Monogram 36-inch gas range (versus Wolf)

Our house came with a 36-inch gas range made by Bertazzoni that sat flush to the counter/cabinets, which looked clean, but an inflexible and inappropriate-for-us set of burner sizes. The cooktop was also a little tight on space and it was sometimes tough to use more than two pans on the six burners. The most serious problem, however, was that the oven wouldn’t light reliably or stay lit. A Florida house is almost indestructible, but a range that fills it up with natural gas is risking an explosion test.

We couldn’t get the “leaks gas into kitchen” issue fixed, so we decided to replace the range. Without sacrificing a wall oven we didn’t have enough electric power to install an induction range and, in fact, didn’t really have enough electric power for the typical “dual fuel” range (a single 20-amp 240V circuit behind the range). Retrofitting wiring in a concrete Florida house with no basement or attic is not a simple proposition. Thus, the only reasonable choice was another all-gas range.

The choices quickly came down to Wolf and Monogram. The Wolf sits flush to the counter/cabinets, as the Bertazzoni had, but that means a little less space in the oven and on the cooktop. The Wolf GR366 also has wimpy burners compared to the Monogram: five at 15,000 BTU and one at 9,200 (compare to two 23,000 BTU burners, two 18,000, and two 15,000 for the Monogram).

Consumer Reports found that the 30-inch Wolf oven was dramatically inferior to the Monogram’s gas oven:

The 30-inch Monogram’s ratings:

The Monogram also has LED rings behind the burner controls to show at a glance whether a burner has been left on. (For even more peace of mind, the range talks to an app that can show whether any burners are on and that allows direct control of the oven.)

The Monogram was about $700 cheaper and came with a $1,500 discount on a GE Monogram Advantium wall oven that we wanted to buy. We got it at Best Buy and signed up for their credit card, which took another 10 percent off in the form of credits to spend at Best Buy. So it works out to nearly $3000 cheaper than the Wolf for a more capable machine. Here’s what the $7,100 ZGP366NTSS looks like sticking out beyond the cabinets:

The controls could be improved. The legends for which burner a knob corresponds to are unreadable when looking down at the knob from in front of the range. They should be above and to the right of each knob, not below. The screen is tiny. The massive rotary knob for controlling the oven is impressive, but it would have been much better if the range had a tilted-up touch screen for controlling the oven, timer, and other functions (and the confusing buttons underneath the screen would be gone). As the range is laid out, the numbers for the displayed time are half the height of what you’d find on a $99 microwave from Walmart. The best way to describe the design aesthetic is Derek Zoolander’s display meets Godzilla’s range.

We’re very happy with the range so far. We probably use 10 pans on the rangetop on an average day, though we seldom use the oven (the Breville super toaster oven is the go-to). An induction cooktop that could be wiped completely clean in 45 seconds would probably be better, but this range is more fun. The monster 23,000 BTU burners work great on the low setting, which lights up only an inner ring. Visitors to the house have remarked favorably on the appearance of the range and nobody has asked, “Why does it stick out?” Apparently, when the “pro-style range” craze began in the 1990s it was conventional for the ranges to be deeper than the counter. Sticking out, therefore, is an indicator that the kitchen owner is a rich douche (or at least a douche).

Another possibility if you want a range that sits flush is Bluestar. Their “culinary series” open burner range is about $5,000 and comes in huge range of colors. The burners are only 15,000 BTUs but supposedly act like hotter burners due to being open (I’m not sure that I believe this!).


11 thoughts on “Monogram 36-inch gas range (versus Wolf)

  1. The older lions get, the smaller their house dreams. So much more was created by capital investment than houses.

  2. My stove also has the legend/icon issue. I printed out stickers for the tops of the knob bezels. Surprisingly, they’ve resisted peeling off due to grease/heat for several years.

  3. We replaced our old gas Viking range with a Wolf (all gas also) five years ago, and we are very happy with it. The Viking was a maintenance nightmare; I think we paid more in repairs than the original cost of the range. I find the oven in the Wolf to be very stable; the temperatures are easy to control, and we’ve never had a problem. Although on paper, the new Wolf has the same BTUs as the old Viking, my subjective impression is that the Wolf burners are less powerful. Additionally, the Wolf is, in my opinion, also aesthetically pleasant. I spend a significant amount of time in Europe where induction ranges are the norm. I think induction is the way to go, but gas does have some advantages.

  4. It’s probably too complicated but I would like a stove that has both gas and induction burners. I would use induction for day to day cooking and gas for when the power goes out or if there is a houseguest with a pacemaker

  5. What I most like about my induction hob is that the controls are on top. I always have trouble with knobs and displays below in front because I’m slightly taller than average, so I had to kneel in front of my old oven just to set a timer.

    Plus I was able to install it myself in about 30 minutes.

    • Steven: The battery-powered range is an interesting idea! It wouldn’t have occurred to me that battery had a useful role to play in a kitchen heating appliance.

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