Cooking products, especially wall ovens, are rapidly changing after years of the same old convection product. A few years ago, it was easy to buy a wall oven. Now manufacturers seem to have their own set of competencies. Miele has steam. Jenn-Air has their Culinary Center, and Wolf has their new VertiCross convection blower system.
New ovens now have sleek interfaces and new capabilities as well. You can buy wall ovens that connect to the internet so they can be operated remotely.
Dacor vs. Viking is a comparison of what the future of cooking could be. We will look at the companies and then the products.
Dacor was a family owned and operated appliance Company until August of 2016. They are now owned by Samsung of Korea.
Dacor provides a full line of products designed to appeal to a majority of luxury customers, but their focus has always been cooking products.
They were the first with a 30-inch convection wall oven and their newest wall oven could be considered the most technologically advanced appliance on the market.
Viking was privately held until 2013. They are American made, like Dacor, and their focus has always been cooking products as well, but more specifically pro ranges. At one time, they sold over 50% of the professional ranges in the US.
Intense competition and nagging service issues have plagued Viking over the last few years. Middleby, a commercial manufacturer and new owner of Viking, has been trying to instill some manufacturing competence. We will see (or not, we no longer carry Viking products as of June 2014).
Let's look at both products.
Dacor vs. Viking Wall Ovens
Dacor IQ Single Wall Oven Model DYO130S - $4,299
- Exclusive Built-In Electronic Control Panel powered by Google's intuitive Android™ OS is elegantly designed to include a glass touch panel and a 7" LCD multi touch-screen for enhanced graphics display and simple navigation with the swipe of a finger.
- Dacor's Proprietary Discovery iQ™ Cooking Application is easy to use and is pre-programmed with a variety of cooking options such as:
- Guided Cooking - A pre-programmed guide of popular dishes preset to eliminate the guesswork associated with cooking times.
- Quick Start - Adjusts the temperature and cook time of each oven manually.
- My Modes - Allows the user to program and store custom cooking presets.
- Dehydrate Mode - An easy and efficient way to dehydrate raw whole fresh foods, preserving the natural nutritional value and taste without using artificial preservatives.
- Integrated WiFi Connectivity offers a convenient way to update the iQ application and access the internet including other third party applications available through the Google® Play Store.
- Bluetooth® Technology allows for a wireless connection between Bluetooth enabled devices.
- Exclusive Four-Part Pure Convection™ System with fan, convection heating element (2,200W), air baffle and convection filter, reduces cooking time, provides superior heat distribution, and eliminates flavor transfer.
- 4.8 Cubic Feet Oven Cell Capacity to accommodate large dishes and meals.
- GreenClean™ steam cleaning technology cleans light build-up in 30 minutes without the use of high heat or harsh chemicals.
- Hidden Bake Element for easy clean up.
- RapidHeat™ Broil Element (3,500W) uses an 8-pass radiant ribbon element to broil food quickly and evenly with an almost infinite range of temperatures.
- 10 Cooking Modes: Pure Convection™, Pure Convection Sear, Convection Bake, Convection Broil, Convection Roast, Surround Bake, Bake, Broil, MAX Broil and Roast.
- Digital Temperature Probe connects to controls and switches oven into Automatic Hold when desired internal food temperature is reached.
This wall oven is the first to introduce Android technology built right into the control panel. If you are tech savvy, this oven delivers functional technology. The Android controls will allow you to stream videos or music over BlueTooth, with Wi-Fi built in and is completely programmable.
In addition, there are features such as Guided Cooking, Quick Start and My Mode settings which ensure that favorite dishes are cooked to perfection every time. The downloadable app will allow you to preheat and change temperatures by your phone. The oven will even email you when the cycle is done!
The oven will also offer multiple cooking modes to give better precision when cooking. In addition to their convection fan, the oven offers baffle filters that circulate the air so flavors don’t blend. This system allows for super even heat distribution and will also allow for quicker cooking times. The large oven capacity offers three adjustable racks with one full extension as well as staggered halogen lighting.
Viking Premiere Single Wall Oven Model VESO5302SS - $4,499.99
- Patented Vari-Speed Dual Flow™ convection system has the largest fan in the industry; the 8 1/2" fan works bi-directionally for maximum airflow and excellent cooking results
- Concealed 10-pass dual bake element makes the oven cavity easy to clean while providing precise temperatures
- Rapid Ready™ Preheat provides one of the fastest preheat times so your oven is ready to begin cooking when you are
- Each oven has six porcelain-coated rack positions and comes standard with three oven racks including two TruGlide™ full extension oven racks
- Three halogen lights offer better visibility
- Extra large Gourmet-Glo™ glass enclosed infrared broiler provides superior broiling performance and maximum coverage
- High performance cooking modes include TruConvec™ convection cooking, convection roast, convection bake, convection broil, conventional bake, and three-level conventional broil, conventional bake, three-level conventional broil, Autoroast, Proof and a personalized recipe function
- Set the oven to begin cooking up to 24 hours later and shut off when cooking time is complete with the Timed Bake feature
- Heavy-duty broiler pan and tray with additional rack provide better broiling performance
- Meat probe offers perfect baking/roasting of fine meats
- Star-K certified
Viking’s wall oven will offer a knob driven control panel. With manual controls, there is a wider variable for temperature precision, as knobs are known to have a variable of +/- 15° to 20°, in comparison to a digital control that is typically within 5° of the set temperature. Viking prides itself in offering the industry’s largest convection fan. In addition, perhaps one of their best innovations is their Gourmet-Glo Glass Enclosed Infrared Broiler on their Premier series.
With their broiler being enclosed in glass, this truly provides some of the most even and consistent heat distribution with no cold spots and a super intense heat. Great for broiling or searing the perfect steak vs. a traditional ribbon element where there are cold spots or uneven heat distribution. For an electric oven, this is arguably one of the best broiling systems.
I like the Viking broiler and its traditional look. However, Dacor’s, Exclusive Four-Part Pure Convection System, with fan, convection heating element (2,200 Watts), air baffle and convection filter reduces cooking time and provides superior heat distribution and eliminates flavor transfer.
Also, the technology of the Dacor is just too compelling. I don’t expect you to watch television on the oven, but you can access recipes and other cooking information. The phone app is the future. You will be able to control almost everything with a touch of a finger (like you do now on your phone already).
The other side of the ledger is reliability. It’s the biggest single question about buying any Viking product in the short term. Right now, there are other products to consider.
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Editor's Note: This article was originally published on August 20, 2014 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.