When it comes to range ovens, there are a select few out of the numerous brands that can be categorized as “high-end.” And two of those brands that have earned that honorific are ILVE and Wolf.
Both of these brands have been around for several decades, both striving to develop the finest products for the modern household. And though coming from disparate parts of the globe—ILVE from Italy, Wolf from the U.S.—they share a similar devotion to innovation, performance, and beautiful craftsmanship. But just as they were borne from different areas of the world, they do have their differences that the discerning high-end consumer should consider.
Here, we’ve put together a quick comparison of these two esteemed range manufacturers so you, the consumer, can see what each has to offer—and which one is better for you, your home, and your culinary ambitions.
WHO ARE THEY?
ILVE is an Italian manufacturer with almost 70 years of experience. At their state-of-the-art facilities near Venice, they hand craft each appliance with a care not often found in a large appliance company. With a balanced blend of quality, beauty, and dependable materials, ILVE is especially known for their attention to detail with every component installed by hand. Their distinctive exteriors also set them apart, with a wide variety of colors, trims, and hardware to choose from that elevate any kitchen design from Industrial to Mediterranean.
Wolf’s beginnings can be traced back to 1934 California where the Wolf brothers gained a reputation for their quality work in repairing kitchen ranges. Soon, they began building their own ranges, eventually growing into a supplier of cooking appliances with a reputation for using quality materials that showed both high durability and high performance. It has been a leading manufacturers of cooking appliances for indoor and outdoor use.
- The Nostalgie Series ranges offer sealed brass burners and come in dual fuel and all gas set ups. Single and double ovens deliver True European convection cooking for fast, flawless results, and the stovetops feature triple-ring burners with more than 15,000 BTUs you can vary for every cooking need from a high-powered sear to a low, steady simmer.
- The new and improved Majestic II Series adds the option of induction technology to their cooktops, introducing the first 40-inch induction cooktop in the entire industry. Even the soft-close oven doors have been innovated with insulating “cool glass” panes that are easily removed for cleaning—no more grimy coating to detract from your kitchen’s appearance.
- Professional Plus ranges are for the home chef who demands the most out of the oven’s functional features as well as the appeal of ILVE’s gorgeous exterior. This epic range offers everything the other tier models have and more. You can select burners with up to 17,000 BTUs of power, or a two-zone induction cooking surface for the latest in cooktop innovation.
Wolf ranges come in a modest selection with under 80 models, and with no distinct series. This says nothing as to the high quality of their ovens, but their selection of ranges is much more limited in size and scope. Wolf ranges range in width from 30 to 60 inches and come in single or double configurations with up to six cooktop gas burners maxing out at a whopping 20,000 BTUs. Oven capacities vary from 4.4 cu. ft. to a spacious 9 cu. ft. You’ll also find Wolf models in dual fuel and electric induction styles.
When it comes to selection, ILVE by far has a far wider array of configurations and choices to fit your exact needs in regards both size and cooking preferences, simply by virtue of their number of series and options they offer.
ILVE and Wolf are fairly disparate when it comes to their outer appearance, as can be easily seen at a glance.
ILVE offers exterior options with timeless designs that can inhabit any environment. The Nostalgie and Professional Plus Series share availability in select colors and trims in brass, bronze, and chrome, with the Professional Plus line available in ILVE’s newest hue, a silky, smoky blue-gray. However they do differ in overall aesthetics, with the Nostalgie line embracing a more elegant, traditional design while the Pro Plus series displays a simpler, more contemporary look.
But where ILVE really displays their potential for fulfilling their customers’ personal tastes is in their Majestic II line, with an exemplary combination of precision engineering and intricate craftsmanship blending to create an artistic appliance like no other. In addition to the choice of trim in copper, brass, chrome, or bronze, this line of ranges is available in eight standard finishes plus over 200 RAL custom colors, resulting in thousands of conceivable designs that let you make a range truly your own. And if you wish, you also have the option of pairing your range with a perfectly matching range hood.
Wolf ranges are far more utilitarian in shape and appearance with a uniform design of stainless steel highlighted by their trademark red control knobs which have made their ranges instantly recognizable throughout the industry. Though you can also choose black or stainless-steel knob options if red isn’t your color. Other than that, though, Wolf doesn’t offer any variations in color or trim.
When it comes to exteriors, ILVE’s Majestic series most certainly has the advantage with thousands of possible color and trim combinations that are guaranteed to illicit gasps of admiration and adoration. However, if you want a more solid, no-nonsense look, you could look to either the Wolf ranges or the Professional Plus line which tends toward cleaner lines than the other ILVE series while still offering a selection of colors and trims.
High-end ranges are expected to have high-end features, often sharing similar innovations and benefits. But they also have their own unique attractions. Let’s take a look at a pair of similarly styled ovens from ILVE and Wolf to see what they have to offer.
ILVE’s Majestic II Series 36-Inch Freestanding Dual Fuel Range is covered in Black with gleaming Brass Trim that can elevate any kitchen to elegant status. The cooktop holds six sealed, non-stick dual-ring brass burners that can deliver up to 20,000 BTUs, all treated with a revolutionary nanotech coating for easy cleaning. The European convection oven delivers even, complete cooking results and is equipped with catalytic panels that resist sticky fat or grease and reduce them to light powder residue at 430 F°. And the simple, intuitive digital controls provide straightforward graphics that make operating your oven simple and easy.
- Rotisserie – lets you slow roast your favorite roast, ham, turkey, and more to succulent, juicy perfection
- Warming Drawer – has its own heating element to keep dishes ready to serve
- Interchangeable Griddle – swap the grates for a griddle for varietal cooking even without cookware
- Quick Start Preheat – fast preheating, after which the desired cooking function can be chosen
- Sealed Oven – traps moisture in the oven cavity ensuring that your meats remain juicy and succulent
- TFT Display – easy to read and easy on the eyes
- Thermocouple Safety Valves – immediately turns off the gas supply in case of malfunction
- Cooking Modes – for specific foods and consistent results
- Gas Conversion Kit – if you want to switch to natural gas
And from Wolf comes a 36-Inch Freestanding Dual Fuel Range with a liquid propane fed cooktop and an electric convection oven with 10 cooking modes including favorites like bake, convection roast, and convection broil and a 16,000 BTU char-broiler to sear in savory flavors. Four sealed dual-stacked burners up top provide up to 20,000 BTUs of heat and are split down the middle by an integrated grill for a more outdoor sear to your burgers or steaks.
- Dual Convection Fans – control heat and airflow providing consistent cooking
- Pivoting Control Panel – rotates the panel discreetly out of sight
- Burner Sensors – automatically re-ignite burners if extinguished
- Temperature Probe – alerts you when your dish has reached the desired temperature
- Soft Interior Halogen Lights – gently illuminate the oven’s interior
- Sabbath Mode – Star K certified for religious observances
Both ILVE and Wolf have many features one would expect of a high-end range, some of them quite similar. But the ILVE does have a bit more to offer such as their in-oven rotisserie, more burners and adaptable cooktop options, and an advanced self-cleaning system, giving them the edge in this category.
As you can see, both ILVE and Wolf have certainly earned their accolades as high-end ranges, each offering their own particular innovations and attractions to the modern home chef. But at the end of the day, it must be noted that ILVE outdoes it’s competitor in both form and function, excelling beyond the realm of “high-end” into the rarified category of “luxury”. Stylistically, ILVE is one of the most beautiful range oven brands you can find on the market. And their devotion to both traditional Italian design and performance—as well as their handmade craftsmanship—with a constant eye on innovation and technological development sets them above and apart. But what do you think as a consumer? Which brand strikes you as superior? Do you have experience with either brand? If so, we’d like to hear what you have to say.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.
If you want to know more about purchasing a range oven of any kind, explore our buyer’s guide here:
Are high-end ranges worth it?
High-end ranges are worth it for those who want the very best in craftsmanship, materials, and cooking results. While the prices of such ranges may be somewhat restrictive, they are deserving of them due to their superior quality.
Do high-end appliances increase home value?
High-end appliances will absolutely increase your home value. Unless you plan on taking appliances with you (which can happen where certain brands are concerned), the initial quality and brand reputation of a high-end household appliance is a definite positive towards the overall value of a home.
What is a pro-style range?
A pro-style range is designed to mimic an oven you might find in a restaurant or other professional setting in both performance and appearance. While the aesthetics of this style may not be for everybody, their practical qualities are to be admired.