Must I have a conventional oven?

zagyzebraJune 26, 2013

I have been looking into designing a new kitchen, and here's what I'm thinking. I really love the idea of the Gaggenau combination oven. And I am also a HUGE fan of countertop ovens. In fact, I've hardly used a conventional oven in the past two years.

I'm thinking of mixing the Gaggenau Combi-steam with a countertop Breville smart oven, and ditching the conventional oven altogether. I have a small kitchen, and would prefer to utilize the space for storage than another oven.

Does this seem crazy?

Also, when I told my partner I was considering a Gaggenau, he said, "No, never." Evidently, years ago we used to have a Gaggenau dishwasher in a rental house in Los Angeles and couldn't get parts for it.

Would getting parts for a Gaggenau combi oven be difficult in a metropolitan area like L.A.?

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Not crazy at all. We do what fits our cooking style. A discussion exists about the highly rated Breville. Discussing how to give it a more permanent home. It cannot be built-in but it can have a better location rather than just sitting on a counter. If you will be in your home for a while i would not think or care about re-sale. But if your future is uncertain, i would at least think what could be done if it becomes an issue. The days of matchy-matchy appliances are long over. I've never needed a full sized oven and i cook fresh and from scratch and easily handle 12 for thanksgiving. My 24" double wall ovens, (vintage very old) will soon be replaced with a combi-steam and a standard 24" that is not much larger than the Breville.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 6:01AM
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Sophie Wheeler

It won't be an issue for you-----until you move and the new buyers want a substantial discount because you don't have a conventional kitchen. So, how long do you plan to be in the home, and do you care about affecting the value for whomever comes after you?

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 7:23AM
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What is your concern about conventional wall ovens? If it is size, there are several 24" ovens on the market. I would get a 24" Gaggenau combi and a 24" Gaggenau conventional oven. I think this could be a great solution and you don't have to worry about resale. Understanding what you don't like about a wall oven or range oven would be helpful.
BSH the patent company of Gaggenau is based in Orange County. Parts should not be an issue. You can contact Gaggaenau directly and purchase them yourself. I love Gaggenau ovens and wish I could afford them. Having said that, customer service is not their top feature.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 8:02AM
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Thank you for your feedback, everyone! Homepro01, thanks for the tip on the patent company of Gaggenau being in Orange County. I stopped in Universal Appliances and Kitchen Center today, and they said parts generally take a few weeks because Gag is based in Germany. Misinformation, perhaps, about the length of time in getting parts?

I plan on renting, not selling the house, preferably to short-term tenants for no more than, say, one month at a time. I intend to live there in between tenants. For the past 13 years I've rented it out to longer tenants, but now I'm gun shy, since my last tenant who lived there for two years nearly brought the entire house down in a tragic candle fire.

Most of my tenants are single and, judging from appliance wear and tear, never seem to cook at home. There are, however, those families with two kids that do bake cookies from time to time.

Originally, I thought about saving space (and money) by just getting the combi, but now realize the combi with the 24" oven is the solution. That's a serious dent in the kitchen budget right there, and I think I would rather splurge for the Gag and go with cheaper appliances for the stovetop, fridge and DW.

Is there a reason I would have to match the Gag combi with a 24" Gag oven, or could I substitute a different, and less expensive, 24" oven brand?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 10:33PM
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Sophie Wheeler

No way in hell I'd put an expensive oven like a Gag into a rental home. I'd do a simple plain jane 30" range instead. Maybe one of the double oven ranges if this is a more upscale rental, but that's the extent of any upgrade a rental would ever see. You don't lose counter space that way, and your budget isn't damaged by having to replace something that costs more than your renter's deposit.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 10:41PM
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I agree with Holly about putting these appliances in a rental. Are you doing beach rentals or something like that? If you would like to do the Gagganaus, I would look at the older models to save money and also to make financial room for any repairs that may occur. Look on ebay and your local Craigslist. You should be able to do the gaggenaus or 24 inch mieles used for way less money than newer versions.
I ordered a part for my freezer for Gaggenau, just a replacement drawer and I received it in 3 business days. I am on the east coast. To give yourself confidence, call Gaggenau and ask for delivery times on parts and what is the stock availability for oven parts.

I am sorry to hear about the fire at your home! Best of luck and let us know what you end up doing.


    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 9:26AM
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A Gag in a rental? Is this like a $500/night beachfront condo in Maui? I think my panaromic vista suite in the Vdara (Vegas) on my last vacation had Gag appliances, and even there it was quite a surprise.

The appliances got stolen out of my rental last year. I dropped by the local appliance store and literally said, "Give me the cheapest full set of appliances I can get in stainless steel." Turned out to be Hotpoint, I think.

Anyway back on topic, I have a Breville smart oven and even though we use it almost daily I couldn't see it replacing my full-size oven. For resale alone I'd seriously think about putting in a regular oven.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 1:08PM
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Yes, this has been in the past and will be in the future a high-end rental. Tenants will mostly be high-end entertainment folks. But even on the high end, the market is competitive...a few extra special touches can turn heads -- especially the culinary types. You have to add some things that make you stand out in a competitive marketplace, and save in other directions. That's the way I look at it. Jeez -- everything nice is an extra 10K here, 10K there. There seems no end to it.

Also, as mentioned, I am not planning on renting it full-time again. I'll be traveling between the house in L.A. and my farm in Oregon. When I am not in Oregon, or elsewhere, I'll be staying at my house in L.A. Therefore, I'm doing it as if it were a rental AND my own home. I don't have to worry about anything getting stolen -- it's gated with security cams. This property has been a good investment for my family, and we intend to keep it in the family, even after my partner and I depart from this dear world.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 2:56PM
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Here's what I would do to get what you want now, but to not sabotage your resale value. In your remodel I would add in a dedicated space for your combi-oven whether that be a Gagg or an cheaper brand. I would then above it or below it or somewhere else in the kitchen build a cabinet that is the cutout dimensions of a 27 inch (most cut outs are similar enough) with all the wiring, etc necessary for a wall oven in the back. I would place removable brackets/shelves in the cabinet and use it for storage. Then, if I changed my mind, had a tenant that said not having a wall oven was a deal breaker, going to sell it, etc I could pull out the shelves and pop in a new wall oven. That way you have storage now and resale later.

Gagg does seem a bit over the top and for everyone I know that appreciates Gagg (myself included) not having a full size wall oven would be a deal breaker. But, I live in a completely different part of the market and I'm sure you know more about your target audience than I. Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 4:50PM
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Sreed - That is a most excellent idea. I thought of doing something similar for the washer/dryer in the kitchen, down the road, if it becomes a deal breaker to move them out of the cellar.

Correct me if I'm wrong, there is no cheaper brand of conventional dry/steam heat oven on the market. Gagg makes the only one, according to an appliance guy I spoke with yesterday.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 5:43PM
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Since your kitchen is small, how about a regular 30" range (since its a rental) with a convection microwave above....this will give you two ovens and save counter space. We use the microwave to bake all the time instead of the big oven.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 5:46PM
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I have the Gagg wall oven and wanted extra shelves and roaster. I got the parts delivered in two days. I am in Orange County. I don't think I could ever go back to another oven. Mine was deeply discounted at Pacific Sales in 2010.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 6:45PM
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Joanie - I would happily consider a 30" range, and previously had a Jennair downdraft, which I loved. Personally, I don't get the hoods; I've never used them in any kitchen I've lived in and I feel they're unnecessary. I'd much rather put art on the wall without the obstruction of a hood. But I understand that, by code, some venting system is required. Since the downdraft Jennair range is universally panned, then it would seem that a range top with a pop-up venting system behind it is the way to go, with a separate wall oven unit somewhere else in the kitchen.

This is the long answer of why I don't consider a regular 30" range.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 6:53PM
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I am not a steam oven expert, but isn't there a Miele that meets your requirements(steam + convection)? There have been some really cheap Miele's lately and you may be able to score one.

As far as venting goes - I strongly urge you to get a good vent. If you don't have a sufficient vent it will lead to grime build up that will be the bane of your existence. If you want art and a vent, look at a line such as Futuro, Futuro.

Check them and the Miele out on AJ Madison and see what you think. I'm glad you liked my cabinet suggestion!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 7:57PM
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Wolf ($3,850 MSRP), Miele ($3,500) and Thermador ($3,000) also offer built-in steam/convection ovens that cost a lot less than Gagg. A steam oven and matching 24" regular oven from one of those brands will cost you less than just the Gagg combi-steam (if you have to pay full retail at almost $8000). I bought a Gagg combi-steam because I got an amazing deal when a local store went out of business.

Sharp also makes a much less expensive countertop steam oven that you could put on a shelf in a tall cabinet if you want to keep your counters clear (like the Breville).

Here is a link that might be useful: 24 in steam ovens

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 9:29PM
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Sreed, once again, you come thru with interesting suggestions. When the salesman said Gagg is the only manufacturer with combi ovens, maybe he was referring to "plumbed" combi ovens? I read that people who own Mieles and Wolfs don't use them as much as those who own Gaggs due to the necessary manual insertion of water. I can see where the additional hassle of one extra step might prevent me from using it as frequently, as well. I believe Wolf has the largest box, which is compelling, since ostensibly you could, say, bake cookies in it.

For the heck of it, I went onto ebay and found a new Gagg for sale. I believe, with some persistence, it would be possible to find one for half-price eventually.

The range hood by Futuro that I thought was interesting? I looked up the price, and wow. It was as expensive as the darn combi!

Back to either a range with one of those pop-up vent things, or a Jennair downdraft slide-in. I actually called customer service at Jennair today to inquire about why their stoves are getting such a bad rap online. She said many people install them wrong with either too short or too long of a line, and with more than two elbows -- for whatever that's worth. I personally had a Jennair downdraft for 15 years. Mounted on the wall right above it was an original piece of artwork behind plexiglass. It was fine. So was the surrounding cabinetry. I never had grime build-up. Heck, at my house in Oregon, we didn't even install a hood, and we didn't get grime build-up there either -- and that was with me cooking two meals a day. From personal experience, I just don't get why everyone thinks these hoods are so dang important. I don't mean to be contentious; I just don't understand.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 12:29AM
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