Thermador Range vs Appliance Configuration

twobellesNovember 24, 2013

Hello all,

I have a two-fold dilemma and am interested in your input. We are building a new home and I am considering putting an induction unit in the kitchen. I am not ready to abandon gas, as we live on the gulf coast and have been through storms where we have lost power for extended periods. Additionally, if I'm completely honest, I'll admit I just love that whoosh sound when I light a burner and I can't imagine life without my griddle.

I have been investigating different lines for close to a year as we have prepared to start this build....everything from Gagg/Miele to LaCornue/LaCanche. (DH jokes that I'm building a kitchen with some adjoining rooms.) I am a real cook, so I will be using the appliances daily. I am not a huge baker, but do so a few times a month.

I am very interested in the Thermador Pro Grand Steam range. It offers six burners, a griddle, a convection oven, steam oven, and warming drawer. I'm wondering what experience others have had with it. It seems to check all of my "boxes" except for one. (It's missing the french door style of oven which I would enjoy since I'm petite.)

I am also toying with choosing a suite of appliances instead of the range. I would choose a smaller 4x4 gas range, the Freedom (full surface) induction unit, a steam oven stacked with warming drawer, and a convection oven. I have considered placing the gas range top and induction side by side on the countertop and placing the steam oven/warming drawer/convection oven beneath them, "range" style.

For the price, the Pro Steam range is hard to beat. I have two friends who have recently built $1M+ homes and they both selected Thermador. One has had her appliances for almost a year, the other for about 5 months. Both are pleased so far, except they said the dishwasher (even upgraded) is just too small.

I'm interested in thoughts about Thermador in general, as well as your ideas about replacing the range with a suite of appliances.

TIA!

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deeageaux

Appliance packages allow lazy shoppers to get a pretty good deal without using a lot of shoe leather or time searching for deals on the internet. But the appliances in a package are a bunch of compromises since no one company makes the best of everything. You get better appliances by picking each individual appliance on its own merits regardless of brand.

The Pro Grand Steam range is an appliance package in itself. All the components are pretty good but nothing is the best. A few years ago Thermador electric ovens had a problem busting electronics after using the self-clean cycle but that seems to have been solved. Not that many people buy Thermador electric wall ovens or dual-fuel ranges on this Forum but I have not read complaints about self-clean cycle destroying electronics lately. The xlo simmer feature on their burners go down to 100 degrees F, which is really more warm plate feature than simmer, requires the burners to turn off and on. The clickety clack noise this makes really bothers some people and others don't mind.

Thermador SxS fridges are rebadged KitchenAids. Fine but nothing great. The Freedom Columns are corporate twins of the Miele,Gaggenau,and Bosch units. These are much better. Thermador has a slightly lower price with a little less features vs Miele and Gaggenau.

Thermador Dishwashers are rebadged Bosch dishwashers.The entry level Thermador dishwasher is a midlevel Bosch with a $400 premium and the TOL Thermador is one down from the TOL Bosch unit with an $800 premium.

Thermador range hoods are just widgets with Thermdor badging.

The Thermador microwave drawer is a Sharp microwave drawer with a flush door skin. If you are willing to pay a 100% premium for that fully integrated look this is a good option but the Sharp is a much better bargain.

Suite of appliances My recommendations.

Gas Range: Capital Culinarian with self-clean oven and motorized rotisserie.

Induction; Thermador Freedom Full Surface.

Steam Oven Convection Oven and Warming drawer: Gaggenau.

Dishwashers: Miele

Refrigerator: 1a Sub Zero 1b Gaggenau, Miele or Thermador towers.

Range Hood: Modern-Aire

Microwave: Sharp Drawer.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 7:20AM
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PRO
Sophie Wheeler

Combo appliances rarely offer the best of each function. Separate units are always better. Best of class is what is important for someone interested in performance and not prestige. The name badge never turned out a perfect souffle or kept lettuce for 3 weeks.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 7:27AM
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twobelles

Deeageaux and Hollysprings, thank you so much for your input! It's much appreciated!

I think in some ways I already knew what you would say, because in my heart I am in agreement that the best appliances don't "match." My alternative mix of options follows:

Steam, Convection & Warming drawer: Gaggenau

Refrigeration: Sub-Zero

DW: Miele

Induction: Gaggenau/Thermador

Gas Hob: Gaggenau or Wolf

My real concern is that I want to balance my desire for excellent tools with the aesthetics of the space. I know I could save some by choosing to go with the Thermador induction unit and the Wolf gas hob, but I'm seriously considering splurging on the Gagg items so that the aesthetic will be consistent. I'd be interested to know what experiences others have with Gagg gas units.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 9:32PM
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deeageaux

I have only seen a handful of people buy the Gaggenau gas cooktop modules.

Only one person wrote a mini review and only gave small blurb on the gas module saying it was fine.

If you have full surface induction that is where you will get the searing highs and xlo simmer. I suppose the Gagg gas burner will be for open flame roasting and emergencies . I think the Gagg is more than adequate for that role.

Although I would still get the Wolf multi-function 22k BTU burner :)

    Bookmark   November 27, 2013 at 4:35PM
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vsh1

twobelles, what did you end up purchasing? I am in the same position as you, weighing the individual appliances against best in class vs the all in one appliance that helps with space.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 12:12AM
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twobelles

well, the truth is that I still have not decided. I am seriously considering just purchasing the french range that I've had a crush on for years and kind of throwing practicality to the wind. (This would be a serious breach of personality for me, so we'll see....)

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 9:29PM
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vsh1

So it is the Thermador Pro Grand Steam vs a French range to be determined? I ask because I have ruled out all the French ranges I have seen (wonderful to look at, but the ovens are, well, small). So I'm flipping around with the Thermador, a 48" Wolf with grill plus a warming drawer on the side, and Kitchenaid makes a range that looks a lot like the Thermador.

Any comments from anybody on this are appreciated.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 10:52AM
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gabethan

I'm close to making a decision on Thermador Freedom Columns. The same product with Sub-zero is $3k more, and I just can't justify the cost - $12k for refrigeration just seems crazy, but so does a $9k purchase. Wish I could find a better solution for us who entertain a lot and need a wider space.

I found a good deal on a Wolf range, but had originally looked at just the Wolf cooktop. My friends love their range despite negative comments I've read on this forum.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:21AM
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