Crappy Miele cooktops with knobs on

crappy Miele
See where the knobs broke.

Or should that be knobs off?
On the surface Miele is the brand to buy. It’s solid, doesn’t discount and sponsors most of the important food events. It is the backbone of the mobile kitchens at Prahran Market.

Then why am I left so angry by my stove top? Because it is really badly designed, has plastic knobs which broke off within a few months and because it costs about twice as much as, for instance, Smeg.

Miele also invoices direct so retailers can’t discount. But because I packaged it with a shitload of stuff, the retailer applied a discount to everything else. That means I didn’t pay full price for Miele (Yah boo sucks to you) anyway. This included my Qasair extraction system which is custom installed semi-industrial and which is probably the best you can buy. And I don’t say that lightly.

I’m not saying I expect the hob to be durable enough to survive cooking for several brigades of storm troopers invading Poland. But I do expect it to be robust enough to survive the vigourous shuffling of pans and the odd -okay, quite frequent – pot boiling over in the hands of a brigade of onefood wanker cooking for two.

On the plus side the hob has nice heavy trivetts and I’m sure if I was igeneous enough I could disable a modern day T-90 Russian tank with them.

There are several problems with my Miele hob. On the design the raised panel with the knobs raises the knobs too high, above the hight of a pan on the trivetts so when you pull the pan towards you it hits the knob knocking it off. Remember these are cheap plastic knobs and after several months of being knocked off plastic bits broke off so it is difficult to operate the knobs now.

The burners although seemingly robust are not. The rivets on one have corroded and the whole unit has fallen apart. What I’m cooking here is stocks and soups, not concentrated sulphuric acid or making home made explosives.

I regret leaving my Ilve in Sydney. But them Stephen Downes had problems with Ilve and on his comparatively low profile blog attracted some 27 comments from people griping about their stoves.

It’s a sad time that it is so difficult to find, outside Choice, any independent advice. Food glossies certainly don’t give this advice and that’s perhaps why they lost their way, because they have been led astray by big spending advertisers like Miele. Or Ilve for that matter.

48 Responses to “Crappy Miele cooktops with knobs on”

  1. mohan

    my 2 cents worth.

    i am a serious home cook (abt 30+ yrs) and a tech geek (which means i read the fine print and all blogs b4 i buy anything).

    i have a miele oven, microwave & hood but my hob is highland trinity – all of these have been in proper working condition for the last 10 yrs (maybe a bit more).

    the miele ovens are outstanding and have a far more even cooking temperature than anything else in the market save industrial ones. it is very difficult to have a even temp in a 60/70 liter oven. rule of thumb, the bigger the oven, the better. but miele is the best oven u can get for a modern kitchen.

    highland is also very good. i have the trinity 3 burner glass top. it has been working really well but like all things, service it every 3/4 years and it will last u a lifetime. the burners are excellent and consistent.

    these maybe more expensive but you’ll remember the quality long after you forget the price

    :)

    • Ed

      Thanks for the comment. The proboem with our Miele oven is that steam leaks out the door which has stripped off the temperatures around the dial. The cost of replacing the stickers is ridiculous – it really is. As with the knobs on the cooktop which have been replaced and broken again!

  2. Jane

    Wow will speak to my hubby who is O/seas at the moment as we have just received a quote for over $15k for Miele kitchen appliances. May have to rethink. Have been referred to a warehouse in Perth that sells “B” grade stock for 20- 30% less but what does that potentially say about the number of returns if they have a warehouse?! These blogs are worth the read. Thanks everyone :-) I have also heard Highlander very good as well and my hubby also keen on Bosch.

  3. Chris

    I has a problem with a knob on the Miele cooktop, the aluminium coating started to peal off the plastic, with very sharp edges. The top wa still under warranty, so I called Miele, explained EXACTLY what happened, the dumb bird on the other side said they had to send a technician, so I said OK, the tech came, told me onlyTHEN that the knobs aren’t covered by the warranty and CHARGED me $75 for the call out. I was livid, but had to pay!!!!
    MIELE SUCKS A BIG WAY.

  4. Rod

    I have the same problem. I have a 4 year old Miele gas stove and all 4 knobs are broken (the cheap plastic ones). Just spoke with Miele and they quoted $25 EACH for the plastic ones plus additional delivery! How do they justify it??

    • James

      Knob problem – back in 1998 (last century) we purchased two new Miele Built-In Gas Hobs Model KM300-G. They are installed side by side in our home kitchen.

      We were first alerted to possible Miele quality problems when from new one of the hobs and it’s burners lit without problems while the other has always struggled to light up quickly from day one.

      Well we have replaced plenty of broken black plastic knobs since very early on. The fist shock came when the local Miele warehouse said they would need to procure them from another Australian state and charge $20.00 each in hand. The Miele people said the price seemed excessive.

      Eight knobs = AU$160.00 back then.

      And of course we need more of them again right now. Also the piezo start nipple is broken on one hob now. Am frightened to get a price on this bit of low tech gear.

      Does Miele offer cast aluminium knobs that will fit, or has someone sourced them or plastic ones from a 3rd party supplier at a much improved price?

      I don’t need to be doing this Mr Miele.

      If you can purchase a pair of magnifying spectacles in a retail shop for $2.50 how the hell can you justify the doe for these knobs?

      • James

        PS: why didn’t/doesn’t Miele give each buyer a bag of 20 knobs with the purchase of each new hob?

        At that point in the production process I bet we’re only valuing the knobs at a few cents each.

  5. John Marles

    Have many German friends, ALL say the same thing.
    ONLY buy Miele if the appliance uses water. Washing, dishwasher. Forget everything else and buy Bosch.

  6. phat le

    i have 2 MIELE gas cook tops,oven, range hood and a washing machine. They last for 18 years and still going (may be they are the old models) only changed a pump for the washing machine cost $200 DYO .The glass hod KM931 got rust inside the hob through cleaning (bought in 2009).I m renovating my house and looking for induction cook top but by reading this i might stick to gas.

  7. David

    That’s odd Ed, I had one shipped from Miele last week for $21.20 (inc postage) – I hope I didn’t get the really crappy ones. I have the basic four burner and knobs are below trivett line, just over 2 years old and first broken, not that happy, they should be metal.

    • Ed

      David, That’s what I was told and have been told by many $200 to replace them.

      Nevertheless, that is over $80 for four, which still sucks as there is a flaw in the design.

  8. Ed

    Rob, I reckon someone should start manufacturing cheap fake ones in China. My ex wife phoned Miele and it was going to cost about $200 for all four. It’s a complete rip off – especially since it is a result of a design flaw.

    It’s not good enough.

  9. Rob

    Where can you buy spare PLASTIC knobs? on line store somewhere? $ 45 is pathetic to say the least.
    If they were solid metal ones

  10. jim hannah

    I also have a miele induction cooktop, what a lot og rubbish, cant get it started half the time and when it does it locks me out.

    No good…………………..

    • Ed

      Jim, annoying.

      A friend told me that “everybody knows that you only buy Miele for laundry”. Sure enough I was reading Steve Jobs biography and he researched the best washing machine and it was Miele – although after my oven and cooktop experience I’d be loathe to.

  11. Ann

    Our Miele cooktop, less than 10 years old, needs a new thermocoupler I think he said. $250 for the part!!!!! Now a second ring needs the same thing. $1250 to replace this part on the whole cooktop. I think not. Miele are appalling. They have it all tied up. Well, I’m voting with my feet and replacing this cooktop with a reliable brand, asap.

    • Ed

      Ann, it’s shocking the cost of replacement parts and they seem to have quality problems. I’ve been around to so many houses with partly broken Miele cooktop and oven.

  12. LT

    I have the same model and same melted knobs. Wish me luck as I begin the relacement process. I’m in Romania so it should be interesting to see what the attitude will be…

  13. Ed

    Ron et al.

    Maybe I’ll write an open letter to the CEO of Meile and post it to him and publish it concurrently and see what the response is. It is just not on.

  14. Ron

    GHi Dave, John

    Meile are cunning about absolving themselves from ‘design faults’. I have a KM391 with every (plastic) know broken. But the Meile Operating Instructions manual has a cop out saying “The following can damage components in the appliance…..” (ending with ) … “The manufacturer cannot be held liable for this type of damage” . So none of us have a leg to stand on.

    KM391 plastic knobs are quoted at $26.30 each. I can only guess what the metal knobs would cost. It might be cheaper to replace the hob with a different make. Maybe I’ll see about using a good knob to produce a mould and get some cast aluminim replacements made.

    Ron

  15. Dave

    Hi John,

    I also have a KM362 with 2 broken knobs. Miele want $41 for each replacement Plastic Knob. Just takes a visitor to turn one the wrong way and there goes another $41.

    Did they charge you for the new metal ones. I hope not as these stoves should be recalled. It’s a design fault.

    Thanks
    Dave

  16. John Thayer

    Dean

    I believe I have the same cooktop as in Ed’s original photo. The model number is KM362G. After much perseverence with Miele I managed to obtain a set of metal replacement knobs. Size and shape are identical to the original plastic ones.

    If you have a look at the Miele website the current basic model is KM2012G. This is the only one with plastic knobs. All other models in the KM2xxxG range have solid metal knobs and I believe they are the ones you need.

  17. Ed

    Hi Dean, That’s annoying but shouldn’t it be under the cooktop somewhere – maybe you can pull a draw or oven out?

    Sadly I have no idea what the model is and I’ve now moved where I have another kitchen to refurbish but without making the mistake of buying Miele.

  18. Dean

    I need to replace these plastic knobs also and would really like to know what model that cooktop in photo is, as I unable to find on my appliance and Meile are extremely unhelpful. They tell me I need the model number to order the right knobs?

  19. Ron

    I looked forward to the day my new Miele gas hob was installed but sadly soon discovered it too was a ‘Crappy Miele cooktop with knobs on” and was not even as good as than my 20 year old Chef it was replacing. Within no time the first knob was broken. After that the others just disintegrated, breaking apart just by looking at them. Miele don’t seem to care they have crappy knobs. Why would they when they are charging $26.30 each to replace them – Iv’e been buried 8 knobs so far. Surely there’s a substitue knob of a better quality out there somewhere.

  20. Paul

    I just checked out the Miele web site and I notice most but not all of the gas hobs, at least the more expensive ones now use metal knobs. Presumbably more robust! Personally I think they all should.

  21. Paul

    Our Miele gas hob is about 10 years old and we have had to glue and repair our black plastic knobs many times but now they really are falling apart…. for the money you pay the little things are very irritating, like the rubber feet on the cast iron trivet which perrish and cost a small fortune to replace (we use slilicone bubbles in stead) and the starter flashes which periodically go off of their own accord, even when cleaned…. not good enough for a premium item!

  22. Mandy

    I bought a Bosch 90cm freestanding 0n the weekend after much debate and googling. There were countless positive reviews on Bosch appliances (many happy customers). It will be a while though before I get to turn on the gas as the foundations are not yet laid.

    The price was good as well and even more reasonable by the fact that Harvey Norman had it $1000 cheaper (at $2900) as they are about to renovate their kitchen showroom (bought the floor stock) and I pressed them for free delivery. HN just bought out Clive Peters!

    I will also buy Bosch for the other whitegoods I require.

    This was a big jump given that I set out to buy Ilve or Miele. The power of the internet!

    Something aside from Bosch, can anyone give feedback on Schweigan Rangehoods or electrolux for built in BBQs?

  23. Mandy

    Oh dear! Thank god for the internet! Yes, in my search for a new cooker, for our yet to be ‘completed’ home, I have been woed by big names and style (also thinking of resale and big name brands are the go in real estate terms). What will I do now!

    I believe ( I am told) that St George went under.

    Thanks for all your comments.

    • Ed

      Mandy,

      I’ll be interested to see what you choose and your verdict.

  24. P

    I’m a bit late on this as well but I’ve recently been through the selection process. I ended up with a St George cooktop. Solid construction, metal knobs and a high powered wok burner that is only matched by the Highland which has already been mentioned above. Not cheap though.

  25. The Pseudo Epicurean

    I know this came a little late but I’ve heard that Auscrown is quite a popular/famous brand among the restaurants. They’re a local company, not a big brand like the European giants but have been known to make really sturdy stuff. Worth checking them out! I know I wanna get myself one of those outdoor burner stoves!

  26. Ed

    John, $45 for a replacement. They offered to send a technician around to replace mine for free. I sort of feel dirty accepting it. Let me know how you go.

  27. John Thayer

    Ed

    I have just encountered the same problem. To add insult to injury, Miele charge $45 for each replacement knob.

    I have written to Miele suggesting that as the design of the cooktop is deficient, they should be replacing the knobs free of charge. (Cited the relevant provisions of the Trade Practices Act).

    Will let you know if I achieve an outcome.

  28. Peter Nixon

    Agreed. We have a Meile stovetop. Complete rubbish.

  29. Zamina

    Ahh, I feel for you Ed. Those high end fancy wancy tickle your nancy brands are no where near as good as they used to be and over rated. If you want bang for buck, maybe consider a full commercial stove top? They are practically indestructible.

    A restaurant I worked at, after each day the chefs used to stand on a Goldstein (http://www.allquip.com.au/home/index.cfm?fuseaction=PRODUCTS&category_id=41) to clean the rangehood above, dripping all sorts of suds, water and gunk into this baby… Then they’d take the stove apart and scrub the crap out of it.

    Looks great afterwards every time.

  30. Jacqueline

    I am so glad you posted this, when we upgrade the kitchen, I will give Miele a MISS.
    I get sucked in by the brands too, and then it’s such a slap in the face with their design faults.
    has anyone tried adding flour to thier kitchen aid whilst it is going…

  31. Suzie

    I have 2 Miele gas jets (no knob problems so far, touch wood) and I also have a Miele induction stove, which I definitely have a love hate relationship with. Every time a pot boils over, or even starts to steam / condense a lot, the moisture turns off the electronic controls. Imagine if every time you put pasta into a furiously boiling pot, you turned around and discovered the stove had turned itself off. To get it going again you need to wipe every last trace of moisture away because otherwise the eletronic controls don’t work. So very frustrating… but it is great for low temp cooking!

  32. Ed

    Steve, but what to do if you are a food wanker now?

    Injera, I’d have probably chosen Smeg if it wasn’t for the name.

    Dylan, I’ll look into Highland.I’d never heard of them.

    Simon, bad design is bad design and demonstrated by the fact the knobs are raised higher than the trivetts meaning that even making an omelette the pan will come into contact with the knobs.

  33. Simon

    I’ve got the exact same cooktop as you for the past 3 years without the knob problems.

    I guess it’s because I don’t fling my pans around bashing them into the knobs. Must get pretty wild in your kitchen. I’m sure Miele will replace the knobs if you ask nicely.

  34. Dylan

    I picked up a Highland cooktop about two years ago. They are pretty sturdy and made in Tasmania I believe. I would definitely recommend one of them over the brands.

  35. Injera

    The place we bought had Smeg – not sure if it’d be my choice necessarily, but at least it saved the pain of having to make a decision, and then having to take responsibility for the decision. No real complaints about it, but we’ve considered change and then abandoned the idea due to the process being so daunting. Will now cross the Miele (and the Ilve!) off the theoretical list.

  36. steve

    Ed I share your pain.
    Years ago we renovated & I got sucked in to getting the shiny new, expensive kitchen with all the ‘brands’. What a fucking disaster.
    Same thing happened to me with the stove top, the oven fan always stopped working, the friggin extractor that was supposed to give Divine Brown a run for her money made so much noise we couldn’t talk whilst cooking. every surface was impossible to keep clean etc etc.
    These days I have the most basic, standard & humble of cookers & am a happier cook for it. Dont get sucked in!