Does the Viking 5 series range now offer great value in the high end range market? Hell yes.
After Middleby purchased Viking Range in late 2012 (literally on New Year’s Eve) one of Middleby’s first moves was to start incorporating technologies and features from their commercial portfolio into the Viking residential line. The first move was realized a year later when Middleby debuted the Viking 7 Series gas range at the 2014 KBIS show, proudly showing off the equivalent of a Tesla for your kitchen. Replete with volcano burners, chrome griddles and high powered infrared broilers, the 7-series not only gave Viking a stove that could run with the BTU-blasting open burner ranges from Capital and BlueStar, it did something else – overshadow the venerable Viking 5 series range that has been Viking’s hallmark product for years. I recall speaking with a Viking executive around that time and there even seemed to be doubt whether the 5 series would even have a future with Viking betting so heavily on the souped up 7 and their intro 3 series.
Viking 5 Series Gas Range
2017 – Return of the Viking 5 Series Range
Somewhere along the line, someone at Viking decided to give the 5 series some love and start backing it again. That was one of the smartest decisions they’ve made in years.
The reason being that the Viking 7 Series, in all it’s searing, baking and broiling beauty is simply too expensive for many home cooks, particularly if you move to the dual fuel product with the electric oven and self clean feature. So with the thought of goosing sales of the 5 series, Viking considerably lowered the prices of the 5 series product early in 2017, with some products seeing drops of over $500+. This, combined with Viking’s new “10 after 10” promotion (when used in a Viking kitchen package) would drop the price of the 5 series lower than Wolf, its main USA-made high end range competitor. This was a dramatic turn bc prior to 2017, the Viking product was always more expensive than Wolf, Thermador and Monogram, as Middleby had implemented annual prices increases each year while some competitors (Thermador) hadn’t raised prices in several years.
Incredible Value of the Viking 5 Series Gas Range
Dare I say that a Viking range is actually a value play now? I think it is.
Their dual fuel 48″ range is now $1000 less than the comparable Wolf. Then with the 10 after 10, that creates even more of a price difference. The 30″ VGCC304BSS gas range is several hundred less than the Wolf GR304
And what’s not to love about the features?
The dual fuel 5 series gas ranges offer a glass infrared broiler, 2 sliding extension racks, 18,500 BTU burners and a porcelain cooking surface that contains spills. You also get a full 2-year in-home warranty. The gas range offers identical features save for a different broiler which is gas infrared.
For more information on the Viking 5 series ranges visit Curto’s in Westchester County or call us at 1-800-966-2878
After making a variety of changes to their grills over the last few years, Viking decided to take a different path with their iconic outdoor business. Let’s just say they became more…feline.
The new Viking grills looks suspiciously like Lynx grills because they are Lynx grills. Take a look at the specs on each 36″ grill
From the Lynx website: LYNX FEATURES Two cast brass burners and one ProSear 2™ Burner (total 73,000 BTUs)
935-sq.-in. cooking surface (640 primary, 295 secondary)
Hot surface ignition system
Control illumination with blue LEDs
Dual halogen grill surface lights
Heat stabilizing design
Fluid rotation handle
Lynx Hood Assist Kit
Premium smoker box included
Stainless steel grilling grates
Dual-position rotisserie with heavy-duty, 3-speed motor and rear infrared burner (14,000 BTUs)
Ceramic Briquettes facilitate even radiant heat distribution
Heavy-duty welded construction eliminates gaps where grease and moisture can collect
Now let’s take a look at the info sheet available for the new Viking 36 grill. Model number is VQGI5360 for 36″ grill head and VQGFS5360 for grill head and cart which no longer have to be purchased separately:
VIKING FEATURES 36”W. GRILL HEAD AND CART – VQGFS5360
x Two cast brass burners and one ProSear 2™ Burner
x 935-sq.-in. cooking surface (640 primary, 295 secondary)
x Dual-position rotisserie with heavy-duty, 3-speed motor
and rear infrared burner (14,000 BTUs)
xControl illumination with blue LEDs
xHot surface ignition system
xDual halogen grill surface lights
xPremium smoker box included
xStainless steel grilling grates
xCeramic Briquettes facilitate even radiant heat distribution
xHeavy-duty welded construction eliminates gaps where
grease and moisture can collect
Hot damn, even the verbiage is the same.
So where do you go with this? I checked out a bunch of skus and it seems that the Viking is typically about $200 higher than the direct comp from Lynx.
So not a huge difference. I was hoping to see some type of Viking consumer program but I have not heard anything at this point. I do know that the Viking undercounter refrigeration is no longer made by Perlick, instead that job is being handled by another synergistic sister company – Marvel – and the prices are lower than what Lynx offers. So even with the grill being slightly more expensive, you will probably be even in $$ or slightly lower with Viking if you are doing an outdoor kitchen.
…check the date on the review. Most likely it dates from the 2000’s or the early 2010’s. Those were the “Dark Years”.
Now, I can state that there may not be another built-in refrigerator brand that I have MORE confidence and trust in selling than Viking.
Wow, we have come a long way.
When I show people the Viking built-in product on our sales floor, people are typically awed by its presence.
The stability and robust hinges on the doors.
The clear, bright LED lighting scheme
The metal shelves
When you open up one of the bigger units, the 42″ or 48″ it just commands your attention.
But the important thing is that they don’t just look pretty. The offer great features. And…they work.
Let’s examine the feature set on the Viking built-in fridges:
1 – they offer Plasma Cluster technology which neutralize molds, spores and viruses. They work for the lifetime of the fridge, no need to replace.
PlasmaCLuster is used on airplanes, medical facilities and military transport. They can kill 99% of viruses in 140 sq foot room.
2- DuraHinge – I mentioned this earlier. The new hinge system is a bear. Incredibly brawny in strength. You know that this is the ONE aspect of their refrigerators that they had to get right because of all the problems they had with the old doors.
3 – Metal bins – the metal bins on the Viking fridge doors provide long-lasting strength and creative design that allows them to secure heavy items. The metal also retains the temp better (much better than plastic!) so the fridge doesn’t have to work as hard to stay cool.
4 – The S#&t works! Viking’s first year warranty claims on refrigerators have PLUMMETED 73% since a peak in 2012 (one year prior to Middleby purchasing them).
If the technology and trust in the Middleby name isn’t enough to steer you towards Viking, then the last point re: the service call drops should end the questions. There, you have hard, cold fact that quantitatively say that the problems have been resolved and the company is now comfortably on the upswing.
(Ed. Note: Please excuse my absence the last few weeks. My family and I have been recovering from colds/ear infections/zombie plague. Thank God for ZPack!)
No I am not about to start slogging on Viking refrigeration. Far from it.
I’m a big fan of their revamped refrigeration line. BIG FAN.
But there’s still a torrent of negativity on the web about Viking fridges dating from the 2000’s.
I’ve been telling people you need to move past those old reviews, which are about an old company, an old owner and an old product. But because of that negativity, I never see folks walking into the showroom and asking to see Viking fridges. I even find it to be a struggle to get them to consider using Viking built-in refrigeration in a FULL VIKING PACKAGE. I kid you not…lately I’ve written numerous sales where Viking cooking is placed along with the free dishwasher…and Sub-Zero refrigeration.
What’s Not to Love About this 48″ Viking Refrigerator?
So I was pretty surprised when a woman called up and after chatting for a bit, decided to plunk down nearly $11k on a Viking 48″ refrigerator.
And that’s all she needed.
No wall oven.
No kitchen renovation.
Just a kick-ass fridge.
So this transaction inspired me to crack open the Chromebook and start talking about the Viking fridges. I’ve been planning an epic video (likely a series) to dispel the fear / contempt surrounding Viking fridges. These are great products which are now manufactured to the highest quality assurance standards and they also offer very cool (NPI) and unique innovations that you won’t find in many other built-fridges.
The public needs to consider Viking refrigeration again. Just as this woman did.
Once upon a time Viking had the first pro style open burner range for the residential market – the classic VGIC series.
Those iconic ranges are still placed in homes all over the country.
After Middleby’s purchase of Viking 3 years ago, they decided to kill the VGIC line and focus their efforts on the nascent 7 series as well as the 5 series.
I remember telling the “Capo di Tutti Cappi” at Middleby that I thought they should bring the VGIC back. I was seeing tremendous interest being generated in the open burner market. Yes it was a niche market, but consumers that were drawn to this product were very passionate about cooking, about product quality, and they were the type that would jump on the web and share their experiences through blogging and review sites. And, the market was growing. Fast. At Curto’s we were seeing tremendous growth with Capital’s Culinarian line and to a lesser extent BlueStar’s RNB and Platinum series. IMHO it was a no-brainer for Viking to re-engage in this market. My argument was that if they (Viking) had the product designs created already and it was working off of a current product on the line, they would just need to bring it back to the assembly line and market towards the same consumer who was gobbling up the open burner products. Shooting fish in a barrel, right?
Viking has re-entered the 30″ open burner range market. Capital and BlueStar…on guard!
I thought my idea fell on deaf ears but I’m happy to report that Viking is about to re-release the 30″ open burner model as the VGIC53014BSS. Price point is $3999. And, the purchase of this range will qualify consumers for the free dishwasher deal that is running through next May.
The range is very similar to the sealed-burner based 5-series:
SureSpark ignition for each burner
Simmer setting for all burners
4.0 cu ft convection oven with largest convection fan in the industry
Infrared gas broiler
So from a features standpoint you are getting a battle-tested platform (both in the range chassis and the burner architecture) that has been in the field for years.
And you are getting this at a price that is $1000 below the normal 5-series 30″ range.
Then think about the “deal” aspect of it.
1. You receive a free dishwasher whose value is over $1000
2. You can combine this range with a Viking 3 Series counter depth fridge + otr micro + free dishwasher and suddenly you have a Viking package with pro range at around a tick above $8000.
3. Or you can do a Viking pro package with this range + free dishwasher + free hood + built in 36″ refrigerator for a little more than $12k.
And let’s compare the two other top-selling open burner 30″ ranges:
Blue Star RNB Series – $4680
Capital MCOR304 – $4078
Both of those ranges are more expensive and DO NOT offer a deal like the free dishwasher.
We will have the VGIC back on the floor in the next few weeks. Come by and take a look!
The Viking VGIC53014BSS is about to return in all it’s open burner glory!
Update: Viking has extended the rebate through June of 2016
Viking has launched a new promotion that is offering up a free dw and free hood with the purchase of pro cooking products and a built-in fridge. Time to lose your fear of the Viking fridge and jump into this deal! Look for a follow-up video clearly spelling out why Viking fridges are winners now.
This is a photographic history of the 3 main Viking range burners through their history.
Am I obsessed? Am I an appliance geek?
Yes and no.
I do love appliance history and following the evolutions of brands.
But I am not a geek. I am a dude…the Appliance Dude.
Before there was a BlueStar or a Capital Culinarian…there was Viking. Old school folks…this is like classic Def Jam hip hop. The roots of pro cooking!
5 series. Patented. Brass. Staggered ports. It rocks. Still
New Viking 23K BTU “Volcano” Burners on 7 Series Ranges. The Present and Future of Kick Ass Viking Burners. The Power of an Open Burner Architecture With the Easy Cleanup of a Sealed Burner.
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.
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.