bluestar vs thermador 36' range

victoriajaneFebruary 5, 2009

If anyone can stand another thread re: BS, please chime in!

There are many threads comparing BS to American, Wolf, DCS. Almost nothing comparing to a Thermador. Has Thermador fallen completely by the wayside? I've been doing a lot of research on ranges , and what I like about the Thermador Pro Grand is: large oven, adequate burners (all the same - keeps things simple) , stainless top, self-cleaning, and good looking as well. It also has the "star burners" which are so highly touted, but as I understand it, since the burners are sealed, the point of star burners is moot, since the sealed configuration won't distribute the flame the way the open star burners do (if I am misinformed on this, I would appreciate being enlightened.) But mostly I would love it if someone could give me specific, concrete information re: why I shouldn't get a Thermador.

In the meantime, the BS keeps tempting me. Mostly I love the no-gizmos aspect of it... of course the burners win pretty much any contest, but I have reservations about the oven. We love to bake, especially pies. The large capacity oven is great but I haven't heard much about the oven performance, and whether it can be considered "true" convection. For someone who is more of a baker than a wok-er, is the BS a bad choice? Thanks in advance for any information re: my questions about the BS and Thermador!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"True Convection" is a term usually reserved for electric heating elements behind the fan. So most gas ovens would not have "true convection". They do have a convection fan that draws the heat from the bottom and circulates it.

All I know about the Thermador Pro Grand is that it's a deeper range (by 3 inches)- and is available as dual-fuel as well as all gas. I've seen them in stores, and they look very impressive. Don't know much about their baking abilities. Some Thermador simmer burners click on and off to keep the temperature low.

Here is a link that might be useful: More than you want to know about convection

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 12:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

did you decide which way to go here? i am also researching 36" ranges, Thermador Pro Grand, in particular. While I also like the star burners and large, dual fuel oven, I have read quite few complaints about Thermadors, which makes me nervous.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 8:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We've corresponded on earlier posts, I too am considering the Blue Star range.

My husband works with a woman who's husband recently retired from managing a large appliance store. He worked there for 30 years so has a ton of knowledge. I've been emailing him asking him questions about the Bluestar range and other appliances I am considering.

Here's a quote from an email he sent regarding the Bluestar when I asked him about it: "Well you probably just touched on one of my favorite gas ranges ever.Keep in mind that this is an all gas range with no self cleaning oven.The oven door tends to get a little warmer than most of the competition. This is no big deal.The burners on this range are by far the best burners in the industry.The oven is as good as anything in gas out there or better. The broiler is made like a restaurant broiler with ceramic and not simply infrared elements. Mind you I'm not a big fan of electric ovens anyway.They're good for baking pies,cakes etc.We were selling these ranges long before most other dealers even knew what they were. Blue star is made in PA and is as close to a commercial range as you'll get for residential use.I tested their 22K burner alongside a powerful induction burner for speed and the blue star just kicked a--."

My plan is to have the bluestar range as well as an electric wall oven. Is this an option for you? I too have been trying to get information about gas versus electric for ovens as I've heard that electric is better for baking. Some of the posts I've found say that gas is better for pies and breads but electric is better for cakes and cookies. I'm not a professional chef, just love to cook so not sure that I will notice a true difference between gas/electric oven. The oven I cook in now is gas but it's in a rental apartment so the quality is so bad it's hard to judge.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 9:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

thanks alexr.
trixie and andy, I just went out to the local dealer to see a Blue Star in person. I really was hoping this was the range for me. Unfortunately, I had a strong visceral reaction to the cast iron grates and bowls that set my teeth on edge. Similar to fingernails on a chalkboard or the cotton in an aspirin bottle. Sounds silly, but the thought of lifting those bowls and loading them in and out of the dishwasher was more than I could bear. I will only be looking at stainless steel tops from now on. But other than that, it seems like a great range, so I hope that works for you, andy. We do not have room for any wall ovens, but I have decided that a gas oven will be fine any type of cooking/baking I will be doing. trixie, I am still leaning toward the Thermador Pro Grand. Thermador is having a promotion right now where you get a free dishwasher with the purchase of a range, so that is an added incentive.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 12:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

thanks for all the info.... after reading up on brands a little more, we are now researching the American Range. it's less frills than the Thermador, but seems really reliable and they provide good service if needed. Now, just trying to find a local retailer that may have one in stock to see... not been easy! We have a 25 year old commercial grade Vulcan that is dying....

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 1:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There are many a rabid fan of the Blue Star range at this site, but I am not one of them, even though I have had one for three years.
Your concerns about the cast bowls and grates is legitimate.
They are heavy,awkward and could cause damage to counter tops, floors, the dishwasher or to your toes if you drop one.
After you get done pulling those out for cleaning you are left with whatever crumbs and grease worked its way on to the supporting sheet metal frame,which has some sharp sheet metal screwsand edges.

The oven has a long pre-heat time and because it is gas, you need to have the exhaust fan cranking as soon as you light it. the convection fan is loud and reverberates if you have a rack pushed against it. The oven is nice and large, but the fact that it has to be cleaned manually with some pretty strong chemicals to dissolve the burned grease. make me rethink why I got a non-self-cleaning oven

Thermador has a more basic 6 burner model that I would look at or I would consider that 36" Fisher Paykl model which is few grand less.

Blue star is a good choice for professional chefs who don't mind the manual cleaning and have use for the extra btus (22k) that two of the burners have. The wok capability is also very useful. As far as simplicity of design, that is a red herring. The electronic ignition system and the igniters are not as reliable or durable as the price of the Blue Star would lead you to believe they would be.

If you still have doubts, look at a Blue Star 6 burner and lift out all six grates, the six rings and the six burner bowls and carry them over someplace. Then go get them and set them all back in place like you would after you cleaned them. If that is no problem for you and you can see yourself doing that, cleaning inside under those and of course,manually spraying and cleaning the oven, the Blue Star might be a good choice for you.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 3:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Victoriajane, I kind of felt that way the first time I saw the BlueStar range, but that just reinforced for me that this IS a professional range with high BTUs as well as a scant simmer and will produce a fantastic meal that any home chef can be proud of. If you could see a cooking demo with this range in action, I think you might change your mind. I also just cleaned my bowls and grates yesterday. Although they are heavier than my prior stainless ones, they clean up so much easier. I don't use the dishwasher, but just pop them into my sink. The hot, soapy water removes most of the soil and a light scrub with a heavy duty plastic Scotchbrite scrubber removes any stubborn debris. No cramped fingers from trying to get every bit of cooked on grease off my former stainless steel surfaces. I give this range heavy use, so I do wipe off the cooking surfaces as I go, but in 5 months use this is only the 3rd time I've had to actually wash my grates & bowls. Since the range is prominently displayed in my kitchen, it gets a lot of notice from guests. They've all thought my BlueStar was awesome. Good luck on your search, just wanted to let you know some positive experience with BlueStar.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 4:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I got a BlueStar 36" last year and have been loving it.

As to the weight of the grates and burner bowls, think of it as a way to skip the weight training. As far as the look of the thing? Well, it's a tool for cooking.

Cleaning the oven? Done it twice this year. And how clean does an oven have to be anyway? Self cleaning ovens destroy themselves.

Dual fuel concerns? Been there, done that, sold the Dacor on EBay to someone who wanted decor over cooking.

But if you're looking for bright, shiny things don't buy a BlueStar. It's just a big old box of fire.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 10:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I actually like the looks of the Bluestar. I was not turned off by its looks in the slightest. And if it were just the weight of the bowls and grates, that would not be a problem either. What I meant when I said I had a negative reaction to the cast iron bowls was that I literally was unable to touch them. Have you ever had that feeling when you are eating an italian ice with those little wooden spoons, like your teeth are vibrating? (please don't tell me it's just me.) Anyway, cooking would probably have been fine but taking them on and off the stove to clean - no way. Wasn't going to happen. But I am certainly not trying to dissuade anyone from buying a Bluestar - I'm sure it's a great range, it's just not the right range for me.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 10:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with Phillycook pretty much. If someone worries about some grease smell, drippings and crumbs that fall through the cast iron bowls or an oven that does not self clean itself,you probably should look for another brand.

For Pro chefs and people who cook all the time or cook for a lot of people or for those who do not need to have a perfectly shiny range, the BS is something to consider.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 12:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Victoriajane. Too bad the Bluestar didn't work out for you. Don't be fooled by the star shaped burners on the Thermador...they are nothing like the burners on the Bluestar and don't heat as evenly as they claim. A while back there were also many complaints about the loud fan noise when the oven was on (and not just convection...the fan runs to keep the electronics cool). Between the burners and the oven noise, we crossed them off our list very early in the game.

Have you looked at the Capital Precision Range. It's not only beautiful but is packed with features like a self clean gas oven, motorized rotisserie, EZ glide racks (which I have in my DCS and they are wonderful...don't know how I'll adjust to the horrible ones in the new Lacanche) and you can get the five burner configuration you like (the middle burner is a 30K btu wok burner!). When I was researching ranges (before I decided to go for induction which I was eventually over-ruled on; DH wants fire) the Capital was brand new so I didn't consider it but since then many people have reported that they are quite happy with them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Capital 36

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 6:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

thanks for the tip, cheri, I will definitely take a look.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 9:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Victoriajane, at one point Bluestar was offering a glossy grate option for those who did not like the matte, cast-iron-type grates. I don't know if they still do, but if you are interested in the cooking capabilities of the BS it is probably worth a call.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 1:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

morton, that's right, I had forgotten all about that option. It would definitely solve my "nails on the chalkboard" aversion to the cast iron. I think on another thread someone recommended the matte finish because the glossy shows dirt/imperfections more easily. Then when I was at the bluestar showroom the saleswoman didn't mention the glossy option and I didn't think to ask. But definitely a possibility. thanks!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 2:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Curious what the ultimate decision was?? I own a 36" Thermador cooktop and a I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. Really like the smaller burners and the simmer feature is fantastic, I use it all the time. I am moving, and need to buy a new range. My issue is I want a bigger griddle. I bought the thermador griddle accessory that fits in the middle, over the big burner, but it doesn't fit very well. Maybe it's that my cooktop is the oldest of the 3 it fits on? I was looking at the 48", but was very disappointed to see that it doesn't have any small burners, they are all the big ones. Which doesn't work well with the way I cook, they are too big for my teapot and smaller pans. Any thoughts?

    Bookmark   November 1, 2014 at 12:49PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Viking open burner advice needed
I have a chance to buy a Viking open burner 36"...
Fhiaba column refrigerator freezer anyone?
Has anyone seen these in person or have in their kitchen?...
Difference between advantium and convection microwave
I had almost decided on the ge advantium (monogram)...
Bluestar electric French door installed
It's installed. Electrical not hooked up yet (see the...
Debbi Branka
Dishwasher drawer...who has one?
Do you like it? Any info appreciated.
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™