HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >

Discussion

Your "pro-style" range: Would you spend the money again?

  • 144
  • Share

This is for those among you for whom money's a concern, but aren't averse to spending when it's worth it.

I'm at the planning stages of my kitchen remodel, and I'm really torn on which style of range to choose. In my last house, I had a 30" GE Profile Performance range that was really great in every way (especially in the customer service I needed when its ignitors broke a month out of warranty). It cooked far more evenly than my mother's expensive Thermidor, and cost approximately one quarter as much. Its only drawback was the light-gray enameled grates, which were impossible to clean completely. If it had had cast-iron grates, it would have been the perfect range.

In this project, I don't want to scrimp if I'll really get the results I want out of the Wolf or Viking models I'm eyeing (the 36" dual-fuels). Last fall, Consumer Reports pretty much said they're simply not worth the prices: $6 - 7k vs. around $2k for the 30" Bosch and GE models they said generally outcooked the "pro" companies' offerings.

I don't care one whit about it looking like a magazine. I want a range that will be a pleasure to cook with. And I also realize a home Viking has almost nothing whatsoever to do with the ranges they sell to restaurants. But at least the Wolf has electronics, like the integrated probe and timers that I found invaluable on my GE before.

So you serious cooks: Did you get your $7,000 worth, or do you kind of wish you'd left that extra 5 in the bank?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. Have a Viking. Wish I didn't. Just tonight scraped scalloped potatoes off the floor of the oven because it's too low and the door is too heavy ....

    1. I have a Wolf 30 inch and would buy it again in a heartbeat. However, it's gas only, and quite "manual": very few if any digital bells and whistles. My sister has a dual fuel and I don't like it nearly as much. Her oven seems to take longer to heat up and I don't like her burner configuration nearly as well, though you can probably order the options that suit you. Maybe others can comment on the "manual" gas vs the dual fuel models better than me.

      1. We finally built our dream kitchen in 2004-05, as part of a major renovation. We saved money on two things in the kitchen, the rangetop and the double oven. These were the only things we bought as floor models, but it allowed us to complete the project and get our prosumer cooking equipment.

        For the rangetop, we bought a floor model 36" GE monogram 6 burner gas, with continuous grates so you can slide pots and skillets anywhere you want. And...when I took the caps off the burners and turned them over, I saw that ithis one was actually made by DCS. Love it. A bit scratched, but we realized the front was inevitibly going to get scratched anyway, and besides, it was SS.

        For ovens, again, a floor model Jenn-Air SS double oven, one is convection and regular electric heat. Love that too, and was in perfect condition.

        1. i don't own it myself, but i've cooked many times on a friend's Viking gas range, and i'm not a fan. the grates are clunky, and the burners are finicky and difficult to control.

          1. I don't have (and never have had) a professional stove in my home simply because I don't want my home kitchen to be as hot as a professional kitchen! '-)

            That said, since you enjoyed your GE so much, have you checked into having a local welder or metal worker make cast iron grates for you? I'm sure it would be a heck of a lot cheaper than buying a pro range just to get cast iron grates!

            1. Try looking at FULL WARRANTY scratch/dent or just discontinued.OR forfiture of deposit.
              I have just helped 3 client friends bring the price down 45 - 52 % on their selections.One of each example,in 4 business days.Solved my refrigerator quest at the same time,a used less than 90 days side by side,27' each all steel 25%< than base cost.DELIVERED
              I have an all professional commercial kitchen,too old to even consider a change until I arrive at old and doddery.
              SO KEEP LOOKING ,touch. feel,lean across until you find a good fit to you.Then make sure to have a terrific hood and fan so you really can use to the max.

              1. We have had the large size Viking (2 full ovens, 6 burners, a griddle and a grill) for 11 years, and although we have had some minor repairs over the years, we have been really happy with it. Recently, when we re-did our kitchen, we were able to do cosmetic updates on the range py replacing the knobs, the panel behind the knobs, the grates, etc. It looks like a new range now, and it still works perfectly. So, for very little money, I feel that we have a new stove. I'm not sure that this is possible with other ranges. We would definitely spend the money again.

                10 Replies
                1. re: roxlet

                  We installed a 48" dual fuel Thermador about 4 years ago. I might not go with a Thermador again for a number of reasons, but I can't imagine going back to a typical 30" consumer range again. Even better than the range itself is the pro-style hood with external 1000 cfm blower. The whole thing was a big investment, but one I'd repeat in heartbeat.

                  1. re: FlyFish

                    Oh yeah -- we have one of those huge hoods with the mega cfm bower. The installer told us to put a lead collar on the dog if we were tempted to turn it all the way up. Apparently, you can also blow out the pilot light on your furnace with those babies!

                    1. re: roxlet

                      You can also reverse the flow in your fireplace chimney. Don't ask me how I know.

                      1. re: FlyFish

                        LOL! You must be a gear head like my DH!

                    2. re: FlyFish

                      My husband just told me that our cfm is 2200! Take that, FlyFish!! Talk about lead collar on the dog.

                      1. re: roxlet

                        Green with cmf envy here! When you're not cooking do you use it to do wind tunnel tests on new airliner designs??

                        1. re: FlyFish

                          It basically works very well to cool off the kitchen in the summer. Yeah, just like a wind tunnel! I don't think that we have ever turned the thing all the way up. We have an on/off switch on the hood, but there is a dial on the side of the stove that controls the force of the exhaust. I thought the whole thing was kind of excessive when we did it, but I have to say that there are never any food odors in the house any more and I like that whe my DH decides that 11PM is the right time to start cooking his confit. Pity the person in the guest bedroom though. The soffit runs through there right up to the attic and thence to the roof. Santa had to be verrrrry careful this year...

                        2. re: roxlet

                          That's more Cubic Feet per Minute than a five ton air conditioner moves through your house.
                          In a commercial hood installation, code would require that there was a "makeup" air inlet, immediately adjacent to your range hood, to prevent from "backdrafting" down the vent pipes of ANY vented gas-fired appliance.
                          I have seen whole buildings burned down, by the ommission of that "make-up air" vent.
                          In commercial kitchens, grill cooks sometimes stuff rags in the makeup vent, in cold weather, because it blows cold, outside air on their feet.
                          That forces the range vent to pull it's air from the rest of the building, thus pulling cold air through the entire building, and sucking the warm air, which you already paid to heat, out with it. Not very safe, and VERY INEFFICIENT. Utility bills will quintuple, sometimes.
                          Ever notice that some restaurant doors are hard to open??
                          Having inadequate makeup air is a common reason. The range hood is exerting several POUNDS of pressure on the doors, which you must overcome to get in the place.
                          If you have a clothes dryer operatiing when the range hood is turned on, you may find that the airflow in the dryer vent is completely reversed, with outside air being drawn from the external vent outlet, back through the dryer, and into your house. If this happens to a gas dryer, you will sucking the dryer exhaust(and possibly carbon monoxide!!!), all the way to your range hood.
                          Lint, which is ALWAYS present inside a dryer, can also ignite under these circumstances, and cause a fire. I know of a commercial laundry which was totally destroyed because of this problem.
                          In short, having that BIG range hood can be more of a liability than an asset, if it's not installed properly.
                          Thanks for your time.

                          1. re: paducahrider

                            Although my hood is only 600 cfm the information is appreciated

                            1. re: paducahrider

                              again, a goldmine of crucial tech info here. Please feel free to jump into any and all discussions at this forum. My DH was a tech--telecom--and I miss his know-how about just about anything mechanical.

                              anyway--THANK YOU!

                      2. I love to cook but i'm not a kitchen snob. The cheapest way to get the best results is what I usually go for in anything for the kitchen. I have the ability to pay for quality but wouldn't buy something for "the name". That being said, I love my Wolf AG range. It's a very solid stove and others will probably be cooking on it when I'm long gone. No electronic panels to go haywire. The open gas burners are a dream to cook on. Excellent flame coverage for the bottom of your pans, equal heat capability on all burners, cast iron grates that clean up in the dishwasher, low simmer, etc. If I were you, I'd decide how important the electric oven is to you. If electric is essential for you regarding the oven (i.e. you really want self-clean and the electronic controls) and price is an issue, I'd buy a decent wall oven by GE Profile or GE Monogram and pair it with a pro-style rangetop. This would be less expensive than buying one of the dual-fuel pro-style ranges. They are over-priced IMO. Closed gas burners with an electric oven. Look at Bluestar or Wolf for the rangetop (I think Viking makes open burners as well) as I think you'll prefer the performance of the open vs. closed burners if you compare them. i used to have a 5-burner KA gas cooktop and my husband definitely thinks my results have improved with the pro-style range. However, keep in mind that there are WAAAY better cooks than I'll ever aspire to be out there cooking on ranges that cost less than 1/5 the price of a pro-style. If you don't like cleanup, closed burners may be easier to maintain and you'll get the dual-fuel setup that you like for much less.

                        1. I hate to say it but in addition to the cooking benefits this is also a real-estate question. I'm sure you can find a worthy product in every price range. But, with your kitchen remodel, you are also making a huge investment in your home. It's not like choosing between the leather or fabric couch for the living room. This decision is built into the house.

                          You should also check out the information out there on what % you can get back when you decide to sell your home. Even if you currently have no interest in selling, the money you spend now should be considered an investment. If you are in a neighborhood where all the kitchens are decked out with top of the line appliances, you will want to take that into consideration. Not because YOU care what the Jones' are cooking on. It's just that someone buying your home might see your choices and wonder..."what else did they skimp on?"

                          On the other hand, if you don't think your appliances will affect the view of what is comparable in your neighborhood, save the $$ and go with the top of the line in the next category down. I believe that manufacturers like GE Profile and Monogram have really stepped up to the plate to compete with the commercial style brands.

                          No...I am not in RE...but have remodeled enough kitchens that these choices have repercussions you don't expect way after you make them.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: MSK

                            Good point but not completely true. We put in a freestanding dual fuel range *because* we could take it out.

                            When and if we sell the house, I might offer it as part of the kitchen for an additional fee but I will also have the option of taking it with me (my present plan since I love it). Since 36" is a standard size, I can replace it with something more utilitarian or leave it to the new owners to make their own selection and installation.

                            1. re: MSK

                              When it comes to looking at any upgrade in a home as an "investment," there are times when that's appropriate and times when it's ridiculous. If you own a home in a neighborhood you like, the home is comfortable, you want to spend the rest of your life in it -- even if you're only in your twenties -- then forget about "investment" and go for what you want. What will make you happy. What will make your home a joy to live in.

                              1. re: Caroline1

                                I agree wholeheartedly. This is for me, not for resale. In this case, it's is a rehab that we plan on living in permanently anyhow. I would say there's very little chance I'll be going with a stainless dishwasher and counter-depth fridge, so it's not going to look like the all-stainless/cherry cabinets/granite counters kitchen you see in all the magazines and model homes. To be honest, my mom won a super-high-end kitchen remodel in a cooking contest years ago, and she found the Sub-Zero fridge too shallow and the stainless Thermidor range a huge pain to keep clean. Plus its downdraft was almost useless.

                                (Not at all knocking anyone who likes that style, by the way -- but it's just not me. I don't want to deal with fingerprints on the fridge every day, and I'm too clumsy to have hard, all-granite countertops. Had tile in my last kitchen, and I broke numerous jars and chipped many dishes. Going with part soapstone, part butcher block this time 'round. I think the only stainless I'll have is in the sink -- again, because it's forgiving to the klutz!)

                            2. I've never owned or cooked on a Viking or a Wolf so I can't comment on them, but I bought a new range a few months ago - a GE Cafe and I love it. And it has cast iron grates. (My old range had those same light gray enameled grates and I hated them too.)

                              12 Replies
                              1. re: flourgirl

                                We also got a GE Cafe. Even though it's stainless steel, I find it pretty easy to clean. 5 good burners, though I tend to use the front ones more (so I don't bonk my head into the hood...) I like the big main oven & the lower oven, too. The oven racks do need to be oiled on the side every month or so so they slide a little easier. Wipes clean very easily. The convection aspect is ok. I know other brands are a little better.

                                We got it at a discount, but it retails for about $2600. I think it's a good price for a good stove & oven. Yale Electric (a Boston appliance & lighting store) also highly recommended it to us, over any of the pro style companies.

                                I agree with everyone that says to just do lots & lots of research to find exactly what you want.

                                1. re: tall sarah

                                  I haven't used the convection much yet, because I never had it before, but in my one experiment I wasn't too impressed either. But I don't really care because the range had pretty much everything else I wanted and convection was at the bottom of my list of must-haves. I love the continuous cast iron grates. I also love the lower oven (and find myself using it even more than I thought I would.) I know some people complain about it being so close to the floor but I'm just glad to have it.

                                  And yep, I was looking/researching for well over a year before I found the combination of price/function/aesthetics I was looking for. In my case I'm really glad I held out because the GE Cafe didn't become widely available until recently - well after I first started my search for a new range. I would have been really bummed if I had settled for something else and this came rolling along a few months later...

                                  1. re: flourgirl

                                    if you like "roasted" vegetables convection is a boon,less heat in the kitchen on a hot day

                                    1. re: lcool

                                      That just makes no sense. Heat is heat, fan on or not. If you're roasting vegetables, you might reduce the temperature a little (say 335F instead of 350F), but that's still plenty hot in the middle of the summer.

                                      Our way to reduce the cooling load in the summer is to do stuff in the convection microwave, which has a lot less thermal mass since it's a lot smaller than the range.

                                      It's more a matter of how big the oven is than how you're heating it.

                                      1. re: ted

                                        No, lcool is right. Convection means you can roast things faster. Convection ovens use a fan to move air around the oven, which means food doesn't have a layer of cooler air (air that's given its heat to the food, and which hasn't yet reheated) around it. If you can do the job in 20 minutes, instead of 40, you're dumping less heat into the kitchen.

                                        1. re: dscheidt

                                          I get that you can reduce the temperature and/or time. But you aren't going to reduce either by 50%. And running your oven at 325F instead of 350F is still 255F above your 70F kitchen.

                                          My point is that I realize that "less heat" isn't a number, but I don't think you're going to reduce it by that much as a whole using convection vs. conventional in the same size oven. If you really want to reduce how much heat you're putting out, use a smaller oven or get thee outside to cook.

                                          1. re: ted

                                            my convection microwave cooks in a quarter of the time on roast setting (for meats and such). saves a mint!

                                2. re: flourgirl

                                  My best stove was a GE from about 8 years ago. It wasn't a profile but had the continuous grates (cast iron) and was stainless (which was my dream!). I loved the huge oven, and the simmer burner. I really enjoyed cooking on that stove.

                                  I also cooked on my parent ENORMOUS 6 burner Viking with a griddle. Was not impressed,

                                  Currently i have a 40-50's O'Keefe and Merrit with all it's chrome and white glory (and a griddle) Which I love, except for the oven, which is too small.

                                  1. re: flourgirl

                                    man, those fashionable cast iron grates are so noisy. I took one of my smaller cast iron pans stove shopping, and the screetches made by the pan when shifting it acorss the grates whipped heads around and brought glares.

                                    Give me enameled cast iron any day.

                                    1. re: toodie jane

                                      It's a great world, isn't it? Lots of choices out there, something to please just about everyone. But I still love my cast iron grates. I really hated the enamel ones on my previous range. I found them impossible to keep clean - nearly drove me insane. And i don't think it's an issue of cast iron grates being "fashionable." I think they are practical and smart. And MUCH easier to keep clean.

                                      1. re: flourgirl

                                        Absolutely. The ONLY thing that steered me away from another GE Profile range was that the white models have gray enameled grates. My last GE had that and not only were they difficult to clean (you had to leave them in a plastic bag in the sun with ammonia to do it) -- they also scratched permanently after a couple years. No, it didn't harm their utility, but they looked pretty skanky.

                                        1. re: dmd_kc

                                          >>>
                                          gray enameled grates...not only were they difficult to clean (you had to leave them in a plastic bag in the sun with ammonia to do it) -
                                          <<<

                                          So that's what it takes! That's the only thing I don't like about our GE Range..

                                  2. I bought a 30" BlueStar several months ago. So far I love it. The oven is large. The burners put out lots of heat (22,000 BTU). The grates are heavy and continuous across the top of the stove, so I can push a pot or pan off the heat easily. And it didn't cost $7,000, just $4,000, which is still a lot of money for me. I think it's worth the price.

                                    1. I spent 5K on a 30" Capital five burner. Four burners are 18,000 BTU. The center wok burner is 24,000 BTU. All also have a simmer setting. I was so disgusted with the whimpy burners on my previous cooktop and would gladly spend the money for the capital again; no regrets. The best thing in my kitchen.

                                      1. I love my 36" wolf oven which I put in 15 months ago. It just puts out the heat to really sear the food, or heat the wok for cooking. Roasting, it does the job well. We use a grill pan which stretches over 2 burners for grilling in winter. Summer, we are outside. We really like the griddle feature. Use it weekly for pancakes or french toast. Grilled cheese sandwiches rubens etc. It is not as hard to clean as I imagined. Since we did not have room for a double oven, we put a separate thermador convection oven in the island. It's a good combination.

                                        1. We put in a pro-style Viking 6-burner cooktop 8 years ago, replacing a KA cooktop that we'd had for about 10 years and hated. Love the Viking. The high BTUs are great. The configuration of burners are sufficiently apart that you really can place pots on all of the burners at once and use them. The sealed burners make it relatively easy to clean spills.

                                          I know there are a lot of gripes on this board that Viking products are unreliable but we've never had to service it. There are sometimes issues with the igniters "clicking," which can be annoying but it usually subsides after about 30 seconds; it seems to correlate with when burner components are removed for cleaning, if there is water or air that remains.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: masha

                                            I also have a 6 burner Viking but it's arangetop and have no issues to date.

                                            1. re: masha

                                              Amsha wrote:

                                              >>There are sometimes issues with the igniters "clicking," which can be annoying but it usually subsides after about 30 seconds; it seems to correlate with when burner components are removed for cleaning, if there is water or air that remains.<<

                                              Yes that happens...after I clean I simply crank on all the burners full tilt for a couple minute to dry everything out and then no woriires.

                                              I have a Viking Pro series, 6 burner all gas range...works great...love that all six burners are the same

                                              1. re: Yellowshirt

                                                The clicking IS caused by the water or liquid to clean....not "air"...making a connection between on and off...once the water evaporates, the connection is no longer made getting rid of the clicking sound. This happens on MANY models...not just Viking. There is no danger in it.

                                            2. Hey dmd

                                              lots of good info on this topic at GardenWeb's appliance forum:

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

                                              1. Not only would I but I already have! I first purchased a DCS 30" all gas stove ($3K) and loved it. Used it for two years before deciding to move. Was going to take it with when we moved but I found the DC 30" dual-fuel stove ($5k) for LESS than I paid for the all gas version. It was at an appliance outlet so I snatched it up. Left the all gas stove at the old house and the new owner is REALLY happy we did!

                                                I shopped around for a long time before deciding on the DCS 30" all gas stove. Paid pretty much full price for it, since it was pretty new and there weren't many dealers. I became friends with the people who worked at an appliance outlet. One day we saw the dual-fuel model all wrapped up. The employee checked to see if it was for sale and it was. He gave me the employee price since we had purchased a boat load of appliances from him and referred a lot of people.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Dee S

                                                  Thanks to Chowhounds and reading this link, we bought the Capital, 30 inch, 5 burner cooktop. We couldn't be happier. We both cook and agree it is a fantastic home appliance.
                                                  We put in two electric wall ovens and couldn't ask for a better combination.

                                                  Good luck,

                                                  Cerise

                                                  1. re: linzjonz

                                                    Just wanted to add that we bought the Capital for $2,300 through E-Bay from some place in Arizona. If you are interested I'll post the details.

                                                    Cerise

                                                2. Thanks a million to everyone who's replied here. I won't be pulling the trigger on my actual purchase for a couple of months yet, but I've found some great input here and on other forums.

                                                  After spending a huge amount of time with a very knowledgeable salesman who had the virtue of NOT only shuffling me towards the most expensive product on his floor, I am leaning very heavily towards an Electrolux 5-burner 30" range in the home line (as opposed to the Icon "pro-style" ones). It has a continuous-grate cast-iron cooktop with five round burners, an enormous oven with full ball-bearing slide-out racks that go all the way out, and a bottom drawer that is also a small oven capable of baking up to 450 degrees. (Yes, I know not to expect stellar performance there.)

                                                  The next-closest features-wise was the GE Monogram 36" (made by DCS). Very nice, and has the advantage like most of the "pro-style" ones that all its burners are capable of high-output and low simmer. However, its oven is much smaller than its full width (really, I think the Electrolux's is more usable space), and its oven racks don't slide all the way out.

                                                  The two biggest factors for me: I don't like stainless steel very much, and the Electrolux is available in white. And most of all, the Electrolux is way less than one third the price: $2299 vs. $7349 for the Monogram.

                                                  I will still check out the Bluestar when I'm next visiting family in Oklahoma (the nearest dealer). But I'm more than a little wary of spending $5k+ on an appliance with a nearest dealer several hundred miles away.

                                                  All in all, I decided I've cooked this many years on a 30" range, and can't remember a time when I seriously needed to have six pots going all at once. The old GE Profile I loved had four gas and one radiant element, and that was always sufficient (even on a couple times when I over-extended myself - ha!).

                                                  Seeing as I'm not made of money, I'd rather spend the extra $5k on all the countertops, cabinet refacing and semi-spendy backsplash tile. That's almost more than I'd need for basically the rest of the kitchen, fridge and dishwasher included.

                                                  Plus, I asked my mom, and she said it's "a no-brainer." I think I have to go with mom!

                                                  Thanks again for all the great help.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: dmd_kc

                                                    Good choice with the Electrolux! I recently bought a 30" Electrolux free standing range (the one with "wave touch" controls) and I love it! Looks beautiful and performs very well...I love the ball bearing oven racks and the fact that the oven doors stay put wherever I leave them. For the money this is a great oven, I spent $2,100 and they had the 10% back Visa card promotion...wonderful!

                                                  2. We just re-did our 50 year old kitchen. It's the first one I've ever been able to design and have built to my specs.

                                                    For many things I went with good quality and utility rather than the sexiest thing I could find. For my sink I splurged on a huge soapstone farmhouse sink and I chose the Wolf 36" dual fuel range that we can take with us when/if we move.

                                                    There are things about it that I'm not crazy about: setting the oven temp and timer are irritating; why they're not simple digital affairs I can't imagine and the probe thermometer doesn't register below 180˚ making it useless for slow roasting meat Shirley O. Corriher's method of finishing the first step at 110˚. Mostly, tho, I'm very happy with what I got for the money and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

                                                    What I particularly love is the double convection fans, the removeable shelf supports that facilitate cleaning, the self-lowering oven door -- a great help when you want both hands free to reach in for something hot -- and the simmer is nothing short of awesome.

                                                    I recently put some dried beans on to simmer when I was going to the gym for an hour or so. I did it with complete confidence that they'd be fine cooking on their own while I was away. When I got back I had plans to go right back out after attending to them but I got distracted and held up with the result that I was rushing to get to an event a couple counties away and forgot to turn the beans off. It wasn't until my way home seven hours later that I remembered I had left them cooking. I had no one at home to ask to check on them and the 90 minute drive home was excrutiating. As I approached my neighborhood I was looking for signs of smoke and/or fire fighting equipment. But, amazingly, the pot hadn't even cooked dry! That simmer is sooo gentle and sooooo steady I actually used those beans for dinner. They were a little mushy but they were still food. ;>

                                                    I'm sure you have no plans to be so neglectful but a simmer like that is something you can count on when you're melting chocolate.

                                                    I read Consumer Reports when I was buying appliances too and noted the same advice you cite. They make mechanical tests that may or may not resemble actual cooking conditions. I don't care how fast water boils. I care how even and steady the heat is.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: rainey

                                                      We are fortunate to have two homes. In one, we have a medium priced Dacor gas cooktop; and in the other a DCS professional "looking." 6 burner top. I do not see any real difference in cooking. A DCS ignitor broke and was somewhat difficult to replace. I would put the money elsewhere.

                                                    2. Oh dear--I'd pretty much bet my life that my next stove (1-2 years away) will cost *under* $1000. Please tell me there is nothing I can't cook with such a humble beast...
                                                      Other than built in timers and thermometers, is it just a matter of very high & very low temps?

                                                      5 Replies
                                                      1. re: blue room

                                                        Some pro-style ranges (Bluestar comes to mind) actually have far FEWER bells and whistles (built-in timers, thermometers, pre-programmed stuff, electronic controls, etc.) than less expensive "home" ranges. In other words, there's less expensive electronics to break.

                                                        You get very high temps, very low temps, often improved heat/flame distribution from the burners, unsealed/open burners (on some ranges ... though some people would see that as a minus), and continuous grates (cast-iron, usually). Whether that's worth the high premium is a separate question.

                                                        1. re: blue room

                                                          Hey, blue, don't let these folks confuse you. There are very few things that you can do on a commercial unit that you couldn't already do on the most basic 30-inch stand-alone residential units.

                                                          We had to replace a stove this summer, and for under $700, our unit has 4 easy-to-clean sealed burners (includes a 14,000 btu high output and a 500 btu simmer), and a self-cleaning oven. Pretty much any range nowadays will have electronic ignition (no pilot lights).

                                                          The oven temperature, along with timers and the like, are set with electronic controls. Personally, I see the electronic controls as a major improvement in reliability. The stove has the usual knobs.

                                                          Think about it. ALL of the basic world cuisines are based on cooking with heat sources that were (and for much of the world, still are) substantially lower output and and substantially more difficult to control than any modern gas or electric range.

                                                          The high outputs of commercial kitchen ranges are based on the need to get hundreds of meals turned out per night -- total overkill for most home cooks. I could see where a pro would be driven nuts coming home to a residential range (think Jeff Gordon, in a Honda Civic, stuck in rush-hour traffic).

                                                          1. re: MikeB3542

                                                            Mike, You make a good point, but I'm going to offer another perspective. You CAN do almost everything on a basic stove as you can on a pro model. But the right professional grade stove makes it A LOT easier. And to be honest, there are certain things that you can't ever do AT ALL on a basic model, like pan sear a steak, or actually saute, well, anything. And then there are all the specialized wok/stir-fry manoeuvres that you can only really do on a Blue Star because of the design and output of the burners. I recently bought a 6-burner Blue Star LPG range for our house, and cooking on it is a revelation. After 35+ years cooking on cheap stoves, I'll never go back.

                                                          2. re: blue room

                                                            we redid our kitchen last fall; very expensive gut remodel. Many here would say I was nuts for spending that much without changing my standard drop-in gas cooktop (bought it a few years ago, about $700 if I recall). It works, I like it, it cleans up nicely, and I wanted my money in organization, kitchen flow, and cabinets. My mother and mother-in-law were fabulous cooks on plain old cooktops. For some it may be worth it; for me a standard range is just fine.

                                                            1. re: blue room

                                                              blue, there are definitely models under a grand. My No. 2 choice would be this Whirlpool, which has almost everything I want except an electric oven. But its grates are great! And it's about $770at Lowe's in white or black:

                                                              http://whirlpool.com/catalog/product....

                                                            2. I have an Eurolec pro range. RRP around $7000AUSD.

                                                              Wouldn't use another one if I was given it for free.

                                                              It's all grand in theory, having rotisserie space for 6 chickens, or an oven big enough for a 15kg turkey, but most of the time, all I want to do is a roast for less than 6.

                                                              It takes FOREVER to heat up, the door is so heavy I have hurt my back a couple of times, and the gas jets don't go low enough for a simmer. The oven has cool spots.. and I mean almost COLD... the first time I used it, it took over 4 hours just to get a browning on a single chicken!!

                                                              Everything, even on the littlest burner on the lowest setting, comes to a raging boil. And the fish burner?? forgeddaboutit!! Heats every pan I have ever used on it unevenly. And the stainless steel top.... umm... stains every time I use it..like a heat stain...

                                                              It actually makes me miss my dodgy 4 gas-ring 1985 Kelvinator.

                                                              1. I have a Whirlpool gas range running on LP. The guys from the store didn't quite do the conversion and adjustment correctly so a service buy came out to look at the stove and adjusted it perfectly. He commented that the high-end, multi-thousand dollar stoves had no advantage over this top of the line Whirlpool. I thinks it's absolutely fantastic. It was pricey compared to some others like it but nowhere near the cost of one of the commercial type stoves.

                                                                1. Mine was 7k with the hood and installation ten years ago. Prior to owning a commercial style range I had killed two other ranges in the six years prior. Since I spent the same 5k on the two in the trash that only lasted about three years each and the 5k commercial style range has lasted ten years I definatly would replace it. I could indeed live with a regular range again if I had to. I don't think I could live with out the commercial style over head venting system in my home ever again.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: Fritter

                                                                    I have to ask: How in the world did you burn through two ranges in six years?

                                                                  2. Another remodel story...
                                                                    But first to our OP: Sounds like you have a good plan. Good Luck! ( keep looking for scratch n' dent, though!)
                                                                    For me the upgrades I craved were continuous grate, low simmer, more burners and more BTUs. Typical. My GF found a set of GE Profile on closeout that set the tone. For 'my' cooktop, my choices for squeezing five burners where a 30' cooktop used to be, were GE Monogram 36", or Viking DGSU 36". Viking won for little reasons not worth mentioning here. Very very happy with the whole install. My two cents' is this: What you use the most, be it burners or oven or whatever, spend the Time & Research, and buy your version of the best. Do it once and you're done. Everything else buy enough quality to keep from complaining. Avante!

                                                                    1. My question exactly. And more specifically: for our kitchen, which will not accommodate a true pro vent (we'll just have a microwave with recirculation above stove):

                                                                      what is the best non-pro-style range out there that doesn't need true ventilation to the outside?

                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                      1. re: dilrods

                                                                        I might be wrong here, but I think venting has more to do with what you're cooking than the style of range you own. Sure, a 30k BTU burner will generate more heat, but you're still going to have a greasy nightmare on your hands panfrying on a coil electric stove without a vent -- like my kitchen... :(.

                                                                        1. re: mateo21

                                                                          Absolutely. I've never felt any need to use the hood to remove heat produced by my 48" range, only to vent smoke, steam, and odors produced by what I'm cooking.

                                                                          1. re: FlyFish

                                                                            It's heat and grease over here. 50,000 BTU in a 30" space = hot granite backsplash, hot tool rack on granite backsplash, hot cabinets & hot cook! I don't fry much, but sauteing and braising still coat the vent screens with a film. If the fan wasn't on, it would be all over the kitchen.

                                                                        2. re: dilrods

                                                                          dilrods: "what is the best non-pro-style range out there that doesn't need true ventilation to the outside?"

                                                                          Just about any induction cooktop.

                                                                          1. re: Politeness

                                                                            But simmering say chicken stock for 8 hours on an induction stove is still going to make your entire house smell like a kitchen the next day without a vent hood.

                                                                            1. re: mateo21

                                                                              I rarely use my hood and this just isn't true in my house, for what it's worth. Personally the hood is not necessary for me, and I cook *a lot*.

                                                                              1. re: DGresh

                                                                                Again. really depends on what you're cooking. I don't turn the fan on every day, but it's on at least once a week.

                                                                        3. I wish I would have seen this post earlier. This is my comments from another forum about these types of stove, mine is a 48" wolf.

                                                                          "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."

                                                                          And yes the stove was worth every penny.

                                                                          14 Replies
                                                                          1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                            What did you bargain with? I mean, if a 48" wolf sells for a certain price retail, even if you tell them that you know that the mark-ups are huge, what's their incentive to lower the price almost $4K? I'm a pretty aggressive shopper myself and I just don't see how you pulled this off without some kind of major leverage. And as one of the owners of a small business myself, I can tell you that some of our products also have very high mark-ups but just because someone came to us and said that they knew that, doesn't mean we would offer them a cut-rate price. And as a matter of fact, we never have done that - not once in over 40 years of doing business. The only people who get cut rates are our distributors.

                                                                            1. re: flourgirl

                                                                              I know that there was a trend a while back to buy commercial versions of stoves, which were priced much lower because they weren't insulated for home applications. People were getting them for a huge dollar savings but at the cost of really heating up their kitchens.

                                                                              Take this, for example:

                                                                              http://www.restaurantsource.com/vulca...

                                                                              Much less than you'd pay for a residential version.

                                                                              1. re: ferret

                                                                                Thanks ferret. I've seen discussions along these lines elsewhere on Chowhound and this is not something I would ever be willing to take a chance on in my home.

                                                                                But if that's what Retired Chef bought - then he didn't buy a "pro-style" range. He bought a commercial range. Two entirely different things, as you just pointed out.

                                                                                1. re: flourgirl

                                                                                  Not sure that's what he bought, but I could see some unscrupulous sellers pulling a fast one.

                                                                                  1. re: ferret

                                                                                    That would explain such a huge discount....

                                                                                    1. re: flourgirl

                                                                                      I was doing kitchen design 15 years ago and we had very good relationships with all the high-end retailers in the area. Their discounts were very good (and got better as you ordered more -- many orders were $15-$20K, in early 1990's dollars) but nowhere near "half-off".

                                                                              2. re: flourgirl

                                                                                I was wondering the same thing about the huge discount story. I bought a Wolf rangetop a few months ago and tried following the advice above - however, the "representative" in my area just sent me back to the local retailer.

                                                                                1. re: emily

                                                                                  Emily,

                                                                                  Sorry to hear that, a neighbor up the street just got a 60” wolf for $3200, he’s Korean and it took him close to a year but he scored.

                                                                                  It takes a lot of time and persistence, Wolf knows that if you are looking at these you probably have the money so why bother dropping the price. You have to prove it to the regional rep – most people are way too lazy to do that.

                                                                                  Cheers

                                                                                2. re: flourgirl

                                                                                  One last comment

                                                                                  The last restaurant I built the equipment side of it was quoted at $745,000 but they could let me have it for $450,000, we negotiated for and end figure of $ 300,000

                                                                                  LOOK at those numbers

                                                                                  Retail 700K
                                                                                  Actual 300K

                                                                                  Sound familiar – I guess I have experience in negotiating equipment purchases, but they price it the same.

                                                                                  Cheers

                                                                                  1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                    chef to chef ,you are spot on
                                                                                    moved in April 09' ,gutted for a kitchen.First quote for the 60" THERMADOR was ? outrageous.When all was said and done THE ORIGINAL QUOTE = the $ for
                                                                                    2-30" DACOR wall ovens 1-60" THERMADOR RANGE (lpg factory) ,1 WOK BURNER,1 induction burner ,1 hood,the electrition,the LPG guy,all the copper lines 4-100 gal LPG tanks FULL,
                                                                                    my old 60" VULCAN relocated to a covered porch as an outdoor kitchen
                                                                                    DELIVERED,CODE WORK COMPLETE ,INSTALLED,PUNCHED OUT WITH THE CODE GUY and no loss of warranty
                                                                                    all was actually $4.00 less than the original range only quote I was given in January of 09'

                                                                                    1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                      Hi Retired,

                                                                                      Well, now I know why you could dicker with the salespeople, and we can't.

                                                                                      NOBODY spends $450K just for equipment on a kitchen in a private home! The fact is that, as a business owner with a resale license, you could also have bought that equipment wholesale from the manufacturer and saved even more money. But both scenarios only work for you because you own a business, have a resale license, bought everything from the same vendor, and spent well into the 6-figures on equipment. OF COURSE the sales guy was willing to negotiate the price with you! You have some leverage! He couldn't afford to let you walk away with a budget like that.

                                                                                      I,on the other hand, only spent $12K just on equipment for my kitchen. I did not buy everything from the same outfit. I spent the bulk of my money on a Blue Star 6-burner propane range, and was very lucky to get a big discount on it in an annual sale. But I didn't fool myself into thinking that I had ANY leverage to bargain on the "already-reduced" sale price with the retail sales guy. Because I didn't. The retail outfits don't have to dicker with anybody, and the manufacturers don't want to sell direct to the retail consumer. So the retail consumer is kind of out of luck in the "leverage" department.

                                                                                      1. re: laguna_greg

                                                                                        Laguna Greg,

                                                                                        I’m sorry but you are wronger than wrong.

                                                                                        1) Commercial equipment vendors don’t sell home units they are completely separate companies.

                                                                                        2) I bought my 2nd home unit in Washington state while my restaurants were in California, I never had dealt with that residential vendor in Washington before or after that, so I had “no leverage.”

                                                                                        3) I have no resale license for equipment - nice guess though.

                                                                                        I negotiated with the regional sales rep (which btw did NOT cover California) and it took a while but it worked. As I have noted elsewhere, other non-restaurant people have done the same thing with success.

                                                                                        I have a small suggestion - don’t make assumptions without any facts, data or evidence because invariably you most likely be wrong and in this case misleading people.

                                                                                        Cheers

                                                                                        1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                          I'm planning to purchase the American Range 60 " Performer Series. This may be a silly question, but how do you even begin to negotiate a lower price?

                                                                                          1. re: picholine506

                                                                                            Look at how much they sell for online, find the lowest deals that will be your negotiating power. AJ Madison sells it for just under $12 K

                                                                                3. I have an electric range from Viking.I have no gas lines available and the wife liked the style.

                                                                                  I do alot of cooking and this piece of crap has had mulitiple breakdowns and the oven has a non adjustable or non existent thermonstat. I know that this model has been revamped and I hope made better. When I first got the unit the self clean locking mechanism failed at that time the technician called Viking and I could here him whisper this thing is all over the place, that was his comment regarding the thermostate. I would throw this thing out regardless of cost if I could get a commercial looking electric range that actually was designed to cook with. Shame on you Viking.

                                                                                  1. Have a Dacor 30" bi-fuel and love it. Convection all the way.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                                                      ditto. love my 30" dacor epicure dual fuel. have had it for 9 years, no breakdowns. i always test the oven temp and it's always been even and consistent. also love pure convection feature. had a viking which was always breaking down. igniter issues every three months. piece of junk.

                                                                                    2. Cast iron is easy to clean. You just need to use a sandblaster.

                                                                                      1. May end up needing to replace my 2009 propane Electrolux dual fuel range. I moved back into my house after and absence of 2 and a half years, noticed that the Wave Touch display was starting to loose pixels. My unit is under an extended warranty and the store promptly replaced the circuit board. Next day, my oven does not preheat. Second service call, the guy says the relay board is out, they will need to order a new one.

                                                                                        New one comes in, I ask the service tech to stay and make sure the oven preheats. Turn the oven on and it goes phiiiiist , starts to smoke. Tech notices it has burned in the same place as the original relay board. Electrolux says he may have a bad board, they will send out another one.

                                                                                        Visit 4, he replaces the relay board, and the same thing happens. Only that it is past working hours EST and he cannot reach Electrolux.

                                                                                        So the warranty company will send out both a new display board and a new relay board. By now they have spent about $700 in parts alone, to say nothing of the labor charges. I am assuming of on Tuesday it fails again, that the store will either replace my range or refund me.

                                                                                        I did tell them I was not interested in getting an Electrolux replacement and that I wanted a basic high output pro style gas range and oven. Basically the only thing electrical would be the igniter and oven light. Now considering either a 30" open seal American Range or the very bottom of the line Viking VGIC which I have owned a natural gas version and liked very much.

                                                                                        I am in Oregon and one thing I can say is thanks to Standard TV and Appliance, they have been great working this problem through with me. They have their own service department and crew, to me this is superior to big box stores who contract out their warranty work and repairs.

                                                                                        Will post an update on the outcome of visit 5.

                                                                                        34 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: dgailwong

                                                                                          May every new appliance purchase you make in the rest of your life be excellent beyond your wildest expectations. After this one, you've earned it! And then some. Good luck!

                                                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                            Pixels? Circuit boards? Display panels? Gas? Electricity? Techs? Logistical tails? Pshaw, Car, you're not pushing induction?

                                                                                            Gotta go tote some wood for the 92-year old Monarch... Kolaches in the morning.

                                                                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                              Dual fuel, propane fired cooktop, electric oven run by far too many electronic gizmos apparently not wired to be compatible. I am a Boomer who likes to cook, not troubleshoot technology in the kitchen. I do enough of that in my work and other aspects of my life. I have realized I am turning into quite the Luddite around this. Am also a big fan of simplicity, which from a design and manufacturing standpoint, takes some real attention to detail.

                                                                                              1. re: dgailwong

                                                                                                Hi, Gail:

                                                                                                You post points up a curious (to me) yet pervasive problem with our consumerist, techno/futurophile culture: It is difficult to obtain a premium-grade, attractive *basic* model of anything. Bare-bones models of most new things are insultingly flimsy and now also electronic-laden.

                                                                                                Have you condidered a vintage gas or electric range from before the days of electronics? I'm not suggesting you follow my trail all the way back back to fire (that way requires some effort), but there are many very good, time-tested-reliable makes and models to choose from, like O'Keefe & Merritt, Chambers, even GE. What you will find, if you investigate a bit, is that some of these old beauties have impressive features (e.g., "Grillevators", thermowells, salamanders, simmer burners, multiple-ring burners). MOST notably, their design and build quality is almost always high (e.g., massive, flat calrod coils) and hence their longevity is good. In my country house I have a 40" 1953 GE Airliner range that has never had a part replaced (parents bought it new); it's only weakness is the electric clock.

                                                                                                Good news: Wanting to cook on a simple, reliable, quality appliance doesn't make you a Luddite. Bad news: Unless you're careful, it makes you a frustrated heretic.

                                                                                                Aloha,
                                                                                                Kaleo

                                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                  If I weren't so addicted to having my cooktop in the island where I can look at people while I talk and cook, I would revert in a heartbeat. In the 80's, I had a fantastic 30+? year old O'Keef & Merrit (I think that was the brand) double oven, plus salamander, griddle, and other goodies gas stove that was fantastic. When I moved into an apartment, I had to get rid of it so I donated it to a small community center and they cooked fantastic neighborhood meals on it for years. I would give anything to get some of the big fat tamales stuffed with pork, beef, corn, olives, chiles, potatoes and just about everything you cn think of. They were the best! Wouldn't it be nice if we could sit down to a plate full of memories and have them taste as good as the first time around? '-)

                                                                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                    Hi, Car: I'm sure you could build one of these into an island somehow... I don't think circuit boards, pixels or the power bill would be any problem... In fact, it'd cut your bills if you did the full hook-up to HWH and heat.

                                                                                                    Aloha,
                                                                                                    Kaleo

                                                                                                     
                                                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                      Oh, kaleo, don't you understand that I am a cantankerous old woman? I do NOT want my ovens anywhere near my cooktop where they could scorch my knees or cause prickly heat rash. Ovens are for across the kitchen, away from where I stir my pots and pans! '-)

                                                                                                      1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                        Your tender knees are precisely the reasons you should have either two of these or else a 9-foot Duparquet range.

                                                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                          And if I lived in a shoe, I would want one too! But since I no longer have children who live under my roof, I'll just keep on truckin' with my current make-do goodie bag. But you DO have a flair!

                                                                                                          Come to think of it, I used to have a Flair too! You know. A Frigidaire Flair Range, like Samantha has on "Bewitched." Like this: http://tinyurl.com/8yw6s4f
                                                                                                          Lost it in a divorce. I really loved that stove. Used to cook whole suckling pigs and roast Christmas goose in it at the same time! That was one fabulous cooking machine, and it NEVER scorched my knees. Why do truly great and functional designs seem to fall by the wayside? <sigh> Ah, yesteryear...

                                                                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                            Car with a Flair:

                                                                                                            My best friend's mom had one of those--it's still going strong with her widower. Best roast turkey *ever* at her house!

                                                                                                            I'm not crazy about the aesthetics of the ovens above, but the pullout cooktop is hella smart.

                                                                                                            Life's too short for you not to have a Flair again if you want it...

                                                                                                            Aloha,
                                                                                                            Kaleo

                                                                                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                              Acually, having both well lit ovens at eye level was terrific! The larger oven also had a built-in rotisserie. My kids were toddlers, and having the burners in a drawer that closed and prevented little fingers from touching hot surfaces was the best. If they reintrduced it today with a full surface induction cooking surface and convection/trivection ovens, Baby, I'm there!!! In the five years I cooked on that stove, there was never a moment I was less than full blown happy with it. I can't say that about any other stove I've ever owned.

                                                                                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                Love that!

                                                                                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                  Hi, Car:

                                                                                                                  It's in California, but here's one for $200 that looks pretty good.

                                                                                                                  http://www.ebay.com/itm/Classic-1960-...

                                                                                                                  Aloha,
                                                                                                                  Kaleo

                                                                                                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                    What an incredible bargain! If only I had room for it, I'd buy it in a heart beat! It would probably cost me at least ten grand to install it. <sigh> Or I could just buy it and put it in the garage to look at on sunny days! And hey, if I still had my bronze refrigerator to go with that lower cabinet, I'd do just that! '-)

                                                                                                                    Thank you...!

                                                                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                      Oh, and just for general information, those Flair ranges also came with a FANTASTIC huge roaster pan that filled the larger oven. It was equipped with a rack that lifted food off the floor of the roaster if you wished. I may not still have the stove, but I DO still have the roaster pan! It will hold a 30 pound turkey! None of the Flair ranges I've seen for sale include that piece of original equipment.

                                                                                                      2. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                        I don't know if the range you are speaking of is a commercial unit. I believe bonafide commericial units require space around them as they are not insulated. My range space is only 30 inches and it would take some major cabinet replacing and relocation to fit a 36" or 40" inch range, so am limited for now.

                                                                                                        Really I am looking at a base model all gas (non-self- cleaning) Viking which our local appliance store purchased a boatload of them and have them on sale for under 3k (I paid 4k in 2004) for one in a house long since sold. Another one I am considering is the American Range Proforma 30" open burner range. Very little electronics, just a ignition and the oven light.

                                                                                                        If anyone has expierence with either of these, I would be interested.

                                                                                                        1. re: dgailwong

                                                                                                          Hi, Gail:

                                                                                                          The photo I posted is of a solid-fuel Wamsler, which is indeed a home unit sold in the UK. I posted it to show Car that she could have an island-placed cooktop (she'd still need a stack, I think). It, like your proposed Viking, goes for <$3K (who knows about freight?). Unlike your candidate, this one would cook, heat your house and all your water.

                                                                                                          Building codes vary of course, but this type of stove is commonly built in in England and IS well-insulated. Intentionally not *perfectly* insulated (chilly English kitchens need a little help), but some makes like Rayburn come with a "summer" kit of extra-thick firebrick to prevent the kitchen from becoming uncomfortable even in the hottest weather.

                                                                                                          A salamander is a separate top-broiler unit, usually gas, usually open shelved, and usually placed around eye-level so you can monitor the brulee.

                                                                                                          Aloha,
                                                                                                          Kaleo

                                                                                                        2. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                          What is a salamander? I remember my grandparent's gas appliances well. My grandfather had a dedicated wok burner, I am afraid to think what type of BTU output it had!

                                                                                                          1. re: dgailwong

                                                                                                            "What is a salamander?"

                                                                                                            Basically an open broiler.

                                                                                                      3. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                        Oh, kaleo, I'll bet you hit your head against a brick wall just so it will feel good when you stop. When you get tired of splinters in your arms from hauling in that firewood, I urge you to give induction a shot. You'll love it! Guaranteed! '-)

                                                                                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                          I still love NG but, a wood burning stove has been tempting me. Induction is nice but, it's not the only good solution.

                                                                                                          1. re: Sid Post

                                                                                                            My primary love affair with induction is because of what it does to my utility bills. It slam dunks them! But I am much in love with the speed and response as well. I live in Texas, and the state has just approved a 50% rate hike in electricity. I think I need to move out of Texas. :-(

                                                                                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                              50% hike in electricity costs? Where they unusually low before?

                                                                                                              What gives? Are they oil fired power plants? Is something wrong with a Nuke power plant (spent billions to build it and can't get approval to turn in on)?

                                                                                                              1. re: Sid Post

                                                                                                                Not even close to being low. They're going to go from high to higher. Texas is very strongly pro-utilities and not consumer oriented. "They" are the only show in town, and that's where negotiation ends. I'm not even close to a position that would permit me to move. And now they are going to install a new computerized meters, and to date everyone who has one says their bill has shot up. I don't mind candlelight and oil lamps, but central air conditioning is truly my life support system in this climate. Time for prayer and lottery tickets!!! '-)

                                                                                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                  I don't know what part of Texas your in but, the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex was bad during summer. Houston was even worse with higher humidity.

                                                                                                                  In all honesty, I was actually "cooler" in the Sonoran Desert at a 118 and 2% humidity then I was in Texas at 98 and 98% humidity.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Sid Post

                                                                                                                    Yup. I live in Plano, a DFW 'burb, and it has broken 100F most of the past week. I've lived in the Mojave Desert and the Chihuahua Desert, and both are more people-friendly when it comes to climate.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                      As long as the water holds out with all the growth, I will enjoy the desert living again in a month or so. I hope you escape Plano someday and return to the area you love most.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Sid Post

                                                                                                                        Bless you and thank you, but there's little chance of that. The area I love most is the south eastern coast of Turkey. Not an ideal place for an older single woman to live alone... Plus it would be a damn long haul to see my grandson! What I really need to do is figure out a way to generate enough money to allow me to go off the grid by installing enough photovoltaics to cover my power needs. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. And I'd have free electricity!!! '-)

                                                                                                                  2. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                    I'm in Texas, and I get about $0.06 / KWhour. We have deregulated electricity, but you need to drop the "big name" providers, which must pay a "premium" to the Texas state utilities commission for monopoly abuse. I've never heard of my utility company before, and there's at least eight players for every zip code I've looked at. Can't reduce the line fees though, too bad. Line fees are nearly $0.04 / KWhour.

                                                                                                                    Check out http://www.powertochoose.org

                                                                                                              2. re: Sid Post

                                                                                                                Hi, Sid:

                                                                                                                After using my woodstove for a few months now, I really like it. It brings with it a few inconveniences, not the least of which is maintaining a hot, steady fire.

                                                                                                                If pellet- or grain-fed fireboxes (available now in *heat* stoves and BBQs) were made available in cookstoves, this would open up a good market. You might still need electricity to run the auger, set temperature, etc., but that way there's no reason to be constantly tending the fire. As it stands now, I can stoke a coal fire in the morning, damp it down, and still have fire when I get home.

                                                                                                                Aloha,
                                                                                                                Kaleo

                                                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                  To be honest, I'm not really a fan of the pellet'ized options. Wood isn't cheap but, it's a lot cheaper then pellets. Pellets also have a lot of things in them I don't want in my food. Construction debris, scrap wood, the binders to make the Pucks and pellets are not what I want in my food via smoke.

                                                                                                                  Old school firewood and coal are the options I would consider if I had access to the fuel source. In an area where the temperatures fall on a regular basis, I can really see the merits of a classic wood stove and the slower heating if you are cooking and eating similar to the way we did before fast food joints and frozen TV dinners.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Sid Post

                                                                                                                    Hi, Sid: "I'm not really a fan of the pellet'ized options."

                                                                                                                    I'm not especially, either. I'm burning hardwood and lump coal. But pellets (or grain or rice coal--something with auto-feed) are the only practical way for most people to maintain a constant temperature.

                                                                                                                    As for smoke in your food, well, that isn't happening. I'd rather have scrap wood smoke than coal gas and flyash in my food, but my stove does a good job of keeping all the smoke in the stove. When I burn coal, I stoke through one of the eyes (there's an extra CI piece blocking the feed door to keep the coal from burning it out), so you can smell the coal gas then, but only then.

                                                                                                                    You are onto something with the slower heating... One thing this experience has taught me is that it all gets done, regardless, and when the process is a joy or *connects* you with the food, you enjoy it immensely more, no matter how long it takes (as if it takes very long at all, if you really think about it!). Another lesson I've learned is that for most things, you don't need precisely-set hobs or oven temperature--if you're close, you're golden.

                                                                                                                    Aloha,
                                                                                                                    Kaleo

                                                                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                      I cook meat over an open wood fire a lot and really enjoy the smells and taste. That's part of the reason I cook a lot on a Webber Kettle - it's just to easy to toss some wood on top for a quick hit of smoke on mid-week hamburgers.

                                                                                                                      I'm familiar with ash getting on food in a bad cooking situation with a little wind. I've eaten from coal fired pizza ovens but, never a coal fired stove. The gas smell is something I don't know but, fly ash is probably similar to what I have known in the past. With a good stove design, neither issue should be too much trouble. Our forefathers figured this out long ago. Know some of us new guys just need to relearn what they knew.

                                                                                                                      In the end though, in the mid-West or SouthEast, firewood is much easier to procure economically so that's where I keep looking as I ogle the nice wood burning stoves Lehman's keeps tempting me with.

                                                                                                        2. re: dgailwong

                                                                                                          Update:

                                                                                                          Visit 5, the repair tech spent at least an hour on the phone with Electrolux. They instructed him to remove a resister on the relay board, hooked it up and nada.

                                                                                                          So the store then submitted a claim on my behalf and long story short, I replaced this range with an all gas Icon unit, about $1,300 more poorer today.

                                                                                                          I was refunded almost $1800 and had the choice of replacing it one for one or upgrading. I do know that the new Electrolux Wave Touch dual fuel unit has had some downgrades to save cost and I did not want to deal with a lot of electronics again, so my goal was to to replace this unit with an open burner all gas range.

                                                                                                          There were 2 other options at another specialty appliance store, one they were clearing the very basic Viking all gas non self cleaning oven which I have owned in that past and really liked it except for the heavy grates, the other was an American Range open burner. I ruled out the Viking as I was getting propane which would have bumped down the burner BTUs to around 13K. I decided against the American Range because the grates were about 2-3 inches higher and I am short and find extended periods cooking to be tiring if the range surface is too high. I also read about a case where a couple nearly asphyxiated themselves because of a slow leak with that range.

                                                                                                          I decided to stay with the current appliance store as they were able to give me a great price on the Electrolux Icon all gas range. They were probably authorized by Electrolux to extend it to me at a competitive price owing to the fact that they are replacing a defective one.

                                                                                                          The only thing is that I did purchase it sight unseen and noticed that the surface surrounding the burners is made of ceramic glass rather than black enamel. I guess their regular line has a black enamel surface, so they regard this as an upgrade. It was only when we were testing the burners that I saw a faint light under the surface and the little bottle of smooth top cleaner gave me a clue.

                                                                                                          Generally I hate smooth tops, the worst having to clean where the cooking surface is. In this case, the ceramic surrounds the burners and hopefully nothing will get too baked in. But I was not anticipating having to use an expensive ceramic cleaner and a razor blade for my gas range!

                                                                                                          Otherwise I think the range will be great, I have attached photos, and of course purchased another extended warranty!

                                                                                                          Again, thanks to Standard TV and Appliance for their supurb help on this!

                                                                                                           
                                                                                                           
                                                                                                           
                                                                                                        3. I have the same stove I am replacing now. The Grates I cleaned with oven cleaner and they came out great!

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: Monica52

                                                                                                            Hi Monica,

                                                                                                            I found that one can use wood ashes to the same effect, and with much less fumes and even more easily applied.

                                                                                                            I make a paste with a little water with some wood ashes from my wood stove. I apply that with a toothbrush, and let the grate sit in the sink until it dries. Then you rinse it vigorously and use the toothbrush again to remove the paste where needed. No fumes at all, not terribly toxic, and takes off almost all of the calcined fat/protein/whatever very well. Repeat applications where necessary.

                                                                                                          2. I've cooked on the Vikings and Wolfs. Between the two, I like Wolf better, but really I wouldn't buy one. And you're right, the home ranges are not nearly the same as the kitchen ranges, except in (perhaps) styling.

                                                                                                            Personally, we went with a GE Induction cooktop. I now prefer to cook on it over my in-laws gas ranges, perhaps it is their setup, but heat response is so much better. Cleanup is a breeze, as the top doesn't cook any spills to a crisp. Two years after owning ours our top looks brand new.

                                                                                                            The only downside is that it doesn't have the "brand name appeal" of a truly high-end cook top, but I'll take actual usability over that any day. It was painful to replace the pots and pans, and you'll lose a bit of the $5K in buying a good set of pans. I recommend All-Clad's Stainless line, but the d5 will work too.

                                                                                                            As far as the "don't like tech" group, I sympathize. Maybe it is crazy, but I work with computers and have some insight. It's just more expensive to buy / build old control systems than to replace everything with a couple of relays, push buttons and a cpu. The cpus for embedded systems are produced in mass numbers, with a single all-stove-controlling CPU cost of $2 to $10 (depending) and the price for one good old-style rheostat (which under the old system, you'd need 4 or 5) is $20. The old models are burning through their old part backlogs, once those part backlogs are gone, price hikes will eventually make them disappear.

                                                                                                            Anyway good luck in making your choice, and normally I wouldn't recommend electric, but these induction cook tops are good enough to change the name of the game.

                                                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: edwbuck

                                                                                                              Induction is the way to go.

                                                                                                              1. re: edwbuck

                                                                                                                I agree that induction is a very interesting way to cook. It mimics the near-perfect control of gas, with the convenience of (and the cost) electric (for what it's worth). And I would have agreed without reservation if I hadn't installed a Blue Star 6-burner propane range w/convection oven about 11 months ago, but...

                                                                                                                There are some points to consider:

                                                                                                                1- First, how often do you have electric outages? I live way out in the country in the Pacific Northwest, about 30 miles from the first real town one comes as the crow flies on the map. Last Winter, we had 6 electric outages with two of them lasting over 10 days because of ice storms. We use a very efficient wood stove to heat the house, and warm stuff on if we need to during those periods. With the Blue Star, we cooked all Winter and even made cookies during snow days. Couldn't have done that on an electric of any kind!

                                                                                                                2- With a gas range, you don't need to update any pots or pans, even the bad ones left over from college. And I am very partial to my suite of pots and pans as they are now. Some of these I bought from Dehillerin in Paris, and they work better than any pan I ever bought here in America. Just not all of them on an induction cooktop. I'd rather keep the gas than update my pans.

                                                                                                                3- I appreciate what Ed had to say about the manufacturer's concerns about cost-savings and electronic vs. manual controls. Which, no offense Ed, is a cr@pola argument about why we, the consumer, should "accept" the manufacturer's design "ideas" for a cook top or range (always a bad idea) just to save pennies on THEIR bottom line!. Just because it saves the manufacturer money doesn't mean it's a good idea for us!!! I don't have ANY electronics in my Blue Star Range! I don't want them, and I'm REALLY, REALLY glad I don't have them! Hard to get service in my area, the service that there is isn't very good, and none of it would work in a power outage anyway. Forget that! And it costs significantly less. Yes, you'll have to clean the oven yourself, and you can't do fancy stuff with programming/timing. But do you really, really want that anyway???

                                                                                                                3- The typical high-end gas range is really, really good. A good range like mine (the Blue Star) will simply not betray your trust. We haven't needed any maintenance or adjustment on it since it was installed a year ago. And it looks like we'll never need to. We use it to temper chocolate, roast chickens, pan-sear steaks, and put up lots and lots of preserves. And we are using propane, which is even less consistent than piped-in natural gas!

                                                                                                                4- I am thinking about having an induction module installed next to our range, for a variety of very specific things. But I would only install a module, never install an entire cook top even if I were living near a more reliable source of electricity.

                                                                                                                As to what kind of cooks I/we are:

                                                                                                                Last month, we had a sit -down dinner for 30 cooked in our house by us (this time). We just finished putting up about 50 pounds of jam all by ourselves (with some of the produce from our own garden), as the summer is now over here. Bread day is Tuesday (convection = great results!), and I personally make enough bread for us and about 3 of our neighbors. We had several dinner parties last year, one during a power outage and, between the wine and the candles and the wood stove heat, nobody noticed. En tout cas, the food got served good, hot and on time with no electricity. We couldn't have done that with an electric cook top of any kind.

                                                                                                                Hope this helps!

                                                                                                                Laguna

                                                                                                                1. re: laguna_greg

                                                                                                                  Wish there was a like 'button'!!!

                                                                                                                  1. re: OCEllen

                                                                                                                    Hi Ellen,

                                                                                                                    It's a good conversation, is it not? Thanks for the good words!

                                                                                                                    Laguna

                                                                                                                  2. re: laguna_greg

                                                                                                                    My love affair with gas cooking goes way back so I was not an easy convert to induction but it happened when I was doing part-time cooking demonstrations for a local company and got to try an induction cooktop. We had a saying, want to sell and induction cooktop, just let the customer use one. One use and almost everyone is hooked at the speed, efficiency, power and control that they bring, no gas burner can come close.

                                                                                                                    #1 They heat faster.
                                                                                                                    #2 You have instantaneous control of the heat.
                                                                                                                    #3 They heat hotter (yes even hotter than the bluestar, which I love) - Just try a wok induction cooker - WOW - professional temps in home (Google induction woks).
                                                                                                                    #4 No chances of burns from the cooktop, nothing can catch fire.
                                                                                                                    #5 The Easiest cleanup around - spilt foods do not burn on the cooktop, you just wipe them up while you keep cooking.
                                                                                                                    #6 Much more efficient than any other technology. " According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the efficiency of energy transfer for an induction cooker is 84%. . . . Cooking with gas has an energy efficiency of about 40%"
                                                                                                                    #7 Doesn't heat up the kitchen - especially important in warmer climates where regular cook-tops add lots of heat and therefore increase air conditioning expenses.
                                                                                                                    #8 According the largest supplier of induction cooktops in my area - repair calls are non-existant when compared to high-end ranges and they are averaging 10-20 units a month being sold compared to 5-10 of high end ranges.
                                                                                                                    #9 And most important, everyone who has tried induction and I mean EVERYONE I have met or the local retailer has sold a unit too becomes an immediate convert. These units give the homeowner so many advantages over regular electric or gas cooktops that nobody looks back.

                                                                                                                    Laguna,

                                                                                                                    I agree that the Blue star burners are really, really good, but even the low-end induction will kick butt over those burners (heat output, speed, efficiency, and control). BTW I own a wolf gas range and Bluestar burners kick butt over mine so this isn't a dig on BS, I really like their ranges. I also live in the PacNW about 50 miles from Canada and 10 from the Idaho border. We had one power outage last year and have never had a dinner party interrupted, I think if we look at statistics the vast majority of people live in a highly reliable service area that don't have so many interruptions but if that is a concern for you alone than that may preclude you from the induction demographic and is a good argument against it.

                                                                                                                    Cheers

                                                                                                                    1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                      Hey Retired,

                                                                                                                      I am very anxious to try an induction cooktop. I have not yet had the chance, but a local dealer is offering me some time in his test kitchen. If I ever get the time to go over and try it out, I'll write back here and let you all know how it goes.

                                                                                                                      Until, I'm still wildly in love with my Blue Star!

                                                                                                                    2. re: laguna_greg

                                                                                                                      Laguna_greg,

                                                                                                                      I think you missed my point. Your Blue Star range isn't awesome because induction isn't. Your Blue Star range is awesome because it is probably one of the best gas ranges you can buy.

                                                                                                                      I've cooked on Viking, Wolf, and true-industrial Vulcan. While I'd love to have those "big names" in my kitchen, my current "it's only a GE" actually outperforms them (and only at a $2k price tag). Coupled with ~$1.5k of all-clad stainless (aluminum conducts heat better than copper), and I have a stove and pots that outperform the previous all-time-winners (gas and copper clad). That still puts me $3k below what this person was considering as a budget for their stove. Cast iron lovers will love induction too.

                                                                                                                      With that pile of extra cash, perhaps I'll invest in a essential circuit automatic gas powered electric generator, but really, I'm just fooling myself. I've made it through the aftermath of three hurricanes without such a luxury, and I really _need_ to pour that money back into my beer brewing (honest! hahaha).

                                                                                                                      PS. Why do you think it's a "cr@pola" argument to use a reliable components that cost less? I think you and I are using different definitions of "design." When I say "they design it this way to save money", I mean they "choose to approach the problem of functionality this way" because it saves money, not "they emphasize some particular style" because it saves money. Often the latter camp fails to deliver functionality due to focus on aesthetics.

                                                                                                                      1. re: edwbuck

                                                                                                                        Copper has higher heat conductivity than aluminum.

                                                                                                                        1. re: jboy82

                                                                                                                          Hi JB,

                                                                                                                          It's true, copper has greater electromagnetic conductivity than aluminum. We've been arguing the point for a while now.

                                                                                                                          But the place it shines is not in conductivity, but in specific heat. That's the number of kCal's it takes to raise the temperature of a substance compared cc for cc. Aluminum comes in a distant third way behind stainless steel in that race. It simply doesn't live up to the hype or the money, if you want a pan to get hot.

                                                                                                                        2. re: edwbuck

                                                                                                                          Hi Ed,

                                                                                                                          I think it's "crapola" because those components are NOT very reliable. That's why. I come from a family of engineers, and they all laughed when I told them what electronics had been incorporated into high-end commercial stoves these days (they don;t cook, you see). All those fancy electronics are heat-sensitive.

                                                                                                                          Please understand that I'm not trying to rain on your parade. If you want all those things, you should have them. I'm sure you'll enjoy them, and they'll probably work for you pretty well (I hope). Consumer reviews of the electronics portions of range components tend to support the view that they need a lot of babysitting. I live in an area where that's hard to get, so I decided to forgo them as I don't want them anyway. I'm very happy with my choice. I'm rather convinced that most of that stuff is marketing hype that's not worth the money. What I need is a stove/oven that I can beat the heck out of, where the sear burner will charcoal your flesh off the bones in a few seconds, and the simmer burners will let you forget a pot of béchamel for 10-15 minutes without scorching it. The Blue Star does all that when it's in good adjustment. And I'm willing to pay the difference to get those things. Lots of people want sealed burners simply because they are easier to clean, even though you can't get them very hot when you need to. I don't understand that but, heck, that's their choice! I dont'mind cleaning the stove/oven, myself. If I could have put a Garland 6-burner + french top/griddle in my house, I would have. The fire department wouldn't let me, though.

                                                                                                                          None of that mean you shouldn't have YOUR choice about those components! I wish you the best of luck with them. If you get what you want from them, I'll be very happy!

                                                                                                                    3. Even though this is an old question, I'm venting by answering it. NO, I would NOT buy a high-end range again. We bought a DCS range this year and I hate it. Had to move our gas line to accommodate the location on the stove; did not know (and wasn't told) of the annoying fan blowing hot air into our kitchen; did not know it doesn't have a self-cleaning oven; and it doesn't cook or bake any better than my old Kitchen-Aide range that had all the bells and whistles. If anyone wants a good-looking stove and is not put-off by my complaints about it, I'll sell it at a good price!

                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: njp1110

                                                                                                                        So, if you're going to the store today to buy a new gas range, what would you buy?

                                                                                                                        I'm thinking of getting a double oven, electric and a gas cooktop .. any advice?

                                                                                                                        1. re: walker

                                                                                                                          That's what I have. Had an old electric range when we moved into this house. I had to add a propane tank outside to accommodate the gas rangetop. Conduction wasn't really out there when we did our remodel.

                                                                                                                          I have a set of double electric ovens that are not too far from the cook top but miss the ability to slide a hot pan off the stove into the waiting oven in one quick move. Now I have to walk 5 feet to the ovens. Actually not a big deal since my cooking style has changed a bit over the years. My only gripe with the ovens is that they don't vent to the outside and adding hot air to the house when you live in Florida is not a wonderful thing unless we are in our cooler months.

                                                                                                                          1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                            What brand(s) did you buy?

                                                                                                                            1. re: walker

                                                                                                                              A Viking 40 inch 6 burner rangetop and a 46 inch Viking Pro wall hood to go over it

                                                                                                                          2. re: walker

                                                                                                                            The pro style Viking that I mentioned upthread is just a cooktop (6 burner). We have double electric ovens, GE, which we put in 25 years ago when we gutted the kitchen. Given the age of our appliances (the Viking is now 11 years old) our experience may not be terribly relevant. In terms of the general functionality of this configuration, I highly recommend it. Although we don't use both ovens all that often, when we entertain -- especially this time of year -- I don't know how we'd manage with just one oven. And in terms of fuel source, gas really is best for stove top cooking, while electric is superior for ovens.

                                                                                                                          3. re: njp1110

                                                                                                                            @npj, I'm very sorry you had such a bad experience. What a waste of money! I looked over the DCS ranges thoroughly before I bought, and decided that they simply would not do the job I wanted. And we've heard from several people that they don't really measure up. But they are cheaper than a Blue Star!

                                                                                                                          4. Having cooked on 30" gas ranges, 36" gas cooktops and a huge 60" 8-burner prosumer model (2 of them were a griddle, making it effectively a 4-griddle-2 burner setup), I can state categorically that I'd never choose another open burner prosumer range.

                                                                                                                            I really didn't find the extra BTUs on the big Jenn Air all that helpful, the oven was no better than your Profile oven, and the open burners were an absolute PITA to keep clean. I did appreciate having more space than provided by a 30" range. The grates weren't continuous, but they were on one of my ranges, and that's a good feature.

                                                                                                                            A 36" brushed stainless cooktop would be my ideal, I think. With closed burners and continuous grates, please. :)