American or Capital freestanding range choice...
I have been shopping ranges. I live on the South Shore of Long Island on one of the outer barrier islands and Hurricane Sandy wiped out our first floor (and about 80% of our town). I need to decide on a new kitchen range and am frustrated by the lack of reviews for the large upscale ranges.
My previous range was a 48" DCS with the griddle and double ovens. While I had a fondness for it while it stood in a junk pile in front of my home (along with my walls, floor, and furniture), when I began shopping for a replacement, all of the annoyances I had with it came back to mind. Kind of like when you break up with your first boyfriend. You miss him and romanticize about the things you did when you were together, until you get him back and realize why you broke up with him in the first place.
My DCS never kept an accurate temperature in the oven, but I used a thermometer any way. The griddle didn't heat evenly, the drip pans around the burners tended to rust easily and the rubber grips on the feet of the grates disappeared rather quickly.
We cook two to three meals or more daily, an often for large crowds. We have a very large extended family and we like to entertain them and our friends. So it is not a show piece. It needs to be a workhorse. I also think I want to add the grill, so we don't have to keep running outside to the bar-b-q in rain, snow, sleet, etc.
I've narrowed it down to American Heritage 48 inch or Capital Culinarian also 48". After researching Wolf, Blue Star and Viking, they are all out. Wolf because there doesn't seem to be much value for the money, and no offense if you have it, I think it's just snob factor (red knobs and all.) What I have been able to read about Viking seems to be all bad, with a lot of talk about it being "way over rated". Blue Star seemed nice (especially the copper), and I've worked with Garland ranges and liked them in restaurants, but the reviews about service that I have read on here, along with the fact that the doors get very hot (I have a 5 year old and a 9 year old) made me very uncomfortable. The final nail in the coffin for the Blue Star was the 24" depth. My kitchen is already tricked out for the deeper range sizes normally associated with these big guys.
I like the rotisserie, and the 23k BTU's on all the burners on the Capital, but I like that there is a broiler and convection in both ovens on the American. Both can accommodate full sized commercial cooking pans (which I use regularly) and have wok ring accssories. The American offers a griddle accessory, (as well as a cutting board accessory),so I could get 6 burners and the grill with the griddle accessory. The Capital is self cleaning (which isn't a big deal to me. I didn't have any problems wiping up a mess in my DCS if one spilled over.) I think I would be happy with either of these.
I'm hoping all of you have American or Capital ranges will chime in here and let me know about your experience with these brands. Thanks for all of your help! I wait in hopeful anticipation.