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Gas Cooktop: BlueStar, FiveStar, Bertazzoni or Wolf?

I am considering these manufacturers for a slide-in, range-style gas cooktop and want to get some recent opinions on reliability, ease of use, design etc. My builder says he has had no end of trouble from the Wolf cooktops that he has installed for customers. He favors GE Monogram but I want the industrial style and capacity of a more powerful cooktop (not to mention I hate the idea of knobs on the cooktop rather than on the front).

My budget is somewhat restricted ($3-4K) so keeping that in mind.... if you had to do it all over again, which would you pick?

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    1. re: epicuriositykilledthecatfish

      I am remodeling my kitchen and going to install a 48 inch rangetop with griddle. everytime I make up my mind someone changes it. sealed burner vs open burner. the last salesman said that if I wasn't going to use a wok I didn't need the 21,000 btu. and sealed would be easier to clean. blue star vs five star. five star sealed burner? which only puts out 14,000 btu. is this adequate? is there an advantage to the aditional btu?

      1. re: skipperbob

        My 36-inch stove, purchased two years ago, is not a name brand but it does have an 18,000 BTU burner. I do a lot of stir-frying and very much appreciate the output. Having said that, all those BTUs are good for other things - such as getting a big pot of water boiling without waiting eons. My stovetop is sealed and it is certainly easier to clean. The trade-off between ease of cleaning and cooking power is a personal one. For me, I would take cooking power.

        (FWIW in a fit of economy I got a Kenmore at a tiny fraction of the Blue Star I had been salivating over. No, it does not have all the features but it does a great job for almost anything I want to cook on/in it. It really is delivering a lot of bang for the buck as far as I am concerned.)

    2. I have a drop -in Bertazzoni cooktop. No problems yet but it's less than a year old. There aren't any problems with ignition so far, and the burners seem efficient. However, it may be hard to see if you're just looking on the web, but this is a sealed burner cooktop, i.e., the little caps and different size burners for different pots. There is only one stacked (triple ring) burner. See if the configurations work for you (either 5 or 6 burners). The price on this cooktop should be significantly less than the other three. If you go with sealed burners, there are many more manufacturers to choose from. However, I think it's a great looking cooktop especially for the price, and I haven't felt that it "lacked power".

      1. The Monogram does come in an "industrial style," they call it a Professional Cooktop.

        I have a 48" propane version with six burners and a grill that I'm very happy with.


        1. Have you been to a kitchen showroom? There are many other choices for that "look" in a sealed burner that are in the $1000 to $2000 range. I believe the July 2008 Consumer Reports issue has cooktop ratings. You should be able to find one at your local library. In general, "fake pro" beats "real pro".

          1. My 48" Bluestar was just installed but I probably won't start using it for a week or two Kitchen isn't finished yet. Lotta flame though.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jeffreyem

              I've been using a 6 burner Bluestar cooktop for nearly 2 years and I'm still in love with it. I bought it sight-unseen because of the open burner design and Steingarten's article on cooktops.

              I had the two power burners moved to the front because I like to do a lot of wok cooking. Just make sure you get a powerful exhaust hood!!!

            2. We've had a Wolf for 2 years and have had absolutely no problems, works great. The one slight complaint that I have, is I wish the griddle would heat up faster. I make pancakes alost everyday for the kids and if I don't preheat it, it can be a little rush in the am. With that being said, I live in St. Paul, MN and the "exclusive" Wolf dealer / store here was a nightmare to deal with, especially when you consider that we upgraded all of our appliances with them when we remodeled the kitchen.

              Another cooktop I've heard good things about is the Dacor:

              Good luck and enjoy your new kitchen!

              1. My Dacor is relatively new, but it functions great and it looks great. I researched a lot of brands before finally getting mine and am very happy with my decision.

                1. I bought 6 burner Berzzatoni. Many problems within 5 weeks. Coupling replaced after one week. Grills are so large they scratch stainless cooktop top in corners. Coupling replaced finally, new stainless 7 knob sent from Italy and I have 6 knobs. Then gas leakage from knobs. Repairman said gas lines ftom burner to knobs had to b replaced. only 7 weeks installed. Berzzatoni would not exchange so Great Indoors (SEARS) agreed to refund money. Decided upon Blue Star afyer much research. Do not get Berzzatoni. Terrible customer setvice.

                  1 Reply
                  1. Any up dates on this topic I'm looking for new 36 in gas range Wolf,Thermador,,Bertazzoni and ILVE
                    Can't find much about the ILVE it's an Italian brand I live the look of it?? But want to buy something reliable (I know all brands will always have a lemon) Any feedback appreciated or other suggestions welcome.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: snooper23

                      Any appliance can fail, it's all about the availability of parts and service. Sure, it's cool to get something unusual, but less cool if you need to wait 10 days for a part to be shipped.

                    2. We are in the same boat and replacing our slide in GE Cafe Range that was a complete lemon. 6 yrs old, 5 repairs later and the oven still does not work. I'm looking at the BIG CHILL Pro stove but can't find any reviews...

                      I hear that the Theramdor range is the way to go but it's very expensive $$$