Thoughts on BlueStar Ranges?
I was just at Snyder Diamond in Pasadena and they have a BlueStar range that was used on the most recent season of The Next Iron Chef at a great discount. Very clean and it's very tempting. We were going for a Wolf but I'm doing a little research and the company sounds pretty cool. Any thoughts on this? Should I go for it?
We have had a 36" RNB since 2006. I would buy another one. The burners are fabulous. We don't bake a ton, but it's served well for that purpose, too. The Chowpup was <2 when we got it, and we navigated the toddler years without issue from the toasty oven doors.
If you dive into the interwebs to see what folks say about them, you'll find vocal (and repetitive) treatises from folks who've had QC issues with their ranges.
In the period we've had ours, I've replaced an oven thermostat, a spark module, and the ignitors. These are all things I did myself without problems.
It's very much a function over form appliance (though that red looks NICE). The cast iron parts on top clean up easily in the dishwasher, but admittedly that's running a load just with those parts, because they fill it up.
I'd go for it.
Ted, if you happen to see this message, I have a quick question about putting the grates in the dishwasher. I see on the Bluestar website it says they're dishwasher safe, but in the actual manual it says to just clean them in hot soapy water. Do you use regular dishwasher detergent in the dishwasher with them?
We love our new 36" Bluestar range. The burners are amazing. We've only been using it for a few months, but absolutely love it.
They're not bad products, but they aren't great. We've had ours for about 5 years now. A few things, they say their broiler gets up to 1,850 degrees and their burners get up to 15,000 BTU's. This is just not true. They get hot, but no where near those temperatures. When we had our range installed, the White Glove technician, (their name for their service tech) said the broilers are no hotter than any other. They get up around 700-800 degrees which is about standard. There is no range of control on the burners, it's either simmer or full which is frustrating, but we've learned to cook on it. The inner oven parts remove easily which is nice for cleaning, but the glass window has stuff on the inside which is frustrating when you're trying to get it clean. One of the plusses for us is the lack of electronics. We wanted simple in case of a power outage (we live in the mountains).
The Wolfs and Vikings are overpriced, the BlueStars are overrated. Its a toss up.
The Bluestar RNB does not have a 15k btu power burner but a 22k btu burner.
The RNB also has convection and an 1850 degree infrared broiler. That is measured at the broiler not at the top rack. Maybe 1500 degrees at the top rack position.
The RCS from 5 years ago has 15k btu burners plus 9k btu simmer burner, no convection oven and a standard broiler.
The new RCS366V1 has 18k btu power burners a 10k btu simmer burner and the rest 15k btu. The oven now has convection and infrared broiler at 1850 degrees.
If your burner is only simmer or full power( maybe orange flames ?) then they need to be adjusted. If you have an old house without ground in your electrical system the appliance tech will no be able to properly adjust the burners.
In any event people who want top performance in a gas range should be looking at Bluestar RNB, American Range Performer Series and Capital Culinarian. Far superior to Viking with horrible reliability record and Wolf with mediocre rangetop performance.
You're right, it's a 22k burner (two of them actually), not 15k as I said. As far as the broiler reaching 1,850, it's far from it. No where near 1,850. It's not bad, it's just not 1,850. Shooting a heat gun directly at the broiler with no racks in the oven, the broiler registered 800 one time after leaving it on for about 10 minutes. Most of the time it was around 700. They can say 1,850 all they want in the brochures, the heat gun and their technician say otherwise. Anyhow, Bluestar put 3 broilers in our oven over the course of the first 18 months (delayed ignition problems). Not a single one consistently registered above 800, most of the time it was around 700 degrees. Which isn't the end of the world. It's just not what they say it is. I use it for browning food, but not for cooking.
Our oven has a convection blower, so I was off on the year we got it. We use the convection feature occasionally, it's really loud at first, then it quiets down after about fifteen minutes. Its a new house, custom built when the range was purchased, so there aren't any electrical issues. The six burners show no difference in flame height as you turn the knob. It goes from very small to full height within the first few degrees. For the sake of explanation, simmer goes clockwise from 12 o'clock to 1 o'clock, then full flame height from 1 o'clock all the way to 11 o'clock. No such thing as a medium height flame. It's that way on all six burners, even the simmer burner in the back, so I doubt it's an adjustment issue. You just have to get used to cooking that way. They have a few quality control issues too, the glass in the door had a leak down the inside the first time we cleaned it and the residue is still there and I already mentioned the convection noise. I found the customer service to be spotty. There was one woman that seemed on top of it and worked hard to get our broiler issue squared away, even going beyond the service period. But once she left, we could never get calls returned or emails answered.
You could certainly do worse and I don't hate it, like I said, we've just learned to live with it. It's just not in the same league as the more commonly known ranges, but it's not as expensive either, so purchasing one requires weighing the pros and cons. Like I said before, the others are over priced, these are overrated but less expensive. It's a trade off.
Wow, I'd be unhappy if mine was performing like yours. We've had none of those issues. Our burners adjust perfectly from very low to very high and everything in between, with smooth adjustment all the way. I've never seen another stove with such nice, straight, even flames, and the way the flames go straight up into the bottom of your pan heats so much better than most stoves where the flames shoot out to the side of the burner.
There's no way I could cook well with the burners either on high or low only. That's weird. Seems like something wrong with the valves.
Rschuster: I'm not really unhappy with it, I guess in this day and age, you expect products not to live up to their billing. I was bummed the first few times I went to use the BlueStar broiler only because I was thinking I can broil a steak close to what the restaurants do. After a while, I started looking at my broiler like I did on my $300 Tappan in our old home, for browning. Now my frustration is that the broiler is so small, I'm constantly rotating what ever it is I'm browning. As far as the burners go, I'm used to cooking on them and don't really dwell on it. I have a diffuser on the simmer burner and keep that on the lowest for most. If it's something I really need low, I stack burner rings. We do 90% of our cooking on the front middle burner and just keep an eye on it. The front corner burners are just too hot, unless you have them on the lowest setting. I'm just curious, is your convection fan loud? We can hear ours throughout the house. It's just a loud hum, but noticeable.
We had their trained BlueStar tech install it and we've just always assumed these (the burner issues, average broiler temps, fan noises, leaky glass) were quirks; all brands have them. There were so many quality control issues, I just assumed it's what we bought and we were stuck with it. After our second year I quit calling, I left a bunch of voicemails and none were ever returned. I was hoping he valves were just an adjustment issue and I could get them tweaked. I'm glad you're happy with yours.