Some specific range questions
My wife and I are starting to build a new home and I'm in the mind-boggling process of range selection. What we're leaning toward is a 48 or 60" range - even though it's just the two of us, we frequently need two ovens and don't have the wall space for a wall-mount. We do a lot of broiling and roasting. We think a griddle would be used a lot. Whatever we get, it will have a charbroiler/grill feature (great for grilling veggies). Wok cooking is not really a concern (I'm getting an American Range 90k BTU wok burner for the outside kitchen), so uber-powerful burners are not a priority, but I'd rather have more BTUs than less. Open burners are fine. I've been looking at every conceivable brand but have mainly focused on Bluestar and Capital. I'm open to suggestion, though.
To help in my quest, I have some questions for the crowd here that I'd like to get input on.
First - the broiling issue. While I have had great experience with in-oven broilers (like the DCS ceramic broiler), I am drawn to the Bluestar Heritage Classic RNB with its combination of salamander and griddle. I am also considering a smaller range with a countertop Bluestar salamander. For those of you have have actually used the heritage classic griddle/salamander unit, how well does it work? Is the small 12" one (for the 48") sufficiently sized or should I really go with the 24" that's on the 60" range? Is the griddle mounted too high for a petite (5') chef?
Second - the construction/reliability issue. Based on anecdotal research here and on other discussion boards, Capital seems to have a bit of an advantage over Bluestar in terms of build quality and design. Their support seems to be lacking, though. BS, on the other hand, seems to have some build quality problems (igniters, adjustments, warping oven doors, etc.) but seem to have a slightly better support structure. I know every builder is going to have lemons and some transport damage problems, and you roll the dice on any purchase like this, but am I right in observing that there are basic build quality issues with Bluestar? Given that, how bad are they compared to the more known and distributed brands like Wolf, Viking, Thermador, et. al? Also, I used to have a DCS range that I loved. How has the quality been maintained since F&P bought them out and has Capital been a good evolution?
Third - the burner output issue. I know more BTUs are better, but how much difference are we really talking here between 15k, 17k, 22k, and 23k? It sounds like splitting hairs between the Wolf and the Capital in this regard, so it there a significant difference in performance when making dinner as opposed to making scientific evaluation?
Thanks in advance for your input.