Fancy stoves, and would you buy yours again?

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Fancy stoves, and would you buy yours again?

Postby Jenise » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:42 pm

My next door neighbor, for whom this house has been a 'cabin'--that's Pac Northwest lingo for 'summer home at the beach'--told us last week that they've made the decision to move here permanently and are going to gut and rebuild the house in anticipation of that event over the winter.

So I know where he was coming from when yesterday he asked what stove we had and would we buy another. The answer: Viking, and 'no'. It has not been reliable--I'm still having issues with the igniter that failed and caused the fireball I talked about here a few years ago--and Viking Corporation doesn't give a damn. We have no one there to talk to--only the local dealer/repair people who frankly aren't that good. They try, but there aren't enough of these around that they get any real experience dealing with the problems that I've had.

This very neighbor apparently has a 48" Dacor at their other home that they wouldn't have again either. I don't know the nature of the problems they've had, but they say it's been "a lemon" from the getgo, and like my Viking it doesn't stay fixed.

Just about the only person I know who has high end equipment who I have the impression would own the same stove all over again has Thermidor. Theirs is at least 15 years old and it looks brand new. The design was forward thinking enough that it's not dated in any way, and it has held up perfectly with an advanced cook who prepares everything from scratch. If you're there and she serves you duck mousse pate--she made it.

Anyway, the conversation with my neighbors has me wondering what other brands people have bought that they'd recommend--or not.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Fancy stoves, and would you guy again?

Postby wnissen » Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:41 pm

This may be a bit off-topic, as Kitchen-Aid isn't really high-end, but my wife's parents put in an induction cooktop and double oven with fancy touch controls, and I find them maddening. For some reason the controls always respond when you brush them unintentionally, and never do when you're pushing hard.
The cooktop was over $1K, and the double convection oven was over $2K, and I am honestly happier with my 29-year-old electric 4-burdner GE range. At least when you turn it on, it turns on, and when you turn it on, it turns off. At least the KitchenAids have been mechanically reliable and fireball-free.
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Re: Fancy stoves, and would you buy yours again?

Postby Karen/NoCA » Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:00 pm

I've never had a stove because I prefer a cooktop and double ovens. I have a 6 burner Dacor gas cooktopl. It is a closed unit meaning that any spills goes to a black shiny flat surface. Clean up is a breeze. There is nothing to take apart and no cracks or crevices for anything to run into. I can turn the heat down very low for long simmers or crank it up high for quick sauté. I also love my double Dacor ovens. Both self clean and convection with the top oven. I have never used the convection. The only issue with the Dacor oven is the shiny black interior. The first time I used the oven, the kitchen was not really finished, but the ovens were working. Tomatoes were abundant in my garden and I harvested and roasted tomatoes. The acid from the tomato juice left white marks on the black oven floor. I had cooked them on a slow heat. My contractor was not happy with me, but I informed him, the ovens are to cook with. I called Dacor and they told me, they had never heard of such a thing...(standard answer for many years now from many companies). I roast my tomatoes outside on Gene's big BBQ grill and they come out great, and it saves my oven from more white marks.

The last time I went looking (because we were thinking building a new home) I found the quality high end appliances had dropped. I was very disappointed in what I saw. Good luck to your neighbor. Maybe the market has improved...this was about 3 years ago.
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Re: Fancy stoves, and would you buy yours again?

Postby Carrie L. » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:35 am

Jenise, totally agree with you regarding Viking and also the quality of Thermador. Really miss the Thermodor appliances in my old house! I'm not sure where Viking got its good reputation....
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Re: Fancy stoves, and would you buy yours again?

Postby Mark Lipton » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:33 pm

I own a Thermador mixed fuel range that is now 14 years old and I have had very few problems with it (one switch that failed and an element that needed replacement). It works very well for me, but doesn't have quite the BTUs of some top end stovetops and no wok ring, etc. If they aren't looking for a true restaurant-quality stove, Thermador would be a good solution.

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Re: Fancy stoves, and would you buy yours again?

Postby Carl Eppig » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:18 pm

Our electric Viking oven in wall had all the temperature settings worn off by age after five years. So we have to guess where the temperature knob should be set, and then check with an oven thermometer. The companion microwave wore out at the same time, and we replaced it with a GE that has works just fine at 2/3ds the price.
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Re: Fancy stoves, and would you buy yours again?

Postby Carrie L. » Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:59 am

Carl Eppig wrote:Our electric Viking oven in wall had all the temperature settings worn off by age after five years. So we have to guess where the temperature knob should be set, and then check with an oven thermometer. The companion microwave wore out at the same time, and we replaced it with a GE that has works just fine at 2/3ds the price.


Our freestanding Viking oven (range) has so much play in the temperature knob, there is about a 50 degree "swing" in either direction.
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Re: Fancy stoves, and would you buy yours again?

Postby Howie Hart » Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:17 am

Two years ago I was "gifted" a mid-90s vintage Jenn-Air dual fuel 30" range. I think it spent about 10 years stored in a garage. It took some work to install it. I had to run a gas line, cut a hole through the wall for the downdraft vent and put in a new cabinet, where the old vent hood was. It has a grill/griddle on the left, two burners on the right and a convection oven. I love it, as it was a huge improvement over the old Kenmore electric. The only problem is the downdraft vent is not strong enough to draw off steam from a tall pot. If I were in the market for something else, I would seriously consider another.
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Re: Fancy stoves, and would you buy yours again?

Postby Robin Garr » Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:48 am

Funny you should ask! We just got through doing our second kitchen re-do in 19 1/2 years (!) since we moved back from NYC and into this old house, and both times I let Mary talk me back from the ledge of doing fancy restaurant-style appliances.

When we were fairly new here, we ditched the crappy Sears builder-model stove that was in the house when we bought it, and decided in lieu of a Viking, Wolf, etc., to go with a fairly high-end GE Profile model. Bleah! What a piece of crap! It looked pretty, and we liked that it had a high-BTU burner and a simmer burner - we'd never had that before, and it seemed cool. But it turned out to be a stove intended for well-off suburbanites who wanted a kitchen that looked nice but was rarely used because they would mostly eat out or microwave prepared food for dinner. :P

This summer while I was off being a chaplain, Mary and a neighbor contracted a complete kitchen re-do, using IKEA stuff, mostly, plus a 9-foot seasoned plank of Kentucky white oak as a bar/countertop, and it looks supoib! And we got rid of our shirty GE stove and fridge in favor of good-quality but standard-range appliances: White Maytag bottom-freezer fridge; white IKEA dishwasher, and of all things, a stainless Whirlpool gas oven/range. It's the upper end of the range, $1,600 list (but she got a super deal), and to my pleased surprise it is an excellent appliance, sturdy and reliable, easy to use and exceptionally easy to clean. And unlike the GE, the high-heat burner really burns, the simmer burner really simmers, and the oven actually heats evenly all the way across a cookie sheet. How hard is that? :mrgreen:

Here's a link to info on the Whirlpool 30-inch Self-Cleaning Slide-In Gas Range (GW397LXUS Stainless Steel):
http://www.whirlpool.com/-%5BGW397LXUS% ... GW397LXUS/

And a quick pic. No, it's not fancy, not high-end, but you know what? When I cook on it, it makes me happy. :lol:
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Whirlpool 30-inch Self-Cleaning Slide-In Gas Range
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Re: Fancy stoves, and would you buy yours again?

Postby Mark Lipton » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:06 pm

Just curious, Robin: does the self-cleaning bit mean that it's a dual fuel system with an electric oven? That would be sweet if true.

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Re: Fancy stoves, and would you buy yours again?

Postby Robin Garr » Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:09 pm

Mark Lipton wrote:Just curious, Robin: does the self-cleaning bit mean that it's a dual fuel system with an electric oven? That would be sweet if true.

Oh, no, Mark. It's all gas, and I'm fine with that.
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Re: Fancy stoves, and would you buy yours again?

Postby GeoCWeyer » Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:27 pm

I had a DCS that I loved the cook top but hated the oven. The racks bounced when pulled out. The top was great. You could break it down easily to clean. I gave it to my son and purchased a 4 burner Wolf. I am happy with it except I prefer the open to the closed burner.Both of these were dual fuel. When it came to buying a wall oven my research showed that few of them could take a roaster large enough for a 23 lb turkey. The Amana's lowest level couldn't even take a rack. I chose the GE Profile for a whole lot less than the top ends and have been very happy.
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Re: Fancy stoves, and would you buy yours again?

Postby Jenise » Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:30 pm

Carrie L. wrote:
Carl Eppig wrote:Our electric Viking oven in wall had all the temperature settings worn off by age after five years. So we have to guess where the temperature knob should be set, and then check with an oven thermometer. The companion microwave wore out at the same time, and we replaced it with a GE that has works just fine at 2/3ds the price.


Our freestanding Viking oven (range) has so much play in the temperature knob, there is about a 50 degree "swing" in either direction.


Ditto. I pretty much cook at 200, 300, 350 or 400 and don't bother trying to pretend I can be right about anything in between. :)
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Re: Fancy stoves, and would you buy yours again?

Postby Jenise » Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:33 pm

Robin Garr wrote:And a quick pic. No, it's not fancy, not high-end, but you know what? When I cook on it, it makes me happy. :lol:


Congratulations on the redo, Robin. Looks great, and I love those cabinet handles--actually had those planned for our house until someone talked me out of them. A decision I've regretted ever since!
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Re: Fancy stoves, and would you buy yours again?

Postby Jenise » Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:35 pm

GeoCWeyer wrote: I am happy with it except I prefer the open to the closed burner.


That's interesting; probably because I have the open I've assumed I'd be happier with closed since they're easier to clean. What's the downside to a closed burner that I'm not seeing here?
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Re: Fancy stoves, and would you buy yours again?

Postby Robin Garr » Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:02 pm

Jenise wrote:Congratulations on the redo, Robin. Looks great, and I love those cabinet handles--actually had those planned for our house until someone talked me out of them. A decision I've regretted ever since!

Mary and her friend Jan get the congrats ... I was out of the house and out of the way! :mrgreen: (I did get consulted, though.) Bottom line, they made it look clean and fresh and stylish without going overboard. The entire project barely crossed the five-figure line. I like the simple look, the shiny IKEA white and the stainless and aluminum, the quarry tile floor and the gray granite-LOOK counters. ;) But that 9-foot white oak plank, courtesy of a neighbor who's a German-born artisan cabinetmaker, puts it over the top.
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Re: Fancy stoves, and would you buy yours again?

Postby Robin Garr » Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:04 pm

PS: I'll try to grab some kind of panorama or video of the entire room when the light is good. It's pretty awesome, but hard to shoot. It's a fair-size eat-in kitchen but still an urban house, so you can't really back up far enough to get the whole view in. :lol:
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Re: Fancy stoves, and would you buy yours again?

Postby Christina Georgina » Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:34 pm

My 6 burner Blue Star has been totally reliable. No malfunctions whatsoever. If all you ever do is high heat it is terrific. Simmer is very difficult and with some saucepans, impossible. Very industrial/restaurant kitchen in appearance with very heavy, cast iron grates it is difficult to clean and looks like well used cast iron cookware even when clean.
My 2 hob induction is by far my favorite in all respects - speed, control, ease of cleaning and if I do another kitchen it would be only induction
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Re: Fancy stoves, and would you buy yours again?

Postby GeoCWeyer » Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:02 pm

Jenise wrote:
GeoCWeyer wrote: I am happy with it except I prefer the open to the closed burner.


That's interesting; probably because I have the open I've assumed I'd be happier with closed since they're easier to clean. What's the downside to a closed burner that I'm not seeing here?


The problem is that "stuff" fills the cracks where the pieces are assembled. Also, when overflows or spill occur when cooking it cooks on right next to the burner unit. What I liked with my DCS I could take it all apart and clean it thoroughly. Now you have to attempt to scrub it off on the stove top with a little brush or tooth brush. Glad I don't have an insect problem in my kitchen.
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Re: Fancy stoves, and would you buy yours again?

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:00 am

We have a Lacanche range that we bought 4 or 5 years ago that we love. These are made in France and assembled in Seattle. They have the same look as a La Cornue, but are significantly less expensive. It's a very good looking stove, with lots of dark red enamel and chromed knobs. Burners are quite powerful but as with Christina's Blue Star, simmering is not always easy. I've found two downsides with this range. One is that the overall quality of materials is not all that great - I had to replace the oven door hinges a couple of years ago and I may need to do that again in the near future. The other downside is that they don't make an oven with a convection option - it's either convection all the time or no convection at all. We went with the convection oven and we're pretty happy with that. Just about everything works really well with it. Only a few items my wife has baked have not benefited from it.

When we were looking at ranges, the Blue Stars were the others we were considering.

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Re: Fancy stoves, and would you buy yours again?

Postby Carrie L. » Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:56 am

Jenise wrote:
Carrie L. wrote:
Carl Eppig wrote:Our electric Viking oven in wall had all the temperature settings worn off by age after five years. So we have to guess where the temperature knob should be set, and then check with an oven thermometer. The companion microwave wore out at the same time, and we replaced it with a GE that has works just fine at 2/3ds the price.


Our freestanding Viking oven (range) has so much play in the temperature knob, there is about a 50 degree "swing" in either direction.


Ditto. I pretty much cook at 200, 300, 350 or 400 and don't bother trying to pretend I can be right about anything in between. :)


Exactly! Crazy, huh? It is pretty though! :?
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Re: Fancy stoves, and would you buy yours again?

Postby Mark Lipton » Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:18 pm

Not to shill for the brand here, but my Thermador has excellent simmer settings on two of the four burners, and the closed burners are a breeze to clean (no joint lines for things to accumulate in). Of course, mine is old enough now that I have no idea if current models have any of the same features. BTW, the digital controls allow for quite precise temperature control in the electric oven. I've never had such consistent behavior in an oven.

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Re: Fancy stoves, and would you buy yours again?

Postby Jacques Levy » Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:09 pm

Christina Georgina wrote:My 2 hob induction is by far my favorite in all respects - speed, control, ease of cleaning and if I do another kitchen it would be only induction


I agree. I will only have induction from now on. As controllable as gas, and much easier to clean than any other cook top I've used.
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Re: Fancy stoves, and would you buy yours again?

Postby Jenise » Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:24 pm

Christina Georgina wrote:My 6 burner Blue Star has been totally reliable. No malfunctions whatsoever. If all you ever do is high heat it is terrific. Simmer is very difficult and with some saucepans, impossible. Very industrial/restaurant kitchen in appearance with very heavy, cast iron grates it is difficult to clean and looks like well used cast iron cookware even when clean.
My 2 hob induction is by far my favorite in all respects - speed, control, ease of cleaning and if I do another kitchen it would be only induction


I thought about your "well used cast iron" comment last night as I spent two hours taking my stove apart and giving it a thorough cleaning. It looks better as of this moment than it's looked in months, but it's disheartening as the first thing I cook--even if I use only one burner--will make the whole thing look dirty all over again. Sigh. But I will say this for the Viking since you brought it up, it's as masterful on simmer as it is on high and everywhere in between, even for a tiny pan whose only purpose in life is to melt butter.
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