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Viking Induction Hobs

"Produce! Produce!
Were it but the pitifullest infintesimal fraction
of a product, produce it in God's name!
'Tis the utmost thou hast in thee: out with it, then."

—Thomas Carlyle

General Viking Information

Viking is a company that has positioned itself far upscale; few doubt that a fair percentage of the selling price of any Viking unit (induction or otherwise) is being paid for the "snob value" of the name alone. Moreover, as a hoity-toity maker, Viking—like several other analogous firms, among them Wolf, GE Monogram, and Gaggenau—imposes strict territorial sales restrictions on sales, meaning retailers can only sell to customers within so many miles (usually 1500 of their brick-and-mortar shops. Curiously, though Viking pushes their quasi-commercial image (but read their warranty forms—any true commercial use voids the warranty), their historical reliability rate, as an overall brand, has (to put it charitably) not been good—check Consumer Reports, or pretty much any plausible source about appliance-brand reliability.

As of 2013, Viking has been wholly acquired by The Middleby Corp., a commercial-only maker of cooking and food-preparation equipment who was looking for—among other things—an established brand with which to enter the residential market. Whether the new hands at the top will be able to enforce some more-stringent quality standards yet remains to be seen.

The Viking induction units, formerly made for them by Luxine, are now described as "Magnequick"; whether that is another outside maker or a trade name for products Viking makes itself we are, at this moment unsure (but are checking).

Viking units, unlike many others, have their controls as knobs, in a channel down the right side of the units; some prefer knob-type controls, but others don't like them because they make cleaning more of a nuisance than smooth touchpads; also, that channel eats up space that could be used for cooking, effectively reducing the "cooktop" area width by several inches and also rather crowding some high-heat-producing electronics, which does not bode well for longevity. Moreover, to be "childproof", Viking's controls are "push-to-turn", making them even less convenient.

Viking has three basic units, but they each come with trim options; we have listed the major trim differences as separate units below.

From numerous reports reaching us, Viking's induction units are highly prone to problems—not so much failures (though their overall reliability record, according to various respected third-party sources, is not good) as actual inherent design defects (for example, their countertop unit—now no longer produced—was known to not work with Le Creuset cookware even though that cookware is solidly induction-usable on every other induction unit in the known universe). Moreover, Viking's customer service leaves a lot to be desired, at least when it comes to induction units (that "something" is some faint understanding of what induction is and how it works—things they have told customers would make your hair curl). Mind, Viking is now under new ownership, and reports are that they are trying to right the ship. Nonetheless, caveat emptor.

Viking Induction-Unit Data

As always in these listings, we give these standard general—

Important notes on these data:

  1. We have spent a lot of time hunting these data--often in several places for each individual unit--but we cannot and do not guarantee any datum to be correct (indeed, we often found conflicting data at different sources). Caveat emptor!

  2. For those units we offer for sale, the prices shown are never over a day old. For other items, the prices shown are the lowest we found with moderate but not fanatic searching; moreover, they are not updated very often and are only intended as a rough guide to comparative unit values in cost/power terms.

  3. Most "Features" are not terribly important, and are nearly standard among roughly similar units, regardless of brand name. If some "feature"--shown or omitted--is especially important to you, check on it, because we did not take great pains over the "Features" data.

  4. Dimensions given here are, as the makers themselves warn, only to be used as guidelines in planning--never do anything (such as cutting a countertop) till you have your actual unit to hand.

  5. A very important unit datum is the "MaxPower" value. Many units show individual-element powers that add up to impressive totals that the unit cannot really supply. That is not a defect or some form of cheating: it is "power sharing", a clever and useful feature; but, unless the maker is unusually open about data, one can easily be misled into believeing that the unit as a whole is more powerful than it is. Your dollars are buying cooking power, and you need to be well aware of just what you are paying for in actual cost/power terms for the unit as a whole.

  6. Similar to power sharing (though less flexible) is the "power boost" feature many units have on some or all of their elements. (That feature allows a "boosted" element to temporarily, for some short period--rarely specified, but typically 10 minutes or so--run at some set level well over its nominal power, to help with tasks like getting large pots of water to boiling.) As with true power sharing, if one is not careful, one can get an incorrect impression of the true total power capability of the unit as a whole, which, as we just said, is basically what your dollars are buying.

(For much fuller information on power, read our page Kitchen Electricity 101.)

We found, not counting color and trim variants, four Viking all-induction cooktop models and one induction-top range (which last has seemingly countless color variants):



Sorry, image not available
Viking VIC5304BST
(maker's product page)


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This page was last modified on Saturday, 24 June 2017, at 11:04 pm Pacific Time.