The Viking stove I bought five years ago is far and away the worst piece of kitchen equipment I ever used. I have run a bakery and catering business and written two cookbooks so I've used a lot of stoves over 40 years. This is absolutely junk put out by a company with absolutely no integrity or decency and thus of course no customer service. Instead of admitting they sold a faulty product like my stove who h from the getgo burned anything at any heat and causing me to pay for two new thermostats neither of which changed anything, what those sneaks did was issue a whole new part.
DOnt buy anything Viking even if that's all there is. A crappy fridgaire stove I had in a rental recently was more reliable.
I have had mine for 9 years and advise everyone not to buy one. I have to replace the ignition for the burners every year or 2 ($200), enamel tops around the burners are impossible to clean, the oven is never the same temp twice, the display letters wear off and I have to replace the panel, cleaning it is laborious and you will cut your fingers or worse and there are places that need cleaned that I have no way to get to without inventing a new tool. Add to all that there is no built in timer or clock and the back plate discolors in the first few uses and you have an expensive piece of crap. Viking...the stove to get when you want to impress (but never cook).
Before remodeling our kitchen, I went on to epinions.com and researched ranges. There was not one good review of a Viking range. (The complaints about the lack of customer service were endless.) We selected Dacor and have been very happy with their ranges and ovens. (Their microwave is simply incredible.) I'm glad I'm not working in Viking's marketing department, as the web will make their life a living hell.
I would never purchase a Viking either. I have one that was in the house when we bought it 6 years ago. The simmer feature does not work at all (the burners will not re-ignite) and the oven can not hold a steady temp. I keep an oven thermometer in there so I know what the "real" temp is at all times.
Have had my Viking since 2007 and love it. My Dad had one as well. I have the Viking Pro Series 36", dual fuel (gas range top and gas/convection oven), spider grates, sealed burners (6 at 15,000 btu's) and the Viking cast iron griddle (goes on top of spider grates, for the sealed burners), self clean, electric ignition,black knobs, bake, convection bake, broil, convection broil, convection dehydrate. Also got the 36" stainless steel hood as well.
I have noticed the click, click, click. I was irritated. How I "fix" the issue (or work around). Say if burner one is clicking, clicking, clicking: I turn off. Then turn on burner #2 on high, then #3, #4, #5, then the last #6. Wait about 30 seconds, then turn all off. Then try #6 again. It may fix it, or not. If not, I'll double check the black round pieces on top of the burners (under grates) sometimes those are on crooked or cock eyed or fell. Sometimes #6 still clicks, so I just use another burner. I think sometimes they get fluid in there, steam, food residue, who knows.
The oven heats very, very evenly. I've used an oven thermometer and it's very close to the posted temp. My previous (cheap) range was off 24-50 degrees and was not even. This one heats up quickly, within 10 minutes. I read the manual constantly for cooking tips and cleaning info. The stove is taken apart once a week for a deep cleaning. Clean out hood every 2-3 months. Turn on the self cleaning cycle when I remember (which isn't enough!) So I haven't had any real major complaints to call into customer service. I'd be worried reading everything online, not sure how customer service is. Looks like they are based in the United States, and made in Mississippi. Maybe their call center costs are too high? I'd advise sending a fax to complain or mailing a letter to CEO or head of customer service. I would prefer a company with a higher end service department. This was already about $7,000 for this stove, so I'd want to be extremely satisfied.
I also want to buy the wok type of grate and also the easy glide racks, but those are on back order. That would help my back, as it's hard to bend down and get stuff in/out of the oven in my heavy Mario Batali enamel cast iron pot and lasagna pan (perfect for brownies!) I'm not sure about the warning on cast iron, I use all my regular Lodge stuff (made in USA) perfectly. I did have a problem with a different cast iron dutch oven (made in China), I had put it into the oven and later on it cracked. When my husband went to buy another one, the store guy told him NOT to put the cast iron dutch oven (made for charcoal fires)into the oven as it would crack (no mention of any damage to the oven itself). If you look on the Viking website, there are different external cast iron griddles, one for sealed burners, one for unsealed. So perhaps a fire hazard or different coating or something? Who knows.
I've not yet replaced any ignitors or any other parts. This is a heavily used oven, daily, and breakfast on weekends. I also use it for canning (very big pots), lobster boils, giant pots of pasta, sauce, home made raviolis, roasts, etc. I'm a member of the Sons of Italy, and a local bocce ball league, plus cook a lot for family and friends.
I figure this is not your regular oven from Sears. It can be a bit touchy. It will need cleaning and maintenance, a lot more than a regular oven. But we've been very happy with the results of our food!!! I heat up water for tea fine in a tea kettle. It can be hot with the oven on and several burners! The black writing is OK, nothing fallen off yet. I use stainless steel cleaner on the surface. Just time for more water and wine :-)
When I get home I'm going to hug my American Range Performer. And then put it to work as I usually do.