Friday, September 05, 2008

DCS vs Viking stoves - any advice?

Anyone have advice on kitchen stoves? My next door neighbors are considering either a Viking or DCS (6 burners) and had asked if I had any advice.

Would love to hear any feedback you all may have about either brand (or other brands) as well as features, what to look for, etc.


This Post was written by Eve from the Garden of Eating


Kitt said...

I'll be interested to see the responses to this. DCS was started by former Viking people, I believe. I've been tempted to get one myself, but haven't done enough research yet.

L said...

I recently purchased a new range, and went through this debate myself. My initial thought was Viking or Wolf... but after a little research, I found that Vikings reportedly have a terrible service record and Wolfs are pretty mixed as well. Instead, almost everything I read pointed me toward either Bluestar or American Range... two companies that are off-shoots of very well respected commercial range companies. I ended up getting the American Range, and at least so far have been pleased. Both Bluestar and American Range are less expensive than any of the other "premium" home commercial-style ranges and reportedly have more power and better reliability records. The only drawback for some is that the ovens are not electric... they are all gas. That hasn't been a problem for me, but it does put some people off.

I'd recommend checking out the threads on the home forums on Garden web ( or on Chowhound for more references.


CB said...

I recently became the happy owner of a brand new - yet to be released on the market - stainless steel commercial-style Chamber's Range.

You may remember Chamber's from the 40's & 50's and have seen the restored one used on the set of Rachael Ray's (aka Rocky the Flying Squirrel)30 Minute Meals.

This is a 30" beauty that has a huge oven size and excellent response. The distributor who placed it in my care tells me it should be on the market later this year in various sizes and configurations and for a better value than others.

This is all I know so far

cybele said...

I have a 6 burner Viking gas stove. It was installed in late 2003 and we haven't had a lick of trouble with it and love the performance.

We were leaning toward Dacor, since they're made local to us but the Viking was actually less expensive.

Here are some photos:

Jack at F&B said...

We have a 6-burner Viking, with the ultra-low ability (a feature extremely rarely used), with pop-up downdraft.

It cost more than $500 to replace the on/off switch for the downdraft.

I will never buy a Viking product again.

Eve Fox said...

Thanks for all this good info!

stephen said...

over the last 12 years I have owned Viking,Thermador and Wolf...the Wolf is the current one and I'm very happy with it (I have the 36" rangetop with 4 burners and grill - which is the same configuration as the others I've owned)...while it's not fair to compare a 1995 Viking to a 1998 Thermador to a 2007 Wolf, I like the Wolf best...especially the grill...the Thermador grill had many problems...the Wolf sealed stacked burners, which provide super-low on all burners, including a super-super-low on one, works very well - similar function on the Thermador was always annoying...the Wolf is easier to clean than the others, though all versions of this type of appliance require a fair amount of cleaning tip: get a sink that is large enough to accept the largest removable component of your rangetop..this makes cleaning a LOT easier...service on both the Viking and Thermador ranges was expensive, though I think that comes with any of this type...I haven't needed service on
the Wolf...Wolf recommended a 900 CFM exhaust fan to be used with the unit which is not powerful enough..I had a 1200 CFM with the other two and it was adequate...I've always paired my rangetops with an electric oven...current one is a Jennair and is totally not recommended (takes forever to reach temperature) -- which was a surprise because I chose it after a good experience with Jennair in my last kitchen. I had a Bosch oven before that (1995) which was excellent.
While we're on the topic of appliances, we LOVE our Bosch dishwasher and Sharp undercounter microwave!

Carol Peterman said...

I have had a DCS 4 burner with griddle for a few years now and I am very happy with it. I have had no problems. I do a lot of baking and would not be happy with just this gas oven, but I also have an electric oven for baking. I went with DCS because at the time it offered more power and a super-low simmer option which wasn't available from others. In a few head-to-head test reviews I found it performed well, but Viking did not get such high marks. The one thing I would change, and maybe they have by now, is I would like at least one burner with a smaller diameter. The burners are very large.

Louisa said...

Good question! I can speak a little bit on Viking. I used to teach cooking classes at The Viking Cooking School in Glenview, IL outside Chicago. They got more models and styles than you may think. In terms of high end stove brands, I personally think Viking is one of the top. You can look up all the stats, but I can say from experience that Viking stoves are super easy to clean---also, they're said to have the most BTUs on the market, meaning it will boil water in a blink. Also, Fred Carl the founder of Viking has a truly American story. Here's one thing that I suggest you do: if your regional Viking distributor is close by, do go and check them out. In Chicago, Lakeview Appliances, the regional dist in the midwest, will actually cook you dinner and let you "test drive" the stove before purchase.

Vanessa said...

I have a Viking 4 burner range with a convection oven and I bought it because of the 15,000 btu on each burner knowing that would help speed the canning process when I do tomatoes in August. That high heat also lets me wok like a pro. I did have a bunch of problems with the oven thermostat when I first got it but Viking made good on all those repairs. I adore the convection oven too

kitchenmage said...

Check the oven size carefully. I've got friends with a6 burner Viking that is supposed to be on the cusp of home/commercial. It won't hold a fullsize sheet pan, even though it looks like it should - thick insulation in the oven walls - so check your favorite pans too.

FJK said...

I've had a Viking for 17 years and I've been very happy with it.

It's a 6 burner range with gas oven with a radiant broiler.

I have had three or four service calls for the Viking over the years which seems a bit much.

When I got mine it was either Wolf commercial and insulate the heck out of your floor and walls or a Viking.

There are so many other choices now

Anonymous said...

We purchased the 5 burner, 30" DCS range with our new home in 2003. After 10-12 months of repeated service calls we finally convinced DCS to replace the entire unit which they did. The replacement ran OK for about another year or so, and it's become troublesome again. There is always trouble trying to light a burner if the oven is on. Then if something hapens to boil over, you can forget using the burner until such time when it has been cleaned or eventually repaired (that's why they give you 5 burners) And now today the oven has decided to stop working. I tried to buy a high-end appliance that would provide exceptional performance for what they charge, guess I should have just gone with a GE.

Anonymous said...

I own several DCS appliances and have had all of them for 5 years with not 1 single issue. I have the DCS 30" drop in gas cook top. I have the 30" single wall oven and the microwave with convection. I also have 1 of the dish drawers that augments my Miele dishwasher. If you are hearing anything negative about customer service and DCS it is prior to their purchase by Fisher and Paykel. I called DCS customer service when my cook top arrived and one of the knobs were scratched. They sent someone out the next day to replace it.
I can't tell you how pleased I have been with this brand! Also, never had an issue with the Miele dishwasher or the Sub Zero refrig/freezer that I installed at the same time.
The only component of my renovation that has needed work is the U-Line ice smaker.

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