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To Viking or Not to Viking

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hello All,

I hope this is the appropriate forum for this post. I am currently in the market for a new range to replace my 20 + year old GE electric range with a new "pro" gas range.

I have looked at and researched (local resellers, distributors, internet etc..) so many ranges that my head is spinning and I don't know who / what to believe anymore.

What I do know are the features, or lack thereof, that I want:

30", all Gas, open burners prefered but not mandatory, infrared burner, stainless steel. That's pretty much it. Don't need self clean, or dual fuel or grill / griddle etc..

I have looked at Wolf, Thermador, DCS, Viking and a few others.

Because of features and current promotions, I am looking at either the DCS unit (5 burners, sealed, all SS, infrared broiler) or the Viking unit (4 open burners, infrared broiler, SS body, black porcelain top)

They are both approximately the same price and have approximately the same performance.

In terms of style / looks, I don't have a preference between the 2, they both have things I don't really like but nothing I can't live with.

Any advices, especially from owners of either, is GREATLY appreciated.

Thank you !!!!

post #2 of 19
I had both Viking and Thermador, preferred my Thermador but I wanted the grill, etc and it was problem free. Had some trouble with the Viking but maybe got a lemon. Both are excellent though. Moving soon to a new state and am ordering another Thermador. Both of mine were electric because of the area I was in, (no natural gas and deathly afraid of propane).

After I wrote this, I got to Viking at the one house was gas but the Thermador was in the house that didn't have natural gas, can't remember now if Viking had an electric at that time (too many hours at work lately and getting old, lol) Just call me SnapDragon cause my mine has "snapped" and my butt is "draggin".

What did you like about the DSC over the other brands...just curious.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info. What I liked about the DCS is :

It has 5 burners (3 X17K + 2 X 12K)
It has infrared burner
It does simmer on all 5 burners
It has the largest oven cavity in a 30" range
The price is the same as the Viking

What I don't like about the DCS:

some of the comestics, the knobs have this Purple plastic ring / light around them.. PURPLE ?????
The grates do not look like they belong on a "pro" range but rather a $600 economy range.
The burners are sealed, and from what I am reading open burners are better for control and performance ie: more oxygen around the flame etc..
post #4 of 19
Gosh, I never thought about the sealed vs. unsealed burner aspect. I was looking at the sealed but that's really something to think about. Wonder who thought of the purple, that's gotta be ugly, lol. I think I'm going to stick with my decision to have another Thermador. The house I'm getting has an ugly GE (I think it's even Harvest Gold if I remember right, lol). Redoing the kitchen anyway but been trying to find the new color Bronze instead of stainless steel look. If you go with the DCS let me know how it works for you.
post #5 of 19
I have sealed burners and I hate them. When food burns on, it is much more difficult to clean the burners.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
post #6 of 19
I am sooo glad I joined this site....thanks Suzanne for that info, at least I won't make a costly mistake. I was originally thinking sealed would be easier to clean (I am the messiest cook when I make soup and sauces, lol).
post #7 of 19
Boy am I excited over finding this site!

My wife and I are in the process of buying a home and making the same decision, VIKING or DCS.

My parents have a Viking and I absolutely love it. The broiler is phenominal and produces the best seared steak you can imagine.

We would just go with the Viking, but I am intrigued with the DCS as it has the same broiler specs plus five burners vs. the Vikings 4.
post #8 of 19
I see no one has mentioned Wolf. I have an all gas (open burner and charbroiler) that I love. That being said, there is a lesser known range out there called Bluestar that I would have seriously considered if I had not already ordered the Wolf. They are very powerful and have a star burner design that puts out a very even flame from what I've read. They branched off from Garland's commercial ranges. I had a Viking cooktop with sealed burners before the Wolf and hated it. Not powerful enough and I hated cleaning it for the same reasons Suzanne mentioned.

If you want to read literally thousands of opinions on all the ranges just mentioned check out the appliance forum on the Home and Garden Web. Every pro and con you can imagine is discussed, over and over again. Just search the forum using the brand names.

I actually found this site last year from a link someone posted to the equipment forum here from the appliance forum there. I've been bothering people here ever since. :D


I feel like hitting some golf balls.
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Of course, I know of WOLF, I have been drooling over the 36" 4 burner + Grill dual fuel range Wolf. it is one sexy beast.. but at 12K, I just can't afford it..The issue I have with the Thermador is that their implementation of simmering is to turn off and then back on the flame every 2 or 3 seconds, so the electronic ignitors are firing off 3 sparks every 2 or 3 seconds, the sound alone would be very annoying..other than that, I think they look great..but they are off my list. Blue Star is not available in my area, so that's off the list. I also have stumbled accross the home and garden forum, that is where I read 70% of Viking owners are very displeased, hence my original post. I am really concerned about the reliability of the Viking product. Funny enough, I can't find an iota of reviews / comments about other brands, it's like everyone has a Viking and 70% of them don't like it.

DCS started in the Commercial space, like Garland, Vulcan etc..after many sucessful years making commercial ranges they decided to start making residential ranges. So, their roots are in the pro market, I figure their "home" versions should be pretty good. The purple LED non withstanding, I'm pretty much decided on getting the DCS.. and as an added bonus, they are currently running a promotion where you get $600 US off the sticker price until May 1st 07. So, that brings my range down to about $3400 from $4200CA and at that price, I'm hard pressed to find a better product.

It's not purchased yet.. but it sure seems like the one I'm going to get unless there is something better out there offering the same value and features at approximately the same price. I certainly don't mind spending the money that a good range will go for, but at the same time, I don't want to spend it on a whim without proper research and due diligence.
post #10 of 19
Yeah, WOLF's not shy when it comes to pricing. Glad you found that forum. I wanted to point you there because Viking gets knocked around there quite a bit. I have no experience with a Viking Range, just the cooktop, so I didn't want to bash Viking without first hand knowledge.

Good luck. They're all good pieces of equipment. Sounds like you're doing your due dilligence, so you'll most likely end up happy in the end.

post #11 of 19
After cooking professionally for over 25 years, and after looking at " Commercial STYLED ranges" AND their prices, I am thinking that there is a conspiracy somewhere, and it's all about getting your money.

Look now, a commercial range used in a restaurant made by Wolf, Garland, or others usually has these features: 30" wide welded steel chasis, 4 cast iron open 25,000 btu burners, heavy cast iron grids, 18 or 20 guage S/S throughout, price is around $2,500. Yes, folks, $2,500. but you won't get a window in the oven door, just a very high quality range

Some of the "plainer" Viking ranges I saw, a 24" model, with 2 18,000 burners, sealed of course, and made of stamped sheet metal (which will eventually burn out) 2 mickey-mouse 8,000 btu burners, skinny, weak, limp-wristed cast iron grids that will snap within a year or two, wimpy 24 guage s/s cladding, and the price was $4,000, yes folks, $4,000. As the prices went up for Viking, the quality went up too, the 36" model had cast aluminum/brass open burners and thicker grid castings, the convection oven "off/on" switch came off in my hand, but the price had almost doubled

Wolf quality was better, but the prices just as stupid, $8,000 for a 36" range? DCS has earned a repuatation as a very cheap mnfctr in the Restauarnat biz, and from what I've seen in their residential line, they'll be keeping that reputation too.

The whole thing is so stupid, I just can't see any value for the outrageous prices being charged for something that shouldn't cost more than a a 1/4 of what's being currently sold. It's almost like modern art: If I think a painting of the Virgin Mary done in Elephant crap is worth $100,000, then I'll make one and charge the outrageous price and find someone stupid enough to buy it. I'd really love to do a TV expose on it and crash the stupid little highprice/no value racket thats going on with theses "Commercial quality home ranges".
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
post #12 of 19
Yeah know, Foodpump, you're so right on the head with this one. I want a powerful stove and willing to pay for it but not $8,000. I did have good luck with Thermador and loved all the features I had, (grill, griddle, etc) which I used constantly. What in your professional opinion would you suggest for a home user like me to buy without breaking the bank...who knows, I might want to buy a picture of the Virgin Mary in Elephant dung if I have enough left over after buying this stove. Seriously, what would you suggest for me? I don't need a window in the oven, but want the grill and griddle feature. It's been a few years since I've been appliance shopping and there are so many new things out there that it becomes downright confusing. Thank you in advance for your reply...I remain your lowly grasshopper, lol.
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 

I don't disagree with you one bit, it is unfortunate, but the market is willing to bear it otherwise they would not get away with selling products that are inferior to the commercial ones for double or triple the prices. As much as I would love to get a commercial Garland at $2500 bucks, I can't afford to retrofit my house with ventilation, fire, gas etc.. regulations and not to mention the insurance !! to make it worth my while. I actually did look into it.. it's not cost effective to install commercial grade equipment in a residential house. So, we are left trying to figure out which one of the gaugers will gauge us less.. or at least make a product that won't break in a few months or a few years. That is a very difficult task indeed, I have been researching my new range purchase for about 2 months and every time I think I found " The One" it turns out to be either crap, or really expensive and crap..

The more I read reviews, the more I feel I should not read reviews. There is something bad to be read about every single manufacturer I have researched and very few positive reviews to be seen, no matter which brand.

My take on it is this: Get what you want based on your criteria, ie: size, performance, looks, budget etc.. BUT, absolutly buy the most extended of extended warranties your reseller has available. If I could get 20 years bumper to bumper I would pay for it. Seems like the only thing of real value is the extended warranty anyways, at least you know you are going to use it.

Since they are all "crap" I have decided to purchase the "crappy" DCS model. It "felt" better build when I was poking it everywhere and it has really good simmer / power on all 5 burners on a 30" range. Ya it has sealed burners, so what, I've been cooking for 20 years and I rarely make a mess that leaves a permanent mark. I don't think it's going to be that big of a deal for me.

Cheers, and thanks for the input.. now if only we could DO something about it !!! Hey if you want some help with that Expose, I'm IN !!
post #14 of 19
I guess what burns me up is the attitude, "What the market will bear" business. Maybe I'm just a cheap s.o.b at heart, but to listen to the salesguy rant and rave about a 4 grand Viking range with mickey mouse burners and "commercial quality" got the hate juices just a boiling.

You're right of course, commercial stuff won't make it in residential settings. On the commercial units the BTU's are too high for private use, they put out alot of heat that a regular household hood can't handle. (although I've cooked with many pre-1980's commercial ranges at work that only put out 17,500 btu's per burner.) And the commercial units have constant-on pilot lights, unlike those piezo-electronic lighters, they are poorly insualted and require quite a bit of "clearance room" too. Mind you the piezo electronic parts are fairly cheap and easy enough to retrofit.

I guess if you want to make a salesguy quake in his boots and tell him he's full of it asking $8,000 for a range, and tell him you'll pick up a commercial range for less than a third of what he's asking, he'll pop right up and say everything why you can't, and having to comply with code regulations. I guess you could come back with saying something like "yeah, but if I spend $2,500 on a range and another $5,000 on infrastructure improvement to my home, I might come out even with an over-priced $8,000 range. BUT, I have $5,000 worth of infrastructure improvements to my home, and haven't squandered the money by making some jerk richer by buying his overpriced products.

To be honest with you, at home we have a GE gas range (made in Mexico...), the sorriest puddle of fecal matter known to man-kind. I've had more enjoyable moments cooking omeletes on a portable butane cooker than I have with that thing, but the range came with the house, and as of yet, we don't have 220V wiring for an electric range. Hence my investigation into the "commercial/residential" ranges. Under $1,500 for gas ranges there's only more of the same garbage that I currently have out there. At around $2,000 something half-way decent starts making appearances, and ironically enough I've seen this stuff at Sears, but not the appliance dealers. Of course "Kenmore" is all badge-engineered GE, Whirlpool, or Thermidor stuff, but I can see some value for the money, and a lot of the quality is better than that $4,000 Viking jobbie I saw the other day too.. Mind you for $2,000 I can get a pretty decent electric range, and the fees an electrician may charge to wire up an electric range are also starting to look attractive when I consider the wiring as a "home improvement".
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
post #15 of 19
Foodpump, I've talked to several restaurant suppliers over the last few months about having a commercial stove, then my insurance man and thought the same way you did, upgrading my home is money in my pocket and saving on the stove purchase. The home I'm purchasing has a second kitchen in the basement which I wanted to put a floor model deep fryer but the insurance rates and ventilation costs kind of ruled that out. I prefer a floor model over a countertop model but am going that route and going with the best that I can afford in the main kitchen of this home.

I would like your advice on a 4 burner Thermador with grill/griddle vs. something else out there, possibly at Sears? I want something I'd use for myself and I would definitely want the grill which I had before. Since the basement kitchen already has a stove (I think it's a kenmore) I don't really need more burners upstairs. Going back into catering when I move so this is why I'm asking you these questions. I realize that a commercial stove is cheaper in price in the long run but if I don't go that route and go residential grade what brand, etc. could you suggest for me? Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
post #16 of 19
To tell you the truth, I'd go for something without a grill, and get a decent propane BBQ for outdoors. A bonus with this is that the BBQ is portable, you can take it to wherever you want to go with it, and your house doesn't smell like burgers, spit roasted chicken, or salmon for days afterwards either... I've got my BBQ outside all year round, just need an umbrella on those rainy days though.

There are some decent gas ranges under $2,500, but you will have to do some "hunting" on websites. I know Sears may carry a dozen or so gas ranges in the store, but have over 36 models on their website, ditto for many other mnfctrs, and most appliance stores only carry the models they figure will sell. Once you've found the model you want, print off the sheet and be prepared to ram it down the sales clerk's throat when they invariable tell you: "such a model with those options doesn't exist...."

Stay away from burners made of stamped sheet metal, they will burn out and wear out fast (just like a cheap bbq burner).

Stay away from "porcelanized" burner grids. Once the open flames hit them the porcelain cracks and flakes off and they'll look like he** in a few months and start to rust within a year. Best stick to cast iron grids, the heavier the better.

Be carefull with "Convection Ovens" A true convection oven has electric heating elements wrapped around a squirrel cage fan, a cheap "convection oven" is just a regular oven with a fan and switch stuck in there as an afterthought.

Stay away from complicated electronic controls. These are usually the first thing to go, and they are quite pricey to replace.

Hope this helps....
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
post #17 of 19
Foodpump, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. Ok, ok, I'll stand out in the rain in my jammies and hold a **** umbrella. lol. Fortunately, I will have natural gas in the area I'm moving to (right now I am total electric again which I hate). I don't like convection ovens unlike so many other people that have them. A friend bought a dual fuel and has problem since day one. I know now that I don't want those sealed burners after reading the posts here, so that option is out too. (I thought they would be better at first). I also stay away from electronic controls (my VCR has blinked for 10 years now, lol) plus, I agree, one more thing to go wrong. I had decided on the iron grids (I just think they look cool, lol) but realize they also are better. Since I'm gutting the kitchen in this next house, I'm also looking at a double electric oven, with just a gas cooktop but still on the fence about this. This is going to be my last hoorah and the last house I buy in my lifetime so I don't want to make a mistake I'll regret. I've been leaning towards granite but also looking into concrete countertops (still investigating this one, lol). The kitchen in this house is rather small by today's standards so I want to utilize the space efficiently (although it does have a kitchen in the basement too). I have a collection of over 1,000 cookbooks and am dedicating an entire wall to them (which my daughter in law will probably sell for $0.10 a piece in a garage sale when I die, lol) although I do have most of my recipes on computer now which will also be incorporated in the kitchen. As far as printing off a sheet and ramming down into a salespersons throat, if I fly you to Kansas, will you go with me to buy this appliance? lol. I have a feeling I'll get it 10 percent below cost if you go with me, lol. Also, one more question....what about a warming drawer? What do you think about them? I think I would use them for bread making, etc. but not sure that I really, really need one, but WANT one, lol. Thanks again for your imput.
post #18 of 19
After months of research and deliberation, I purchased a Viking 6 burner induction cooktop. I would never cook on anything else! Faster than gas efficient, precise. Did I mention easy to clean? Viking ovens with the probe function and infrared broilers are the best.! Yes,they are close to $5000 but well worth it. We love our meat. The convection roast feature with the infrared broiler makes the best succulent roast chicken with a crisp skin. The first thing I cooke with the probe function was a 20 lb. prime rib. I was nervous. I placed the probe, set the temp., it beeps and turns off when it's the desired temperature. No guesswork! Perfect!
post #19 of 19

Sorry, to bump this.  I just noticed how old the post was...

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