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