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So let's say I don't want to go the Wolf range route...

Posted by Kitten1313 (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 26, 13 at 14:08

I've done so much research about Wolf, but I'm afraid it's a bit over-the-top for us. is there something comparably good (or even just really good, even if it's not as good as Wolf)? Looking for 48 in dual fuel.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: So let's say I don't want to go the Wolf range route...

I've heard that capital has or is about to intro duel fuel ranges.


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RE: So let's say I don't want to go the Wolf range route...

I would be hesitant to buy any oven/range that is dependent on electronics and does not have a track record, any brand. There is so much that can go wrong. Also buy the longest extended warranty you can buy. I will say when I bought my Wolf DF, the sales person told me I would like to sell you an extended warranty but you don't need it. They did sell me one on the Electrolux oven but I haven't needed it either.


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RE: So let's say I don't want to go the Wolf range route...

If Wold is "over the top", then so is a 48" range of any variety. There's nothing wrong with choosing something like a GE Cafe or Profile and just doing a separate wall oven if you bake enough to use 2 ovens. That's more upscale than 90% of Americans choose.


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RE: So let's say I don't want to go the Wolf range route...

Interesting point, Live wire oak. The appeal of a 48 is that it has a big oven and a small oven. Don't know that we need two full size ovens, but something more than 1. And my husband isn't sold on the idea of a wall oven, which is why we were looking at 48s.


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RE: So let's say I don't want to go the Wolf range route...

The GE Single/Double wall oven fits in the space of a single wall oven, but gives you two ovens, one larger and one smaller. The larger one can do a 20 lb turkey, but most people end up using the smaller one for most of their needs. Pair that with a 36" induction cooktop and it should be enough for the casually serious cook. Add another 2 burner induction hob if you need more capacity. That will leave you doing an expensive hood, but all together it's more ability and still probably less costly than any "serious" 48" range and hood.

Here is a link that might be useful: GE Profile PT925


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RE: So let's say I don't want to go the Wolf range route...

Have you thought about doing a range and a speed oven? We got a BS 36" with grill. You can read lots of posts about Blue Star (pro and con). I love it for all the reasons that others do--the gorgeous and powerful burners, the broiler and the big oven. What I also love about it is that there are absolutely no electronics. Knobs and two switches (one for the light and one for the convection fan)--that's it. Nothing to fry the controls. We went with a Miele speed oven under the counter as our second oven. Since it is only 24" wide, it heats up really quickly. We use it as our regular oven about half the time. We only fire up the range oven to broil, make batches of cookies and cakes and for larger items. We are really happy with this choice.


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RE: So let's say I don't want to go the Wolf range route...

I understand totally your point about not needing 2 full-size ovens. But I have some questions for you. Have you thought about the hood that will need to be 48" wide? If you think the Wolf range is over the top, I am wondering how you will feel about a 48" hood. Have you priced them? Do you have the right size ducting for the 48" hood? Also, will you be needing all the burners that come with a 48" range, or will most go to waste, cause you typically never use more than 4 burners at a time?

I think a 48" range and hood are dramatic focal points in a kitchen, and the 8 burners and 2 ovens are of use for many families. But we don't know what amount and kind of cooking you do. So, which would you rather spend money on - (a) the 48" range + 48" hood, or (b) a rangetop (say 36" width) + 36" hood + a second wall oven that might be a slightly bigger than you need?

P.S. Can you explain why your husband doesn't like wall ovens?

This post was edited by akchicago on Sat, Jan 26, 13 at 17:09


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RE: So let's say I don't want to go the Wolf range route...

How about a 44" Aga with four smaller ovens?


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RE: So let's say I don't want to go the Wolf range route...

You guys have given me a lot to think about. I was pretty set on the Wolf 48 in with the griddle because it pretty much had everything I wanted. I just wasn't comfortable with the idea of having a Wolf range. I am definitely a "mom cook" with more ambitious recipes trials as time permits. I enjoy cooking, a lot. I hope as my kids get older and I have more time that my skills and repetoire will increase. So what is "enough" right now may not suit my needs in the future. Still, I don't think that I am "worthy" of Wolf, if that makes any sense. My cooking abilities and necessities don't merit a Wolf I don't think. But it would be so easy to just be done thinking about it!

On the other hand, we are sinking a lot of money into creating our dream kitchen. We are not concerned with resale, but I'd like to go a bit more upscale than the Profile and similar lines. (we have these in our kitchen now, in addition to the Maytag gemini and I'm not impressed with ANY of them!)


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RE: So let's say I don't want to go the Wolf range route...

The cold calculating way of looking at things doesn't take into consideration the emotional things, but.....on any kitchen remodel, you start with an overall budget. Since you don't think that you'll be moving any time soon, perhaps yours is more generous than someone who wants to take resale into account. Even so, that doesn't mean that if you never move that it's prudent to drop a 100K kitchen into a 200K house as long as you never move. If that were on the radar, it would be more appropriate to move to a completely different locale of higher end homes that better supported the lifestyle that was aspired to.

That doesn't mean that the "average" person couldn't drop in a 8K range into a middle of the road 30K kitchen remodel if they wanted to. As long as cooking is their passion and they plan that passion around using standard sized appliances or cabinets that can fill in if a move takes place, then who cares. They could just as easily spend it on a new car as a range if that was something they enjoyed.

But, for the average person getting caught up in all of the possibilities that are available, it helps to have a guideline for how to spend their money "appropriately" in a kitchen redo. That guideline has long been 10-20% of your home's value----taking into account if you live in a 75K farmhouse in MN that you're going to spend more than that number because there is a base line for products that's difficult to go beneath. The same with someone who lives in a 2 bedroom 1 bath 1.2M starter house in San Francisco. All of the value is in the land, not the actual house and that skews the guidelines.

But, for the "average" person in a 300K home, spending between 30K and 60K should get them a kitchen that's appropriate to their neighborhood. Around 40% to 50% of that should go for cabinets and their installation---those practically permanent additions to the home.

"Typical" allocation of an average American 60K kitchen remodel.

CABINETS 24,000
FLOORING 4,200
COUNTERTOPS 7,200
APPLIANCES 4,800
LIGHTING/ELECTRICAL 2,400
WALL COVERING 1,800
LABOR (INCLUDING PLUMBING) 15,000
MISCELLANEOUS 600

If you stuck to the average allocations, that wouldn't even cover a single pro style appliance. Just your average consumer grade appliance. So, if you kept the rest of the budget intact as appropriate to your location and raised the appliance buget by 10K, you're out of line "proportionately", but if you choose items that are standard sizes, then it's always possible to "move with" your choices if the need arises. And you get that 10K expense back in enjoyment. IF you do "enjoy" cooking. A lot of Americans really don't enjoy cooking, but they feel they should have a giant kitchen just because everyone else does.

Analyze your own motivations and expectations here. There's absolutely nothing wrong with using the appliances and cabinetry that are in line with what the rest of your neighborhood uses. It's a smart move financially. Or, if you really enjoy cooking enough to spend the extra money on higher quality equipment, there's nothing wrong with that either. Reading this board will take a lot of people over the edge though as to what they "need" vs. what they "want". Be sure you are very clear about understanding the differences between the two in your own situation. Everyone needs a kitchen sink. That $39 sink will hold water just like that 4K sink will, and that 4K sink won't be 4000x as functional just because it costs more.


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RE: So let's say I don't want to go the Wolf range route...

I appreciate you analysis. We lived in a very economically mixed area. Even within our end of town (the "high" end), there are houses in the millions next to houses that are not. Therefore, one of my neighbors has the 60in wolf range, SZ fridge, marble countertops etc etc etc. Another neighbor has your basic sears appliances. Another has a Subzero fridge and a Kitchen aid standard range. The houses are old, so you don't have that "new construction" homogeny.

Anyway, Wolf is in our budget and our budget is proportional to our home value and where we live. Still, I don't believe just because you *can* buy something doesn't mean you should.


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RE: So let's say I don't want to go the Wolf range route...

Why don't you feel you "deserve" a Wolf? Because you don't cook "fancy" food? Because your house is modest? Because it would look out of place with your other chosen appliances? No offense, but I find the idea that you don't deserve a Wolf to be hooey. A Wolf is just a product. The cache being given it does not make those who aren't gourmet cooks unworthy to use their product. I have double Wolf L ovens. I do not see the sunlight make them shine blindingly like diamonds, nor do I hear the angels sing when I go near them. They do not sneer at me because I don't make brioche, challah, souffles, etc in them everyday. They are solidly built, high-quality ovens that look and handle very nicely and will do so for many, many years to come.

Wolf is a quality product, with excellent customer service to back up said product. Personally, I'd rather spend money now to buy a quality product that I can afford that I know will last decades and can accommodate my growing culinary education than a cheaper product that may have questionable quality, unsupportive customer service, that may only last 10 years, and that does not give me any extra ability or options that make me want to be a better cook.


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RE: So let's say I don't want to go the Wolf range route...

lol Breezygirl. I see your point. I guess I'm just uncomfortable with Wolf, as it is such a "name." I could see myself buying another professional style range at the same cost, just so it isn't a wolf. I actually love to make souffles. lol

I don't think it will look out of place, as I am almost certainly getting a giant subzero, which I feel perfectly comfortable with because I know I NEED (yes need) a giant fridge with dual compressors. I have been stuffing the week's groceries into my fridge and dealing with frozen produce long enough to know what I need.

I think the bottom line is that I have issues! hahaa


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RE: So let's say I don't want to go the Wolf range route...

I make souffles also, both sweet and savory. Just not every day.

Have you looked at the Capital Culinarian? Is all gas, not DF, although Capital is touting their new DF line. I'm not sure what you wanted. I love my CC gas rangetop and have read excellent reviews of the oven's rotisserie and the broiler.

So you don't have problems buying a SZ, despite the name, but you have issues buying a Wolf because of the name? O.......kay.

I also used to get frustrated by my lack of fridge space in my old, tiny KA. It never froze anything though. It just didn't have much space, but I was happy with it otherwise. Thank goodness for my garage fridge, especially when my weekly CSA box comes stuffed full of huge veggies and I've already purchased my bunches of greens for the week. It certainly doesn't fit inside my new kitchen's 36" KA!


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RE: So let's say I don't want to go the Wolf range route...

You do know that SubZero & Wolf are the same company, don't you?

I bought a Wolf & I've never even eaten a souffle much less made one. OK, I got a Wolf rangetop--to go with Whirlpool ovens and an old Maytag DW.

Reason for the Wolf was because I had had two crappy consumer grade ranges. With the first one, a Roper if I recall correctly, a gas supply tube to the oven disintegrated and gas was leaking. Not repairable. Replace with a Kenmore (rebadged GE) and I couldn't fit large pots on it. (Have a garden & I can.) The self clean stopped working after being used only one time, the (gray) grates were chipped & uncleanable and had to replace an oven glo plug...not a big deal. 30 minutes to preheat the oven and the top burners were seriously underpowered.

I'm someone who loves good tools and those two ranges weren't even Harbor Freight quality. And I grew up cooking on an Okeefe & Meritt...a real cooking machine. I consider Wolf to be a cut or two below O & M but, hey, I was willing to compromise a little bit.

If you cook, you deserve a good range.


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RE: So let's say I don't want to go the Wolf range route...

Kitten1313: I faced a similar dilemma, although at a different size scale (I did not want a 48", due to some self-imposed space constraints). The neighborhoods sound pretty similar, an older neighborhood with a mix of finish levels in the interiors, but well supportive of a high-end kitchen.

I too wanted to buck the trend. For me, it wasn't a matter so much of worthiness rather than just doing something different. I was told by one appliance firm that the builders were only spec'ing out Wolf ranges in the high end custom new builds, even if they offered the others.

So really, since this sounds like a long term home for you, you should go with what you want, rather than what you might think others might think of it (if that makes sense).


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RE: So let's say I don't want to go the Wolf range route...

Gooster, thank you. That's it exactly. What did you end up going with?

Yes, I know Wolf/SZ are the same company. In fact, the biggest mark against the SZ was the name. I was almost dead set on the Liebherr and then....I just liked the SZ better.

My point being I don't think my cooking necessitates or merits a professional range, and I'd feel silly having such a "name" range. It's not a matter of personal worthiness, just cooking. lol


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RE: So let's say I don't want to go the Wolf range route...

I'll be honest in that my question is more whether you truly need a 48" range rather than should you buy a Wolf. Do you have a really large family? Do you often entertain huge crowds where you need all of those burners? The size of a 48", and the kitchen real estate and venting it needs, is much more of a statement than the Wolf badge on the range. Generalizing here obviously, but "ordinary" people with "ordinary" kitchens just do not have 48" ranges. So, just by making this size decision you are also making a certain statement.

If you do not want to appear pretentious, which is what I seem to feel is one of your issues here, then get a 36" in range and put in the extra wall oven despite the fact your husband doesn't truly care for this idea. Actually a wall oven can be more practical because it is away from the stovetop area and congestion.

By the way, I too live in a pretty upscale urban neighborhood of older houses, and I have seen a lot of kitchens here over the years.


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RE: So let's say I don't want to go the Wolf range route...

Hmmm, maybe that is my problem - the sheer scale of the thing. I think I would be ok with a 36 in Wolf. The 48 is appealing because it has both the ovens right there, and you're done. We have a pretty large space (20 x 16), but maybe I don't want such a monster. Decisions, decisions. We are a family of 5 and do entertain quite a bit. I think I'd get good use out of 4 burners and a 24 inch griddle, but a 4 and 12 would probably be just fine.

I think I will have the designer do a few iterations - one with a 48, one with a 36 and a wall oven, and one with a cook top and 2 wall ovens. I choose my appliances based on which design works best. Of course, if we like the 48 best, I'm back to square one.

Thanks for all the input.


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RE: So let's say I don't want to go the Wolf range route...

Kitten, I'm with breezy on this. Forget the brand name or any perceived pretension that comes with it. Assuming it fits your budget, the main factors you need to worry about are is it reliable and does it meet your needs? This is your kitchen and you need to live with and use it on a daily basis.

I ended up with a 48" range. One of my design goals was to maximize counter and storage space. I started out wanting wall ovens, but that sacrificed counter space. The 48" is a good compromise, because although it is 48" wide, it can double up as counter space as needed. I have a cover over my grill and I routinely use it and adjacent unused burners for either mis en place or plating. It's also a great landing area for items coming out of the oven. Depending on your counter material, you have zero worries about hunting for a trivet.

You should also reconsider whether you really need a DF range. I have an AG and I don't miss any of the electric features in a main oven. I admit, I do also have a GE Advantium which does have all the whiz-bang features. But it needs those features to work properly. When it comes to the oven, it's just set the temp and bake or roast. It is a minor inconvenience that there is no auto on/off or timed cooking feature. But that just means I have to hang around. The upside is that I have zero fears about using the self-clean feature of my oven because there are no digital electronics to fry.

Do go through the exercise of redesigning with a wall oven. But don't let superficial concerns drive you to go in a direction that doesn't meet your needs.


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RE: So let's say I don't want to go the Wolf range route...

Kitten1313: I ended up bucking the trend (here and in the local area) by getting a CornuFe. I seriously considered a Wolf and a Thermador, plus the Capital. I quickly discarded the Bertazonni for the specs and the Ilve due to issues with the distributor. I ended up prioritizing DF and looks over pure power, with price factoring in. Time will tell how happy I am, but each time I battle with my crappy cooktop or my oven that heat evenly I can't count the days until I get some new equipment.


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RE: So let's say I don't want to go the Wolf range route...

Btw, I'm not trying to talk you into a Wolf, or any other brand for that matter. I'm just trying to challenge you to really think about your choice in terms other than about deserving or not deserving an appliance. :)


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RE: So let's say I don't want to go the Wolf range route...

gooster: Out of interest, what were the issues with the Ilve distributor?


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RE: So let's say I don't want to go the Wolf range route...

buffalotina: I was warned by more than one retailer that the distributor with the contract to carry Ilve was having financial issues. Likely a local issue only.


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RE: So let's say I don't want to go the Wolf range route...

Oh, that is a terrible shame. Those are VERY cute ranges. I oogled one myself for a while when I was in the market for a range.


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