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Viking Gas Oven/Miele Cooktop

Posted by nesmithbrian (My Page) on
Sun, Jun 17, 12 at 19:30

Dear all,

I've read with great interest the postings here over the past few weeks--it's been very informative. I was hoping I might tap into the hive-mind for some advice regarding the Viking 30" Gas Oven, as well as an almost-settled range question.

I've moved reasonably quickly to abandoning my dreams of a Ferrari-red Bertazzoni, because--despite a recent heavenly feed in Modena, where we were impressed by the Maseratis--the build quality just isn't there.

We also looked at the big names from this side of the Atlantic. Burner elements are cast as opposed to machined, which is a dealbreaker for me on any machine. Leaves me only with the Miele Master series, which does have fully machined parts. (OK--I admit it, I am addicted to Miele.)

Since we want to go all gas for reasons of efficiency, this leaves us only with the Viking Professional Series 30" Gas Oven [VGSO] to complete the team. I was hoping that someone could:

(1) Either set me straight on this being my only option in an independent gas oven (I did look at a Castle Pizza Oven, but concluded that that would have to wait).

Or (2) tell me their experiences with this oven or similar Viking products. Because on the basis of comments in previous threads, there may be reliability issues.

Thanks in advance for any and all comments, and for previous posters whose opinions have been most useful.

Brian

Here is a link that might be useful: Viking 30


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Viking Gas Oven/Miele Cooktop

I know Bluestar makes a gas wall oven: http://bluestarcooking.com/products/wall-ovens. The 24" has a side-swing door, and the 30" and 36" have french doors. That's all I know, but I'm sure the web site has more info.

I'm curious why cast vs. machined burners matter to you. Naively, I'd think machining really matters when there needs to be a precise fit on intermeshing parts (gears, bearings, valves, ...). Since a burner just sits there and spews gas out of some holes, I wouldn't think that super-fine precision mattered as much. I've messed with the closed burners on Wolfs and the open burners on Bluestars and Capitals, and they all seemed just fine to me. What am I missing?

Good luck with your search!

Laura


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RE: Viking Gas Oven/Miele Cooktop

Dear Laura,

thanks so much for that info. I will be checking out that oven immediately at a local restaurant supply store!

Re machining. What I said was a little excessive. Casting is fine for many applications. Where heat is involved I like to see machined brass, which usually has a more precise geometry and tolerates repeated heating and cooling well. But it also gives me an excuse to buy the Miele!


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RE: Viking Gas Oven/Miele Cooktop

"Since we want to go all gas for efficiency"? Induction is far more efficient than gas. Induction puts out more btu's, too. It cleans in a fraction of the time. It simmers, always. It melts chocolate. It sears, and cooks evenly. It doesn't heat up your kitchen. Don't even think about little holes. It just needs electricity and magnetic pans, which can be cheap. It is the future and the present, not the past.


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RE: Viking Gas Oven/Miele Cooktop

Hi westsider, thanks for the comment, I'm learning fast.

In the meantime I've realised that the savings on the gas are pretty minimal compared to furnace and water heater. So I think we are just going to go with a Miele 24" Speed Oven (the one with a bottom element).

Regarding induction. I acknowledge that what you say is true. Unfortunately I have purchased a lot of copper over the years, and moving to induction at this point would be like throwing $2K in the trash.

However, a possibility is a Miele Combi setup with gas and induction. Will start looking into that now.

For future readers interested in why I junked my plan, some remarks on gas vs electricity below. Some of it is out of date, but the overall numbers check out. I was misled (I misled myself) by blindly applying what is true of restaurants to a home kitchen (what some posters have referred to as the "elephant in the room", i.e. foodie obsession with being "Pro" even when it is counterproductive). 1000 pizzas a week creates a different economy from my 1.5.

Here is a link that might be useful: GasVsElectricity


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RE: Viking Gas Oven/Miele Cooktop

Just as a small followup regarding induction: "It simmers, always. It melts chocolate. It sears, and cooks evenly."

I am sure this is true of induction. But I melt chocolate on the flame in my Bourgeat copper all the time and I can also caramelise sugar without it burning.

The heat also rides up the sides of a copper sauteuse or fait-tout. My understanding is that this is hard to impossible to achieve with induction cookware, because the field-strength varies with distance, and you cannot use cookware of highly conductive materials.

But here again, I would be happy to be set straight.


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RE: Viking Gas Oven/Miele Cooktop

I would stick with gas and keep those beautiful copper pots!!! I love cooking with mine!

We do have a Bertazzoni 6 burner cooktop and sofar have had wonderful results with it are very happy.
I can see however, why the Miele is appealing. Go with what satisfies you and your cooking needs/style.

Not familiar with gas ovens and Viking performance could be a problem. We have gaggenau double ovens and they are truly magnificent in looks and performance...

Good luck!


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RE: Viking Gas Oven/Miele Cooktop

Brian,

I went through the switch from gas to induction recently. It feels a bit like a religious conversion. My dream cooktop has always been Bluestar, but after going through a lot of thinking about venting, generation and loss of heat, I finally decided on induction. If efficiency if your goal, there is no other option.

I'm a physicist, so efficiency is important to me. The beauty of induction is that heat goes NOWHERE except into your cooking vessel. Granted, you can't use your beautiful copper cookware, but Demeyere makes stunning pots with silver sandwiched inside steel which are efficient as well as gorgeous.

I've been cooking on my induction cooktop for just under 2 weeks, and it continues to amaze me. I can sear in stainless or carbon steel pans without heating the kitchen to intolerable levels. I'm in New Mexico where the temps are in the mid-90s right now, so additional heat is absolutely out. The speed and responsiveness of induction are a revelation.

As others have said, you can simmer forever at constant temps, and our Thermador has all kinds of built-in safety features. It cuts off if the pot boils dry and heat starts to build up. It cuts off if the pot overflows. I can set a timer to cook for a precise time, then stop. I'm still exploring these new ways of cooking. I haven't yet tested the SensorDome that is supposed to keep the pot at a constant temperature - I've been told this doesn't work, but I need to find out for myself.

I cooked on my mother's Garland in my youth, and had high-power gas in my last kitchen, so I've had a lot of experience with gas. To me there is a romance and mystique with open flame which induction cannot match. If that is what appeals to you, by all means stick with gas, but don't kid yourself that it is efficient.

Cheryl


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RE: Viking Gas Oven/Miele Cooktop

Cheryl, it certainly helps that the excess heat doesn't dump into the room in a hot climate, but that isn't so much of a consideration in other areas. Part of the allure of "efficient" is "cheap to operate." In my area, it is cheaper to run a cooktop on gas than on induction electric. If you really want to talk about efficiency from a physics viewpoint, you should multiply the electrical energy used by about 3, to account for generation efficiency and distribution loss, assuming that the electricity comes from burning something (it does where I live).

That said, I bought induction for all the other reasons, which does include comfort for the cook when the burners are cranked up.


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RE: Viking Gas Oven/Miele Cooktop

Attofarad, physicists are notorious for not counting $$! I don't think the cost of cooking is significant, not compared with other utilites. So whether you cook with gas or electricity makes little difference. I'll check our utility bills over the next couple of months to see if that is true, but I'd be surprised if our electricity costs increase, or our gas costs decrease.

I consider induction efficient in the sense that there is little or no heat loss. According to the Induction Site (link below), conversion from BTU/hr (gas) to kW (induction) is 7185 BTU/hr = 1 kW. The conversion in general is 3413 BTU/hr = 1 kW. That is a quantitative measure of the efficiency which impresses me.

Cheryl

Here is a link that might be useful: conversion BTU/hr to kW for induction


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RE: Viking Gas Oven/Miele Cooktop

Cheryl, if you look up to my second or third post, you'll find a link to a page where someone has done some of the work. Your mileage may differ, but when I looked at my own numbers (and after speaking with a salesman on the phone), I realised that the cost savings were completely negligeable.

Furthermore, regarding efficiency, I am quite surprised to hear such an argument from a physicist. Because the efficiency of the means of cooking should be evaluated not merely with respect to the time and place where the heat is produced, but in the case of transmitted energy, with respect to the time and place where the electricity is produced.

Put otherwise, electricity is not an energy source, it is means of transmitting energy, and evaluated on that basis, it is horribly inefficient. As someone with a technical background as well, I would argue that electricity is much too high quality and inefficient to be used for anything that does not *require* electricity, such as electronics, lighting, and of course many industrial processes.

My aim, which I have pulled back from slightly, was to have electricity only for lighting and electronics. But the technical difficulties of the gas oven, coupled with the fact that there is no cost savings, have caused me to back away from that plan just slightly.

Regarding induction, I've put that on hold for two reasons:

(1) I still haven't seen how I can get "wraparound" heat with induction without buying new pans that would have to be even more expensive than the existing copper, and, even if I did, they couldn't, unless I'm missing something, have that same wraparound conductivity because of the non-cuprous metals required for the "sandwich." Having that wraparound heat in a conical sauteuse is something I don't want to give up.

(2) There is some mumbling to the effect that there may eventually be induction plates that work with copper and other non-ferrous metals. Which brings me to a third point, namely,

(3) Induction is an electronic technology. At my age ;-(, I have by now seen how long it takes for such a technology to mature many times. Microwaves are *still* improving, 40 years after they first appeared. My father in law in Germany had a complete Miele kitchen from the 80's, with a gull-wing microwave that weighed about 10kg (the door) and a first-generation Ceran cooktop that took 50-10 mins to begin to heat up. I'm not saying that induction hasn't matured, but I rather worry that I will be dissatisfied with how my induction tech compares to the standard in 5 years.

By contrast, with gas, I know exactly what I'm getting. In fact, I suspect that the top-end Miele burners I get now will be impossible to get in five years, because the quality of mechanical products continues to drop. So, I think I've convinced myself. Induction can be added later, but there is no need to act now.


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RE: Viking Gas Oven/Miele Cooktop

PS Cheryl, I realised on reflection that by efficiency you may simply mean, as little heat as possible into the local environment. I totally get why that might matter in a hot climate, where you are paying to pump out that heat with still more power. Probably that would affect my reasoning as well if I lived in such a climate.


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RE: Viking Gas Oven/Miele Cooktop

Induction is only 'young' in the U.S.. It has been used for many years in Europe and Asia. i am old and bought induction. Induction is so matured, to me, it makes gas, 'primitive'! I have a gas range in a summer cottage, but, I don't cook much there. The only thing about gas that is better is the ability to char but I can char on a gas grill or in my broilers. Admittedly, it's more fun to char on a stovetop. Charring is not in my cooking plan anyway.

I know you love your copper pots. I would love them, too. Love is love. I love the easy cleanup of induction. I love the easy clean more than I love pots, and I do love pots, lol.

Induction cooking with cheap, $25, pots, equals any kind of performance, and does away with the argument for a fully cladded pot v. a cladded disc bottom pot, my thoughts. The DeMeyere site talks about using disc bottom for stews/soups, etc., and fully cladded for sauces and sautes. They have done the science. I have done the cooking. Fully cladded v. disc? The same to me.

I have a Bosch with 17 power settings plus boost. More than adequate to cook anything.

I loved some of my old pots which I gave to my daughter. If I had $2k in pots, esp. beautiful copper pots, it would be tough. I would love your copper pots more than my old pots, but it's about love.

Induction is almost instant boil, ridiculously easy cleanup, superior control, instant responsiveness, but it's hard to overcome 'pot love' and there is no need to overcome it. Oh, yeah, it keeps the kitchen way cooler here in Illinois.

I also love the modern, clean looking lines of an induction top, and I don't love the look of grates-they look clumsy and early 19th century, woo hoo-sure to get the screaming flame throwers out.


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RE: Viking Gas Oven/Miele Cooktop

Westsider, please understand that I am completely open-minded about this, since I have not bought anything yet, aside from the one fact that I have a lot of copper. But that would not in itself speak against buying a Miele Combi-induction surface and a pair of gas-burners.

Now regarding your statement "Induction cooking with cheap, $25, pots, equals any kind of performance, and does away with the argument for a fully cladded pot v. a cladded disc bottom pot, my thoughts. "

I honestly don't understand this. The reason I like copper is not because I like the way it looks. On a proper copper sauteuse, the heat on the wall of the pan 4 inches off the burner-level is no different from the bottom of the pan.

This is what I mean by "wraparound heat": a cooking vessel whose bottom and walls (sloping or perpendicular) are at the same temperature, up to and including temperatures at which sugar caramelizes.

I have not seen any evidence that this is possible with induction. If I saw such evidence, I would change my mind.

Regarding Europe: I lived in Germany for 15 years before moving back home (thus the story about the old Miele kitchen). I never saw an induction range once, though it is true I got back 4 years ago, and that may have changed. But I still travel to Europe 4-5 times a year, I have a lot of personal friends in 3-4 countries, and I still have never seen an induction range outside of a store.


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RE: Viking Gas Oven/Miele Cooktop

Westsider - I hear and echo everything you say! I've been playing around with flat-bottomed carbon steel woks, and I'm very pleasantly surprised at how well induction does. No, it's not a 100,000 BTU wok hob, but almost nothing is. I understand why induction wok hobs have swept Asia. AND the kitchen is pleasant to work in even with that power. We still haven't installed a range hood, but even with the big element (4800 W), the kitchen isn't overheated. Last year, cooking over a 22K BTU burner in a New England summer was torture.

I'm enjoying this more than I expected. Usually I avoid cooking in summer, but not with this baby.

Cheryl


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clad v disc

Hi Brian, I'll just share what I have come to understand or believe, so it is my experience and thoughts or opinion.

I don't know how you can, at home, test the heat of the sidewalls of a proper copper sauteuse pan and compare it to the base of this pan. You can only restate what the mfr. or advertising have already stated. And you can tell us about your experiences.

Different metals, and combinations thereof, have different quantifiable responses to induction. - perhaps by the amount of ferrous-ness of the metal. From lowest to highest are-- stainless steel, aluminum, carbon steel.

Carbon steel cookware is not cladded, and is the same steel material throughout all parts of the pot, except for the handle. Very responsive to induction.

What you call 'wraparound' may also be called 'cladded' or fully cladded or cladded up through the walls AND the bottom of the pan. On most stainless steel cladded cookware, there is an aluminum layer between outside and inside layers of stainless. Aluminum conducts heat faster/better than stainless. So the sides of a cladded pot will conduct heat faster than the sides of an uncladded pot-if the heat source is gas or electric. But food will cook
in a pot with slower sidewalls, too. The parts of the pot furthest from the heat source will still get hot or magnetically cook your food. I suppose that the molecules of the pot materials will move(it's been 55 years since I was in a physics class, so have a little mercy here)
Induction cooks when the pot's magnetic materials get excited by the induction hob-and then excite the food within.

The discussion, as I understand it, is, fully cladded v. only the bottom or disc clad. Brian, I have seen this discussed on Chowhound, and a few other places. Demeyere cookware at demeyere.com recommends fully clad cookware for sautes and sauces, and disc clad for braises, stocks, etc. Demeyere sells both clad and disc and is knowledgable about induction.

My own one year experience with Bosch induction is that clad and disc pans both work the same. Most of my cookware is disc. I keep looking for a practical reason to buy the more expensive cladded pots, but I can't justify the expense. I can afford it but am cheap.

Infrequently, I have made reduction sauces in a disc pan, and because induction cookers change temps so quickly and the pots respond so quickly, the sauce changes, thickens or reduces, also quickly.

I admit that easy clean up trumps performance, but I have not found any performance shortcoming. Performance is better with induction and equal in clad or disc pots.


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RE: Viking Gas Oven/Miele Cooktop

Westsider, the use of gas with a curved pan lets the rising air heat the sides of the pans. It does this (if that is the effect you want) even if the pan material doesn't conduct as well as copper. This lets there be less temperature difference between the sides and the bottom. I'm pretty sure that this is what Brian is talking about for certain sauces and other delights.

For something like soups cooked on induction, the disk bottom pot (no good heat conductor on the sides) may be more efficient than fully clad -- hot sides radiate heat away from the pot as much as or more than they heat the contents.


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