Pro Oven Range?

I’m replacing some appliances and, of course, i’m attracted to the pro-style ranges that are featured on home improvement shows and magazines. I currently have a 30 inch regular range, but my kitchen can handle 36 inch.

I’m nervous about “pulling the trigger” as they are very expensive and have spotty online reviews … but, wow, do they look cool.

Does anyone have experience with a brand? I’ve considered GE Monogram, Wolf, Bluestar, etc.

Or should I just stick with a nice faux-pro? Too many choices!

People I know are happy with Wolf and Bluestar. And in the less pro-style range, Bosch.

Whatever you do, if you get a nice, high-performance gas unit–oh, how I envy you :smiley: --make sure you get a GOOD hood that vents outside to go with it.

I have a Viking rangetop and wouldn’t recommend it. If I had a do-over, I’d get a Wolf. Bluestar has a good rep with cooks, but Wolf would probably help your resale more since it has better name recognition.

I’ve had both a Wolf and a GE Cafe in the past. When we received the GE Cafe, there was a small ding/depression on the front door- so GE sent us a new door. The new one arrived with the same issue, so they sent another one. Other than that, we had no issues.

The Wolf range was just OK- I love the way they look, but one issue with a 36" oven is that they take more time to preheat (we had the dual fuel one- electric oven). Maybe the gas oven would heat faster? We had an issue with one of the knobs cracking. The grates are really heavy and it was harder to clean. I didn’t think it was worth the $8000 we spent. Excellent advice from @Consolation regarding the hood. You will definitely need that.

PS- May I also suggest a Sub Zero frig- we have had 2 in past homes and love them! My husband says that the frig is what sold our last house - LOL. We never had an issue.

If you are looking at Wolf, consider Miele. Their ovens heat up very fast and bake evenly.

Thanks all. For reasons I can’t explain, my husband really liked the Bluestar after I forced him (against his will) to go to appliance store. Of course, I don’t think he knows how to operate the range we’ve had for 10 years, so maybe I shouldn’t put too much weight on his opinion.

I agree Wolf is better known … and that’s kinda important, although we aren’t planning to sell in the near future. And I love those red knobs - yep.

Fridge is only thing I don’t need to replace, but the few people I know who invested in Sub Zero love them. Anyone see the Sub-Zero with glass doors? That’s a lot of pressure. I think doors should hide stuff.

Wish Viking would get their act together, but reliability problems continue to plague that brand.

I have wondered about additional pre-heat time with larger range. I will take a look at Miele. They seem to have an excellent reputation for quality control, but they are expensive and not as “mainstream”

I had someone suggest Kitchen Aid Pro, but they are as expensive as Wolf! GE Cafe looks very nice and the 30" interior is actually larger than some 36" Pros. Not to mention, that my current GE low end range does everything I need it to … I guess this isn’t about usefulness, though. I’m trying to find sweet spot between cool-factor and reality that I have absolutely no practical need for professional range.

If I were honest about my cooking needs, I would be spending all my energy finding the best microwave.

Regarding ventilation, IIRC the typical recommendation is for the hood to be 6” wider than the cooking surface (3” overlap each side). There’s a calculation for cfm to btu, but those calculations are based on the assumption of all burners going full blast at the same time, which always struck me as unrealistic and extreme.

For a 36” cooking surface (what I have), I have a 600 cfm ventahood. It’s mounted a bit too high so doesn’t capture perfectly, but I think something in the 600-900 cfm range should work well for you depending on mounting height. Unless you really do plan on using all burners on max simultaneously in which case you’d probably want 1200 cfm.

I think it depends on your area and your love of cooking. My friend is a former chef, and she has a Wolf, but not the other high end appliances. I overspent in my kitchen, with GE Monogram and Bosch d/w, but they please me on a daily basis.

I will heed hood size comments - I need to add new ventilation and honestly did not know much about it. I will make sure I ask contractor to check requirements for whatever range I choose.

@bookworm When I started thinking about this project, I was convinced Monogram was way to go, but couldn’t find many reviews - good or bad. How do you like yours?

Since I have suffered for years with inadequate cfm in the fancy built-in wooden hood above my cooktop–even after replacing the actual fan unit with the best I could do that fit in the space–I now say I want one that can pull the fillings out of my teeth. :smiley:

I think that proximity to the outdoors is perhaps the most important thing. If you can’t position it on an outside wall, at least have a straight shot to the outside, as short as you can. Every turn and every foot of length requires more cfm to be effective. You don’t necessarily have to go to expensive vendors like Vent-a-hood to get effective ventilation: Braun makes units that work really well.

My other piece of advice is NOT to have a kitchen where everything is “built-in” to the degree that you can’t replace appliances without altering the cabinetry. It seems that the only item that is truly standard in size is the dishwasher. :slight_smile:

I’m happy with GE. My choice,of the fridge was cuz the hinges let it open between cabinets. The Profile did the same, but had a rounded front. The Cafe has the flat front, but couldn’t be put between cabinets. A,Viking fridge was too tall for my use. I think any of the GE products would be fine. I’m not a heavy user of the range but no problems. Chose the one you like if you are not planning to move soon, and you don’t live in an area that demands the latest and best.

I also heard good things about Electrolux for ranges, not for fridges.

@Consolation As someone who has set off the smoke alarm with regular range more times than I can count, I hear you about ventilation. I have a short, straight shot to outside. But will make sure I choose strong enough fan.

Good point about replacing “built-in” appliances.

@bookworm My area can support high end appliances, but I have been shocked at what people will tear out. I’ve seen buyers gut nearly new kitchens because they didn’t like the color, or toss pro appliances for a different brand.

To be honest, I’m buying for the look - doubt I need 20,000 BTUs to boil pasta! A cool, “in” range is like fancy cookbooks for me - I love the “potential” I spoke with a professional decorator once who had a fabulous 48" pro range. She said she loved it, but it didn’t make her food taste any different.

So far, the only brand I hear I should avoid is Viking.

I would also look into Dacor (they are a CA based company and a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics America). They compete with Viking, Wolf, Thermador, etc. we have the 6 burner cook top and it’s great. Also, have the separate double oven with a warming drawer. Excellent quality, you can’t go wrong.

I love, love, love my Wolf. We just moved and are doing a new kitchen and it was my must have item. I use the stove top more than the oven and can’t say enough about the precision of the burners. I have my last Wolf for 11 years and it never gave me any trouble. It is a workhorse and was showing no signs of slowing down.

The oven does take a while to preheat (15 minutes to get to 375) because it’s such a large volume… Once it’s up to temperature though, it cooks quickly and evenly.

Caution on the Thermador - we were told by repair people that their burner ignitors need to be replaced frequently because it clicks on and off when on simmer.

As for the hoods, you need to get the correct CFM. If you are doing a 36 in with a Wolf, their recommended is a minimum of 1100 cfm. The Wolf hoods are frightfully expensive so originally we went with a small custom fabricator that made it for a fraction of the price. They are since out of business :(. This time I went with Broan hood. Note that the hood and the blowers are sold separately.

I have a full Miele kitchen except the refrigerator, which is a Sub-Zero. I LOVE the Miele convection oven. It heats superfast and stays true to temperature throughout cooking which means shorter cooking and more uniform cooking. I got a steam oven instead of another conventional oven for my double oven space. Love it too. It can cook conventionally and also steam but it’s a bit smaller than the convection oven because of the plumbing.

The Miele cooktop is not as good as Bluestar/Wolf. Miele has only one powerful burner and that one is underpowered compared to Bluestar and Wolf. The Sub-Zero is a dream. I debated it for a long time after reading about a decline in quality in recent manufacture. Not my experience at all.

I did have trouble with a repair to my steam oven right out of the gate. Only Miele certified repair people can work on the appliances to maintain the warranty and they are a TWO to THREE week wait. I live in a major metropolitan area with a dedicated Miele store 30 miles away too. I have had zero problems since then though.

GE I would NOT recommend. My previous appliances were high end GE. The cooktop had a manufacture defect that made it unable to be taken apart to repair two burner starters that had stopped working. The defect was well documented online and the repair guy also knew about it. GE offered me 10% off a new cooktop until I documented my woe online and then they were anxious to reach out and offer me a better deal.

I had a 5-Star oven and hood combo at my last house. Loved it; it probably helped sell the house.

http://www.fivestarrange.com

I had the six burner combo but it was really four burners and a removable griddle or grill in the center. I’ll buy another one when we finally remodel this kitchen.

I haunted both Houzz and Chowhound discussion boards before making my final appliance decisions. Give a look if you haven’t already.

Hmm. Lots of good ideas.

Anyone have experience with open burners? @missbwith2boys is your 5-star open or closed? Reminds me a little of Bluestar

@fwtxmom I have checked Houzz and Chowhound. You can go crazy there, especially Houzz!

I would like to get all gas, but maybe should upgrade to duel-fuel. Seems as if baked goods do better in electric oven. I have all gas now, but I do have be careful about temperature consistency when baking. I use burners most often, then bake cookies and whatnot, with roasting/broiling a distant third.

You can only get a self cleaning oven on the dual fuel for the Wolf.