The Miele HR 1956 DF Dual Fuel Range is the coolest, sexiest range I've seen at the 2015 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas. Packed to the brim with features, this Miele range is built for convenience and, perhaps more notably, style.
Miele's range lineup debuted late in 2014, and is available in 30-, 36-, and 48-inch sizes with varying features. The 48-inch model is only available in a dual fuel configuration and includes a speed oven in addition to the traditional convection oven. The 36-inch model lacks a speed oven and comes in dual fuel and gas-powered versions. The smallest, 30-inch range offers dual fuel, gas, or induction.
We test drove the top-of-the-line, 48-inch, dual fuel version on the KBIS show floor. Here's what we found.
Design & Usability
This might be the first range that Miele has produced, but their years of experience building cooktops and ovens didn't go to waste. If I had to describe the Miele range experience in a single word, it would be "effortless." From top to bottom, the HR 1956 DF range seems to have been designed to streamline the cooking process—often in ways you've probably never considered.
Take, for instance, the handles. They swivel with your hand's movement as you open the speed oven or convection oven. Or consider the backlit knobs, which illuminate when they're in use. These ancillary design elements aren't life-changing on an individual basis, but they add up to a cooking appliance that feels like it's hard-wired into your brain.
Most of the Miele range's exterior is clad in a fingerprint-resistant stainless steel, which matches a number of appliances in Miele's 2015 lineup. It's not the most adventurous aesthetic out there, but it's equal parts sleek and sturdy, and exudes the professional air Miele undoubtedly wants. It also adds a touch of European contemporary styling to the pro-style range category, which is distinctly American.
The centerpiece of the Miele HR 1956 DF range is its control panel. It certainly makes one heck of a first impression, as it automatically tilts up to a 45-degree angle at the touch of a touchscreen button.
When I first observed this rather mesmerizing process, I was ready to write it off as a flashy gimmick. But once I actually approached the range and imagined myself pan-searing a ribeye while also juggling a side dish in the oven, the automated control panel's usefulness became crystal clear. With the panel at its "fully lifted" angle, users will be able to keep their attention on the cooktop while making adjustments to other aspects of the range.
The control panel harbors a myriad of presets for common recipes and features two separate touchscreens: one for the speed oven microwave and one for the convection oven. Below the speed oven is a handle-less warming drawer that pops open when you press on it.
Each of the six cooktop burner grates is dishwasher-safe, and there's an built-in infrared griddle perfect for cooking up big family breakfasts. (A slightly different model, the Miele HR 1954 DF, comes with eight burners.)
From a features standpoint, the Miele range oozes sophistication. Miele seems to understand that a range is very often the heart and soul of a kitchen, and it has crammed an unbelievable amount of features into this unit.
At CES just a couple weeks ago we spent some time with a very similar Miele range that can communicate with IBM's Chef Watson to download recipes dreamed up in the artificial intelligence of a supercomputer. Even if you don't have a spare supercomputer in your kitchen, the M-Touch interface makes it easy to choose preset recipes for baking bread or roasting meats.
A representative from Miele informed me that this range—Miele's first, following an illustrious history in cooktops and wall ovens—has been in development for eight years. Frankly, it shows. This range is an innovative appliance that doesn't feel like a me-too competitor to Wolf or Viking. Instead, it's distinctly a Miele, but designed for American tastes.
Beyond its intuitive handling, Miele's range is visually stunning. There's not a single element out of place; the unit looks like a million bucks. Retailers currently have it priced around $12,500.
If you're in the market for a high-end, luxury range, Miele's debutant should absolutely be on your short list—particularly if money is no object.