Blue Star or Wolf .... what to do what to do????
I'm buying a 60 inch range - I'm initially attracted to Blue Star but have heard some complaints:
(1) Oven door gets too hot - is this incidental or endemic of the range?
(2) Oven doors warp or get stuck - this seems to have been fixed, but is it really?
(3) Hard clean up
(4) Ignition issues for the cooktop part of the range
(5) Poor customer service
(6) Very hard to get the drip pans out (I had that issue when I tried on the floor model)
There are no Blue Star's that have live demonstration capability to test drive.
I'm also open to Wolf (not sure whether to go gas or dual fuel as I will also have a wall oven electric convection) and Viking. Would appreciate honest opinions .......
I heard and read many glowing comments and a fair amount of complaints about the BS. 3 years later, no regrets. Ours is the 48 inch range, 8 burners. No grill or griddle. 1 and 1/2 ovens.
This is an older model, before revisions. The oven doors do not warp, nor get too hot to touch. But keep infants and children away, no matter what brand you buy.Hinges get lubricated and there is no sticking. Broken ignitors? They are ceramic and if you bang into them when cleaning, you can
break one. So far, we have broken none. I had questions early on, BS had answers. Also, the local appliance dealer was under contract via the White Glove service. Is the stove perfect? No. The half oven could use a light and a window. The cabinetry could be magnetic, but isn't. The old drip pans come out easily. Clean up is hard if neglected and simple if done routinely. Most companies have a video library showing use and cleaning, trouble shooting, etc.
We looked seriously at 5 Star (Brown Stove Works) because it is dual fuel. We also looked at some other large ranges but it came down to the 5 Star and the BS. What sold us on the BS was the open star burner and lack of fancy electronics. Less to go wrong. But we never saw a live demo of any range. We (I) spent several months surfing, reading, emailing and calling manufacturers. Most were busy so I had to wait for replies, but I did get them. There are pros and cons with every range. Some have bling; some are rather spartan. Check out Garden Web where you will see hate/love comparisons. In the end, you have to get what YOU will be happy with.
<i>(1) Oven door gets too hot - is this incidental or endemic of the range?</I>
<i>(2) Oven doors warp or get stuck - this seems to have been fixed, but is it really?<i>
They have changed the hinges. It appears to be fixed but we won't really know till 2 years or so from know. Bluestar still instructs customers to oil hinges, only range company that I know of that does that.
<i>(3) Hard clean up</I>
If you have a major boil over. How often does that happen?
<I>(4) Ignition issues for the cooktop part of the range</I>
The sparker module issues was fixed years ago. Ignitor is exposed and can crack if you accidentally bang againts the burner when cleaning.
<i>(5) Poor customer service</I>
It seems they hire a new person to head customer service then there is a period of good customer service. New person gets overwhelmed over time then customer service deteriorates over time. They seem to have great customer service at the moment.
<i>(6) Very hard to get the drip pans out </I>
I think fit and finish have improved over the last 18 months or so.
I would run not walk away from Viking.
I would strongly consider Capital Culinarian. A true open burner residential range. Outperforms Bluestar with Wolf fit and finish. Burner is slight more powerful,two piece lift-top so easier to clean,protected ignitor,low-temp door,optional self-clean oven with easy glide racks and motorized rotiserie. Optional colors and good customer service to boot.
Check out www.capital-culinarian.com
Seconding CC recommendation. We have one, and while I have some minor quibbles with it (mentioned elsewhere on this board, as well as on the Gardenweb appliance forum), it's been mostly great.
No French top option, which, though I've heard isn't as great at home as it is in a restaurant setting, I would probably want if I were getting such a massive range (griddle / grill not really that appealing to me). Do you really need a 60" range?
We've had our BS 30" range for about 3 months. Yes, the over door does get hot....the whole range gets hot and stays that way while you're cooking. We are still adjusting to the high output burners--all of them seem that way to us--and will be getting a flame tamer to deal with the need for low simmer which does not exist on ours. Our infrared burner stopped working and though it took to tries, it did get fixed. I've had no problems with the pull out drip pans and have found this to be the best stove top for "hiding" a little schmutz here and there. Easy to wash burners though they are heavy. Bottom line. I've had Vikings and I'd pick BS again. (There are other threads on this elsewhere on Chowhound.)
We've had a 36" RNB for 5+ years. I went through and replaced/upgraded the ignitors and spark module a month or so ago. The only other problem I've had was the untimely demise of the oven thermostat on Xmas Eve a couple years ago. That was just bad timing.
Oven door temperature: Hot, yes, but the range is UL listed, which my recollection is that it limits external temp to 180F. Hot but not enough that you're burned the moment you touch it. Our Chowpup was just over 1 when we got ours, and we've never had a problem.
Oven door hinges: Our oven doesn't get tons of use, and we've never had a problem with the door sticking.
Clean up: Not too bad, especially if you just run the burner bowls and grates in the dishwasher. If you're one of those folks who needs to take that off and then clean everything underneath, it'll be a bit more (unnecessary except very occasionally, IMO) work.
Ignition issues: We had problems, but nothing that wasn't fixable (and relatively inexpensive to DIY). And this was after several years of constant use. The main thing was finding time to do the work. Could've just paid someone, but didn' t want to.
Customer service: No problems with calling and ordering parts. We had no issues needing service while it was under warranty. When the oven thermostat went out, I called the next day after the holiday and had a new one in hand within 3 days.
Drip pan: No problems with ours (it also maybe comes out 2X per year).