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Viking, I Think I Do Not Love Thee


manton
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Hi. First post.

About three years ago, I redid the kitchen. Got a Viking. I had two reasons, after having done a lot of research.

First, I liked the fact that all six Viking burners can do a low simmer. The other brands I looked at mostly had one burner that could do the low simmer, and the rest just a conventional low.

Second, the wife was pretty insistent on "no stainless". At that time, Viking was the only widely available pro-style range that offered enamel colors.

So Viking it was.

Well, I have never been entirely happy. The simmer is indeed on all the burners, but it is far from easy to maintain. The setting is BEFORE high, and keeping it at a low simmer and ON is very difficult. And, in the end, I find that I don't really need six simmers.

I also opted for sealed burners, which I think was a major mistake.

But these are not my real complaints. I am unhappy with the oven. For one thing, it smokes like a coal plant. Roast or broil anything, and you need a gas mask to open the door.

Is that normal?

My mother got a Viking after me (48" in her case, whereas mine is 36") and her oven does not do that. Is it possible mine was improperly installed? I have a decent hood over the burners, but so far as I know the oven is not itself vented. Should it be?

My oven also needs to be cleaned every two months or so. Mom's has not been cleaned in a year, and still looks almost new. What gives?

The oven temperature is also impossible to judge. The dial is so squirrely -- the play is easily 75 degrees, maybe more -- that I have no idea what setting it is at. The Viking people say, "Turn all the way past, then come back, and that is the right temp." Well, if that is true, the dial is still a joke. For instance, when on broil, you can turn all the way past until the light clicks off, but to get it to come back on, you go back well beyond broil. The light really does not come on until about 475. Does that mean that all the temps up to 550 and "Broil" itself simply don't exist for this oven?

As a final note I will say that the iron grates are essentially impossible to clean. Once a drop of grease hits them, it becomes for all intents and purposes part of the geological record. Maybe someday another civilization will burn it as a fossil fuel!

Is there anything I can do about any of this?

Thanks for reading. Look forward to any help and/or commiseration.

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I have a Viking pro 6 burner range top and opted for Viking for the same reasons you did. All burners have the same range from high to lowest simmer. I have not had much trouble maintaining a low simmer unless when the AC is blowing down near the rangetop and the air nearly blows out the flame at the lowest possible level. The only part of the sealed burner that I can't get clean is the metal ring around the burner. Just can't get it clean without brillo which is not recommended but what the hell.

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I put the metal things...not the rings but the actual metal trivet type things that are over the flames..into the oven when I put it on the self clean cycle. Burns everything right off. Hat tip to Old Ironstomach for that tip.

“Don't kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he'd eat you and everyone you care about!”
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"But these are not my real complaints. I am unhappy with the oven. For one thing, it smokes like a coal plant. Roast or broil anything, and you need a gas mask to open the door."

Something is wrong with your installation. At the rear of the oven should be a small vent running across the entire back. With the convection fan on you should feel air flow, without convection it is natural circulation.

Simmer is problamatic and needs the right touch of anticipation.

Any oven temperature control and oven heating is somewhat unique to each oven and you need to learn how yours responds, suggest oven thermometer until you are confident.

Grates are as you say but will outlast the geological record. After 15 years, mine are still going as is the entire range.-Dick

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Something is wrong with your installation. At the rear of the oven should be a small vent running across the entire back. With the convection fan on you should feel air flow, without convection it is natural circulation.

Thanks. This is what I hoped/feared. I hope it is fixable. I need to call about this.

Thanks again.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, the repair man came. Good news: he fixed the super jiggly oven temperature dial. I think it now reasonably approximates what is going on in the oven.

Bad/good news: the oven was not installed improperly. It just smokes like crazy. I have to run self-clean a lot more often. Say, once a month. I broil and roast too much, and the splatter is what smokes.

Also, there is a chance that when the oven temp dial was so bad, the oven was always hotter than I wanted it, and that was exacerbating the problem. Hopefully, it will get better now.

Anyway, with an accurate oven temp dial, I am loving the range quite a bit more. I still wish I had gotten open burners, though.

Edited by manton (log)
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My Viking is not self cleaning and we clean it about every two years, no problems.

Is your hood vented to the outside or one of those filter type units that vents back into the kitchen? Venting to the outside is required not only for odors/smoke but heat removal.

I still say something is wrong someplace if your oven smokes all the time into your kitchen?-Dick

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Can the installation problem be fixed?

According to the repair man, there is no problem. The range was installed correctly. It vents out the back like it is supposed to.

Sorry -- I misread your post.

"All humans are out of their f*cking minds -- every single one of them."

-- Albert Ellis

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