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Feb 17, 2011 12:01 PM

Wolf Range with French Top Opinion Please

I am considering a Wolf dual fuel range with 4 burners, a griddle and a french top. Do you have experience with Wolf ranges and in particular one with a french top? AND if you have had experience with a commercial stove with a french top how does it compare?

Also, if anyone has gone thru looking at similar style ranges, is there something I should know that is not obvious or something you learned after buying it that you wish you had considered?

Thank you.

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  1. I have a 48 inch Wolf dual fuel range, (4 burners and a french top). I fell in love with this stove as soon as I saw it. I knew people who had Thermadors and Vikings plus I had been to every showroom that existed on the east coast to look at appliances. I even checked out real commercial stoves. It is as sturdy as it looks and the Wolf/Subzero people are great. The warranty is the best on the market and if I'm not mistaken the price is the highest. I didn't want eight burners. I still am not crazy about that look. Plus anytime you saute or fry you have to clean all the burners. My Aunt had a Jenair. She had the grill and a fryolater <~sp, nightmares to clean so I didn't want them either. I liked the idea of the griddle or the french top. I decided on the french top. The first thing I did was mess up seasoning it. You are supposed to heat it let it cool and rub with corn oil. I did it the way I did my cast iron pots, (oiled then heat), what a disaster. It took me forever to get the goo off. Technically it is supposed to blacken over time. Mine still has not. It's been 3 years. The best use I have found for it is to saute and fry using my giant saute and frying pans. I cook for a lot of people so this makes the french top very useful for me. You wouldn't boil a large pot of water on it instead of the burner because the center doesn't get as hot as a burner. I have also used it to keep stuff warm setting the serving trays and bowls above it on grates. As far as using it for multiple pots, I'm on the fence, they'd (the pots) have to be pretty small to fit more than two. I'm assuming that with all that stuff on top you are getting a 60". That is a good idea because around the holidays nothing beats two large ovens. I was roasting prime rib and heating lasagna at the same time. It does not work in a 48". I considered putting the prime rib on the barb-b-q. In retrospect I should have. Anyway I hope this gives you some perspective on the french top.

    7 Replies
    1. re: D0echk

      Sorry to go of question here, but I am just curious as to French top ranges. What is the benefit of the french top? Is it better for bigger pans: such as a saute, ect? I would imagine it's heat response is not as good as a gas burner, right?

      1. re: dcole

        The supposed benefit of a french top is that the center is hot enough to boil water (small pan) and as you move away from the center you move to a simmer. So technically you should be able to use the surface for multiple tasks. Realistically, if you were only cooking with sauce pans that might be possible but I have not been able to fit more than two pots because I'm usually sauteing with a large pan in the center. Which is what I find the french top good for. My very large saute pans do not fit well on the burners but the center of the french top is ideal for this. The heat response is not as good as a gas or electric burner. You have to plan to use the french top and cannot saute on the very high setting but if you put it too low it burns out. My response to too much heat is to lift the pan off and for too little heat is to blast it on a burner for a short time. This has been my experience. I hope it gives you some insight.

        1. re: D0echk

          Thanks a lot...was curious and that certainly helped!

      2. re: D0echk

        Hello, I have a WOLF French Top but when I ignite it, even after having the ventilation on for 5 minutes prior to that, it flames out. How do you start your WOLF French top and do you take out the inner ring at the start to allow for better air movements before igniting? Tks

        1. re: song1971

          When that happened to me it was because I hadn't put it back together the right way after I took it apart to clean it. I think I had the front piece in wrong but it's been so long I don't remember. The first time it happened I called a wolf appliance guy and he came and said it was some piece(covered by my warranty) and he took it apart and replaced it. I cleaned it again and it happened again. 2+2 I took it apart again and kept playing with how I put the pieces back in and it worked. I dont take it apart that often so this has happened a couple of times to me.

          1. re: D0echk

            I have a 48" Wolf range with 4 burners and a center French top or plaque. Love it to pieces. You can sear meat on direct heat and then move it to the French top to finish the sauce. It's the best for soups, stews, sauces, and all sorts of comfort foods. Perfect for making pan gravy after you've roasted the turkey. It's very easy to clean.

            Skip the grill and griddle and get a French top. If I can't convince you, here's the video that convinced me:


            1. re: catdoc46

              ok, you lost me at "easy to clean". The only time my french top was ever easy to clean was when all I did was use it as a warmer. Do you work for Wolf? :) just kidding. I'm going to admit though that I laughed at the whole video set up. That was what, a test kitchen? The copper pots were shining to perfection. Real people don't cook like that and she never needed more than four burners for that meal. You wouldn't cook risotto on an uneven temperatured surface and if it is better to saute over direct heat as she claims you would saute those vegetables over a burner. By the way where did the vegies she was demonstrating cooking go? Anyway, I digress. Please tell me how you clean your french top. I just fried the meat for Sunday gravy/sauce and for once I would like for the clean up to be easy.