AAGHHH! Wolf or Thermador? All Gas or Dual Fuel Help!!!

sue2012April 4, 2012

I am really having a hard time deciding between a 36" Wolf or Thermador Gas Range. I love the star burners. Wolf has many positives as far as performance and customer service. I have heard Thermador has stepped up on both recentley. Also, I am considering purchasing an all gas range instead of the dual fuel. Any thoughts? One more thing. I am also looking at the GE monogram advantium oven/microwave/speed cooker. This will resolve both a second oven and microwave issue. I don't have a lot of space and thought this could be a good solution. Does anyone own one or have any thoughts on this?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions or comments

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chef_dupre

sue,
i wrote a pretty comprehensive review on the thermador pro grand AG..it may have disappeared to page 2 or 3 by now.
i installed a thermador convection micro for the same reason you are looking at the advantium.
it is perfect for those times you want to bake (not nuke) 2 potatoes, but don't want to fire up a 5.7 cu oven.
as you'll see, this is my 2nd thermador cooking unit, and many of the issues i had w/ my first rangetop have been resolved.
thermador has also stepped up customer service as far as i can tell. the two times i called about questions, the reps were pleasant and professional.
my $.02, adjusted for inflation

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 8:03PM
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sue2012

Thanks for the response. I will look for the review. I am looking at the proharmony thermador 6 burner or the wolf 6 burner. Also any thoughts on all gas or dual fuel?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 9:04PM
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tyguy

I really think you will be happy with either. Wolf does seem to lead the pack (so to speak) in customer service and reliability, but it does seem as tho thermador has stepped up here as well. In my opinion the flame pattern on the thermador is going to give you better heat distribution compared to the sealed wolf units. Its too bad wolf is giving up their semi open dual stacked, as I do believe they were the best burners other than bluestar and capitals culinarian. I have not owned either brand but I have eye witnessed all 3 burners (therm wolf sealed and wolf semi open).

If you are considering all gas can I ask why bluestar or capital culinarian are not on your list? I'm not saying they should be, as we all have our unique needs/wants, I am merely curious.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 9:15PM
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sue2012

I am trying not to confuse myself any more than i have to.
I am open to any suggestions as i am just learning about these products. I have heard great things about Wolf and their customer service. thermadors star just makes sense,but, i am not convinced how well the product is overall. The promotions are good with both brands right now. A difference of $1000 between the two. Wolf has a better warranty. Thanks for your response.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 10:20PM
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dodge59

The fact that you are interested in the "Star Burner" on the thermador, would lead one (at least this one) (LOL) to conclude that you are concerned about , or at least have interest in how well the flame covers the pan?

If you have and use small pans, are you concerned about the flames shooting around them, and possibly heating up the handles, and at the very least, a waste of gas?

So that is why I would suggest you look at either the Blue Star, or Capital Cullinarian ranges, as either one is hard to beat as far as flame coverage of the bottom of the pan.

If you do any woking, or stir frying, you will have a hotter flame with either the Blue Star or Capital, alto it has been posted that the Wolf was perfectly up to Woking or Stir Frying, However, I don't recall if that was the Wolf model with the "Semi-open burners" or the sealed burners.

As far as the Advantium goes, yes it's a great 2nd oven, and a lot faster and more efficient that a regular oven.
We have it's competitor, (Elux Speed Oven) and it sure is nice to have baked (Not Nuked)((well actually speed cooked))
potatoes in 14 minutes instead of an hour.

HTH's

Gary

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 11:00PM
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wekick

There are differences in these ranges and only you can determine what is the most important to you.

I have a Wolf DF, sealed burners and love it. The burners heat very evenly. I think your cookware can contribute the most to even heating, much more than the burner. I have read on some of the cookware forums that the way heat is transferred it actually goes to the center of the pan and it can actually get hotter than the outside or at least heat a lot quicker. I made potato pancakes the other day in a relatively inexpensive aluminum pan and they cooked perfectly evenly without changing them around in the pan at all. Sometimes I will kind of rotate them but decided not to and see what happened. They were in a 14 inch pan. I also make caramel in a 7 inch pan and it turns very evenly. The burners all go well below simmer to just warm. We entertain a lot and I love keeping mashed potatoes or pasta warm without any chance of scorching. It does not have as many BTUs as some others but I threw 2 lbs of boneless chicken, cut up in to stir fry(in the same 14 inch skillet and it caramelized very nicely. There used to be a poster, a chef, here several years ago that said one of the advantages of the star shaped burner was that you could use a cheap thin pan and it would cook more evenly. I don't know too many that cook on these ranges that use cheap pans though. If I stirfried a lot and wanted heat at the base of a wok, I would consider the Culinarian. On another thread someone gave the advice to pick the three most important attributes to you and find the range that meets that criteria.

I love the oven as well. When I bought this range I had never had convection or the various modes but now I wouldn't be without them. I like being able to direct the heat as in the convection bake mode from the bottom for pies and quiches especially and from the top in the convection roast mode. It also has two convection fans with heating elements that keeps the heat very even when the range is full. I would buy a Wolf DF again in a heartbeat.

Some though don't like the computer boards so this might not appeal to them. The all gas convection has a fan that turns on and off to provide the air movement. Some all gas ranges also have the infrared broiler.
Still if you like a star burner, you might look at the Bluestar as well. It is good to hear about the Thermador.

This is a very informative article about cookware.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cooking for Engineers--Common Materials of Cookware

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 12:01AM
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chef_dupre

i chose AG more for reliability (real or perceived) due to the horror stories I've read about dual fuels failing after self cleaning. Also the AG was significantly cheaper than its dual fuel sibling.
I got a cavernous oven capable of accepting the commercial sheet pans I use for baking and roasting. I got all the features I wanted in roasting,convection, radiant baking, and keep warm.
The burner shape has been widely debated here. For me the pedestal burners make for easy cleaning.My last Thermador rangetop had a stainless base and was a nightmare to keep clean. The porcelain surface and pedestal burners have eliminated that issue for me.
All models mentioned above are high quality units, it comes down to features and aesthetics.
wekick, thanks for the link..great article.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 9:59AM
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elyash

The conventional wisdom is that gas ovens are better for meat; electric for baking. CC has a no dual fuel range coming out. However, the electric oven has a feature to add water in a duct which will provide moist heat for meat when desired. This may give you the best of both worlds. You can see my post from the AD show with pictures of the unit. That being said, if you are considering a gas only range, I vote with the others - look at CC and BS.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 3:14PM
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wekick

The whole concept of moisture being better for roasting is sort of interesting. On one hand some say gas due to it's moisture is better, on the other in order to promote the Maillard reaction and crispiness, there are all types of drying techniques-salt, drying with fans before roasting, convection in the oven, high heat.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 10:25AM
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