What High-End Appliances Would You Pick?

nadianycJuly 23, 2013

Hello, We're buying a new home that needs a total kitchen renovation. My current kitchen has a Viking range, Sub-zero fridge and Bosch dishwasher. I haven't had any horrible problems with any of the appliances after 10 years but at the same time, I'm very open to trying new brands for the new kitchen. Also thinking about a cooktop (possibly both gas and induction) with wall ovens, rather than a range. Looking at Wolf, Bluestar, Miele and Viking. For fridge, considering a Liebherr, Miele or perhaps a side by side Sub Zero and I think I'm going with a Miele for the dishwasher this time. Anyone have any thoughts about the new products out there? Cooktops? Induction burners? Wall ovens? Microwave drawers? Thanks in advance!

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I buy one performance and my usage, not "just" high end for the name's sake. I think this is all very subjective as we all cook so differently.
Also, remember that even as little as 10 years ago, things were probably more dependable than they may (or may not ) be.

For me, buying a bosch induction was a splurge and I have not regretted it. THere are "higher end" induction, but this suited me and my pocket book perfectly.

I have heard mixed things on subzero, so would check out the Liebherr. I have not heard anything about a Miele fridge.

Wall ovens are all over the map.
How many are you cooking for?
What type of cooking do you do?
If you do a lot of Asian-style cooking, you might want to look at a separate wok burner from gaggenau.
All of this also depends on how much space you will have.
Do you want a range or a wall oven/cook top set up.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 10:49AM
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I like to cook and make a nice dinner virtually every night for my family of 5. Our Viking got alot of use and the only real problem we had was with the oven door latch (not a cheap fix at $350) We had several issues with the Sub-Zero, it completely broke down twice (thank goodness we had an extra fridge in our basement so I did'nt have to throw the food away as we waited 4 days for the repairman)

I'm considering induction but worried about how it "cooks." I'm used to gas cooking, so looking at a 4 burner wolf cooktop with additional 2 induction burners. I think wall ovens with cooktop will be better. We entertain often, I find it difficult to bend down and get things out of the oven with lots of guests around in the kitchen.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 12:38PM
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Are you looking at a cooktop or a rangetop? They are not the same thing.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 1:15PM
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I'm considering both. I spoke with a person at Wolf and they can do side-by-side induction cooktops with gas rangetops. After checking out the Liebherr, I really am leaning towards going with a Liebherr separate fridge and freezer and putting them side by side. Looks beautiful and a bit less expensive and hopefully more dependable than a sub-z.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 9:28AM
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I recently researched and agonized over appliance choices for my kitchen. I finally ordered a couple of days ago! What I heard a lot on this forum was to buy "best in class" and not worry about having a matching "suite" of appliances. I took this to heart and every single one of my appliances is from a different mftr! Good thing things like matching handles aren't important to me. :)

For a long time I was leaning toward the Liebherr, but after visiting with some in a show room, the feel of the Subzero was just much more sturdy and substantial.
So we opted for a 48 in SZ sxs.

The Wolf DF 48inch with double griddle was the range that had everything we wanted. But ultimately, we didn't feel the price premium was worth it for us. I think the model we wanted was going to be upwards of $14k, and although it was in the budget, we went with the GE Monogram 36 inch instead.

Debated the Miele and the Bosch for a long time, but with the help of my very knowledgeable, non-commissioned appliance guy, I went with the Bosch 500 series, which had everything I wanted and not too many features I didn't.

Kitchen Aid warming drawer because it got the best reviews here and elsewhere, Sharp micro drawer for the same reason.

I'm excited about my selections. My only ? is the GE Monogram range, as GE monogram is generally panned over here, though I didn't find anything recent about their ranges and my appliance guy said he'd go with the GE over Electrolux (was looking at Icon Pro) 10 out of 10 times. So there you go. HTH some.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 2:37PM
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Well i went through this last year, we ended up with the following:

Bluestar 36" Range top with 6 burners
Libherr 24i1 (LINK To Liebherr Web site)
Miele Dimensions Plus model #G 5775 SCVI (LINK to ABT Web site with model)
Wolf L-Series 30" wall oven
Wolf Convection Steam Oven
Wolf Micro-Convection oven
Zephyr Monsoon II DCBL hood
Perlick C-Series built-in wine fridge.

We love all of our selections so far, and we think we will for many many years to come.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 3:57PM
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It really bugs me, personally, when I see people on this forum saying 'best in class.' There is NO way to do that with appliances. Appliances are made by only a few huge conglomerates, and everyone buys and rebadges each other's units. I just got railed on for having committed to a Jenn-Air cooktop, and Bosch is the one who makes it. Whirlpool buys it and slaps a label on it.

You should consider first your cooking and entertaining needs (such as the comment you made about bending over for a rangetop oven - I, too, would never pick this appliance for the same reason), and then research the features and benefits that you want. Forget the brand, or buying 'best in class.' In the end, what will make you happiest is a suite of appliances that do the functional, emotional, and social jobs you need them to do.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 5:27PM
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While they may be made by other companies other than what name is on the appliance, I believe (But could be wrong), that the company putting their name on it dictates quality control and any minor changes that might get made.

At least that is how it works with most other items in the production world, again from my understanding.

I do agree with your (acgummad) about getting what works best for you and makes you happy. That just happens to mean to most people on this site to get best in class, or at least what is perceived as best in class to them and their research.

As I posted in your other thread I don't know much about Jenn-Aire, and won't comment on that brand because of it. If you are happy with your choices go with them. It is your money and only you can determine what is the best way for you to spend it.

You can ask for opinions, but ultimately it comes down to your choices.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 6:15PM
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We went with Miele for everything except the fridge (Gaggenau, same as Miele anyway). I'm very pleased with all products, especially the Miele ovens. And the fridge too. We've had them for almost four years now.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 7:03PM
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For me, appliances was the highest importance in the kitchen after layout. I wanted control and flexibility and peformance from all of my appliances. Definitely function over form. I would suggest that you look at how you plan to use the equipment and how the features can help you cook better and your family's enjoyment of food and eating more pleasurable. That being said, I also bargain hunted majorly and sometimes a good deal on ebay or something would force the choice. Yur mileage may vary.

Cooktops - 36in induction. Shortlist = Miele or Gaggenau. Bought Gagg display model induction on ebay.
Single gas woktop - Miele or gaggenau. Bought Gagg on closeout. Really wanted one gas burner with high BTU for wok cooking etc.

Refrigerator - Wanted Dual compressor. And a lot of control on the produce bins. We eat a lot of varieties of vegetables and I wanted to be able to control the moisture levels and the temperature. Decided on 30in counterdepth all fridge by Miele. Counterdepth keeps things visible and avoid science experiments in the fridge. Also liked Liebherr and the SZ with the glass door. Separate Freezer drawer by SZ. I wanted a bit of counter next to the fridge as a landing zone and went with a freezer drawer.

Microwave - Preferred a good quality separate unit on a shelf as this is the appliance that is used most and often needs replacement before others. Panasonic with invertor.

Warming drawer - Preferred one with low temps for bread proofing and moisture control to keep crisp foods warm and crisp. GE profile warming drawer from CL (The manual and functions are identical to Monogram)

Ovens - I am never going to cook a massive turkey. But really wanted a steam convection. Went with 24in Gagg Combi steam and 27in Gagg convection.

Dishwasher - Miele La Perla on closeout. Wanted the better drying that the models that automatically open the door provide. Also a smaller single second dishwahser by Fisher Paykel.

Hood - Wanted a really high CFM that is not too loud. Cook a lot of "fragrant" ethnic food and have cooks with hearing issues. Abakka roof mounted 1600 CFM blower with the quiet kit. The hood has baffles that can be popped off and tossed into the dishwasher.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 7:15PM
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Usually these posts get the advocates of one brand over another out in force.... I'm surprised up until now more people did not chime in.

There are many Bluestar advocates on this forum -- they regularly battle with the Capital fans. When I was shopping, I was told that Wolf still had marquee value in real estate terms (amongst the non TKO), if that is important to you.

You asked about other products to consider:
* I considered MW drawers but chose instead to build a custom upper cabinet to hold a MW. It love the height and access, and it disappears completely from view when not used (popup door).
* You should check out the steam ovens; probably on my next wish list.

I will disagree on one point -- in the high end to ultra high end where you are shopping, many of the manufacturers do make their own products (microwaves and dishwasher not withstanding) and it is possible to select "best in class". And if they do commission others to make them to fill out a line, often the quality level of materials are intentionally higher and the quality control more rigorous, as the price point can afford these types of decisions.

I also chose to balance appliance choice "function" with "form". Appliances that are closely grouped often look better when the handles and styling are synergistic -- and in some cases, little function is sacrificed when choosing compatible appliances. Not to offend anyone, but I personally feel that a kitchen can begin to look like an appliance showroom if you have too many different choices clustered together.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 8:19PM
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Phil, again you missed the intent of my question. I had asked about personal preferences with combination wall oven units versus separate units. This question has absolutely nothing to do with brand.

Best in class does not imply that it's about finding whatever works for any one person. It implies that there is one best brand of each appliance type. And this is simply not true. People on this forum advocate for SZ, and with all of the people I know who have SZs and wish they'd never bought them, that brand is certainly not best in class, in my opinion.

So, back to the OPs question, what are the best high-end appliances? They're what she needs them to do. Again, brand has nothing to do with it. 20 years in international marketing, I can promise you that.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 10:05PM
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I'm building my first house and went with an interesting mix--

48 Capital Culinarian 8 Burner
Basic Ge Space Saver microwave (I am a weirdo and hate microwaves)
36 built in Fully integrated Liebherr- We don't stockpile produce or meats, I cook with fresh ingredients and since grocery stores are very accessible I don't have a need for more space. Also it's truly fully integrated-- no vents or pop outs-- it will look exactly like regular cabinets once installed
A vanity depth summit beverage fridge
Custom hood with a Faber insert
Bosch 800 plus slx series dishwasher

I don't know if the decisions were good or bad yet but I can tell you I spent months and months researching-- I even almost changed my mind at the buzzer about the capital for last years model all gas open burner wolf. In the end everyone is going to have something to say about what you decide but it's really about you and your needs and what you like.

I'm building my first house and my floors will be dark, my cabinets will be white, and my countertops will be honed white Carrara marble. Do you know that I battle the "you don't know what you're getting into" conversation every single time the subject of my home comes up! The only person that has to live with the decisions you make for your home is you-- choose what you love- not by some name that might not even be a name in 10 years. If you try to purchase what the majority call the best today you have to be prepared to have something that won't be the best tomorrow. Pick whatever is the best for you and your decision is the best answer you need.

Best of luck to you!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 10:10PM
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I've never had new high end appliances, although I love my Norge fridge (which is probably 50-60 years old but was top of the line for it's time). I'd love an Aga (or an Esse) though.

My grandmother had a wall oven and counter top stove. I've never had them separate. She liked it when she got older, she didn't have to bend over to remove bigger things like a turkey.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 11:44AM
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I have been a die hard Viking product user for years. I love the overall appeal of the product, mind you, but the overall performance has kept the products in my kitchen. Viking experienced issues with their product line early on when they began local manufacturing, but these issues have since been addressed and resolved. I am a stickler for curb appeal and detail, so I want all of my kitchen appliances to be the same brand. Mix and match just seems tacky to me. Yet... if i had any unresolvable issues with ANY of my Viking products... I would replace them in a heartbeat... Fortunately, I have not... The entire product line still offers me the same performance as they did when i installed them and furthermore, still just as pleasing to the eye... in my opinion, the look of the Viking Professional line is timeless... Bottom line... I would not use anything else...

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 10:25AM
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I did a full Thermador package last year, with the promo. Fridge, induction cook top, dishwasher, steam oven, regular oven and hood. So far, I'm very pleased. Products are performing well and local service is very good. Just one person's experience. I think this board benefits when people who actually purchased and use the products discussed report in.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 6:57PM
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Renovating my kitchen seemed "less expensive" than I expected until I went appliance shopping. Yikes! I do love to cook and am diving in. I'm buying a Miele wall oven, warming drawer and Speed oven, plus a 42" SubZero side by side with internal water & ice dispenser. Keeping my awesome Viking cooktop and Kitchen Aide dishwasher. I presently have a "2nd" fridge that I AM keeping. It's in my mud room - a 36" Subzero my mom gave me 12 years ago, when she moved and couldn't take it with her. It's 24 years old!!! I've had it repaired a few times. The repairmen tell me that they don't make them like they used to.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 3:20PM
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