Dacor Rangetop Help/Advice

rqhomeFebruary 26, 2014

I have spent days reading reviews on GW and love this site - it has helped me tremendously. I'm a first time poster and am hoping to get some more help.

For a litte history, I have a double wall oven and enough space for either a 30" or 36" rangetop. I have read about Dacor, CC, BS and various other models, but few people seem to have just a rangetop. I'm not interested in Wolf, Viking or any "high end" brands. I want a good value for the money, asthetically pleasing, reliable and the ability to simmer (preferrably without a diffuser).

Due to local code enforcement on MUA for hoods higher than 400 cfm, budget constraints and no real need for an oven, I would really like to hear from anyone that has the Dacor DRT366 rangetop or another sealed burner rangetop like the Kitchenaid KGCU467VSS. CC, BS would be a great to have, but I just can't justify the cost to put in an MUA unit to have one. The Dacor manual for the DRT366 doesn't list a recommended cfm so my inspector will let my unit stay, so I am interested in knowing if anyone has this model or a similar unit - performance for both searing/simmering, longevity, repair history, etc.

In addition, from a safety perspective, it's dangerous to have such high cfm's in newer, more sealed homes like mine. With all the new energy saving codes, houses are more tight. One site said, "ASHRAE's residential ventilation standard, ASHRAE 62.2, limits exhaust fans to a maximum of 15 cfm per 100 square feet of occupiable space, unless a backdrafting test is performed. According to this standard, the smallest home in which a 1,200-cfm range hood could be installed without verifying makeup air needs would be one measuring 8,000 square feet � a very large McMansion indeed." Using this formula, I shouldn't have a cfm higher than 600, but am trying to stick with my 400 cfm unit.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide! Photos would be great too - I haven't seen anything but the KitchenAid in person.

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If you are going with a "pro" range top with higher BTU than standard consumer grade ones, then you might want more than 400 CFM. That said, it really depends on what kind of cooking you'll be doing and how many burners you'll be using at a time. You _might_ be able to get away with 400 CFM, but I don't know if I'd recommend it.

That said, I am of the belief that people are installing way more powerful range hoods than they actually need. I don't think more than 400 is necessary on a consumer grade stove, and all these hoods over 800-1000 CFM are way overkill unless you are going to be doing indoor grilling.

Keep in mind that MUA may not be as expensive as you think. Mine is a simple damper tied into my heat/AC ducts and interlocked with the furnace fan, so the outside air is mixed with return air and the furnace will fire up if need be. You need to have someone who knows what they're doing set the system up though because you don't want to be dumping too much cold air on the heat exchanger of your furnace. In a warmer climate you could get away with a similar damper just opening up a duct straight into the kitchen.

I don't have any personal experiences with Dacor, maybe someone else will be able to offer those, but all the appliance repair people I've talked to speak very favorably about it. All built here in the USA, well made, very open about technical info so much easier and cheaper to repair than other high end brands.

This post was edited by hvtech42 on Thu, Feb 27, 14 at 10:11

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 10:10AM
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Thanks for the follow-up. I am more of a baker than anything so have a double wall oven, which is why I don't need a range and I didn't want a cooktop for countertop cutout issues if I change brands.

I do some stir-frys every once in a while, but simmer sauces and cook rice/steel cut oats more often. I'm open to a good 30" range (never hurts to have 3 ovens), but I am concerned so many of the new ones are cramped with 5 burners, which would throw too much heat onto my quartz countertops. Seriously considered the NXR, but I'm one of those weird people that actually like black porcelain under the burners - looks cleaner without as much work as SS. Thanks for the info on the Dacor. I'm trying to find some place local that carries it so I can look at it.

We live in VA so it does get cold here. I saw someone on one of the GW threads put in a duct to the outside under their range or refrigerator with a low-voltage wire hookup for a damper. It is a passive system, that opened up when the hood was turned on. I will have to ask my inspector about it. We have 4' crawlspace so this may be doable somewhat inexpensively. I called my HVAC person and he didn't know what I was talking about, which left me worried about having one put in to the house ducting. When I talked to my inspector about it,he said since my area is rural, they are just now enforcing the 2009 code on MUA. He did hint that he would let me get away with 500-600 cfm without making me do the MUA, so if you think I should up my 400 I will do that.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 11:49AM
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If he will let you get away with 5-600 no MUA that sounds like it may be the best option. Since you have a tight house I'd be sure to open a window when putting it on high. I am an HVAC contractor and I have to say I could not recommend violating the code to a customer, but I have a 600CFM hood in my own tight house with no makeup air and it's fine. Anything over that and I'd start to worry, though.

Dumping MUA behind the fridge sounds like a good idea, but I've never tried it.

Do you have any other gas appliances, and do you have a fireplace?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 1:33PM
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All other kitchen appliances are electric, but I have a wood stove (not an open fireplace) and a gas Rinnai tankless hot water heater in another room off the mud hall. I also have a propane backup furnace to the heat pump (the unit is in the crawlspace with intake under the stairs). Dryer is electric.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 5:09PM
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Anyone have any experience with a Dacor rangetop performance? How about the knobs around children - I don't see many rangetops with child locks - are the knobs hard for a child to turn?

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 10:40PM
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To the extent of the rangetop, I can help a little. I'm a nerd by trade, so I tell people more than they probably wanted to know. I don't know what's important to you so I just spit it all out.

I have a Distinctive 30" range. The Distinctive range top uses the same burners, the Discovery is slightly different.

Not a lot of anything for child proofing rangetops. Something like knob covers won't work because of the small hoods around the knobs. A child could turn a knob - it takes no effort at all but the knob must be pushed in before being able to turn when the burner is off. I also would make you aware that there is no bullnose on the Distinctive unit. A bullnose would make it harder for little hands to get to pot handles. As I understand the child safety issue, THAT is by far the more prevalent accident. There is a small bullnose available for the discovery unit but contrast it to the set back of the burners on other makes.

Dacor's simmer markings can be misleading. I found that a simmer (bubbles breaking surface every once in a while) was unobtainable on the 15k burners. I could get a nice low boil that would be very even across the bottom of the pan, but not a simmer. The low boil is also useful to me but its not a simmer.

On the 10k, sometimes it'll be ok and sometimes not. Small cookware is another boil - larger, heavier cookware produces a simmer.

The 18k burners are a little odd in that they will sear (above 8" cookware) and they will simmer using the small center ring. The 18k will do a fine job with a flat bottom wok. Haven't tried a round bottomed one. What the 18ks don't have is "low" where the entire burner turns down. When reducing the heat, the entire outside ring turns down and then the inner ring turns down. If you're looking for "low" or the low boil setting on this burner with the entire pan surface still engaged, it's just not possible. You have to move the pan.

I still sometimes use a flat plate that I got free with an induction burner. Just a 3/8" flat lump of metal on a handle. It spreads the heat outward from the small center burner ring and does a great job cooking tortillas.

You may find that you want a heat diffuser or a traditional simmer plate. I did not buy the one from dacor, I bought one from Eurostoves and I really like it. It allows simmer at any level from one bubble burst per second up to that place right below boil on the 10k and 15k burners - using any cookware. It's the large one from Ilsa. I have not had the opportunity to try it on the 18k burner yet.

The other thing that looks odd, but works is having two 15k burners stacked front to back. If you use a griddle, that's the place to put it. I didn't get Dacor's (it looks lovely but pricey for us). I got the Chef's Design Maxigrill. While it doesn't do high heat cooking, it does do everything breakfast and lunch.

We find the burner indicator lights to be useful - sometimes the sun washes out low flames. The grates are great with good tine spacing, heavy but easy to pick up. The SmartFlame blather actually works - your kitchen will be cooler using Dacor's system.

The porcelain spill basin under the burners is easy to clean - I use water or a very little diluted pine sol. It's one big piece, so not a lot of edges to capture dirt. Doing diluted pine sol with a miracle cloth produces sparkly clean. The burner caps are porcelained with a pretty good camo-color, you could likely never wash them and no one would know. I've boiled over my share of things and nothing has been stuck on past using a non-scrubby sponge.

The burner heads are aluminum - slight bummer there as they can't go into the dishwasher or be scrubbed with a scrubby sponge.

Good luck with choosing.

This post was edited by bmorepanic on Sun, Mar 2, 14 at 8:29

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 11:49AM
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Thank you bmorepanic. That is very helpful and you gave me some food for thought - especially the bullnose with children. It looks like only Dacor's dual-fuel range has the bull nose, but I found the rangetop that has it also. It's an extra $1K, which seems a bit high for that added feature.

I found your other reviews of your Dacor 30" helpful as well and am thinking about the 30" range now since I bake a lot, so 3 ovens may not be a bad thing. I'll lose too much cupboard space to do a 36" range and the price is just too high anyway.

I'm pouring over the different models available on AJ Madison and similar sites so may have more questions later. :-)

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 11:02AM
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I've been looking at what is available and going back and forth between a 36" rangetop or a 30" slide-in range. The idea of a 3rd oven appeals to me (love to bake many loaves of bread at one time). I've been cooking on my mom's GE 5 burner cooktop and I really don't use all burners at once, except around the holidays. So buying a 36" for two times a year may not be the best use of money.

I like the looks of the Dacor Renaissance 30". It has the bullnose to help with little hands for when we have company and it has the black enamel under the burners. Does anyone on here have or know of any problems with this all gas model? I need LP since I'm in a rural area.

I have only found two reviews online for it. One was for the 36" Renaissance and it said stay away from Dacor - they were on their 2nd or 3rd replacement in 4 years, but it was annoying in that he didn't say what the problem was. I don't find such reviews very helpful. The other review I read was very favorable. They only commented on that it was easy to bump the oven temperature dial while baking/cooking at the same time.


Any help from someone with this model or similar would be much appreciated! I have to choose something soon. Thank you in advance!

Here is a link that might be useful: Dacor Renaissance 30

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 10:09PM
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