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Nov 10, 2013 06:51 AM

48"gas range- comparing apples and oranges?

Just moved, and in need of new appliances as I remodel. I have set aside a 48" spot for a new range (the little $40 craigslist stove looks kind of silly there in the mean time.) Although they aren't my favorites, I can get by with the current fridge and dishwasher for a while still. But a new stove is top priority.
Reading different review sites, it feels like comparing ranges is like comparing apples to oranges. And for every rave review, there is an equally bad one. Maybe someone out there has some insite to help me to compare (or atleast a good fruit salad recipe :)
There are some things I know I want, and some things I want to avoid.

Want list: 8 burner. Oven that fits commercial sheet pan. Reliable.

Avoid: Noisy oven. (last range was a Thermador bought in 2007. DH hated the fan that came on every time the oven was on and didn't turn off until the temp was below 325.)

Unsure: Open vs. closed burners. I have a bad habit of boiling over when making rice, pasta, etc. What will be easier clean up and maintenance for a messy cook?

I thought I had it narrowed down to Blue Star, but then went to a show room and looked down past the burners. Then I noticed the Capitol. But they didn't seem to know what I was talking about when I asked about oven fan noise.

Need to decide soon so I can study spec sheets and get the gas line brought up at the right place. Oh, I'm just north of Boston, so if anyone knows of a knowledgable showroom with good pricing....

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  1. Don't forget the ventilation required for a commercial stove, in addition to "make-up" air for proper combustion.

    In essence the oxygen needed to blend with the fuel needs to be constantly replaced in your house, even when it is cold outside, and the byproducts need to be exhausted out side to a safe point of disposal.

    The ventilation system is not only to rid your house of odors. With such a large stove capable of burning up to 200,000 BTU's of gas per hour ( the size of space heating/boiler/furnace unit for a 2000 square foot house, in the north east), you might also consider a system to automatically shuts the gas supply off in the event of a fire or an excess of carbon monoxide in the kitchen.

    Is the present gas piping in your house of adequate size, due to the increased load? Or do you have to change all of internal gas piping in your house? Change the main service line from your utility?

    When you install commercial equipment in a residential dwelling, you should consider the installation requirements of your local building code for a hybrid installation as such.

    In fact I have been a licensed Master Plumber since 1976 and have dealt with these questions for many clients over that time. You may find out that the associated costs for a commercial grade stove, bight be more than the unit itself.

    Please feel free to contact me if you need some clarification. My e-mail is listed on my profile page.

    6 Replies
    1. re: PHREDDY

      Well, the previous owners just converted from oil to gas last year to help sell the house. I recently had the installing company out for an estimate to convert from baseboard to forced air and had a long discussion with the guy about stove preferrences, so he knows what size etc. I'm going to have, he looked at the gas line (he thought a T was already there for a stove, but there isn't), and he didn't mention any issues. The gas line comes into the basement a few feet from where it needs to be brought up for the range, so extensive work to my knowlege. I can't have the line brought up until I have the heater stuff finished though, since there is currently baseboard -behind the stove- believe it or not. So first the baseboard has to go since that is exactly where the line must come up. Most likely will tack the gas line job onto the heat job while they are here.

      But aside from plumbing issues, do you have any insight on ranges that meet my criteria?

      1. re: PHREDDY

        Neither Bluestar nor Capital offer commercial stoves. They are UL certified residential stoves/ranges. Garland, a now completely separate company, offers commercial ranges with burners similar to Bluestar. And Capital's sister company Therma-Tek offers commercial ranges with burners similar to Capital Culinarian.

        Online I have talked to dozens of Bluestar and Capital Culinarian owners and none have required changing gas pipes to their homes.

        Best by Broan offers a $135 MUA module that will meet most MUA codes. And Modern-Aire now also offers an integrated MUA solution. These rangehoods go for a premium.

        1. re: DeeAgeaux

          You are not correct about Bluestar...Check their website and local building codes. Are you a licensed master plumber anywhere in the USA installing gas supply piping for cooking?

          Obviously the OP has had someone raised similar questions and their contractor doing some heating work has given them some information.

          By the way as licensed professionals provide facts first and opinions upon request.

          1. re: DeeAgeaux

            Do you understand the concept of make up air for combustion for an interior large consuming natural gas appliance?

            1. re: PHREDDY

              I did a kitchen expansion / re-do quite a few years ago and had to take into account every concern you have brought. You are 100% correct and its the law/code.

              There is a reason the run of the mill stove has limited total BTU output and it isn't to save money by building smaller burners. Once you exceed a certain BTU output, and I am sure as a licensed plumber you know the cutoff, all the enhanced exhaust & replenishment codes you mentioned come into effect.

              Much has been written about reversing the furnace chimney draft with extremely powerful range hoods which will introduce potentially lethal amounts of carbon monoxide into your living space.

              I am not saying don't do it KI KIF, just follow Phreddy's professional advice and follow the code to the letter. If that means waiting a while to save up more $$ than by all means wait.

              If your contractor does not know the code or says certain parts of it can be ignored, GET ANOTHER CONTRACTOR!

              1. re: Tom34

                Thank you for the recognition of elements that will help save a life...nothing more!

        2. I also immediately thought of ventilation. Usually overlooked. If you can, have an exterior fan mounted on the exhaust since noise level is a consideration.

          A home stove is a reflection of the cook. So if you do a lot of stews, soups, and broths, I would make sure one burner is capable of handling a 40 qt. stock pot. Is there the capability for an extended burner so you can have a griddle or flat top when needed?

          Easy to clean? Utilitarian looks, or eye candy?

          You have been through this before, so I am sure that you will be unhappy with whatever you decide on. And then learn to love your stove.

          1. Definitely room for big pots. Had a 6 burner plus grill before, found I never used the grill, always head outside even in the snow to grill outside. I'd rather have more burners available, no grill or griddle. Right now the little electric 4 burner I'm using puts meals on the table, but I often find the pots competing for space. Will be figuring out venting next but want to figure out range first so I can have the gas line brought up in the right spot. Good point about being unhappy with whatever choice at first, but I sure hope not. I'm guessing anything will be great after what I'm using now. My Thermador may have had issues (service guy out many times) and was noisy, but I sure have missed it since moving.

            1. I've been looking lately as well. If I went with gas, I think I'd get the new Bluestar Platinum.
              I'm thinking of going with induction and a set of wall ovens though, possibly one of the new zoneless units.

              1. I have had a self-clean 36" Captial Culinarian for over a year now.

                The only time I notice the fan noise is after I use the broiler or self-clean cycle. A fan separate from the convection fan turns on to cool the oven electronics. Other than that I have not noticed fan noise.

                A full size commercial sheet pan will fit the 36" oven as well as the large oven in the 48" Culinarian. A half sheet pan will fit the small oven in the 48" Bluestar but not the Culinarian. The Culinarian small oven will ,however, fit a slightly smaller and widely available jelly roll pan.

                I clean crumbs and debris off the cooktop about once a week. Grease/oil that lands on the grates I let patina over into a shiny black. I just changed the aluminum foil from the drip tray for the first time. A few crumbs and some dried drippings but not very dirty after cooking on my range an average of 12/week.

                Commodore Plaza45 Enon St.
                Beverly, MA 01915


                Eurostoves has live ranges and a cooking school. You can cook all day or several days on a Bluestar or Culinarian before deciding. No hard sell either. They have excellent customer service but standard UMRP pricing.