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Is Blue Star still as good as ever?

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I've been reading the "Which range is best: Wolf, Viking, or DCS?" thread. It was begun several years ago. Now that it's 2012 (yikes! 2012?) are you still thrilled with your Blue Star ranges? I'm remodeling and need to get a range - too small a kitchen for cooktop + wall oven - and am looking at Wolf, Thermador, Capital and Blue Star so far, though I haven't seen a Blue Star in person, yet. According to many posts, Blue Star seems to be the best bet. But that was 4 years ago. Still?

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  1. We have no regrets in our purchase of the BS range. Is it as good as ever? Ours is and still no problems. As for the newer models I cannot say. I would guess that as the BS evolves, it will be refined. I cannot see where it will be outfitted with fancy electronics, timers and the like nor with a built in rotisserie. I think it will remain a basic, no frills range. I was actually surprised when they offered it in colors. So, yes, we are still thrilled with our purchase and don't care how much greener the grass is on the other side of the fence (if there actually is any greener grass).

    1. Yes. Ours is 6 years old and change (built in '05, installed in '06). I've replaced the oven thermostat (~2 years ago) and the spark modules and igniters (almost a year ago). I was surprised when the thermostat died, but the igniters had rusted and probably helped the module fail. I put in a different style of igniter, used by Viking, that isn't open at the top where water can get in and lead to rust. Seems good so far.

      Never had any door issues- I've always had the impression that these were only on the 30" ranges (we have a 36"). The Chowpup was a year old when we put the range in, and has made it thus far without any hot-front related injuries.

      I think it was the same price or a little more than an all-gas Wolf when we got it. Not sure about now. It was worth it for the simplicity (I installed and have done all the repairs). Also just love the burner design and the fact that the oven holds full-size sheet pans (for the couple times a year we bake that much at once).

      I'd definitely look at all the options- the Capital Culinarian is the range du jour. But now that there are starting to be a decent number of them installed, you see some complaints popping up.

      1. We just went through the same thing. After reading tons of reviews I knew I wanted a BlueStar. It seemed like it had the best reviews and I found a model at Costco for a very good price. However, after seeing BlueStar in person I knew right away that it wasn't for me. It looked too industrial and raw and really did not feel like something I'd like to see in my kitchen every day. I consider myself a good cook, but the idea of extra BTUs didn't appeal to me as I don't do high heat cooking much.

        After looking around and seriously considering Dacor and GE Monogram, I chose Wolf.

        1. I've had a Bluestar 36" 6 burner range since october 2010.
          It's a great piece of equipment and as close as you can get to a commercial range in your residential kitchen.
          The open burners distribute heat evenly and the range is easy to clean. Even in the event of a boil over. And I've had a few of those.
          While it's not inexpensive, it was the best investment I made for my new (2010) kitchen.
          It's also available in any of 190 colors for an upcharge of about $300.
          Here's a shot of mine.

           
          9 Replies
          1. re: willtv

            I am looking at a Blue Star for my commercial dye lab - I dye big pots of wool in boiling water. Sometimes the pots boil over. Another user warned that the pilot lights are finicky and might work well with that situation. I try to keep pots from doing that but they do, every so often. Will I have troubles with my burners?

            1. re: dyepot

              Ever consider induction for that purpose? Very fast and a boil over won't be a problem.

              1. re: Rick

                By that I assume you mean flat surface? I use too many different, odd sorts of pots and commercial pans that would not translate to that system ... and that would cause me problems ... I think. I have home dyer friends who moved to that sort of "top" for home cooking and had to get rid of all their dye equipment.

                1. re: dyepot

                  FWIW, they aren't pilot lights like you'd see on a commercial stove. They're spark igniters (electrodes). If this is what you want, I'd go for it and replace them when they need replacing. The Viking ones I replaced mine with seem a lot less susceptible to problems from getting wet.

                  That said, if it's truly a commercial use, and you can meet the commercial requirements (clearance, fire suppression, etc), a commercial range would cost a lot less.

            2. re: willtv

              Will, I LOVE the way it looks! And you cabinets and your counter tops. Just like I see my new kitchen. Does your oven door get really hot? I read a review on a gas oven that the door got not enough to do some serous burning if you touched it. I really like how the oven door is black instead of stainless

              1. re: dixiegal

                Dixie,
                Thanks.
                We really like our new (2010) kitchen.
                We were never big fans of stainless and since our kitchen was going to be black & white we went with black appliances.
                The range, incidentally,is available in 190 colors for an upcharge of about $300.
                The door heat problem seems to be an issue from the past.
                Even then there was some controversy as to wether or not there was an actual problem, with some claiming the door was too hot and others not.
                My range is a V1.
                The V1 is an updated model in which Bliustar corrected the ills of the past.
                If you decide on a Bluestar you'll get a V1 as they've been producing them since amout May of 2010.
                So no, my oven door is fine.
                It gets no more warm than any other range I've ever used.
                You can find more info at the gardenweb.com appliances forum.
                If you need more info from me, feel free.

                1. re: willtv

                  We bought a Blue Star last year and chose French Blue. There was no extra charge of $300, we just had to wait longer to get it.

                  1. re: escondido123

                    From what I've read, you snuck in under the wire.
                    Bluestar has, apparently , started charging for color within the last 8 or 10 months.
                    I've had mine since 2010 and also did not incur an upcharge for color.

                    1. re: willtv

                      It doesn't mention the charge on their website, but I'm glad we got in under the wire.

            3. I feel your pain. I was faced with this same question just 12 months ago. I researched the blogs. I asked owners. I visited dealers. The exercise can be confusing and exhausting. I finally took my pots and pans and visited the BlueStar factory. Amazing. I learned so much more than any dealer or blog. I am very satisfied. I experienced a foodie organsm. BlueStar I salute you.

              1. Thank you all who have taken the time to answer me. I will go see a BlueStar in person soon - living in NYC, I have a few choices of stores - and will make a decision shortly. I'd probably be very happy with any one of the high-end, 6-burner ranges on the market today, but I can only buy one! It's very daunting.

                11 Replies
                1. re: stapress

                  Don't skimp on the ventilation. I've read posts here and at THS where folks were severely constrained on putting in adequate ventilation. It's really important so that you can take full advantage without smoking yourself out of your place.

                  1. re: ted

                    Thanks for this very important advice. I'm working with a great kitchen designer who is very knowledgeable. From my reading, it seems that the Vent-A-Hood is the best these days. Yes? Not necessarily?

                    1. re: stapress

                      VAH has probably been around the longest (I'm guessing). Price-wise, they're up there (probably only second to the vanity of having your range hood sport a brand badge to match your stove, and I'm not talking about Bluestar).

                      I like ours a lot. Various folks complain about the inability to enjoy quiet symphonic music while cooking. Others knock the cleaning process. Personally, it does what I want it to, and I mostly expect to cook while cooking something that needs the hood on.

                      Probably the quietest option is an external fan like the Fantech. Otherwise, I don't have much experience with the rest of the hood universe.

                      1. re: ted

                        Sorry, Ted, I appreciate your taking the time to respond, but I'm not sure which hood you have that you "...like...a lot." Which one is it?

                        1. re: stapress

                          We have a 42" wide VAH, 27" deep, over a 36" Bluestar RNB.

                    2. re: ted

                      An important issue rarely discussed is the need for make-up air in some but not all situations. During our remodel, I had narrow windows installed on either side of the range. Our hood, on high, moves 1200 cfm of air. I crack the windows, and let the hood run for a couple of minutes to establish good flow before the serious fun of cooking begins. Just something to consider.

                      1. re: dcrb

                        Good advice, but my range backs on an interior room. No place for windows. :-(

                        1. re: stapress

                          If your range hood will vent through the roof, a good designer/engineer should be able to design a system that brings in make up air along side the hood from above the roof. Basically, a ducted fan draws fresh air in and dumps it thru a grill/register system at/near the hood which then updrafts it up thru the range hood. This prevents depleting inside air from other rooms. Not cheap and sometimes not necessary. As homes get more and more airtight, there is less free air available for proper combustion of gas appliances, especially if your furnace, water heater, and other type appliances are located in closets on the living floor. Just something to consider. I am not an engineer so please don't take what I say as absolute gospel.

                          1. re: stapress

                            We spent over a year designing our once in a lifetime, long awaited kitchen makeover, checking out all the gas range options from Wolfe, Viking, DCS, la Cornue, AGA, BlueStar, KA, JennAir, etc. We went to food cooking demos, we went to high end Appliance shops that allowed us to bring in food and test drive stoves, we went to product roll out events and when it came down to making our final choice we also went to the Factory where BlueStars are made. Our choice was the 36" six burner range and we've been. Absolutely thrilled with it's performance. The huge oven handled our 27 lb Thanksgiving turkey with ease. We regularly roast small game birds to perfection and double batches of lasagna. The stovetop is the source of great joy accommodating a round bottom wok without the need for a wok ring allowing us to perform a true, high temp stir fry on the 22k burners. At the same time we've melted and perfectly tempered chocolate on the simmer burner with the need for a double boiler. The open burner design is precise and the effectively continuous top grid from the burners allows us to slide around a large 20 qt stockpot as well as our huge fish poacher we use for whole salmon. It has performed perfectly with absolutelyno service needs and it has cleaned up easily. We installed a Best pro style hood 42" x 27" linked to an exterior ( remote) mounted fan that has a variable speed adjustment and high intensity halogen lights that illuminate the cooktop perfectly. Fan is variable from 50 cfm whisper to 1200 cfm roar which is necessary when searing or stir frying at smoking temps. We installed remote make up air to the underside of the range via flex duct in our basement an 18" x 12" adjustable floor louver that you can only see when prone on the floor. Make up air comes from an outside vent and has a cross linked make up air fan that kicks on whenever the exhaust hood runs above 600 cfm ( half power). Exhaust duct is run in a plenum above our cabinetry and make up air is run in joist spaces under the kitchen floor, both to the same exterior wall and we took precautions to keep the intake and exhaust discharges at least 12' apart from each other ( code requires min. 10' ). Make up air is not tempered but that has not proven to be an issue for us. Over all well designed system, balanced air flow allows us to roar the exhaust at 1200 cfm without snuffing any burners or the gas fired hot water heater. All in all would do this configuration again in a heartbeat. BlueStar has lived up to it's reputation as a solid cooking machine that you drive.

                            1. re: ThanksVille

                              Sound like you did all right. Especially with the make up air. We did not have much in the way of options on our kitchen design for makeup air other than a small sliding window on either side of the range. The house sits on a slab. Works well although your setup sounds like it is better. Just for fun, here are some BS service videos. Here is a link: http://bluestarcooking.com/servicevideos

                      2. re: stapress

                        Look for the dealer who seems to be most interested in your business and has good service, because as far as we could tell the prices were the same across the board.