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Old 04-12-2007, 09:04 AM   #1
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Help Deciding between Dual Fuel vs All Gas Range

Hi Everyone,

LOML and I are in the throes of working out what our dream kitchen should contain, appliance wise.

First - we love the look and performance of the Harley Davidsons or Hummers of the appliance world - namely Viking or Wolf. Big and chunky and mean looking things they are...

The problem with buying anything electrical from the USA is voltage. Why? We live in Australia. Your voltage is 110V whereas ours down under is 250V.

Currently we are looking very seriously at the a 48" Viking range either dual fuel or all gas. We managed to locate a dealer down here who has quite a number of dual fuel units that he is presently assessing for voltage conversion and approval from local authorities. Bottom line is, because of our voltage differences, there needs to be some modifications done on dual fuel units - and at this stage these ranges have not been formally approved.

He routinely sells all gas units and is encouraging us to go for all gas even though there might be a chance that I could buy one his working dual fuel units a slightly reduced price - but he won't guarantee them.

My question to you guys is - do gas ovens perform differently from electric ovens? If so, why? My wife does a lot of cake/cookie baking and is concerned that a gas oven might fall short performance wise compared to an electric oven.

Would love to hear from you...

Thanks in advance!!

Richard
Sydney

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Old 04-12-2007, 09:24 AM   #2
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Welcome to DC.

Dual fuel is ther preferred choice for most. However, Viking has taken a beating here for quality. Check out our Appliances forum for details.
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Old 04-12-2007, 11:06 AM   #3
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Electic ovens are great for precise baking. Convection ovens use a fan that regulates temperature during baking so that temperature is maintained more evenly.

It is great for people who are into baking. I definitely see a difference between my convection oven and the gas oven I had in my previous home. Things bake more evenly and much faster.

I just would be careful of Viking appliances, as Andy indicated the reports from owners of this appliance is that it has a lot of service calls and in some models the outside gets really hot when the oven is on. So do your homework and if it's only one provider in Australia for Viking I would be even more careful.

There are a lot of other nice manufacturers of commercial grade appliances. Wolf is nice, Blue Star is another nice one. I have Kenmore which is specific to US and made by KitchenAid which I love. It's not commercial grade but the BTU's are high enough for me to enjoy cooking and stir frying.

All the best.
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Old 04-12-2007, 11:29 AM   #4
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Uh, I was always under the impression, seeing I have actually installed a few myself, that U.S. manufactured electric ovens are 220VAC, not 110VAC, although there is a transformer in there to reduce the 220 to 110 for the timer, lights, any stove mounted electrical outlets, etc.
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Old 04-12-2007, 06:12 PM   #5
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Hi Yakuta,

I am aware of service issues with Vikings - if I recall, I think the main issue being ignitors not working and generally poor service response. I raised this with the dealer and he openly admitted it was an issue (the ignitors that is, not service response) but said it was fixed easily enough as he carried a full range of spares. Furthermore, the units he sells carry a 5 year warranty on parts and service.

I would prefer to get a Wolf range (given the good feedback received) but am not sure if there's a dealer in Australia. Last I heard there wasn't.

You guys get it good in the US being able to pick these ranges for around US$5000 routinely on Ebay. Over here, a 48" Viking range sells for A$16,000 (that's US$12,800!). It is therefore a HUGE investment for us and I don't want to mess up...

I know it all sounds risky... but I just want one!!

Thanks again,

Richard
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Old 04-12-2007, 06:18 PM   #6
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According to the Sub-Zero /Wolf site, Thailand is the nearest distributor.
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Old 04-12-2007, 06:34 PM   #7
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Viking issues include oven doors not sealing , being crooked, insulation missing, and hot spots in the ovens (uneven heating, even with their fans), as well as the ignitor problems. THis is simply sloppy workmanship. A $400 stove can be built correclt and never need service but for $4000, Viking can't remember to put the insulation in a wall of their oven???

See if Dacor or DCS supplies Australia, you will get a good product from them.

As to your question, gas ovens produce water vapour, electric ovens are dry. Gas ovens may vary more in temperature, (or they may not)
Many pro kitchens use gas ovens for all their cooking and baking. And there are many happy Viking customers. If it is the only supplier of pro style home ranges, so be it. But see if Dacor or DCS aren't supplying down under. DCS is affiliated with a company in Australia I think.
Let us know
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Old 04-13-2007, 02:37 PM   #8
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I've had a Viking (thought I had a lemon) but after reading posts on another site, realized it was Viking. I would rethink a Viking, even if there are spare parts and a warranty, why spend so much with that thought in mind. I also had a Thermador which I loved and am going to install another one in my new house when I move shortly. I've heard pro's and cons about DCS. Just recently started looking at Dacor's but still sold on Thermador.

A few of my friends have dual fuel (reg. oven and convection) and they've had problems with them. I personally don't care for residental convection ovens although I've heard from Chefs who have a commercial one that they are ok. There is quite a difference between residental and commercial ones.

I bet you are excited about your new purchase!! Good luck with whatever you choose.
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Old 04-13-2007, 04:49 PM   #9
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From the responses thus far, I am now feeling a little nervous about going down the Viking path - seems there are quite a few people who have less than glowing remarks to make about Viking - I've picked up similar comments on Epinions.com also.

Am still waiting on a reply from Wolf to see if there is someone in Australia who imports them into the country.

So far I sense DCS, Wolf and Thermador are better performers than Viking.

The search continues...

Much thanks

Richard
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Old 04-13-2007, 05:59 PM   #10
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my independent service guy who came to calibrate my wolf had only good things to say about wolf, and dacor. he said thermadors were good but expoensive to repair if they needed work later in life. He said dcs was earning a good reputation, and that the people happiest with vikings were those who don't cook much. be that as it may, there is at least one very happy viking owner/user here at dc.

there are other home pro style ranges out there that don't advertise much...5 star for example. So do your homework. Does Aga or Le Cornue sell down under? they have many fine models besides their traditional cookers.
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