which wall ovens? Gaggenau or Capital or is something else better

lmrinc_gwJuly 29, 2014

I had my mind set on a double wall oven set from Capital. I intend on buying a rangetop from them and I liked the idea of the steam assist and the rotisserie (even though I might use it 2x a year). I know it's superficial but I kind of think the capital ovens are ugly and I'm nervous that I will most likely buy without actually seeing it in person.

I have been looking into Gaggenau's steam ovens and other ovens and like what I'm seeing...I love all the features and it seems like a good fit with my baking/cooking style.

I bake a lot from breads to cakes and pastries.

If any one has experiences with either of these brands please share!

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I'm all for steam (I have a KitchenAid steam assist oven myself) but I don't see why Capital is pushing "moist" roasting? Why would you want moisture during roasting? I'm not an expert in the science behind cooking, but I thought that oven moisture didn't have anything to do with the moisture of the meat itself... I find that I get great results using convection for roasting and that is the exact opposite of moist.

As for the ovens themselves, you can maximize your chances of having a high performing, reliable oven by buying a brand that is well known and liked for electric cooking. Capital is more known for its gas cooking, and not many here have their wall ovens, so reviews are few and far between. On the other hand, several people here have Gaggenau and it is regarded by most as the best wall oven you can buy - steam or conventional. Don't feel like you have to match the manufacturers of your different appliances - generally the people who do their research and buy the best in each category are happier than the ones who buy the packages!

What is your budget for wall ovens? The two brands you mentioned aren't even close price wise. If you were to go Gaggenau you would probably stack the combi steam over the full sized convection oven. Many people with a steam oven find themselves using it more than the regular, but I don't know of anyone who has one as their only oven - I think it's a bit too small for that. The Capital double costs less than ONE Gaggenau. Unless you find a deal, buying both Gaggs will put you well over $10k for ovens alone.

If Gaggenau is too expensive for you, there are plenty of other options that I think would be better than Capital. Take a look at Miele, Electrolux, and Bosch. I really like my 8 year old KitchenAid but they seem to get bad reviews on here so I wonder if there's been a drop in quality since then.

Another compromise which might work is to stack a Gaggenau steam oven over a competing brand wall oven to save money. Gagg experts, please correct me if this is not allowed.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 9:24PM
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Thanks for your input. I don't have a budget...I just want to get it right for me.

I guess I should also call to see if anyone will service them in my area.

I think because the Capital ovens are new(ish) there aren't too many opinions out there.

I really do like the rotisserie function but I can't buy jut because of that.

I'm also worried that it is too small??

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 10:27PM
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"I really do like the rotisserie function but I can't buy jut because of that"

Are you talking about Gaggenau or Capital? Both have a motorized rotisserie. So do Miele and Thermador on select models.

"I'm also worried that it is too small??"

The best way to go about answering this is to think about what you cook. Look up the dimensions of the oven interior online, or open one up that's on display in a showroom. Have you ever or will you ever cook something that won't fit? People always seem to think they need huge ovens when they really don't. In fact, I think a smaller oven can really be an asset: they preheat more quickly, and they seem to have less of a challenge baking evenly. My sister is in the process of selling her house and she just has a single 24" Miele oven which has been a great performer and given her no trouble in 8 years. The buyers requested an appointment to check out the oven to figure out if "it was even big enough to cook in." Little did they know that she makes a living every day from the baked goods that come out of that oven. Yet they are probably going to junk it after they close on the house.

Having said all that though, I wouldn't consider the Capital or 30" Gagg to be small (24" gagg, maybe).

Since there is so little feedback I am going to keep steering you away from Capital. What do they offer over the competition that makes them so compelling? You don't even like the way they look! Don't just buy it because the brand name matches your range top.

If you truly have no budget and you want the best of the best, get a Gaggenau combi steam stacked over a Gaggenau convection oven. The 30" steam oven comes in both plumbed and tank versions; I would get the plumbed unless there is NO WAY you are getting water lines to the oven. Based on the type of baking you do (especially bread) I think you would really appreciate these tools.

If that is too much $$$ check out some of the other brands I mentioned, you will get great results from those too.

"I guess I should also call to see if anyone will service them in my area."

Always an excellent idea when considering niche/high-end brands.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 11:16PM
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Were you only looking at the Gaggenau combi-steam? I have that and the regular convection oven. I love both, and wouldn't want one without the other unless I were tight on space.

I don't bake in my combi-, but one can. It would be a very different style of baking than in other ovens, however. Small pans with convection. No bottom heat. If you're short on space, this is a great option.

If you search the forum, you'll find a lot of my comments about using the ovens. I've been trying to motivate myself to cook today. It's going to be some kind of chicken pie. So during lunch, I put the chicken pieces in the combi-steam to poach. No fuss, no bother. Dump into pan, spread out with tongs, put in combi- at 360° for about half an hour--45 min. for eating, but these are getting recooked.

Recently, I've been baking a lot of yeast breads. First I perfected my whole wheat pizza dough recipe. Now I'm working on sourdough rising breads. I use the heavy baking stone with its dedicated heat element that is available for the big oven. When it calls for steam, I use a ramekin of water on a high shelf.

I don't use the rotisserie a lot because it makes a big mess (juices all over the oven), and I think chickens, at least, are just as good on vertical wire roasters. I've been meaning to try spit roasting meat, but when I have enough meat eaters for it, I don't want to deal with the mess. The advantage the Gaggenau convection oven has over its closest competitors, however, is I haven't heard of anyone having a problem with the enamel during the self-clean.

Feel free to ask any questions you like and I'll do my best to answer. My models are the previous generation I think. They're five years old, anyway. I don't think there are any fundamental changes, but there may be a new feature or two.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 11:18PM
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For what it's worth, with Miele changing over to their new ovens, deals can be had on the old ones. Just picked up a combi-steam and 30" convection display models for 30% off. Would prefer the Gagg, but it doesn't seem to be worth the extreme price premium.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 10:13AM
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Gaggenau also switched models not that long ago and you might still be able to find deals on the old ones. The new 400 series has a color touchscreen and automatic doors. Not essential features by any means. The older 200 series have monochrome screens with manual doors.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 10:45AM
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Thanks everyone!

I love the look of the NEW Gaggs so if I went with them I'd get the 2014 version.

How do you like the side hinge door? If it's hot can it swing back and burn you?

I thought about going with Capital ovens as well because I thought they had great customer service...

What are the differences in the new Mieles?

I use my Breville toaster oven all the time for baking and it's great...I do need my large oven for holiday baking and full service pro sheet pans.

Is the combi good for keeping things warm? I also have a terrible time of making chicken stay moist...it's always a little tough and dry my hubs says (I don't eat meat). The steamed chicken sounds like a plus!

I'm not seeing any prices available for the Gaggs...I'm assuming the combi is 8 k? How much for both?

What's the main differences in the Miele and Gagg?

Are the Gagg's manufactured in Germany or France?

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 9:13PM
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"I love the look of the NEW Gaggs so if I went with them I'd get the 2014 version."

Are you sure you're comparing the right ovens? The previous generation (that dealers might still be trying to get rid of) looks almost exactly the same as the new ones. I think you're looking at the generation before that.

"How do you like the side hinge door? If it's hot can it swing back and burn you?"

From my experience baking in these, it's a non issue. The door opens up to 180 degrees and stays right where you put it, it won't go swinging around on tis own. But I would assume that yes, if you were to touch the inside of the door while opened (just like if you touched the inside door of a conventional oven) you would get burnt. The outside of the door on these ovens is extremely cool to the touch though.

"I thought about going with Capital ovens as well because I thought they had great customer service..."

That's a stupid reason to pick an oven. It should be one consideration, but you should mainly be looking at the product itself. And there have been negative reports here of Capital customer service (though that is true of most brands).

"What are the differences in the new Mieles?"

Well now they have 3 versions. The middle (monochrome screen and glass touchpad) and lower end (knob control) versions match up pretty closely to the previous Masterchef and Chef series, but they have a new top of the line "M Touch" series that has a color touchscreen. New features include double convection fans that supposedly improve even-ness, and the ability to add moisture to the convection oven for baking breads, etc (not comparable to a true steam oven). I agree with saeyedoc, save the money and go with the previous generation.

"I'm not seeing any prices available for the Gaggs...I'm assuming the combi is 8 k? How much for both?"

I believe for the plumbed, stackable version, yes. Less for the non-plumbed. I think the convection oven is around $6k. You may be able to find better prices locally especially if you go for the older model.

"What's the main differences in the Miele and Gagg?"

Both are high quality, high performing products. I do not own either oven but I have used both enough to say this. I have not, however, used them enough to compare them. The conventional wisdom on this forum is that Gaggenau is the best, with a price to match.

"Are the Gagg's manufactured in Germany or France?"

I believe the convection ovens are made in Germany and the combi ovens are made in France.

"Is the combi good for keeping things warm?"

I'm sure you can but I guess that's not really one of the uses that comes to mind when I think of a steam oven? Regular ovens set to keep warm and warming drawers if you have one do a fine job of that.

"I also have a terrible time of making chicken stay moist...it's always a little tough and dry my hubs says"

Roasting is a great use for a combi steam oven but you don't need one to solve that problem. Sounds like it may be overcooked.

I strongly recommend that you do some additional research on your own about steam ovens before you buy. Learn what they are capable of and think about how you would use one. Look up "Purcell Murray" on YouTube. They are a California based BSH distributor and they have many helpful videos up on their channel giving combi oven cooking ideas and operation instructions. They show both Gaggenau and Thermador steam ovens.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 9:59PM
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Gaggenau previous generation (200 series)

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 10:01PM
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Gaggenau current generation (400 series)

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 10:02PM
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"by LMRinc
I use my Breville toaster oven all the time for baking and it's great...I do need my large oven for holiday baking and full service pro sheet pans."

You mentioned upthread that you were worried the oven was too small. Are you really using full sheets? 18x26? Half sheets are 13x18. You have to be very careful using the internal dimensions as a way to see if an oven is big enough. many times this does not account for a convection fan that sticks out into the oven cavity. Some ovens claim the back is flat, but this just means the whole back wall is brought forward. I would look at the measurement of the racks for a better idea of usable space. Also consider the height of the oven but note where the bottom rack is in relation to the oven ceiling. It is best if you can take your pans and see how they fit and if there is enough air circulation.

" I also have a terrible time of making chicken stay moist...it's always a little tough and dry my hubs says (I don't eat meat). The steamed chicken sounds like a plus! "

It does seem like that would help but the external moisture will not keep your chicken from drying out. The best thing to do is get an accurate thermometer and only cook to about 160. When you take it out and let it rest, it should rise to about 165. This is considered the lowest safe temperature, but some go below that. Moisture starts getting squeezed out of the fibers at about 140F. The lower you can keep the temperature, the better. If you use convection this is drying to the surface of the chicken, only and will make it brown and crispy, especially if you put a little butter on the skin. It will still be juicy on the inside if you keep the internal temperature at around 165.

Also consider brining the chicken for more juiciness.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 12:45AM
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Thanks guys. I came to like the idea of the Gaggs by watching the Purcell Murray youtube videos!

I don't believe it's a, as you so kindly put it, "stupid" decision, to like to Capital based on good customer service...as well as having great products. The better customer service, the more you care about your products...I was just reading a lot of great things about Capital but from my own experience, trying to email Trevor, I would ask a general question, and then when I asked a specific question, like can I get a larger griddle, crickets!

I am no longer considering the Capitals, for multiple reasons.

The Gaggs do look similar but the newest version looks like the amount it cost! Are the old knobs plastic?!

I do use large sheet pans (that just barley fit inside my oven) as well as 18x13 (wedding catering).

I did find out that both Gagg and Miele are serviced by the company I use for service calls!

I plan on going this weekend or next to visit the appliances.

Thanks for the help.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 2:16PM
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Most important: If you require your sheet pans for catering, and will be taking them to use in a commercial oven at a venue, this isn't the oven for you. Full sheet pans will not fit. See below.

Re your questions:
The door only swings if you push it. Side opening is WONDERFUL. The door can burn you if you don't opening it far enough and push the inner surface with your bare skin. But when I actually did that during a moment of unthinkingness, it wasn't a bad burn. Just a little itch for a few days. No mark or blister.

Customer Service: I have found BSH responsive when I've called, but it takes awhile got get answers (they do research and call back). Other people have not been so happy with them. I'd say, if you expect help and are courteous, they'll do their best for you. I also live in California, so have the added service level of the distributor here, Purcell Murray, who are fantastic. We also have an old, established company that does onsite Gaggenau service and repair. If you live where Gaggenau is not, and there is no service, it might not be the best choice for you. You probably won't need service for many years, but what if you do? What if there's a lightning strike or a bad user error? Even if the oven doesn't have faults, it could need service. :) Ah. I see you have a service provider you trust. Very good.

Pan: The large Gaggenau oven doesn't fit full 18"x26" sheet pans. Its own pans are fitted around the fan, and are nearly 24" x 14.5" including the flanges. I got extras of these. They use the runners they way sheet pans do in a commercial oven. They're enamelled and can be put through the self clean if need be. (I haven't had to do that.) I like them a lot and rarely use any other sheet type pans.

The pans that come with the combi-steam are 2/3 sheet, and they also have 1/3. These are metric. Half and quarter sheet pans also fit, but perhaps not on the runners, depending on the way the flanges are made. Some people just balance them on top of the runners because they're cheap. :)

Combi- cooks always moist chicken with steam, and will keep warm (though I use a warming drawer for that). It also has the "regenerate" cycle which is like a magic trick. You can put in a plate of cooked food, with meat, veg and starch, and heat it up on regenerate and nothing gets overcooked and all gets warm (you do have to leave it in long enough for dense food to get warm). Both ovens have temperature probes.

A big issue with poultry is quality. When I buy excellent quality free range birds, they're never dry. Lesser birds have been known to need help. Steaming is one form of help, but brining as Wekick said, or marinade, or fat or wine or something juicy, will always help. Tough could be slightly overcooked but not so overcooked it gets sticky/chewy, but tough could also be the birds. I sometimes buy chicken at Trader Joe's for convenience, but the breast tend to be tough. It's organic free range, but the Mary's from Whole Foods are always much better. An oven/cooking method can only do so much...

Call any of the vendors that carry Gaggenau and they'll quote you a price. I started with the assumption I was getting the Gaggenau ovens and made cuts elsewhere when the price went up. :) If you can run the plumbing, the plumbed one is worth the price.

Gaggenau is now part of BSH, which is Siemans in Germany. I don't know where the factories are.

The pictures Hvtech42 posted show the ovens with the pizza stone in them. It has an electric coil element that plugs into the back of the oven, and fits under the stone. It's FAB! Also worth the price for pizza and bread. It doesn't do wide pizza, however. I think the limit is 12". Oblong works, though. :)

BTW, you can install these ovens flush with the cabinetry, but that limits the amount the door can swing. Much better to have the door stand out, so that it can swing wide. I roast my turkeys in a 15 quart Le Creuset cast iron "goose pot". The pot with 20+ lbs. of turkey, plus liquid, is heavy. Being able to have one person on either side is crucial. For that, the door needs to swing more than the 90° of flush installation.

The knobs are heavy feeling metal on the outside (I have the 281's). I couldn't tell you what's inside...

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 3:05PM
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I recently priced out the Gagg steam ovens and the 400 series was about $7500 if I recall at one place and $6899 at another. I got a brand new 200 series on Ebay that set me back less than 1/2 of these and comes with a 5-year warranty.

The main differences I found between the 200 and 400 series is that the 400 series does not have a handle and the 400 series has a broiler function. Since I'll have an electric oven on my range that has a broiler I just didn't think these incremental 'improvements' were worth more than 3k.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 3:55PM
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"I don't believe it's a, as you so kindly put it, "stupid" decision, to like to Capital based on good customer service...as well as having great products"

But the problem is we don't know if their ovens are great. We know their range tops are some of the best in the industry, which is probably you are buying one. But we don't know much about their wall ovens compared to leading brands in that category like Miele and Gaggenau. If their wall ovens turn out to be crap, even great customer service doesn't mean you should buy one. Also, from what I've read on this forum I'm not convinced their customer service is better or worse than anyone else. I have heard horror stories about them here just like most other brands.

I'm sorry if I offended you by calling it a stupid reason to buy Capital. That was not my intent. I don't think you've made any stupid decisions, in fact you made an excellent decision to do all this research. It will pay off big time when your kitchen is done!

This post was edited by hvtech42 on Thu, Jul 31, 14 at 16:20

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 4:10PM
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To clarify, it's the combi-steam oven which has a new broiler. The regular ovens always have had...

I'm sure it's from feedback such as we have in this forum that they've added the broiler. That's what makes the difference for many if it's going to be the only oven. Have you seen any reviews/demos of the new broiler?

FWIW, I get the no handles for the sleek German bumpless kitchen, but it's kind of creepy...

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 5:33PM
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You all are the best!!! This is so helpful!

I have not seen the broiler demo. From what you all are saying the size seems fine for me as long as I have another oven.

Just because I don't have a budget doesn't mean I WANT to spend an unGodly amount, like I said I just want to get great quality, that's reliable and is best for my cooking style. I usually a very frugal person, but as my mom taught me, when it comes to your kitchen and you actually enjoy cooking and do it everyday, don't buy junk!

When it comes to the chicken, I always buy Whole Foods organic chicken, I think it's the 365 brand....the only why my hubs doesn't say it's dry is when I poach it, obviously! I'm sure if I was eating it, it would not be dry! I'm looking forward to the grill feature in the Cap Cul rangetop!

While I have all you wonderfully helpful people on this thread tell me what you think of my other choices, since you already know a bit about my style.

-Cap Cul 48" rangetop, 4 burners, 1 griddle and 1 grill ( I want and larger griddle but I haven't gotten an answer yet on if that's possible).

-Miele Futura Profiline dishwasher

-Electrolux all refrigerators (icon pro)
this is the one I'm torn about...I honestly love the layout and they are cheap but I've heard some people love them and some have lemon experiences...I'm afraid I'm going to get what I pay for....I would just go ahead and get the Miele 36" but I've heard both bad and good experiences....and it's too much $ to get a lemon. What are your opinions?

-Hood...tbd. It can be a direct vent since the range will be on a exterior wall. Opinions?


    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 1:12PM
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"Cap Cul 48" rangetop, 4 burners, 1 griddle and 1 grill ( I want and larger griddle but I haven't gotten an answer yet on if that's possible)."


"Miele Futura Profiline dishwasher"

Wow! This is the most powerful residential dishwasher made. Please post a review here once you try it. Are you connecting it to 240V? I'm really curious how well the 20 minute cycle cleans.

"Electrolux all refrigerators (icon pro)"

I think these are a great value and they seem to be well reviewed here. They look really cool with that twin trim kit. People have had lemon experiences with Sub Zero too.

"Hood...tbd. It can be a direct vent since the range will be on a exterior wall. Opinions?"

I won't comment on brand but it better be vented out if you are getting a range top with a grill! It also needs to be powerful (like 1200+ CFM) and you are going to need good makeup air.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 2:44PM
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hvtech the dishwasher is something I'm not willing to skimp on! My mom just decided to not fix her HOBART Kitchenaid so I'm taking it as a second dw in the pantry. She's had it for 25 or so years and we NEVER rinsed our dishes and they came out piping hot and clean (and it only took 30 minutes!)! Every dishwasher I've had since has not even been able to compare to the work horse the KA was/is. I told my mom her only option for replacement was the Miele profiline because I know how spoiled she's been.

I really need some links and guidance on the hood so if anyone can help...! How are vent-a-hoods?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 4:49PM
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I don't know about other hoods, but I have a ModernAire 1200 cfm, 48", vents out the back. It pulls like the Dickens. If you have your CC cranked up on all burners mine might be only adequate. Read some of the back threads about hoods and you'll get an idea about draw strength and make-up air. When you think you have half a handle on it, post a thread and get those who are really expert to weigh in. If you live in a climate that gets very cold or hot or humid, you will probably want make-up air. Also, if you have a well sealed house, and/or other gas appliances whose air can get sucked away.

The rangetop sounds excellent. Call and ask them about the double griddle. You could probably order it special.

Electrolux is a respected name for appliances in general, and plenty of people are happy with their fridges. European makers call a large fridge/freezer and "American" fridge and have those units made for them by other companies. I believe this is true of the Miele, but I forget the details, and, I think I heard some years back that Electrolux's were made by Whirlpool. Again, that's not fact, but a wavery possibility. If you're worried about lemons, buy from a respected independent dealer who will make good on it.

OTOH, many new appliances, because of the complexity of their computer boards and wiring, may have a fault shake out during shipping and installation that wasn't present or obvious during factory checks. This does not make them lemons! This means you have to call to have the warranty work done. Lemons are when one thing after another stops working, and they're really rare across the board (except, possibly, with the current reputation of Viking).

All fridges keep food cold. Really loving the layout is a BIG DEAL. I hated the layouts of the fridges I could fit easily, until I found Miele. People say it's exactly the same as Thermador, but it's not! I looked at, but never seriously considered Thermador because I didn't like the interior at all. The differences may be marginal, but they were big enough for me! Go for the one you love, and if you manage to save a few dollars thereby, use them for buying accessories for the Gaggenau ovens.

Re dishwashers, just make sure that your dishes (the ones you actually use on a daily basis) fit well. A great deal of performance is in the detergent nowadays. Miele have their own, and there are some others that people like as well. If it suits you, your dishes and your lifestyle, you can't go wrong with Miele.

Your mom was right. If you're actually cooking, your kitchen has to be geared toward helping you. Have you checked in with the Kitchens Forum? They can be very helpful there, too.

The combi-steam is fab, and it'll hold a lot more than the interior dimensions suggest. I made three turkey half-breasts and three turkey thighs, in there once, with some baked potatoes around the sides. It takes a little while to get used to it, and used to what works for you in it, but it's a trooper. I'm pretty sure your husband will like the steamed chicken too. :)

Have you decided on the big oven? Does the Capital fit your pans?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 5:55PM
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"If you live in a climate that gets very cold or hot or humid, you will probably want make-up air"

The climate you live in has nothing to do with whether you need makeup air or not. What matters is how tight your house is. Tight house + natural draft water heater + natural draft pilot furnace + fireplace + high CFM hood = disaster. If you live in a cold climate you might want to consider HEATING that makeup air (though most don't because hoods aren't on for long and that heat is EXPENSIVE).

"I heard some years back that Electrolux's were made by Whirlpool"

Electrolux makes their own in St. Cloud, Minnesota. They are sold under the Electrolux Icon, Electrolux, and Frigidaire brand names. You can get a high end, built in look for around $3000:

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 8:27PM
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Thank you all again!

So after watching both Miele and Gagg videos I'm starting to get worried about the side door on the Gagg. Burns are no fun and I want to break the door on our fridge everytime it shuts on me even when I push lock it...it's so frustrating!

I'm thinking the Miele is a better fit for me.

Now, which reg. oven should I get? If I get the combi steam, which oven would compliment it best...when I use all my ovens at the same time it's usually baking and holiday cooking. Thanks guys!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 11:08PM
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I have a double Gagg (convection, no combo)...after having 2 Fisher and Paykel, a GE Monogram, and 3 Wolfs. The Fisher & Paykels, and all the Wolfs had porcelain chipping issues, sometimes without even using self-clean. I LOVED the Wolf in terms of baking performance. The F&Ps were really good, but not as perfect as Wolf in terms of even browning, multirack baking, consistency and good recovery in temps. I won't say any more than I have in previous posts about the GE Monogram, but that I was glad to have them buy it back. Wolf had great customer service until they decided I must bake too much for their ovens' interior surfaces to handle it... So, where I agree with you that good customer service is a huge plus, if the oven doesn't hold up or perform well, it may end up not being much help.

The Gagg definitely seems to have the porcelain thing right. I don't have any marks in mine after several self cleans. I did clean the porcelain coated pans in my last self-clean...it was nice.

It's a giant outside, but smaller inside. Some of the pans I was used to using won't fit. I used to fit 5 loaves of bread on a rack, but not in this one, so under certain circumstances, I have to use 2 ovens when I used to use one.

The rotisserie is too much mess and trouble when roasting gets a great result and I can use the probe.

I got the pizza stone set, but, in my opinion, it wasn't worth any extra cost, and prefer to use a pizza steel or regular pizza stone.

I'm getting used to the side door. Not a plus or a minus, I don't think. With whatever door, I'd rather have full-extension, gliding racks, which the newer Gagg model probably has. I really miss those I had in other ovens.

Things don't seem to brown as evenly and nicely as in the Wolf, and the temps drop more than I'd like when the door opens, and don't recover as quickly. The performance results are similar or not as good as with the Fisher & Paykel, plus, with the pans that double as racks, you can't turn them if one side is getting browner than the other.

I DO like that I can zero in on which heating elements and fans I'd like to employ to get certain results. I would miss that if I went back to a more typical oven.

I got my Gagg for a comparatively great price, since they had been a floor model. But I still spent $1000 more than my Wolf refund, which is a lot for us. I'm just not yet convinced that these ovens are worth the high price.

The oven I've heard the least complaints about is Electrolux, and they are so much less money, and take less room in the cabinet. I'm a terrible 2nd guesser, especially when I spend more money than I ever thought I would and end up with less satisfactory results than I've had before, so I often wish I'd just gone with Electrolux. If it didn't cook exactly as the Wolf did, I'd at least have the plus of saving a major amount of money.

I have the Electrolux ICON fridge and freezer set --actually 2 fridges and 1 freezer for our big family-- but from 2007. They do look great, hold a lot, and are comparatively affordable. I would caution you to check to see if they have changed the shelf system. In order to get the drawers out for washing, you have to empty the shelf above, as the drawer and shelf rack are one unit, making them big and awkward to deal with. (You can take the glass out, but the frame is still attached to the drawer.) The same in the fridge and freezer. I thought it wouldn't be a big deal, but it's a pain.

The freezer has worked great. The fridges work great except that right out of warranty, the interior light in one fridge comes on only on occasion, and the same one also displays an occasional false error message. But the food is still cold!

Best wishes! Choosing appliances is not easy! No perfect answers.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 11:22PM
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^That is an extremely valuable review. I was impressed with the Gaggenau oven when I used it briefly but someone who has gotten the chance to test all these ovens this extensively is much more helpful. When I first came on this forum and everyone was saying Gaggenau is the best, I reasonably assumed that someone had compared them in depth with other brands to come to that conclusion. Maybe I was wrong!

On the other hand it doesn't address the steam oven. I'm still not sure if you can stack a Gagg steam oven over a competing conventional oven. Has anyone done this?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 10:44AM
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This post was edited by Chef191 on Sun, Aug 3, 14 at 10:15

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 12:55PM
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This post was edited by Chef191 on Sun, Aug 3, 14 at 10:16

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 12:58PM
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I'm still not sure if you can stack a Gagg steam oven over a competing conventional oven.

To see if you can like the look of appliances stacked, you can use some image manipulating software to try to set the photo of one above the photo of another... I used to use Paint on a PC to do that, but my Mac won't do it. Or maybe just print out each and cut and paste, in the actual sense?

Would you have to stack them, or could they be separated at all if the styles clash? I'm more interested in function and which appliance does what I want for the price I want to pay, but I know that the appliances can vary a lot in style and even color and finish of the stainless. When you narrow down your choices, maybe the look will weigh in and help you decide.

In regard to Chef191's comments:
Unfortunately, I doubt that today's Thermador is much like Julia's oven. I understood from the BSH distributor I visited that the current Thermador shares major parts with the recently redesigned Bosch ovens, with dressed up features and appearance for the higher end market... Shared engineering and factory, unlike the Gagg, which has unique engineering and their own factory, still in Europe.

I remember reading Cat Cora's oven review, and she had some subjective judgements that I didn't feel were relevant to me. But that's the advantage of having so much to research and read. Different things matter to different people.

One cake or cookie sheet test done in a lab by 'pros', for me, is not the same as day-to-day use for family needs, and that's why I value the forum... Real people and experiences to share with appliances in home use over months and years. I am a mom and home-baker and I want to hear from others in the same situation, and that's also why I share my opinions and experiences as honestly as I can for others to read.

I know that Breezygirl once commented that she didn't get results from her Wolf as even as I got in mine, so I can't say all the ovens of one brand perform the same, or that everyone will have the same view. I can say I became a believer in Wolf's dual convection fans, under family/home 'tests' of uncountable batches of homemade breads and buns, cookies, roasted meats and poultry, and weekly, high heat pizza baking, often for a big crowd. Of all 7, Wolf is the only one who could put out a 20th pizza that was almost as good as the 1st, and all 3 of their ovens did the same for us.

I am NOT a believer, though, in their porcelain or their claims that 'no one else' had the problems I've had, because I've heard from many who had the same chipping issues. I agree that you cannot separate the performance from this other problem, because no one wants blue shards of glass in their food, and it's why I no longer have a Wolf oven.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 3:40PM
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Glad to see you back. I think of you often.
I am dealing with aging mom long distance.
Wow- I forgot how many ovens you killed! Glad the gag is holding up for you and your pizzas!

Chef - who did the testing - looks like Thermidor was the sponsor. I have a Wolf that bakes much better than your pictures and taste great also! Can't wait to make muffins tomorrow with fresh blueberries.

LMR - have you looked at Blue Star? The cavity is huge and even a 30 inch holds a full tray. I don't have one but lots of GWebbers rave about them. They are made in my home town- but never heard of them until I joined GW.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 4:02PM
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Chef191 joined the forum today. I've got to wonder about who they work for and their motive.

Also I remember hearing somewhere Wolf did tests of their own oven compared to others. Supposedly theirs was the best followed by Electrolux. Funny how when the manufacturers test stuff theirs is always the best :)

As for today's Thermadors ovens I believe they are separate from Bosch. Last I heard the Bosch cooking was made in the same factory as the dishwashers in New Bern, NC. Thermador cooking is made in Lafollette, TN. I have heard great things about the performance of Thermador ovens. I have heard less great things about their reliability, support, and parts availability over time (keypad of fairly new oven goes kaput, oven scrapped and replaced because part no longer available).

Rhome410 I wasn't so much wondering about the look as whether it would be physically possible. The installation manual for the steam oven only talks about installing it above a Gagg convection oven. I wonder if a competitive oven would interfere with running the water lines, or if Gagg would still warranty the steam oven installed above another oven. It shouldn't matter what kind of oven is installed under it, but these manufacturers will do anything to try and increase sales.

a2gemini: The Bluestar situation is similar to Capital. Lots of people here rave about their gas ranges, that is their sweet spot. Their electric wall ovens looks nice but are new and unproven.

This post was edited by hvtech42 on Sat, Aug 2, 14 at 17:03

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 4:54PM
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I've heard plenty of good things about the Miele ovens, so that's a fine choice, but I don't understand your fear of the side swinging doors. I've burnt myself plenty of times on drop down doors, and only once, without even a mark, on the side door, and I only did that by being stupid. The great thing about a side swing door is that it gets completely out of your way (unless you box it in with flush to the front of the door cabinetry).

I don't know if you'd have a problem stacking any steam oven that uses a tank for the water. If you're plumbing the Gaggenau combi-steam oven, you'll probably have to run the plumbing in the wall or adjacent cupboard, rather than in the oven cabinet, if you want to stack it over another brand oven. The Gaggenau regular oven is made to accommodate the plumbing. You need to have the stopcock etc., in an adjacent cupboard anyway.

Hvtech is correct. I left out a word above. I meant to say if you have a climate with extremes you might want conditioned (heated/cooled/dehumidfied) make-up air, whether or not your house is sealed. That would prevent drafts bringing the bad outside air in. I live in an extremely temperate climate in an insulated but not tight house, with the other gas appliances sheltered from the pull of the vent. If I have a bunch of things going and the fan on full, I open a small window by the sink for make up air. For use on low (which is still pretty high, but I think under the threshold of when MUA is generally called for anyway), I don't bother. I've never gotten that suction thing, or a noticeable draft. The house breathes. :)

Rhome410 and I have compared ovens before. We have different results, though I don't have her experience with different brands. I have recently found that on convection there is some uneven browning on vertical surfaces (to wit, freestanding (no pan) loaves of bread). It seems that the hot air from the fan is bouncing against the door returning straight back into the loaves. OTOH, I don't have a long return to heat even without the fast heat up option on, and I get fab results from the pizza stone and element. So much so, that I've thought that Rhome410's may not be working right.

Would you be interested in the Miele regular oven? Is fitting full sheet pans important? If it is, A2gemini's suggestion sounds like a good one.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 10:01PM
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Glad I'm not the only one suspicious of Chef191's post oozing of T'dor schmaltz.

Rhome--Hi! You recalled my comments about my Wolfs correctly; however, my second set of ovens bake more evenly. Perfectly happy with how they cook. I don't rotate anything by necessity when baking because everything cooks evenly. Not that my first set of ovens was bad by any means, just not as even as this second set. Seems like I will get the chance to try out the new M series baking ability in the coming months also as the porcelain has failed in my second set of ovens also. IMHO, your reviews and honest feedback on several brands of wall ovens is indispensable to the forum. I know you, and how you cook. I'd much prefer your feedback on ovens (and any other kitchen appliance) than any so-called unbiased test run by an appliance manufacturer.

OP--good luck with your decisions. I hope you come back and post your thoughts on your appliances when you've had a chance to use them. Research past threads on VAH here. People either love them or hate cleaning them. Personally, I'm suspicious of their claim about higher cfms and wouldn't want to clean one after experiencing the ease of just throwing my Rangecraft baffles in the DW to clean them. Cleaning a squirrel cages doesn't appeal.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 4:18AM
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"Posted by Chef191
rhome410 says that wolf ovens have "even browning, multirack baking, consistency and good recovery in temps" but professional test results say something different. And thats even if you don't swallow blue porcelain shards haha. Hate to break it to everyone, but you shouldn't believe everything you read on forums like this."

Yes, for those of us that have been around for awhile, some don't pass the sniff test. I always discount people that sign on same day with an agenda. On the other hand, I highly value posts from rhome410 and others, who cook and have a huge amount of experience with their ovens with many different types of baking. She is as fair and unbiased in her reviews. We have been following her experiences for years. She is a trusted poster here.

"Julia Child used these ovens because of their superior performance! if you don't believe my points about the better performance, ask yourself, would Julia Child have used this oven if it didn't perform amazingly? No, of course she wouldn't have! "

She didn't use "these/this oven(s)". She used Thermador 50 years ago.
This is really sad. Julia child's family was quite upset when Thermador used her name without getting any type of permission. Julia always maintained that she could not be bought.

Julia Child's family outraged over Thermador ads featuring chef

"Anyhow, to prove the superiority of these ovens, professionals put them to the test... Thermador passed all the tests. The other ovens failed the majority of them. In particular there were lots of issues with cakes cracking and cookies browning unevenly on the other brands."

There isn't even enough here about the "professional tests" to draw any conclusions. There are lots of reasons for a cake to crack that have nothing to do with the oven. We know nothing about the methods or criteria for pass/fail. How many times was the "testing" repeated?The picture you have just says convection. Which convection mode? I personally would not even use convection for a cake. What professionals? Who paid them?

If you work for Thermador, you are doing them a disservice, insulting valued long time posters here, evoking Julia's name in vane and posting what seems to be a very poorly done marketing piece as though it were science.

We also had this GW thread on the use of Julia's name.
Julia Child Foundation In Legal Battle With Thermador Oven Manufa

This post was edited by wekick on Sun, Aug 3, 14 at 9:43

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 9:38AM
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I too was curious what the deal was with that "test" so I did some Googling and found a sales training document that talks about the tests, and which is where he lifted the images from. Yes, as a few people have predicted, it appears the "professionals" were paid by Thermador. It has this to say about the baking tests:

"The same recipes and bakeware have been used to prepare and bake the cakes and cookies. For baking, the cakes and cookies have been placed in the oven as recommended by the Use & Care Manual of each manufacturer. For Convection tests, the recommended Convection mode for the test dishes has been used. The evaluation of the browning has been done with a Photovolt Reflectometer to measure the slightest differences in browning. Depending on the results, the tests were pass or fail."

It certainly doesn't go into any detail about what the criteria for passing and failing were.

I thought the self clean info was kind of interesting. The Wolf only heated to 775 degrees which led to worse cleaning performance. However, I bet that may have something to do with why we rarely hear complaints about their electronics failing.

Here is a link that might be useful: Thermador sales guide

This post was edited by hvtech42 on Sun, Aug 3, 14 at 10:42

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 10:38AM
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Yeah, another who is giving the side-eye to Chef191.

Rhome410 is a trusted member and has been for a long time, "Chef". Those of us who actually research appliances have followed her oven saga and it's provided help to others with their purchases. Casting doubt her way on your first post with your sales pitch isn't going to bring customers to Thermador.

I have a Gagg convection because of a killer ebay deal on a discontinued model. I love it. I don't do huge batches of anything, though, like Rhome. I never use convection for cakes because I think that the tops would be crispy and crack. From the above pics, I'd be wondering if my chicken skin and other roasted goodies would be need extra heat.

As for the side swing door. I have two issues. The installer didn't level the oven properly, so my door doesn't stay throughout the swing radius, but I've found the sweet spots. I'm going to remedy this myself at some point...just haven't got around to it. As far as potential injury. I open it so that it's out of my way. When I have my hands full and I ask someone for help, they tend to want me to squeeze in there! I always have to ask them to swing it out some more.

I don't have a high-end home. I just bought the best I could afford for how I wanted them to perform. I have two of the appliances the OP is considering.

Gagg oven - excellent and has helped me produce killer meals for my family of 5 and our guests. No worries about self-clean or performance. Love the glass front for easy cleaning. My family is a little flummoxed over the controls. All of the those functions require some manual reading.

Electrolux Icon all-fridge - holds temp, shelving works for our needs, would rather not have had stainless because it does show prints. No complaints on performance. It looks very nice when it's clean and I appreciate the lighting.

I just installed a Bosch induction cooktop and will sing it's praises to anyone considering induction. Not relevant to the OP. Unless, of course, you'd like to have both like plllog. THAT would be awesome.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 10:39AM
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Well, you-know-who seems to have been routed, but I'd like to say something about the vaunted tests.

Ovens are not laboratory equipment, and there's much more to the science of baking than measure and cook. If you weigh the exact same ingredients (or as close as food allows) at the exact same time (climate) and mix them in the exact same way, with no spillage or other alteration, you're deluding yourself if you think they'll come out exactly the same way out of any group of ovens, no matter how good they are. Different ovens have different amounts of insulation, different heat return/control methods, different senitivities, etc.

A big reason I wanted Gaggenau is that my mother's (previous generation) is so reliable. Year after year, tray after tray, the borekes are always 11 minutes. In my Gaggenau oven they're done in 10. So does that mean my oven burns the borekes? NO. It means that you have to take things out when they're done, not when the bell goes off. Does that mean one of our ovens is better than the other? No. It means you have to take things out when they're done.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 1:30PM
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LOL! -for real, I was just asked why I was laughing. Love it, the novel concept of paying attention to what you're cooking.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 1:48PM
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Whoa! I'm just now seeing that Chef some what hijacked my thread! That's a bummer because I could care less about Thermador and I didn't even see his comments b/c they were deleted b4 I read them.

I got to see the Gagg's and Miele's this weekend! I LOVE the Miele's! Not so much the Gagg's. I think the combi steam and master chef are going to fit my fam best.

We don't use a microwave so I think the Miele is user friendly enough for even hubby to use confidently.

I could have gotten great floor model discounts on both but I want the new stuff! Can someone tell me the main diff off the top of their heads about the master chef and combo steam Mieles, the new ones?

I LOVE the flush ability on the Miele fridge but I think the price difference is just too much for something that doesn't perform anything other than cooling. I'll stick with the Electrolux.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 10:35PM
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"I could have gotten great floor model discounts on both but I want the new stuff! Can someone tell me the main diff off the top of their heads about the master chef and combo steam Mieles, the new ones?"

There are three control systems, DirectSelect (equivalent to older Chef series), SensorTronic (equivalent to older MasterChef series), and M Touch (completely new system).

The former two are extremely similar to the models they replaced; the only real differences that I can see are an updated look and 2 convection fans instead of one. Nothing really compelling over buying a floor model. Remember that the older models are proven. Latest and greatest is not always the best choice. You will be a beta tester for the new oven and if you encounter problems, you will need to report them and wait while the engineers figure out how to fix them.

However, the M Touch series does have some features that might be worth buying a new model for. You get 15 extra MasterChef programs over the SensorTronic series that are used for bread baking. The meat probe is wireless. It will have the RemoteVision feature that lets Miele monitor it remotely and see problems. It has "Moisture Plus" which must be plumbed but automatically introduces moisture to the oven for bread baking, etc. It has a rotisserie motor (though you have to buy the rotisserie separately). And it has a color touch screen.

The big advantage of you buying the M touch convection oven is that the combi steam only comes in M touch. Getting the M touch main oven means the interface will be the same.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 10:08AM
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Congrats on your decision! The dual convection fans is a big feature people love about Wolf.

Does a wireless probe mean you can use it with the rotisserie?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 8:10PM
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Interesting, also, that Miele is doing a 2 fan convection. JennAir tried it, but something was different about how the direction they rotated or something, so they didn't infringe on Wolf's design. (I can't remember what it was, so don't quote me!) I haven't heard ANYthing about them since the appliance dealer showed it to me back when I got my first Wolf, so I don't know if they work or were anything other than a flashy try at getting into the upper market. I sure wasn't going to be their guinea pig with the first model. I think I'd trust Miele more (although still a little wary of new technological attempts), and it'd be great if it worked as well as Wolf and maybe gave consumers more options.

Wireless probe... My first thought was that it was something to go wrong. But I sure like the idea of using it with the rotisserie, since that was one of the big downsides of roasting that way for me. Plus, it's always a burn hazard to plug it in and get it out, and the tether limits placement.

Miele used to be "THE" oven here, then had a bunch of issues. Are they back on track now?

PS. Not to hijack, but waves to A2, Plllog, Breezy, Wekick, and Alex! Nice to participate in discussions with familiar 'faces' when I get a chance to check in here.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 8:35PM
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Miele fixed the oven temp problems as someone here (I think it was Gary?) discovered while reading one of their service manuals. It came in the form of a software update and their newer ovens are unaffected. There are a few people doing dual convection other than Wolf - besides JennAir and Miele, Bertazzoni has it as well in their latest wall ovens. Kitchenaid has it too in their steam assist oven. That's actually what I have and it works great though it's a different system than the JennAir despite them both owned by Whirlpool. I think you're right that it makes some sort of difference, because I also have an Electrolux induction range. I'm assuming that its oven works exactly the same as their wall ovens. It is hard for me to tell apart from the KA, and I think they're both great ovens. However my wife who uses them much more than me thinks the KA with the 2 fans is more even. The only time it's really apparent is when the oven is "full to the brim" like when doing 3 racks of cookies for example.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 9:36PM
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rhome- I too thought Miele's were not great at ovens, which is why I was considering the Capital or Gagg.

I'm hoping that the Miele's will be a good fit for me. Our current situation (waiting to build) has made me cook less than I'd like so I can't wait to go full steam (no pun intended!) ahead on cooking all day!

Now a question that I can't seem to figure out is that the new Miele combi/steam is 24" and I'd want a 30 inch M touch under it...do they provide panels that make up the size difference? Otherwise I'm thinking it will look a little odd.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 3:46PM
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Yes, you buy the trim kit for the 24" oven, I think it was a couple hundred.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 4:16PM
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"I too thought Miele's were not great at ovens"

Not true. They are better regarded on this forum than Capital in that area. The issues rhome410 is referring to were pretty serious. The ovens were not reaching the set temperature. As I explained above the problems are now fixed. Other than the people who had issues at the time, everyone I know of on this forum and in real life who has one loves their Miele oven.

Search for posts by "rococogurl" on this forum. She has had a Miele oven for a while and is a serious baker. I would trust her opinion.

You will never find an oven with 100% positive reviews and people's experiences vary. I found rhome410's Monogram experience puzzling because I had a Profile range for a few years which my wife, an avid baker, and I loved. We only got rid of it because we wanted induction. I know Profile is different than Monogram but I can't imagine the oven technology is that different between their lines? Maybe she got one of the Monograms with knobs instead of a keypad (which were made by Fulgor)? Anyhow I'm not trying to put down her review or say she's making anything up, I'm just trying to make the point that people get different results out of similar ovens.

I would take an oven with mostly positive and some negative reviews (Miele, Gagg) over an oven with no feedback at all (Capital) any day.

This post was edited by hvtech42 on Tue, Aug 5, 14 at 17:19

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 5:07PM
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I actually loved the Miele best of all when we were building our house and I looked at them in person. GREAT fit and finish and, reportedly, strict quality control over materials and the build from start to finish. For a long while, they were my "if price were no object" dream oven. But I got my F&P for a great price, and the Miele had to remain a dream. By the time I was ready to spend more to get what I thought would be better, and got the floor model Wolf, the Miele had reported issues with their temps, and I didn't want to buy into those issues. It's great if they've remedied all that!

And, yep, I had a Monogram pro-style with knobs (made by GE as far as I know), and photos of the crazily uneven baking due to varying temps from one side to the other. ;-) Clotehele had one with knobs, too, at the same time...Different handles, but same model year. She had the same exact issues, but unfortunately, got a different result with customer service and was stuck with the oven. I had a GE Profile range in our last house that baked great, so it was a surprise to me, too. My appliance repair tech had warned me, though, and I should've listened!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 12:16AM
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