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Nov 30, 2012 11:48 PM

Range Advice Please

I recently bought a 30 inch all gas basic Viking with a newer feature --automatic reignition. Upon installation we noticed a crooked door and then upon using it the fact that it didnt work properly.--the ignition was cycling rapidly or not coming back on, the fan didnt work etc They came and serviced in twice and then the third repairman said it was damaged and we would get a new stove. The new one finally came and was also bent with the door out of alignment. We refused it but we need a new stove. We are not serious cooks but want a high end stove for resale in a few years however I need reliable as well. Any recommendations would be most appreciated.

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  1. I have had a Wolf dual fuel for 4 years and it has been a joy to use and their reputation for customer service is stellar. My range has been trouble free.

    22 Replies
    1. re: wekick

      thanks. we are contemplating Wolf and Thermador. ....

      1. re: Inspector99

        We too have been looking at Thermador. Excellent reviews from Consumer Reports and other sources. I am especially interested in lower burners for simmer cooking - soups, stews, etc..

        I don't envy you for having to go through this twice .. once is more than enough.

        1. re: Canthespam

          I am leaning Thermador as they are owned by Bosch I believe. Blue Star seems to be mentioned repeatedly with positives. Our issue is that we do not have outside venting. so we are limited to a microwave with hood. (apartment)

          1. re: Inspector99

            I really don't need a new cooktop - I am cooking on my Chambers that I bought in 1980 and it is still in excellent condition. I really really want lower simmer burners. I have done a lot of research and checking out various brands, and if I were to buy right now, I would go with the Thermador.

            My Chambers is 32" and I would have to have the opening cut and enlarged to hold the 36" top. Plus, I don't need 5 burners and I can't find a 4 burner that I like :-)

            Basically, the only thing that is keeping me from getting a new cooktop are the heavy grates. I hate them. I clean my stove after every use and the thought of lifting them is really putting me off.

            Of course you can only buy what they are selling - so I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. One salesman said that in a few years they may make lighter grates as they always have to change things so people will keep buying. As long as my Chambers works as well as it does, I just may wait to see what they will do next.

            Sorry for getting OT - I really have spent a lot of time trying to decide what to do.

            1. re: Canthespam

              Both THERMADORE and WOLF have great extra low burners,T's grates,a bear to handle,W's easy and the reverse for surface cleaning once you move the grates.
              Many great brands are just starting to design smarter grates,low and high burners, and oven racks,they'll get there.
              I'm assuming by the time I retire from the range ovens to a cook top the choices will be huge.I just did wall ovens this year,after 2 years of comparing,anticipating the end of back and range ovens.

              1. re: lcool

                Thanks for the informed response.

                I'm under 5' tall and lifting those grates regularly would be a real pain. My Chambers is looking better and better.

                1. re: Canthespam

                  You have a fine cooktop and with time to shop on your side.Me,female 5'10" and my two friends and SIL 5' don't see my ranges the same way at all.Age not size will move me to a cooktop and like you I have time to shop,Inspector99 doesn't
                  My reply below to Inspector99 included some cleaning (size counts) and product support differences.

                  1. re: lcool

                    I read and appreciated the cleaning info for the Wolf and the Thermador when I read your response to me.

                    Age is a factor, both my age and my Chambers' age. We are both old and well used and I'm getting shorter and older as we speak!

                    If I saw something that I really liked and couldn't live without, then I buy it.. but to change just for the sake of change .. not worth the hassle.

                    1. re: Canthespam

                      With you about the hassle,at 67 I like to think I know better also.
                      I am taking my time because we haven't decided which side of the Atlantic will be our primary home later on.

                      1. re: lcool

                        We're in the process of replacing the kitchen sink and faucet (cutting out the under mount sink, but the keeping the same counter tile) and the bathroom sink, faucet, and new quartz vanity top.... talk about hassles!!!!

                        After doing a lot of research, comparing vendors, prices etc...order was finally placed two weeks ago, through several vendors, and THEN we're 'informed' of long manfactures' waits.

                        Possible completion on these two relatively small projects .. close to three months. Aside from appliances, stores no longer stock items - everything is considered a special order.

                        This stuff has better outlive me or I'll be washing dishes and my hands and face in the backyard with cold water and a hose.

                        1. re: Canthespam

                          In spades I know and oh do you have my sympathies.This is where the TIME to shop for a cooktop is your friend.Know your drop in or flush fit space and take your own sweet time looking with existing or near existing specs.

                          1. re: lcool

                            I have spent the past three months researching and looking at every brand imaginable - Thermador, Wolf, Viking, Frigidair, G.E., Dacor, etc.. and many models of each brand.

                            The first thing that I did was have the tile cutter (cook top installer) out to give me suggestions. My Chambers is 32". I could get a 30" and a SS collar or cut the hole larger and use a 36" five burner. Then I started my intensive search.

                            I live in San Francisco and have access to numerous showrooms and vendors.

                            I have come to realize that my 33 year old Chambers, in immaculate condition, and easy to clean, is exactly what I want and need.

                            I have very little empty counter space on either side and the space on the cooktop between the left and right burners, is invaluable for resting ingredients, spices, tongs, spoons etc... That space isn't available on any of the newer models.

                            I thought the grass was greener ... low simmer burners, but even those aren't worth the other inconveniences.

                            I've made thousands of meals, soups, stews, low simmered foods, etc. those 33 years, and I really have nothing to complain about.

                            It ain't broke, so I'm not going to fix it! Thanks for your advise and help.

                            1. re: Canthespam

                              Not broke,homework done,best way to go,sure wish more of my client base had that much sense.I am equally certain all of your future meals will be wonderful.
                              Don't mess with success.I went decades with my 60" Vulcan now in an outside kitchen where the mess of the spit,salamandre,ambient heat,bear to clean isn't trapped in the house.

                              1. re: lcool

                                If you think I did a lot of 'homework on this ... you should see me when I travel or make any major purchase ... confessions of an obsessive compulsive.

                                Just reaching the two new sinks, faucets and quartz vanity .. I came up with so many things that the vendors weren't even aware of.

                                A curse or a blessing in disguise?

                                Don't mess with success .. good thought.

            2. re: Inspector99

              I have 2 - 48" ranges,4 years old,back to back as a kitchen island,one WOLF,one THERMADORE,all gas,LPG from the factory,not duel fuel.Love both for equal and different reasons.The extra low burner capability is very different between the two brands,ovens perform the same,low to self clean,controls ?,I prefer THERMADORE.
              BOTH have island vent caps with a huge hood above,noise about the same for both.
              BURNER GRATES ,WOLF will fit in the dishwasher with ease,THERMADORE a one at a time puzzle,so ease to clean all of the cooktop isn't equal.
              So nit picking aside,I am in an area with a great dealer and independent service support,neither range has required a thing.THERMADORE might have WOLF beat by a tiny hair,FOR ME.My independent service tech,who is MAGNIFICENT,third generation with restaurant and high end equipment experience votes WOLF,by a long hair.The real difference is going to be who has a better overhead solution FOR YOU.
              WOLF has a well deserved reputation "caring for and about their customers" that exceeds most in the industry.
              I have a lifetime of use with VULCAN,GAGGENAU,BERTAZZONI and BlueStar,all just as wonderful to cook,but not all environments and not all with self cleaning ovens.
              more ?,my profile has an email

              1. re: Inspector99

                If you can't install an externally vented range hood, I don't think you are getting good value by installing a high-end "pro-style" range. People who want a high-end kitchen with a high-btu range want it vented.

                1. re: GH1618

                  i dont disagree but i live in NYC where many people dont have outside vents but they do want high end appliances. My choice is more for eventual resale than my needs

                  1. re: Inspector99

                    Based on your geography I would add Bertazzoni to your list,it's very well supported DC to New England.
                    Easiest to maintain for resale,I think in order Wolf,Thermador,Bertazzoni
                    Wolf is easiest to clean,Thermadore needs the least cleaning and isn't "new" looking at the start,minimalist,Bertazzoni prettiest without extra work.

                    I would not add BlueStar or Capital Culinarian to the list with your exhaust,circulation,vent constraints

                    1. re: Inspector99

                      My point is that a more expensive range will not add the resale value it would if it were installed with a proper hood.

                      1. re: GH1618

                        you may be right --but alot of New Yorkers dont really cook--its for appearances. Awful I know but thats the way it is. a real skilled and passionate chef wouldnt buy my apartment probably and would be very limited in NYC anyway.

                        1. re: GH1618

                          You may be completely right about some other markets, but Inspector99 is right about NYC.

            3. Inspector, I have had 2 36" WOlfs AG for 8 years and have loved them. The only reason I've had two is that we moved and sold the first one with the house (in another town; change of job). We're returning to NYC soon and I'm still trying to decide what to do--perhaps the Electrolux Icon pro because it has even a bit more firepower. And no, we can't have an external vent, but if the choice is a good-cooking range or not, I'll still take the range.