oven get a 36" and if you want bigger go to 60", which really offers the benefits of DUAL 30" ovens. With a 48' you either get a 30" and some really undersized oven/storage space or TWO undersized 24" ovens...

            As to brand a lot comes down to the service type issues. Wold is partof SubZero (now) and they have had ups and downs in customer service. For as long as Viking has made an serious effort to be the premium professional style appiliance company they have tried to foster that image. DCS is part of Electrolux, though there California fore bearers were very good about service.

            BlueStar is a smaller company and is still building the organization. Fortunately the equipment is well designed and largely troublefree, though they are not as easy to deal with as company with a more mature network.

            1. re: renov8r

              I agree. I used to have a 60-inch Wolf with six burners, 24-inch square griddle, and two ovens. When I'm ready to shop for my next big range I won't be considering anything smaller.

              Jim

              1. re: renov8r

                DCS is owned by Fisher-Paykel, not Electrolux (Electrolux owns Frigidaire and dozens of other names). DCS founders became disillusioned after the FP takeover and left to form Capital, so if you want a DCS-type design but the old (pre FP) quality you should look at Capital. BlueStar (Prizer-Painter) is small but has been in business a hundred years literally. Their machines are simple enough that anybody local can service them--the factory is pretty good about supporting the local guys with parts etc and is easy to get hold of on the phone, so service really doesn't seem to be an issue. I have a BS and couldn't be happier. I have the cooktop only--I installed an electric double convection wall oven, and still think that is the best way to go unless you're really tight for space.

                1. re: johnb

                  johnb, I am thinking about a 36 in BS range. How have you found the oven and broiler performance? Are they consistent from a temp perspective? Any complaints? Thanks.

                  1. re: bguy2008

                    Sorry just now saw this question. I can't help you because as I mentioned above I have the cooktop only, no oven.

              2. re: GeezerGourmet

                We got a Blue Star 36" too, and we're really pleased. I use the simmer burner regularly, whether to keep big pans of stuff warm, or to actually simmer a pot of stock for hours on end, knowing it won't go out and won't ever overheat. The horsepower on the mega burner is also great, as are the other 4 "regular" burners, which have a ton of BTUs and turn down reasonably low too.

                One thing about the oven--Blue Star is supposedly the only 36" range that fits a full professional sheet pan. They really maximized the oven space.

                We love the broiler. Heats fast, gets blistering hot, fun to just watch the sheets of blue flame while it's getting to temperature.

                We opted to go with the baseline model (no convection) and it was in the low $3000 range. I've never had a convection oven to compare it to, but the heavy duty construction on this and high horsepower seems to translate into an oven that cooks very evenly and reliably in terms of temperature. It was correctly calibrated right from the get-go.

                Reviews I read online said one drawback was that the ceramic surrounds on the burner sparkers/lighters can crack, but I've been careful not to get them wet and have had no problems in 7 months of heavy use.

                I like that the entire cook top is black cast iron, which really hides spills well. It's also easy to pick up individual pieces of it to scrub in the sink.

                I also like the open burner design, which means there's a pull out crumb tray a few inches below the cook top surface, and open channels for air in between, which supposedly helps improve burner efficiency. Something about the open burner design also keeps the surfaces of the stove top cool enough that spills don't carbonize on them--only on burners. My old closed-surface stove carbonized spills wherever they ended up, making cleanup more difficult.

              3. Maybe a thermador range if your budget allows it, and from what I heard and what I'm going is duel fuel range.

                1. Do some serious research if you are considering spending a lot of money on a Viking or Thermador. Consumer Reports had an issue from last year that gave very poor marks to Viking on frequency of repair. Thermadors have had a lot of recalls and have been problematic.

                  I wound up with a Bertazzoni (cooktop only).

                  www.bertazzoni-italia.com

                  12 Replies
                  1. re: mlgb

                    I'll second your thoughts on Viking having had to replace the very expensive oven ignition system!

                    1. re: OCEllen

                      I would have to agree, having had several problems with burners failing to ignite on my Viking and having to fork out lots of money for repair. The person that did the repairs works with all of these high-end stoves and says he sees many problems with all of them but likes BlueStar best as it is simplest..as mentioned above..

                      1. re: OCEllen

                        I had the same problem with my Viking, but the repair person still told me he thought it was the best.

                        The repair cost me @ $300 and while I considered getting a new rangetop instead, it would have cost MUCH more.

                        1. re: OCEllen

                          Our Viking cooktop (we have separate GE wall ovens) is 8 years old and never been serviced. There are infrequent occasions when the igniters do not work, and more frequent occasions when they ignite but continue to make a clicking noise for about 30 seconds or more after ignition. The clicking problems typically arise after we have removed the iron disks that rest above the flame source, and then replaced them. If they are not precisely replaced or if there is water or air in the holes, the clicking occurs. Not sure why there is an occasional failure to ignite, but we just manually supply a flame; it does not happen often enough to warrant a service call.

                          By contrast, before the Viking cooktop we had a KA for about 12 years for which we needed multiple service calls because the igniters were so fragile that they actually broke off.

                          We love the perfomance of the Viking and the occasional ignition quirks are completely manageable.

                        2. re: mlgb

                          Vikings come in great colors. If your getting the stove to look pretty in your new kitchen, go with the Viking. If you're going to do some real cooking and need performance, go with the Wolf. I've had a Wolf for about 3 1/2 years, and its the best stove i have ever owned. Several friends that have the Vikings have had issues.

                          1. re: baldwinwood

                            I agree with baldinwood, I've had a smaller Wolf, 30-inch, 4 burner, for about a year. Get a good hood, though, it gets hot

                            1. re: chuckl

                              I also have a wolf 30-inch and never had any problems. I've had it for about 8 years. The only drawback with mine (as it is pre-subzero) it doesn't have sealed burners. Other than that, I love the simmer, I can melt chocolate directly in the pot, and the high BTU's make for great stir-frying.

                              1. re: chuckl

                                I use a vent-a-hood for my wolf too. Highly recommend.

                              2. re: baldwinwood

                                I have a black and brass Viking. IMO if you choose any range like this including the Viking you should stick with SS as the finish is far more durable.

                                1. re: baldwinwood

                                  I have a Viking and am having serious issues now, and have had smaller issues for the 4 years we've had it. We're ready to get rid of the d/mned thing. Wolf sounds like the way to go.

                                2. re: mlgb

                                  Hi there,

                                  Good luck with the Bertazzoni! We love them! Great company, hardly any issues at all, we sell them often, and they are becoming extremely popular here in the US.

                                  They really make a quality product.

                                  Chris

                                  1. re: mlgb

                                    Vikings in professional kitchens often have door hing problems as well as the usual thermal coupler issue which crops up often. However the ovens are on like 16 hours a day.

                                  2. I'll throw in another vote for Wolf. We've had our 6-burner Wolf for just over a year now and I can't imagine living without it now. I use and abuse that oven on a daily basis and it isn't showing any signs of serious wear. I have a feeling I'll be cooking on my Wolf forever. The only thing I'll say is that if you're also considering ventilation, I wouldn't go with the Wolf hood systems. Our old Vent-A-Hood was ridiculously powerful, and far better at pulling up smoke than our new Wolf hood.

                                    R. Jason Coulston

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Jason_Coulston

                                      Hi Jason,

                                      You're right.....Vent-a-Hood is just about the best company out there for hoods....They offer the most "true" CFM ratings in the business. The company "Independent" makes all Wolf Hoods right now, and while they're very good, they're nothing like V-A-Hood.

                                      Chris

                                    2. Hi There,

                                      I thought I might post a little more info for you.....I am in appliance sales, and I have been selling these high end products for over 15 years, and I have been in the business for almost 22 years..(owning my own appliance sales business, as well)

                                      You're right, there are not that many reviews out there regarding these high-end appliances.....Maybe I can shed a bit more light?

                                      First of all, if you love to bake, and do it on a regular basis, the Dual Fuel may be something for you....If you bake every now & then, you probably won't notice any difference. Any pro Chef will tell you that Electric baking usually yields better results, because gas heat is a more damp/humid heat, while electric is very dry. Better for cakes, pies, and almost anything else. This is for you to decide...It may not even be a big deal for you, or many other folks out there.

                                      Now, to the nitty gritty:
                                      Blue Star is a fantastic range, with a ton of features only found in restaurants.

                                      Why? Because Blue Star is the very well known brand "GARLAND". Which, as we all know, are in every restaurant in America. It's all they do! And they do it better than anyone else.........(No, I do not work for Garland) LOL :) But, I do sell their products (along with Wolf, Viking & all other high-end appliances)...All have their good points, and for the most part, let's be honest, I'd love to have any one of them in my house........ BUT, for the money, you can't beat Blue Star....No way, no how. The fact is, Blue Star Ranges offer the HIGHEST BTU burner ratings in the country! A whopping 22,000 BTU's on (not one), but, TWO of the top burners!!! It holds the record for boiling large pots of water in approximately 12-15 minutes. Try that on a Viking or Wolf, or Thermador. YES, they are all very well built ranges, but, they can only offer a MAXIMUM of only 15,000 to 17,000 BTU's per burner! That's the same as any basic GE, or Maytag gas range. Of course, GE, Maytag, or whatever regular brand is not built anything like these brands....But, we all know that.

                                      And, for many people, that's fine! Not everybody needs 22,000 btu's of cooking power. My Maytag range is just fine for what I do.....However, if you like to cook like I do, you will appreciate everything a BS has to offer!

                                      Ever use a wok at home? Woks require extremely high heat for proper stir fry cooking. A standard range can not really offer the power needed to do stir-fry wok cooking.

                                      You can also get a Griddle or Grill on a Blue Star.....(I seriously recommend a GRIDDLE only)

                                      (Side Note) Now, as mentioned from an earlier reply.....You will need serious ventilation for any of these ranges! PLEASE, DO NOT SKIMP HERE! PLEASE!!!! I can't stress this enough. Serious CFM Rated hoods are needed for many/all high-end ranges.

                                      Blue Star's Infrared Broiler system, and convection are no extra charge, and you do not have to order it special. If you love to cook (like I do), you will certainly appreciate all of these features, PLUS, a lower price tag! Frankly, it's a no-brainer!!!

                                      Having said that, maybe you like Viking, Wolf, or (another brand).....Again, that's fine, however, the 2nd best will be Wolf. (Right after Blue Star). As for Viking.... well... I like their products, but, I would rate them at 3rd place. Still, a decent range, though.

                                      You would, however, be surprised how many people out there buy a range because they like the "red knobs", or the "blue knobs", and for that reason alone!!!! And don't care about anything else.....<UGH!>

                                      Basically, if you want the best performance, great features, and a great price, my absolute 1st choice would be Blue Star. Hands down......This is THE RANGE I will be purchasing in my next house. This is a fact.

                                      I do not disrespect, nor would I ever talk bad about any other brand, but, if you're asking about these brands, and want an honest opinion, then I will say that they are all very good, BUT, Blue Star certainly has my vote as the #1 contender.

                                      Now, every person has their own idea of what's best. It's all personal opinions....But, for people who like to entertain, cook, and want, or need, high output burners, great broiler systems, all from a company that does it better than anyone else out there....Blue Star is the company to go with.

                                      Take care, and good luck with your kitchen!

                                      Chris

                                      24 Replies
                                      1. re: laney50w

                                        Chris

                                        As noted above, I too am a very satisfied BlueStar owner. I would add one comment to what you said. It is true that some folks may not need the power of those 22,000 BTU burners. But wait. That's probably because they never had it before and don't know what they can do. In my case, I wanted the power to do Chinese. It's really great for that, and I knew that before I ordered mine. But here's what I didn't know. I've never had much luck deep frying, and having that huge amount of grease to deal with afterwards is a real downer. But I discovered that, with the BlueStar and a normal 14" steel wok ($15 in any Asian grocery), you can do wonderful deep fries, and in very little oil. Now I do great french fries from scratch, fish, you name it. It was a complete unexpected
                                        discovery for me. But it shows why it might be a good idea to buy a machine with capability--you may not "need" it, but later you may discover that you did, you just didn't know it.

                                        BTW, you'll be interested to know I put a V-A-H over mine.

                                        1. re: johnb

                                          Hi John,

                                          That's very true! Once you have tried cooking with 22,000 BTU's, you'll never want to go back to the standard output burners anymore!

                                          A name-brand such as Viking, Wolf, etc.. may not always offer the best BTU ratings for cooking needs....Which has always stumped me! But, that's a WHOLE other story, for another message board! LOL

                                          GREAT POINT, John! Good day to you. :)
                                          Chris

                                        2. re: laney50w

                                          Chris,

                                          I'm a first time poster here, looking for a unit that offers indoor grilling. I had previously thought the Wolf 60" unit with 6 burners and a double grill was the cats meow. But since they no longer manufacture that particular unit, I'm back to square one. The Blue Star unit you referred to offers a grill, but you recommend the griddle instead. Would you go with a separate grill top unit independent of a range? I really need some advice from some one who is not selling to me directly. Thanks,

                                          dm

                                          1. re: Don Miguel

                                            Hi Don,

                                            How are you? :) I'll try to help.....No problem!

                                            The reason why I prefer a "griddle" is for a couple reasons.

                                            A "GRILL" is basically a "one-trick-pony", it will grill, and that's about it. Not to mention, it can be very messy with both the amount of smoke it will produce, plus, quite a bit of elbow grease will be needed for clean-up.

                                            A "GRIDDLE" can be used for multiple cooking needs. One can stir-fry, make grilled sandwiches, burgers, (even steaks) ....breakfast items (french toast, bacon, eggs, pancakes...etc), AND, it can also be used as an extra burner. You can actually place a pot, or skillet, boil pasta water, or whatever. Basically, you can cook on it like a regular burner. And, clean-up is fairly easy. Scrape the grease into the drain hole, and dump the grease bin.

                                            However, if it's a grill you want, that's cool! Some folks really get a lot of use out of a grill....Just make sure you have a VERY POWERFUL ventilation system in the kitchen. You're going to need a good amount of CFM to move that smoke out of the house.

                                            Again, just my opinions, and if it's a grill you want, go for it. Many folks have them, and love them. Just remember the ventilation!

                                            Need any more help, just let me know
                                            Have a great day!
                                            Chris

                                          2. re: laney50w

                                            A question about Bluestar (although I will probably not buy a new range for another 8 years)... I looked up the Bluestar range etc, and their products do look impressive but when I opened up the documentation it refers to a wok ring. Is that "wok ring" a "wok ring" or "wok grate" (ring sits on top of grate to cradle the wok; a wok grate replaces the grate and the wok sits down nicely in the flame where the heat is). If it is a grate then the 22,000 BTU would be great. I had considered buying a seperate wok burner from Viking (at 25,000 BTU) but I just did not have the room for anything than just 30" (the wok burner would have taken up 24" - not been able to put a stove underneath it and only leave 6" for anything else - basically leaving me with one burner only... this option was what really lead me to choose the Wolf I now have. Always looking for future toys to purchase though :p

                                            1. re: cacruden

                                              Hi cacruden,

                                              It's a "wok ring"....Not a "wok grate".....(as far as I know) not many companies out there will offer a wok grate. Then again, in our area, it's not something we get asked about alot.

                                              The wok will sit above the flame. Although, the wok ring on Bertazzoni, BlueStar, Electrolux, and a few others do not sit too high above the flame...It's fairly close to the flame.

                                              Chris

                                              1. re: laney50w

                                                A little disappointing, it is such a small thing and yet I would think that it would help in marketing to a fairly large community (at least in Canada). Sounds like I would not get the full benefit of 22,000, and likely would not be better than the Wolf I now have for that purpose (15,000) with wok grate. Oh well, maybe by the time I actually seriously interested in buying a new range they will have filled this gap.

                                                1. re: cacruden

                                                  The Bertazzoni has a wok ring (which is what they call their large central burner that is a three-ring burner), as well as a cast-iron circular wok grate which sits ontop of the regular grate. The flame reaches the cooking vessel with the Bertazzoni. They may not have the highest BTUs but you're getting full efficiency.

                                                  I'm very happy with the purchase, especially for the price. I like that the cooktop is one-piece stainless top, no panels to remove for cleanup.

                                                  Just to reiterate, I only bought a drop in cooktop, not a range. But they do have some nice ranges (with colors) at a reasonable price point.

                                                  I've cooked on my SIL's Wolf cooktop. It's nice, but she's also had ignitor problems. And they did it as part of a remodel where they installed a new hood.

                                                  1. re: cacruden

                                                    Cacruden

                                                    I'm not clear what Chris was saying. The grates above each burner on a Bluestar have two parts, an upper one that the pan sits on and a lower one that surrounds the burner and supports the upper one. To use the wok on the Bluestar, you remove the top piece (it just lifts off), then the wok sits on the lower piece, supported at four points, and its botton is well below the normal level that normal pots sit. The flame bathes the lower part of the wok and really puts the heat in. A wok will smoke within 10 sec. or so of turning on the gas--I kid you not.

                                                    I wouldn't describe it as a wok ring myself--it's nothing like a typical wok ring that simply holds the wok but keeps its bottom, if anything, further from the flame than an ordinary pot would be.

                                                    1. re: johnb

                                                      Ok, I understand what you are saying now - I was looking at it looking to see if it was designed to do that that way - or just luck in how it cradled the wok. I found a demo on the website for bluestar - wok cooking one - and they showed it that way (obviously she was not sure it was designed to be that way - because she said as much). Yes that looks excellent. Well, next one may be bluestar - I told my sister to look at it since she is planning a complete kitchen redo (all new appliances, and tearing down the walls to expand the kitchen).

                                                    2. re: cacruden

                                                      Believe me, that 22,000 BTU's is extremely high output, even without a wok grate. I doubt any range out there today (for home use) will even come close to that. I wouldn't let that really bother me all that much.

                                                      Have a good day!
                                                      Chris

                                                2. re: laney50w

                                                  How much ventilation does a 22,000 BTU Blue Star need in typical use? We have a Broan Allura III hood, ventilating directly through the wall, that the manufacturer claims can move 550 CFM.

                                                  One salesman (only two local stores seem to sell them) said we could treat the Blue Star as a normal kitchen range and that the hood we have will be fine. Since he could try to sell us a new hood, I have no reason to disbelieve him. Still, I'm skeptical.

                                                  He said that the Blue Star is specifically designed for home use, making special ventilation provisions unnecessary. His point was that real professional stoves have multiple pilot lights and little insulation. Thus the need to ventilate for fire and gas safety. OTOH, the Blue Star is fully insulated and meets all local building, gas, and fire codes for home use.

                                                  I know several people who have real pro stoves in their homes, and these stoves seem to cost much less money than the consumer models. However, I could never live with their ventilation systems. I've seen fans that stifled the possibility of conversation, lifted carpets from the floor, and seemed capable of swallowing small children.

                                                  So can we use a Blue Star safely, or would we need to install a much more robust ventilation system? We would not be doing any Chinese wok cookery, but we would certainly be using a maximum flame at times.

                                                  1. re: embee

                                                    I would say the matter of ventilation has less to do with the ambient heat generated by the range than the type of cooking you plan to do and the amount of smoke and grease you will generate. If you will not be doing serious meat cooking, and thus generating lots of smoke, you could get away with less ventilation. But in that case you really don't need a machine like a Bluestar in the first place. I would say you really should do some good ventilating. There are various ways to go, but the cost isn't all that bad--figure $2000 or so for a good residential installation such as Vent-a-hood or an upscale Broan. Well worth it for the serious cook.

                                                    1. re: johnb

                                                      "I would say the matter of ventilation has less to do with the ambient heat generated by the range than the type of cooking you plan to do and the amount of smoke and grease you will generate"

                                                      Boy do I ever dissagree with that. Put one of those microwave hood systems over a 21000 BTU burner and you might wind up with some serious issues. Many homes burn down each year from those types of microwave ventillation systems. Grease is trapped over head in the vent and then you add excess heat, not good. My Viking hood system will turn on automatically if the temp reaches a certain point with the hood off. A range or cook top like this should IMO always be installed with an over head vent to the exterior hood system. If you don't cook enough to need the hood then you don't need to spend this much on a high end range or cook top.

                                                    2. re: embee

                                                      I have a modest 30'' DCS, with 17,000 BTU center burner, 15,000 at the four corners... and an 800 CFM hood. I would rate it adequate for what I can generate in smoke etc off those burners. I would not want 600 CFM on these big stoves. I would stick with 800, or more. just one opinion.

                                                      1. re: embee

                                                        ..Restaurant range, in the house?... usually not legal....

                                                        In any event, I would say that 550 CFM will be sufficient. Chances are, you won't always have both 22,000 BTU burners in use (at full power) at the same time, and even if you are, it probably won't be for too long of a period.

                                                        I usually recommend (to my customers) anywhere from 500 - 900 CFM, depending on what company offers what (as far as CFM ratings)

                                                        You should be OK with what you have.

                                                        NOTE:
                                                        Make sure you ALWAYS turn on the exhaust fan 10 minutes before you start cooking. This goes for anybody, with ANY range.

                                                        Chris

                                                        1. re: embee

                                                          Hi all... I am one of "those" people who have a true pro range in their home. We purchased a 60" Imperial Range with 24" raised griddle and broiler. I used to work as a kitchen professional and understood my needs and my cooking style.. I agree with the earlier poster that said they may not realize they need 22k BTUs.. But boy, once they learn it is there and learn how to make full use of that kind of power, the things they can accomplish are amazing.. We have nothing but GREAT things to say about our range.. That being said, it is commercial, so while they make a residential model, it comes with 15k burners like everyone else except Blue Star. I would not trade it for anything in the world. I looked at the Blue Star and that was my choice until I talked my wife into the true commercial. We have no children, so the lack of safety features normally present in residential models was not an issue for us. Had we needed those features, we would have definitely gone with the Blue Star. Good luck..

                                                          1. re: richkeel

                                                            It's not just about kids. It's also about fire insurance.

                                                            1. re: embee

                                                              We just added a rider to our policy to cover the range. So that never became an issue.. Good point though.

                                                              1. re: richkeel

                                                                How did you manage that? I've never heard of a rider that would insure a commercial product for home use. I have riders myself but those usually cover a specific item not the entire home. Commercial ranges require larger gas lines and serious ventillation systems. I guess I'm just paranoid. I don't believe for a second that any insurance company that can find a way not to pay a claim won't use that to their advantage. A commercial in home installation would be difficult to install and comply with local building codes for any place in the US with out an ansel or sprinkler system installed as well.

                                                        2. re: laney50w

                                                          Hi all, been going back and forth till I'm cross eyed! I have heard DeLonghi has a fan thats too loud and won't shut off and that blue star takes 45 minutes to heat up to 350*, I've also heard that Viking has horrible and costly service as does DCS ie a 15.00 items goes for 200.00! etc(my husband is in appliance repair. I really love the Heartland and Elmiras looks Aga too. 5000.00 is our top top top price. We'd like to stay at 36", I really want 5 burners w/ the wok option and maybe a griddle, would LOVE 2 ovens, at least one as convection. HELP! Am I just a beautiful dreamer? Is there such a thing as my dream stove? We could go a bit bigger than 36" maybe squeeze 48" out of our kitchen if we remodel.

                                                          1. re: debdevany

                                                            You might want to look at five star. Another poster mentioned them the other day and they do look really nice.
                                                            BTW Viking parts are really no more expensive than any other manufacturer in this category. The only way a $15 part winds up costing $200 is $90 service call, $95 labor $15 part. Service calls and labor apply to any brand out side of warranty. ;)

                                                          2. re: laney50w

                                                            An excellent post. And I am not even in the market for one.

                                                            1. re: laney50w

                                                              Thank you, Chris for that very informative evaluation. We are remodeling our kitchen and I have been impressed by what I've read about blue star so far. We'd like a 36 inch model with 6 burners. What particular model would you recommend? Also, we will be buying all theother kitchen appliances and as an appliance salesperson, I'd appreciate your opinion on counter depth refrigerators as well as dishwashers. On the former, we are not interested in the outside water or ice gadgets but wouldn't mind same on the inside.

                                                            2. Apparently Wolf is the only professional/home range that has a cast iron frame, the rest are stamped steel. The upshot is the the Wolf is a sturdier, longer lasting range as a result... plus you get the cool red knobs

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: mitzihaz

                                                                Yes, the wolf range is very heavy. I bought a 30" Wolf range, and told them before they were delivering it that once they entered the condo (loft), there would be two steps up to the hallway and two steps down (so that they would bring an extra dolly)..... they instead sent four delivery people to lift that beast into the kitchen.

                                                                I originally was not looking to spend "that" amount of money on the range, but my last one broke down and I had to get one quick - so I did not do enough research. I ended up getting a top of the line Kitchen-Aid that had the grill covering the complete top, and with an additional wok cradle that sat a little higher. All I knew is that I wanted a higher BTU burner, and this one had one at 15,000 BTU so I figured it would do. I get it installed only to find out that the grates (which cannot be lowered by cutting off the legs a little - the frame was in the way) were designed to sit high - which meant the gas flame would not even reach the pan. At most the heat I would get (on the high heat burner) was equal to around 8,000 BTU - totally unacceptable. I then arranged to return it to Sears. Before getting my new range delivered (see below), they called up and said the new model year "fixed" the design problem - but by that time I had already ordered one from the Bay (at 2.5 times the price) and was happy with it.

                                                                I had walked into the Bay (flagship store), and they had the area where they had Wolf ranges/cooktops and Sub-Zero refrigeration. I found one that fit the bill. The most important part of the cooktop is the ability to properly use a wok on it. They had both sealed and dual gas-ring open burners. Although the sealed burners protect the inside of the burner, it leaves a huge bald spot in the middle of the wok - therefore I did not want that. The one I ended up getting is the all-gas (no electronics except for a light bulb indicating the oven is at temperature). I ordered the wok grates that replace the pan grates - so the wok sits nicely down in the flames at 15,000 BTU. Fantastic! Don't ever want to go back down a level now. (BTW, mine has the black knobs on it).

                                                                The other thing that is nice is that the range top easily comes apart to facilitate cleaning (i.e. the top is in three panels that include the drip trays) - black and can be removed and washed and put back in place - then put the grills back on top. Additionally there is a stainless steel drip tray underneath (covers the oven completely) that pulls out (without removing) so that it can be wiped down if you had something drip through. I usually take it completely apart every few weeks to do a complete cleaning...

                                                                When I ordered it from the Bay, I gave them my price (i.e. a higher price would lead me to shopping around), and the person said he had to talk to the manager and get back to me (my price was 20% under posted price). The next day they called back and agreed.

                                                                I am extremely happy with the range (the gas oven is great as well).

                                                              2. I have a 48' Wolf 6 burner with griddle with the double ovens and I love it!
                                                                Friends have the Viking and the Sub-Zero and overall they are happy with their appliances too..
                                                                Glad I decided on my Wolf range..

                                                                1. Look at all the gadgets that come with any of the high end ranges you are looking at. Self cleaning and convection are standard on most but where they start to differ is with all the computer boards to run all the electronic components. The more fancy electronic features your range has, the more components to break down in the future. When out of warranty a digital clock that controls your oven can cost upwards of $500 plus labor. Wolf makes a very nice, powerful and simple range that will last a long time and minimal electronic components. Viking makes a plain range aswell and you will not go wrong with either one. Jade ranges have been tested by the pros and are what is used in professional kitchens. DCS still makes a very nice product but has gotten a bit more difficult to deal with since they where bought out by Fisher & Paykel. I hope this helps you out a bit. Good luck with your purchase.

                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                  1. re: theapplianceguy

                                                                    I own a 10 year old 36 inch Viking and even after the abuse it has seen over the years, I have only called in a repairman once, to replace a pilot light switcher, and yes it was expensive. However he told me to hang on to it as long as parts are availible. Because the newer versions with all the electronic bells and whistles have a tendency to break down sooner and in turn cost quite a bit more to repair. He also claimed that Viking has stopped producing their "plain jane"commercial ranges. I would not trade my old Viking for anything, perhaps because it has seen many a happy party and gathering and in turn holds so many memories. I also love the fact that I can completely disassenble the stove as well as the 3 fan blower to clean, It takes a whole day, a power washer, several cans of degreaser, a gallon of Simple Green, and two cans of stainless steel conditioner. But well worth it.

                                                                    1. re: currymouth

                                                                      currymouth..
                                                                      Love when you said that your Viking has seen many a happy party and gathering and in turn holds so many memories..
                                                                      It's like it has a soul.. :)

                                                                      1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                        My wife and I saved for 3 years to finally afford the whole package, stove, hood, warming shelf, and back splash. and then waited another 4 months for the plans of our house in order to see if 15 inch ducting would fit into the kitchen ceiling. So you can say that owning this stove was indeed a labor of love. and I would do it all again, It's that good of a stove.

                                                                        1. re: currymouth

                                                                          Awesome!

                                                                    2. re: theapplianceguy

                                                                      Mr. Appliance Guy,
                                                                      I have a question please. You say to be careful about electronic functions on high end ranges. My husband agrees. We are between the wolf and viking. Looking at Dual Fuel. Viking has no electronic components but the wolf dual fuel did have a mother board for the dual fuel oven. Any thoughts on this ? And, which stove in the wolf were you speaking of being plain; all gas with convection?

                                                                      Many thanks

                                                                    3. I have a 30" Blue Star RNB. I purchased it in part because of generally positive posts on this board. I haven't been happy with the purchase so far. The build quality is below par, and the customer service has been poor. The stove was missing two screws (I hope thats all!) in the rack system, and despite repeated attempts to get replacements...no luck. The convection fan makes an annoyingly loud buzz when operated. And both the convection fan and the oven light switches don't function well- requiring one to push and prod repeatedly to engage. For close to 4000$ I expect more from a range. I was looking at DCS and others prior to going with Blue Star, and now I wish I had thrown the dice with them instead. Just my two cents...

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: frypan

                                                                        sorry to hear about your luck with bluestar, frypan. I'm in the same boat, waffling between the dcs, fivestar, and bluestar 30. Hate to get anything site unseen, and so many raves about bluestar make me almost willing to take the risk. Can't find anyone/anywhere in Chicago to see a bluestar tho, but I suspect your post is accurate as far as build quality, as you don't have the rose colored glasses... Anyone in Chicago willing to let me peek at their bluestar, let me know...I've still got a couple weeks.

                                                                        1. re: allmansd

                                                                          Trage Brothers in Forest Park has BlueStar ranges in the showroom. I believe they generally have gas "live" on at least one.

                                                                          1. re: allmansd

                                                                            Don't get me wrong... it's an attractive stove. I just like things to operate as well (or better) than they look. I was drawn to the BS because it is low on frills (timers, etc)- why they can't make switches (for interior light, convection fan) work properly is poor justy QC. Customer service is very important as well, a must for this price range IMO. I would have thought they would have overnighted the missing screws, but alas... I got the run around instead. They even called me and said they would send the screws, but nothing, and now they don't even respond to email (?) Maybe I've been dealing with a disgruntled employee, but BS customer service has *not* impressed me.

                                                                        2. Re: Viking ovens...our club installed two full size wall ovens a little over a year ago. They have not properly worked since installation and recently the Viking repair supervisor told us that the reason they "cycle off" after you've been either baking and/or trying to bake one item and then broil, say the nice little cheese toasts you thought you'd make at the end, is because the oven "thinks" it's going into a cleaning cycle and that the oven essentially gets "too hot". As a result, when I was cooking a luncheon for 35 members a month ago, and I pre-heated the ovens a full half hour before putting the chicken in to cook, and after I took the prepared chicken out of the refrigerator 45 minutes ahead of cooking to ensure that it would be room temperature, AND after one full HOUR in these ovens at a supposed temperature of 400 degrees...I had RAW chicken. I tried to "fake" the oven into a higher temperature by turning the broiler on and this was only slightly effective. We ended up 'nuking' the chicken at the end in order not to serve the 'samonella special' to the new members!
                                                                          Viking has been less than helpful and is suggesting that the NEW ovens are not MEANT to be able to broil and bake during the same cooking session...i.e., when your grandmother used to bake those scalloped potatos and then turn on the broiler at the end to brown the top...well, folks that's an option of the PAST.
                                                                          $10,000 worth of ovens and we can't brown the top of scalloped potatoes in them!
                                                                          Never would I suggest Viking.

                                                                          13 Replies
                                                                          1. re: cookingtoo

                                                                            The instove ovens seem to have similar problems, along with an iffy, easy to fail igniter that costs $$$ to replace.

                                                                            1. re: OCEllen

                                                                              If I'm remembering that Consumer Reports article from last summer correctly, Viking had a 30% repair rate, about 3x higher than any other tested luxury brand.

                                                                              But they have a high namebrand recognition so builders/flippers love them.

                                                                              1. re: mlgb

                                                                                Consumer reports can be a little distorted in some cases. Any customer that buys an expensive unit like the Viking is going to maximize the value of the warranty for even the slightest issue. That can seriously skew those percentages as can the fact that Viking out sells the others by a wide margin.

                                                                                1. re: Docsknotinn

                                                                                  I don't blame someone who has spent 3,000 or more for optimizing their warranty for even the slightest issue. But I don't think what cookintoo is talking about is a slight issue!

                                                                            2. re: cookingtoo

                                                                              That seems to be a problem with the newer versions with all the electronic gadgets. As my 36 inch is over 10 years old now, I don't have that issue, but then again I did not opt for the self cleaning option. Are the newer versions even available without that option?

                                                                              1. re: cookingtoo

                                                                                "Viking has been less than helpful and is suggesting that the NEW ovens are not MEANT to be able to broil and bake during the same cooking session.."

                                                                                So you are trying to miss use a product and that's the manufacturers fault???? How can you possibly expect to run the oven and the broiler during the same cyle?
                                                                                If you are trying to broil after baking there should be no issue and I do that with my Viking frequently. The only caveat is that the oven temp has to drop low enough for the broiler to ignite. Just turn the oven completly off for a few minutes then re-set to broil.
                                                                                I have no idea what you mean by you had raw chicken at 400 after 45 minutes. 45 minutes is not enough for a whole bird at 400. Turning the broiler on at that point would not work on most ovens. Why wouldn't you just increase your oven temp and cook another 15 minutes? More importantly why would you let chicken set at room temp for 45 minutes before cooking?

                                                                                1. re: Docsknotinn

                                                                                  That's why one buys a 'high performance' EXPENSIVE range! So one can use all components at once and maybe brown with the broiler while 'baking'.

                                                                                  1. re: OCEllen

                                                                                    Expense has nothing to do with it. You can not run two functions at one time on any modern range that I know of that in a commercial style range or oven. There is only one gas valve for the oven/broiler. Both broiler and oven are temperature sensative. IE; If you heat any oven to 450, turn it off and then turn it back on at a lower temp it will not ignite until the temp drops. The same is true of different functions even though broil is hotter than 400. You simply turn the unit off for a moment, then re-set to broil. If you read cookingtoo's post this is exactly what was done. The product is not at fault if you don't cook or use it properly. If you think your oven temp is not correct an oven thermometer is less than $5 and you can get a good idea real quick if you have an oven that needs to be calibrated. Since Viking service was clearly involved I assume that the ovens are in fact running at the proper temp. If you ran both infrared broil and the oven at the same time you would exceed cleaning cycle temp. That's over 550 degrees. Even split chicken breasts take 45 minutes at 400. You can set a Viking oven up to 550. In this case setting the oven to the proper temp or cooking for the correct amount of time was the solution. Not trying to "trick" the oven into running both broil and bake at the same time to compensate for an error in timing.
                                                                                    ;)

                                                                                    1. re: Docsknotinn

                                                                                      I'm well aware that the baking and broil components are not on at the same time - I have never 'tricked' my stove.

                                                                                      1. re: OCEllen

                                                                                        I was obviously referring to the process used by cookingtoo to "trick" the oven and noted that in my post. Your response above clearly states;

                                                                                        "That's why one buys a 'high performance' EXPENSIVE range! So one can use all components at once and maybe brown with the broiler while 'baking'"

                                                                                        You obviously can not run both at the same time and your suggestion that this is why some one would purchase a high end range or oven baffles me to say the least. Now you say you are aware that's not possible. ??????????????

                                                                                        1. re: Docsknotinn

                                                                                          One can use all four (in my case, I have a 36" four burner range) burners plus the oven. I was never able to get full power from a 'lesser stove. Hope this clarifies - I really didn't mean for this discussion to get 'hot' ;-)

                                                                                          1. re: OCEllen

                                                                                            " I really didn't mean for this discussion to get 'hot' "

                                                                                            Pun intended? ;)

                                                                                  2. re: Docsknotinn

                                                                                    It's not misuse if a product is MARKETED to to be able to handle multi-tasking and then breaks down during that actual process.

                                                                                2. A year ago I bought a 36" Viking with 4 burners and a griddle. Trouble started the day the machine arrived. We live at 7500'. Adjusting the burners for propane was difficult. We never did get it right. The installation manual was vague and incomplete. One page was duplicated, another absent. We managed to live with these difficulties.

                                                                                  But the griddle leaked grease into the fire box below. That would produce the occasional file - yes real life actual fire burning in the box below the griddle. The flames would emerge from the vent at the back of the stove. Exciting, but still we could live with it. Calls to Viking resulted in a change of griddle once and another change was scheduled.

                                                                                  Over time the stove seemed to be destroying itself. My wife began to complain of the fragrance of propane. And then... the big one.

                                                                                  I turned on the left rear burner. It behaved but the left rear corner of the stove erupted in flame. The flames were maybe two feet high. Fortunately, the gas shut off is easily accessible and I killed the gas before the stove killed our house.

                                                                                  That was the last straw. I bought a DCS 36" range top and a separate wall oven.

                                                                                  There is no comparison between the Viking and the DCS. The burners, controls, griddle, and clean up features are all head and shoulders superior to the Viking. And the new equipment is less expensive as well.

                                                                                  I think Viking must be failing by virtue of resting on its laurels rather than paying attention to business.

                                                                                  Absolutely, hubbsp; go with DCS.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: fencepost

                                                                                    Difficulty with fuel to air ratio at high altitude has nothing to do with any specific brand. That's a fact of life and an installation issue for the gas company. If you don't clean the grease trap you my get a fire in any brand. This is every bit as absurd as claiming the product is inferior because you can't run the broil and bake function at the same time.

                                                                                    The internet is a powerfull tool. It can be very helpfull. It can also be terribly misleading. There are those out there who will deliberatly down play a product. I like to check profiles. If I see a poster with a single post making extreme claims I take that in to consideration before I give that opinion validity.

                                                                                  2. A friend of mine just bought a Wolf industrial-style range and loves it. It is a combination top so it had 3 regular burners and 3 two-piece open burners in the back. It's gas (I think). If you are looking at Blue Star, just know that all of their products are residential (which may be better for your purposes, I personally have had trouble with commercial ranges). Anyway, good luck with your search. Here is where she got her commercial range:
                                                                                    http://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/p...

                                                                                    1. I purchased the consumer reports two sundays ago.
                                                                                      And NO WHERE did it give the % of repairs for any high end appliances.
                                                                                      It said they "had no records or data on the repair rate".

                                                                                      For Performance, they said as follows:

                                                                                      On Dual Fuel 30"
                                                                                      they gave the highest 71 pts out of 100
                                                                                      to:
                                                                                      Bosch (mid price range) 71 pts.
                                                                                      Kenmore Pro 67pts.
                                                                                      Wolf 67 pts.
                                                                                      Viking 64 pts

                                                                                      ON 36" Dual Fuel Best Ranges
                                                                                      Thermador Pro Grand
                                                                                      GE Monogram
                                                                                      Again, no data to report on the repair situation.

                                                                                      I am getting ready to purchase a Dual Fuel Range.
                                                                                      I find it interesting that CR mainly reports on basic ranges, not the high end market, which is a booming business.
                                                                                      I also thought they were somewhat biased against the high end options.

                                                                                      I looked at Blue Star and it is very nice but it is only All Gas, so I will pass on that as I am a serious baker.

                                                                                      17 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: scotlandyard

                                                                                        I read the Consumer Reports issue when it was published, as I was in the market for a new cooktop. Have no idea what you bought, but the story would have been in a back issue of the monthy Consumer Reports.

                                                                                        http://www.propeller.com/viewstory/20...

                                                                                        "The survey finds that 33 percent of Viking gas ranges and at least 15 percent of Viking, Thermador and Dacor gas cooktops “have been repaired or have had an un-repairable problem during the last few years.”

                                                                                        Nice.

                                                                                        1. re: mlgb

                                                                                          I'd be interested in knowing how consumer reports came up with those numbers. They even address the question of the reliability of their survey in the article you linked but fail to actually answer the question of how they arrived at those statistics.

                                                                                          1. re: Docsknotinn

                                                                                            It sounds like a lot of posters here are not that familiar with CR. They do lab tests on the appliance's performance (which results in the ratings) and their reliability/repair charts are prepared from annual (I think) surveys of their members. If you have seen the automobile issue, you will notice that there is a year by year reliability/repair chart with the coded circles. CR articles can usually only be read by members of CR, or by purchasing the monthly issue. The annual books are summaries of the articles.

                                                                                            In this case some other media outlets have reported on the article about high-end appliances.

                                                                                            Actually the MSNBC article http://www.propeller.com/viewstory/20...

                                                                                            reports:

                                                                                            "This year’s survey results are based on responses from more than 950,000 readers who rated 30 different types of products, including ovens, washers, dryers, dishwashers, ranges, refrigerators, televisions, lawnmowers, and automobiles."

                                                                                            There is more explanation of the CR evaluation process in the MSNBC article.

                                                                                            My father was a subscriber to CR since before I can remember. Obviously there are some people who are just looking for a luxury brand name for resale or prestige purposes, or who can afford an $800 repair and don't mind the hassle of dealing with warranties (or out of warranty repairs). Since we weren't independently wealthy, selecting the car/TV/washing machine, etc that would be reliable, effective, and a good value had a certain utility. If their advice was cr*p, I'm sure he would have cancelled the subscription, but he never did.

                                                                                            1. re: mlgb

                                                                                              "their reliability/repair charts are prepared from annual (I think) surveys of their members."

                                                                                              How many times are you going to edit your post????
                                                                                              That doesn't seem like a very reliable way to get an even representation of the true market. No wonder the manufacturers are disputing the consumer reports statistics. Like I said they addressed the fact that the reliability of their claims may be questionable in their article but fail to address how they actually came up with the numbers. I find their information rather unreliable. This is not the only example where I have found CR to be far less than accurate.
                                                                                              Your link is the same as your previous post. How about a link to the actual article not something like propeller dot com.
                                                                                              I've had a Viking seven years. Yes I've had repairs. I the gas valves replaced a few years ago and it was no where near $800. In fact it wasn't even half that. I think it's clear there are those who have never owned a particular product and don't like it for one reason or the other such as cost. Is Viking perfect? No. But it's a lot better than some who have never owned one would have you believe. ;)

                                                                                              1. re: Docsknotinn

                                                                                                Without getting into any argument, I'll simply say this about Consumer Reports. They are the virtually the only unbiased source of this type of product information.

                                                                                                Consumers Union buys stuff anonymously at retail and they develop some very clever product tests. They report test performance and note any flaws apparent at testing time. However, these tests can't establish long term durability.

                                                                                                They will, where practical, run durability tests. For example, they will stain wood panels and leave them exposed to weather to test a stain's durability claims They sometimes validate a claim and sometimes find it false.

                                                                                                This doesn't work for bulky and/or expensive items, so they survey readers who own such items every year. Cars are surveyed annually. Other durables are checked at varying intervals.

                                                                                                There are millions of readers and the surveys are not trivial, so results are usually statistically significant. Results can be very surprising. They often find little relationship among price, market "reputation", and product quality. They sometimes tell you that a product they recommended highly has proven a dud over time. They also identify important trends (e.g., a dramatic increase in the reliability of Hyundai cars over time and an equally dramatic fall in the reliability of Mercedes Benz). When the number of replies about a product is too small for statistical significance, they tell you that too.

                                                                                                With respect to stoves, they have established beyond doubt that most "prosumer" stoves are inferior to many mainstream models when used by a typical home cook. Sometimes choices are more about looks and status than about cooking performance.

                                                                                                We are certainly not "typical" home cooks, but it's hard to argue against an objective finding that one model's 9,000 BTU burner boils water faster than the 15,000 BTU burner on another.

                                                                                                It's also hard to argue that stoves made by Viking, Dacor, Fisher & Paykel, and some others don't break down frequently, and expensively, compared to other brands that go on and on for decades with no repairs.

                                                                                                This doesn't mean that all Vikings break. The majority of them clearly don't. But Viking is not a good durability bet compared to other models.

                                                                                                My own stove, a mid eighties gas Caloric, was a mainstream consumer model. It has been pushed to its limits, and seriously abused, over two decades. The only repair was a new igniter for the infra red broiler - I think it cost about $50. Since you can no longer get an infra red broiler in a consumer stove, I'll be making a choice among the prosumer brands myself one of these days. At possibly ten times the price of said Caloric, I'd hate to spend hundreds more on repairs.

                                                                                                Consumers Union is run by humans, and they sometimes make mistakes. Unlike many other publications, they will admit to their mistakes, some of which are quite embarrassing. What's most important to me is that no aggrieved manufacturer of any badly reviewed product has ever successfully sued them.

                                                                                                Consumer Reports should never be your only information source. Many great products never get reviewed, and their top rated model might be totally unsuitable for you. However, you disregard a scathing CR review at your peril.

                                                                                                1. re: embee

                                                                                                  "This doesn't mean that all Vikings break. The majority of them clearly don't."
                                                                                                  "This doesn't work for bulky and/or expensive items, so they survey readers who own such items every year"
                                                                                                  +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

                                                                                                  The thing that you fail to consider in your assesment is sales volume. Comparing Viking to some of theese other brands is like comparing GM to mini cooper based on US sales. Will GM have more repairs? Of course they will look at the sales volume.
                                                                                                  Consumers reports data is flawed in this case because they didn't actually test ANYTHING! They even freely admidt their own data is questionable in this case because they are soly relying on a survey. Taking a survey from your own members is highly biased IMO. Consumers reports may be usefull in some cases but must be taken in context. All I know is that I actually own a Viking range and Hood system. After seven years I am completly satisfied with the product.

                                                                                                  1. re: Docsknotinn

                                                                                                    As I said in my post, I'm offering info about Consumer's Union for Chowhounds who don't know them. I am not entering into any arguments.

                                                                                                    CU data is what it is and, flaws and all, it is the best data available to US consumers at large. At least one Viking model WAS tested. The data is quite clear and could hardly be more balanced.

                                                                                                    "Bottom Line:
                                                                                                    Overall, this is a very good range, with excellent broiling and very good low-temperature performance But, it is extremely expensive. We did not have enough historical data to include Viking gas ranges in our repair-history analysis. The data we do have, however, indicate that Viking has been a repair-prone gas range brand."

                                                                                                    In short, I can't understand your problem. I live in Canada, where few available appliances are tested objectively by anyone. We have widely available brand lines (usually European, Asian, and Australian) not sold widely, or at all, in the US. The US brands sold here are often different models from those sold in the US, and come from severely truncated brand lines. This means Consumer Reports might test 20 models of an appliance, only 5 of which are available in Canada. This makes their reports much less useful. It means most things I buy were never tested. But I'd be very unlikely to buy an expensive item that CU has tested and slammed.

                                                                                                    1. re: embee

                                                                                                      Well said.

                                                                                                      1. re: embee

                                                                                                        "Overall, this is a very good range, with excellent broiling and very good low-temperature performance But, it is extremely expensive. We did not have enough historical data to include Viking gas ranges in our repair-history analysis. The data we do have, however, indicate that Viking has been a repair-prone gas range brand"

                                                                                                        ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

                                                                                                        I'm offering Chow Hounds factual information from a Viking owner and user of several years.
                                                                                                        A difference of opinion does not make an argument.
                                                                                                        The fact remains that consumers reports did not "TEST" anything in the article that was being referenced in this thread. The quote you posted, which I assume you are suggesting is from consumers reports (you did not list a source or date of article) completly contradicts itself. You simply can not compare a professional style range in terms of cost to any standard consumer home product any more than you can compare the cost of a sports car to a mini van. Please note that in your qoute from CR it is also flatly stated;

                                                                                                        "We did *NOT* have enough historical data to include Viking gas ranges in our repair-history analysis."

                                                                                                        That very statement verifies that the information is skewed at best and nothing more than an opinion. Not a fact or result based on an actual testing of the product.
                                                                                                        Consumers Reports simply took a poll. The problem with that is that there is no way to verify that those who were polled actually have ever owned or used the product.
                                                                                                        As far as those who have said any thing overly negative about any brand on this thread I suggest looking at profiles. It can be rather revealing.
                                                                                                        The problem with such anonimous polls is that people are biased. As you can verify even on this thread there are those expressing strong opinions of a particular brand or even quoting repair costs with out ever having actually owned the product.
                                                                                                        I will close by saying again that I actually own a Viking. I have for several years. Is it perfect? No. But it certainly is not prone to problems or excessive repairs as some who have clearly never owned the product might lead you to believe.

                                                                                                        1. re: Docsknotinn

                                                                                                          Yes people are biased, including you and including me. You post very good information on Chowhound. I don't want to argue with you and see this entire, interesting, thread lopped off. You are one Viking user. Therefore, you represent one data point in a survey - no more, no less. Your data point is neither more nor less reliable or valid than any other. That's an objective fact.

                                                                                                          You clearly have a strong bias in favour of Viking. I've read your other posts, so I can respect that. You've had a good experience, and that's great. Per Consumer Reports own article, roughly two thirds of Viking users in their survey had the same experience as your's. (A user sample they describe, themselves, as statistically insignificant.)

                                                                                                          You clearly have a very negative bias against Consumer Reports, and you're entitled to your opinion. I happen to strongly disagree. My beef is that CU doesn't test enough Canadian models, but I still have great respect for what they do. In many cases, they represent the only defense we have, as consumers, against corporate ripoffs and marketing hype.

                                                                                                          The statements you condemn so strongly simply illustrate that they are presenting their information honestly. I am not willing to violate my subscriber agreement and post more information than I did, since the relevant information is all here anyway.

                                                                                                          As I said in a previous post, "Consumer Reports should never be your only information source. Many great products never get reviewed, and their top rated model might be totally unsuitable for you. However, you disregard a scathing CR review at your peril."

                                                                                                          The Viking review is not scathing. Indeed, it's rather good. But it would lead me to question widely, and in depth, before buying a Viking range. You commented elsewhere about competition being a good thing. I totally agree. There are too many other choices to take the risk if another brand performs similarly and has garnered fewer complaints.

                                                                                                          Some appliances are truly bad. I have come to believe that some manufacturers make things, at ALL price levels, that are designed carelessly or are even designed to fail. Some things (seemingly ever fewer as time goes by) perform well and never break. However, most things come with associated pros and cons, and you've gotta choose what's best for you.

                                                                                                          Consumer Reports reviews products for "typical" home users and we all agree here that none of us is a "typical home cook". That they see no advantages in something for a typical home cook doesn't mean there are no advantages for you and me. But that doesn't negate the frequency of repair results. One can argue that a product as costly as a Viking range simply shouldn't break at all in residential use.

                                                                                                          I have seen other information to the effect that most "prosumer" appliances are bought more for style and real estate value than for cooking performance. The people who renovated my own home told me laughingly that the most expensive kitchens they install are the ones least used for actual cooking. The proud owners eat takeout or dine out.

                                                                                                          But we discuss the merits of 22,000 BTU burners and ventilation CFM ratings. We're different. There are great stoves for $500 that none of us would ever buy. I doubt I'd buy a Viking when I can probably meet my needs for $2000 less, but the Viking is clearly not a crappy appliance. Whether it's worth the price, and the possible risk, is an individual decision. Your experience matters, but your's isn't the only experience that counts.

                                                                                                          It seems invariably true that dissatisfied customers are much more likely to complain than satisfied ones are to complement. Some companies maintain formal statistics on that ratio. But patterns are still meaningful and it's silly to disregard them.

                                                                                                          My next range, when my trusty Caloric dies, probably won't be a Viking. However, I wouldn't rule one out without much more research. I've been leaning toward Blue Star, which costs much less. I've seen a few negative reports, but hardly enough to matter. However, few Blue Star ranges exist in the area where I live - I doubt that even fifty of them have ever been sold. That's an issue. The oven doesn't self clean, the burners scare my wife, and you need to "set it on fire", like a restaurant stove, to get it clean. These things matter as well. Dacor makes a range that presents none of these potential problems. However, I know enough people who have had horrible Dacor experiences that I wouldn't go near one. Viking falls somewhere in between.

                                                                                                          1. re: embee

                                                                                                            I actually think we agree on the vast majority. I fit right into to the consumer reports demographic because I did in fact have warranty service. My sole point is that warranty service alone is not indicative of a poor product.
                                                                                                            I am not against consumer reports at all and I would be dissapointed if we ended the conversation with you thinking I am simply against Consumer reports. In most cases I think they are very reliable. I don't feel in this case they were due to the fact that it was a survey on high end products. Many people are extremelly biased against products that they simply may not be able to afford or feel are over priced.
                                                                                                            The expectation that a product should not break based solely on cost is unrealistic. Even a ferrari needs service, Yet I agree that many have excessivly high expectations based solely on price point.
                                                                                                            I've read your posts as well and I think they are very balanced. It's ok to dissagree. Some times we can all gleen a great deal of information from productive threads like this.
                                                                                                            I would like to say that I don't feel I have a heavy bias for Viking. In point of fact if I needed a new range today I would do a lot of shopping starting with Wolf. I do have a strong bias for dual function burners (simmer and high out put on every burner) simply because it suits my cooking style.

                                                                                                    2. re: embee

                                                                                                      Yes, you are right. CR does the most comprehensive annual survey of consumers anywhere. The data are what users report. Nothing more and nothing less. Docsknotinn may not agree with their conclusions, but the data are the best available reflection of what people experience, whether it be stoves, cars or washing machines.

                                                                                                    3. re: Docsknotinn

                                                                                                      I have two friends who own Vikings: one a caterer and one a casual home cook. Both have had problems with the ignitors and both have had expensive (400+) repairs within 2 years of owning their ranges. I agree that's probably an anomaly but still.... 'food for thought' may be appropriate.

                                                                                                    4. re: mlgb

                                                                                                      Interesting that on the same page of your link there is another link from just a few days ago about Viking winning an award for being a very successful company. I guess there must be a lot of people buying them with those kinds of numbers. ;)

                                                                                                      Viking Range wins award
                                                                                                      Company named state's top exporter
                                                                                                      By TAMMY SMITH

                                                                                                      BILOXI --A Mississippi corporation with a worldwide reputation for excellence has received the Governor's Exporter of the Year Award.

                                                                                                      The Viking Range Corporation, based in Greenwood, was honored Thursday at the 2008 Gulf Coast Trade Alliance's World Trade Conference, which is being held at Beau Rivage through today.

                                                                                                      Dale Persons, Viking vice president of corporate development, accepted the award on behalf of the company.

                                                                                                      "What we're exporting is more than the product itself. It's also the brand," he said.

                                                                                                      An example of that came in the early '90s when some customers from Venezuela said they had seen Viking ranges on programs on the Food Network, before that cable network was even available in Greenwood. Persons said Viking developed a strategic alliance with the network, and today Viking ranges are used on-air by several of its stars, from Giada De Laurentiis to Paula Deen.

                                                                                                      Viking began in 1981 when Fred Carl Jr., a fourth-generation homebuilder, sought a product that married the style and power of true restaurant ranges with the home-safety features of a residential stove. In 1986 the company's product received safety approval, and the next year the first Viking range was shipped. The company grew from 15 employees to about 1,400 today in Mississippi and about 1,600 worldwide. There are 15 distributors internationally who cover about 65 countries, and the company's domestic sales department works with 12 U.S. distributors; the products have been sold in more than 80 countries. Viking products, Persons said, can be found in 20 U.S. embassies worldwide.

                                                                                                      Viking has expanded its product line to include refrigerators, outdoor grills, dishwashers, ventilation systems, countertop appliances, cookware and cutlery.

                                                                                                      The Viking Hospitality Group includes the Alluvian Hotel and the Viking Cooking School, also in Greenwood.

                                                                                                      "Viking Range Corporation is extremely pleased and honored to receive the 2008 Governor's Exporter of the Year Award," Persons said. "We value our 50 global distributors as partners in growing this important segment of our business. On behalf of Viking Range Corporation team members around the world, thank you for recognizing our efforts."

                                                                                                      Gray Swoope, executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority, presented the award on behalf of Gov. Haley Barbour.

                                                                                                      "The strength of Mississippi's export market is due in large part to innovative companies such as Viking," Barbour said in a statement. "I commend Fred Carl and the employees of Viking Range for their continued commitment to excellence; together, they've truly earned this award."

                                                                                                      Four key criteria are used in selecting the winner of the award, Swoope said, including original achievement, leadership demonstration, innovation in marketing and successful implementation of a marketing plan. The winner is chosen by the Awards Committee of the Mississippi District Export Council.

                                                                                                      1. re: Docsknotinn

                                                                                                        If you read my reply carefully, I told you that you can't view the CR original article unless you are a member.

                                                                                                        Perhaps you'd like to suggest a better way to measure reliability?

                                                                                                        It's obvious that you will defend Viking for whatever personal reasons you have. I rely on the broadest range of information that is available. If a well known, nonprofit and long standing consumer reporting institution tells me that 1/3 of their survey participants have had a recent repair issue with Viking, I think that is significant. And I do believe that a handful of chowhounders have weighed in with some unpleasant personal experiences.

                                                                                                        Yes, I do believe Viking has been very successful in their marketing. Although that wouldn't be at the top of my list of criteria unless I was trying to "flip that house."

                                                                                                        1. re: mlgb

                                                                                                          "It's obvious that you will defend Viking for whatever personal reasons you have"

                                                                                                          I have just one question. Have you personally ever owned a Viking range or cook top? In regards to the quote above I think if you re-read my post carefully you will see I already noted that Viking is far from perfect. You brought up cars. I've bought pehaps ten new cars in the last 25 years. I have never had one of any brand that did not need some repair. Does it mean it's a bad product? Of course not. I had no problems with Viking service and I've certainly never had an $800 repair. After seven years of solid service I think from my perspective it's fair to say I am very pleased with Viking. My personal reasons for defending Viking? It's a solid product that has served me well. Would I buy one again? You bet. It's a quality product made in the USA. I would also look at Wolf very closely.

                                                                                                    5. re: Docsknotinn

                                                                                                      you could probably arrive at those statistics yourself if you took a look at this website or several others devoted to the similar interests

                                                                                                2. Also, on the VIKING issue.
                                                                                                  I learned from a gentleman in high end appliance sales that Viking used to be made by a stove company in TN and that just a few years ago, they took over and began making their own stoves.
                                                                                                  I thought it was something like green stoves or brown stove company, not sure.
                                                                                                  Anyway, he said since they started making them themselves, that is when the problems began. He said the older Vikings are generally very solid and built extremely well. It really seems a toss up on that issue.

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: scotlandyard

                                                                                                    "I learned from a gentleman in high end appliance sales that Viking used to be made by a stove company in TN and that just a few years ago, they took over and began making their own "

                                                                                                    Viking is made in Mississippi. Viking has produced their own stoves since the late 80's. Their other products such as refrigerators and dish washers are made by other companies.

                                                                                                    http://www.vikingrange.com/consumer/g...

                                                                                                  2. IMO Viking or Wolf are the best depending on your needs. DCS is clunky at best and IMO not nearly the quality as the others. Blue star has a limited dealer network and only has one high output burner. Vikings are all high output burners. People often focus on high out put and forget about simmer. Each Viking burner is high out put and has a perfect low setting. Some of the brands have one high out put and one simmer burner. IMO that's a serious waste of cooking real estate. Duel fuel is only superior if you bake a lot.

                                                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: Docsknotinn

                                                                                                      agree with docs. I have a Wolf and I have to say I use simmer more than high. it's very precise.

                                                                                                      1. re: Docsknotinn

                                                                                                        From Blue Star FAQ:

                                                                                                        Can I add another 22K burner?

                                                                                                        Yes. Additional 22,000 BTU burners may be added to any range in our RNB model at an additional cost. Our RCS and RPB models cannot have additional 22,000 BTU burners added. Please contact your dealer for more information, including the cost.

                                                                                                        1. re: renov8r

                                                                                                          With 30 years in professional kitchens I have cooked on a LOT of Garland ranges. However Blue Star is from my understanding not Garland. They did sub-contract to Garland for a while to make some products. The 22k burner is not available on all products. I have a 30" viking range. All four burners are 18k and all have simmer. To me it would be a serious down grade going to range like the Blue Star 30" that only offers a single simmer burner. What a royal pain. In the 30" only one burner is 18,000 BTU and the other two are 15k. The simmer feature is every bit as important as high BTU.
                                                                                                          The larger ranges do look like a nice product but I find it amusing they advertise they are "The only Genuine restaurant range for the home". I guess they kinda over looked Wolf.

                                                                                                          http://www.bluestarcooking.com/pdfs/B...

                                                                                                          1. re: Docsknotinn

                                                                                                            The Wolfs sold by SubZero are not much like the Wolfs in commercial kitchens. Those are probably more like Vulcan, as I think the history of those companies is that they had the same corporate parent for a while.

                                                                                                            it is still a very confusing landscape of corporations, with no clear path as to which companies will really do better in this tough slow down for new home builders.

                                                                                                            1. re: renov8r

                                                                                                              If Blue Star came up with a burner that will put out 18-22k as well as simmer in the same burner they would put a serious hurt on the other brands. It's a solid piece of gear and if I was biased one way or the other it would absolutly be towards Garland. I'm suprised Blodgett has not entered this market.

                                                                                                              1. re: Docsknotinn

                                                                                                                The corporate parent that owns Blodgett/Vulcan (Middleby) also owns Jade and they have a residential line, but with all the wheelin' and dealin' mergers I have no idea what the guts of that unit are truly like right now -- when Jade was independant they had a really broad list of options but I don't know if that is case today...

                                                                                                                It is not that the BlueStar Nova and Supernova burners DON'T simmer, they all do dial down to the point that smaller pots will be under the boiling point, it just that the "simmer" burner is such that its output will not reach the same peaks as the Nova & SuperNova and will use the whole circle so low that it literally can hold a small amount of butter at the melt point indefinitely in even the thinnest widest pan. I heard some folks express the same confusion at a recent homebuilders show and I think the BlueStar people heard it too and will respond with revised marketing and/or a burner that more clearly has a range extended in both directions, though I honestly don't think anybody with a 30" would really need more than one 22K SuperNova that has the "blaster size" main ports and just a simmer zone in the middle, one "simmer" burner that essentially goes from about the 'peak' of a normal GE range at less than half the SuperNova , and the regular Nova burners which has slightly smaller ports than the SuperNova and the kind of central simmer ports -- it is real real easy to scoot the pots around. It is an incredibly versatile cooktop and many people forget that is has 15K ceramic broiler in the oven! Of course if you want the ULTIMATE BlueStar you go with the salamander that has dual 11K ceramic units positioned closer together. Its like a blast furnace for food!

                                                                                                                1. re: renov8r

                                                                                                                  I guess it's all a matter of perspective but if I'm investing this much I'd rather spend just a little more and have every burner be a simmer and high output burner. I really don't think there's any confusion there at all. On the Viking all four burners reach 18k and all four turn down low enough to lay a piece of paper over the burner. Not just one simmer burner. Shifting pots about in this price range is not a compromise I'd be willing to make and would be a royal pain. Making rice and sauce? whoops try not to burn one. Want to stir fry in two pans? whoops...sorry you only have one high out put burner. Who thought of this concept any how? A bean counter trying to save $5 per unit? They certainly didn't produce Garland ranges like that. People get caught up in the marketing of high BTU output when IMO they should focus on the unit being functional. For now Viking continues to get the nod from me based on the functionality of all four burners plus the option of self cleaning or dual fuel. That's a major difference from some of the other brands at the moment.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Docsknotinn

                                                                                                                    I respect your point of view. Viking has the market clout to offer self cleaning ranges and the savy to say each burner is "full range".

                                                                                                                    BlueStar has the experience to know that self cleaning is a giant headache -- it stress the hell out of components and makes things break. Their surveys of potential restaurant range buyers has told them they won't lose many sales by not offering self cleaning ovens. Similarly their decision to not (as of yet...) offer dual fuel is another way of using their resources wisely -- if they had the resources of Viking they could swallow the warranty calls for new electric elements and such that go along with increased complexity of dual fuel. For anybody that is dying for an electric oven BlueStar right now just recommend that dealers point out the advantage of a cooktop and separate electric oven, which basically destroys the price advantage, but the few people that concerned about such a setup probably are not really shopping price anyhow...

                                                                                                                    Further all the burners on a BlueStar are capable of high temperature and very low temperature. They unfortunately do a poor job of explaining that you absolutely CAN simmer on all the burners and you absolutely can get all the burners high. I am fairly sure that the reason they don't put more SuperNova burners in a 30" stove has less to do with the cost of the burners than the what they'd need to do to the rest of range to make that capability and the requirements for ventilation that they'd have to tell installers. Basically they have tested ranges with SuperNova up against the back trim and that leads to a super heated condition under some conditions and that is why they don't put them back there. If they put two SuperNova burners in the stove they will put them in front. BAM, side-by-side stir fry . The reason for the simmer burner is similarly NOT primarly about cost of the burner but function. The way they make the Nova & SuperNova is to increase the SIZE of the holes in the burner ring. That means that as the flame is dialed way down the holes cause the flame to not have nice smooth quiet burn. To address this the BlueStar people have a central secondary "simmer port" with smaller holes on the SuperNova & Nova. This reduced area of flame works fine to simmer in small pans (and those with excellent uniformity of heating) The simmer burner doesn't need this, though the trade off is that it tops out around 9K BTU... If you have LARGE pan with less than ideal conductivity (say carbon steel) it is easier to dial the non-Nova/SuperNova to a simmer as the flame still is emitted from the entire ring burner as opposed to being confined to just simmer ports. The 'error' they have in marketing is calling this a simmer burner when it is really a full range burner that lacks the high output of Nova/SuperNova and retains the full spread of flame that those give up when set to simmer. Make sense?

                                                                                                                    1. re: renov8r

                                                                                                                      I respect your views as well. I simply dissagree. A burner that is only capable of 9-10k wide open is not in my minds eye a full function burner. Sure it can run at it's maximum 10k but thats very weak at it's maximum out put. Quite obviously they can also run at "simmer". The question is will a 10k burner be efficient and useable at 10k and will a 22k burner be efficient and useable at it's lowest setting or "simmer" ?
                                                                                                                      Not likely.
                                                                                                                      I do concur with you about the heat that two 22k burners would produce. This is where I hope others will take serious note. If Blue Star found that running two SXS 22k burners can heat the back of the range to unsafe temps imagine how much heat is rising in the front! The serious issue here is that hood systems rarely extend far enough over the front of the stove in a home setting to accomodate this much heat. Worse yet many are using those microwave hood systems which could pose a serious home hazard. Any savings from purchasing Blue Star will be lost buying and installing a high CFM hood. The 22k burners are not suitable for simmering because as you state they are dilled out for a larger flame and thus the higher BTU. Clearly the 22k burner will be much hotter than the 15k burner at it's lowest settting and even more so than the 10k "simmer" burner. You might pull the pan off to the side or something of that nature but this is a system with some serious trade offs. High BTUs at the cost of a functional simmer plus the risk off excessive heat for a home enviornment. 22k is only about 10k under what a professional burner runs at and the hood systems are enormous plus have the benefit of an ansul system. It's all a matter of personal preference and what works for you. I seriously question the safety of two 22k burners in a home unless you are spending six figures building a professional style in home kitchen.
                                                                                                                      Here is what another member posted from a Q&A with Blue Star in that regard to the simmer;

                                                                                                                      Q: Hi Marcus, I am about to buy a BlueStar 36" range. I know there is the one simmer burner at 130 degrees. I was told the 15000 BTU burners go down to 140 degrees. Do the 15000 BTU burners really go low enough to simmer? If not I am considering adding another simmer burner. Glynn (Wilton, NH)

                                                                                                                      A: Hi Glynn, simmering is considered cooking just below boiling point, typically less than 200 degrees fahrenheit. Both the simmer burner and the 15,000 BTU burner would be capable of achieving a simmer. But while the 15,000 BTU and 22,000 BTU burners are extremely versatile, the simmer burner ports at the center only, making it ideal for the small sauce pans. So if simmering is something you do often, adding an additional simmer would be recommended. I hope that helps!"

                                                                                                                  2. re: renov8r

                                                                                                                    Couldn't agree with you more that all burners should offer simmer to blast.
                                                                                                                    (Not quite your words but the same concept.)
                                                                                                                    It doesn't make sense to have to shuffle pots and pans around the stove top (or be faced with a simmer position where you want a blast.) Much of where a cook, well, cooks on the stove top depends in part on the prep counter. In my case, given the position of the prep counter, I want simmer and blast left front. After that, a blast to the right would be helpful and simmer on both back burners.

                                                                                                                    Bottom line: it makes sense for all burners to provide simmer to blast with all burners able to accomodate small pot simmers to big pot blasts.

                                                                                                                    Add to that the relatively new "glideracks" in the oven and that would be the perfect range. (short of a range top and separate ovens.)

                                                                                                                    Problem of ovens as part of ranges? For professional residential ranges, most of the oven handles are too low. One is only 24" above the floor.
                                                                                                                    Compare this with Middle America GE and Frigidaire with larger ovens and oven door handles 30" above the floor, and you have a good case to consider Middle America stoves.

                                                                                                        2. Well, I'm 3 months late on your thread here, but in reading I've changed my mind and will get a Bluestar (rather than a La Cornue). What wall ovens should I get for my kitchen rennovation? Anybody out there? Hope you're still reading, especially you Chris! Many thanks, Mary

                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: irishgirl1007

                                                                                                            BlueStar is a wise decision, in spite of continuous commentary here to the contrary. I predict you won't regret it.

                                                                                                            FWIW, to provide oven capacity alongside by BlueStar cooktop I bought a double (this is two-three years ago) Jenn Air oven because it was the most affordable unit I could find at that time that had convection in both ovens and hidden heat units (no exposed coils). I'm not much of a baker myself, but it does pretty much what I ask it to do. Jenn Air was then I think a Maytag brand, but Maytag was around then (or had only recently been) purchased by Whirlpool--since Whirlpool has been in the picture since, I'm not sure what the situation might be nowadays.

                                                                                                            1. re: johnb

                                                                                                              So, it sounds like Blue Star is getting the most recommendations? How about Capital? Former makers of DCS right? They have some nice features on their 30" 5 burner range. The 5th burner has a built in wok ring, and claims to have 25,000 BTU. The 36" has 30,000 BTU on the middle burner? Has anyone had any experience with Capital?
                                                                                                              Based on what I've read here Capital and BlueStar seem to be my choices for heat and simplicity.
                                                                                                              Anyone know of a place in the LA area that has either or both in a showroom? I would love to see them in person before buying.
                                                                                                              Thanks,
                                                                                                              Noah

                                                                                                              1. re: NoahThomas

                                                                                                                I'm not sure if you've seen the previous advice to check the gardenweb forums on appliances, there is a good deal of useful information there.

                                                                                                                Capital can be seen and tested at their distributor in Buena Park, VAH Marketing. For reservations, or additional information, call 714-523-1511 or 800-836-8246. They have a website with more information:

                                                                                                                www.vahmarketing.com

                                                                                                                As for Blue Star, there's been quite a bit of turmoil in their distribution network. Their website only lists a contact number in Indio.
                                                                                                                BKE Supply, Southern California Distributor (800) 998-8966

                                                                                                                They still have a dealer network in NoCal, so maybe one of those would work.

                                                                                                                1. re: NoahThomas

                                                                                                                  In my previous residence I had a DCS (purchased 5-6 years ago) and in my current home I have a Bluestar. I would say I think the BS is much better than the DCS, which was nevertheless a very good machine. However, my DCS had burner power much less than you mention about the Capitals (the center one was 17,000 IIRC). So if the new ones are that different, the comparison I can make may not be valid.

                                                                                                                  BTW all BS burner grates (which are all the same AFAIK) are built to perfectly accommodate a wok.

                                                                                                              2. re: irishgirl1007

                                                                                                                I don't have a wall oven, so I can't speak specifically about that; however, I own a 30" Dacor dual fuel range (http://www.dacor.com/Our-Products/Ran... ). I really love it and I'm still impressed each time I notice another little detail that they included in their product. If their wall oven is anywhere near their range, I'd seriously consider them.

                                                                                                              3. August 14, 2008
                                                                                                                I bought my DCS Professional 30" Five Burner Self-Cleaning Gas Range in September 07. I've had it almost a year. It is an exceptional oven, especially the five burners packed into 30", but the broiler on the self-cleaning version underperforms. It has an infra-red broiler, covered by glass, and it does not sear well at all. I've broiled salmon, chicken wings, and pork chops, and the brown sear is just hard to get before cooking the meat to card board. I'm trying to have the problem resolved before my warranty runs out, but after having two techs in, I've still got no brown in my broil. If anyone is still reading this post, and has the same model, I'd love to hear your broiling experiences.

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: ApplianceFool

                                                                                                                  how about searing on the stovetop first and finishing in the oven?

                                                                                                                  1. re: chuckl

                                                                                                                    That kind of defeats the purpose of broiling. ApplianceFool wants to know if everyone who has this DCS model has this kind of problem.

                                                                                                                2. One thing about Viking, GE, Wolf, and a bunch of other brands out there that has not been mentioned is that most of these stoves use Sealed Burners which are perhaps the most inefficient burner design I have ever used.

                                                                                                                  I used to be a professional chef, and I can assure you that the star pattern on Bluestar and commercial stoves makes a huge difference. The heat is under your saute pan or stock pot, not going around the perimeter like a sealed burner.

                                                                                                                  The way BTU's are increased with Sealed Burner stoves is by increasing the diameter of the burner, but the result is a HUGE deadspot in the middle. Not only that, but the sides of your stockpot and the handles get the heat as well, so you get scalding on the sides of the pan and you can melt or burn non-metal handles.

                                                                                                                  For the serious home cook who wants to utilize all the btu's created by your stove, AVOID sealed burners on stoves.

                                                                                                                  Also, I agree, most people who think they don't need so many BTU's as a Bluestar puts out, have not had the pleasure of a high output stove.

                                                                                                                  1. I don't know what your timeline is but I purchased the 6-burner 36 inch Viking in 2002 during a remodel with open burners. The cleaning lady hated it. So when we sold the house and built in 2005 I purchased the 6-burner Viking (36 inch) with closed burners. Both were dual fuel ranges. I would never select the closed burner again. The ingnition is very unreliable. If so much as a crumb is near the ignition the burner won't light. Crazy for a $5000 plus stove. And the rings around the burners do not come clean. Once some grease gets on the silver ring around the base of the closed burner good luck. If anyone has been able to make theirs look new again I would like to hear about it. Quite frankly I have cleaned both myself too and the open burner is not bad. It disassembles easily.

                                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: dmatt

                                                                                                                      IMO sealed burners are for neat freaks, not cooks. Unfortunately, while my wife would probably disagree, those two are apparently not mutually exclusive, and when someone is both a problem arises.

                                                                                                                      I suspect most people buy sealed (in fact, aren't all residential-grade stoves made with sealed burners?) because in the store it seems they will be the easiest to keep clean. At home, not so much, but then they own the thing and it's too late. So over time sealed won out over open in the market place, and now open burners are rare.

                                                                                                                      I just don't see any advantage to sealed burners, at least for anyone who does heavy cooking. When I have had them in the past, I have found that it's nearly impossible to keep them clean anyway (short of Herculean cleaning efforts), so they don't really solve the neat freak problem anyway. With my BlueStar I pretty much ignore the spills and over time they just dissolve/burn into a nice looking patina over the rangetop. The excess stuff drips down thru the burners onto the very nice pull-out spill drawer, where I leave it (of sight, out of mind) for months before pulling the thing out and cleaning it. By far the best set-up IMO. But then you can tell I put a really low priority on neatness and beautiful-looking stove, so take it FWIW.

                                                                                                                      1. re: johnb

                                                                                                                        I'm new to this link But any opinion would be welcomed.

                                                                                                                        1. re: johnb

                                                                                                                          Okay, I'll chime in. I have a Wolf AG range at home (1.5 yrs old) and a DCS AG range at our beach place (new this summer). I did not opt for the self-cleaning DCS which I understand is the one with the inferior broiler. The infrared broilers on both stoves are just marvelous. FWIW, the stainless steel top on the DCS with closed burners is definitely easier to clean, IMO. However, if I ever buy another range, I won't go with closer burners again. The open burner performance on my Wolf range is far superior (again, IMO) as to cooking performance. The closed burners have such a wide flame ring that it's hard to center a pan over them; you end up using low power for almost everything in order to get good flame coverage underneath your pans (except for large stockpots or skillets). The open burners on the Wolf or Bluestar provide almost complete flame coverage underneath pans. Wolf's open burners have a dual inner/outer ring flame pattern while Bluestar has a star pattern. Bluestar's star pattern is probably the superior flame pattern but I wanted all burners to be the same (i.e. Wolf (36-inch) has all 16K while Bluestar has 2 22K burners plus other size burners).

                                                                                                                          As for cleanability, as I said before, closed burners are probably easier. I'm a neatnik who wanted open burners for the performance so I went with the Wolf because I wanted to be able to take my top apart easily and shine it up to like-new condition. I put my Wolf grates through the DW and wash my burner pans in hot soapy water. Bluestar's cast iron top can probably go through the DW (I know people who do this) but that's a lot of heavy cast iron to take apart. I think Bluestar is probably better for the cook who isn't fastidious about their rangetop (looks pretty good without much effort) while the Wolf would be preferable if you shine your stove up to "like new" condition.

                                                                                                                          My final two contenders for our primary home were Bluestar and Wolf. After seeing both in person, I chose Wolf because of its superior fit and finish (again, only IMO - don't want to offend any Bluestar owners) and better service availability in our area. Two other notes: Wolf service is outstanding in my experience if that matters. Also, Wolf's dual-fuel stove has closed burners; only the all-gas model has open burners.

                                                                                                                          1. re: koigirl

                                                                                                                            Years ago I had a 30" wolf stove. One day I had a Wolf technician over to take a look at the electric ignition, and I mentioned that I wish the stove had one hotter burner for my wok.

                                                                                                                            The technician pulled out the jet from one of the burners, used a drill and bored a larger hole through the middle of the jet and replaced it. Voila, I had a Wolf stove with one burner at approximately 22,000 BTUs for use with my wok.

                                                                                                                            8 years later at my new house, I very recently bought a Wolf rangetop with a grill. I'm tempted to try to bore the hole in the jet myself, but will probably find someone who will come out and do it for me...I don't know if I could screw it up but I'll probably chicken out...unless someone else has done it themselves and can encourage me.

                                                                                                                            Also, I bought a Viking Professional Island hood with a 1200 CFM blower on the roof. I love the restaurant look with the removable and dishwasher safe grease traps. I have to say though, when I am grilling marinated meat, and the smoke is really pouring off the grill...the 1200 fan can't quite keep up...wish I would have purchased the 1500 or possibly a vent-a-hood. On the other hand I did set the hood at the maximum recommended height of 36" off the rangetop for aesthetic and line of view reasons...

                                                                                                                            I can't stomach replacing the new 1200 CFM blower right now...but I may in the not too distant future if I'm still annoyed...

                                                                                                                            1. re: jahmon

                                                                                                                              Hmmm. While it may be true that you can increase the power of a gas burner by drilling out the orifice, I'm not too comfortable with the idea, since other parts of the burner setup may not have been sized to accommodate the greater burner strength. If I were doing that, I think I'd do some background research first. Of course, if you ask the manufacturer, they'll start muttering about voiding your warranty and so on.

                                                                                                                              I'm surprised you are having trouble with your hood. I have a Vent-a-hood of only 900 cfm, and it's even a wall model that I installed 36" over an island, but even so it pretty well keeps up when I pan grill steaks in a cast iron skillet, the smokiest thing I do. Maybe the problem with Viking is that the filters slow down the flow? (VAH uses a different system)

                                                                                                                              1. re: johnb

                                                                                                                                Thanks for the note, johnb. A technician did the jet drilling on my last Wolf stove and there were no problems whatsoever with the extra gas...just a hotter burner. I just need to look into whether I do it myself or find another or the same Wolf technician to do it again to my new Rangetop. You are right, I'm sure Wolf would void the warranty.

                                                                                                                                Your other comment is right on regarding the Viking VCIH 4208 Professional Island Hood. I think there are two issues. One is that the actual hood is very big and looks beautiful, but it has a huge perimeter area with lights, etc. which greatly narrows the actual intake surface space. The other issue in my mind is that there are a total of four filters which look like regular restaurant baffles, but right in the middle there is about a 6 inch metal plate. So in effect, you have four quadrants of sucking but right in the middle there is a dead zone which has to reduce the amount of flow. I'm wondering if I might be able to buy one replacement filter/baffle, then get it cut to the right size to fit into the hood to replace the metal plate...I've attached a picture. Frustrating to spend all that money and buy the larger blower just to have it not function up to expectations. Sometimes I wonder if appliance salespeople assume they are selling to "trophy" kitchen people instead of people to will maximize use on a daily basis...

                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                1. re: jahmon

                                                                                                                                  Not only are the sales people guilty of that, but often the manufacturers themselves IMO. That is why I went to Bluestar, and avoided slick-ads-in-food-magazines ranges like Viking. Just my opinion. Not meaning to start any more discussions such as those upthread.

                                                                                                                              2. re: jahmon

                                                                                                                                Do you have any idea what the starting orifice size was and what it was ultimately drilled out to? This is an intriguing idea but I think it's not a simple matter of increasing the size of the hood orifice. You also have to adjust the air/natural gas ratio to compensate for the increased natural gas delivery.

                                                                                                                        2. I've used my 48" Viking Gas Stove for quite a number of years and here's my seven cents on this subject! 1.) I like to do some serious cooking and occasional baking, I HATE the way my oven bakes. I've had a repair person out twice to make sure the oven is heating properly. I shouldn't have to, but I usually set my oven temp 10-25 degrees less than baking recommendations or else I will over-bake cakes/cookies/breads. Dual fuel was not an option when I purchased my Viking. 2.) Several of my burner grates are no longer level (Why?, I don't know.) and my pans do not sit properly on them, I know it's not the pans because this only occurs on some of the grates. 3.) I have intermittent issues with the burner ignitors, sometime they will not ignite, sometime they just keep clicking on a burner I am not even attempting to ignite. 4.) I LOVE the multi-functionality of the griddle. I am so glad I chose it instead of the grill. 5.) I have cooked on my friends Wolf and I like the performance of my Viking better. 6.) I totally agree with a previous poster about the oven sizes in the various size ranges, I use the larger oven nearly exclusively and the smaller oven rarely since you cannot fit anything bigger than 9 X 13 pan in it. I think if I had to do it all over again, I would get a 36" Viking Gas Range and a second separate electric convection wall oven for baking. I have never used all 6 burners at once. Also, I would get self cleaning because it is a b*tch to clean, it's an all day project.

                                                                                                                          1. I have a 36 inch dual-fuel Wolf and I love it! I can't think of anything at all I don't like about it. But, I've never used a Viking, so I can't say anything in terms of comparison between the two. I thought that the wolf and the biking were about the same price.

                                                                                                                            Good luck!
                                                                                                                            -Mary
                                                                                                                            www.BestinKitchen.com

                                                                                                                            1. I am in the gas business and have been for twenty years. I have seen them all and I just built my new house and picked a 30" American Range. I looked at them all again and it is the best priced one and it has the biggest oven. I cook alot of cookies for the kids and it is great. It is about 2 to 3 thousand cheaper than the Viking, DCS or the Wolf. They offer all the same stuff on them, but you are not paying for the name.

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: alliemason

                                                                                                                                I bought a Wolf 30" gas range, but had so many problems with it that I eventually returned it and got a new Viking. The Wolf had six service calls. Oven thermostat was replaced twice. It was getting oven temperatures up to 50 degrees out in either direction depending on the setting. Burners would not light properly resulting in unburned gas and a strong gas smell. Going from low to medium (inner ring only to both rings) would not always light properly so had to lift the pan to make sure. This was annoying. Door was not straight. Just felt that there were so many problems that I lost faith in it.

                                                                                                                                So now I just got a new Viking gas range and so far, love it. The build quality is noticeably better than the Wolf, in my opinion. Better finish quality, knobs are more solid and the plate behind the knobs is solid. On the Wolf, when you press the knobs in, the whole plate pushes back because it's such thin metal. The red knobs are nice though. The Viking air vent on the back is much more solid and heavy too. The oven fan is quieter on the Viking. The burners are great. They are sealed burners and if anything, heat faster than the Wolf did. Certainly not slower, that's the point. I have found that the heat is very even on them too and more adjustable than the Wolf. Oven temp on the Viking is really good.

                                                                                                                                If I hadn't had so many problems with the Wolf, I would still own it and be happy enough, but I do like the Viking more. This is the new one with the full width door. As I say, it feels better built. Time will tell if I have any of the problems that have been reported, but so far so good. I will certainly report back.

                                                                                                                                1. re: gravyboater

                                                                                                                                  which model wolf? We've had ours for a couple years, with fabulous results and zero maintenance issues

                                                                                                                              2. We can get into the technicalities of these ranges but lets be honest, these items are status symbols, not any different from a rolex watch, hermes bag or a bugaboo stroller. Anyone who knows these brands and their significance, immediately identifies them. Wolf is very recognizable. It is the oven/stove/range brand. Trying to explain the higher BTUs to party guesses just makes you look lame. Yes, there is a prestige factor in Wolf's red knobs.

                                                                                                                                1. I just bought the BlueStar after debating all 4 plus the Electrolux Icon. I found a great review on ConsumerSearch.com which helped firm my decision. Since then, I found the same article on BlueStar's website at http://www.bluestarcooking.com/review.... Read it and decide based on what's most important to you. Good luck and enjoy!!

                                                                                                                                  1. Sorry, not sure my link is working, but it will if you copy and paste it in to a new browser page.

                                                                                                                                    1. For anyone considering Viking.... http://www1.epinions.com/Kitchen_Rang...

                                                                                                                                      1. Great topic.
                                                                                                                                        I currently have a Fridgedaire, for about 6yrs now. Just found out that enamel at bottom of the oven has cracked, probably due to addiing ice cubes to hot oven when baking bread. May need to replace it soon. I always love Wolf. Now after reading this thread, I may also consider Blue Star as well. However, I cannot find the price for these ranges from google search. I was told that Wolf prohibits internet price quoting.
                                                                                                                                        Would somebody shed light on the prices, please?
                                                                                                                                        Also, I am in Minnesota, is there a Blue Star showroom here?
                                                                                                                                        Thanks in advance.

                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: gardenia9

                                                                                                                                          We recently put a BS range in our cottage and I would not suggest them to any one. As far as price they were actually a little more than Wolf and Viking here for the size we bought.
                                                                                                                                          Good luck if you ever need service. Our local dealer has suggested that they may be filing for bankrupcy.

                                                                                                                                        2. Thermador. I can't recommend it enough. Here's mine:

                                                                                                                                          http://www.thermador.com/kitchen-appl...

                                                                                                                                          I am a professional chef and I also give demos at appliance stores, so I've tried them all. Forget Viking (except for outdoor grill) and Wolf. DCS has some advantages in the 30", but not in the 36 or 48. Blue Star are a pain to get serviced.

                                                                                                                                          The Thermador hoods are good, too.

                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: almansa

                                                                                                                                            Any thoughts on the Bertazzoni 36" ranges? I've heard good things. Any thoughts?

                                                                                                                                            1. re: baltymoron

                                                                                                                                              I've seen them places where I demo, but nobody has a working model. In general I'm not a fan of Italian-made high end restaurant equipment as it tends to need a lot of ongoing maintenance, and I lean more toward Bonnet or La Cornue for the fancy and beautiful workhorse. But the Bertazzoni at least seems like a good compromise in terms of cost vs. features. It's a little less money and seems to be a little lighter duty, but still has that "look." I know that they are configured with at least 2, depending on model, low output burners, rather than incorporating a good slow-cook setting, so you sacrifice some power. And I don't believe they have a self-cleaning model, but I'm not sure about that. Electrolux is always worth consideration; they probably equip more professional kitchens worldwide than any other brand.

                                                                                                                                          2. I am a retired Chef that has owned a wolf R48C for over 4 years. When I did my initial research the repair people told me to stay away from Viking. The Viking equipment I had in my restaurants was okay but Wolf was better. Wolf also had the highest BTU burners and their grill setup was the best that I saw.

                                                                                                                                            Important points to consider when purchasing a higher end stove is the cost of gas vs electric in your area. I made the mistake of getting a gas oven, assuming gas was very cheap (we had just moved and gas where we came from was very cheap and electricity was very expensive), If they are comparable then get a dual fuel, just remember that you have to have 220V for the oven.

                                                                                                                                            The other thing is the hood; do not skimp on the hood, especially if you use the grill a lot like I do. I didn’t like the wolf hood and had one built to my standards.

                                                                                                                                            Another thing to think about is options on the bigger stoves (48”+); many people get the griddle which I don’t understand. You can get a griddle to go on top of you gas burners that is easier to use and clean for under $80. Unless you never use a grill, and I can’t imagine somebody wanting this type of stove not using it, I would highly suggest the grill option. We only use our griddle pan about 2-3 times a month but we use the grill about 3-4 times a week.

                                                                                                                                            Also you are getting a convection oven – right???????? Of course you are.

                                                                                                                                            And I read farther up in this post that the 18” oven is useless. Au contraire it is the perfect size for a household sheet pan, it warms dishes, holds food, warms bread, bakes small pans so you don’t have to heat the big oven. Oh my gosh there are so many uses for it that you wonder how you ever got along without it.

                                                                                                                                            One last point, the markups on these ranges are HUGE, really huge, if bargain aggressively, you will get huge discounts. Don’t just bargain with the store; go directly to the range representative for your area. We were given a starting list price of over $7K and the BS that they don’t bargain, even wolf told us that. We ended up getting it delivered and set up for just over $3K.

                                                                                                                                            Good luck.

                                                                                                                                            PS I think the Wolf looks the best too.

                                                                                                                                            1. We just added a new kitchen to our lodge and it is part commercial & home with nice cabinets. Does anyone know who makes a 60" 0 clearance range that doesn't cost $14,000?

                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Northwoods

                                                                                                                                                You could get away with $12,000 as a base with several Plus you can also make an offer. Luxury ranges like these and the stores that sell them are not particularly popular there days. Commercial ranges are much less, but they'll fry your cabinets if the range is a drop-in.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Northwoods

                                                                                                                                                  All of the manufactures do!

                                                                                                                                                  The problem is you are not negotiating with them and accepting a retail price.

                                                                                                                                                  Read my post above yours. We started at just over $ 7,000 retail for our wolf 48”. After about 3 weeks of haggling with WOLF, not the store, I got them (WOLF) to authorize a sale for just over $ 3,000. The store was happy and so was wolf, but it took work on my part.

                                                                                                                                                  I was able to negotiate a 57% savings for myself, if the retail they are quoting you is $ 14,000, a 57% savings off of that would net you a cost of $ 6020. Is saving $ 7,980 worth the hassle?????

                                                                                                                                                  To wolf, they think that most of the consumers are made of $$ cash $$ so they won’t even try, but if you are persistent you can get these deals.

                                                                                                                                                  I would suspect that in today’s economy you should be able to do even better.

                                                                                                                                                  Good Luck.

                                                                                                                                                  PS look at the range, how much money do you think it really cost to make it? They are making HUGE profits on these. Just look up how much a commercial range like yours would cost, a 60” range with dual convections can be had brand new for $ 3000. Hmmm, like I said HUGE markups on the home units.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                                                    'tis true. A rep from the Viking distributor here told me that the 30" outdoor grill cost around $260 to manufacture, and they sell it retail for over $3,000.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                                                      How do you go about finding your local Wolf rep? When I call Wolf, all they'll give me is local retail stores saying that they are "Wolf reps."

                                                                                                                                                  2. Hi, everyone. I'm in the middle of trying to figure out which 30-inch all-gas range to buy. But the problem is that the (4-burner) range would fit in right up against a side wall. It's an interior wall that's in my own apartment. Basically you walk through the kitchen doorframe and the oven is immediately on your left. There is a ceramic tile backsplash that goes all the way from the back wall to this side wall. But it's backsplash height, meaning it doesn't extend all the way down the side of the oven and to the ground. It basically is at level with the cooktop. The Wolf, Viking, GE, etc are all saying that there needs to be a minimum of 6 " clearance from a combustible side wall. I believe my walls are concrete, and I'm also not sure if the ceramic tile that's there alleviates this whole problem. There is an oven there right now, and it seems to have always been there. It's a galley kitchen and that seems to be the original space for the oven.

                                                                                                                                                    Is it not going to work to have an all-gas 30inch Viking or Wolf in this position? Would it be doable if the ceramic tile extended all the way down the side of the wall/oven?

                                                                                                                                                    Thanks! Any help is appreciated!

                                                                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: calypsogirl

                                                                                                                                                      I would go to a tile store and talk to them. Tiling a wall like that is an easy DIY project.
                                                                                                                                                      I would also stay away from self cleaning ovens and high BTU burners for a space like that.
                                                                                                                                                      You may want to consider a 24" range with a 4" counter against the wall like the one between theese two 24" products.

                                                                                                                                                      http://www.vikingrange.com/consumer/p...

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Fritter

                                                                                                                                                        I ended up calling Wolf and talking to them about clearance issues. So...in case anyone has the same issue of having to put a range up against a side wall....

                                                                                                                                                        It's doable, with 0" clearance, as long as the material from the countertop/cooktop level is non-combustible. The sides of the oven are not the issue. Apparently the oven is well-insulated and can be up right next to a wall/cabinets, etc. It's more a matter of the flame. So the tile that I have on the side wall that is backsplash height is sufficient.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: calypsogirl

                                                                                                                                                          "the tile that I have on the side wall that is backsplash height is sufficient"

                                                                                                                                                          I wouldn't even think about putting a gas range up against a tile side wall with a 15-18k gas burner. There will only be about 2" from the outside of your burner to the wall. With a large pan on high you quite literally could have flames touching the tile.
                                                                                                                                                          If you are determined to get a 30" range in there I would consider doing that side splash in SS.
                                                                                                                                                          The oven side wall is not the issue I would be worried about in that spot with a self cleaning oven. It's the side of the backsplash which gets extremelly hot during the self cleaning cycle.
                                                                                                                                                          Hope this helps. ;)

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Fritter

                                                                                                                                                            Hiya! There is an old 30 inch gas range in there right now, so I was really hoping to replace it and keep the same size. I've been using 20 inch ranges for so long and was so excited to have a 30 inch! Haha.

                                                                                                                                                            The new oven actually does not have have a self cleaning option. So is this the worst idea in the world?! If I install a stainless steel shield on the side, you think this would be much better? Where on earth do I get one?

                                                                                                                                                            Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: calypsogirl

                                                                                                                                                              Yes IMO the SS would be much, much better. I have seen several commercial ranges up against a SS side wall. With SS the worst thing that will happen is that it will discolor. Tile may crack, pop etc and could be dangerous. If you want to keep tile I would seriously get a qualified installer to view your kitchen.
                                                                                                                                                              Just about any HD, Lowes etc should be able to point you in the right direction for a piece of SS. It should not be very expensive. If you have no luck there I'm sure you can find a restaurant supply store that could point you in the right direction.
                                                                                                                                                              The extra benefit is that a SS splash is very easy to clean. :)

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Fritter

                                                                                                                                                                I know when we built our house, we used some kind of fireproof board (vs. regular sheet rock) extending above and below the back of our Wolf range (at least 12" down) in order to make the wall fireproof and then we covered that with backsplash tile which extends 12" below the range back as well. Fireboard attached to the wall and then covered with tile or stainless steel sheeting would probably be the safest way to go.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: koigirl

                                                                                                                                                                  The 30 inch Wolf is a residential range, right?

                                                                                                                                                                  Okay, so I think I'll try the sheet of stainless steel. The side wall is concrete, with the tile on top. I suppose I could just put the stainless steel sheet on top of all of that?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: calypsogirl

                                                                                                                                                                    " I could just put the stainless steel sheet on top of all of that?"

                                                                                                                                                                    You will want to peel those old tiles off the side so your SS sheet lays nice and flat on the wall. It's a pretty easy job and I assume we are only talking about a few feet of tile on the side. Your also going to want that extra 1/4" of clearance that you will gain from removing the tile. You do not have to worry about firboard underneath because you have a concrete wall. The SS sheet can be screwed right to the cement but you will need a special drill bit and anchors for the concrete.
                                                                                                                                                                    The 30" Wolf is indeed a residential range. Wolf no longer makes commercial equipment.

                                                                                                                                                    2. The answer is WOLF.

                                                                                                                                                      1. We are selling our AGA 4 oven range in pistachio blue if anyone is interested... they are top notch- i just don't know how to cook. It is less than two years old

                                                                                                                                                        1. I've owned a 36: DCS range for over 7 years now and the performance is fantastic (cooking almost every day and using 2-4 burners at a time). HOWEVER, the sealed burners are not sealed from liquids (like soap and water) and you have to CAREFULLY clean around them so as to not leave residual water and soap. I learned this the hard way when I had a service done to them and the burners were disassmbled to reveal heavy rusting under the burner and on the components sealed underneath the burner. I have a local service company (Los Angeles) that regularly sevices/cleans the stoves for around $175. They recommend this cleaning once a year for heavily used ranges in order to avoid deterioration of the components due to rust and grease.

                                                                                                                                                          Overall, I'm a bit disappointed with higher end ranges and the amount of babying that they require to remain functional. Most of them have exposed spark ingniter that are highly sensitive to any residue that builds up. Often times, I turn the burners on and the igniters start with no flame starting so I use a hand igniter (BBQ igniter) to light my burners. I've even heard of people disabling the ignition system altogether and hand lighting the burners because of the frustration of dealing with the temperamental igniters.

                                                                                                                                                          Other than that, I've been told by service people that all stoves are roughly the same in maintenance and perfomance although I only have experience with DCS stoves to show for it.

                                                                                                                                                          This Bluestar stove sounds enticing... I'll check it out if I ever get rid of the DCS... i.e. the next time I have a major problem.

                                                                                                                                                          1. Lots of great posts here...just a couple more cents :+)

                                                                                                                                                            I had a 48 inch Garland / Bluestar for 10 years, having bought it from a restaurant that went bust. The 22K BTU burners are amazing, and the 36 inch oven is great if you are cooking for crowds regularly - they fit a full sheet tray. If you are not cooking for crowds regularly, or don't have the oversize cook ware / roasting pans then the 36in oven can actually be a bit of a waste.

                                                                                                                                                            Fast forward to now, building a new house, and while I would love to have another Garland must confess that I am more focused on aesthetics than I was back then. I found a Dacor EG366SCH at a going out of business EXPO for under $600. Loved the look and the price so into the kitchen it went. It's got two 18K BTU burners, which do the trick. Not 22K but liveable, and it's just a much better look. It has nice copper, black, and brass trim options, and a choice of electric pop UP ventilation (ERV36) or backguard (9 inch or 12 inch shelf) with range hood. Been very happy with it - stylish yet highly functional. Optional wok ring and searing grill.

                                                                                                                                                            1. I believe Blue Star is the residential brand of garland. I have a garland range and LOVE it. This Garland has been going strong since the 60s and brings water to boil in no time. It may be a less known name but I think you should consider it.

                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cassoulady

                                                                                                                                                                My understanding is that the company that makes Blue Star made the residential ranges sold under the Garland brand name. When Garland decided to leave the residential market, the residential Garlands were rebranded as Blue Star. Same manufacturer all along.

                                                                                                                                                              2. There has been considerable discussion about Viking, Wolf and other ranges and often these expensive ranges are referred to as "Professional". Nothing could be further from the truth. They look similar to restaurant ranges but that is all. I happen to have a real professional range, an Imperial. This brand is common in restaurants. I have also owned the top of the line Wolf dual fuel range and have a Viking built-in oven and hood. In my opinion Viking equipment is without question the most overpriced line of junk available at any price. Real restaurant range burners are 25,000 - 30,000 btus, not 15,000. Pilot lights are the norm, not ignitors. The grates are heavy cast iron units, not the flimsy grates you see on high priced, high style ranges. If you really like to cook, try a real range. Contrary to what most store clerks will tell you, anyone can buy a high power restaurant range. Do you need a monster hood? No. Another myth. It would be good to have one since they can really throw out some serious heat, but when will you have 4-6 burners going at full power? I cook and entertain all the time. Yes I have a large hood - a Viking POC. If you want a Viking, expect trouble. Their service record is about the worst in the industry. They get away with it because people that spend $5-10 grand for a stove aren't apt to say they bought junk. If you are determined to spend that kind of money I encourage you to look at real restaurant ranges. By the way, my daughter and her friends often cook on my Imperial range and no problems.

                                                                                                                                                                16 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: brucelamo

                                                                                                                                                                  There is some truth in what you say, but to install a true restaurant range in a residence requires a lot of insulation in the surroundings to meet code, and often larger gas lines than are included in the usual residential construction. Result is either heavy expense or code violations and safety issues. For most people, it is not advisable. A residential Bluestar meets many of the criteria you have set out (BTU's, heavy grates) but can be used in a residence without additional modifications, so for that reason is certainly something that should be brought into the options considered.

                                                                                                                                                                  BTW, are you objecting to ignitors? If so, why? They save a lot of energy, and expense, in the long run.

                                                                                                                                                                  FWIW, I generally agree with you about Viking, but that said they have now brought out a commercial line.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: johnb

                                                                                                                                                                    Johnb brings out some very valid points; in most homes the expense needed to upgrade the insulation and gas piping outweighs the potential cost saving. If you choose to forego the insulation you must install commercial ranges no closer to surrounding areas then 6”, that’s 6” on both sides and the back.

                                                                                                                                                                    A few other points that John did not mention is

                                                                                                                                                                    #1 Commercial units typical have their warranty voided if they are installed in a home.

                                                                                                                                                                    #2 Commercial repair persons are many times restricted from entering homes due to liability reasons.

                                                                                                                                                                    #3 Many insurance companies will void your home insurance if you install a non-code conforming stove/range in your home. Or if they allow you to have one, they need to meet code and you will have an increase in insurance premiums.

                                                                                                                                                                    #4 Many city and county codes consider ranges that put more then 100,000 BTU’s as commercial and in need of “advanced ventilation”. That means you must calculate exhaust CFM’s and then install a make-up air unit balancing the two. This is prohibitively expensive for the home.

                                                                                                                                                                    #5 Almost all commercial ranges are greater then 24” in depth and will stick out farther then your cabinets. That means there are no off-the-shelf hoods for them and you will have to have one custom made. Another high priced expense.

                                                                                                                                                                    #6 The units have much less insulation then home units so they can get very hot to the touch – not a good thing with little children running around.

                                                                                                                                                                    #8 Most do not have stainless steel sides so they are uglier and harder to clean overall

                                                                                                                                                                    #9 It is virtually impossible to simmer normal household amounts on a commercial range. They are not designed to simmer 2 cups of water so you will have more challenges in that area.

                                                                                                                                                                    #10 Pilots lights – if you have 8 burners and two ovens that’s 10 pilot lights burning all the time. That is a lot of gas being used and a fair amount of waste heat. If a couple of pilot lights go out you then have gas escaping that could potentially build up.

                                                                                                                                                                    You can speak to virtually any restaurant supply store sales person and they will sway you away from this purchase. For example:

                                                                                                                                                                    “I manage a restaurant supply store. We often get individuals in looking at our commercial ranges for their homes. While the price appears to be huge savings, it is quite misleading.

                                                                                                                                                                    You must have more clearance as you mentioned, but even with the clearance, you should have stainless steel facing the unit on your cabinets and back wall. You will also need a much heavier duty vent hood than standard residential units.

                                                                                                                                                                    Beyone those aspects, there's the factor of higher insurance premiums (or risking voiding insurance). As someone else mentioned, they are not insulated like residential units and are very hot to the touch (very bad idea with kids or pets).

                                                                                                                                                                    I'd recommend going with residential quality units made for residential applications. There are several companies out there who make both the commercial and residential units.”

                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.cheftalk.com/forums/cookin...

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                                                                      The only problem I have had with my Imperial is after several years the lines to the pilot lights needed cleaning. The normal appliance repairman did so without any problem.

                                                                                                                                                                      I am a licensed contractor. I am not aware of any special provisions regarding insurance or code violations for owning and using a commercial range in a residence. A commercial range is not an insurance or code term. To the best of my knowledge nowhere in the International Building Code does it define a code compliant stove or cooktop. There simply are no restrictions on them that I am aware of, contrary to the common belief. If in doubt, ask your insurance man and ask your local building inspector.

                                                                                                                                                                      Code has to do with make up air for hoods. If you put a 1,200 CFM hood over any stove you will have problems because you can create negative air pressure in your home and draw exhaust air in through a furnace or hot water heater.

                                                                                                                                                                      Commercial ranges are deeper than 24" but the burners are on a 12" grid so a standard hood will essentially cover all the burners as long as the unit is pushed back to the wall. Once again, I have not heard of "advanced ventilation". Ventilation is a math calculation. A big hood that draws a lot of air needs make up air, but once again, I have never encountered a municipality that specifies a certain sized hood for a certain sized stove. In fact, I have never heard of a hood as a requirement - period.

                                                                                                                                                                      Commercial units have less insulation on their sides than residential units. They do require additional insulation on the sides if they are to be located withing 6" of combustable materials such as standard kitchen cabinets. Simple stainless steel insulated panels can be made at a relatively low cost. I spent less than $200 9 years ago. The fronts are no hotter than any other stove.

                                                                                                                                                                      Commercial ranges may or may not have a stainless steel side. The quality of the stainless is not nearly as good as a designer range. I guess it is a look you either like or dislike. If you are going for commercial, this is the real deal and I personally like it.

                                                                                                                                                                      As for simmering it is absolute nonsense that these units cannot simmer small amounts. I often leave stock on the burner overnight, melt chocolate, and never use a double boiler. It takes a light touch but the controls are of very high quality.

                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, pilot lights throw out some heat. I live in Minnesota, so in the winter it is not a problem. In the summer I close off the pilot lights and use an igniter. Built in igniters are available on virtually all models and would be nice, but they are not necessary.

                                                                                                                                                                      I find most myths about commercial ranges are perpetrated by commercial range salesmen. I can't understand why. This is a solid, simple, and nearly foolproof appliance. People are willing to spend 3-5 times as much on units that look good, but do not perform nearly as well.

                                                                                                                                                                      If Viking, Thermadore, et all were really professional, why aren't they used in any restaurants? If your reason to own a stove is to have a kitchen that looks good and money is no object, by all means, spend away. If you really want to cook and have the means to do so, there are products better suited to your needs for a lower cost.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: brucelamo

                                                                                                                                                                        " If Viking, Thermadore, et all were really professional, why aren't they used in any restaurants? "

                                                                                                                                                                        As John mentioned Viking does indeed make a true commercial product and they are used in professional kitchens now. Will they be popular? Not very likely with sealed burners. Wolf and Garland have made both made ranges for the home and true commercial products that were used in a lot more professional kitchens than Imperial.
                                                                                                                                                                        Burners in the 15-18k range are about perfect for home use IMO. I do wish all of these companies would use pilot lights and do away with the electronic ignition.
                                                                                                                                                                        The vast majority of home owners will be much better served with a range built for the home and not a commercial unit for many reasons and yes I do think that most want their kitchen to look good.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: brucelamo

                                                                                                                                                                          I do not know of any place that does NOT have building/fire codes that deal with the amount of distance between un shielded heat sources (commercial stove, wood stove, stove pipes in walls, vents, etc) and flammable material. You even mentioned it in your post that you had to insulate around the stove – WHY - To conform to code.

                                                                                                                                                                          So to say that there are no restrictions and then admit you had to insulate and put stainless steel panels around the stove shows that there are some. Also most insurance companies want to know if you have any gas appliances hooked up to 1 1/2 “ or 2” gas lines, insurance companies take a dim view, although probably unwarranted, of high gas use items. My neighbor remodeled and put in a full commercial kitchen in his house (he’s rich) and he could NOT find an insurance company that didn’t take this into account and raise his rates. Buyer beware.

                                                                                                                                                                          Advanced ventilation is when you must put in make-up air to stop the negative air pressure. (I can bore you with talk about Type I, II etc systems but that is not germane to most homes.) I have a custom designed hood in my house that is just below the limit, I still end up opening windows near it to help it out. And on my puny Wolf with 16,000 BTU burners and an infrared grill I can smoke out the house. Also my hood which is bigger then normal, it sits about 4 “ past the front of my range, needs to be even bigger.

                                                                                                                                                                          Your comments about simmering make me wonder if you are not getting enough gas to your stove.

                                                                                                                                                                          Your commercial imperial range simmers at 7000 BTU’s (Seven THOUSAND)

                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.imperialrange.com/

                                                                                                                                                                          My wolf model simmers at 500 BTU (That’s not a misprint FIVE HUNDRED) and full power is 16,000 BTU

                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.wolfappliance.com/resource...

                                                                                                                                                                          A Frigidaire home unit, typically found in a tract home puts out at FULL POWER 9,000 BTU

                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.frigidaire.com/products/ki...

                                                                                                                                                                          Honestly think about that - YOUR simmer is 7,000 Wolf range is, 500 and FULL power of a home model is 9,000 BTU’s.

                                                                                                                                                                          The fact is that you cannot simmer a couple of cups of water at 7,000 BTU – that’s physics and you can’t change that.

                                                                                                                                                                          I have owned and built restaurants for over 40 years we simmer 2 gallons of water at 7,000 BTU’s not 2 cups. That’s what that range is designed to do. I dare anybody to go to their home range put two cups of water on the stove and turn it up ¾’s of the way and tell me that is a simmer. 7,000 BTU is the low power of many commercial models and it just doesn’t work very well in homes.

                                                                                                                                                                          The second point is that commercial oven doors get very hot, you drip water on them it will sizzle and steam off, they can burn – maybe imperial insulates there’s - most do not to cut costs, they can be very dangerous around kids. Your blanket statement could mislead someone, it is best that anyone reading this check out the particular model that they want. I know that Wolf, Garlands and American Ranges that I have had in restaurants all get very hot and can be very dangerous. A Google search will reveal this to anyone wanting to do their homework.

                                                                                                                                                                          As far as the money goes, I have already addressed that in previous posts, there is huge mark-up and you can get huge discounts – I did, ($ 7,000 retail 48” Wolf – just a hair over $ 3,000 is what I paid.) it takes persistence but it can be done. It’s still more money then a restaurant one, but for the ability to simmer, no insurance or codes hassle and the fact that it is easier to clean and looks nicer I felt it was worth it.

                                                                                                                                                                          You comments about thermador and Viking are true, although Viking does now have a commercial line, I was one of the restaurants that tested their equipment when they were in the design faze, I was not impressed.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                                                                            Please tell me what code you keep referring to. I have the International Residential Code on my desk, so if you can help me by pointing out to me what code you keep referring to that establishes the hood requirements and kitchen range limitations you will help us all.

                                                                                                                                                                            I installed insulating panels to comply with the manufacturer's installation instructions, not code requirements. My kitchen was thoroughly inspected and approved by all the applicable local inspectors.

                                                                                                                                                                            Lastly, I believe I am able to discern between 2 cups and 2 gallons of water, and yes, as hard as it is for you to accept, I have no problem holding a simmer on as little as less than half a cup, and no, my gas line is not clogged. I had a new line installed to supply all the gas necessary and then some. Per my plumber, I have adequate gas to generate in excess of 1 million BTUs. That handles all my needs. Perhaps I am able to simmer food because I do not look for "simmer" on the control knob to set the burner. I turn the flame down to the level necessary for what is on the burner.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                                                                              Chef

                                                                                                                                                                              You seem to have some familiarity with the make-up air concept (do you live in Minn.?--It seems to be the only state that has make-up air requirements in residential codes--I prefer warmer climes--but I digress).

                                                                                                                                                                              I have a 900 cfm Vent-a-hood over my 36" Bluestar. My home is new and reasonably tight, so I forced my contractor to install a small backwards 4" vent to provide some make-up air for it (of course they had never heard of such a thing). I have no idea whether it helps or not, or whether anything is really needed or not. Do you have any direct knowledge of whether make-up is actually useful in such a setting? Just curious.

                                                                                                                                                                              The hood does a reasonable job--when grilling a steak in an iron pan, for example, it captures maybe 90-95% of the smoke, and that is over an island.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: johnb

                                                                                                                                                                                I don't think your question was addressed to me but I think I can answer you. Any municipality that has adopted the Internation Residential Code will require make up if an exhaust fan is large enough relative to the size of the house, number of windows, style of furnace and other factors. It is formula driven but in the end makes sense.

                                                                                                                                                                                I think Vent-a-hood makes a very good product which is verified that is works over an island.

                                                                                                                                                                                Your 4 inch make-up air will help if your home is so tight that the hood creates negative pressure. 900 CFM is a good sized hood, but anything less probably would not do much over an island. I assume you have it interlocked with the hood to come on at the same time.

                                                                                                                                                                                However, if your house is very large, or there are other sources for air to enter, it may not have been necessary. A good HVAC (heating, venting, air conditioning) contractor should be able to calculate what, if anything you need.

                                                                                                                                                                                The most common method now used (at least in Minnesota) will add up all the sources of air consumption (range hood, bath fans, non-sealed appliances, fireplaces, etc.) and calculate how many CFM could be used in a worst case scenario. Then you get credit for the volume of the house and natural air sources such as windows and doors. If your credit exceeds your possible demand you are OK. If your demand exceeds your credit make-up air provisions need to be made.

                                                                                                                                                                                This is why a wood burning fireplace is almost extinct. They use a lot of air. Range hoods and bath fans can be linked with passive or motorized supplies. In areas like Minnesota you may have to partially heat the air before you dump it in the house because sub zero winter air pumped into a 70 degree house is not ideal.

                                                                                                                                                                                Maybe this is way more than you asked for. The short answer is what you have seems to work, so I would call it a success and leave it at that.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: brucelamo

                                                                                                                                                                                  I am not a contractor so I called a reputable Restaurant supply store and asked if there are any codes. Finds out we are both wrong in some ways and the answer is even more restrictive then I thought.

                                                                                                                                                                                  This is the code you asked for

                                                                                                                                                                                  “2006 IRC 2447.2 (623.2) Prohibited location.
                                                                                                                                                                                  Cooking appliances designed, tested, listed and labeled for use in commercial occupancies shall not be installed within dwelling units or within any area where domestic cooking operations occur.”

                                                                                                                                                                                  The same statement is also found in the International Fuel and Gas Code section 623.2

                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www2.rigov.org/pdf/inspections...

                                                                                                                                                                                  Thought the point is mute now, but the International Fuel and Gas Code book delineates when hoods are needed and when they are not and the size and CFM’s needed.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I am now interested in knowing how my neighbor got his passed, because Washington State, where I live adopted that part of the IRC code, according to what I’ve read on Google and the restaurant supply store who provided it to me. <hmmmm> I was also told, by them, that it is not a new code addition but has been on the books for many years.

                                                                                                                                                                                  As far as the BTU’s in simmer mode, commercial ranges because of their large bore on the burners (that’s why they get so hot) and because they don’t have multiple rings that light in different settings are tested to see how little BTU’s they put out at the lowest settings possible with a clear blue flame. Some manufactures call it a different name, then a simmer rating and some don’t disclose it but they are all around 7,000 BTU’s that I am aware of.

                                                                                                                                                                                  7,000 BTU’s is the simmer rating for your stove that means below that you will have flickering flames, un-burnt gas and poor combustion and the possibility of the flame going out. You can pull the pot so it is only on 10% of the burner and in effect get 700 BTU’s and a simmer, but you are wasting 6300 BTU’s and that’s a large amount of gas.

                                                                                                                                                                                  To put this into more perspective it only takes 1,334 BTU's to raise 1 gallon of water from 40 degrees to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, granted that is in a perfect world with no loss of heat. Unless you have some special simmer ring or other accessory on your stove it is a scientifically impossible without restricting the flow of gas, blocking gas jets, having a dedicated simmer ring or pulling the pot off to the side to simmer 2 cups of water with 7,000 BTU’s under normal conditions. Maybe you have a special feature on your stove, but according to your manufacturer you will be burning 7000 BTU’s in gas at their lowest rating.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I don’t want to get into a pissing match about the simmering, if you say your stove can do it, great, but in my 40 years of experience I have never once seen a commercial, correctly working burner, simmer 2 cups of water without the cook pulling the pot 90% off the burner. I have seen de-rated burners that can do it, but they usually can burn no more then 15-17K BTU’s

                                                                                                                                                                                  Cheers

                                                                                                                                                                                  PS Let me know about the code and if I am wrong. I will defer to your contractor expertise in this area and I still want to know how my neighbor got his passed – lol.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                                                                                    You have done your homework Chef. I thought I was well versed on the IRC but your wording is exact. I know my installation was before the IRC rules became standard for where I live. The deciding factor per IRC is an ANSI rating which in all likelihood will not be available for true commercial stove.

                                                                                                                                                                                    As for the simmer I can only relate my experience and the experience of others I know and will stand by my assertion, I have no problems maintaining a very low flame, which is blue and steady, not orange and flickering.

                                                                                                                                                                                    None of my burners are de-rated since I had no need for the modification. They are all rated for 28,000 BTUs. Since the control valve has infinite settings there is no limit to how low it can be set. There is an upside limit. The valve only opens so wide to allow a maximum amount of gas, which is controlled by the pressure valve for a constant supply. On the downside, the limit is infinite, as long as the gas supply is constant a flame can be maintained. There is no positive stop (at least on my unit) that indicates the lowest setting.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Therefore, given a choice of stovetops, regardless of price, I will chose a true commercial unit. Like I said earlier, if the so called Professional Ranges available at appliance dealers were truly professional grade, restaurants would be using them. They don't. Now some of the makers are trying to leverage their name to get their products in to this line. It won't work.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Viking, Thermadore. et all have looks and gadgets but they lack bullet proof functionality. In my opinion that is the primary thing a buyer should look for in any appliance. I buy appliances to use, if they don't work reliably, they are not worth half their price. Commercial grade appliances have been tested, but it looks like their days are numbered for users like myself.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for the enlightenment regarding the code, as disappointing as it may be.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: brucelamo

                                                                                                                                                                                      Bruce

                                                                                                                                                                                      Since you seem to have a reasonably good handle on what constitutes a "true" commercial range in contrast to "commercial style," I note you have not mentioned Bluestar in your cites of examples of the latter category. As a satisfied BS owner and one who has touted its commercial underpinnings upthread and elsewhere, I'd be curious as to your opinion of just how close BS's design and characteristics mimic a "true" commercial product.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: johnb

                                                                                                                                                                                        I am not familiar with Blue Star. It has been about 4 years since I purchased any appliances and at that time it was not available at any of the major local distributors where I live. I see it is now carried at at least one store.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I will soon be in the market myself since I am looking at new home. I have read more good things about Bluestar and Meile then other brands. I have used Wolf and Vent-a-hood in homes I have sold. I think Venta-a-hood is a good product and everyone seems to like the look of Wolf ranges.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I do think the whole concept about these high end appliances is really much ado about nothing. Years ago we chose between cheap electric or cheap gas appliances. They worked, lasted for years, and required little if any service. I was able to miraculously produce similar meals on a Hotpoint electric range with push buttons to control the temp when I was in college some 30 years ago. Now, I seem to need something much larger and wrapped in stainless steel.

                                                                                                                                                                                        My other interest is woodworking. Here to there has been a dramatic escalation in the types of tools available. What was good enough for cabinet makers for several generations is now considered junk.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: brucelamo

                                                                                                                                                                                          OK, I am in the middle of a kitchen remodel (design stage), and have done a LOT of research on ranges and ovens. To me this is a no brainer. It is BlueStar. I admit it is a bit subjective but that is why there are so many brands out there. I absolutely do not want all the electronic do dads on the stove. What are their use? You turn the heat up to 350 and cook for so many minutes. I think the Wolf is beautiful and the way the control panel folds is so 21st century. However I am absolutely certain that it won't be working correctly in a decade; probably a lot less than that. Electronics ALWAYS malfunction and they are expensive to fix. In a few years they may be obsolete and impossible to fix. Honestly I don't see what they give you. Well what they give me anyway. I want a simple range and oven, one I can fix myself if necessary. One that turns on, off and gets hot. I don't need or want all that other stuff. It just seems like fluff and problems.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh yes, this criticism of BlueStar not having a big repair network. What is that about? If anyone that calls himself an appliance repairman can't fix something as simple as a BlueStar, well he isn't an appliance repairman. Really I don't see anything on it I couldn't fix myself. It is 100 year old technology for Christ's sake! The burners you can remove without tools. It takes a screw driver to remove the igniter. Fixing these things is slightly above the manual dexterity ability of changing a light bulb. Try fixing your electronic control panel when it starts reading "ERROR".

                                                                                                                                                                                          I read someplace where a guy was defending his Viking. It "only" had one $400 repair! I would be angry as hell if I paid that much money for a range and then had to pay another $400 to fix it after two years! I guess it is what the marketers call the halo effect. Some people cannot see anything wrong with the product the choose no matter what empirical evidence to the contrary. I have a cheap Caloric that has worked 23 years without a single problem or repair. That is how ranges should work. They should be simple and work forever. My opinion of course.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Due to traveling, I am still a couple of months away from this remodel. If someone can change my mind I am open. I am not the world's best cook but I have used commercial ranges and the BlueStar seems the closest one can get to a commercial range in a residential model. I love using a griddle and the 48" BlueStar has a 24" griddle. If you have never used a commercial range you don't really know how nice a big griddle is. I said big. The 12" models on most home ranges are useless. The grill? I don't see the point of it. If I want to grill I will do it outside on real charcoal for flavor. Gas grilling is... well kind of stupid to me. The whole point is flavor. That is why Henry Ford (with his buddy King) invented the tradition of barbecuing.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Of course this is the range that meets my needs. I realize people are different. Some people don't mind something that breaks down every year. They simply have it fixed. They buy BMW's and such with no regrets. I am not like that. I want something works first and foremost. I also want a range that I can have built exactly how I want it which BlueStar allows.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Agincourt

                                                                                                                                                                                            I bought a minimalist Wolf range with manual knobs, etc, and no problems so far after 4 years. I know other people who have had problems with the electronics in a Wolf. I agree with you that electronics in a range can be bad news, but you can buy a Wolf range without them

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Agincourt

                                                                                                                                                                                              If you read most of the upthread, then you already know my opinion, viz., you are absolutely right and just keep going. I would only add that mine continues to work just fine, and I cook on it just about every day. Three years so far.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I have the 36" 6 burner top only, no oven (I like electric ovens). Your comments about a griddle make me a bit sorry I never really considered a flattop, but then I guess I really don't do many things that would work well being cooked that way---so, oh well, c'est la vie.

                                                                                                                                                                                              As I have said here many times before, when you get it installed be sure to go out to your local Asian store and get a basic 14 or 16" steel wok to go with your new toy. You'll be amazed at how well you can cook with it on that BS.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Agincourt

                                                                                                                                                                                                Griddles are great if your idea of epicurean delights are pancakes and grilled cheeses, however for most people the griddle will be used far less often than a grill. For example I use my grill at least 4 days a week - after market griddles ($70) that sits on tops of the burners is used at best twice a month.

                                                                                                                                                                                                As far as flavor goes, plain charcoal is not very good, time consuming and in many parts of the country outside grilling is limited to 6-8 months out of the year. It also raises the question of how much running do you want to do - outside to turn the snapper filet back inside to finish the flatbread app outside again to check turn and mark, inside again to dress the salad and check on finish the black bean pineapple salsa The convenience of having everything within arms reach in your prep area allows for a less hectic and better prepared meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Back to flavor - I have never had someone tell me that they miss my charcoal grilled “fill in the item here” but I have many friends who rave about my Mesquite / Apple wood / Hickory / Maplewood / etc. Using these woods chips to impart a flavor is very easy to do both inside and out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                One other major convenience of grilling inside is that I can get infrared grill very hot, sear the outside, produce great char marks and than finish slowly in the oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                I would suggest everyone think how they will be using their equipment; currently I know of several people who regret buying their stove with a griddle and not a single one who regrets their grill purchase. Remember you can always put a aftermarket griddle on your stove top but there is no substitute for an infrared grill.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Cheers and happy cooking!