I bought the AG, open burner, Wolf--report after 2 weeks
I’ve had a Wolf R304 for almost two weeks now and have been putting it through its paces. I just thought I’d comment on it in case there are still any other people out there thinking about buying one of these models before they are all gone. We needed to replace a nearly twenty- year-old, dual fuel, downdraft, Jenn Air. After getting lots of help from people here, we decided that we wanted to get open burners, so that left us with the usual choices of models people debate all of the time. We looked at them all--Capital, American Range, Bluestar, Viking and Wolf--and finally decided that we would buy the American Range Performer because, to us, it offers the best combination of performance and value. Then, just as we were about to buy, we discovered during our final measurement check that it is deeper than some of the other brands, and with our L-shaped configuration we wouldn’t be able to open an adjacent drawer if we installed this.
So, back to square one. Three weeks ago our local dealers were still quoting the full 4K price on the 30”, and I bumped into the local Wolf rep who told me there were some of these still available in the area and that this model was being discontinued only because the manufacturer wanted to achieve new efficiencies in the factory with standardization of all burners. A couple days later I went back for yet another look at ranges at our largest local appliance chain and discovered that this chain was now discounting these AG, open burner, floor models 20%. We bought one, and my husband installed it himself--a pretty big pain because of all of the retrofitting we had to do to accommodate it.
After two weeks I can say we like it quite a bit. I like the four burners of all the same size, and they seem to provide plenty of oomph for our needs. It is much more powerful than what we had before, and, for us, I really can’t imagine when I’d need a more powerful burner. The burners have a nice heat distribution all over the pot for the entire spectrum from high to low heat. They also do a very nice low simmer with no hot spots (yes, I watched the Eurostoves video comparing this model to the Bluestar); I made gravy and was able to hold it easily. We’ve baked a cake, banana bread, casseroles type things and roasted a turkey. The oven cooks evenly, and we had one of the most moist turkeys we have even cooked (and following the Wolf manual’s instructions we found it cooked quite rapidly).
Before buying I was worried about clean up of both the interior and the exterior. So far, the top has been a breeze to wipe up and keep clean. My husband (for the first time ever in our long marriage) cleaned out the interior to get off all of the turkey spatters, and he said it wasn’t bad at all to partially disassemble the racks and wipe it out.
Coming from an old dual fuel though there have been a couple surprises and contrasts. Our kitchen definitely warms up quite a bit more when cooking on this (we don’t have a vent installed yet, but we rarely used the downdraft vent on the JennAir, so I don’t think this accounts for the difference). I assume this is due to the increased BTUs compared to what we had before. In the dead of winter this is a nice feature, but I know when it is really hot it will not be so nice. When we run the oven, the door is warm in a few places, particularly behind the handle. The only reason I know this is because I was purposely running my hand all over the door trying to see if it would get hot as I’ve heard the Bluestar does.
All in all, we are pleased with the purchase. Obviously, getting the discount helped, but it was not the driving factor in our decision to buy this rather than a model from a different manufacturer.