Value 36 pro ranges?

Tos-goOctober 21, 2013

First time posting, so be gentle!

Last September, I built my dream kitchen. It was a small space, but I spared no expense. Unfortunatly, due to an unexpected job opportunity, I had to sell the house in August, 11 months after my dream kitchen. I did not get one dime out of the kitchen. It was $50k, right down the drain. I hope the new owner is enjoying it, at least.....

Meanwhile, I'm building a new home in my new location. I will not be able to build as nice of a kitchen as I gave up, but the one area I decided I didn't want to skimp on was the range. I had a dual fuel 30" Viking in my last kitchen. I know others have had problems, and I may have as well, if I stayed there longer. But I don't want to go back to a non-pro style range. I loved the control I had over simmer, I love the sear I got on meats, I loved the convection oven, and I loved that I could boil a big pot of water in no time flat. And also I loved the look - I am a little shallow in that I like my kitchen to look beautiful. The rest of my home won't, so I need my sanctuary!

However, I'm once bitten twice shy.... I know I won't be in this house forever. Realistically, I'll be here 5-7 years. I have the option of putting in a 30" or a 36" range, and I would really like the extra cooktop space, and the ability to use a real griddle, not one laid across two burners. But knowing that I may not be here forever, I'm not sure I want to spend $7k+ on a 36" range. I also never know where I'll end up next, and if I end up back in a big city apartment, I can't really take it with me.

So I need suggestions - what are some lower priced 36" ranges that would give me the performance I need? Does it make more sense to go with a 30" range, grab an extra 6" in cabinet space (which I will use), and go with a higher end 30" range?

Thanks for all the advice!

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I think this a hard decision you'll have to make on your own. Personally, faced with your choice, I'd choose a higher quality 30" range over a cheaper 36". How many times have you honestly cooked on 5 or 6 burners at a time?

I haven't had a range with a griddle so I can't really appreciate the trade off, but I have had a 6 burner 36" gas range and the best thing about having the extra burners was not to use them but to have someplace to put something coming out of the oven when other burners were in use. The range also was a cheaper gas range (sears brand of some sort - in a rental) and I couldn't fit three 12" wide bottom pans without spreading them across the three rows of burners. A higher end gas range shouldn't have this problem.

If you like performance, I'd guarantee performance by going with the smaller, high quality range. But, I also think you'll only know if the lower cost ranges "give you the performance you need" by trying some of them out. Tough call. I can see why you'd be hesitant given you recent experience. Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 10:43PM
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Why not a 36" rangetop and single wall oven? Capital Culinarian or Bluestar in $3500 range & Bosch/Eletrolux/Ge/etc single wall oven for $1200 to $2000 range might be a way to go. Get it all for $5000 give or take.

I just outfitted my new home with Capital Culinarian 6-burner (no grddle) and Electrolux Wave-Touch Series EW30EW65GS dual wall ovens all for $5200 which by the way includes a $200 rebate on the ovens.

This post was edited by DJ493 on Wed, Oct 23, 13 at 13:55

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 1:46PM
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Some thoughts for the OP.

1. "Value-priced" and "lower-priced" 36-inch ranges

Seems almost an oxymoron unless you meant "lower than $7k."

The only "value priced" 36" ranges that I know of are all-gas models:

(a) the NXR DRGB3601 available for $3k (delivered) from and several other on-line vendors like Dvorson's, Austex, AJ Madison, Plessers, and others I can't recall right now. It has a reasonably sized oven. Friends of mine have had one for about four years and like theirs a lot. I've had a 30" NXR since last year and have generally been pleased with the stove's performance. Do note that, as you might expect from a small-market share company, warranty service can be very slow and cumbersome. Numbers of threads here about NXR stoves for more info. BTW, one of the 36" NXR models can be had with a built-in griddle.

(b) the 36" Bertazonni which is the same price from AJ Madison, etc. IIRC, it has a small oven. I think I've seen a thread or two which disussed it.

(c) The Frigidaire Pro FPGF3685LS, a five burner unit with a dinky oven that sells (I think) for something like $2100. Ran across one of these this last year when I was stove shopping. Think I saw it at Lowe's. Was not impressed.

You might try searching on sites like AJ Madison. I think I've seen some 36" pro-style models from Verona and Fisher & Paykel and they might have been even less than $3k, but I don't know anything about them. You might try posting a thread with specific model numbers in the thread title. That may bring users out of the woodwork who might not respond to a more general inquiry such as this one. (Or, there might turn out not be anyone here with experience). IIRC, the Verona can be had in colors for an upcharge.

I think Peerless may still have have a 36" "Premier Pro" range which is probably around $1600 to $2000. offered them for a while but the stoves got negative reviews and COstco dropped that line of product. My recollection is that it had a smallish oven (as in smaller than on may 30" stoves) and seemed underpowered.

If you are willing to spend in the next level up ($4k to $5k), American Range has one its "Performer" line and Five Star has several 36" models that some people seem to like. Seems to me that Five Star actually made the old Viking ranges for a decade or so ago, before Viking had ramped up its factory, a and the current models may seem similar to the old VIkings. I believe we have had some threads on both the AR and Five Stars here within the last couple of years but I have not been able to locate them.

If you are looking for a pro-style dual fuel range, my recollection is that only some Italian brands like Verona and Betrazzoni (and maybe Smeg) have anything below $5k.

Occasionally, you may find a deal at dealer who is selling floor model or closing out a line.

  1. Thirty inch and more counters/cabinets versus thirty-six-inch range --- the idea of a "real" griddle

For a small kitchen, my vote would be for counter and cabinet space and going with a 30" range.

By a "real griddle" do you mean a built-in one? Seems to me that the built-in griddle on 36" ranges that I have seen have been pretty narrow and cumbersome to clean. Those factors would limit its usefulness for me. My personal preference would be for something like a Chef King 7-gauge carbon steel griddle plate which is 14" w x 23" long. Larger space, use it when you need it, unpright handles for easy moving, and easier to clean. Also only around $100 (less on Amazon if you shop there),

  1. Other Suggestion

For staying only five years and wanting cooktop space and dual fuel, I would suggest that you consider GE's Cafe dual fuel line. It is a backsplashless free-standing range with continuous grates so the space functions like a pro-style stove. For about $2800 you get a dual fuel oven and a stovetop with a 17k btu burner and a 20k btu burner. Also has a center girddle burner and a smallish griddle plus two simmer burners in the back. Good prospect of reliability and durability. Something to consider.

I've you've already considered this and rejected it, then never mind.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 3:57PM
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The problem with "value" 36" ranges is that most are show not go. They're pretty, but they lack the features that make the higher priced ones worth the higher price. Such as the ability to fit in full sheet pans in the oven or even a turkey in the oven (Italian ranges), or to have 18K burners (ditto), or lack open burners (most everything), or the fit and finish is like a tin can rather than something solid (Premier), or it's a cheap 30" range with some metal trim pieces to create a 36" range out of it (Frigidaire).

It would be much better to have a 36" cooktop and a wall oven, but that will add quite a bit to your cabinetry expense as well as take away 30" of counter space. Or, stick with a 30" and make it a nice one.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 8:10PM
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An advantage of a 30" range is its venting requirements, depending on what you get. A 36" range has possibly 2 more burners or a griddle or grill, so higher CFM vent for cooking effluent.

A 30" range can handle a 30" vent-hood, especially if cabinets sit fairly close laterally. Just try to maximize the depth (18-24") of the hood.

Don't forget Make Up Air (MUA), which increasingly is required for vent hoods capable of sucking 400 CFM or more. State and local codes are increasingly writing them in. Some good looking Good luck! Sorry about what happened and hope you enjoy your new abode.

This post was edited by SparklingWater on Wed, Oct 23, 13 at 21:28

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 9:27PM
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Here is a link to a post about Five Stars. The poster has or had a blog about her kitchen. I cannot recall name of blog, but you may be able to search around for it given her handle here.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen with 2 30

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 9:35AM
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I just bought a Verona single oven all gas for a second house. It isn't installed yet,,,,curious to know how it works, and will post when I've worked on it a bit--after late December. Pretty enough--not a Lacanche, but nice.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 11:41PM
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