Pro Range Cook tops ... Any easy to keep clean?

jellytoastFebruary 7, 2013

Am I the only one who has noticed that the majority of the pro-style ranges have gaps all around the perimeter of the tops for food, spills, and gunk to get trapped in? I went to one luxury brand's "living kitchen" showroom today to look at their newly designed all gas range, which is modeled after their dual fuel range. The old model with the removable top has been discontinued and this new, "easy to clean" model is what they have come up with to replace it. The center black porcelain-coated stovetop is surrounded by stainless steel panels and there is a gap between these pieces where food, liquid, crumbs, etc. can fall and get trapped. If I were to spill something on the top, it would easily seep into those cracks and leak into the area under the range top. I could actually see down into these cracks to the area underneath where stuff could fall, and there is no way to get it out should something land there. The advertising claims that the sealed burners mean that spills won't go under the top, but there is nothing to keep spills out of these other openings. The rep told me that she had been cooking on their display dual- fuel model for a long time and had never had a problem with it. Yet when she took me over to it to show me how the burners work, there was all kinds of old food gunk trapped in those spaces ... gross! I don't get it! Why in the world would someone design a stove that can't be cleaned well? And it's not just one manufacturer ... most have the same major drawback. Does anyone (besides the Bertazzoni) make a range top that is truly sealed???

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Not sure what interests you or what sealed burner range top you looked at. I have a Wolf, DF 36" range, picture of range top attached. The only place I could conceivably get a spill is either along the front space between the black liner and the stainless, or the same small slit in the back. You can see the small slits, but they are probably smaller than 1/16" and I cannot see any light/air/area beneath. The sides have no spaces. My GC got it in so tight that there is no space between the granite and the stovetop, not even for small crumbs. To get any leaks into the burners, you would have to have a significant liquid spill, like at least a pint or more to flood and get into the burner caps. With my top, it will disperse evenly across all 6 burners before it goes anywhere else. I think that is not only unlikely, but not much different than the flood risk of any other cooktop.

I do get occassional crumbs in the front crack, and I sweep them with a toothpick.

There was another thread on cleaning stovetops, and I just used Easy Off on mine this week. It's so easy to keep clean with some Dawn dishsoap/water, but I had a few baked on splatters, and they came right up with the Easy Off.

I use it every day, and I've had it over 6 years.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 8:12PM
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It's not spilling things on the porcelain stovetop that concerns me ... such spills could simply be wiped up. It is spilling things on the areas between the porcelain and the stainless trim that surrounds it. These areas are not sealed, and I could definately see down into the area below. On the model I saw today, there were little removable plastic trim pieces that fit in between the porcelain and the stainless trim to keep crumbs out, but they would do nothing to prevent liquid from seeping in. I can't figure out why they would have these little pieces on the left and the right, but none for the front and back ... why not just make them to go all the way around, and why not make them out of rubber so that they would keep liquids out as well? Maybe I'm just too picky, but I tend to make a mess when I cook and it bothes me that they have designed these things with all kinds of spaces for cooking messes to get stuck in. Being able to swipe out crumbs with a toothpick is one thing, but a toothpick isn't going to do much for removing a liquid spill. Every pro-style range that I looked at has this same issue with the cooktop, except the Bertazzoni which is one seamless piece. It's frustrating, especially when looking at the price tags.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 10:05PM
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I don't know which ranges you're talking about, but on my older Viking range the entire top disassembles. The grates come off, then the burner pans, and then you can pop out the 3 porcelain pieces that make up the surface. There is also a pull out drip tray which I have lined with foil. I'm a messy cook too, and I don't find it difficult to clean. I dislike my Viking for many reasons, but cleaning issues isn't one of them.

I thought most of the pro style ranges were like this. The Bluestar is what I've been looking at & I know the top comes apart for cleaning.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 11:58PM
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The ranges that I have looked at have been the ones with sealed burners. Wolf had a model that came apart on top for cleaning, but it was discontinued last month. Viking still makes the open burner range that comes apart, but I prefer to go with a different brand this time. I saw the Bluestar, but it is a bit too "industrial" in the looks department and the giant burners scare me! Others that I've looked at were Dacor, Thermador, American Range, and NXR. Does anyone know if there are other models out there that have tops that come apart for cleaning or tops that are truly seamless?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 10:34AM
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Our Viking with open burners can be completely disassembled. At least twice a year I take it all apart, put the parts in the laundry tub, and spray with easy off - comes out sparkling clean. Same for the grill components. Additionally there's a pull out tray that catches all the spills and boil overs.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 11:54AM
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I am replacing a Viking and am looking to go with a different brand this time.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 12:02PM
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There has been some discussion of this subject in the NXR threads.
The 30" NXR stoves have have sealed burners in deep wells and seams along the sides and at the back where the top butts into the vent/backguard. The burner pans are not removeable.

During cooking, most of the seams are covered by the edges of the burner grates.

By all accounts, the top is pretty easy to clean. I'm a pretty messy cook and dealing with spills is a way of life for me. I've had my NXR for 8 months now. I have not yet had to resort to tooth-brushes or toothpicks. Cleaning the top has been mostly a matter of pulling the grates off, spritzing with Windex or Pinesol or whatever, and wiping with a microfiber cloth. Not much more than what I'd do with a ceramic glass smoothtop. Every once in a while, I've had to use a blue-scrubbie Scotchbrite sponge and a bit of Barkeeper's friend. The deep wells seem to help by keeping the surfaces away from the hottest flames which otherwise could bake (or burn) crud onto the surface. Not much sticks to the ss surface. On the whole, a great deal easier to clean and maintain than my previous stove, a GE Profile, dual fuel.

Don't know about the black and porcelainized tops.

I think there was a recent thread about cleaning Wolf cooktops.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 4:39PM
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I was leaning heavily towards ordering the NXR from Costco, then called around to see if I could see one at a showroom first. As luck would have it, one was due to arrive in a few days and I went to see it as soon as it was uncrated. The first thing I noticed was the door was crooked in the opening, and it appeared that the door itself was out of square ... the distances from the door to the frame were equal on the sides and bottom, but very noticably off on the top. The appliance guy seemed stumped as to how to fix it, and admitted he was going to have a hard time selling them in that condition. There was also a ding/dimple in the center panel. While Costco does have a fantastic return policy and I figured these things could happen with any brand, when I measured it, it would not fit in my spot. Durocorp told me that the range measured 29 7/8 inch, and the specs on Costco's site said a 30 inch cabinet opening is sufficient, but this one actually measured 30 1/16. And the rear panel was attached in such a way that it stuck out a bit on one side, adding another 1/16 inch to the width ... I don't have a fraction of an inch to spare in my exactly 30 inch opening. I am still looking, and am finding lots to like and dislike in every brand. Even ranges at the top end have their issues, which makes the search even more difficult.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 11:32AM
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If ease of cleaning is a top priority for you, then you should be looking at induction. There isn't anything on the market that's easier to clean. And you can still manage 99% of all cooking tasks on it that you would on any gas stove top. All except roasting peppers in the open flame.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 11:48AM
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I will second that induction is extremely easy to clean, at least in my experience of owning one for two months.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:47PM
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I agree that induction is easier to clean than a lot of the pro-style stoves that I have seen.

With your kitchen's stove cut-out being an actual 30" wide, the NXR is not going to fit, It is a true 30" wide. Most nominally 30" cut-outs are supposed to be 30 1/8", more or less. Yours is less, so that takes out the NXR. Most nominally 30" wide stoves are actual 29 7/8" wide.

Btw, if you saw a 30" spec in NXR installation instructions (linked on the Costco site), the 30" width in the drawing is for the spacing of the upper cabinets above the stove, not the cut-out in the base cabinets. There are numbers of NXR threads here which point out that the stove is a true rather than nominal 30" wide.

The crooked NXR oven door sounds like somebody pulled the door when moving the stove and didn't get it remunted correctly. That is what I did whan I moved my NXR into the house. If you have not seen it done, it can be a little tricky to get the hinge slots lined up so the door sits full square. The appliance guy should do what I did and call the customer service people at NXR Duro. Real, live, helpful folks will answer the phone and step him through re-mounting the door. He will probably be talking to them about the shipping ding/dimple in the side of the stove, anyway.

>>" I am still looking, and am finding lots to like and dislike in every brand."That is oh so true. When you match up what you really like and dislike and figure out your priorities and budget, every choice turns out to be a set of tradeoffs. That's what happened to me. I found that the NXR gave me a little bit more of what I wanted than the freestanding induction ranges I had originally planned on getting. But, it would not have taken much to change the balance.

If you've got the budget for a BlueStar etc., you might want also to look into the Electrolux and GE induction slide-in stoves. Do check on the breaker size for the 240 line. I do not recall what your old Viking dual fuel required fr power service, but it the existing line might or might not be sufficient to service an induction range. If ti is not, then you an x-out a couple of choices just as the cut-out-size took care of the NXR for you.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 12:28AM
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True Pro ranges are induction in all top restaurants. Electrolux Profesional induction ranges are 19k and do not include an oven. The consumer models are just as easy to clean because nothing gets baked on with heat.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 2:31AM
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I don't have the electrical power behind the stove for either a dual fuel or induction. My last range was all gas. I'm also in "the less electronics the better" camp.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 11:08AM
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I have the wolf DF as well. Even the worst boil over isn't going to go uphill and go into the places you describe.

This thing is easy to keep clean...honestly. 7 years in.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 12:51PM
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