If You'd Recommend Your Stove, Please Tell Me About It

amck2November 11, 2012

I need to buy a new 30" range. I'm replacing a dual fuel, and am thinking of going that route. Some have told me to also consider AG. They say my fear of uneven heat for baking is no longer the issue it was with older stoves.

I loved the Dacor dual-fuel that came in the house we purchased 11 yrs. ago until I began loathing it because of "mother board electronics" problems and have finally given up on it.

Spent yesterday at the appliance store and came back even more confused. I am not yearning for a status name, but I cook and bake 6 days a week & my home is the hub for all big holiday meals. Having an efficient, reliable range is very important to me.

I posted in the Appliances forum yesterday - no replies yet. Thanks for any guidance you can offer.

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We have a 30" gas Wolf cooktop and a Fisher Paykel electric oven. Both are truly wonderful.

The gas burners have lots of oomph but can also be turned down very low. My DH cooks Chinese food and really likes how well it does with the wok. He also has a gigantic frying pan and it works very well for that, too.

The oven has several heating elements and two fans. I thought I would like the oven easy slide racks better than I do. They move a little too easily plus they are heavy and a bit harder than I would like to move to different positions in the oven.

One of the unexpected benefits to the gas cooktop is that it makes a solid surface that is great for putting pans on when they come out of the oven. That has to do with the shape of the grates. I think there are many other cooktops that have that but many that don't, too.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 2:26PM
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Thanks, donaleen, for your review. I was quite certain that I could find a stove I liked for less than I would pay for a Wolf. At the end of a long day of shopping, the Wolf 30" was my husband's first choice.

Sounds like you have a good set up with the gas cooktop & electric oven.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 4:30PM
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I have and love the 36" DF Wolf. It functions really well, the customer service is great, and we've had no problems. It also looks great and when re-sale time comes along years from now, I feel like it'll probably be an advantage.

I like the wide range of burner flame settings, from the basic lo-to-high to the range of simmer settings.

I use my 30" wall oven more than my Wolf range oven, but when I've used it, I've been very happy with the performance.

We decided to go with DF rather than AG because we have a marble slab b-splash behind the range, and the AG vents heat (and even grease) out the back, which has been known to discolor light stone b-splashes. I'm glad I went with DF. IMHO, think the burners are easier to clean than the AG would've been for me.

If you're considering the Wolf AG, FYI, a redesign is imminent, if it hasn't happened already. The new AG will look identical or almost identical to the DF.

Previously, I had a Kenmore Elite cooktop with a triple-ring burner that went up to around 18,000 BTUs. That's the one feature I really miss on the Wolf. I'm limited to 15,000, which doesn't bother me, but it takes my husband a precious additional minute or so to boil his water for coffee in the morning. My only other complaint would be that the lack of a triple ring burner leaves me limited to the back left side when I want to use the small diameter burner, which I use a lot.

When I was shopping for the range, I considered Viking and Thermador. Overall, the feedback on Wolf reliability was better (among the appliance professionals and GWers I asked). The Thermador is really a nice range, though. I like the star-shaped burners, burner variability, high burner BTU output, and it looks great.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 5:56PM
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I am really liking my Thermador. I am pleased with the star burners, and like the oven performance. Mine is all gas-- propane, since we live in the country!!
Mine is a 36", though, so I won't tell you how much I love the griddle!


    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 6:16PM
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I have a Dacor DR30D duel fuel and love it. I don't expect it to last forever, and with the electronic keypad, it won't, but I was able to get the 3 year extended warranty through Dacor so I will at least have that. My parents have a Wolf, but I prefer the Dacor burner elements to theirs (and it's much less expensive).

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 6:56PM
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I so appreciate the responses. Since this purchase is being made out of necessity, as opposed to a scheduled move or renovation, it is not in our planned budget. I usually love everything related to Kitchens, but this decision isn't fun. I'm hoping that we'll have this range for a long time so I'm trying to cull as much information as I can before I order. Each of your replies is much appreciated.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 8:15PM
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I had also had enough of the fried motherboards in ovens/ranges, so I went low-tech. I got a Bertazonni in all gas. I had planned on buying the Electrolux Icon DF but the oven was really low ... My cat would have no trouble checking if cookies were done but I would have to bend inhalf to do it.

Now, I love my Bert BUT ... I wish the oven could go lower in temp (it can't go below 275F). I knew that going in, and looking back I would still make the same choice today. It's just the one thing I would change, if I could.

I love how accurate the oven is, though. I love how evenly it cooks trays of cookies. The burners are great and for a stainless steel range, it really stays clean well. Having the top made from once piece of steel with no seams is great. The woman who cleans my house 2x/mo even commented that its really easy to clean (unlike many of the stainless steel appliances she hates to deal with).

2 last thoughts: I also love that it was made in Italy (as opposed to a country with lax environmental standards). And - I know it bugs some people that the oven throws heat into the house, I like that the oven door stays cool ALL the time. That feature, BTW, is what throws so much heat into the kitchen. It pumps air through the hollow part of the door so the front panel doesn't get hot when the oven is on.

So, yes, I do really like my range and like the price (half of the E-lux Icon, the money we saved let us replace our fridge when it was sounding like a dying herd of antelope). I feel like it was a very good product for the price, and it looks pretty, too :)

However, if you are short (or very flexible) the Electrolux Icon racks were on ball bearings and darn, that was tempting. Plus the interior is a pretty blue. All in all, though, a Bertazzoni might be worth looking at if you have sworn off the electronic-laden ranges.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 9:05PM
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If you are even partially considering other options, I LOVE our induction range, 30 inch by GE. Control like gas but no flame, no gas line, and much less heat wasted into the air. The oven is good too, though I don't really bake. Everything we have put in there though cooks beautifully. It has convection. I also considered the Elux model, that oven is beautiful in blue! But even though they both got good reviews, I liked the slide in elux which was not possible (range died in December, remodel is this coming may) at the time and the floor model I saw had the one small flaw I had read about, which spooked me.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 9:18PM
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williamsem, thank you for your post. I flirted with the idea of going induction. It might seem like a flimsy reason, considering all the pros, but I've become attached to the pots & pans I've slowly accumulated over the years. I have favorites for preparing certain dishes and I cringe at the thought of giving them away and paying to replace them. I'm also a bit daunted at the prospect of learning to cook in a whole new way. I've read there may be hybrids in the future that will incorporate both gas & induction. That would entice me.

EngineerChic, I don't know anyone personally who owns a Bertazonni and that's a main reason I'm reaching out on this forum. I was introduced to the idea of soapstone for countertops here back when no one I knew had it, and it turned out to be the perfect choice for me.

My gut is telling me to go with "less is more" regarding digital bells & whistles, not only because of my bad experience w/ the Dacor, but also because I don't use a fraction of the modes that are offered on many ranges. It seems counter intuitive to invest in electronics that may cause problems if I don't want or use them.

Re: the Electrolux. I happen to be short & flexible, but one of the things that turned me off on the GE Cafe DF w/ 2 ovens was that the bigger oven was on the bottom. I can't see choosing a range that will have me hoisting big, hot turkeys & heavy LC pots from an oven just a few inches from the floor. Those racks, which sound similar to the ones my DH loved in the Wolf, are tempting, though.

Thank you for your post. I will look into the Bert as a possibility.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 10:36AM
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Amck - Another vote for a Berta. I love the looks, love being able to dust under it to get the dust bunnies, easy to clean, and accurate oven temp. I did buy an oven thermometer just in case and do find that at time is reads hotter so I turn down. Other than that no problems at all! The air does blow into the room, but even in the summer with no A/C it was not a problem. Good luck

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 11:02AM
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I ordered the Berta because I loved it, but then backed out because the oven temp in the Berta can only go down to 275. I use my oven to do lots of low temp cooking, make yogurt, dry fruit, etc... so it wasn't going to work despite the fact that I loved the burners.
I got a Bosch slide in dual fuel, love the oven and the burners are just fine- not super-duper awesome but very very nice.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 11:14AM
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