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Help me Pick a Convection Oven

9 years ago

Considering the excellent performance and longevity of the Gaggenau appliances that I have owned, it should be a no brainer to continue to buy them. However, since I last purchased a Gaggenau appliance in 1989, the company has been acquired by BSH Home Appliance Corporation which also manufactures Bosch & Thermador appliances, so there is no guarantee that a current model will perform the same as my old Gaggenau appliances. Since I have had bad experiences with Thermador appliances and after reading so many negative comments on the web about convection ovens, I am convinced that ovens today are not manufactured with the same quality standards as in the past. kitchen appliances, Thus, regardless of cost, it is doubtful that any oven today will have as long a service life as an oven made years ago. Miele has an edge for continuity, as it is still a small family-owned company.

I purchased a Gaggenau convection wall oven, low profile ventilation hood, two burner ceran hob and a four burner gas cooktop in 1989. After 26 years, the hood still works great as does my ceran cooktop, which I moved to my basement kitchen three years ago when I replaced it and my Gaggenau four burner gas cooktop with a Thermador five burner gas cooktop. When we had to replace our kitchen counters three years ago, I decided to also replace my cooktop because grates were not made very sturdy back then, so they would move if you tried to slide a pot from one burner to another. A royal pain when you are cooking several items for a dinner party! I was unable to consider another Gaggenau cooktop because the BTU output of the burners had greatly increased over the ensuing years and the burner configuration, with the strongest burners on opposite corners, positioned them too near my wood cabinets to meet code. The Thermador gas cooktop met my city's code because the highest BTU burner was at the center of the cooktop, so it was directly under the hood and not near any of my cabinets.
Although my Gaggenau gas cooktop was then 23 years old, it worked perfectly and the stainless steel top and grates, despite heavy use, were in mint condition, so I was able to donate it to Habitat for Humanity. In contrast, my three year old Thermador stainless steel cooktop is very difficult to keep clean, especially between the star burners. The quality of the stainless steel and the grates seems to be of a lower quality than my previous Gaggenau had, so anything splashed or spilled on it adheres to the surface and bakes on. It takes a lot of elbow grease to clean the stainless steel surface or the grates, regardless of what type of cleaning product is employed. Thus, my three year old Thermador cooktop looks older than the 23 year old Gaggenau that it replaced! Another push toward buying a Miele oven.

As far as my Gaggenau convection wall oven, which finally died on Christmas Eve after 26 years of flawless performance, the only service call that it ever required was two years ago to replace the bulb that illuminated the temperature display. (It is impossible to access without service help.) My Gaggenau oven outperformed and outlasted a GE convection wall oven that quit after 7 years and a Thermador convection wall oven that I have had for only 6 years. My Thermador oven, which began reporting fault codes almost immediately after installation that prompted numerous service calls, now requires an estimated $1000.00 worth of repairs with no guarantee that those repairs will correct the problem. In fact, the service technicians, after consultation with Thermador's tech support, advised me to purchase a new oven! Apparently, Thermador ovens have issues with their door hinges, so although the oven door appears to be closed, it is not closed sufficiently to prevent heat from adversely affecting its various smart boards. Currently, the repair people and Thermador's tech support advise that I can replace the EOC board in my oven, replace the hinges, and replace the gasket around the door that has been singed because of exposure to the heat from the door not closing properly, but they cannot guarantee that doing so will prevent the oven from tripping fault codes! Per Thermador's instructions, each time that my oven trips a fault code and shuts off, I have to go down the basement to shut off the circuit breaker, wait five minutes and then turn the circuit breaker back on and hope that the process has cleared the fault code. Try having your cakes turn out properly with an oven that works like that! A vote for my old Gaggenau in the longevity department, but a minus because they are now made by the same company as Thermador. Another edge toward the Miele.

A further complication that I have encountered in trying to replace my two broken ovens is that most companies have discontinued their 27" replacement models, so I must reconfigure my kitchen to accommodate the installation of two 30" ovens. Thus, aside from the fact that I am a gourmet cook who needs reliable and accurate ovens, replacing my ovens is going to require a sizeable expense for the ovens and the construction that will be necessary to accommodate them. Thus, I appreciate hearing about your experiences with either Gaggenau, Miele or Blue Star convection ovens. I have not considered a Wolf or Viking because they were rated lower in baking quality by a leading consumer magazine and there are a ton of negative consumer comments about them on the web. My kitchen cannot accommodate a free standing or slide in range with ovens. Thank you for whatever help you can provide toward helping me make a wise oven choice.

This post was edited by perovskia6 on Tue, Jan 20, 15 at 13:16

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