I replaced my ancient O'Keefe and Merritt range with a brand new Montague 6 burner/25k BTU/burner restaurant range, and the difference is pheonomenal. Basically like moving from a 1980 Honda Civic to a new Ferrari - this thing really rocks. Plus it only cost about $1500. I am never going back to a conventional stove. Here's something I posted elsewhere on the internet; I basically want Viking to go away, and here's the argument.
One thing I forgot to mention below is that my new oven is HUGE - 26" square, much bigger than the Vikings etc.
CAVEAT: I take absolutely no responsibility for anyone following the following
advice and then running into some legal/safety/or any other issue. I am just
reporting what I believe to be the case! Your results may vary.
I finally got my brand new six burner Montague Grizzly all stainless steel 25K
BTU/burner gas range installed in my house AND IT ROCKS! I don't mean it just
rocks a little. I mean, this is the single best piece of cooking equipment I've
ever used, I will never go back, you will not be able to pry this thing away
from me on my deathbead.... I can finally COOK!!
How much did it cost? A mere $1500. Why on earth would anyone buy a Viking,
DCS, "Wolf Gourmet", Five Star, No star, or anything else for three or more
times the price and half the cooking power (I turned on my friend's Viking
grill the other day and laughed hysterically at the puny flame coming out of it
- was I supposed to GRILL on that thing, or merely warm up a plate with it)?
OK, here is the list of reasons given by restaurant range nay sayers, and my
CLAIM: The standing pilots on the range will emit massive amounts of heat and
waste gas and be a fire hazard.
RESPONSE: The standing pilots can be turned off and the range can be lit by
hand without difficulty.
CLAIM: The standing pilot in the oven is a fire hazard and also could blow out.
RESPONSE: An implausible fire hazard. There is an auto shut off valve if the
pilot blows out.
CLAIM: The oven door will get incredibly hot and burn the hands of small babies
who happen to be playing around the oven.
RESPONSE: The oven door on my Montague is well-insulated and barely gets warm.
No, I wouldn't let a baby play around it, but it isn't a hazard for sensible
CLAIM: The sides of the oven will get incredibly hot and cause anything within
a stone's throw to burn.
RESPONSE: The sides of the oven get toasty, but not, in my view, hot enough to
burn anything (again, results may very by manufacturer - Montague seems better
insulated than others). Personally, I have a non-combustible tiled wall around
the range with about 2" of clearance. This is within the manufacturer's
specficiation. It's hard to imagine this thing putting off enough heat to burn
anything even with pretty close to direct contact, and certainly not with about
2" of clearance. Your results could vary. Good luck.
CLAIM: The burner dials do not have a "safety lock" and may be jarred on by a
friend leaning against the range.
RESPONSE: I can't imagine a way of turning the dials by leaning on the range;
they sit will under an overhang, so when you lean on the range, you lean on the
overhang. (The oven dial on my range actually does have a safety lock, for what
it's worth.) I think the solution to this problem is to get smarter friends. I
admit a child might find it easier to mess with this range than a typical
range, but the fact is, if I had kids who I felt were not old enough to
understand the dangers of cooking equipment (I don't), I wouldn't let them in
the kitchen at all.
CLAIM: Fire insurance will be voided by such a range.
RESPONSE: False, at least with my insurance, and I would love to see someone
quote an insurance policy where it is actually an issue - I think this is an
CLAIM: Building codes will be voided by such a range.
RESPONSE: Not according to my building code department, but who actually cares
about building codes anyway?
CLAIM: A commercial hood is required for such a range.
RESPONSE: Yes, a hood is required (although for light cooking one can probably
get away without it). It turns out, in my case that I effectively have a
pre-built tile canopy above the range which functions as a hood, and all I
needed to do was install a 1000CFM blower where the current fan is. Cost: $400.
In any event, a commercial hood built by a custom restaurant place does not
cost much more than the price gouging offerings from Viking, and they are much
CLAIM: A commercial hood will suck all of the air out of your house and pull
through CO from other appliances you will need an expensive makeup air system
RESPONSE: According to my hood guy, not unless you have a hood which is greater
than 1200CFM (I have 1000)
CLAIM: There is no "low setting" on these burners. They will fry everything,
including your steamed rice!
RESPONSE: My burners have a very nice range, thank you very much - and low
seems low enough to me. I can stick a pot on a simmer plate if I need superlow.
It's easier to make a hot burner low than a low burner hot.
CLAIM: A 3/4" gas line is required, expensive to add.
RESPONSE: In my case, I had 3/4" pipe coming up to my range, so it wasn't an
issue. Had I needed to install another pipe, it would have been $150 from the
CLAIM: The hot oven and burners will make your kitchen unbearably hot.
RESPONSE: Not really for everyday cooking (ie., without every burner and the
oven going), and in any event, the hood should take care of that.
The bottom line: those who whine about the issues of restaurant ranges in the
home have probably never tried one. If I had kids below the age of eight might
I do things differently? Possibly. But other than that, it seems like a no
brainer, and the fact is I hope Viking goes bankrupt - they sell a mediocre
product, gouge their customers, and depend on consumer ignorance. VIKING, YOU
ARE STINKING RIPOFF ARTISTS!!
Those who are paranoid, safety conscious, have kids, are worried about
everything, or simply think they will blow themselves up are welcome to keep
their existing ranges. As for me, I feel like I got a Ferrari for $1500, and
I'm never going back. Vroom!!!