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HELP! finally have two nickels to rub together - buying a new range

Hello Friends!

I need advice on buying a new gas range. FINALLY GETTING MY DREAM KITCHEN!! (I'm a little excited.) I've been limping along with a broken gas range (only 3 burners work - sort of) and 30" of counter top in a kitchen that has 7 doors and a window...for 9 years I've been doing this and saving my $$!

I cook everything from scratch (we have food allergies), can't imagine cooking with anything but gas (HATE ELECTRIC), I cook for my family every night, not looking for a bunch of gadgets and electronics, more interested in a sturdy tool that will last 30+ years. Not a big baker - I make the occasional muffins & cookies. I'm looking at a 30" or 36" - most likely 4 burners, but I might get crazy and go for 6.

So, what say ye, O Wise Home Cooks? What gas range would you recommend?

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  1. The two Consumer Reports Best Buys in the 30-inch gas models are the Frigidaire Gallery FGGF3032MW (ranked 4th place) at about $775 and the LG LRG3091SW (ranked 6th place) at about $800. The highest rated 30-inch gas range is the GE Profile PGB910SEM[SS] at about $1,500. It earned a "Recommended" designation, but not a "Best Buy" designation as it is almost twice as much as the two Best Buys listed above.

    The highest rated 36-inch gas model is the KitchenAid KDRU763V[SS], but it runs about $5,200 and up, depending on where you get it from. This model earned the "Recommended" designation, but not the "Best Buy" designation.

    For what it's worth, both the highest rated 30-inch gas model (GE Profile PGB910SEM[SS]) and the highest rated 36-inch model (KitchenAid KDRU763V[SS]) earned the same amount of points in their scoring model.

    1. Sturdy? 30+ years of use? Then avoid Viking (unless you want to be raped and pillaged by the service) and Wolf (unless you want a big bite taken out of your ass on purchase)...leave these to those who have more money than sense, and who must have a commercial looking tchachka for their poseur magazine kitchen. I hear good things about KitchenAid and GE, from both a value and a durability point of view, from what I've read, family members, and service techs.

      1. We have the Frigidaire model mentioned by 1POINT and have had good luck with it so far. Got it at Lowe's FWIW.

        1. Thanks for the great guidance - it's helping. Thinking about a Blue Star for a few reasons - built w/in 60 miles of our place (we are doing a major renovation and looking to keep much of our materials sourced w/in 100 miles or salvaged), seems that folks are pretty happy with them, I've got time to look for a deal (build starts in Feb/March 2013). Any thoughts on Blue Star?

          8 Replies
          1. re: profmarla

            If I were looking to spend this much on a stove, I would only consider those that tested well with Consumer Reports. Venturing outside of that would be too risky for my money. But, that's just me.

            1. re: profmarla

              You might want to look at Gardenweb appliance forum. There are extensive posts on Bluestar and Capital as well as other ranges in that price range. Consumer reports tests from a little different perspective and cost is a big factor. I would read about the ranges and see what might suit your needs. There is no one perfect range. I have a Wolf DF and love it, but it does have few electronics. For me, the benefits outweigh the risk. The new Wolf all gas will have the sealed burners like on the DF and I love that the low setting of the burner is just warm. We use this feature daily. The high heat is plenty for searing steaks in a cast iron pan and stirfrying at least a pound at atime. Many people comment on Wolf without ever even owning one or even cooking on one for more than a couple of times. Oddly there are people who hate Wolf for some reason.
              The greenest option also might not be the one that is closest to you home, but the overall energy it consumes over the years. The amount of insulation in the oven or fuel the burners consume may well offset the expense of bringing the range from a greater distance. Hope you find the range of your dreams!

              1. re: wekick

                Consumer Reports only takes price into account when issuing a "Best Buy" designation. Price affects none of the scoring in any of the categories tested for any of their products.

                Consumer Reports is is most unbiased, thorough, and scientific testing lab I know of. That is why I place so much confidence in them.

                1. re: 1POINT21GW

                  I agree- they do tend to give a LOT of weight to price, which is not my primary decision point. They do have a spreadsheet about frequency of repair records, though, which I pay much more attention to.

                  1. re: EWSflash

                    Please explain why you say "they do tend to give a LOT of weight to price".

                    I think you are mistaking Consumer Reports with another ratings organization as Consumer Reports does not take price into account at all when they score each individual testing category.

                    1. re: 1POINT21GW

                      I guess we'll have to agree to disagree, then.Over the years I've seen products that were actually higher rated, with a much higher price tag than the other (fill in the blanks), get a lower overall rating. And CR is the only consumer magazine i've ever subscribed to, I've had an online subscription since it was offered, so I'm not mistaking them for another consumer magazine.. I think that, being human, they tend to have little biases.

                      1. re: EWSflash

                        I look at it a little differently. I look at those results and get excited that some of the very cheapest products are oftentimes some of the very best products. The same trends can be seen in Cook's Illustrated's ratings.

                        Retailers and marketeers, as well as politicians, love to use logical fallacies to persuade the easily persuadable. Fallacies are seen and heard all throughout marketing and advertising campaigns such as TV commercials, as well as in political campaigns

                        I think you might be falling prey to the very popular fallacy that correlation implies causation.

                        Another fallacy that, unfortunately, runs prevalent among us as consumers is the "you get what you pay for" fallacy or its corollary, the more you spend the higher the quality. Simply untrue fallacies, yet hard to let go of.

                        Both of these fallacies can be disproved, however, by facts rather than emotion, desires, or wishful thinking.

              2. re: profmarla

                We rebuilt our kitchen and chose the BS and have been very pleased. For us, we had narrowed the choices down to the BS and the Five Star range (neither inexpensive). The BS was chosen because of the design of the open burner and absence of fancy electronics (less to go wrong). That was in 2008 and we have no regrets. Do your research, visit showrooms, read forum comments and trust your own judgement. There will be those who praise and those who condemn a particular make. And comments can be emotional, almost passionate, which is really silly but human. Since you live near the Prizer Painter/BS plant, see if you can arrange a visit/tour. It cannot hurt and you may see something that sways you one way or another. As wekick says below, there is no one perfect range. Good luck.

              3. We've had a Bluestar 36" 6 burner range since October 2010.
                Pricey to be sure, but without a doubt, it's the best invesment we made when we renovated our kitchen.
                With almost no electronics except for the burner ignitors and oven glow plug, there's little to go wrong.
                The 22K BTU open burners are about as close to a commercial range as you can get in a residential setting.
                In my opinion it's easier to keep clean than my previous sealed burner range, but you should keep in mind that there is no self clean oven option.
                It is a workhorse that will easily last 30+ years.
                Do swing by the factory if you can.

                1 Reply
                1. re: willtv

                  Our 36" 6-burner has been up and running since 2006. It's had a few issues (all out of warranty), but I've done the repairs myself and it runs just fine. I replaced the oven thermostat (which unfortunately picked Xmas to die on), the igniters and the spark modules (went from 2 modules to one).

                2. You folks ROCK! Thanks for all the good guidance. I'm going to do a tour - just because the kids and spouse WON'T want to come ;-) This is my nerd-festival.
                  PS - Just got approval for the construction loan. I'm going to be able to build my dream house - credit union financing, LEED-plat certified, salvage and local materials....

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: profmarla

                    How exciting.
                    Keep us posted on your progress.

                    1. re: profmarla

                      Congrats. We rebuilt/expanded our kitchen a few years ago and made sure it was big enough for family and friends to gather and relax around the table. It was a one shot deal as this is to be our only house. So far, so good. Good luck.

                      1. re: profmarla

                        We used some salvage in our kitchen as well---leaded glass over the range, stained glass windows, a mantle and tiles for a fireplace, some shelves and almost all my cookware is recycled, Our staircase was also built out of salvage. If I would have had more time, I would have made my countertops out of salvage,

                        1. re: wekick

                          I think you are very resourceful and creative. I would love to see pictures of your kitchen. Can you oblige? Is there a site you can point fellow Hounds to?

                          1. re: sueatmo

                            We're out of town but I will post something next week.

                      2. No one has yet mentioned it, and I will probably get flamed for it, but here goes. Consider the Dual Fuel Kenmore. I bought a house with one and it was trouble free for three years, had two high BTU burners and a good electric/convection oven. Very good quality/easy to clean sealed burners. Oven was great for bread and cakes.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: phxjcc

                          In what year did you buy this range?

                          1. re: sueatmo

                            It is like this one:
                            It was already in the house when I bought it

                        2. I'd buy the Blue Star too. I sold major appliances for 25 years and service on any high end range is a biggie. If you are that close to the factory and like the range, do not hesitate and buy it. The less electronics it has the better. I will also second the Gardenweb forums for good advice. Not all high end range companies use high end components, but Blue Star does.

                          1. One more thought about Consumer Reports. They test brand new appliances and do little to no followup to see if the appliance lasts. They have never considered the quality of components in their reviews. They also tend to test the highest priced appliance in their test category, not necessarily the most popular or best selling one. That, to me, is a major fault with them. Even though they get good reviews, I would stay away from Frigidaire and GE, except GE Monogram. This is extended experience talking. In appliances, I've seen it all.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Enigma3

                              If you are a subscriber to CU, you will get a detailed questionaire that covers many products. The experiences of many people are compiled to get histories of problems on various brands. I believe you answer how long you have had an appliance, and then disclose if you have had repair issues.

                              So, there is some info on longevity and service issues.

                              However, checking CU is only part of the research one should do. I'd start there, personally.

                              And also, I value the responses I received on CH when I asked about dishwashers. The responses about ranges would be valuable info if I were in the market for a new range.

                            2. I am in the market for a new gas range and shopped around this week.

                              I was undecided between a 30 and 36 inch until I looked at the displays and got the feel of the 36 inch range. Not only more space between the burners and an extra eye or two, but a more dramatic wall behind the range for design. When I compared the two, I felt the 36 inch gas range fit our needs for use and design.

                              It amazed me the differences of BTU between ranges. Some maxed out at 11,000 and others reached over 20,000. We do many high heat stir fries and liked the high heat fifth center burner. Some of the high heat fifth burners also do simmer! Having a second simmer eye would ROCK! From what I have been told this week the higher BTU is more important if you have LP gas as you lose some of the BTU output.

                              I will follow this post closely as I am trying to make the same decisions.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Windsor


                                Here is a link with videos on wok cooking on a Blue Star range. Enjoy. Just to be clear, I do not work for or sell BS ranges, but do own one.