Over the range microwave enough ventilation ?

M4rtinFebruary 20, 2013

We're looking into buying Viking d3 appliance set for our new house. And since we have a small 8x10 kitchen we want to save as much countertop as we can. My wife thinks that we should get the over the range microwave/hood combo, that this way we will save space on counter from not having microvawe and a little oven.
I'm an amateur cook, just learning slowly currently on my parents glass cooktop range. I don't do any proffesional cooking but I wonder if the 300 cfm in the ovr microwave will be enough for simple stir frying and fish.

Here is a link that might be useful: Viking Microwave/Hood

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Run a few google searches and you'll see that OTR microwaves are looked down upon here. They don't offer nearly as much ventilation as you need and do a very poor job. If you want to save space I'd look into a drawer style microwave.

While we're at it, I'd seriously reconsider your appliance choices in general. Buying appliance sets is generally not the best way to go as no appliance maker does everything well. This is especially true for Viking as they have had quality control issues in the past.

Also given you're lack of cooking experience (just learning to cook and still living with your parents) I'd reconsider whether a high end brand like Viking is right for you. I'm not sure whether the added features of a high end range is worth the price tag for your skill set and it might be worth it to spend your money elsewhere. Then again, its your money not mine.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 8:58AM
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Thanks, we wanted to go originally with kitchenaid set but Viking d3 line is almost same price and it offers 3 year warranty rather than 1 on kitchenaid.
Honestly whichever brand I look at all of them have negative reviews, whether it be kitchenaid, jenn-air, viking or some other.
If I would look at negative reviews I would end up buying nothing, seems for whatever reason appliances these days are crap or I would have to step up to Wolf/Subzero pricing to be stress free.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 9:25AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Buying a high end range and putting an OTR over it is like buying a Ferrari and putting tractor tires on it. Technically, they'll do the job. Realistically, they ruin the whole experience.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 9:42AM
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I would pay more attention to negative reviews from this site than what you seen on AJ Madison or another retailer site. People here know what they are talking about. I find the majority of reviews on retailer sites to be useless as people either rave about an appliance to make themself feel better or trash it because they are frustrated.

Moreover just because Viking has a 3 year warranty doesn't make it better. There are also issues with customer service to think about.

In your case it kinda seems like you are buying a Viking purely based on the the name. If thats the case it would be a bit of a waste of money given the history of issues with Viking and your lack of cooking experience.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 10:14AM
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Most people on this forum don't buy suites of appliances from a single brand. As you've discovered, no one brand makes the best of everything. You're much better off researching individual appliances and choosing accordingly.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 10:27AM
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Following my recent experience with Viking, I can vouch for the less than stellar customer service. I had problems with a brand new Professional Series range and calls to their customer service line were simply a waste of time. The reps seemed to know very little about the product, although this is not a problem exclusive to Viking, for sure. After several frustrating calls, I finally got ahold of someone who appeared to care. I told them the issues and they promised to get back to me with a solution, but they never even bothered to call back! There is much to be said for good customer service after the sale.

If you do go with Viking, be aware that their specs for the gas and electric may be off. We followed the specs to the letter, but when the range arrived, the allowances only worked if the range was adjusted to its highest level. We needed to lower the legs (they are adjustable after all) and when we did, the range wouldn't go against the wall. Frustrating!!

Getting back to your original questiion, I had a 630 cfm hood above the range, and I believe 600 is the minimum that Viking required for that particular range. It worked fine, but I wouldn't have wanted anything less. That being said, Viking does sell that OTR microwave for the D3 range, so perhaps they only require 300 cfm for the D3.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 11:01AM
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I know that sourcing specif products would be ideal but that's not gonna happen.
My wife is OCD when it comes to things matching and I could talk all I want and even ask her to talk to members here but she would still want to have a matching set.
For example even Viking Pro and Viking d3 mix wouldn't be ok with her :) But I do love her and to me it's not big deal.

In my case (in Canada) it's either get Kitchenaid or Jenn-Air for lets say $9k or get Viking d3 for around $10k.
It comes to a point where it's simply roll of a dice, all don't seem to get decent reviews.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 1:12PM
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If all you care about is "matching" it will probably be enough.

My mother has lived with an OTR microwave for over 15 years. But, she doesn't can. She doesn't stir fry, she steams her stuff in a pan to look like a stir fry. Anything remotely stinky- deep frying, meat searing happens outside in an electric frying pan or on the grill. One way to do it.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 3:45PM
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If all you care about is matching and don't care about how your appliances actually perform then I think you're wasting money even buying remotely high end appliances. Go for a $5000 set that looks decent and be done with it.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 4:29PM
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Oh no, you misunderstood, or maybe I wrote it wrong.
I want quality products, but they have to match for my wife.
In our under $10k budget we can get sets like Kitchenaid, Electrolux, Jenn-Air, Bosch or Viking d3.
We cannot afford Wolf, DCS or Thermador.

Out of the ones I can afford, in my mind Viking d3 would be more of a quality product, plus they have 3 year warranty, with others I have to buy extended warranty to have 3 years.
I also think that even if it's hard dealing with Viking reps for repairs, at least I can deal with them for 3 years, with other manufacturers I would be out of warranty in 1 year or would have to purchase extra warranty at over $200 per appliance.

It would be nice if they made a 30'' Viking d3 hood, I would get that instead of OTR microwave, but they onlu have chimney hoods in that line.

Keep more comments coming please, I really appreciate it.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 5:29PM
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just a thought. why not go with one of the other sets and purchase extended warranties to give you coverage (you can get up to 5 or 10 years), which will still cost you cheaper than buying viking sets that usually dont have a lot of good things said about them. Kitchenaid fridges seem to be favored around GW, maybe look at a kitchenaid set and add the warranties.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 5:45PM
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> It would be nice if they made a 30'' Viking d3 hood,
> I would get that instead of OTR microwave

It really does not matter whether your hood is the same brand as the other pieces. Hoods do not have handles, visible knobs, etc., so there is nothing except the metal finish to match to other appliances, and that's not difficult - most hoods look the same. If it matters, the badges on hoods can generally be peeled off with dental floss followed by label remover - they are only held on by double-sided tape. Often they are not even stuck on when the hood arrives - you are supposed to do that during installation.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 5:52PM
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The reason Viking gives 3 year warranties is that they have such a bad reputation and need to do it to make sales. If you get another brand, you can save the cost of the extended warranties and use it to make repairs if necessary by a reputable appliance repair service. You won't be locked into a particular warranty company and most likely you'll make out better. Extended warranties are generally a bad deal.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 6:08PM
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PeterH2 that is actually a great idea, to take the Hood and take of the Label.
I'm still looking into other products, it's sad that Viking has such a bad rep, their products look great in store, I consider them one of the best looking appliances right after Wolf.

When you guys say that 320cfm OTR is not enough for pro range like Viking d3 what does it mean ?
I cook on my parents glass top electric with 600cfm Miele hood above it, and even when I start burning something I don't go higher than 2 speed out of 4.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 6:20PM
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I think your posts show exactly why you dont need the Viking. 1) You're more concerned with looks than performance 2) You don't have cooking experience and are a self admitted amateur.

Tell us exactly what you want in a kitchen. Do you just want performance or looks?

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 9:50PM
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What does cooking experience and being amateur have to do with appliances ?
That makes no sense to me, so you're saying I should buy and learn on lesser product in the same price bracket ? Does that even make sense ?
And once I grow out of run of the mill range then what ? Forget I just spent $4k on some regular kitchenaid and then spend another $5k on a pro range ?
Won't agree with you then, I might be amateur cook but I have common sense to see the flaw in this thinking.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 10:01PM
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Based the link posted below, cooking with gas versus electric releases more than double the vapor that you would want to remove. Electric ranges require less ventilation because of this, and because they generate less heat.

Like I said above, it depends on how much cooking you do, and what type. If you don't run all burners at once, and don't do much smoke or vapor producing cooking, you might be able to get away with it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Use of Kitchen Ventilation: Impact on Indoor Air Quality

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 10:16PM
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I would love to know...if you had 17-year-old twins just learning to drive, would you go out and buy them a brand new matched set of Mercedes Benzes to practice on? Just wondering... :)

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 10:19PM
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Thanks karenlee. Your analogy works well.

M4rtin- If you paid attention to my posts I am saying you are looking at the wrong appliance price range. You're looking at a 9k or 10k appliance package because you want a fancy sounding name and you like how it looks. This is especially evident given how willing you are to overlook the quality issues and poor customer service that comes with Viking. Everything you have posted so far has not shown any indication you are concerned with the performance of the appliances or even know how the appliances perform compared to less expensive appliances.

Basically you're wasting your money. The extra money you are sinking into appliances you have no idea how to use best could be better spent on making your kitchen more functional in other ways. It just goes to show your inexperience that you want to buy a suite of expensive matching appliance based more on their looks and the badge on the front rather than their actual function. Fancy expensive appliances isn't going to make you a better cook. Spending extra money to improve other aspects of your kitchen will make the cooking experience all that much better. You will then enjoy cooking more which will lead to you cooking more and improving your skills.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 10:53PM
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Thank you julieboulangerie I never knew you need more ventilation with gas, not something I thought about. That post from you really convinced me to convince my wife for the proper hood :)

And karenlee56, come on, you're talking about an appliance, the only difference I can see is higher temps, and faster heating up time, which can burn the food. It's a Viking d3, not even their Pro line, and waaay behing from commercial ranges that some people install in their homes.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 10:59PM
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The better the tools, the better cook you'll become. Some of the posts here seem a little condescending in my opinion. Get the best appliances you can afford - you'll learn to use them - it's not rocket science. I think the reason for some of the posts is that your wife's obsession with matching appliances makes it seems like the appliances are more for looking than cooking.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 11:34PM
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Maybe some are gunning for me for what you just said :)
Yes, I know it's wrong to match things, but for better or worse, those were the vows :)

Let me ask some of you again, which company would you trust ? Because every company I start reading about it's the same issue, people say their stuff is bad and say buy something else :)
Pricing is very similar for Kitchenaid, Jenn-Air, Electrolux, Bosch and Vikind D3 line.
In my mind I cannot believe Viking would have more problem prone product than the other companies, I wish there was some comparison on % of appliances repaird by company, but that won't happen.
Also Viking d3 is a year old product, so no real info on quality.

Thank you all for criticism, the more points you give me the more I think stuff over and the better the final purchase will be.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 11:44PM
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Honestly, if I HAD to go one brand, it would get Wolf/Subzero (they don't make a DW, though). Next choice would probably be Bosch. I'm not too familiar with Electrolux appliances but their ovens get good reviews

I have 3 KA appliances that I'm happy with (fridge, DW, and compactor) but I'm leery of their ovens from what I've read. I personally wouldn't consider Viking - too much bad press.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 11:57PM
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M4tin, your wife would not be the first person to select matching appliances, so don't worry about it. I noticed that Dacor is missing from your list of possibilities, which is priced along the same lines as the rest.

Once you start looking at the different choices, you might be able to rule some of them out just based on features that you don't like. For instance, I didn't want a fifth burner on my 30 inch range, so I could rule out the Viking D3 and the DCS right there. And I didn't want a bunch of different sized burners, so that ruled out a few others. I have preferences about the stove top surface and the grates, too, knocking others out of the running.

Even if you are just an amatuer cook, you probably have some idea of what you like and what you don't. Regardless of the price or the name, if you don't enjoy cooking on it, you won't be happy with your choice. If looks and matching appliances are a top priority, there's nothing wrong with that either, and Viking does make a beautiful looking line of appliances, for sure.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 12:04AM
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Sheesh, cut the newbie some slack.

M4rtin: if you like Viking, just go ahead and buy it. Don't buy the gas range, though. Buy the smoothtop electric. You'll be happier using that with the OTR and your wife (or wife to be) will have matching bling.

You are right that the Viking D3 is competing with premium price GE and KA products. Trouble is, the D3 line is still in the trophy stove price range.

That is a big part of the troublesome reaction you are getting. I don't know how the D3 line is priced on your side of the border, but down here, the D3 ranges run about $3600 which is waayyyy more than, say, GE Cafe ranges. I think a GE Cafe appliance package would look nice, perform better and likely have better customer service. As would an Electrolux package. Or a Frigidaire.

Personally, if it were my money, and I were looking for a hefty range (whether to run with now or grow into), I'd be looking to buy a Bluestar range from Costco Canada for $2400 ($CA) and work on matching the other appliances to each other. I'm guessing your wife won't care for the industrial chic, though.

Better yet, since you are starting out (and maybe can get pots and pans as gifts), and matching bling is critically important, I'd strongly recommend looking at induction ranges from the GE Profile line and Electrolux, Get the matching fridge, DW, OTR, too.

Induction will be far easier for to keep clean and sparkling (which the OCD spouse should appreciate). Induction throws a whole lot less waste heat and combustion by-products into the air of the kitchen. Puts a lot less stress on the OTR. MOre efficient and nicer than the radiant smoothtop you have been using. (Though you would still be better off getting a range hood and pulling the logo to satisfy the one of you who wants everything just so.)

If you still want the D3, be aware that Viking has been bought out by the Middelby Corp. What that means for Viking quality, its product lines and their longevity is unknown at this point, so that warranty might not mean much in a couple of years.

One final thought: folks above have used car analogies. Here's mine. You may not be old enough to remember the Cadillac Cimmaron. Small, premium priced, Cadillac from the early 80s. Grossly overpriced for what you got which was fancy sheet metal and leather seats in what was otherwise the not-so reliable, very cheap, Chevy Cavalier.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 12:13AM
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M4artin...I guess my car analogy was just there first of all for a little bit of humor. :) No one wants to see you and your wife make an expensive mistake. One thing that youth usually tricks us into thinking is that the more we pay for something, the better it will be. That unfortunately is just not always true. After getting my dishwasher and dealing with the Miele company, I would definitely look towards Miele for my future appliances. The company has been absolutely fantastic to deal with, and that is what you want from a company. You want them to be behind the products that they sell. Many are not. Also think about the high cost of repairing some of those high end brands down the road. Hopefully you both have very good jobs...LOL

If your wife still maintains the 'I want everything to match and look great but don't care about the performance or the company and their support,' then it sounds like she has a little bit of maturing to do and will have to learn the hard way. Worse things can happen I'm sure, so in the end it's probably not such a big deal. Regardless of what all of us say, you and your wife will end up doing what you want, anyway. I just hope that you take some of our advice to heart when making your final decision.

This post was edited by karenlee56 on Thu, Feb 21, 13 at 7:10

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 7:08AM
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Viking's budget range is unlikely to represent the best value for your money, because Viking's business model is built around high margin/high cost-of-sale products. Relative to their revenue, Viking spends a lot on marketing/advertising, sales reps, etc., and their distribution channel has bigger margins. The money for that has to come from somewhere; that somewhere is the price of the appliances (or the quality of the appliances at a given price point). Bottom line: with a fixed budget, you are likely to get less appliance for your money. That may not be apparent externally, but it will show up in quality issues.

A company like GE whose business model is huge volume on very thin margins is likely to give you more appliance for your budget.

If you see 100 bad reviews for Viking and 100 bad reviews for GE, that doesn't mean the two brands have the same quality. Viking sells a tiny fraction of the number of appliances that GE does. The percentage of dissatisfied users cannot be equated.

I mention GE just as an example; the same holds true for any mass-market brand. That said, I think GE would be a good fit for your budget.

In some ways, a mass-market brand with small margins has a bigger incentive to get quality right, because they can't afford to spend money on warranty work. A boutique maker with high margins can build the cost of some service calls into their pricing.

This post was edited by PeterH2 on Thu, Feb 21, 13 at 8:35

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 8:34AM
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A few comments / observations:

OTR micros make very poor vent hoods for several reasons. They cannot move a lot of air because the fan is tiny. They have very small filter areas , so the cannot trap much smoke and grease Which is pretty much the whole purpose of a hood anyway. More importantly they basically have no capture area , meaning there is no place for the smoke to collect and get funneled to the filters and fan. Also, micros placed that high can be dangerous for getting things in and out like soupy casseroles ect......that are heavy and may splash hot liquids onto you.

They really are a horrible idea unless you live in a studio apt. and don't do real cooking.

People round here know their stuff and get just as frustrated as you do with them when you basically ignore their advice. They also understand the looks and spousal thing, but tend to take a more proactive approach when presented with a compelling reason to alter the original plan if it's seriously flawed. You won't find many yes men or a mutual admiration society on this forum, it tends to be a fairly practical bunch. Therefore, if you are hemmed in on a complete D3 line by your wife, you should probably cut and run now ,as this crowd is not going to bless that decision in any form. Like weissman said, that's fine if it fits your need sand budget, but you should not expect anyone to validate your choice because it fits your narrowly defined parameters.

I think Peter and karen bring up good points, namely it's best to not deal with a company that is management and financial transition , and it's wise not to buy a product from a company who has little experience in a given area. High end luxury manuf. Have no real clue about producing budget/ low price goods any more than the low cost leader knows how to build a high quality highly refined product. Some companies have made the transition and fairly quickly, BUT, do you really want to be the guinea pig while they figure it out. If the evn can?

Induction is a can of worms, you may need all new pots and pans and they may buzz annoyingly in use with induction. Also, your OCD wife is going to kill you the first time she scratches the glass top on an induction or other smooth top with a pan and then you are going to have to shell out more $$$.

If it were me with 10 grand , I'd get that bluestar from Costco. It'll have high performance and be backed by Costco should yo have an issue. Get a 500 dollar canopy hood with no visible name or logo or an insert and place it in a cabinetry hood. I'd get a 1500 dollar fully integrad Miele dishwasher and place a cabinet panel on it to match the cabinets next to it. A small 100-200 dollar microwave will complete the cooking units. I'd then take the remaining 5,000+ and look for a fully integrated fridge. Match matchy problem solved because pretty much everything is hidded except the stove/hood.

Admittedly , the fridge @ 5k is a tall order, but not impossible if you are a bargain hunter and have some time. This will give you rock star appliances on a pretty modest budget and should still satisfy your wife's OCD issue as most stuff will "match" the cabinets.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 10:46AM
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i get the matching thing if that is most important and especially if your kitchen is not gigantic and the appliances are going to be close. FYI, consumer reports usually reports reliability by brand for each type of appliance, if it is only the warranty pushing you towards viking i still think you would be better served to buy one of the other packages and purcahse extended warranties to give you peace of mind (even though they arent always a good "deal" to some people). It seems like the warranty from viking is outweighing the reliability concerns for you. I had a frigidaire professional series appliance set in my old apartment but bought a bosch dishwasher. I told my wife they shouldmatch full well knowing they wouldn't, since frigidaire has a fingerprint smudge free finish. she definitely noticed but ended up not caring. I understand how that can be an issue for sure, i just have easily could have been returning it. Even the "better" more reliable choices can have problems (like my brand new $900 bosch dishwasher that needs a service call after 1 week).

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 11:43AM
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Our kitchen has an OTR, so I tend to follow the threads concerning them. The OTR arrangement is a major compromise, the vent capabilities are poor in most models. From the various threads on OTRs the LG unit has a pull out to make the capture area a little deeper. The other unit that gets mentioned is a Panasonic unit which supposedly has a 600 CFM.

The other fact you should understand is that most microwaves are made by two or three companies. I know Sharp is one of them, not sure about the others.

Also in today's disposable society microwaves are generally tossed rather than repaired which is significantly cheaper on a counter unit. I've replaced two OTRs because of broken handles. The first was at a condo and the other at my current house. When we replaced our current unit we went with the cheapest unit, partially because we hope to remodel soon.

Another thing you should realize about appliances is that companies have many different lines. Kitchenaid and JennAir are both Whirlpool products. Electrolux is the parent of Frigidaire. Manufactures also make pieces for each other, as Kenmore can be made by various companies.

Good luck with whichever way you go and make sure you post how frustrated the appliance picking decision is.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 8:15PM
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Gas puts out a lot more heat into the room than electric. Especially a high power range like a Viking.

I currently have all builder grade appliances, including an OTR microwave. At some point the previous owner of our house replaced the electric range with a gas Viking, but he left the OTR microwave. The vent is completely inadequate. Also the microwave is cracking from the heat. A few times the microwave vent fan has turned itself on when I was using the oven because it was getting so hot on the bottom. I think my setup may actually be unsafe. Luckily we are planning to remodel this spring.

There is also a lot I dislike about my Viking range. I wouldn't have another Viking if it was free. Mine is older though, and not a D3. I admit I know nothing about the D3 line.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 2:50AM
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I have been very happy with our GE Profile suite. Induction is definitely something to consider, especially with the Profile model now on clearance (new model is coming out). There is also a rebate available. Granted, there may be other models in this price range that would be considered better in some way, these appliances were all significantly better than what they replaced, and available at good prices between sales and rebates. I have never had such clean dishes, let alone a DW that I can't hear! I also avoided having an ice aker in the fridge door, both for the increased space and they tend to be the source of problems.

Plus I decided to try an Advantium instead of replacing the MW. It will match, and I hope we love it!

I did get a real hood. That was a must. If you are getting SS appliances, just pick one that blends with the style. Easy to find. It's better/quieter to run a good hood on low than a poor hood (or OTR MW) on high.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 11:50AM
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We had a OTR microwave for many years. We finally replaced it with Modern Aire hood. You don't know how bad an OTR is until you have a functioning hood. We had to cut access holes in the floor of the bedroom above the hood to vent it outside (to avoid messing up our ceiling). It was a ton of work and a bit expensive, but it was worth every penny. IMO, never try to make an OTR work if you have an option of a real hood. If you are spending that much on appliances then you probably have nice furnishings. The hood will prevent your furnishings from smelling like your food.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 12:52PM
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I'd like to echo JWvideo and williamsem. You should at least consider induction. I'm an experienced cook, and induction has improved my outcomes compared to the regular electric I used to have.

I guess if you have to get a matching set, I'd look for one that has an appliance you really want, then make sure that none of the other pieces have really bad reviews. For instance, my Kitchenaid induction is noisy, and many people report problems with the self-clean on Kitchenaid wall ovens. So maybe Kitchenaid isn't a good choice. OTOH, I love my Elux ovens, and I think people like their Elux induction cooktops. People also like Bosch ovens and Bosch induction. (I'm sorry, I can't speak to gas ranges, except I know sayde loves her Bluestar.)

But your original question was about the OTR vs. the hood, and you should definitely get a hood, especially if you get a gas range. I like my Kobe hood, it's quiet and easy to clean.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 5:36PM
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I have slowly transitioned my entire kitchen to all viking products. The last piece that I bought was the convection micro/hood to go over a 30" range. I absolutely LOVE the micro/hood!

I use the sensor settings a lot and also the convection settings. I usually don't get home with my daughter until 6pm every night and by that time she is starving. Baking in this is very quick. Truthfully when I bought the microwave I wasn't intending on using it to bake but it's now one of my favorite features. Also, I really like the "keep warm" setting. I don't have the space in my kitchen for a warming drawer, so it's really nice to have this option and I do use it.

As far as the rest of my appliances go, I've not had any service issues. I have been very pleased with all of my viking appliances and they look sooooo good in my kitchen!!!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 10:46PM
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How are you liking your viking appliances? We're about to switch our electric stove to gas in our new house, but sadly are stuck with an over the range microwave vent. Because of this, I know we can't get our dream stove right now and are leaning towards the D3 range and matching convection microwave. I've heard so many bad things about viking; I'm curious how yours have held up?

    Bookmark   January 7, 2015 at 12:57PM
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