We are building a new house and the kitchen is being designed from the ground up. Currently we are looking at 48”, dual fuel, 6 burners ranges with a grill. The GE Monogram seems like a good value and was wondering if anyone could share their experiences both good and bad. Also, many people are warning us against purchasing the version with the grill due to the “mess” it creates. Is this a true concern?
48" Range Dual Fuel with Grill
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I don't have a grill, but I do have a built-in griddle that I hardly use because I detest the cleanup.
Go into your appliance store and physically take apart the grill parts that would need to be cleaned each time you used it. See if that's too inconvenient. And since you are building a house and not just remodelling, consider a powerful remote blower for smoke and odors, like Fantech makes.
If you google Honest Appliance Reviews you can read some consumer reviews of Viking, Thermador and Dacor ranges. Unfortunately, no one has posted a review on a GE Monogram range yet.
We just installed this model (LP option) you are looking at last month. So far, we love it. We havent' tried the grill yet though. I've used the proof mode a couple of times and it worked well. We may try the grill with some chicken or salmon next week. I belive the owner's manual does caution against using fatty meats on the grill.
Hi Tguggino. I'm an architect and a private chef. I've had a fair amount of experience designing high-end residential kitchens and spec'ing and using high-end appliances. I have some experience w/ the GE Monogram line. Not knowing anything about your budget, taste, needs, etc, I'm shooting from the hip here...
IMHO, GE M is a good value, but for the best range Wolf can't be beat. I've cooked on older GE M stuff - 12 years or more - and it's not impressive at all. Newer GE M is much better. Still I feel you're paying a lot more for aesthetics and brand posterity than you are in performance.
There are lots of questions to think about when it comes the range and oven. Do you really need a 48" wide range? If you went to a 36", would that extra 12" of counter and cabinet space be a better use? Are you getting the 48" range to have 2 ovens as well? If so, good choice. Also consider double wall ovens - it's completely personal preference when it comes to ovens - some people like a wall oven so they don't have to bend over to pull something out, and it frees up space below the range for cabinet storage of things like pots, pans and lids that get used on the range regularly.
Six burners is a must, regardless of size. And all burners should be the same - none of that stupid 4 different burner sizes as on 30" residential ranges (like I just had to do). The burner should be able to go from a simmer to full blown boil with ease. Better burners have two heat sources - an inner ring and an outer ring - not only to go from a simmer to a boil but to also heat the bottom of large pans evenly.
Think long and hard about the grill component. They are terribly messy. I think if you can't grill outdoors for some reason (assuming you have an outdoor gas/charcoal grill) you can get by with a grill pan. Lynn's post above is dead-on - take a look at all the parts and pieces you'll have to clean ever time you want to grill a piece of salmon or a steak. Not worth it IMO.
Now a griddle, on the other hand, is worth it. I just put in a 30" GE 5 burner range in my own house, and the 5th middle burner is elongated and has a removable center rack. The center rack can be replaced w/ a two sided cast iron rack, made by Lodge, that has a griddle on one side and a grill pan on the other. Brilliant design for a 30" residential range. What you looking it bigger and potentially higher end than what I got, but still consider the griddle/grill pan option over the full-blown grill.
And make sure your range hood is more than adequate. Many manufacturers won't let you install one of the big ranges w/out proper ventilation and make-up air. ESPECIALLY if you go w/ the grill.
Hope that's of some help. Good luck! mpp
This is great feedback. Thank you so much. We have 13ft of counter in which the range will be placed. We also have an opposing 10ft island and an adjacent 6 ft “peninsula” so we are covered on counter. Love the Wolf. A little out of the budget this go around. We are doing the whole house so we are a bit limited on the kitchen. I agree with the need for 6 burners. The dual oven choice was a difficult one. We wanted the dual separate oven but could not make it ascetically work in our space. Additionally, my wife liked the “look” of the all in one range, hence our final choice. For about 4 to 5 months out of the year outdoor grilling is difficult to impossible. We are going to have a 1200 CFM fan so I think we are going to roll the dice on the grill. For griddle we have an iron clad pan which is sufficient. Thanks again for the comments.
I cooked on my clients 36" GE monogram range again the other night, and I have to say that I'm a but underwhelmed. I believe it's this model, or one dangerously similar. It's a beautiful range, but the issue I have with it is the burners. I've cooked on it 3 times now for different dinner parties and events, so I was withholding final judgment until I gave it a few rounds with different pots and pans.
Basically, I can't get a pan hot on that range. I've used many different pans - 32cm De Buyer steel, 18" steel wok, 11" Viking stainless, 4-5 quart sauce pans, etc. and no matter what I use I can't get a pan very hot. If I crank a burner up to high and let it sit for about 6-7 minutes, sure it'll get hot. But not like I expect from 18K burners. I have no idea what the problem is. There's plenty of heat coming off of those burners, but it's not going to the pan. Over the summer when I tried to do a Thai-themed dinner I was using a 18" wok, and that thing wouldn't even get to a simmer. I was trying to make pad Thai for 12, and it was almost a painful disaster because I couldn't get the pan hot. And to compound the matter, the burner grates are reversible and have a flat side and a concave wok side, supposedly to use for a wok. But if the burner can't heat a wok, what good is a concave grate?
The other night I was trying to steam some broccoli in 5 quart +/- sauce pan w/ a lid. Usually it takes me, at home, about two minutes for the small amount of water in the pan to boil and steam. I checked the pan at about 2mins - nothing, not even a shimmer in the water. Kept checking it every couple of minutes, hardly anything. Then I actually forgot about it, for maybe 10 minutes, checked it in a panic (hey I make mistakes sometimes too!) and found the water barely starting to simmer and steam.
I was trying to sear some bone-in country style pork ribs for a braise in a 32cm de buyer steel pan. I left that pan on medium-high heat for more than 5 minutes. When I put the pork in the pan, it barely sizzled. I cranked up the burner - full-bore - and after 10 minutes or so, hardly any crust formed on the meat. However, in a le creuset dutch oven, I was able to get a decent sear.
I'm not really sure of the issue - I thought it was maybe the pans and sizes I was using, but I've used many different pans and sizes, and the same thing happens. I bring a lot of my own equipment with me from home, and on my own range, I have no issues at all. This little range is FANTASTIC!!! I think it's something to do with the flame structure/shape and it's not directed at the bottom of the pan efficiently, rather it just spreads out and gets dispersed. I strongly suggest to find a way to test-drive one these guys for yourself before you pull the trigger. Hopefully it'll work better for you!