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Sep 19, 2011 01:49 PM

High-end Kitchen Appliance Advice for Double Ovens

Hi - we're doing a rennovation for our NYC apartment and have the luxury of building our kitchen from soup to nuts.

I too have been a bit frustrated by the lack of info on the higher end brands (which we're doing not only because we're big cooks but also for resale) and also am finding it really hard to determine feature/benefit differences so I'm hoping you all can help...

We've decided on 27" dimension for our wall oven(s) - I want the double oven because we entertain a lot (dinner parties for 10-12 and/or large cocktail parties) so the ability to a. put lots of stuff in at once and potentially at different tempertures is appealing..ie meat in one oven and sides in the otehr

When I talked to kitchen folks they all have recommended the Miele 24" steamer w/kit and 27" oven but have never had a steamer oven so am a bit wary? Can anyone give thoughts on how this wil work given my needs? it's also VERY pricey compared to your standard double convection oven choices so don't want to needlessly through money down the drain.

If we go standard double oven, bosch, thermador and electrolux all have options at 27" - I've heard bad things about the first two - and am not familiar with electrolux - any thoughts on these choices? Alternatively, we could do 2 miele ovens but that is almost double the cost so, again, wouldn't want to throw money away.

How do people feel about nob v. electric panel? Our architect clearly wants the panel but I'm wary of the technical problems they might bring with them?

Finally from a feature benefit perspective I would love advice of things to look for and how they play out on these brands - and of course if anyone in NYC has recommendations on places to buy and/or service stories that would be appreciated too.

Thanks so much for your help!

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  1. First, I suggest you go to http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/kitch... as they are the gurus. Second...

    I get the impression that your people are trying to get you to spend money. A Miele steam oven is absolutely fantastic, but you are correct: I don't really see how it will help you with entertaining logistics. I am sure someone else will chime in, but as I understand it, a steam oven cooks..well..with steam. No, I don't see how putting a bowl of water in the oven or using a dofeau would be different. Steam ovens are generally used by health fanatics because of the ease of steaming foods, particularly veggies, which is a healthier way to cook them. Fish, too, I guess. Personally, while I LOVE steamed veggies, I would rather suffer through with a stovetop steamer and use the money for something else...like a Miele speed oven/microwave. Yeah! And a warming drawer.

    I also prefer hob ovens because electronic panels and heat just don't mix well.

    I am tinkering with a small kitchen reno, and I will likely go with a 24" miele speed oven, a warming drawer, and an oven beneath the stovetop. I would use the speed oven as the primary, and the larger one for when I need to bake a sponge cake or cook a rib roast. The warming drawer is the key to effortless entertaining. Also, easy brunches.

    When spending money on appliances, the service reputation is the most important factor. In NYC you should have no problem, but keep it in mind.

    PS - Let me know what you decide with respect to dishwashers. Cycles are so long these days, and space is tight, and guests are numerous. I can't decide whether to go with dishdrawers that run independently or a Miele with a fast cycle.

    1. Miele is the go to brand if you want a dishwasher,laundry washer/electric dryer, or vacuum.

      For Ovens, Gaggenau is the go to brand IMO. Technically top notch and side opending doors. You don't need to reach over a hot oven door to get tray.

      Wolf ovens are also top notch but only come in 30" or 36". Electrolux are very good in the semi-luxury class. Kinda like Buick.

      Miele steam has a water reservoir while Gaggenu is plumbed.

      Miele is 100% steam while Gaggenau is 30%,60%,80% or a misting feature that mimics a gas oven. Both ovens offer 0% steam while only Gagg offers convection.Miele you input type of food and weight and it controls time and temp. On the Gagg you control time and temp manually.

      IMO everybody needs a full oven and a half oven/toaster oven. This is a very nice but expensive option to accomplish this feat. Agree with middlereef, bought mostly by people really concerned with low fat cooking, but very nice if you have the means.

      Gaggenau offers 24" and 30" ovens now but discontinued 27" ovens are available for discount in clearance section of stores,ebay,and web sites like treasuretoot.com. I found several Gaggs there recently. A double 27" SS Gagg oven for $3699 with free shipping. Gagg may not honor warranty since it is not an authorized dealer but with the savings you have a large cushion for any unlikely repairs and still come out ahead.

      As a general rule I do prefer buttons/knobs to electric panels.

      Gagg/Wolf ovens are expensive but you get something for your money. You are not throwing money down the drain. Then again you can cook some great meals in the Electrolux too, these are not exactly easy bake ovens.

      2 Replies
      1. re: DeeAgeaux

        Gaggenau ovens have one slight issue that the Miele ovens do not: pulling any one of the racks forward generates a metal-on-metal squeal that seems atypical for a unit that costs that much.

        Personally if space permits, I'd suggest middlereef look at Miele's 30" double ovens. They work well, there's less than a couple of degrees variation on the units I've taken an IR thermometer to, and they're built very well.

        The steam oven is also a nice option, but if there's that much entertaining, it's better to have two full ovens. Not sure whether a warming tray is necessary (depends on how you entertain). I do use a steam oven and I'm not particularly concerned about low-fat cooking. White-cut chicken, lobsters, snow crabs, crème caramel/brûlée, steamed dim sum - pretty easy and does not take out one of the burners. The Miele unit has a custom feature to set time and temp for anything that's not pre-programmed; custom settings can also be saved.

        I don't use a microwave, but if you do, and have space, the speed oven gives a bit of flexibility over just a straight microwave. I'm not sure how they keep touting cooking a turkey in one because they're downright tiny inside. Would I give up a double oven for a single+speed? No.

        I can do buttons or panels. A discrete panel is very nice to have.

        1. re: DeeAgeaux

          Agree completely about Gaggenau - our double oven is probably the best purchase we made in our kitchen remodel. I have no idea why more manufacturers don't make side-opening doors.

        2. Everyone,

          Thanks so much for your replies – the insights re: the steaming oven option confirmed my thinking that I need to focus on having a true double oven (it sounds very cool but probably more on the “would be neat” side instead of “needed” functionality). I’ll also say, that we’re putting in the 36” cook/range top (still trying to make a call on that as well) and the reason I wanted the extra burners was to be able to run veggies, etc. while doing other things so seems a bit overkill to have steam and the extra burners.

          E – also thanks for the link to the gardenweb site – I had actually checked out a bunch of stuff on there but because it is a Canadian site (or that’s what it looked like?) I wasn’t sure how much of the info on there is relevant in the US market (I used to work for a furniture manufacturer and many of our pieces were made differently for other countries to meet local codes and such – maybe that’s not the same in the kitchen world??)

          It’s funny but the one thing I will not be putting in our kitchen is a microwave – I’ve always had them in every other apartment I’ve been in and I can count on one hand the times I’ve used them. I’m building the space to accommodate one in the future (either for us if that changes or for a future owner) but will not be putting it in…that’s also why I sort of discounted the speed oven but maybe I need to look further into that option.

          We will have a toaster oven – I LOVE this appliance and use it all the time for toasting nuts, bread and just general reheating…even melting butter! …and that’s actually why I have the 27” dimensions. We will have a 27” full fridge – two freezer drawers with a breakfast garage on top where the toaster can go but be hidden and then the double ovens. We could conceivably go to the 30” size for the ovens but it would mess up the symmetry of the wall.

          I would also love to have the warming drawer but that fell by the wayside when we went with the full fridge/two freezer option because of what that did to our budget. Again, we’ve planned the space so that at some point we can put one in, but for right now it’s out.

          Dee-Ageaux – I hadn’t thought of looking at discontinued ovens – I understand from wattacetti that the racks make a not so pleasant noise – have you had similar experiences? Have you bought older units – how does that work re: manufacturer’s warranty and such?

          The other oven that has a 27” double option is Dacor – again, very pricey compared to the other one’s I mentioned but they also seem to have good reviews?

          Finally, E – I will definitely keep you in the loop of our dishwasher – right now I’m leaning toward the Bosch – good solid reviews and seems to hit my major needs and is not totally ridic cost wise. It’s not quick but it does have a speed wash which should be able to handle most party stuff so would work to get through all the entertaining stuff. I would so love to have a double dishwasher but am putting that dream on hold for as long as we’re in NYC – I asked if we could plumb our “pantry” (this might be a generous term for this space)  to eventually have a dishwasher and a second sink so it could act as a caterer prep space and or a place to easily put dishes post dinner so it’s not in the open kitchen dining area but that turned out to be a logistics nightmare. I will say that one of my friends has the dishwasher drawers…and having helped her clean up after some meals I HATE them! The wire racks don’t really support glasses etc. and things were always falling over and it was definitely hard to put in any kitchen stuff (racks, bowls, sheets, etc). I also know she’s broken a ton of glasses in there. Definitely investigate that option further before pulling the trigger!

          3 Replies
          1. re: middlereef

            I purchased a discontinued 24" Gagg. No, it does not have easy glide racks. It does not make any unpleasant sounds,hardly any noise at all. You live in NYC there are plenty of Gagg dealers near you. Go check them out for yourself.

            Warranty- Appliances that use water and electricity have high rates of repair relative to appliances that use only electricity.If you bought a steam oven or dishwasher from a non-authorized retailer I would consider a good third party warranty. Gagg convection ovens I would not worry about.

            Look at Gardenweb's appliance forum, mostly Americans posting about appliances available in the US. Several complaints about Miele oven quality in the last year or so. I have not read any about Gagg. My temperature measuremeants of 9 spots inside the Gagg oven cavity is dead accurate,even with door open for several minutes. My friend's Miele oven plus or minus 5 degrees and varied from spot to spot inside the cavity.Overall build quality from my inspection of Miele ovens is good just Gagg is better.Miele evenness is good enough for most things but if you can buy better why not?

            I would stay away from Dacor ovens.I have read too many owners say they last about ten years then die. Repairs are so expensive they don't justify doing them.I would rather buy the Electrolux.

            Re Dishwasher. Many authorized Miele dealers have discontinued dishwashers on clearance right now. I bought a Miele La Perla II with SS door,handle, and SS toekick that normally sells for $2504 for $1669. That is their TOL unit. You can also get lower end one on discount too. Normally, these don't get discounted.

            Re Rangetop. If you are not decided on induction I highly suggest you look at Capital Culinarian.

            1. re: DeeAgeaux

              ««I purchased a discontinued 24" Gagg. No, it does not have easy glide racks. It does not make any unpleasant sounds,hardly any noise at all.»»

              Really? When I heard the squeal on the first unit I went to two other stores and could reproduce.

              Miele has great promos for units which have been replaced by newer models (e.g. coffee machines with lower pricing and freebie cup/plate warmer) so definitely well worth looking if the other elements work.

              I do second the induction route too.

              1. re: wattacetti


                I am not saying your perception is objectively wrong. "Unpleasant sound" and "screeching" is highly subjective. My subjective opinion is that they are fine.

                Plus Gagg has really cool other features like air catylizer. Cleans the air inside the oven of grease so when it expells it into the kictchen it does not stick to walls and ceilling.

                An eco option that can be used along with timer. It shuts down in the somehere in the middle of cooking ,shuts itself off,and maintains temperature as long as door is not opened until cooked.

                Miele has not changed over ovens recently so there is not alot out there. Some stores have discontinued items for years because they refuse to give good discounts on the old stuff.

          2. Here's another plug for Gardenweb--used that site a lot when planning my new home--very helpful. I did not get the impression it's Canada-focused, though.

            I love my Bosch dishwasher. This could be because it works great or because in all my years I had a DW only once for about a year in a rental. Love it. We've named him Phil, the silent Butler. Love Phil!!

            This doesn't sound like it would work for your space, but I also love my American Range. It does have two ovens--which you want---with 6 gas burners and a grill. I had the same concern about electronics on an oven and I especially like that this has very straightforward dials. (We call this one Julia--the fridge is Lydia. TMI?? sorry!! :) )

            Good Luck!

            3 Replies
            1. re: SeaSide Tomato

              I'm back onto the garden site - I must have just kept clicking on fields that had more candian's posting than others :)

              and SeaSide - totally laughed at the names - our old viking range was called fred. I am not against a range at all but it would really mess with my kitchen design so am staying away from them (I REALLY want to have drawers under the range/cook top to store pots and pans) and I we really couldn't get anything over 36" into the wall where the stove has to go so that was problematic for getting in the range with a double oven.

              At this point it sort of feels like the gagg 27" would be ideal it's just having to find one and then get it serviced that is a bit tricky. As i've been finalizing products I've been calling the manufacturers and then the service reps they recommend to find out the skinny on the servicing in NY (and how it works with retailers extended warranty's) so far I haven't seen any ofthe 27" gag's in NYC but I'll keep hunting.

              I'm also reconsidering the viking 27" doubles - anyone ever experience those? Originally, I just sort of passed them over because of aesthetics but that is not really a reason to not look at them - how do they function re: equal temperture throughout etc.?

              1. re: middlereef

                When I was looking at appliance comments over the past year, there were a whole lot of "stay away from Viking" posts here and on Gardenweb.

                1. re: middlereef

                  I am with the herd on the Viking question. They have gone down hill recently.Mediocre performance and worse reliablity. They now have some undefined murky relationship with LG(South Korea's Lucky Goldstar), many appliance industry insiders expect the Korean giant to eventually swallow Viking. How will that look for future resale value when you have LG's high end brand?

                  And it looks like Dacor is becoming the Sears high-end line.