Miele HR 1924 DF 30-Inch Dual-Fuel Range Review
Streamlined European style meets American sensibilities
German appliance manufacturer Miele provides American buyers with access to upscale wall ovens, dishwashers, refrigerators, and cooktops that exude European style. The company's products have a look and feel that's unlike anything else on sale in the U.S.
However, for too long the ranges favored by American buyers were left out of Miele’s product lineup. While Europeans tend to cook with a separate wall oven and matching cooktop, Americans are in love with their ranges. Until recently, would-be buyers were left to choose from pro-style offerings from Wolf, Viking, and Thermador—none of which would match a Continental kitchen.
That all changed in 2014, when Miele finally announced a new series of ranges that blend German style and craftsmanship with American kitchen sensibilities. They come in lots of shapes and sizes, from a 30-inch induction model to a 48-inch model complete with a built-in speed oven.
We tested the 30-inch Miele HR 1924 DF dual-fuel range (MSRP $6,699), an upscale model that's unlike anything else on the market. Miele has designed a range that's true to the brand, and also true to what American consumers want, blending modern conveniences with streamlined looks and stellar performance. If you're tired of ranges that trumpet their chunky handles and austere controls as a badge of honor, read on.
Contemporary and Classic
At first glance, the HR 1924 DF is both contemporary and classic. It has the same proportions as other pro-style ranges, but—unlike most of its competitors—this Miele isn't designed to mimic the look of professional ranges found in restaurant kitchens. Even though it feels as monolithic as a bank vault, it's meant to look at home in a contemporary kitchen, and it's designed for home chefs.
Take, for instance, its CleanTouch stainless steel front. We found it to be almost impervious to fingerprints. Similarly, the ComfortSwivel handle is hinged, so it moves along with your hand as you open the soft-close oven door. Two grates are continuous across the top of the range, and the top oven racks are dishwasher safe. The oven has three self-clean modes, too.
In the center of the control panel is Miele's M Touch system, a touch-sensitive LCD screen that lets the user control every oven function from simple baking and broiling to the 100 MasterChef automatic recipes and 15 MasterChef Plus bread recipes. Unlike touchscreens from Jenn-Air, for example, this one is on a motorized hinge that pivots to a 45º angle for easy viewing. When you're done cooking, it hides away.
Oven controls with Android-like menus definitely took some getting used to, but we found Miele's implementation to be simple enough for all but the most dyed-in-the-wool Luddites. Yes, M Touch might be polarizing for purists, and might look dated in a decade. Still, we can't think of a better way to integrate so many preset recipes on a single panel.
Range controls are a bit more traditional. Backlit burner knobs had the right amount of heft and featured four notches from "Simmer" to "High”, but unfortunately their placement obscured many available settings. Unlike the canted M Touch panel, they were difficult to read without bending over.
Accessories, add-ons, and other versions
The HR 1924 DF comes with an optional toe kick, so you can either install it in-line with cabinetry or as a standalone unit. It's possible to buy a number of accessories for this Miele, including a wok ring, rotisserie with kebab and poultry clamps, and 12-inch and 20-inch backsplashes.
If dual-fuel isn't for you, Miele also offers an all-gas version of its 30-inch range—the $4,999 HR1124—plus induction and electric ranges. In fact, the HR1421E is one of the only all-electric pro-style ranges on the market. A 36-inch version of the dual-fuel range offers a wider oven and a choice of six burners, or four burners plus a grill or griddle.
Low heat and quick boil times
Overall, the HR 1924 DF's greatest strength is its sealed burners. There's one 12,000 BTU burner and three 19,500 burners—all of which are stacked for precise low and high flame control. All burners also feature Miele's True Simmer setting, which we found got pans as low as 117ºF in our tests. That's not quite as low as the 86ºF we measured on Thermador's ExtraLow setting, but most home cooks won’t have much use for any temperature below 100ºF.
It's rare to see burners that output more heat than 18,000 BTU, and Miele's three 19,500 BTU burners proved screamingly fast—taking less than 5 minutes each to boil 6 cups of water. That puts them among the fastest-boiling gas burners we've ever tested. However, high temperatures were lower than we like to see, and none were able to break 400ºF.
An excellent roaster
The HR 1924 DF features a 4.6 cubic foot electric oven, with dual-fan convection for improved airflow. It took only 12 minutes to preheat on a standard setting, and just over six minutes to preheat using convection—one of the fastest preheats we've ever tested. (The broiler took around seven minutes, which is also pretty fast.)
Once warmed, our tests showed the Miele HR 1924 DF's oven did a good—but not great—job at baking cookies and cakes on standard settings. We measure the color of finished baked goods using a photospectrometer, and found a slight—yet consistent—variation in doneness between the left and right sides of the cavity. That's a sign of airflow issues. When we turned convection on, cookies emerged more evenly browned across the sheet. Cakes were slightly less even—likely a result of the convection fans blowing the cake batter in the pans.
When it came to roasting a pork loin, the Miele did an excellent job on nearly all metrics. With use of the standard Bake setting, the meat was quick to cook and remained moist after roasting. When we tried the Convection Roast setting, the meat lost some of its juiciness, but was slightly quicker to cook. However, both settings were unable to roast the pork evenly. Our photospectrometer measured uneven browning across the surface of each pork loin—to a more problematic degree than almost any other pro-range we've tested.
It's important to note here that we didn't score any of Miele's preset baking modes. We use standard tests to cross-compare ranges, but it would be impossible to compare the merits of Miele's special features, as most other pro-style ranges lack such recipe programs altogether. We also did not test this range with Moisture Plus engaged. The setting requires a connection to a cold water line, and adds steam during convection baking. Some users might scoff at letting a range choose how it wants to cook your food. But if you're the type who is inclined to trust technology and likes the idea of making home-cooked meals without fiddling around with your oven, it's worth checking out this Miele.
And if you live near one of Miele's eleven showrooms, you don't have to buy it or go to a retailer to try it out, either. The showrooms are designed solely as a place to test out the products and do not employ sales staff, so you couldn't buy a range there even if you wanted to.
Have you been looking for a professional-style range that's sturdily built but not overwrought? Do you delight in attention to detail? Do you think that technology—if implemented correctly—has the power to improve lives?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, the Miele HR 1924 DF just might be the range for you. It's the end result of a German company that studied American consumers and created a new product that combines the best of both sides of the Atlantic. Not to mention it's a darn good range.
No, it's not for everybody. If you think a built-in timer is too much technology, this Miele's touchscreen controls will overwhelm you. And if your style of cooking tends more towards experimentation, you might find its 115 built-in recipes an unnecessary indulgence. But whether you’re a Luddite or early adopter, you'll have to admit the HR 1924 DF has the chops to cook delicious food.
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