BlueStar RCS help?

lambieFebruary 16, 2011


The other day I purchased the 36" BlueStar RCS366BCN range from Costco, it was a great price. I was giddy until I opened the box and read the documentation; it turns out the Costco and BlueStar websites are inaccurate; they clearly state that the range possesses one 18,000 BTU burner, but it turns out that my range only has 15,000 BTU burners all around.

I asked Costco and they were clueless about it, so I called the local BlueStar distributor to see if they knew anything. The confirmed that all the RCS ranges that are sold in BC are shipped with 15,000 BTU burners. But he also told me that a conversion kit to 18,000BTU can be purchased from the manufacturer directly and installed by a professional.

I called BlueStar directly; they told me they indeed have the kit but they can't ship it to Canada. And told me to contact the distributor/retailers in my area. I called the local retailer they told me they can't sell me the conversion kit because I didn't purchase my range from them. The distributor was no help either; they don't deal with individual customers. So basically I'm screwed... Is my only choice to pay for shipping a 400 pound range back to Costco to return it?!

Any advice?!?!

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Costco is your retailer - can you get them to order the kit for you? Your other alternative (besides returning the range) seems to be to live with 15K burners. For most things you won't notice the difference.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 10:29PM
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Yeah, I'm hoping I can convince them to do so, but I'm not sure if such a huge corporation would do something for me. Unfortunately, I do quite a bit of wok cooking; I know i should've got the RNB series instead in that case, but they were way out of our price range. I have heard while the 18k btu may not be as good as the 22k; it's still pretty decent at it.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 11:47PM
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If you go onto Bluestar the ranges list the rcs both 30 & 36 as having 18,000 btu burner, it should be the right front burner

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 3:44PM
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These RCS ranges are bought in quantity with their own spec, and so may not match the spec listed at Bluestar. The distributor, or Costco pre-buy a certain number of ranges and they may or may not have the standard RCS specs.

The standard RCS is sold one at a time and can be modified- these 'promotional' ranges are bought by the distributor in a batch, and have to be payed for in advance- it keeps the factory busy, and the distributor gets a lower price, but obviously has to sell them. They have to convince the Retailers to buy them in advance as well.

It's a great deal for the customer as long as they're not too picky.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 6:40PM
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I have the RCS. The 18K burner does make quite a difference.

If Bluestar's objection is shipping to Canada, call them back and tell them to ship it to you in the United States. Use this place or something similar. Bluestar is shipping to a US address, and you don't even have to fight the border hassles. They will just ship it to you.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 8:57PM
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lambie, all is not lost. Have BlueStar ship you the conversion kit to the US and pick it up yourself, assuming you have a passport or enhanced driver's license to cross the border. I live in BC myself and often pick up items at Point Roberts, WA. It is a 30 to 45 minute drive from the Lower Mainland.

You can use The Letter Carrier or TSB Shipping. You have the package sent to either of these businesses, addressed to you. Make sure you register at their website so you get an email confirmation that your package has arrived. You pick it up and pay a small fee depending on the weight. Most of the time, under $100 you don't get charged taxes.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 7:29AM
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I'm not sure it's an issue with the shipping across the border, the BlueStar representative I spoke to made it sound more like they don't cater to Canadian customers. I called Costco...they were useless, they weren't even willing to reimburse shipping to return it. My only hope is that I can find a RCS owner willing to help me order it. What a nightmare!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 1:40PM
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Click my username to go the "my page" link. You can contact me through that.

You tell me the part number you want ordered, paypal me the dough (+ all fees and enough to cover shipping to you) and I will order it and have it sent to me. Once it arrives, I will relabel it and send it to you. I don't mind helping you out so long as you bear all the costs for the item and all the shipping and taxes. BTW, I am about to take off for Laughlin, NV on my bike and will be incommunicado for the rest of the day. I will have email over there, but the soonest I could order it would be Monday and the soonest you will hear back from me is late this afternoon California time, or tonight.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 2:32PM
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Seems you have the best offer possible -- somebody who will take care of this for you.

Failing that, the only thing that I can think is that various versions of circling back to try again might work. With the distributor: it may be that there's a restaurant supply shop that would deal with you. With BS, it may be that another e-mail, to both sales and service, plus a letter (hardcopy), detailing your situation, sales information, serial #, etc., might find its way to somebody who can help. Many companies have SOPs that work for them and the large majority of their customers, but leave certain individuals to fall through the cracks -- in some cases, there's somebody who is capable of, and willing to, find a solution, and it's just a question of finding that person.

Re the searing comment -- heck yeah you can sear with 15k btu burners. There's always the question how much, how fast, etc. I've plunked down my money and await the larger RNB burners to see what I can do with them. But as most likely know, one can sear steaks or scallops or etc. without the high-powered open burner. A good pan is a great help. Allowing the pan to get good and hot in advance, good ingredients, well spaced, etc. -- it's not rocket surgery. Works with the old profile that's on the way out; and sure ought to work with the RCS.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 10:14AM
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Hey GWers,

I would just like to post an update; I took up Mojavean's offer of helping me order the conversion kit, and let me just say I am so grateful for his help and his kindness. I'll try and install the kit ASAP, the 15k's just aren't cutting it for wok cooking. Anyways, thanks for all the help and care!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 5:33PM
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Howdy, Lambie. I hope you will let us all know how you like the performance of the burner upgrade.

I note that the Bluestar site continues to claim that the RCS features an 18k burner, but when you get inside the model-specific pages that claim evaporates. I can see how it could be confusing to potential buyers of these ranges.

Basically, I would not buy one unless I had a tracking number from Bluestar on the upgraded burner first.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 9:44AM
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mojavean-that was a really nice offer you made to lambie.

A US virtual address is a great idea for a lot of Canadians too. We get screwed on a lot of things here north of the border. Common already, when is this 51st state thing going to materialize?!? lol

As far as the Costo RCS goes, it is a fantastic deal. I am not sure but the price may have went up but my friend bought one about 6 months ago for $1900. It doesn't have an 18k burner or the cast iron center piece (between burners) but it has the convection and the broiler. If you really want to turn your RCS into an RNB get two 22k kits plus that cast iron center piece...youd have an RNB for probably less than 3k

lambie- How much did you get your Costco RCS for?

mojavean or lambie - how much did all the parts cost needed to hotrod the rcs?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 1:12PM
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The parts alone are 92 bucks. The two shipments (Bluestar to me then me to Canada) ran 35 altogether. I do not know if Lambie had to pay additional duty or taxes on the shipment. He does have the parts in hand now and I hope he will soon report back with news of a successful intall and woks of deliciousness ensuing.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 2:24PM
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omg.....that is so cheap!! So if you can still score a costco RCS for $1900 you could easily hot rod it into a full blown RNB for less than $2500....WOW!!!!! After the warranty is up on my buddies Costco RCS, I am going to suggest he gets at least one 22k burner.

mojavean, thanks again for the awesome info.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 11:33PM
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I purchased my RCS366BCN at Costco for $2799.99 CAD plus HST, not including delivery which is a great deal; the local BS retailer quoted me $3899.99 CAD plust HST for the exact same range. Although I'm sure I could've had him lower the price a couple hundred of dollars but no where near the $1100 price difference between Costco and them.

I believe the 30" RCS was selling at Costco for $1800-2000 CAD, but weren't available in my area. Apparently all the RCS ranges in BC ship with convection and 1850 degree broiler.

My gas appliance guy is apparently backlogged so we'll have to wait a while for him to come around and install the burner. But thanks again mojavean, a BS just isn't really a BS without a high power burner.

I did have to pay a C.O.D. of around $30 for brokerage, duty etc. but it's a small price to pay for something that BS wouldn't even sell me. Also, according to the local BS dealer; they would've charged with $150 for the kit anyways so I spent the same amount. Unfortunately that dealer refused to sell me the kit even if I was willing to pay them way above cost.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 1:58PM
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lambie-I am really glad that you are happy that you have found a are correct that a Bluestar isn't really a Blustar without at least one high power burner.

My friend is going to be pretty happy, cause he bought the Costco unit for $1900 and it did include the convection and broiler. I was talking to him about mojaveans upgrade and I think he is on board. If your 22k burner has not been installed yet, I would put forward the suggestion that you put the 22k in front of the simmer burner....that way you have two 15k burners in a row which would make for better control if you wanted to put a cast iron grill or griddle straddling the two burners.

I am sure many people would love to see how your upgrade goes. Please update us as soon as you have the burners installed and working.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 5:00AM
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tyguy, Lambie's range is the 36" model with 6 hobs. You are really better off, in that configuration, to put the big burner at the opposite corner from the 8k burner. My RCS came with the 18K (now 22K thanks to my hotrod mod) burner front right side and 8k mini-burner at the rear left.

The reason for this is you will likely want to make use of the simmer function for one dish (keeping a sauce at serving temp, for instance) while using the big burner to prepare something else. The lowest chance of interference (from using a large skillet, let's say, like my 7.5 quart non-stick mohuncher) is when you have your simmering going on at the opposite corner.

Note, this still leaves the middle burners at 15k front and rear if you want that degree of uniformity for a griddle.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 1:14PM
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Does Costco in the US sell BS? They are not up on the site.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 4:06PM
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Only in Canada as far as I know. In the past they were only available in store. Now, they have the 36" listed on the Costco Canada website.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 10:28PM
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wow!! I did not realize they had 36" models now. All I can say is this is a steal, particularly with majaveans hotrodding.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 1:55AM
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Hey GWers,

Sorry for the late reply; I've been busy with work lately, but here's an update; the BS technician finally had time to come around and install the 18k burner. What a HUGE difference it made when boiling water or wok cooking; when adding food to a hot wok; the heat is a lot more consistent. Thanks again Mojavean for the huge favour.

Before; with the 15k burner; when you add cold food into the hot wok; there is a discernable dip in heat and more watery ingredients such as eggplant start to sweat and braise vs. sear. Now, with the 18k; the decrease in heat is significantly decreased and only really obvious when cooking a particularly large amount of food. Another notable difference is searing protein is a lot more effective; with the 15k burners I had to use thicker cast iron pieces and allow them to heat up quite a bit before searing. With the 18k; I can use fry pans, saute pans, whatever and still get the same results.

I thought about the 22k upgrade, but I decided I would try out the 18k first, and so far it's been great so I don't see a need for it in the immediate future. Furthermore, I haven't used anything nearly as powerful in the past, so I'll have to probably get used to it first before even thinking about upgrading to the 22k.

Anyways, thanks for reading! Thanks again mojavean.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 3:02AM
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Lambie, thanks for the report. Glad you are pleased with the upgrade, I reckoned you would notice quite an improvement. Best wishes and enjoy the range.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 10:50AM
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I'm thinking of getting a 30" RCS and have been having similar confusion about what the model offers. The BlueStar company rep told me the model I was looking at had only 15K burners, but the dealer says when he called with the specific serial number of the range he has in the store, he was told the front right burner is 18K. Is there a way to tell just by looking? Also, lambie and mojavean, did you get the wok ring or do you just remove the grate and use the wok right on the burner as BlueStar suggests one might do? Thank you for the helpful posts, nabq

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 4:05PM
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I believe the newer model RCS has only 15k burners and doesn't have the slotted vents on the bottom of the unit. Blue Star emblem is also not as apparent.

It bothers me that companies can't keep their web sites up to date...Example..RCS product brochure on web site shows older model, but also states 3 15k burners. Website also shows older model and states 1 18k burner, which is correct....but if someone gets a newer model, they will only get the 15k burners. Confusing, but doesn't have to be so.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 6:14PM
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nabq "Is there a way to tell just by looking?"
(To differentiate ((tell the difference)) between the
15K and the 18K Blue Star Burners.


The 18K burners have a double set of flame holes on the eight fingers of the burners, instead of one row.

This was in a previous thread about the Blue Star Range.

nabq-----You may want to type Blue Star in the BOTTOM search box on the main appliance page----You will probably find more info there than you could possibly Digest!

Good Luck! And be sure to start "Lifting weighs" before you buy the Blue Star---(To get into the Oven) (LOL)


    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 7:09PM
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Hi Nabq,

I can understand what you are suffering through. I spoke to my local BS distributor; he informed me that all RCS now ship with 15k burners only; but if you purchase from a retailer and not Costco; you can also purchase a upgrade kit to upgrade it to 18k.

I believe instead of getting the 18k burner; the newer RCS' come standard with convection fan. Although the distributor said this may only apply to our area as it really depends on what the distributor specifies when they order a batch. Maybe BS is differentiating the RCS and RNB lines more by deleting the 18k as standard equipment?

Theplayer is correct; the newer RCS ranges don't have the slots in the kick plate and the Bluestar logo is etched instead of a pressed logo. The control panel is also different; one piece now.

As dodge59 has said; the difference between the 18k and 15 btu burner is the amount of orifices for the flames. The 15k only has orifices on the level surfaces on the 'arms' of the star shape. Meanwhile the 18k burner has orifices on the beveled edges of the 'arms' of the star shape.

A quick glance at the 18k burner and it looks kind of like the simmer burner because the orifices on the 'arms' are kind of hidden by the shadow on the beveled edges.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 2:49AM
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I am also considering a Costco BS, the price is just too good. That said I am wondering about ordering the burner upgrade from the US. As good as the price is having all 15K burners might be a deal breaker if I can't work around that.

Mojavean when you ordered from BS did they ask you for any specifics about the range, like a serial number or proof of purchase or anything to confirm it was purchased in the US? I am going to get my snowbirds to look into this, but want to prepare them for any hiccups. :)


    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 6:23PM
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Liz931 - did you get any further with your plans to get the Costco Bluestar (36"?)?

Just curious, as we're considering getting it, too, and I chatted on the phone with the (really nice and helpful) Bluestar people recently. Didn't know about asking about re-fitting with the 18k btu burner, though!

It does seem to be such a good deal, though: our local dealer charges $6,350 for the RNB, PLUS shipping/installation ($500).

That's a HUGE difference - more than double, in fact.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 5:22PM
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I am new to this forum simply b/c I'm looking into getting BS RCS 30". Couple questions for those that have prior experience in this unit.

1) Can this unit be "hot rod" to 22K burner and if so, how much is the kit. I called BS last week and they would ship to Canada but would not sell unless the customer actually bought the RNB unit. The rational they gave was that the kit is only few bucks but that conversion will effectively allow customer avoid paying the higher price and performance RNB model.

2) Does the oven door get really hot? One youtube showed the water was evaporating when water was spread onto the oven door.

Thanks in advance for your help.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 1:41PM
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Good luck they have over a barrel plus some claim if a fire were to occur after mod it could be a problem. I think they require a serial number to provide parts..

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 4:00PM
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Unfortunately Mojavean was kicked from Gardenweb and I believe Chowhound too, for supporting a customer that had a complaint with a Blue Star Range.

That was a couple of years ago now. It was really a shame as Mojavean possesses a great sence of humor and as ya saw, He was a lot of help to a lot of folks here.

He does have his own blog, and He would probably enjoy hearing from some of you folks. I've been to the blog a time or two, but the blog is mostly political in nature, with appliances being somewhat of a sideline (at least to me), so I don't go there often as I have tried to give up "Politics" and keep my blood pressure normal, (so far that works).

Mojavean and I, even thou completely different (Politically) were great friends.

If you search for "mojavean" at the bottom of the main appliance page, I think you will find in one of his posts, the link to his new blog (well a couple of years old now).

If you can't find it, holler and I will, and will post it, but I "Might be" joining him as far as being "Incognito" here (LOL)


    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 6:22PM
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Could you post the link to mojavean's blog? I can't understand how GW would ban someone whose posts are very informative and useful.


    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 1:31AM
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