LAS VEGAS -- What would an oven have to do to be worth $14,000? Miele hopes to answer that question with its brand new, US-specific, 48-inch Dual Fuel Range. It looks great, packs in a load of connected features to go along with premier cooking technology, and oh yeah, it'll cost $14,000 when it hits retailers towards the end of Quarter 1 this year.
No, this oven won't drive you to work, and you'd be hard pressed to turn it into a makeshift shelter, so I don't recommend selling off your kitchen to get it. If you're able to splurge, it will give you everything you need to make a gourmet meal. It has the capabilities practiced chefs would look for, and it has plenty of assistance ready to go for amateurs.
The Miele 48-inch Dual Fuel Range connects to your home's Wi-Fi network. On the touch panels on the front of the oven, and via the app, you can control the oven, change the settings, and select from more than 100 different cooking programs and recipes.
With that recipe guidance, the app will send you a push notification when it's time to add the next ingredient and can even help you time multiple dishes to be ready at once.
Miele's working with IBM to integrate an even more detailed recipe system called Chef Watson. Representatives showed me a working demo at CES that lets you select a meal by picking ingredients you have lying around, or the ones that appeal to you at the moment. You'll then get customized recommendations and cooking instructions.
You can even exclude ingredients or set a calorie limit for the suggestion, and each dish has a slider letting you decide if you want a classic version or a more exotic one for when you're feeling adventurous. Chef Watson supposedly creates a unique meal every time.
Make your selection and the oven will give step by step directions to take care of the rest. No word on when Chef Watson will be ready, but the existing Miele app will launch with the oven.
You won't have quite as many options or selection criteria with the native Miele app, as it's picking from roughly 100 pre-set recipes as opposed to crafting something just for you, but you'll still get those step-by-step instructions. Since the range includes a connected thermometer, it should be able to help you hit your desired temperature precisely.
The right side of the oven
Connected assistance aside, Miele's range packs in plenty cooking capability. It stands out as a premium machine with features to help you cook at a variety of speeds based on your preference and your schedule. Thankfully, you're not just paying $14,000 for a cool app.
The gas stovetop has long unbroken grates running from the front to the back, so you have plenty of room to fit pots of all shapes and sizes. The electric oven gets broken up into two separate cavities -- one dedicated to bigger meals with a larger size and a steam feature. The other cavity includes an option to use microwave heat if you need to speed up the process.
The oven's right side is the bigger half. It includes many cooking modes to take advantage of its variety of heat sources. It has normal broil and bake elements in addition to a true convection fan. True convection means the fan that circulates the hot air to help heat faster and more evenly has a dedicated heating element in front of it.
The unique twist of the oven's right side is the option to cook with steam. Supposedly, this helps turn the cavity into a slow cooker, and can keep larger hunks of meat moist as it heats to temperature. At the very least, it's a creative idea and I look forward to testing how well it works.
The left side of the oven
The smaller left cavity still has a broiler on top so it can act as a normal oven. It has a true convection element of its own, but it also has a microwave. Similar to GE's Advantium , you can combine elements for speed cooking while still holding the taste of a normal oven.
Beneath the microwave sits a warming drawer, to round out the many impressive options of the Miele 48-inch Dual Fuel Range. With creative cooking modes to help you cook fast, slow, and everywhere in between, Miele's new model looks to be the Swiss Army Knife of ovens.
Do those features make it worth $14,000? Well, probably not, since that price is still almost three times the cost of the excellent and already expensive Dacor Renaissance Double Wall Oven . You can buy that for top of the line cooking with some connected assistance, and an Advantium for speed, and still save yourself roughly $7,000.
Miele certainly hasn't skimped on features, though. And given the many advanced capacities the Miele 48-inch Dual Fuel Range offers in addition to smarts and premium looks, it at least warrants a closer look if you're in the market for the best of the best. I look forward to testing it to see if it can change my mind and actually earn its $14,000 keep.