Best Gas Range for $2-3k?

faulstrFebruary 19, 2014

We of course love the look of a professional range but realistic price range is probably more like $2-3000. This is for a new construction home so can still decide between 30 inch and 36 inch as we're designing the kitchen - again prefer the look of a 36 inch but not sure that will be in budget. Want gas burners but not as concerned if a gas or duel fuel. Probably want to avoid GE as we have a GE kitchen now and although no problems with our range, we have many problems with dishwasher and fridge. What ranges should be in our list to check out?

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M4rtin

Of course Bluestar RCS would be one of the main choices, there's simply so many users here with them and they're priced great.
I think also NXR from Costco starts getting popular as it's priced pretty good.
Also watched a video on Capital Coulinarian MCR304 on youtube, but I never actually read if this is any good.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 7:52PM
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jwvideo

Culinarians are priced way outside your budget.

BlueStar RCS is going to be beyond your budget unless the maker, Prizer Painter, runs another round of promotional pricing like it did last spring. The enforced retail price of 30" RCS models is usually around $3500, but last spring's promotional pricing had them right at $3k, the top end of your budget. (That was without the mandatory backsplash/vent and dleivery.) Costco.ca -- the online Costco site for Candians -- does offer a 30" Bluestar RCS for around $2400 plus Candian taxes but you don't save much, if any money, by having it freight forwarded to you in the US. I have no idea if Prizer-Painter (the manufacturer) will be doing anything similar this year, but you could ask around at dealers to see if anybody has heard anything.

The NXR ranges at Costco.com (i.e. online only) are currently running at $2k for the 30" model and $3k for the 36" model, both prices with free shipping to your curb. So, both are within your budget. If you search here at GW, you will find most postings are about the 30" models. Most of the posters here have been pleased.

But put that in some perspective. If your max budget is $2k (as mine was), an NXR can be very good bang-for the buck provided you are interested in a very basic, industrial looking "pro-style" type of range. It is kind of a niche product. If you are in the niche, it will appeal to you. If you are not, you won't like it. Buying an NXR is bit like buying a basic, rugged four-wheel drive vehicle with a manual transmission and manual locking hubs from the likes Huyndai or Kia. Very serviceable for those who want that kind of thing but it will not appeal to those seeking Mercedes or other high-end equipment nor appeal those who want conveniences like automatic transmissions, personal electronics, and such nor to those looking for high-mpg hybrid vehicles..

Note that some BlueStar and NXR owners have reported problems with warranty service, especially with rectifying shipping damage, and the time it takes in some instances to get things fixed (and sometimes it doesn't get fixed or replaced) That's a risk you have to take into account when buying from any brand with a small market share. It does not happen to everybody but it happens often enought that you have to consider it a factor. While numbers of otherwise reputable on-line dealers carry NXR ranges, most of them do not have Costco's full-refund satisfaction guarantee (bring it back if you just don't like it, never mind shipping defects or warranty issues.) So far, most of the reported problems have been shipping damage issues or "infant mortality" (failures right out of the box) where the Costco guaranty is likely to be most helpful.

Some folks here have posted about some of the Italian ranges, like the Bertazzonis, which are mostly available from dealers with large on-line presences. These are counter-depth units, so they have 5 burners topside and ovens that are pretty shallow and small by North American standards. IIRC, they run about $2500. If interested, you'd best do a search here on them as reviews have been mixed. Again, these are stoves that will appeal to some folks and not others.

For sleek looks, a better choice might be the Dacor 30" gas range which often runs as low as $2800 (though the post-president's sale prices now seem over $3k).. Like the NXR, it has some pros and cons, but might be good value for the money if you like a sleeker look with a "pro-style" burner layout. Bmorepanic bought one before Christmas and has a useful and detailed on-going review.

Bmorepanic also tried out the NXR but received a one with shipping damage whose eventual replacement was a similarly defective-out-of-the-box (seemingly recycled) unit. It was the fear of that kind of problem that led me me buy my NXR from Costco rather than one of the other dealers. While most people don't have those kinds of problem with new appliances, if you do run into that kind of issue, it can really put you off a brand. I'm guessing that something similar happened to you with GE, otherwise I might suggest you look at the GE Cafe ranges.

This post was edited by JWVideo on Sat, Feb 22, 14 at 12:09

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 7:11PM
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M4rtin

Are Capital more expensive now ?
I watched this video few months ago and now I see it's been recorder over a year ago, so maybe it's not sub 3k anymore.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luetineJ1KE

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 9:06AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Does that include your ventilation budget or is that separate? If you are in a cold climate, 3k won't begin to cover the ventilation needed with the makeup air and ERV that is required. So, you gotta look at the whole picture, not just the sexiest part of it. What good does it do to buy a high BTU range and not be able to use it effectively because you can't afford to vent it properly? Or, it's vented outside the code requirements and you backdraft your furnace and make your whole family sick?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 9:14AM
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jwvideo

M4rtin:

Are you maybe thinking of Captial's "Precision" line rather than their "Culinarian" line? The 30" Culinarians are priced north of $6000. AJ Madison currently lists the 30" Capital Precision at $3556, which is still above faulstr's budget. Seems to me that there was a thread here last year discussing the Precision ranges and whether it was worth buying a precision over GE Cafe, Dacor, etc. I recall that there was some kind of promotional price that took the 30" Precision down closer to $3k and that there was some trenchant analysis or comments from Deeageaux about Capital's Precision line. I'm not finding the thread now but I'll post the link if I do.

Faulstr:

Hollysprings makes a good point about considering ventillation. I want to expand on the points.

There is a very recent thread about using 300 CFM and 400 CFM hoods with a 30" Bluestar range and how that could be passable but still be below code thresholds for installing make-up air systems.

Curiously, codes don't require venting, they only specify MUA if you choose to to install venting. Further, only some locatities have MUA rules for residential kitchen ventiallation. Most localtties in the US do not.

But (or maybe BUT) just because your town might not require MUA or, if it does, just because your hood is below CFM threshold does not mean you can ignore MUA needs. We're talking the laws of physics here, not the laws of building codes. The point of MUA is to prevent the rangehood from backdrafting carbon monoxide from fixtures like gas water heaters, gas furnaces, wood stoves and fireplaces. Your new house is likely to be very tight, so MUA should be a concern regardless of what your local codes do or do not require..

MUA may or may not be expensive. The expense will depend on a lot of factors including the size and layout of the house and the location of furnaces, water heaters and etc. relative to the kitchen and, if you have codes, the flexibility of the requirements and the enforcers. For example, while I live in a very cold climate (Northern Rockies near Yellowstone), I was able to solve my MUA needs with some very simple venting to the furnace and water heater spaces. My cost was about $20 in materials. I did not have to install a complex MUA system with heat exchanging in the kitchen . If you live someplace that is warm most of the year, MUA might be as simple as opening a kitchen window. Your situation may be different, but you really should explore the issue. A search will turn up extensive discussions here that will help you navigate the concepts.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 11:58AM
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goodbyekitty

The induction range is looking better and better. I didn't realize that with a gas range I would have to factor in venting issues along with just hooking up a gas line. But this isn't "structural" work is it? Or are you just talking about replacing a range hood with powerful CFMs?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 1:32PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Mua has zero to do with method of cooking and everythig to do with venting. Restaurants that use indduction still have high CFM fans because they are cooking with those induction ranges. If you plan to cook, you will need to vent as well. And you may need MUA if that vent is actually powerful enough to deal with the byproducts of high heat or prolonged cooking. No one wants their home covered with greasy smelly dirt from cooking. That would be like coming home to cabbage and fish and french fries every day.

And while there may be locations within the US that do not have code enforcement, all 50 DO have some form of building code that must be certified to have been met in order for a building to receive a CO or homeowner's insurance. Don't confuse the fact that there isn't a sherrif's deputy behind every billboard to mean that there are no speed limits. Most states use either the 2012 version or a past past IRC and will phase in the 2012 when the next version comes out. 2012 DOES require MUA and has always incorporated appliance manufacturers installation and operating instructions as part of the code. It's taken a lot of builders and contractor's by surprise when the inspector red tags the project. Check with your local codes office for ANY home improvement Project while still in the planning stage in order to avoid ugly surprises at the last minute that can cost you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Building code adoptions

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 4:39PM
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