Starting from scratch

Landlord8544December 6, 2013

Will be building a new house, and want to create the dream kitchen for my wife. Have been researching appliances and have tons of useful and useless info and lots of opinions. I'm looking for experienced users of stove cook tops and wall ovens. What would you choose today if you could do it all over again. As of now, I am leaning towards a 48" BS cook top and double wolf ovens. Pros- Cons? Suggestions?

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I think it would help if you gave us a bit more information, like what is your max budget, if there is one at all. What kind of cooking do you guys normally do? What is your experience level with cooking? How many people do you normally cook for? Do you do a lot of entertaining? Do you do a lot of baking? Cook any bread? Do you use the oven's only for cooking foods? Do you want a rotisserie?

There are probably other things as well, but those are a good start.


    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 10:25AM
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I'd also suggest posting on the Kitchen forum as well as the Appliances forum -- both have incredibly helpful people online. (Our appliances are being delivered tomorrow - yay!!)

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 10:56AM
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Thanks for the reply. So here is the poop. My wife loves to cook, but not so much bake. She is a creator in the kitchen with no commercial experience, but exceeds your average home chef. We will be entertaining I'm sure, but this home is where we plan to retire and will be making a lot of new friends. Haven't completely grasped the amount of entertaining yet. Budget is pretty open within reason. I will spare no expense for useful functionality, but am not interested in paying for names and status. Oven cooking is mostly foods. A rotisserie would be nice. There are a lot of things that we do not currently have that I'm sure we might make use of if it was available in our current kitchen, but it is not. My wife needs to know what is available out there and why she would want it, if you know what I mean. Such as rotisseries, warming drawers, toaster ovens, steam ovens, etc.

As I said, starting from scratch.


    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 1:26PM
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I think the only option for a rotisserie in a range is in the CC (Captial) models. So if that is a must that might limit your search.

I don't think you can go wrong with either a CC or BS range and would be happy with either. You will get both positive and negative feedback on both from people on this message board. I have a BS range top (no oven below) and love it. I like the look and feel of it better for us compared to the CC, but the CC was a very close second.

For our ovens we went with an Wolf L-Series 30" as our main, and then we also have the Wolf Steam oven and Wolf Micro-Convection. I love all three, and truly love the steam oven. Never had one before, but did the Wolf Cooking demo and fell in love with it. Best "splurge" we did on our kitchen by far and would do it again. If you can find a Wolf showroom near you and do the cooking demo, it is a great way to start your search.

If you have the room and want to do say a BS range top and Wolf ovens you may have more options doing things that way to get the options you want in each appliance. But, again, some things like a rotisserie may limit your choices.

I know the Gag steam oven is highly rated by people on here as well. Miele's steam oven seems to also get good reviews. I personally, like I already stated, love ours and would want to have it in any kitchen I can moving forward.

Other things to consider are how you want to configure you cooking surface of either your range or range/cook top. Meaning, with a 48" cooking surface you could do 8 burners, but I think most people would consider that a waste of space/usage. I think at 48" most people will opt for either 4 or 6 burners and then either a griddle or grill or even a french top. So you will need to look in to that as well.

We went from a standard 4 burner whirlpool range to a 6 burner BS range top and I love the extra space the 2 extra burners gives me for cooking. I almost did a 4 burner with a griddle, but my wife talked me out of it. Now I just use a cast iron griddle that I got on ebay made in the 1950's to cover two burners. There are a lot of options and you have to decide what will be best for you and your situation. If you go with an external/removable griddle keep in mind you have to store it somewhere. If it is built in you have to ask how much will you use it? Do you prefer a grill maybe, so you can grill steaks/seafood on it during the winter months?

I don't have any experience with warming drawers, but a lot of people seem to have those as well. One other item would be a Micro Drawer rather than a traditional MW, a lot of people have moved to those and depending on your layout may work better for you.

I don't think you need a toaster oven if you layout your kitchen and do it right, but that is just my opinion. Before we redid our kitchen we had a Breville toaster oven and we loved that thing. But, our old kitchen was not laid out and as functional as our newly remodeled one is. Are toaster oven's bad, nope not at all, but they do take up counter space. Some people are good with that, others think it looks like clutter. Again, something you two will have to discuss and answer for yourselves.

I would take a trip to several (if possible) kitchen show rooms and see what they have. Also, look online and in magazine at layouts and get a feel for what you like and don't. My suggestion is to look online and at magazines separately and not be influenced by one another looking over the others shoulder. Cut out or tab or mark up what you like and then compare notes afterward. See where you agree and disagree. Then you will have to start the compromising phase. Do all this before you get in too deep or you will be butting heads when you need to be making decisions. No kitchen will ever be perfect, there is always something you will find afterward that you would of/could of/should of done differently. So, do your best to talk and plan now to avoid as much of that as possible.

One other tip. don't forget the small stuff, like where will you put all of your day to day flatware? We went from having like 6 or 8 drawers in our old kitchen down to 4. It was just how our new layout with our choices was going to work. We keep two full 8 place settings worth of flatware in our drawer so we got an insert that divides the drawer in to two levels and is spring loaded. But it was such a nice add-on for us that we are glad we thought of it before hand.

While the big stuff is fun and cool to look at, it will be the small stuff and the layout that you will be wishing you had put more time in to in the future.

Best of luck and do a lot of reading on here. There is already a ton of information on a lot of the stuff you are looking at.


    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 2:01PM
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Thanks again Phil. Very thoughtful and helpful of you. I will take your advise. I see they have wolf cooking demos at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. My wife would love that.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 2:47PM
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Yes, I haven't been to that location, I live in the west burbs of Chicago and we went to the showroom in Glendale Heights. But the same chef cooks at both, I think his name is Chris,, but he is fun and a wealth of knowledge, and you get a great meal and drinks out of the deal!! :)

Heck, our builder actually suggested it to us and paid for us to go in a limo, so we got to live it up that night.


    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 4:44PM
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I like the idea of separate range or cooktop and separate ovens. You can pick each component as the best for you. I would even pick separate wall ovens so that if one has issues, you can still use the other. I am in the position of having issues with the oven in my range and the whole thing has to be replaced at a little over 4 years old. Consider appliance ergonomics that will allow aging in place. I would even place the ovens side by side at the perfect height if possible. A range oven becomes more difficult to use if you have trouble bending or trouble with your knees. A friend has trouble has trouble with balance and weakness and cannot use her range oven at all because if she fell towards it, she could be burned.

If you go with AG range, the gas oven is different from what you will find with electric ovens. I love the various modes on electric ovens that control the elements and fans to produce different cooking environments. Convection roast uses high speed fan and heat more from above that makes roasted meat brown and delicious. Miele wall ovens have rotisseries plus a plethora of modes. Some consider the electronics required to have these modes a negative though, in fear that they will fail.

I would also consider Electrolux ovens. If you buy a Wolf oven, make sure it has the bottom as a separate piece. This allows for an easier repair if you have problems with the blue enamel chipping. You may find the old style with one piece cavities and they may be cheaper but I would avoid that.
I have both and the function is very similar.

Whatever brand you consider, search it on this forum to get a good idea about what people like and dislike about it. One person's love is another person's hate!

There are some threads on gardenweb kitchen forum and the cookware forum on chowhound that are all the favorite things people did in their kitchens. Many things I would have never thought of.
best advise
unique things about your kitchen
Clever offbeat advice-Chowhound

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 11:18AM
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For entertaining everyone ends up in the kitchen. You may end up with an open kitchen design with a bar/island set up. I suggest considering comfort as a part of appliance function. For dishwasher & refrigerator that means determining which are quietest. For cooktop which generate least waste heat. For vent using a remote fan to limit noise.

Not sure why anyone wouldn't want convection oven. Ovens come w probes to turn off when food is cooked. Rotisserie seems like a cool feature I'd use once & never bother with again.

We have our guests sit at island bar often while cooking on induction. There is no waste heat so guests don't have to escape the heat. We can keep one eye on food without turning our back on guests.

That said, my own build from scratch would have modular cooktop, with induction & gas grill.

Another thing we have & love which is really simple is a magnetic blackboard. (Ok, nothing to do w appliances). Use it for grocery list. Before going to store take a picture of it w smartphone. With magnetic & blackboard paint this can go anywhere, inexpensive.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 11:40PM
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