Kitchen Ranges

Margaret2013February 23, 2013

Hi everyone. I'm new to this site. I'm remodeling my kitchen and am very excited to finally upgrade my appliances, including my range. I'm trying to determine the best range for my needs. I cook and entertain all the time. Every meal is pretty much from scratch. I'm eyeing the La Cornue Fe 1908, but I'm not positive a French Range is an absolute must for me. I love the French Plate, but I understand you can get that in a Wolf range. The 1908 has the vaulted oven -- I've never cooked with one -- is it really worth all the hype? Please let me know your thoughts! Thank you!

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Google is your friend:

When you're spending that much on a range, like with all luxury products, you are paying more for looks and the name than function. Thats not to say it won't function well. I am sure it performs beautifully, but does it perform 2x as well as a $7,000 range or 4x as well as a $3,500 range probably not. The law of diminishing returns applies, the more you spend the less you get for your money.

That not to say you shouldn't get it. Just be sure to have realistic expectations about what you are paying for.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 11:05PM
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1) A French range is not an absolute must for anyone.

2) IMO the best performing ranges this side of $25k are the Capital Culinarian and Bluestar RNB.

3) French Plate. Le Piano on the Wolf is only available in the 60" Wolf not the 36" range you are looking at. It is available on the "36 Bluestar RNB.

4) Ovens. The vaulted oven in the La Cornue is naturally self basting and has natural convection but not self clean. The Culinarian offers motorized rotisserie which is naturally self basting and offers convection. Bluestar has convection but not rotisserie/self basting or self-clean.

5) Burners. The open burners on the Bluestar/Culinarian are far superior to the La Cornue sealed burners. Not only in top end performance but the evenness of the heat across the pan.

6) Looks. La Cornue is downright sexy. Culinarian and Bluestar are good looking but maybe not "sex in the kitchen" looks of the French range. Bluestar available in stainless steel, 180 colors plus a limited edition copper range with French top and French door oven. Culinarian available in stainless plus the eight most popular range colors.

7) Price. You can get a fully loaded Culinarian or Bluestar for about half the price of the La Cornue. The base 36" models are significantly cheaper.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 4:44AM
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Thanks for the responses. I hadn't considered the Culinarian or the Bluestar, but since they have the french plate, I will check into them.

1 Like    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 5:33PM
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Thanks again to those who responded. I've done more research and I'm leaning toward the La Cornue Fe 1908. It has the vaulted oven and comes with the French Plaque, which makes it a better bargain than the Chateau 90 (though it's not hand made like the 90). For the money, the 1908 seems like the best bet. However, if money weren't an a problem, I'd go with the Chateau 120. Not only is it gorgeous, but it's functional as well. So, should I skimp, or go with the 40K Chateau 120? If it were a car, most people wouldn't think twice about it -- I use my car alot, but my passion is cooking. So . . .

any thoughts on how ridiculous it would be to pull the trigger on the Chateau 120?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 11:04PM
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You're paying a premium for style over function here.You can get the same or better functionality for thousands and thousands less. If you can afford it, and that's what you want, then go for it! But make sure that the rest of the kitchen lives up to the standard it sets. That means the right size and style of hood as well as everything else. A 40K range demands a 150K kitchen to surround it or it's a bit lost. Parking a Ferrari in a Section 8 apartment garage is probably not the wisest allocation of funds and probably makes the neighbors look at you with a lot of questions in their minds as to which particular brand of pharmaceuticals earned that jewel. ;^)

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 7:27AM
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Perhaps if the price gap is giving you pause, then your answer is to go with your first instinct.

BTW, I didn't see Lacanche on your list. There are a number of fans here.

As lwo so sagely points out, you'll need to make sure the rest of the kitchen and home matches the pricey range. Even with my lowly model, I find myself buying up in order to match the style and look of my choice.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 10:44AM
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All very good (and funny) advice. With regard to the LaCanche -- I love the look and I know it has a great following -- my issue is that there's no dealership in California and I'm worried that if there are service issues with it, it will turn into a nightmare. I'd also have to travel to Washington state to see it.

I'm going to eat a chicken cooked in the La Cornue vaulted oven tomorrow at Purcell Murray to see if it lives up to the hype and on Saturday I'm going to see a demo of the BlueStar range with the French Plaque. So, I guess I'm still in the research phase.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 11:44AM
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You might want to try calling Art Culinaire in Seattle if you think you might like the looks of the Lacanche. They were able to direct me to a chef here in Houston who has two and was willing to let me come look at them (and I actually ended up getting to take a cooking class on the Cluny). They might have someone similar in your area. I ended up decided on the Cornufe 110 because the looks of the Lacanche just didn't do it for me in person, but I would definitely recommend checking them both out.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 2:50PM
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I think Art Culinaire calls it their Ambassador program. I too probably would have given them stronger consideration if they had not been so far away and I had known about the program. I was also concerned with service; I figured between Purcell Murray and Williams Sonoma, there had to be plenty of people in NorCal who could service my low end product.

If you are in the Bay Area, I see they have a La Cornue "product education" class coming up.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 3:01PM
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Thanks for the responses. Gooster, I really love the look of the 110. I like the double door look better than the 1908 single door look. My concern is that the ovens are too small. Have you had any issues with them?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 6:44PM
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I am still anxiously awaiting installation and have the 90. The ovens are the big concern, but at least with the single door you have the width.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 11:46AM
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I completed my research and after watching a demonstration of the 1908 and eating a chicken cooked in it, I decided that it wasn't worth an extra 6K. So, I'm going with the 110 with the french plaque. I really did consider the Chateau line, but in the end I thought it would be out of place in a 100K kitchen and it would have swallowed up most of the budget. I didn't seriously consider the LaCanche because they don't have a dealer in CA and I like the looks of the 110 better.

Thanks everyone for the help in making the decision.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 12:41PM
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