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Deciding on gas rangetop brand...please help!

Posted by stacylh (My Page) on
Sun, Dec 23, 12 at 18:55

Hi, my husband and I are getting ready to do an extensive remodel of our home which includes a brand new "dream kitchen".

We have visited a few appliance showrooms over the last couple of weeks and thought we had nailed our choices down. However, we came across some info on the rangetop that now has us rethinking that decision.

Originally, we were going with a a Kitchenaid 36" rangetop (Model #KGCU463VSS) that has 4 burners and the center griddle. We also considered the equivalent Jenn-air 36" rangetop as well but was choosing Kitchenaid because of price point. I will point out that we saw a Viking rangetop that really caught my husband's eye, but the price difference seemed unjustifiable at the time.

Also, we will likely go with the same brand double oven w/convection in whatever brand we choose for the rangetop.

This weekend, however, we found that the griddles on both the Kitchenaid and the Jenn-Air are electric, which has really concerned us considering that the sales reps at two different showrooms failed to bring this to our attention and now we feel like we were misled.

I guess my questions really are:

1) Is having an electric griddle vs. a gas one a game changer if you plan on using it extensively (for fish, pancakes, grilled sandwiches, etc.)? Is there a benefit to having an electric one?

2) Is the price difference for the Viking ($1500+ add'l) worth it?

3) What are your opinions/experience with all of these brands? Please use first-hand experience vs. second or third hand?

4) Is the price difference for a 48" rangetop with a double griddle and 4 burners worth it?

Thanks so much!!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Deciding on gas rangetop brand...please help!

I had an electric griddle for years, it was a joke. No comparison to a real gas griddle. If this is your dream kitchen, keep looking. BlueStar makes an open burner range top with a true gas griddle you might look into.


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RE: Deciding on gas rangetop brand...please help!

If the griddle is important to you, why don't you get an all-gas rangetop, and simply buy a separate accessory griddle? Hey, built-in griddles in ranges or rangetops can be a pain to clean, and if you don't get around to cleaning it, there it is, sitting greasy on your rangetop. But if you have an accessory griddle, you just bring it to the sink. And you can put it away for those occasions you need all 6 burners. I'll link a couple of accessory griddles - Just don't get a cast iron one; they weigh a ton and are slow to heat up and cool down. I myself like a non-stick griddle for eggs and pancakes.

Cook's Illustrated Magazine's Top Pick the Anolon Hard Anodized Griddle

A Gardenweb Favorite: Chef King Griddles

In response to your comment about the wall ovens, I HAVE to tell you, there is no need to get the same brand wall ovens as the rangetop. No one cares about match-matchy appliances. Better to get wall ovens you like, and a rangetop you like, without worrying about matching.

Viking does not have a good reputation on this forum, one of the worst reps actually. Viking's ovens have a worse rep than their rangetops. In the Kitchenaid rangetop's price range, the Electrolux has a good reputation. Also check out DCS. The Thermador rangetop will cost more, but will have the star-shaped burners, which is an advantage. If you want to go open-burner (that's a whole other subject), there's Bluestar and Capital, but they cost more than the Viking.

As to a 48" rangetop, keep in mind that you will need a hood that is 48-54" wide above it, and the associated ducting. Also, can you afford to lose the 12" of countertop space (or sink space, or whatever you will have to forego) to allow for a 48" rangetop? We do not know how much you cook, the type of cooking you do, how many people you cook for, etc. in order to judge whether the 48" rangetop is "worth it".


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RE: Deciding on gas rangetop brand...please help!

Thanks for the replies. The main reason for going with a 48" rangetop was to be able to have the 24" griddle that my husband wants. The 12" griddle just seems too small for our needs (cooking fish, sandwiches, etc. for a crowd.)

Also, we currently have an old Jenn-Air downdraft cooktop that came with our house. We dislike it, but the benefit of the downdraft is that it provides more space between the burners which accommodates our pans better. The griddle in the middle seemed like it would solve that dilemma for us, too.

We have plenty of cabinet space so the 48" sizing can be easily accommodated in our new cabinetry.

Thanks for the griddle links. I definitely need to research that route more.

I would not mind the oven and range top not matching, but there are certain incentives going on right now with a few brands that made it seem like the better deal. My husband really wants ovens with knobs, which is what drew him to the Viking one we saw on display. I need to do some more research to see if there are other ovens out there that have them.

Any opinions between Bluestar and Wolf?


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RE: Deciding on gas rangetop brand...please help!

I would love to have the room for a 48' with a 24' griddle! Sounds like your hubby cooks a lot like I do, and I just don't think he will be happy with a two burner griddle pan. I've never needed more than 4 burners at a time, and even that's rare. You don't really 'clean' a true griddle (at least not with soap and water) once it's well seasoned, just turn the heat up and scrape it down with a nice broad steel spatula. As for Wolf vs BlueStar, I had it narrowed down to those two, and gave BlueStar the nod based on the open burners, but you can't go wrong with either, both great griddles and stoves.
A link on cleaning and seasoning Viking ,but would basically hold true for all griddles...

Here is a link that might be useful: Viking griddle seasoning

This post was edited by ctycdm on Mon, Dec 24, 12 at 11:52


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RE: Deciding on gas rangetop brand...please help!

Thanks, ctycdm!

We've been going back and forth on this issue all day and he still feels very adamant about the 24" built-in griddle. He is an avid fisherman and the ability to grill a lot of fish (plus sandwiches, pancakes, etc.) on the 24" griddle is very appealing to him.

And, like you, I've never really needed more than 4 burners either and I like the fact that if I needed to, I could turn the griddle on to keep saucepans warm.

I'll lose a little cabinet space by going the 48" route, but we've got plenty of other space (and I'll save a little bit on the cabinet cost to help offset the add'l expense).

The closest Bluestar dealer is nearly 3 hours away but we have a Wolf and Viking nearby. I've not really even checked into price difference yet between the three. I know Viking gets a bad rep on here but I also know people that love theirs, too.

I'd still love to get more opinions on this, especially about these brands: Bluestar, Wolf, and Viking.


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RE: Deciding on gas rangetop brand...please help!

Here's another on Wolf...

Here is a link that might be useful: Wolf griddle seasoning


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RE: Deciding on gas rangetop brand...please help!

You mentioned you want wall ovens with knobs. DCS makes very nice oven with knobs, the DCS WODU30 (click on the pics to see the knobs better). I'll link below an older thread about wall ovens with knobs.

Here is a link that might be useful: Thread about Wall Ovens with Knobs


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RE: Deciding on gas rangetop brand...please help!

One brand doesn't fit all, so do your research, pick the one you and hubby like, and enjoy!
Here's a link that pretty much tipped the scales for me, along with a stir fry demo at a dealer.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wolf vs BlueStar burners


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RE: Deciding on gas rangetop brand...please help!

I actually like a BS burner, but the claims made in that video have absolutely no basis in fact. He makes very broad generalizations with no proof. 90% of heat goes to outside of the pan? How did they come to this number? 100% of the heat goes to the center of pan with BS, but then they show the pan on a 15K burner(smaller than the Wolf) with the flame going around it and say turn it down? They then talk about heat going to the center is a bad thing with simmer? Who cooks with the burner turned all the way up on a 5 inch pan anyway. How is this relevant?

Temperature mapping by an independent lab with various types and sizes of cookware on different burners at different setting would be of more value. The by guess and by golly showmanship stuff under the guise of science shoots their credibility down.


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RE: Deciding on gas rangetop brand...please help!

I don't disagree wekick. I realize the video is just some cook, and I take his percentages as guesstimates at best, with no scientific basis. The demonstration does show the difference in flame pattern and grate design, which I preferred. At the demo I attended, a grate was removed and a wok put down directly in the burner, with impressive (to me) results, as I stir fry at least once a week. As I said in my earlier post, no one range (or any appliance) fits all. Forums like this help people to make their own decisions by reading others responses and reviews. It certainly helped me. Believe me, I was all set on a Wolf, and the choice was not an easy one, it took over a year to finally decide, and I'll really never know if I made the best decision or not.
I'm struggling right now with a refrigerator decision, but that's another thread altogether... :)


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RE: Deciding on gas rangetop brand...please help!

Three hours may seem far. Would that dealer be willing to service the rangetop for you if you would ever need it? I wouldn't mind the drive to get to see and try the BS rangetop. Six hours round trip is not much time really when you consider the importance of the purchase.

People have hopped on planes, headed to Boston to visit Trevor to see and try appliances in person. Sometimes you need to make the whole thing an adventure.

I will tell you that are very happy with our BS rangetop.


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RE: Deciding on gas rangetop brand...please help!

Posted by ctycdm
I realize the video is just some cook, and I take his percentages as guesstimates at best, with no scientific basis. The demonstration does show the difference in flame pattern and grate design, which I preferred. At the demo I attended, a grate was removed and a wok put down directly in the burner, with impressive (to me) results, as I stir fry at least once a week. As I said in my earlier post, no one range (or any appliance) fits all. Forums like this help people to make their own decisions by reading others responses and reviews. It certainly helped me. Believe me, I was all set on a Wolf, and the choice was not an easy one, it took over a year to finally decide, and I'll really never know if I made the best decision or not."

It is a promotional video by Eurostoves,"seeing is believing". My mother told me "Don't believe anything you hear and only half of what you see." I agree that there are different reasons people settle on different appliances but they need to have as many facts as possible instead of sales pitch. We were all set to buy a Bluestar, drove 250 miles to look at it and ended up with a Wolf DF. This was because of service issues at the time. As long as you like it don't look back!

I'm struggling right now with a refrigerator decision, but that's another thread altogether... :)

That's easy, It's just a cold box...Haha!


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RE: Deciding on gas rangetop brand...please help!

Well, after much debate and going back and forth numerous times, I believe that DH and I have come to a conclusion regarding our purchase.

First of all, we were totally ignorant about open vs. sealed burners, but a quick trip to an appliance showroom (that carries Wolf and Viking) and a very informative salesperson helped us realize that we currently have sealed burners and that open burners are not for us.

Then the debate came back to Viking vs. Wolf, which are the only two brands that we could find that a) had the double griddle in the center of a 48" rangetop and b) had repair service available in our area.

We then visited another showroom where they hold cooking classes and had both Viking and Wolf on display. After seeing both griddles that had obviously been cooked on several times, we decided that maybe the built-in griddle was not for us because of the dirt, grime, and smell factor. Also, we'd have to purchase the stainless steel cover (not cheap) that we could tell would get scratched and annoy us to no end :)

Price was also a consideration. So, as of yesterday afternoon, we have decided on a Kitchenaid 36" rangetop with all burners and purchasing a double griddle accessory. The price is much less than the Wolf (and Viking's reputation also seems to be doubtful). We are going with an Electrolux Icon double convection oven that seems to have good reviews in that price range. DH really wanted an oven that had knobs which seem to only be available on upper end ovens these days. Viking has one on it's D3 series, but these models are relatively new and have very little reviews as to quality. Again, Viking's past reputation played a factor in deterring us. Even the saleslady at the showroom said she would not pay the price of a Wolf or Thermador double oven when Electrolux's Icon ovens were just as good for half (or less) the price.

Thanks for the help from everyone! We haven't finalized any purchases yet, so still feel free to chime in!


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RE: Deciding on gas rangetop brand...please help!

Thinking about closed burner 36" modern pro-like gas range tops with their auto ignite and re-ignite built in, it's hard to imagine a failure unless it's one of cheap, low quality range top material and plastic in knobs rather than brass or other strong metal. Ignitors should be replaceable, and not easily scratched or hit when cooking. Grates strong and sturdy. Most pro-like range tops seem to meet this requirement with the exception, strangely of the new Viking D3 who went cheap, as I understand it, on the knobs in particular.

Kitchen Aid is a fine company although there are always lemons. Put in an appropriate sized gas line and their top, and cook away. I wish we'd get more feedback on their range oven as a couple of GW members have them.

I think you've made a solid choice with the Kitchen Aid range top (have owned all KA but the range/range top with minimal problems). I hope it works out and that you'll keep us updated.

Don't know if this is the one, but it gives the six burner style and look. Nice.

Here is a link that might be useful: KA link

This post was edited by SparklingWater on Thu, Dec 27, 12 at 16:30


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RE: Deciding on gas rangetop brand...please help!

Yes, that is the one we are going with.

Our appliance dealer has a special and it's only $2099.

The Elux Icon double oven is only $3099. The KA double oven is about $700 less but it only has convection on the top and with my height, I feel like I'll use the lower oven most of the time anyway so I think I'll like having both be convection.

The price difference between this combo and the Viking rangetop and double oven combo leaves quite a bit of $$$ left for other things like the built-in microwave and warming drawer :) Best thing is that I don't feel like I'm sacrificing on quality at all....of course, there are always the occasion lemons so we shall see.

Thanks for all the input!


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RE: Deciding on gas rangetop brand...please help!

@stacylh just wondering what you ended up with -- we purchased the 36" kitchen aid cook top with middle gridle today along with the kitchen aid double wall oven but cant really find reviews for any so just wondering what you chose - thanks


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RE: Deciding on gas rangetop brand...please help!

We did get the 36" KA with all burners. We just "opened" the kitchen a week ago and I've only used it a handful of times, but so far, so good.

We got the Electrolux ICON double oven and LOVE it!!! It's definitely the wow factor in our kitchen :)


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RE: Deciding on gas rangetop brand...please help!

@Stacylh That's good I'm glad that you like it.. I was afraid because I couldn't find any reasons but I'm happy it's working out for you. Keep me updated on how it works. Thanks.


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RE: Deciding on gas rangetop brand...please help!

Hey I was wondering what double griddle accessory did you get? And how's that working for you? I really love the 4 burners with the grill but I was also concerned about the cleaning.

Thanks!!


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