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Oct 25, 2010 06:47 AM

So...Why do you HATE, LOATHE, ABHOR your WOLF, BLUE STAR or La Cornue ranges?

Alright I am having a complete meltdown over the range selection for my new kitchen, I need to make a decision stat as my contractor is standing here with his arms folded, tapping his toe, huge sledeghammer in hand....

I have researched exhaustively all of these boards as well as those on Gardenweb. As you well know, there are naysayers and proponents of everything.

Closed vs. open burners, BTU configurations and strength, small interior space on dual oven ranges yada yada yada.

I have investigated Viking, Thermador, GE monogram, Blue Star, ILVE, Bertazzoni, Frantelli Onofri, Heartland, Aga, Lacanche, Capital, American, etc, AD NAUSEUM.

What's a girl to do?

I can only go up to 44 (aga) or 43 ( la cornue 110) inches...

I am narrowed down to the three ranges listed in my subject line.


Love and All Things Delish,

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  1. My take on it is this. This is just how it worked out for me and what was important to me.

    I love the open burners and star shaped burners on the BS. Everybody talks about the 22K burners but to me the even heat of the star shaped burners is the strong suit. If I want to use a wok on high heat, I'm going for a 130-160K outdoor burner. I'm not sure how the simmer is.
    The oven is big but I don't use full sheets because I want to be able to lay them in the sink to soak and they are just so big. It does have the infrared broiler, but we generally grill outside for steaks.

    This is what we ended up with after a nightmare experience with our with our first appliances. I thought at first I was settling but have been very happy with it. The problems BS has had and the fact we didn't have a local dealer made us too nervous at the time because of our experience with our first appliances. I have found the burners to be adequate for anything I want to cook and I love the simmer on all the burners. The simmer is probably more important to me because I'm going outside for the really high heat if I need it. The only fault I find with the burners would be if you use small pans, the closed burner makes the flame flare out a little and the rear left is the only small burner. I cook mostly with big pans so not a problem for me. I love the oven and the dual fans are great especially because the oven is 36" wide.

    I loved, loved, loved the look but the oven was too small for me. I even had a chance to buy one (display) for $4500. I cook frequently for a lot of people so the oven was a deal breaker for me.

    We ended up with a 36" Wolf DF and Electrolux wall oven and love them but another configuration I might consider would be a BS rangetop and 2 single Electrolux ovens. You didn't ask but the Electrolux preheats in 7 mins and does everything I want it to do.

    Just keep in mind that even though a particular range may have for example the biggest oven that holds a full sheet, that may mean nothing to you or it may mean everything depending on how you cook. Try to look at your own cooking /baking style and you will see that one of the above fits that the best. Best of luck! Truthfully, you will probably like any of the three and be very happy!

    8 Replies
    1. re: wekick

      Voila! You settled it for me. I will be getting a Wolf. The small oven in the La Cornue was the dealbreaker. And I don't want to have to wait for the Blue Star. Wolf is easy to get.

      Thanks for taking the time to write up such a well-thought out response. This Chowhound is deeply appreciative.


      1. re: ZenFoodist

        Whew. I was expecting all the years worth of trolls to reappear and each trumpet their own nightmare range experience and how they'd never buy that brand again.

        That's what the search is for. Not to mention that it irks me how the boards serve to amplify the squeaky wheel types, some of whom I suspect would find something to complain about no matter which brand they bought.

        Still happy with our BS. I think it may need a new ignitor or 2, possibly one of the modules, but it's 5 years out, so I'm not surprised. Not in the market now, so I don't know that I'd make the same choice again. Still love (all of) the burners.

        1. re: ted

          There is NOTHING worse than buying $10,000s worth of appliances that don't even begin to work and at least the internet provides the opportunity to relate the experience to others. Knowledge is power. It is also helpful to know when others have the same experience. You can bet I trumpeted my own nightmare experience at the time not only because of the poor quality of the product but the low level of customer service and the general way I was treated. I would wish that on no one. By the by, I love my appliances that I have now and the service has been great.

          1. re: wekick

            Wekick- I actually looked back and couldn't find a post where you mentioned the brand you had trouble with. You gave a lot of good general advice on how to deal with a bad situation.

            There are plenty of folks revenge-posting where their only 3 posts to Chowhound are "don't buy X. brand appliance"

            1. re: ted

              I chronicled my experience on another forum especially at the time. I have also pointed out that some had a very different, positive experience with their customer service. I did try to report objectively my experience. Interestingly. I received an email from the company last night saying that they are contacting all customers who post "disparagingly" in response to a post I made on the other forum. They said my experience was several years ago (It was resolved 3/08 but the models are their current ones) and they also said that many problems are due to faulty installation. But the good news is they have stream lined their service and I need to go to the website and familiarize myself with their products. HA! I must say that I learned quite a bit about how an oven works. I do think my posts and others have held their feet to the fire. Without the internet, we wouldn't have a voice.

      2. re: wekick

        Thanks for the thoughts on The Elux oven. I'm thinking about buying one but trying to determine if the ICON is worth the extra few hundred. Any other opinions on the oven? It seems to be a great value.

        1. re: cruzmisl

          I'm not sure how the features line up right now but when I bought mine the regular Electrolux had more features than the Icon. Some have said the Icon is a little shallower. Looking briefly online they look about the same and about the same as I have now. I have found it to be a very usable, dependable oven. I like the fast preheat and that is not even using the fast preheat mode. Good luck.

          1. re: wekick

            Thanks for the reply. I've had a Frigidaire oven that has served me well for 15 years. Works perfectly for what I need it for. Since Elux is owned by Frigidaire I should be happy. I like the roller shelves, blue interior and most importantly the price point. I don't need fancy cooking modes, rotisseries etc. Just a reliable convection oven that is accurate. Not to mention I can use a 10% off coupon on their price fixed appliance.

            I was also looking at Thermador but their repair history leaves a lot to be desired. I'm not sure if its founded but I don't want to take the chance.