Viking is once again tearing it up at KBIS 2015. Last year they debuted their 7-Series ranges at the show and this year they’ve turned the 7-Series focus to refrigeration. I saw a prototype of this refrigerator at KBIS 2014 where it was displayed as a column-style fridge.
The first refrigerator from Viking’s 7-series will be a 36″ bottom mount.
In the last year since KBIS 2014 it looks like Viking has made a bunch of changes:
It now has 2 bottom freezers
The hinges are more robust (check them out…crazy strong!)
It now offers 2 compressors
The lighting is LED
At first glance it looks like the result of cross-pollinating a Traulsen, a Liebherr and a Fhiaba. Mix them together and what do you get….could this be magic?
Below is a grainy and shaky video (c’mon upgrade that phone!) from KBIS which gives you a peek inside the fridge. Take notice of the hinges that look like they should be on a bank vault door. Considering Vikings sad history with hinges, the inclusion of these monsters was probably a direct statement that no one will ever diss (or sue) them for faulty hinges again.
NB – I anticipate having this on display at Curto’s in the next 4-6 weeks.
After invading KBIS in Las Vegas last year on the Viking ship with my buddy Selim, I decided to skip this year’s show since our new showroom has been so busy.
However the Appliance Dude’s reach is still felt out in the desert as I will be posting pics of key product from the show that are being sent to me. Enjoy!
New Liebherr Undecounter fridge debuting at KBIS2015
I brought the BlueStar French Door Wall oven, model BWO30AGD in for display around a year ago and following my reps advice, floored it in a cobalt blue color.
The piece sat in its wall space for a year, untouched and unsold, as if it was waiting for King Moonracer to take it to the Island of Misfit Appliances.
Then a funny thing happened.
I requested a color swap to stainless (while maintaining the blue knob which matches up well with the BlueStar logo) and this thing POPS now. In just a matter of days it has received more floor attention and it looks like it could now be a stud piece.
The Blue Star in its new suit of stainless!
While I’m still not thrilled with the way the door mechanism works (it will only open and close if you pull from the left side, unlike the Viking French Door oven which opens and closes either way and without must exertion), this is certainly a piece worth considering if you A) need a gas wall oven B)have 30″ in width C) and want the ability to access the oven cavity in a completely unencumbered fashion.
I’d also give a thumbs up to the aesthetics on the BlueStar. It’s nicer looking than the American oven, prob not as nice as the Viking. From what I understand they are making some tweaks to it (no more speckled interior) and more importantly the mechanism driving the doors is going to change soon. And that could then move this from a cool piece to a stud.
Here in the Northeast we are freezing our collective asses off on this fine 5th day of January, but it’s never too early to talk outdoor grills! The season is upon us (especially for those planning full-on outdoor kitchens) so let’s talk about one of my favorites. Alfresco.
Alfresco Outdoor Kitchen Somewhere Warmer Than New York in January
Alfresco is an “outdoor culinary systems” company. Huh?
That’s kind of like Sub-Zero being a “food preservation” company.
Marketing jargon aside, Alfresco has killer product that allows you to cook whilst enjoying the great outdoors. Translation – they make $&&# grills. And they make damn good ones.
Actually when you tally the feature set against the competition (DCS, Viking, Capital, Twin Eagle, Lynx, Kalamazoo) they may actually make the best grill on the market. I’m going to run through 13, yes 13 exclusive features that they are bringing to market. Check this out:
1 – they’ve measured their surface temp to get as hot as 850-900 degrees which is hotter than anything on the market
2 – their burners are an eclectic blend of 18-SR stainless steel (the BEST stainless on the market when dealing with high temperatures) and titanium. Why titanium? It’s a non-corrosive material that also isn’t affected by high heat.
3 – built in / hidden 120lb torque rotisserie motor with a chain driven system (best and most durable)
4 – the rotisserie spit stores up under front of grill. I’ve been trying to find a place to store my Wolf rotisserie spit for 3 years now.
5 – smoker and herb infusion system (drawer) with a dedicated 5000 btu burner
6 – ever find the front of your current grill gets too hot? Alfresco built a natural air-draft cooling curtain in the front control panel to keep things at ambient air temp – translation – you won’t burn your hands, your privates or fry the control panel due to excessive heat.
7 – Key Safety Point – electrical wires are encapsulated in 600 degree heat resistant silicone sleeve. Why is this important? My Wolf grill caught fire last year b/c of an issue with the non-insulated wires. This is a cool feature simply due to the SAFETY factor.
8 – More silicone fun – they have silicone boots over the ignition connectors – important because the Number 1 thing that goes wrong with grills are…the igniters
9 – no transformer required – since 115v plug and you are PLAYING
10 – largest array of add ons – steamer/fryer/pasta cooker, indirect heat roast and baking pod, cocktail stations, sinks, kegerators, refrigerators, commercial woks, teppanyaki griddles, under grill refrigerator…and more
and coming in 1Q 2015…
11 – log and charcoal broiling insert (YES! that means that you no longer have to pay $15,000 for a gas powered grill that allows you to cook with wood)
12 – new knobs that are backlit
13 – torsion based system built into hood for easy lifting and closing
As I reported last week, the best selling Viking 30″ range – RVGR3305BSS -is being replaced by a new SKU – RVGR3315BSS. Haven’t received all of the details regarding the change but I’ve been told the biggest difference will be slightly different wiring scheme. Sounds to me like end users won’t see a functional difference. I’ll have more soon.
New Viking 5 series outdoor grills are on the way as well. Again, there were some minor tweaks from the 2014 models, but I should have more info on them hopefully this week. And why may you ask am I talking grills several days before Christmas in a freezing and gloomy Northeast (has anyone seen the sun in the last week?) Because GRILL SEASON IS UPON US! I’ll devote a separate post to the mighty outdoors itself but we are still seeing grills being purchased and we have started to hear from customers who are planning outdoor kitchens for the Spring / early summer. I am excited about the new Viking product as they are refocusing on outdoors after a lost 2014 because of their emphasis on the new indoor product – 7 series ranges, French door ovens, etc. This will be a big Viking grill year, so as promised when the new specs and features comes my way, it’s on here.
Lastly, I’ve been told that the Viking Tuscany range which received so much love at the 2014 KBIS and Architectural Digest shows is about to hit the street, sometime in early 2015. If you are looking for an ornate Euro style range in the vein of Aga, Le Cornue, etc, then take a look at this piece.
Details to follow…
48″ Viking Tuscany Range – Coming Soon
One of my most popular 30″ ranges is going to bid us sweet adieu…yes the Viking 3-Series RVGR3305BSS is retiring to appliance Valhalla and will be replaced by the new RVGR3315BSS. Don’t know if there is a form/feature difference but should know in the next few days.
Amazing how much interest there is in Thermador lately. Traditionally known for their wall ovens (yes, that was a Thermador oven that both Julia Child and Alice from the Brady Bunch used), Thermador has spent the last decade rolling out more and more great product to the point where they now have everything covered save for outdoor grills and undercounter refrigeration (though I’ve heard rumors about that category becoming a reality).
Alice rocking the electric cooktop with a Thermador oven behind her.
One category where they have improved exponentially is in the cooking ranges sector. Remember, Thermador offers 2 series of ranges:
Pro Harmony – 24″ deep
Pro Grand – 27″ deep, self clean, soft close door, etc
Thermador Pro Grand PRG366JG
The Pro Harmony ranges still outsell the Pro Grand (PRICE POINT!) but if we’re going to get fractal there is something deeper to explore – what if you were to roll with a Thermador Pro Grand but you had the option of doing either a dual fuel or a gas range? What would the differences be?
Usually the immediate difference between a gas and dual fuel range is the self cleaning option that dual fuel offers. However, Thermador does offer a self clean mode in their gas Pro Grand ranges.
So what are the differences between the dual fuel and gas save for the price
$8699 for the PRD366JGU 36″ duel fuel, six burner
$7299 for the PRG366JG 36″ gas six burner
DIFFERENCES – More Cooking Modes in Dual Fuel
The dual fuel models offer true convection; meaning they have a third, circular heating element wrapped around the convection fan allowing for additional cooking modes not possible in the gas model. These include convection broil, convection roast, and the capability to multi-rack bake in convection bake mode.
The broiler element on the ranges are different as well. The Duel Fuel will offer 4000watt 8-pass broiler whereas the gas range will offer the killer 17000 BTU infrared broiler which is perfect for searing steaks. You’ll also see a slight difference in oven size – the dual fuel is 5.7 and the gas is 5.5.
So where do you lie in this equation?
As I tell all of my customers, if you bake, go dual fuel.
If you roast, get the gas.
if you don’t care, get the gas.
It’s really a question as to whether those additional cooking modes mean something to you.
To see the full line of Thermador appliances visit the Curto’s showroom which offers the largest Thermador display in Westchester County and Manhattan.
Update 11/28/14 – We now have an image of what the stainless grates look like – see below
The first step in transforming yourself into an expert or authority is to admit that you don’t know everything. And when you come across new knowledge embrace it, savor it and SHARE it. So when I just found out that the Capital ranges ship with different grates on their models with BBQ’s I knew it was time to post here.
The Culinarian (open burner ranges) and their new dual fuel series will ship with the heavy-ass cast iron grates that you see pictured below. There is definitely an advantage in using cast iron with their 18K BTU infrared BBQ b/c that cast iron will get HOT. Certainly hotter than stainless and you need that HEAT in order to sear like the primal grilling animal you want to be.
If you purchase the Precision series ranges (sealed burner) and opt for a model with a BBQ you will receive channeled stainless grates. The fact that they are channeled is a good thing so as to handle the grease that comes off the food you are grilling. But let’s call it like it is – the cast iron is better than stainless!
This vantage point shows the channeled grooves on Capital’s cast iron grates. Big help for grease management – the hole in the front will capture grease and send to drip pan.
Cast Iron Grates on Capital Culinarian Range
Slanted Stainless Grates on the Capital Precision Range
Appliance Dude showcases one of the first Viking 7 series 48″ ranges to land in a Westchester NY home
I believe this is the first Viking 7-Series 48″ range that was delivered to a consumer in NY (another Curto’s first). She landed last summer and now that the kitchen is finished it’s time to reflect on the beauty of this product while it’s properly framed where it should be – in a kitchen and not in a showroom display or some sexy image shot on the Viking Web site. I am stunned at the beauty of this product as it sits so proudly between the white cabinets and marble countertops. Fantastic job with the cabinets by Andrew Carr.
The owner of the home is a discerning cook and did his homework before purchasing. While the massive BTU’s (which Viking has been trumpeted in their ads) were alluring he was more concerned with the ability to hold heat at lower temps as well as the overall construction. Suffice to say, he loves his Viking.
Viking 7 Series Range in Bronxville NY – Curto’s Appliances, Cabinets by Andrew Carr.
It’s kind of cool when the media starts to notice what we are building here at the new Curto’s. Thank you WAG mag…and more big news coming Friday!
The Appliance Dude by Jane Dove, WAG Magazine
The dude chilling in one part of the massive Sub-Zero / Wolf area.