Viking Vs Wolf Ranges 2019 | Which Is Better?
The selection of professional style gas ranges for the home kitchen have multiplied over the years, but two of the very vest are, and have been: Viking and Wolf. Similar in price points, features, warranty, and cooking power, these two ranges definitely have a lot in common. So when deciding between Viking vs Wolf ranges, how do you choose? What’s the difference between a Viking and a Wolf range? Which range is better? Which is the better long term value? And which one is better for cooking at home? We’ll answer all of these questions and more in the post ahead.
As the first brand to offer commercial level gas ranges for home use decades ago. Viking has earned it’s reputation for reliability and quality. Newer to the high end kitchen appliance market is Wolf, which is also for high performance pro style gas ranges. Wolf constantly challenges Viking with a wide array of high output burners and heavy duty components as well as with it’s great looks and sought after red knobs. The battle between Viking vs Wolf ranges continues. Viking remains one of the best ranges ever offered to consumers and has recently upped its game by adding increased cooking power to it’s line of pro models. While Wolf has introduced a few new features of it’s own where it once fell a little short, such as a self cleaning oven.
Are you in the market for a Viking or Wolf range? Read ahead to find out which is better.
How Are Viking And Wolf Ranges Alike?
When it comes to high end luxury appliances, the debate of Viking vs Wolf gas ranges is a perpetual topic. The reality is that both brands are top notch and leaders in the kitchen appliance industry. Nevertheless, we’ll decipher some pros and cons to help you navigate which is best suited to your own personal needs and preferences.
Both manufacturers are American made, offer gas and dual fuel pro style ranges in sizes from 30 to 60 inches wide, have self cleaning ovens, burners with high BTUs, and are available with different burner configurations. Do a search of online reviews and you’ll find a very similar love for both brands. Almost unanimously high praise will be found for performance, durability, dependability, value, looks and for low heat cook tops (a detail where high powered burners have failed in the past). You’ll also find some criticism about the placement of the oven in relation to the floor (too low for both makes), the weight and the high cost, almost the only three consistent issues we could find. Because their price points, weight and over placement are comparable, these likely won’t be a deciding factor. So how will you choose?
As two of the most popular luxury appliance brands, the Wolf and Viking ranges have far more similarities thank differences. Both companies strive to secure their status as the industry leader in the battle between Viking vs Wolf ranges. Here are some key similarities:
- Price point
- High BTU output
- Burner configurations
- American made
What Are The Differences Between A Viking And Wolf Range?
In the luxury appliance market, Viking and Wolf are two of the top names clients ask for each and every year. Both brands offer top quality ranges that’ll last for decades and allow home chefs to cook just like the professionals do. If you’re shopping for a professional cooking range, at some point you’ll have to make a choice. Which of these two brands offers the best cooking range for your home?
In most ways, cooking ranges from both manufacturers are very similar. Both offer durable and professional style stainless steel exteriors with heavy duty burner grates. Both Wolf and Viking gas burners feature automatic re-ignition any time a flame flickers out during the cooking process. And both offer powerful convection fans and temperature probes.
To help you decide, we’ve detailed a few differences between Wolf and Viking ranges. For this comparison we looked at Viking vs Wolf ranges Pro dual fuel 36″ appliances.
Burner power, or BTUs, is one of the most talked about features of ranges and cook tops. (One BTU heats one pound of water by about 1°F.) The Viking range trumps the Wolf range at both the high and low end of the spectrum in this category. The Viking front burners heat up to 23,000 BTUs and a simmer burner in the back reaches a low of 8,000 BTUs. The Wolf range heats up to 15,000 BTUs and reaches a low simmer of 9,200 BTUs.
If burner power is your top priority then Viking is the range for you. However the Wolf offers more than enough BTUs so it’s not at all under powered, in fact most people consider the Wolf to be more of a work horse than the Viking. Even though the Viking technically has more power, the Wolf should have more power than you’ll ever actually need.
While both Viking and Wolf offer a wide range of baking options, including traditional and convection baking, traditional and convection broiling, dehydrating, and more. The Viking range beats out the Wolf range once again with 12 distinct cooking modes compared to Wolf’s 10.
Before choosing with range to buy find out if these additional two modes are even things you’ll use. Most clients say no, they don’t even need the 10 modes Wolf offers so 12 is an overkill and some of the modes are multi purpose so you won’t be lacking cooking options with the Wolf.
Both Viking and Wolf offer convection cooking. A cooking method on which home chefs are beginning to rely more and more on. Viking offers the industry’s largest convection fan, which turns bi-directional to ensure even heating. However, Wolf rivals Viking with a dual fan system to accomplish the same goal.
When we’re ready to get dinner ready, the last thing you’ll want to do is wait for the oven to preheat. Viking caters to this impatience with its Rapid Ready preheat feature that preheats in a few short minutes. Wolf, however, offers no such feature.
This is an option that really comes in handy. However, even though the Wolf doesn’t have a specific feature to pre-heat faster, it doesn’t take long to pre-heat an oven. The feature will save you a few minutes at best.
While it may not be the most glamorous feature, a warranty can certainly come in handy down the road and offers peace of mind when buying such an expensive appliance. Wolf offers a two year full warranty on the entire appliance and a five year limited warranty on certain parts, including the gas burners, electric oven heat elements. Viking, on the other hand, offers a three year full warranty, a five year warranty on gas burners and electric oven heat elements, and an additional 90 day warranty on all cosmetic parts.
Viking’s new cooking range features a new i-Devices accessory meat thermometer to allow you to keep track of the food your baking or roasting from up to 200 feet away using your Apple or Android mobile device. That means no more standing by the oven while you’re baking. Step away and take a break or get something else accomplished, and monitor your oven from the next room. It’s not a necessity to cooking great food but these little quality of life features are cool options to have and are fun to use.
Commercial style stainless steel ranges, sort of like what you’d see in a restaurant, are still the most popular by far. However, designs are now moving towards a more refined, contemporary look. Especially with the built in units.
Stainless steel has been the dominant finish for appliances over the past 20 years, and it’s still the most common finish for high end ranges. But brighter colors are gaining popularity, along with some darker metallic finishes. Viking comes in a few colors however Wolf is still only offered in stainless steel.
The one stand out here are the knobs. Everyone seams to love the red knobs offered by Wolf. For this reason alone we have to give them the slight edge. The majority of our clients ask for the stove with the red knobs, they don’t even know it’s a Wolf, they just know they love it.
Should I Buy A Viking Or Wolf Range?
High end ranges are mostly for for people with big budgets and a luxury kitchen. However, they’re great for anyone that wants to do professional style cooking at home. If your in the market for a high end gas ranges, comparing Viking vs Wolf ranges is a must.
While owning a Viking or Wolf range won’t automatically make you a better cook, they’ll have more cooking power, precision, and versatility than lower cost ranges. That can make it easier to pull off otherwise impossible tasks like getting a great sear on that steak.
These ranges are also more solidly constructed and made of heavier materials which is why they’re so durable. They’ll improve the look of your kitchen while offering much better resale value than lower cost ranges.
Are Viking And Wolf Dual Fuel Gas Ranges?
Yes, both Viking and Wolf have ranges with duel fuel options. Dual Fuel gas ranges combine the fast response of a gas cook top with the even, consistent heat of an electric oven. Most of the experts we speak with consider this the ideal combination of power sources. We also find that many dual fuel models have better (or at least flashier) specs than their gas only counterparts, like stronger power burners or extra oven controls.
One downside to dual fuel is that these ranges tend to cost thousands of dollars more than all gas models since your paying for the added features. They have more parts and therefore may be more repair prone. You’ll also need hookups for both gas and 220 volt electric. And unless you’re a serious baker, you probably won’t notice the difference between a gas and an electric oven.
We recommend going with an all gas range to most customers. Unless you really need the added features, gas cooking tends to be the best value for your money.
What Size Viking Or Wolf Range Should I Buy?
Range width is one of the first things you’ll decide on during a kitchen design. It’s important to decide this early on because it effects the cabinet layout and just about every other decision in the kitchen layout. Most people tend to want the biggest one that they can afford. However, most people end up buying way too much stove than they actually need.
Both Viking vs Wolf ranges come in 30-, 36-, and 48-inch configurations. Wider options are available but not commonly used in a residential kitchen. However if that’s what you want, both Viking and Wolf offer ranges over 60″.
The width of 36 inches seems to be the perfect size for most people, typically offering six burners and an oven that’s at least 5 cubic feet. Ranges 48 inches and larger usually have a second oven, and often a grill or griddle built into the cook top. 36 inch and 48 inch are the two most popular sizes we install.
What Surfaces Do Viking vs Wolf Ranges Come With?
When it comes to the cook top, there are plenty of options to customize based on how you like to cook. For example, if you frequently grill meat, fish or vegetables, a range with a grill is clearly the way to go. If you’re all about pancakes, burgers, or French toast, you should pick up a cook top with a griddle.
If you have a large family or you often cook different meals at the same time, think about double oven systems and larger cook tops with more burners. Both Viking and Wolf offer multiple sizes ranges with a wide variety of customizable cook top options.
Both ranges feature both open and sealed burners. Open burners deliver the flame directly to your pan giving you intense cooking power. But open burners are harder to keep clean. Open burners must be cleaned more often because spilled food may clog the burner nozzles. Sealed burners have a small cap on them which causes the flame to swerve around thus avoiding spillage on the burner nozzle.
Do Viking And Wolf Offer A Variety Of Appliances?
Viking and Wolf both offer great ranges, but do they offer other kitchen appliances?
In 2013 Viking became part of the Middleby Corporation, the largest food service equipment manufacturer in the world. Since then, the company has introduced more than 60 new products. Wolf, meanwhile, is part of Sub-Zero, a third generation, family owned company that prides itself on focus. While other brands divide their attention among a wide variety of kitchen appliances, Sub-Zero and Wolf remain committed to mastering their specialties. The world’s finest refrigeration and cooking appliances.
This is important to consider if you’re outfitting your entire kitchen and want to stick to the same brand for either aesthetic or cost reasons.
Some clients want a matching set of appliances and some want the best manufacturer for each appliance. There’s no wrong answer and it’s really a personal decision each client has to make. Since each manufacturer comes with stainless steel, which is by far the most common finish, we recommend buying quality over a matching label.
Which Is Easier To Clean, A Viking Or Wolf Range?
Like with most other things in the Viking vs Wolf ranges debate, they’re comparable. Both Wolf and Viking ranges come with sealed burner pans that make cleaning easier.
In general Viking stove tops tend to be slightly harder to clean. Because of the design for some reason food and liquids are able to drip down the burner covers and get stuck around the wiring a little easier on the Viking. This makes it harder to clean. This isn’t the case with the Wolf. Wolf’s burner design is better, the removable burner rings fit tightly and prevent drips down into the stove parts. Preventing the drips is one less thing you have to worry about when cleaning the stove top.
Should I Buy A Wolf Range?
When you think of high end luxury appliances, you’re likely to think of Wolf. Clients often ask specifically for Wolf which stands out as perhaps the most commercial looking range meant for household use, as well as for its excellent reputation for durability and good looks. People all love those red knobs. The dual fuel models have versatile cook tops with some of the strongest power burners you’ll find, as well as the ability to hold some of the lowest temperatures. We also like its straightforward, knob based controls, including a simple display built into the oven dial.
The only finish is stainless steel, but you have some choice in the knob color. The red knobs are the most popular option, a defining trait for Wolf, but they’re available in black and stainless steel as well.
Wolf claims on its website that its ranges are designed to last “a minimum of 20 years under far heavier use than any home cook will ever subject them to.” That’s tough to verify, but at least Wolf is confident enough to put a number on it, most brands just avoid the topic. In our own experience we’ve found Wolf to be very durable and don’t doubt the claim. The Wolf warranty is also better than average, with a full two year warranty on parts and labor and a limited five year warranty on parts.
The cook top is a particular highlight on Wolf ranges. Depending on the width and burner configuration, you can get a cook top with either four or six sealed, dual-stacked burners. The power burner (some models have two) tops out at 20,000 Btu. It’s not the absolute most powerful burner you can get, but we think it’s more than enough for most people.
Low Powered Burners
The other thing this Wolf cook tops have going for them is that you can reduce each of its six burners to a very low output of just 300 Btu. Tests show a Wold cook top can hold recorded temperatures of 118 °F, which is insanely low for a gas powered burner and ideal for things like melting chocolate without scorching.
The oven size depends on the width of the range, but Wolf tends to have plenty of space in comparison to many other pro style models, even if they’re not quite the largest. The oven (or primary oven, in multi-oven models) has dual fan convection, one gliding rack, and two standard racks. The secondary ovens in larger models have single fan convection. They’re also self-cleaning.
Wolf Ranges Are Simple To Use
The cook top and the oven are controlled via knobs. No touchscreens or even buttons here. One unique feature is the small seven segment display on the oven knob, which reads out the oven temperature (or preheating status). Another small electronic display pops out to set the clock, timer, probe, timed cooking, and delayed start.
Wolf dual fuel ranges are available in 30-, 36-, 48-, and 60-inch widths. They also make all gas models in those widths, with similar specs and features, though their power burners top out at just 15,000 Btu which are not particularly strong. Wolf also makes 30- and 36-inch models with induction cook tops. Wolf ranges only come in a stainless steel finish and have red knobs by default, though a couple of other knob colors are available.
Pros Vs Cons Of A Wolf Range
Wolf ranges are fantastic, but they’re are still some notable pros vs cons worth considering.
- Family owned company
- Focus on refrigeration and cookware
- Easy to clean
- Excellent warranty
- 10 distinct cooking modes
- Up to 15,000 BTUs with a simmer of 9,200 BTUs
- Red knobs
As producers of only refrigeration and cookware products, if you’re looking to design your entire kitchen with all the same brand, you may be limited.
- More difficult to negotiate a discount from the purchase of several brand items together
- No rapid preheat setting
- Limited variety of finishes
Should I Buy A Viking Range?
Viking ranges bring the power and versatility of commercial cooking into the comfort of your home. Viking stove’s timeless styling not only accents cabinets, stone, and tile, but the classic appeal creates an inviting and warm, open concept kitchen.
Viking was the first brand to introduce professional grade stoves to the residential market in 1987. Viking was also the first to manufacture appliances in a variety of colors such as apple red and cobalt blue, that created a design movement which now offers a wide variety of color choices.
Viking ranges come with an industry leading two year total warranty along with a five year limited warranty. With this level of quality assurance, you can rest assured your investment in a high end Viking range will pay dividends for years. Whether you choose classic stainless or one of Viking’s signature colors, these ranges are highly sought after by home chefs who rely on their power and temperature accuracy to create deliciously crafted meals.
What Sizes Do Viking Ranges Come In?
Viking ranges come in 30-inch, 36-inch, 48-inch, 60-inch, and 66-inch width options. It’s a good idea to measure your kitchen in order to figure out which size is best for you.
36-inch ranges are the most popular sizes and provide a wide variety of cook top and oven combinations. If you are looking for a range with plenty of flexibility at a reasonable cost then the 36 inch is your best bet.
Want to try professional baking at home? Check out the 48-inch and 60-inch ranges. These stoves come with a double oven and have tons of capacity for all the goodies you want to bake. The cook tops typically come with a griddle by default, and there are a wealth of options for customization based on how and what you like to cook.
What Fuel Types Do Viking Ranges Come In?
Viking ranges come predominantly as all gas or dual fuel (i.e., dual-fuel means gas cooking surface and electric oven). Viking also has a small selection of electric and induction ranges.
Most people prefer Viking’s electric ovens (i.e., the dual-fuel ranges) as they help control the heat more precisely compared to that of gas powered ovens. In an all gas oven, the heating element kicks in to reach the right temperature but maintains the temperature by turning itself on and off. These oscillations may actually vary the temperature in the oven cavity. More importantly, the self clean feature found in electric ovens is much more desirable.
As far as the cooking surface goes, Viking offers gas, electric and induction. A gas flame cooking surface is by far the most popular choice by Viking customers. It is what Viking is known for, and you’ll find the flame ultra responsive. Electric burners still have some small advantages though like having a smooth stove top surface which is easy to clean. Induction cook tops use electromagnetic energy that heats only the surface of your pan. Induction surfaces boil liquid the fastest and respond immediately to very precise temperature changes.
What Features Do Viking Ranges Come With?
You’ll notice a ton of internal language in Viking’s marketing materials which can be confusing. When comparing Viking vs Wolf ranges, Wolf is definitely easier to use and understand. Below we attempt to clarify some of the frequently used terminologies:
Low-level simmer is standard on all Viking stove burners. Precise low heat settings evenly melts chocolate and simmers food without burning it.
Rapid Ready Preheat:
Do you get impatient while waiting for your oven to heat up? This time-saving option found on dual fuel 5 and 7 Series ranges allows you to preheat the oven quickly by utilizing the power of both the bake and the infrared broiler elements.
The VSH (VariSimmer-to-High) Burner:
The Pro Sealed Burner System helps you enjoy cooking the best meals of your life with precise temperature control, and a powerful TruPowerPlus™ 18,500 BTU burner. Thanks to the unique surface design, this cooktop is easy to clean.
Viking nomenclature gets a bit confusing as they refer to the same high functioning burner as VSH, VariSimmer-to-High and as TruPowerPlus.
GourmetGlo Infrared Broiler:
The infrared glass broiler brings intense heat, yet doesn’t dry out your food. It’s also a great option if you’re looking to improve your pizza making skills. This option is available for both electric and gas ovens. This infrared broiler produces 18,000 BTU’s of heat. (We noticed that in some circles Viking refers to a 1,500ºF performance. However, we could not verify this information on official Viking specifications.)
SureSpark Ignition System:
SureSpark system is designed to eliminate frustration. It provides reliable ignition at the first spark. In addition, if for any reason your burner goes out while cooking, this system will automatically re-light. All Viking gas and dual-fuel ranges share this technology to make your cooking experience as seamless as possible.
Who likes cleaning the oven, really? This feature burns spilled and baked on food debris using a high-level of heat. After the cleaning cycle, all you need to do is wipe away any residual ash.
These high quality brass burners are found on 7 Series ranges. Viking’s elevation burners boast 23,000 BTU output. Viking also makes 15,000 and 8,000 BTU versions of elevation burners so you can use different cookware sizes. Elevation burners are raised up about 2 1/2 inches from the porcelain surface. This helps keep the cooktop surface cool (preventing baked on spills) and allows access under the burner for easy cleanup.
This option ensures that your oven door always closes gently and silently. This well-thought-out detail showcases Viking’s attention to ergonomic luxury.
QuickCook Surface Elements:
Are you an impatient chef that wants to roll up your sleeves and get started right away? Electric cooktop burners reach full power in just 3 seconds.
MagneQuick Induction Elements:
This is an excellent choice for those who want to save energy and cook with optimized precision. Induction elements react with the iron in your cookware, transforming your cookware it into a powerful vessel that heats quickly, responds precisely, and is incredibly efficient.
TruGlide Oven Rack:
Full extension racks offer safer and easier removal of heavy bakeware. This is an excellent feature that will make your life easier if you bake often.
Like new tech? This feature allows you to monitor your food temperature from up to 200 feet away via Bluetooth and an Apple or Android device.
ProFlow Convection Baffle:
Viking’s fancy way of saying the air movement generated by a convection fan is channeled in multiple ways so you can bake bread and cakes faster and evenly.
An exclusive air circulation system in Viking convection ovens. TruConvec uses only the convection element in rear of the oven versus using direct heat from a fan at the top or bottom of the oven cavity. This gives you maximum control and helps you bake to perfection.
Vari-Speed Dual Flow Convection System:
This extra large convection fan gives you maximum control. This fans can turn both directions and can operate at different speeds for maximum airflow and versatility.
Pros Vs Cons Of A Viking Range
Wolf certainly challenges Viking for the number one spot but Viking ranges still have a devoted following.
- Large corporate company means the production of many new products
- Excellent warranty
- 12 distinct cooking modes
- Up to 23,000 BTUs with a simmer of 8,000 BTUs
- Rapid Ready preheat feature
- Variety of finishes
- Considered the top range for decades.
- Stove top style can be difficult to clean around the burner
- Limited variety of knob styles
- Not as simple to use as the Wolf
So, it’s pretty clear that Viking and Wolf ranges are both top of the line. So which should you buy?
Unfortunately, there’s no straightforward answer. It really depends on personal preference. Small details will have to make the difference as they’re is really no big difference or wrong decision here.
Do you love the red knobs, then you ‘ll have to buy a Wolf. Do you want a color other than stainless steel, then buy a Viking. Vikings are a little more powerful however Wolf ranges have a reputation for being a real work horse. Viking offers a wide variety of high end appliances so you can have a matching set if you want one. However Wolf is owned by Sub-Zero which makes the some of the best refrigerators money can buy, you can’t get this level of quality from a Viking fridge. We recommend our clients buy quality, not a matching label.
In the end they’re both fantastic ranges offering true commercial level cooking at home.
Gambrick, top NJ custom home builder, is raising local expectations of what New Jersey homes can and should be. Specializing in custom home building, contemporary homes and energy efficient buildings like Passive House. With the imperatives of carbon reduction in the fight to mitigate the worst effects of climate change, our desire for energy independence, and our need to have greater building resilience, the meaning and logic of Passive House is clear.
If you have any questions or comments e-mail us any time. We’d love to hear from you.