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Any DCS range owners out there?

  • BobB Jan 8, 2012 09:51 AM
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I'm planning to replace my electric flat-top range with gas, and have pretty much decided on DCS as offering the best combination of features and value for money. But I can't decide whether to get the all-gas or dual fuel model. Either way this would be the 30" model.

Pluses for the all-gas: larger oven (4.6 vs 4.0 cf) and infrared broiler.

Pluses for the dual fuel: self-cleaning (the current all-gas doesn't offer that), and (reportedly) more even baking.

Could owners of one or the other please chime in with actual experiences?

Thanks!

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  1. We have had a 30 inch 5 burner all gas for about 7 years. My husband is the baker and has had no problems with the gas oven.He bakes bread and cakes and they turn out perfectly. I make cookies and no loss of quality. Meat and veggies cook fine.

    The main reason we went with all gas, was $1000 more for electric/self cleaning. If money isn't tight, I would go with self cleaning. It was not nice to go back to cleaning an oven. But as for cookiing in the oven, I don't see any difference. The gas does seem to take longer to reach the set point. We are very happy with our DCS.

    DCS was bought out after we got our stove. There was a little problem of who to call for repair after that. The new company did honor the warrenty. I would think that would all be worked out by now.

    1. last night's actual experience on DCS 305: broiler tried to burn house down billowing noxious smoke out of the back...constant problems with the ignitors multiple qualified techs couldnt resolve, back left burner is useless (click click click click) back right needs a match to light...punting on this 5 yr old POS and will have just a toaster to prepare food for my severely allergy restricted 2 yr old until a Capital can be installed http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7622... I've read DCS hasn't been the same since they sold out to FP

      1. I have both types. Your summary of the differences is correct. In electric ovens in general, it is a dry heat, crusts get crisper. Combustion of gas emits water vaper, crusts are slightly less crisp, breads leaven slightly more. But differences are slight, maybe 5% if i had to quantify.
        When i am baking a lot i don't hesitate to use both ovens.
        Increased size of gas oven is helpful on occasion.

        1. ..of course if you're looking for some stainless bling to tie your trophy kitchen together and its going to get used once or twice a month to leaven some bread, I'm sure it will do just as fine as most

          1. Our fancy DCS died a horrible death. Fried it's computer brain out with all the power outages. Now have a Viking that doesn't even have a clock. Gas top, electric oven. No computer brain to fry. Just a good heavy stove.

            5 Replies
            1. re: meinNYC

              Look at the current DCS lineup. No clocks, no computers, just knobs.

              A good working Viking is a great stove, but their repair record has been abysmal of late (not to denigrate your choice - if you don't have a lemon you're good to go, but I don't want to take the chance). I did major research before deciding, and my top three finalists were Wolf, DCS, and Capital. I know the Capital Culinarian has many fanatical supporters, but there were too many reports that you can't do a really low simmer on it without using a cast iron diffuser, and that's more important to me than super-hot burners. The Wolf and DCS are actually quite similar in functionality, but I don't feel like spending $1000 extra for a set of red knobs. So DCS it is.

              1. re: BobB

                My mistake,it was a high end Thermador that fried it's brain. The DCS outdoor grill is still limping along. And the repair and parts cost a pretty penny . Bottom line is if it is past it's warranty period, no matter what you buy it cost a lot to repair. And always make sure there is service from that particular brand in your area.

                1. re: meinNYC

                  Absolutely - we have a well-regarded local dealer, and I'll gladly spend a bit extra to ensure we have them backing it up.

                  1. re: BobB

                    Post this on gardenweb appliance forum too. There are some that have DCS and like them.

                    1. re: wekick

                      I have, thanks, in fact I went there first, and then decided to see if there were any DCS users here as well.

                      So far on all forums combined I have found only two dissatisfied DCS users, including ed5446 above. But given that every brand has someone who complains about it, that's a pretty small number. Unless I get a lemon (like it seems ed did) I think I'll be OK.

            2. At last, a chance to vent. Bought a dcs 15 years ago. Old by now, I know. But from the get-go, it's been a total nightmare. And don't think the service dept was better in the old days. Fact is, they were agressive and rude, also from the beginning. One example: when we got the thing, the small oven wouldn't turn on at all. So we called dcs. The guy there insisted we didn't know how to turn it on properly. Now, my wife is Italian. She is a great and experienced cook. And this guy is telling her in the most condescending manner that she can't turn a dial. Whoa. Eventually, after way too many hours on the phone, the service dept agreed to send a repairman. The oven wiring was all screwed up, of course. Since the, both in and out of warranty, it's been a total lemon - from the grates rotting out within a year, to the oven door not closing properly, to the glass in the oven door leaking on the inside where cleaning is impossible, to the ever-malfunctioning igniters. Just a partial list. If it weren't for having sunk 5,000 into it, and having built the kitchen around it, it'd have been long gone. I mean, it's nice to have six burners for the 7 fishes feast ( when all six actually function). But in retrospect, better to have bought a secondary stove top.

              1. I wish I had paid more attention to the comments and reviews about their quality and repair record before we bought our DCS range

                We have had a 30 inch gas/gas DCS range (RGTC305N) for almost 3 years now and we love the solid look of it and how well it works when it works.

                But over the last two years we have had the technicians over every few months to try to resolve multiple problems, first with ignition , then an oven thermostat that melted during self-cleaning, then a broiler that stopped working, then valves that leak gas ( twice), etc
                I just spoke to the service after the second visit of 2013 ( it is early March), to repair a leaky valve which was replaced in November 2012 and I was informed that they cant "fix "it again because the part is not made any more and that I would have to contact Fisher Paykel directly to see what can be done. A rather surreal situation, at best

                We are currently researching a replacement, even though we have spent over $7000 (Canadian) on this range.

                1. I've had a 30 inch DCS gas only range for about 10 years now. The pros of DCS: Strong burners, five burners on a 30 inch range, full features, good price (although so much now).

                  I haven't had major problems with it, but I've had a few issues with it. The convection fan needed to be fixed (under warranty), the oven thermostat needed to be fixed (not under warranty and a few hundred dollars if I recall correctly), and two electrical ignition parts(one paid out of pocket, the other replaced under home warranty).

                  I will say that I've been less impressed with customer service after DCS was purchased by Fisher & Paykel and, just so you know, there are several things that surprised me and may surprise you before you purchase a DCS.

                  First, the burner ignition elements are exposed. Consequently, you have to be careful when cleaning them, and large spills can cause them to stop working. Second, you need to regularly clean the venturi tubes of the burners. If you do not do this, they may get permanently stuck to the point of having to be broken to be removed. If this happens, you cannot access any of the wiring underneath, including the ignition wiring. I don't know if failing to clean this voids the warranty, but this repair is a PITA and expensive if not under warranty.

                  Third, the little rubber feet on the grates? They're like $40 bucks for a set now. They used to be really cheap. (I wish I were joking.)

                  Fourth, again, if I recall correctly, the broiler on the dual fuel is nicer than the gas only version. This may have changed. Also, previously, the racks on the dual fuel were nicer than the gas only version.

                  Personally, if I had to choose now, I would choose GE Monogram. I looked at all of the major brands recently - DCS, Viking, Wolf, and a few others - and I found the Monogram ranges to be the nicest of the bunch.

                  If you decide to go with DCS, be sure to get the extended warranty and as long as possible. Even a small repair will cost at least $100 (the cost to replace an ignitor was about this amount if I recall correctly).

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: formerfishmonger

                    Speaking of parts cost...those drip pans, the jobs that go under the grates and around the burners? The ones that run around 7, 8 bucks for a normal stove? Well, try $80 each for the DCS. The beat goes on.

                  2. Don't do it! New DCS ranges just don't have the quality. They also are relatively low btu. A Capital Culianrian series cooktop will give you 23,000 BTU per burner. They are by far the top of the heap in today's cooktops. Remember that DSC is now owned by Fisher and Pakel.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: irodguy

                      OP here - I didn't buy a DCS. In fact, when I found out how much it would cost to get gas piped into my kitchen, I was about to abandon the idea of getting a new range at all, when someone suggested I look into induction, which at that point I knew nothing about.

                      I've had my new induction range for over a year now, and let me tell you, it is amazing! It has the near-instantaneous responsiveness of gas, without heating up the kitchen (only the pan gets hot, not the cooktop). The hottest burner puts out the equivalent of 26,000 BTU, but it's also capable of a true gentle simmer, without the need for awkward heat diffusers. And it's a breeze to clean up - you can even lay paper towels right under the pan as you cook to catch spills and spatter.

                      The only downsides are: you must have ferrous cookware (which actually gave me the excuse to go out and get some great new items), you can't use a round-bottomed wok on most of them (I don't do wok cooking), and you can't char over an open flame (but for the rare occasions I need to do that, I just use my gas grill).

                      1. re: irodguy

                        Also remember that Capital is the ex DCS people

                        I have a pre-Fisher and Paykel era DCS dual fuel, purchased and installed circa 2004-ish. I'm a heavy cook AND baker
                        My roller racks got wrecked almost immediately from 450-500 bake temps. The manual says not to run self clean with the racks or rollers in place, which I never did. Busted anyway. The windows in both ovens (I have a 48" range) are jacked--the seals went bad or something. Looks bad, doesn't affect function. The ignitors can be flaky when it's super, duper humid in my non AC'd house.
                        The low simmer is still a supreme selling point. it's awesome. I am OVER the circular, large diameter burner rings. I want something that has more than just a round ring of gas jets. It's a workhorse, but it's not perfect.
                        I'd buy a Capital if I were replacing. In fact, if they offered a true dual fuel I might be trying to swing one already. Their burner design is a huge positive in my book.