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which cooktop should I get???

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I need help badly! Usually I can surf the net and research stuff and decide which brand etc to get based on the info out there, reviews etc. But now I have to pick a 36" propane, drop-in cooktop (under $2500) for my "dream kitchen" in the "dream house" which my husband and I are building ourselves (sometimes a dream, sometimes a nightmare.. lol).

The house should be done this year (5 years later) and I need to make a decision NOW for the cooktop. I want something that works great and is very durable (no repairs! No dinky parts!). Looks are really secondary.

I have researched it till I am cross-eyed and still find so much confusion out there with regards to gas cooktops that I am no further along then when I started. I am leaning at the moment (just for today, since everyday it changes) towards the Viking 36" pro-style, 6 burner gas cooktop (in black, which I assume is easier to clean?), but really have no idea if this is a good thing. I want something that cooks spectacularly well and never breaks down "because of faulty design". Am I asking too much?

Do you have a gas cooktop that is great and which you would recommend? Please help.
post #2 of 12
w'rabbit -

I have the six burner Viking Pro.

DO NOT GO THERE - or any other Viking cr%p.
repairs..? you don't wanna hear about it.

well, at least that may help take one or two items off the table....
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

wow! thanks for the reply

No kidding?! It sounds like lots of repairs for the Viking cooktop? Well, I am so glad you took the time to write. Do you have any cooktops you would recommend over the Viking?

I am really needing help badly. This is one item I really don't know how to decide on. How about the DCS 5 burner gas cooktop (around $1200)? Is that one better perhaps? (I can't afford their more expensive pro-style ones). Some people seem to like DCS. Are they still as good as folks say. I am concerned, since they were bought out by Fischer Paykal a few years ago so I'm not sure if they are as good as before? And I'm not sure if the grates etc are durable enough, since this is a cheaper cooktop.
post #4 of 12
w'rabbit -

I picked the 36" six burner because I wanted sealed burners and I like the heavy grates, as opposed to the then current airy lightweight grate designs.

at that time, my preference was Wolf - but they did not have a sealed burner design.

as I do not own/use multiple other brands, no - wish I could but I can't tell you "what's good" but I sure can tell you in terms of reliability and 4-5 year quality satisfaction.... Viking is not a candidate.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Dillbert. It's very kind of you to take the time to share your experience with the Viking. It's hard to know how these machines behave in the "real world" as opposed to their specs in "theory", unless one talks to an actual owner. The salespeople in my very small town have been no help, they just want to sell me something, anything (I can understand their concerns but am frustrated since once I buy this cooktop I won't be able to afford another one for a long time). $2,000+ is a LOT of money for one item (for me, anyway). Oh well, the search goes on. Thanks so much, Dillbert

Anyone have a cooktop they love?
post #6 of 12
Dillbert is not only right. He's very right. He's right in spades. No trump even.

I used to have a Viking 60" gas range, and it certainly had its problems. More, I've had clients in various parts of the "white goods" business (stoves and cooktops are white goods), and all of them recommend staying away from Viking.

Pretty much everything in the "commercial" residential field is more likely to need expensive and difficult repair than straight residential. I'm not saying don't buy it. If you like the look or the size, a commercial look cooktop may be the best choice. What I am saying is lock down a long term warranty, know who will do the repairs, what the part supply in your area is like and so on. This is not as difficult as it might sound. Start by talking to stove repair people in your area. They know what breaks and what it costs to fix it.

Again: Nail down the warranty and get all promises in writing. Things you want are parts and labor including the cost of the service call for a period of several years. Warranty that all repairs will be completed within thirty days, even if seller has to have parts shipped by air. "Lemon" replacement if the stove breaks more than "X" times within "Y" period. And so on. In writing. Did I mention you want it in writing?

My impression is that the best commercial-residential brands in terms of reliability are American, Imperial and Jade. American seems to be the most bang for the buck in the group. Jade is probably the best built in absolute terms.

The ultra high-end models by the big manufacturers? "Architectural," "Monarch" and so on -- just as trouble prone as the other commercial-looks. No free lunch is there?

What you want more than anything else is something reliable and easy to clean. Super high power burners don't mean as much as stove salespeople would have you believe. In fact, they do nothing. On the other hand... Continuous grates are wonderful.

I know I'm throwing in a lot of ambiguity into an already ambivalent process with the extra information. But you should have all the information. On account of you being smarter than me. Or maybe even Dillbert.

Hope this helps,
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info, BDL. That's great advise. I looked at the Jade and actually found one that I can afford (I was surprised, I had thought they'd all be out of reach for me). In doing so I encountered a whole new problem. I've just realized that some of these "gas" cooktops use ALOT of electricity (see the Amp ratings for some of these! Some are up to 15 Amps, well over a thousand watts)! I was so surprised.

My issue with this is that the house my hubby and I are building is going to be off-grid, hence the need for a gas cooktop etc. I can't be using that much electricity! I was shocked to learn this little fact (Jade is not bad, at about 4 amps, but Viking is the least so far, at 2 Amps). My husband says no way we can use something with a rating of over 2 amps. Our solar system is just not going to be that big.

Why the high Amps on these things? And what is using so much electricity on them? Is it just the electronics? Or the Igniter? Anyone familiar with this stuff? I am, as usual on this topic, quite lost. Are there any good cooktops out there that use little to no electricity? I suppose if it is the igniters doing this, than maybe I can just bypass using them and use the old "light it with a match" method, like when I was a kid (back in the days before electricity lol)?

Thanks again

PS: I am not smarter than you guys, BDL. If that comment was a reference to my first post, than please be assured that was a typo on my part, a horrible transposition of jumbled thoughts that came out all wrong (the opposite, in fact, of what I was trying to say), which I later corrected, once I found the terrible mistake. (I had meant to say "since you know more than me".... not "if you know more than me"... *groaning*).
I do apologize for the dreadful impression it must have given, and renounce all relationship with my deviant keyboard (which will assume all the blame at this time).
Please forgive me. I fell very embarrassed. (rabbit blushing, and it's not easy for a rabbit to blush). waaaaaaa....
post #8 of 12
White Rabbit,

Just an addition: No matter which one you eventually choose, make sure the venturii valves are factory adjusted for propane. I know Wolf does that, and assume the others will too. If you don't specify, the default is for natural gas.

Do not count on an installer to do that for you; most of them haven't a clue how it's done.

I returned my last stove to the store for that reason. I had specified that it had to be adjusted for propane. When the delivery guys showed up their idea of "installing" it was to screw down the gooseneck hose to the fitting on the back of the stove. And they wanted to charge me 35 bucks to do that. Yeah, right. But they didn't even know that the valves are adjustible, or that that propane and natural gas use different pressure systems.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Good point, KYHeirloomer. It is actually one of my criteria in picking a cooktop (ie: that it be one that is adjusted at factory for propane, rather than one that just comes with an LP kit). And I've read some funny stories about what happens when it's not hooked up for the right pressure! *singed rabbit*

(hubby installing it... he is a genius... truly... he designed and built this whole house... earth-bermed and everything... I can't believe he married this crazy rabbit! lol)

Hey, thanks for the heads-up!
post #10 of 12
I don't know why some posts don't appear, but here's a second attempt and I'm not going to retype the whole spiel.

no cooktop will use 15 amps for spark ignition. bad info there. local/national electric codes will require any convenience outlet to be min 15 amps; kitchen 20 amp, and no they don't care if it's buried under a cabinet and only used for the cooktop.

verify the cooktop will allow gas flow without electrical hookup.
that way you can use a match or any convenient lightening bolt to get the flame going.

on or off grid, sometimes the grid goes away and it's really cool to have hot food when everything is in the ditch.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Oh, ok, well that makes a lot more sense now...phew! 15 amps seemed like a bit overkill... hehe... like a flame-thrower to light a candle. Thanks again, Dillbert, and sorry your post got lost. :cry:
post #12 of 12
I looked today at The Great Indoors because my wife and I need a new one. Does anyone know have one with the griddle or grill in the middle? If so how often do they use it? Anyone have a wok burner?
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