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RE: What cooktop do you own? Like it? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: ellen76 on 06.28.2009 at 10:54 pm in Appliances Forum

I have an Amana smoothtop, and I am looking forward to taking a sledgehammer to it when we remodel next month.

You don't say whether you are looking at electric or gas, but in my opinion, gas is the only way to go (although some say good things about induction.) My cooktop is incredibly unresponsive, which is the general complaint about any electric stove. I don't care about how easy it is to clean. What I care about is how it cooks, and it's worthless.

On top of that, the burner configuration is so cramped that I can never use more than two burners at once. I advise taking several of your favorite pots and pans to the showroom to see how they fit on any cooktop you might be considering.

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clipped on: 09.11.2009 at 10:12 pm    last updated on: 09.11.2009 at 10:12 pm

RE: Please help on appliances options - so confused!! (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: alwaysfixin on 05.18.2009 at 04:15 pm in Appliances Forum

When you say "your building won't allow a venthood", I think what is actually the rule is that your building won't allow you to exhaust to the outside. In other words, you CAN have a recirculating hood. It's not that the building rules are that you must have an OTR MW, but that you must not have something that needs to vent to the outside. My advice is to get a proper 36" hood over your 36" cooktop, and have the hood be a recirculating style hood. Especially given the powerful Wolf cooktop you are contemplating.

The problem with any so-called "36" OTR MW", like the models Joboxes cited, is that (A) they are really 30" MW's with stuck-on "wings" to get them to be 36" wide, (B) consequently, they look ugly/strange, and (C) also consequently, you won't get any kind of exhaust function at all. Even a 30" MW over a 30" cooktop doesn't do much because there is very little capture area other than a couple of squares toward the back. And with the 36" OTR MW setup you are envisioning, you will get no exhaust over the front burners AND no exhaust over the sides. This setup would not be a good use of your money, throwing it away actually. You may as well spend that money elsewhere and just open a window to vent for all the help a 36" OTR MW over that Wolf cooktop is going to give you.

There have been a number of discussions on this forum about recirculating hoods. You will be much happier, and it will look slick too. Really, if you are going to be spending all this money, plus the stress, of a kitchen re-do, you should not get a 36" OTR MW over that excellent Wolf cooktop.

I am linking a search on this Forum where I just typed in "recirculating hood", and came up with a number of threads. I am sure you'll find good suggestions in these threads.

Here is a link that might be useful: Search Results for Threads on Recirculating Hoods

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clipped on: 09.11.2009 at 10:10 pm    last updated on: 09.11.2009 at 10:10 pm

Thermador Masterpiece Cooktop Burned-HELP

posted by: gpwuster on 05.06.2009 at 01:33 pm in Appliances Forum

I posted this in the kitchen forum then realized maybe I should have post it here.

Friend of mine has a month old Thermador Masterpiece cooktop, and she had only used less than 10 times. As you can see from the pictures, does anyone has the same problem? Thermador technical services manager "thinks" this appears to be a user error.. he thinks she uses over sized pots & pans and with high flame. Suggested she reviews "use&care" manual. The fact was she didn't use any oversize pots/pans and no hight flame. But why should that matter? Stainless shouldn't burn like that, right?
Thanks

Here is a link that might be useful: stove 1

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clipped on: 09.11.2009 at 10:05 pm    last updated on: 09.11.2009 at 10:06 pm

RE: Bluestar warning on quality and customer service (Follow-Up #20)

posted by: amirm on 10.04.2008 at 06:41 pm in Appliances Forum

"Seriously, though, like any product, the internet has the ability to amplify the voices of unhappy consumers out of proportion to their numbers. "

That is true. So do spend some time comparing units in store as we did. Open the top, look at the attention to detail underneath. Pull out the spill tray. Note any sharp edges. See how the wires are organized. Pay attention to the heat insulation around the oven door. Note how large the gap is compared to others, leading to the bottom of the door being hotter than it should be.

We looked at the above factor, it was clear to me that BS is built using lower quality standards. Now, does that impact everyone. No. Or they would already be out of business. But let's not assume everyone is blindly following internet posts. Some of us do use our own data to augment what we read here. And when the vectors align, then a decision is made to accept the data posted here.

It is a shame really. Most of us would love to have the power of that unit in our kitchens. As such, BS has to really work hard to push us away. But push away they have done....

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clipped on: 09.11.2009 at 06:30 pm    last updated on: 09.11.2009 at 06:30 pm

RE: Electrolux Gas Cooktop vs. Capital (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: afr66 on 05.05.2009 at 01:13 pm in Appliances Forum

I have the 36" Electrolux Icon gas cooktop and I have been very pleased with it. It has a 18btu burner which is great for stir frying, boiling water etc as well as 2 15btu, a 12, 2 9s and a 5 (with simmer plate). Truly more than enough power for me and I am a serious home cook. The continuous grates are nice and hefty too. The only small issue I have is that it is gas on glass so clean up can be a bit of a pain. Overall I'd highly recommend it.

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clipped on: 09.11.2009 at 05:57 pm    last updated on: 09.11.2009 at 05:57 pm

RE: What cooktop do you have? Like it? (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: chihuahua6 on 07.02.2009 at 07:13 pm in Appliances Forum

I had a 36" six burner Dacor until recently (moved.) It was great, easy to clean, good looks, I had the copper trim around the knobs. It came with a griddle, wok ring and simmer plate, all of which got placed right over the grids.

The only negative was sometimes the electric ignitor would keep clicking when the rear right burner was used. Many times I would just use another burner because it would not stop clicking. Other times it was fine.

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clipped on: 09.11.2009 at 05:45 pm    last updated on: 09.11.2009 at 05:46 pm

RE: What cooktop do you have? Like it? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: sunnyflies on 07.01.2009 at 11:16 pm in Appliances Forum

I had a Dacor cooktop and would never buy another. The black coating, or whatever it was, of the metal grids that go above the flame bubbled, deformed and looked awful. I couldn't wait to get rid of it. I replaced it with a range (wolf) when I redid the kitchen.

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clipped on: 09.11.2009 at 05:43 pm    last updated on: 09.11.2009 at 05:43 pm

RE: What cooktop do you have? Like it? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: homepro01 on 06.30.2009 at 01:56 pm in Appliances Forum

I don't have a cooktop but a rangetop. I wanted to chime in and say that I would only look at models that have a stacked burner or a star burner shape. I have a Dacor which is a regular round burner and although I like it, I know that having a stacked burner would make wok cooking much easier and things tend to cook faster on the edges and star raw in the middle. If I were looking at a 36" cooktop, I would be targeting the Bluestar, Thermador and Gaggenau because these have the dual burners. I am not sure if the newer mieles have the dual burners. I think a few burners on the Miele have dual stack and the others don't.

Good luck with your search!
Homepro01

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clipped on: 09.11.2009 at 05:42 pm    last updated on: 09.11.2009 at 05:42 pm

RE: Does anyone have anything good to say about Viking? (Follow-Up #75)

posted by: Mr. Objective (Guest) on 08.19.2008 at 12:44 pm in Appliances Forum

Having paged thru this entire listing, I am struck by a couple of things. I love to cook and have worked on dozens of different cooktops and grills over the years, both professionally and personally so I have had a lot of experience over 30 years on gas cooktops.

First, forget the looks and the comments just for a moment. The most important thing is to know how you cook and the type of heat and output you need to have. Looking at the comments, less has been said about that and it makes a difference. Just having lots of options means nothing if the basic cooking style of your cooktop doesn't meet the needs of your cooking. For instance, I cook asian and that means that anything less than 15,000 btus is inadequate for the perfect flash frying that you need to do. 18,000 is the better range and 20,000-30,000 is best with a deep wok ring. If you are into sauces and other "low heat" cooking for desserts, gravies, etc., the 500 btu output on some stoves is what you are looking for to keep it warm but not "cooking". So, go back to your basics, just like in personal computers, what are you looking for, not what are you looking at. The worst thing to do is to buy a good looking cooktop that doesn't do the job when you need the range of flame or level of heat. Even little things such as the size of grating makes a difference. If you're a pastry person, have you ever tried to put a butter melter on a large open grate, good luck - some stoves come with a griddle or burner covering that supports very small "sauce" or melting cups that would spill on a larger grating that is "too open".

Second, look at the position of the controls and the "order of the burners" - are you a lefty or righty? I happen to be a righty and want the biggest burner in the 5 o'clock position because that is where my "prep counter" is positioned on my cooking island just to the right. In asian cooking, you have to be quick to add many ingredients separately one at a time as you go and on some stoves, the big burner is in the 8 o'clock position. What that means is that I would have to schlep stuff over the stove dripping whatever is dripping over the controls if they are in the center which is no fun regarding cleanup and also spillage. I'm not about to become a lefty in the near future which would be the other choice.

Another detail - the surface. From glass to stainless steel to pellet dimpled, etc. You have to make sure the way you clean the stove is not something that you are not familiar with. Many people with stainless steel accidentally use a plastic or semi-rough scrubbing pad and accidentally damage the nice clean surface. On glass, (rarer nowadays on high end cooktops) you can scrub away without much concern. You have to use a sponge on stainless steel to preserve the sheen and that means "less scrubbing" power which means it takes longer to get really clean. Open grates with deep bowls for spillage notwithstanding, most professional cooks don't care about some burn marks in the bowls from boilovers, etc. crusting on the bowls hance why you don't have any of them complaining about the looks - all they care about is flame consistency and output, not cleaning and looks. In fact, because they don't care, steel wool and other abrasives are they way they get the burned on crust off, things that you would never use on a more delicate surface.

Oh, one thing about range hoods and fan outputs - don't chintz here. If you don't get enough air throughput, the kitchen will totally heat up with multiple burners going on high. Almost every residential homeowner doesn't get the right size because the higher output fans are louder and also the hoods are bigger. At a certain size of heat output of the stove, you actually would want better fire suppression too which is more than just one of those little home depot fire extinguishers. If you've ever been in a real kitchen fire with 2-3 20,000 btu burners involved, those smaller extinguishers are just toys. Also, its not just the stove top that needs to be put out in a fire, over the years the hood accumulates grease and the hood fire is actually the more dangerous because the flame goes up where you can't fight it easily. This is something that most home kitchens totally overlook using near professional level heat output stoves. Again, if you do a lot of frying and deep frying, the grease accumulation will happen and the cleaning and fire concerns need to be considered.

About the igniters, one thing that I have noticed is that if the igniter is not shielded, there tends to be a higher chance that either dirt or damage from constant cleaning and then rusting or detachment is something to worry about. I am in the middle of replacing our older Thermador and that tended to be a point of failure that I didn't like from time to time. In our new stove, we are trying to get the igniter to be "internal" so that dripping doesn't get on it, hence you won't need to clean it and therefore it won't fail. Just a thought.

Other than that, I tend to think that most people don't "use" their stoves or cooktops up to the level that they are designed for and tend to overbuy the features, etc. Sometimes, it is best to scale down just a little and get exactly the level that you need. The more parts and options that you get can sometimes lead to more chance for error of failure of a feature that is rarely if ever used.

As you can see, it's more than just the look or a couple of service calls. If you buy the right stove even a couple of service calls are worth it because the stove is doing what you want it to do and you will want to repair or take care of it because you will love the food that you prepare with it. Go back to your notepad and prioritize what you want and look at the aesthetics as one of the lower ranked things. At the level of cooktop you are talking about, its the luck of the draw of how it was manufactured and whether you got a lemon or not but size it to what you really need, not the "pretend cooking" that you have never done before but want to do because you have a couple of recipe books. Make sure the burner placement, flame height and size of the output is at the right level and that you properly assess the "amount" of cooking you are really going to do. It doesn't help to have every bell and whistle if all you are doing is casual cooking - you will have paid way too much for the looks and frankly, you will be frustrated that the stove isn't working with you (wrong burners in the wrong place, not enough space between burners for big pots, etc.). Think about the way you cook and get the stove that fits your style. You'll be a lot happier with whatever brand you buy.

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clipped on: 09.11.2009 at 05:36 pm    last updated on: 09.11.2009 at 05:36 pm

RE: Gas cooktop / range questions (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: amcook on 09.01.2009 at 08:28 pm in Appliances Forum

I'm going to get on my 'open burner' soapbox for a minute here. :) When comparing BTU rating for various gas ranges, please consider the difference between open and sealed burners. Open burners heat much more efficiently because the direct most of the heat to the center of the pan rather than the sides. The highest BTU consumer range I know of is Bluestar (22k) and, luckily, they are also the only manufacturer that produces a open burner drop-in cooktop. The problem of smaller pans on the higher power burner is usually caused by sealed burners than the BTU rating. I've used pans as small as 6' on the large 22k btu burners and it did have a bit of heat escaping up the side but not as bad as on my old Viking sealed burner. The idea of using anything smaller than a 12' pan on the large sealed burner would have been unthinkable.

I think the thread riverspots was referring to is the one linked below. Recovery (reheat) time is, IMHO the most important benefit of higher BTU. Nothing like doing a saute and getting a tongue of flame as you flip. I'd say 16k for the largest burner is the minimum I'd go. I would suggest at least 18k if you do any stir-frying.

With regard to induction. I've heard great things and am actually considering getting a portable hob for travel and such but for my main cooking, I'm just more use to gas. I'm sure I could use an induction cooktop but I have a hard time imagining it'd be better for wok or saute where the pan/wok is often lifted from the surface to flip the contents.

Here is a link that might be useful: BTU thread

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clipped on: 09.11.2009 at 04:57 pm    last updated on: 09.11.2009 at 05:01 pm

RE: Gas cooktop / range questions (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: jkom51 on 09.01.2009 at 02:11 pm in Appliances Forum

dodge makes some very good points about induction vs gas. Speaking as a long-time gas range owner, you have to take some mfg claims about burner power with a dose of skepticism. That said, yes, higher can be more efficient IF:
- you are cooking large amounts in large pans
- realize that open burners are more efficient in getting heat evenly to a pan/pot than closed burners, simply from a functional design standpoint

My modest Kenmore (closed burners) has 2 Powerburners: 1 at 15K and 1 at 12K. The 15K is noticeably more powerful than the 12K and thus more difficult to simmer well on - I often switch pans from one burner to another depending on whether I'm searing or simmering. I like having the two smaller burners as they work well for small pans, such as when I'm frying 2 eggs instead of 6!

You can stir-fry at 15K but only small amounts, and I'd use a really heavy wok to even out temps. My nephew has an 18K burner Bluestar (open burners) and the difference when stir-frying or boiling is very noticeable.

Induction has come on strong recently and depending on how you cook, might work very well for you. Anyway, HTH!

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clipped on: 09.11.2009 at 04:57 pm    last updated on: 09.11.2009 at 05:01 pm

RE: Gas cooktop / range questions (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: riverspots on 09.01.2009 at 09:01 am in Appliances Forum

I think there's a thread that deals with amount of BTUs needed on either the kitchen or appliance forum. I don't have one of the newer cooktops yet, but as I remember reading, the advantage of the higher BTUs is that you can add something to boiling water and keep it boiling instead of having to wait. Apparently keep stuff like fresh pasta from going mushy. Searing and stir-fry is supposedly better with higher BTUs, too. I also remember comments that the large size of the higher BTU burners sometimes precludes use of a small pan because the flames go up the sides of the pot instead of heating the bottom.

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clipped on: 09.11.2009 at 04:56 pm    last updated on: 09.11.2009 at 05:00 pm

Gas cooktop / range questions

posted by: letter100 on 08.31.2009 at 10:22 pm in Appliances Forum

We are remodeling, and decided to get a gas cooktop. I have never cooked with gas before... I would like to have 2 high burners. Comparing different cooktops I see the highest ranging between 14,000 and 18,000 BTU, and the 2nd highest between 10,000 and 14,000. Can you really feel the difference between these? For low simmer some go down to 400 BTU, some to 650 BTU, some to 140 degrees. How do these degrees compare with BTUs? What design features and distance between burner and pot should I look for to get the most efficient burners?

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clipped on: 09.11.2009 at 04:56 pm    last updated on: 09.11.2009 at 05:00 pm

RE: Gas cooktop / range questions (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: pvrick on 09.03.2009 at 12:09 am in Appliances Forum

I have the Bluestar cooktop. 2 18,000 btu burners. They are fabulous to cook on and yes they do make a difference.

Go to Eurostoves web site. Trevor has a couple of good videos showing closed versus open burner comparisons and impact of the high power burner.

If you buy Bluestar, would highly recommend Eurostoves. They are near Boston and I am in So Calif and their price and service was great.

Good luck

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clipped on: 09.11.2009 at 04:58 pm    last updated on: 09.11.2009 at 04:59 pm