Considering Viking electric range or cooktop and double oven

paarlbergMay 12, 2013

We are at the point of making the final decision on the appliances so our cabinet maker can start his part.

We are all electric, so gas is not an option.

So far we are doing the following:

Sub-zero 601R and 601F - we found in a kitchen design company, new never used or plugged in with full warranty. Paid $4k for the pair.

Bosch dishwasher, built-in model

As far as cooking, we haven't made a decision yet. I do most of the cooking in the house, so I want a lot of cooktop and double convection ovens. I have been looking at several brands, but viking seems to be the one I come back to. The style is not modern, but more classic like our home will be.

VESC5304BSS is an option from a dealer I have been working with can get a great price for an OTC unit. They can actually get 2 of them at a great price. The D3 series is something I have considered as well, styling is more towards the modern style, but still classic enough (compared to most brands).

My thought was to possibly get a pair of VESC5304BSS or D3 series and put them side by side, that would give the double oven and 8 cooktop elements in a 60" footprint. The wall it will be on is 10' long, so we would have

30" cabinet, 30" range, 30" range, 30" cabinet

I think that would look great along the wall.

Being all electric limits our options, and there are no 36" electric ranges that I care for. The only way to get 36" of cooking is a separate cooktop and double oven, but that might eat up too much space on the 10' wall. Although, the viking pro series electric cooktop matches our style, so it is an option.

Any thoughts?

This post was edited by paarlberg on Sun, May 12, 13 at 12:19

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Not sure what question you are asking about stoves. First, when you say "electric," do you mean you only want a radiant smoothtop or are you also asking about induction and coil burners?

Also, what did you mean by "OTC?" To me that signifies "over the counter" as for microwaves, but that does not fit the context of a question about stoves.

Beyond that, are you asking:

(a) what do GWers think of Viking electric stoves?; or

(b) are there any other electric stoves that have knob controls in front, don't have touchpads or digital displays and do not remind you of a large microwave?; or

(c) are there any alternatives to twin 30" stoves?

If (a), you will know from reading the many other posts here that most Viking products get panned here on reliability and poor warranty service.

OTOH, it seems to be a completely different story for the the VISC5304Bx induction range. Reports here are that it is an all round excellent stove. Of course, it is also $2k more than the radiant electric model.

If you meant to ask (b) and/or (c) there are numbers of "retro" looking electric alternatives to Vikings. What comes immediately to mind are:

* Elmira Stove Works has 1950's style radiant smoothops in its Northstar line as well as really old-fashioned looking (turn of the 20th Century) models in 30" and 48" widths.

* AGA Legacy has 36" and 42" wide smoothtop electric models. There is also the traditional AGA Cooker can be had with electric power, and it comes in 38" (twin oven) and 58" (four oven) widths.

* I think Ilve has a knob control induction induction stove which is for sale by AJ Madison.

* There is always the La Cornue Chateau 48" which, IIRC, can be had with both induction and radiant electric hobs as you choose. Hard to beat that one for looks. Or expense. Art Culinaire and (I think) Williams Sonoma can get them for you.

* And, for the cost-is-no-object buyer, there is the completely custom Molteni.

This post was edited by JWVideo on Sun, May 12, 13 at 23:39

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 1:16PM
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We are looking at radiant smooth top. AGA is out of the question due to energy used. Elmira is nice looking, but the deal we are looking at for the VESC5304BSS is a good bit less than Elmira.

We will only have electric service in the house, no natural gas. Don't want to be subject to fluctuating prices. We will also be adding solar panels in the future to supplement/provide the electrical needs.

I have looked at a lot of the comments here, there is a lot of bashing, you will find that with any manufacturer. Either you love them or hate them.

Budget is not wide open. We need to be about $4000 for our range or cooktop/dbl oven config. OTC are new Out of The Carton, overstocks or open box at the distributor level. Some were floor models, etc.. The ones I am looking at are overstocks and still new. The dealer I am working with is usually about 50% off retail (if not more) on OTC items.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 9:51AM
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OTC = out of the carton?. Well, of course. Makes perfect sense, now.

Can you really get the VESC stoves for half off?

If you can get two of them for $4k (or even one for $2.5k) that puts a whole different cast on buying the Viking VESC. It puts your costs down where they would be if you were buying higher-end Kitchenaid or Jenn Air or GE Profile or Kenmore Elite or Electrolux stoves. Considering that Kitchenaid and Jenn Air electric stoves have defect rates of around 16% (according to the currently posted Consumer Reports membership survey results) and have gone as high as 20% in recent years, you might not be any worse off with the Viking.

Do those OTC stoves come with Viking's current 3-year warranty? If so, that makes them a bit more attactive, too. Most major brand stoves only have a 1 year warranty (you pay extra for extended warranties.)

As for bashing, there is some of that but Viking also has had big problems with quality control and customer support, so it was rather more than just love 'em or hate 'em.

Last time Consumer Reports had enough Viking data from its membership surveys (2007, I think), the reported serious defect rate was something like 33% for Viking stoves. That may have been just gas and dual fuel stoves, though. The problems often seemed to be oven-related.

Posts here indicate that the company has made a concerted effort to bring the defect rate down.

It is unclear whether Middleby's acquisition of VIking will improve things in the quality control or service departments.

So, as long as you are aware of the risks, and have checked to be sure you can get good service and support, those Viking OTC units may be a pretty reasonable deal.

Another consideration to think about: weight. The VESC stoves are over 400 pounds each. No problem when the kitchen sits on a slab-on-grade concrete foundation. But, if you have a joisted-floor in the kitchen, you might want to check on the loading that a pair of 400 stoves would impose. (Do two Vikings = one 800 lb gorilla?.) Might or might not be a problem.

The solar panels can be a good thing for taking care of other electrical needs. Personally, I wouldn't worry much about heavy energy consumption from electric stoves. Those Sub Zero units, your electric water heaters, and your electric clothes dryer(s) and HVAC will all be muuuccch bigger contributors/consumers of your energy budget, The amount used by the electrical stoves is actually a pretty small part of home budgets, maybe around 2% goes to cooking. When I bought a stove recently, I used the Michael Blue Jay website to run some energy budget calculations and found that going with a gas stove over an electrical (induction) one would save me a negligible $10 to $15 per year. So, unless you are in one of the places where you will be paying $0.35/kWh, you at least don't have to worry about electric stoves making your bills skyrocket.

This discussion brings up a vague memory of Marcella and Victor Hazan installing a VESC in their high-rise (no-gas lines) FLorida condo a few years back. I think I saw that in one of the Taunton publications (Fine Homebuilding or Fine Cooking). Friends of friends also got one for a remodel they did in the SF Bay area and have had it without problems for a bout a decade, FWIW. So, apparently, some people have been happy with the VESC units.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 4:26PM
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I should be able to get them at about 50-60% of retail, so that would put them in the $3000-3200 range each (on the high side). That makes them a very attractive option. I would need to be in the $5000 range for 2 of them to make 2 a possibility. I could stretch my budget a little if needed for 2 at the right price. I can start with 1 and add the second one after we get our CO on our construction. I have a lot of things to get done with a higher priority than a dual range setup.

I can get a new D3 series from the same dealer for about $3150. So that is an option as well.

As far as energy usage, the AGA apparently continues to heat 24x7, not sure if it was all models/units or not. Someone mentioned that an AGA used a years worth of energy for a regular range in the first 3 weeks. So that would make sense if it was running 24x7.

I am less than 10 miles from the service center, so any issues should be easily resolved from them. I spoke with a parts person there a while back and he stated that Viking did have a bad name in the past, but they have turned things around in the last 3 years or so.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 4:56PM
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I forgot to mention, it does come with the full warranty, same as retail.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 5:09PM
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Seems like you've got this figured out.

As an aside, the Aga "Cookers" are the "always on" models while the Aga's "Legacy" models are the regular ranges with knobs and controls, etc. I now see that the electric-top Legacy ranges have been discontinued. No help there.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 7:58PM
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Got the final pricing this morning, they were able to apply the $500 rebate to it as well. It is brand new in the box, full warranty.

Ending price was about $3400. So, I wasn't able to swing the double config yet.. :-(. Retail is about $5900, so 58% of retail.

This post was edited by paarlberg on Tue, May 14, 13 at 12:23

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 12:21PM
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I picked up my range today. It was a heavy beast to unload and get into the house. Shipping weight is listed at 427lbs, after 3 of us with a hand truck moved it into the house, I believe it is 400lbs, trust me. It looks lonely in my kitchen at the moment. I hope the cabinets don't make it disappear. Should be picking up the range hood tomorrow. It was at the distributor, but had to get pricing from my dealer before doing the deal. Saving about $1k on the range hood.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 6:40PM
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Debbi Branka

Is that stainless or white? It looks white in the picture. Where are you? Where is this deal on the second one they can get? $3200 is much better than $7K!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 1:00PM
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It is stainless, but has a protective white coating on the front and a blueish one on the sides.

I am in the Atlanta area. I purchased via a dealer in Sheffield, AL and picked it up from the distributor in Atlanta. They can also ship to you as well. Don't want to post the dealer name here, but the name is the son of lingerie store. When you see it, you will know what I mean. There are only 2 dealers in Sheffield.

My total cost was a little over $3400, a lot better than the $5900 list on it. The dealer was great to work with.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 2:09PM
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Debbi Branka

Got it, thanks! I emailed them.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 2:18PM
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That is not the Viking Induction range, just a smooth top radiant, (I think), The Viking Induction range is the expensive one,
Over 7 grand.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 2:49PM
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Debbi Branka

Ohhhhh. Thanks Gary. Yep, if I went Viking, it needs to be induction.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 3:00PM
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Yep, it is not the induction. I wanted induction, but my budget won't support it at the moment. Had it been induction, both would have been mine, budget be damned ;-).

deb52899, keep in touch with the dealer, and other dealers in your area. I got a quote for the same unit I bought from a local dealer and they quoted $6400 with tax, delivery and installation for a "retail" version. Mine was identical, just overstock. They probably would have picked up the new in box overstock and kept the extra $3k.

Look for showroom models, OTC and other options. You can save a lot going that direction.

I just returned from the distributor and picked up a range hood that was in the OTC area. I picked up a VWH3048SS with a VINV600 blower installed. Retail was about $1600 for the pair, $350 was my price.

If you can work with separate cooktop and ovens, they had several induction cooktops there. Not big discounts on them though..

This post was edited by paarlberg on Fri, May 24, 13 at 16:30

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 4:29PM
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