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moving to a new place with gas. need range suggestions

GQgeek

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I'm moving in to a new apartment which is 3 times the size of my current place. One of the coolest things about it is that it has gas. It comes with a gas stove but it's a low-end consumer model so i'd like to replace it with a half-decent range. I'd like a commercial-type range, but don't want to pay an exorbitant price. I'm willing to pay between 1500-2000. Does anyone have suggestions for what brands or maybe even models i should look in to? Would you recommend buying them online? I've done some quick searching and it seems some great deals can be found.
 

Huntsman

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Hooray for you! Gas rules for cooking! The first question I'd ask is: What size? The first thing I'd say is, if you can pull off a Thermador, do it. (And you may if it is a smaller range, though I haven't seen pricing in 10 years). The darn thing is life-enhancing!
Regards, Huntsman
 

GQgeek

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As a minimum, how many BTUs should I be looking at for the burners? After all, I'm not a restaurant and don't need to boil water in 20qt stock pots.. My biggest pot is 8qt and I don't use it all that often. It would be neat to have a griddle and convection oven though.

Hunstman, is that pic from your house? If so, you're a lucky man, that range looks awesome. I think I could probably fit a 36", but nothing that big. Not that I would need it, but it sure looks impressive ;p
 

Huntsman

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I'll look up some figures on the BTUs. I used to know them by heart and quote it the way most men talk horsepower, but time fades things. 36" is a nice size, as it still allows six burners, or four and a grill. I've had all six going for freakin breakfast on occasion. Believe it or not, the BTUs are more of a use to me in high-heat searing (tuna, steak, mushrooms, that sort of thing) than for boiling water. It's probably not as good for water as electric, and I will admit that I've split pasta water between four pots when I'm in a serious rush.

Thanks for the compliment -- we really enjoy it, and it works hard, as we rarely eat out, so it usually does the 3/7/52 thing. It was the one high-end thing we put in the house (no Sub-Zero fridge and such...yet), so it does own the kitchen, but that's not bad.

I'd seriously consider a hood if there's provision. That thing pulls 1000CFM and I still set off smoke detectors 20' away.

~ Huntsman
 

GQgeek

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Originally Posted by Huntsman
I'll look up some figures on the BTUs. I used to know them by heart and quote it the way most men talk horsepower, but time fades things. 36" is a nice size, as it still allows six burners, or four and a grill. I've had all six going for freakin breakfast on occasion. Believe it or not, the BTUs are more of a use to me in high-heat searing (tuna, steak, mushrooms, that sort of thing) than for boiling water. It's probably not as good for water as electric, and I will admit that I've split pasta water between four pots when I'm in a serious rush.

Thanks for the compliment -- we really enjoy it, and it works hard, as we rarely eat out, so it usually does the 3/7/52 thing. It was the one high-end thing we put in the house (no Sub-Zero fridge and such...yet), so it does own the kitchen, but that's not bad.

I'd seriously consider a hood if there's provision. That thing pulls 1000CFM and I still set off smoke detectors 20' away.

~ Huntsman


My interest is for high-heat searing as well. I know that some of the top end "commercial" models (viking, thermador, etc.) have 24k+ BTU burners but most consumer models, even the "high-end" ones (like GE Profile) have 15-16k tops. Another thing I'm wondering about with whether the valves will be opened wide enough to feed a stove with 6 massive burners. I'm new to gas so I don't really know how it's controlled.

As for the hood, I'll have to check what's there since I don't remember off-hand. I'll probably have to rig something but it won't be that's hard since it's near a window.

And I see you're an All-Clad man as well ;p
 

Huntsman

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24k+ burners? Really? I thought the Thermador was 18k, but it's 15, and so are the current models as well as Viking. Wolf is probably more, but that's Wolf. Thermador has an optional 30k wok burner, but that's another thing entirely.

As for valving, I'm not entirely sure what valve you mean -- there's no main valve as all the burners but two work when there's no power, and there's sufficient head at the input.

In addition to the Profiles, look at Prizer-Painter, Dacor, DCS, and Five Star. Therm does 30" models too...

Actually, the pan is an old Calphalon anodized job, though I have some All-Clads around as well.

Regards,
Huntsman
 

GQgeek

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I'm referring to the valving from the source and the flow of gas from the tank. Or do you think they just open it up all the way and regulate at the apartment level?
 

Huntsman

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Whoa, did you say tank? As in propane, or do you have natural gas in tanks up there? If propane, bear in mind that you will typically lose a portion of your BTUs due to its lower heating value. That was a main reason we went with Thermador, as a kit was available with jets designed to run propane with no heat loss, whereas Viking et al were merely adjusted, creating the power loss.

As for the distribution, I can't speak for how it is done in apartments, but I would expect that the tank would have a regulator dropping it down to system supply levels at (IMMSMC) something on the order of 4-5 psi, and then each apartment would have a single appliance-supply-level regulator to drop the pressures to 0.25-0.5 psi. In that case whether you have enough flow or not would depend on how many units are feeding off each 5psi supply line. We have a the 5psi line running underground from the tank to the low pressure regulator on the side of the house.

~ Huntsman
 

Aaron

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I'll try and post more info later but I would look at Ultraline. They are on par with Viking, Sub-Zero, et al just a helluva lot cheaper because they are not as well known.

A.
 

pinchi22

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no Sub-Zero fridge and such...yet
FWIW, I asked my cooking teacher the other day what the relative importance of high-tech fridges, stoves, and cookware is vis-a-vis good raw materials and technique. Her reply was that the former are very overrated by amateurs; the best roast she ever saw came from a 25-year old home oven.

Bear in mind she is a pro who apprenticed with Robuchon in Paris, and then toiled away at Arzak.

BTW, some relatives of mine spent a fortune on a new kitchen with Sub-zero fridge last year. The Sub-zero immediately leaked water, thereby destroying their new hardwood floor, They´ve now enaged in fights with the insurance company and manufacturer to see who foots the bill.
 

Huntsman

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On a relative scale they are worthless. Those with show kitchens think otherwise. I've cooked a killer steak and great potatoes on a grate over an open fire. But for versatility, convenience, durability and being less limited by your equipment, it's great (mainly I refer to the cooktop/ovens), which presumably, is why many big name chefs have them in their homes (even when not expecting a kickback).

The Sub-Zero appeals to me from an engineer's perspective: two compressors are better than one. We've replaced three compressors in the last 7 years in two normal fridges, so it's like anything else -- nothing's guaranteed, less the best stuff. Ferraris are not the most reliable car in the world.

I would be inclined to say that putting a harwood floor in a working kitchen is a bad idea. Fridges leak. Our GE leaks sometimes. Things are spilled and eggs are dropped and knives poke holes. You have to expect this sort of thing if you want to get any cooking done.

Regards,
Huntsman
 

pinchi22

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durability...it's great
I´d expect at least mediocre durability/reliability in an expensive fridge, such as a Sub-Zero, but the evidence I´ve seen (admitedly a small sample size) suggests that it´s track record is poor:

1) Consumer Research summarized it this way: "Experts say that there's no performance difference between built-ins and models costing thousands less, but Sub-Zero built-ins have a very high repair rate (according to owner surveys). Although we did not find data for other built-in refrigerators, about 25% of Sub-Zero refrigerators reportedly needed repair. "

2) Consumer Reports said: "Sub-Zero has been the most repair-prone brand of top- and bottom-freezer refrigerators,.”

3) http://www.epinions.com/pr-Sub-Zero_...splay_~reviews

4) http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?...&#entry1135336

Is there a tangible performance diference that offsets this weakness (cool looks aside)? What is more versatile or convenient about it? A Ferrari may be mechanically unreliable, but at least it´s fast when it runs. I´m unable to detect better flavor, longer shelf life, etc. in a Sub-Zero than in my un-sexy but extremely functional and much less costly teutonic Liebherr.

I think my cooking instructor would rather spend the difference on better raw materials (oops, that´s my economist training at work - there´s an opportunity cost here. I´d rather spend the money saved on clothing).


BTW, nice photo, Huntsman.
 

GQgeek

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Originally Posted by Huntsman
Whoa, did you say tank? As in propane, or do you have natural gas in tanks up there? If propane, bear in mind that you will typically lose a portion of your BTUs due to its lower heating value. That was a main reason we went with Thermador, as a kit was available with jets designed to run propane with no heat loss, whereas Viking et al were merely adjusted, creating the power loss.

As for the distribution, I can't speak for how it is done in apartments, but I would expect that the tank would have a regulator dropping it down to system supply levels at (IMMSMC) something on the order of 4-5 psi, and then each apartment would have a single appliance-supply-level regulator to drop the pressures to 0.25-0.5 psi. In that case whether you have enough flow or not would depend on how many units are feeding off each 5psi supply line. We have a the 5psi line running underground from the tank to the low pressure regulator on the side of the house.

~ Huntsman


I have no idea how the gas is delivered, whether or not it's stored in tanks, and whether it's propane or natural gas. Natural gas would certainly be most likely. By your description it sounds like I should be ok for flow. The super told me that there were only 5 apartments (out of 40-50 i'm guessing) left in the building that were still on gas. The rest have been converted to electric over the years.
 

GQgeek

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Originally Posted by pinchi22
I´d expect at least mediocre durability/reliability in an expensive fridge, such as a Sub-Zero, but the evidence I´ve seen (admitedly a small sample size) suggests that it´s track record is poor:

1) Consumer Research summarized it this way: "Experts say that there's no performance difference between built-ins and models costing thousands less, but Sub-Zero built-ins have a very high repair rate (according to owner surveys). Although we did not find data for other built-in refrigerators, about 25% of Sub-Zero refrigerators reportedly needed repair. "

2) Consumer Reports said: "Sub-Zero has been the most repair-prone brand of top- and bottom-freezer refrigerators,."

3) http://www.epinions.com/pr-Sub-Zero_...splay_~reviews

4) http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?...&#entry1135336

Is there a tangible performance diference that offsets this weakness (cool looks aside)? What is more versatile or convenient about it? A Ferrari may be mechanically unreliable, but at least it´s fast when it runs. I´m unable to detect better flavor, longer shelf life, etc. in a Sub-Zero than in my un-sexy but extremely functional and much less costly teutonic Liebherr.

I think my cooking instructor would rather spend the difference on better raw materials (oops, that´s my economist training at work - there´s an opportunity cost here. I´d rather spend the money saved on clothing).


BTW, nice photo, Huntsman.


I think there's a certain truth to this. I would never spend the kind of money on a fridge that I would on a stove because all of the normal consumer fridges i've ever used have always done a perfectly adequate job. Sure, i'll spend a little extra for stainless, but I don't see myself considering a 5k fridge in the near future.

A range on the other hand is a different matter. First, most consumer level stoves have only 4 burners and they generally vary in output. Typical high-end consumer models will have a simmer/high-power burner usually rated for 500-5k/15k btus, and perhaps one other high-powered burner, plus a couple more at 9k. The high-end consumer models (~2k GE Profile class ranges) come with convection ovens. The also have convenience features to make them easier to clean.

A viking or thermador on the other hand will typically have all their burners rated at 15k btus (the 24k i was looking at must have been a commercial range or a wok burner), have higher powered ovens with more even heating, etc. They're also more attractive and don't have all those stupid electronic displays and useless cook modes. Then there's build-quality to talk about. A Thermador or Viking weights about 2x what a "high-end" consumer model from GE weighs. It's built like a tank and i'm guessing it will last forever.

Some of the girls I hang-out with are big on dinner parties and having a great range will just make things easier. For me it boils down to convenience and enjoyment. I plan on doing a fair bit of entertaining. 6 burners or 4 burners and a grill will make things a lot easier. Just cooking for myself I often have 4 elements going and I'm not even in to really complex stuff yet. Sure, you CAN cook stuff to similar results on a lesser range, but I think it's probably easier on a great one, if only for the fact that they come in larger sizes, have two ovens, etc.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately and i'm probably going to put-off my purchase until I can afford a thermador or a viking. I could get a GE profile now, but this thing will be with me for years so I think i'm going to wait a few more months (until after I've paid-off all my new furniture) and get the best.
 

GQgeek

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Originally Posted by Aaron
I'll try and post more info later but I would look at Ultraline. They are on par with Viking, Sub-Zero, et al just a helluva lot cheaper because they are not as well known.

A.


I was just looking in to this. Apparently Ultraline is the brand that Viking used to market under in Canada. I'm not sure if they still do because I can hardly find any references to them.
 

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