Breezy's CC simmer fixin' journey

breezygirlMarch 23, 2012

I am compiling a record of dates, phone calls, and emails for my own use to track my journey towards resolving my inability to simmer on my CC. I thought it might be at least mildly helpful to share it here for others in the same boat or for those considering a future CC purchase.


* 36" 6 burner rangetop

* Natural gas

* Installed Nov. 2012

* Screwdriver adjustments attempted by me on two burners in late Feb without enough success to simmer on the lowest setting without clicking


Called and spoke with Bob Waymire at Capital. Upon explaining my inability to adjust the burner low enough to get anything other than a rapid boil, he suggested maybe something needed to be adjusted with the ground or that the modules might need to be changed. I freely admit I am not of a technical/engineering-gas-cooker mind so I haven't a clue what that means. Bob will set up service and call me back.

During our talk, I tried to emphasize just what an issue this is for owners and particularly for future owners following our discussions with impending range ordering deadlines looming. I suggested that a fix for what is beginning to be perceived, rightly or wrongly, as a major problem by many on GW (Kitchen forum members have been commenting on a thread there as well) would go a long ways towards garnering future business.


Still no call back from Bob. I emailed Capital's head engineer Joey Kitabayashi that evening.


Joey both emailed and called me early morning. He queried me about what and how I cook, what types of food aren't simmering, etc. Because the simmering troubles some are reporting, he's been doing his own research with actual food (as opposed to the water boil test) to see how the burners function. He came across as earnest and sincere in wanting to help Capital's customers.

Joey said, and please don't quote me verbatim on this as I can't find my short hand note and am very tired, that he's not sure the burners as currently designed can attain a low enough simmer over a multi-hour cook to make all customers happy. His goal is that he can find a way to have all burners adjusted so each can attain low simmer. In the absence of that achievement, we discussed what I would consider to be the best fix for me--a dedicated, smaller 8K BTU simmer burner or a simmer plate he's been working on of his own design. I expressed my doubts, based on the mulitple plate designs reported as failures here by members, that one could be engineered to direct that much heat away from the pan. I told him I chose the CC partly based on not wanting to shift pans around, but that I would gladly accept an 8K burner for simmering if the burners, as is, couldn't be lowered enough.

As for a tech visit, Joey is working on a new set of burner adjustment directions for techs in the field based on his personal experience with Aliris's range at her last service call. Those should be completed in the next couple of days, and then my service will be scheduled.


In the wee hours of the morning I emailed Joey thanking him for following up with me. Joey being a curious engineer and me trying to get my point across about what a hot topic (ha!) the simmer is on GW, I linked Billy's hotrodded (or should I say low-rodded??) burner thread.

And as an aside, mentioned that I'm suprised no one at Capital has made an effort to reach out to the GW community, a fairly influential site, as a show of good customer relations to owners and to those making an imminent range decision.


Emailed Joey to request the new burner grate supports to regulate the uneven grate spacing, as seen on this thread:


Reply from Joey:

"I appreciate your comments and recommendations as they provide insight into what our customers are thinking and feeling. I have been really trying to get time to establish a voice on GW but can't yet generate enough time in the day. We continue to work on finding the best permanent solution to let all users have an ultra low simmer but I don't yet have a firm leader in the race."

Also, Joey will speak to Service about my need for the new grate supports.


Received email from Capital's Bob saying the parts Joey requested for me have been ordered. One of those coveted and hard to find anorexic screwdrivers will be included! Bob requested I let him know when I've received the package so he can schedule a service call with a local appliance serviceman. Coincidentally, the serviceman is the same I randomly hired to look at my washing machine when it wouldn't work upon hooking it up after a year of sitting in a dusty garage when we moved back into the house after the reno. So at least I'm familiar with the guy. And he did ask to peak at the new kitchen on his way out the front door.

That's my status. Is this helpful to anyone? I don't want to take up forum space if it seems like I'm merely whining. I can update as things unfold if appropriate.

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Thanks, Breezy. I, for one, really appreciate your doing this. I am still closely following this issue as my decision point nears. I plan to get the same rangetop that you have, and will probably move ahead with the purchase under the assumption that there is a fix out there for those who are persistent enough. I sure would love a dedicated simmer burner, though. If I had that reassurance, my decision would be a no-brainer.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 9:48AM
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Breezy - bummer as I know you investigate everything!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 7:54PM
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Hi Breezy

Thank you. I am pretty much in the same situation with respect to simmer. Joey has sent my technician step wise instructions on how to adjust. They are coming on Tuesday. Good luck with your adjustment. I hope we can finally put this issue on the back burner for a long slow simmer!

Warm regards (no pun intended) MM

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 7:59PM
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Very detailed. Should your installation date be 2011?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 8:30PM
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I got my replacement drip trays and grate support bars today. As well as the screwdriver :). Mine did come with two sets of instructions. One was the ones I got previously, for adjusting the simmer adjustment, ala the screwdriver behind the knobs. Also included was directions for adjusting the flame. This involves the air shutters and or cleaning the electrode. I imagine this is the instructions that Joey was working on. If I have time this weekend I'll play around with these. Will start cooking on mine this week.

I just installed the new trays and supports. It does keep things more aligned but buy no means are they "locked in place". There still is movement but very little side to side but still front/back. But much beter.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 9:31PM
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Breezy, this is great! I've been *wondering* about how you were coming along on this. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you. And BTW, I received that service bulletin. I think it's not quite detailed enough, but the truth of the matter is, while intimidating, doing that actual air-adjustment and anorexic-fiddling is really simple. I get it that clearing the decks of dependents makes nothing simple. Still ...

Let us know how the service goes!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 9:34PM
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I was fiddling with service bulletins instructions and the air shutters. Did you have lifting on the flame on high prior to Joey making adjustments? Otherwise, the service bulletin strictly discusses adjusting air shutter and not how this relates or affects the low simmer, unless the sent me a different instruction page.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 8:58AM
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Good morning todds

I have lifting on high. Service is coming back tomorrow to adjust simmer for the second time. I think that adjusting the flame is part of the process but I will observe what they do tomorrow.


    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 9:46AM
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Hi todds - Yes, the flames on mine were lifting. They adjusted the air to stop that. And then afterwards fiddled with the simmer. I think the simmer will not get low enough if the air mixture is high, as evidenced by that lifting.

That's my understanding at least!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 3:32PM
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I know we got like 15 of the CC threads going and I don't want to derail Breezy's too much :).

I will play around with mine tonight. Of course I had the whole thing apart yesterday when cleaning up the sauce splatter from making skillet lasagna. I tried moving some of the air shutters last night and really wasn't seeing that much of a difference unless I went to full close. I did re watch Trevor's video right after I made the post above and I can see that no lights or very low lighting will help with the flame adjustment. Its hard to make things out otherwise.

Also, I can see my Modernaire vent fan has an affect on the flame as well. I can see the draw possibly affecting how low the simmer can go before clicking. Especially if a pan is not over the flame. Not sure if it affects the air mixture but will turn off the vent fan after I get one adjusted and see. If that fan isn't on though, you will get a nice natural gas smell in the house when the unit is 1st lit.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 5:07PM
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So confused. On. Off. On. Off. Was rejecting the CC 36 range top which was my top choice because of the recent simmer "flare up" on here. Then talked myself back into it. Now talking myself back out of it due to these threads popping back up (out of sight out of mind?). Tomorrow is sort of my deadline, as I get a discount from a home show price. Goes up $500 after that...

Should I just assume that this thing is fixable/will get fixed?

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 9:36PM
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What is fixable, the simmer thing? As one who has had a problem in the past and is satisfied now though not 100% -- still hoping for a simmer plate fix of some sort; that's my "profile" and my feeling, fwiw, is that this state of affairs does not leave me unhappy with the choice of the range. I bought mine in part because it seemed like a good deal, comparatively. It still seems that way to me. I like my range (now). Moreover having been introduced to how to adjust the simmer, I don't believe it is complicated. It was intimidating, but I feel that keeping your own range in good operating order is not that difficult.

Others have posted here that they believe if simmering is paramount to you, that another brand might be safer and/or work better.

I think the problem is that how low is "low enough" is subjective. I think there are vast legions of CC owners out there who are happy as clams with the simmer capability on the thing, and likely always have been. There are several on this site still unable to adjust it to the level that, for example, I've gotten it to. But there is every reason to believe they will be able to get it to that level soon. Statistically, these few represent probably an order of magnitude more than that as silent counterparts out there. And then there are some who maintain that this level, what I've got, is still not enough. I don't think anyone's really determined objectively how this well-adjusted CC level compares with other manufacturers'. But BS owners don't seem to be complaining about their simmering capability. OTOH they don't have all-23KBTU-enabled burners. And they may have certain other drawbacks to their machine... but let's not get into that here!

Can you try that home show machine? Can you explain your dilemma to them and ask for an extension on the discount? (if they can give it to you tomorrow why can't they honor it next week?)

I am finding it gets really low in temperature now, low enough not to ruin any favorite dishes. All the same for long, long term all-day doesn't-quite-break-the-surface simmering of soup stock, I think it continues to heat up, eventually, a teensy bit too high. I can work with it and I would not have chosen not to buy the machine for this alone, personally.

But if you need to crank out gallons of hollandaise sauce every morning and hold it til evening, I'm guessing this machine might not, at the moment, be low-enough calibrate-able for you. But even at that I'm not positive; maybe there's a sous chef out there who could hazard a guess on that one.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 10:42PM
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aliris - I totally agree that "low enough" is subjective. IMO melting chocolate or holding hollandaise without needing a double boiler is a nice feature to have but I wouldn't consider it critical or even expected.

However, when you talk about a simmering stock continuing to heat up, that raises a flag. I would assume that if you're simmering stock for hours, we're talking about at least three or four quarts, right? Does this quantity really continue to heat up on the lowest setting? If so, I can't imagine that being acceptable to anyone. My cooktop gets set to about 3 1/2 to keep a pot of stock at a bare simmer; I can't imagine wanting to cook on that cooktop on a daily basis if that were the minimum setting!

Perhaps I misread you, and I apologize if I did. But if I did, perhaps other folks are right - we really can't rely on anecdotal discussion, and we really do need to do silly things like buy cans of condensed soup in order to compare our ranges.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 8:34AM
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I recall that when deliveries started the CC had a simmer burner. Trevor made a video of a sheet of paper on top of a 23K burner set very low and the paper didn't char. Soon after that Capital announced that they will only install 23K burners.

It sounds like something about the 23K burners has changed since then. Also, can Capital still install a simmer if somebody asks for it? Or sell the parts to retrofit it?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 2:11PM
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Hi foodonastump --

Well, I think probably we can't rely on anecdotal discussion. It's a problem because figuring out what metric to use is also tricky. It seems the factory was basically using water and its boiling propensities for testing(originally -- they aren't now, that's for sure!). That didn't work out so well as we see in real life. There was much discussion about -- as you mention - trying to standardize the test with cans of condensed soup and the like. And use fairly accurate, consistent thermometers between us. That's got its own suite of issues. It was suggested that *practical* considerations were all that mattered, not measurable ones, at the end of the day.

I think it's all true from different angles. Whether there's some all-abiding truth, I don't really know.

This I know: I did describe, somewhere, what I meant by the soup simmering. I'll look for the thread and link it, but in the meantime I'll try to repeat this. Unfortunately threads fall away and people read some but not others, so a little ambiguity seems fair.

Whenever I buy whole chickens (less often nowadays; but even chicken leg bones get the same treatment here), I toss the remainders in a large stock pot and boil them for ages. Sometimes I do this to an un-previously-cooked chicken; just toss in 1 or 2 whole, uncooked birds. Regardless, the pot winds up being on the back burner all day long.

What's important to me, mostly, is that this mess not boil dry. That's the real-life, practical metric I care most about. For the record my (round) stock pot is 10"deep, 11"radius. (You can do the math!)

Formerly, prior to air-shutter adjustments that got the simmer considerably, functionally lower, I was finding the liquid to have been boiling away from the covered pot after a few hours. It was disconcerting and not really OK with me.

As to whether this was a gradual, continual heating-up I just don't know.

That is -- I do not know whether there is a heating-curve with time. I had thought - why I can't reconstruct - that if you set a pot of liquid on a stove to heat up, it would come up to some temperature and then with time remain there. I thought there would be a plateau, and that this would be arrived at in a matter of minutes.

I realize now, on reflection, that this may be entirely untrue. I have zero idea what the reality is, or why I had been thinking this.

But from conversations with the Capital engineer, which I never really articulated in my mind before now in order to clarify -- and which I'm really hoping one of our resident physicists, say kas or equivalent, will weigh in on - I realize that this presumption of mine may not be right. Liquids over a constant heat, might conceivably continue to heat up with time. Is this true? And if so, does the propensity to do this vary with properties of the liquid, say viscosity or other chemical properties???

I really don't know this.

I know only that there was some implication that a very long-term simmer might have different issues from shorter "long-term".

All very squishy terms!!!

Please, everyone, don't lose track for a moment that I may be wrong in my thinking!

I can only, with certainty, offer my empirical observations.

Whereas formerly, in aforementioned pot, I found the stock to boil off faster than I would like, after successful calibration, I was no longer bothered by the rate of boil-off. If asked my druthers, I would prefer the simmer be a little lower still. But mostly from an aesthetic, theoretical standpoint. That is, after some hours the liquid level was a little bit lower. I have absolutely no problem topping that off and didn't feel in danger of having forgotten the thing at peril of burning down my house (believe me, this is an issue for me and my memory!!!!). I even left the house with the thing simmering, that's how comfortable I felt -- quite probably not justifiably so, but I did it (shhh); the setup felt very stable.

So after calibration, the simmer was significantly lower to the extent that over several hours of simmering, in aforementioned size covered pot, only a small, very tractable amount of liquid had boiled away.

It's my sense that I would *like* to see the bubbles break the surface a little less than I was seeing. However, the evidence shows that the simmer which was happening, was behaving properly. I think probably you really do want a small amount of boil-off. A little replacement of water is probably desirable from a cooking standpoint. Though I'm no professional and haven't experimented with either of these limits.

Does this answer your question? I haven't searched for the other thread wherein I tried to carefully describe my metrics. I think there's not much that's different there.

So somewhere in my head I have the impression that a "true simmer" (which I now realize is a bogus, indeterminate essentially marketing term) would involve roiling of water without breaking the surface. I want to somehow see the blollops of material make a circular pattern and push material out of the way and convect in the pot, but not pop a bubble.

This is some weird fantasy in my mind, I think. Not articulated in any cooking book, certainly not agreed-upon in the cooking world. In fact I understand that among chef types there's something of a roiling controversy going on right now as to what a simmer is anyway. As a layman, I had no idea, formerly, that this wasn't a known quantity!

So I think there's some forgiveness to be sent around when it comes to light that defining a simmer is not easy, and moreover, even figuring out how to measure it isn't either.

In sum: yes, I think relying on anecdotal discussion is problematic. It goes only so far. I'm trying to be meticulous in articulating what I know, what I observe, what I think. Others may or may not be. And your own experience may be different anyway!

For me, bottom line is: I didn't find the simmer low enough at first, even following a factory visit. That visit may not have explicitly addressed the proper issues the first time, but I now find the simmer on my machine to be adequate for my purposes; I am happy. I have tried to describe my purposes. There may be more, as yet untested purposes out there for me and for you. You should try, somehow, to articulate for yourself what the important ones are for you, and then go test these on a machine for yourself. Trevor has even offered to pay your plane fare should you wish to test his machine (but I think this is contingent on you buying from him!). Point is: you'll have to devise your very own test, and then go do it, holding in mind what is so important to you as to be a deal-breaker.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 3:50PM
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For what it's worth, we make stock at a steady 190F (in a slow cooker with a precision external thermostat). At 190F, there are no bubbles whatsoever. Stock prepared at this temperature is excellent.

Bottom line: bubbling (indicating at least part of the liquid is at or over 212F at sea level) is most definitely not a requirement in stock-making.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 4:29PM
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Aliris, if I understand your point, the answer to your question is yes, you can have a system where the pot will not get any hotter, but will reach a given temp and hold it. That point will be where the amount of heat energy being added to the pot by the fire is exactly equal to the amount of heat energy being conducted, convected, and radiated, away from the pot. It is conceivable to have such a small flame that the contents of a previously boiling pan would cool down over time.

Is that what you are getting at?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 4:58PM
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From a very simplistic point of view, liquid will maintain a constant temperature through evaporation which removes heat. That is why boiling water is the same temperature no matter how high the flame. If the rate of evaporation is equal to or less than the rate of condensation then the liquid level will remain constant. If the evaporation rate exceeds the condensation rate, the temperature and pressure rises until liquid escapes the vessel in the form of steam. The whole process is highly dependent on the vessel involved, obviously. Sorry if my explanation offends anyone!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 5:07PM
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tubeman, your explanation shouldn't offend anyone because you're 100% correct. ANY burner/flame level can "simmer" as long as you have a large enough vessel or amount of liquid. What you have accurately pointed out is the ratio of heat absorption to heat loss in the system and how the target load reacts to it. It's a classical exercise in measuring entropy.

The problem with having to fiddle with a burner to such a degree is that it becomes prone to any number of these environmental variables. A system with extremely tight tolerances requires very strict conditions.

The best answer is simply to have less heat output. That will increase the ratio of heat loss to heat absorption and, in effect, create a "better simmer," as we colloquially articulate it. Mathematical fact.

There would be no simmer issues if we all used 48 quart stock pots ala commercial kitchens. This is what I find interesting about the CC. The CC was designed to be a blend of commercial power and residential features yet here is one sticking point where they don't seem to want to relent. The Bluestar, which models itself much more closely to a commercial unit (with the pros and cons) recognizes that different sized burners are useful in a residential setting.

Just find it interesting...


    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 8:11PM
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Mojavean - yes; thanks. S'obvious put that way. I'm reacting to the implication from the Capital engineer that while they'd engineered things to simmer for a certain short-long amount of time, all-day simmering might be a different affair. I didn't clarify this tacit implication, though. Too befuddled.

Here's another stupid question: if water "boils" at 212, what's a full boil, roiling boil, etc. I realize these are subjective terms, but empirically, there are boils and there are BOILS, iykwim. How can it get hotter than "boiling"? And if it's that hot, then how can it be said to be "simmering"? So how can you have a simmer with any "boil" in it at all? If it's boiling, isn't it not simmering by definition? ... which we all agree has no good definition, a "simmer". I'm starting to think the camp that wants precise numeric heat-measurements may be onto something afterall. Dunno.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 8:57PM
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As perhaps the only person around that has owned a Bluestar, a CC simmer burner, and current CC 23k burners. I say that the Bluestar and simmer burner at the lowest setting was slightly lower than the CC 23k. I personally did not find it significantly lower. With a small quantity (say one quart of water) none of these three could hold it indefinitely without boiling if covered. Uncovered the simmer burners held just shy of bubbling and the CC 23k was a low boil. Furthermore, I found that with larger volumes of more than 2-3 quarts,there's virtually no difference in maintaining simmer between the three burners. Nothing scientific but just my observations.

As a result, I replaced the simmer burner with a full sized one on my CC because the difference was small enough that I didn't find the need for a specialized burner. I've mentioned this before but someone asked about the CC simmer burner being in the first few production units and I can confirm that some of those were indeed shipped. Mine is currently in a box in my garage. Sounds like I should put it on ebay. :)

To the question of boiling liquids... basic thermodynamics laws say if input heat exactly equals output heat then there should be no change in the system. In this case, heat is lost through radiation and state change. State change (i.e. evaporation) actually takes a lot of heat out of the system so as it approaches the sublimation (boiling) point, more and more heat is lost to the state change. Keep in mind that water evaporates constantly at above 0C and even below 0c so your stock will eventually evaporate completely no matter how low your simmer. The "rolling boil" is just a more visible form of evaporation. Keeping a pot just below a rolling boil would still have a significant amount of liquid loss.

So, if you define a "true simmer" as the ability to sustain a liquid at a point just below visible rolling boil, then you will need a temperature regulated surface to exactly (or just below) the sublimation temperature at the given altitude and atmospheric conditions (100C for water at STP). Personally, I think the cost of perfection in this case is too high. Could the CC be better at simmering? sure. Could BS be better at simmering? sure. Is the BS better at simmering? slightly. For me, this wasn't an issue since some of the restaurant ranges I've used in the past had simmers more like the medium setting on the CC which I learned to live with. For super delicate stuff, I would still use double boilers and simmer plates even on a simmer burner. That said, if it is really that important to you, at least you have an option of a good range with a simmer burner on the market.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 9:40PM
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Amcook may have not had their Bluestar simmer set as low as it will go. I can leave my hand at 6" above my simmer burner for 5 minutes or longer, depending on my level of boredom. I used an oatmeal container that is exactly 6" tall and I just prop my wrist on it- leaving my hand over the simmer burner.

I still say that a piece of junk gas range, does a better job of cooking many items than the C.C. I have cooked on many old ranges from the 1940's, Wedgewood, O'Keefe and Merrit, and I say they all do a better job for medium to low heat cooking, or longer cooking times than the C.C.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 10:10PM
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Amcook: just as the results on the cc simmer vary widely according to adjustments and other factors, the same would naturally be true with the dedicated bs simmer burner. On mine I can hold 1 quart of liquid without boiling on my simmer burner until the cows come home. Keep in mind, the bs grates also have 3 height positions to choose from, with the standard setting be closest to the flame. Raise this to the highest setting with the simmer on low and water would be cool enough to bath in.

I also strongly believe (although not tested) that with different ignitors, all bs burners could be set even lower without clicking as one member has already expressed such with his viking ignitor retrofit. If you look at the bs ignitors, they do sit quite a bit higher off the gas ports than many of its competitors.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 10:10PM
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tyguy, I had a Bluestar cooktop which has different grates on the full range. I did have it adjusted to the point where it would click if a breeze blew through the kitchen. No doubt the BS has lower level of simmer than the CC but for me, the difference was not a big deal.

alexr, I don't agree but you are certainly entitled to your opinion.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 1:39PM
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So Breezy -- your post seems to have been hijacked (sorry), but maybe you should weigh in with a simmer-fixin update? ;)

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 3:27PM
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Amcook: as we have witnessed with the cc, there are apparently more adjustments than the flame adjustment screw behind the knob. We see wide swings in performance with cc's simmer even tho everyones is adjusted " as low as it would go" without clicking or extinguishing itself. My bs simmer burner will not boil 1 qt of water even if left all day, and it seems like a large percentage of bs owners are reporting similar results. This leads me to believe that even tho your bs had better simmer results than your 23k cc burner there may have been ways to get even greater(or would it be lesser?!?) results from your bs simmer burner.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 5:54PM
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I have a 25-year-old jennair electric cooktop that will come to a medium boil at the lowest setting with the lid on, even for 2-3 quarts of liquid or stew. No problem with the lid off, or if I switch to the much smaller burner in the back.

After realizing this, I don't think the CC would be an issue for me. I normally don't simmer much with the lid fully on. I just add water later, if necessary, or cook in the oven if I want a tight seal.

Who would have thought that the definition of simmer could be so ... involved.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 6:08PM
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Mangiamo -- how did your CC service call go on Tuesday? Was the service tech able to get your simmer fixed?

Breezy -- any progress on your simmering journey?

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 9:05PM
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Soibean--Glad it helps. How far from your decision are you?

Mangiamo--I'd love to hear how your service call went!

Red_lover--Yes. I meant 2011, not 2012.

Aliris--Ha! I rarely get to visit the bathroom for 30 seconds by myself so finding an hour to actually concentrate on the anorexic screwdriver and adjustments seems fantasy. I'm glad you find the simmer on your machine to be adequate for you now!! Hope lingers!

Todds--You are not hijacking at all. Nor is Aliris. Can you update on your adjustments?


Box from Capital arrives with 6 new spark modules and the aforementioned anorexic screwdriver.

As requested, I notified Capital about the parts arrival and absence of new grate supports.

Early in the morning customer service replied that they have notified my local serivce tech who will be contacting me for scheduling.

Joey Kitabayashi emailed apologizing for the delay in the grate support shipment. He is having them shipped out as soon as possible.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 3:08AM
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Good morning everyone

The service company arrived Tuesday with a photocopy of the instructions that Capital had prepared. The technician adjusted the air shutter on each burner and turned the simmer down as low as it could go before clicking (about a 2-3 on dial). Each burner has a different threshold for how low it could go. The service tech called California to discuss the clicking and still relatively high simmer. Even after this second call back and about 2 hours of recalibration the simmer was only slightly better than it was initially. The service tech spoke to Joey. Joey is going to send out 8 new spark modules to try and get the simmer lower. Hopefully this will happen next week.

Breezy, it sounds very similar to how they are dealing with your simmer issue.

I'm sorry I didn't post sooner. I have been having some problems with the finishing of the hardwood floors in the kitchen/family room (4th call back for sanding and urethane and still the urethane shows lap marks and steaks of uneven application- inexperienced finisher or gremlins?). I think I am going to throw some rugs down and move on. Similarly if the simmer cannot go any lower after the new spark modules are installed then I will learn to cook around it.

Warm regards to all


    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 7:03AM
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Breezy, I am also curious as to any progress on the simmering journey.

This thread is about Breezy's journey and I am sort of stepping on her thread with this post. However, I am also trying to avoid creating yet another CC simmer thread. It is at least related to the same issue(s).

I used the rangetop for the second time last night. This time it was for something quick and simple since we had to run out the door to get to a show. Pasta and sauce. To me this should be the test. Heat up 1 jar of sauce, turn the burner to simmer and it should heat up without bubbling and splattering all over the place and requiring constant stirring. I tried this last night and it did not go well. This was a Stainless Calphalon Tri-Ply pot.

For the record, I did not get a chance to adjust the air shutters. So when I came home at midnight last night, I then attempted to do this. I pretty much got things set. I also adjust the simmer as well. I am sure that I may need to re-check the simmer adjustments when the rangetop is re-assembled and a pot is put on. I still have to try the sauce experiment again. But... I would like to note some observations about simmer adjustment for those still tinkering or attempting to tinker.

1) The vent hood affects the simmer level and flame. I have a Modernaire 1200cfm hood with variable blower. I set the speed approx half way. With the hood off you can set the simmer even lower, without clicking. So keep that in mind and do all adjustments with the hood running.

2) Multiple burners ON also affect the low end of the simmer on individual burners as well. You can get each single burner set as low as possible but then if you have multiple burners running, the clicking can return on some or all. This was even with two or more burners just on simmer. I did test with cranking some burners up and leaving some on simmer as well. Thus, you have to get the screwdriver out and re-adjust increasing the simmer temp.

Curious if others had the same result? I will have to retry the sauce simmer test soon and see how things are now that I made the adjustments.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 8:38AM
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Hi, Breezy.

I'm probably a month or two from decision time. For now, the 36" rangetop is included in the plans for our kitchen, but we are just now getting the drawings done for the bid process. We hope to start work on the kitchen before summer. Still closely watching all of the discussions and keeping my fingers crossed!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 9:35AM
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It is debatable whether the Culinarian possesses the simmer capabilities that Capital claims it has.

Does anyone wonder if it is actually 23,000 BTU on the top end?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 8:40PM
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beefstew -- others have speculated on whether fiddling with the lower end affects the upper end. FWIW I asked Capital's engineer about this and he says the upper and lower ends have nothing to do with one another; separate adjustments altogether, physical separation inside.

But if it's a bigger question you're asking as to whether all of this calls into question the credibility of Capital, well, you'll have to be your own judge of that. Personally I feel comfortable with the integrity of the people I've met associated with the company. I do really wish they were able to zap a fix for the people who've posted here about their problems already; I'm surprised, frankly, it's all been taking so incredibly long. But I guess there are likely convergent -- that is to say, many -- reasons for why the simmer fails. So one fix may not work for all.

Do remember, they're not a large company -- no excuse, but possibly an explanation for why it is all taking so long. I'm glad there's been some responsiveness, if not yet a fix, for Breezy and MM.

todds -- yes, that was my experience too. It is pretty fiddly getting them all right... or better?!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 12:32AM
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Posted by beefstew01 (My Page) on
Sat, Mar 31, 12 at 20:40

It is debatable whether the Culinarian possesses the simmer capabilities that Capital claims it has.

Does anyone wonder if it is actually 23,000 BTU on the top end?

There have been some that questioned that number but it probably doesn't make that much difference.
I find it strange that they give the simmer rating in temperature and the upper end rating in BTU's. You would think they would use the same unit of measurement. The temperature rating is meaningless because it is subject to so many other variables so you could claim anything you want and with the right circumstances, it could happen. The BTU rating although still just a number calculated by the manufacturer seems to be less subject to the outside variables. It does make you wonder though when they claim the test below as scientific data. Most of the "test data" I have seen on this range raises a lot more questions than it answers in my mind.

Here is a link that might be useful: Capital Claims it has Best Open Burner

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 9:50AM
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todds, did you simmer the sauce with the lid on or off?

My sense from reading this and similar threads is that the simmer problems arise mainly with the lid on. Is this a problem with the lid off, too?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 11:29AM
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Speaking of questioning things, beefstew01, you've never appeared on Gardenweb anywhere except in a Capital thread. You signed up just a couple of days away from veech, who had the same behavior and disappeared when it was pointed out.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 7:18PM
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Simply pointing out a manufacturer's mendacity marcolo.

If you don't have a problem with unsubstantiated claims, so be it, but if a company is going to bend the truth on one end it leads me to believe that they would on the other end.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 7:47PM
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I had the pot covered at first so that it would initially heat a little faster. Was kept on simmer the whole time. The lid didn't have any spatter on it when I removed it. As soon as I went to mix it up is when it boiled up and splattered everywhere. I then still had it on the burner for a while longer to make sure it was all heated, after I removed the cover. Thus, even if the temp was high, at the point the cover was removed, the temp should have dropped thereafter.

Unless I kept stirring would get splatter from the boiling/breaking bubbles. I will try this again with a jar of sauce on simmer with no lid from the start soon. I also adjusted the burners & air shutters after I did this the 1st time so I'll see if it makes a difference.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 8:11PM
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To my knowledge none of the upper end ranges we discuss here on GW have ever had their output tested by an independent testing facility. I certainly don't know for sure that a CC burner will put out 23K Btu - but I do know it cooks very well.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 12:20AM
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Simply pointing out a manufacturer's mendacity marcolo.
If you don't have a problem with unsubstantiated claims, so be it, but if a company is going to bend the truth on one end it leads me to believe that they would on the other end.

"Mendacity." "Unsubstantiated claims." "Bend the truth."

I always enjoy pointing out the mendacity of the many manufacturers and dealers who come on here posing as concerned consumers so they can take anonymous potshots at their competitors. I enjoy pointing out, then exposing, then humiliating.

Why are you on this forum? Why do you only post in threads about Capital? Why have you never asked a question or explained what appliances you're "looking" for?

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 12:22AM
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I've been meaning to post on my own simmer journey, but want to have more real life cooking to report on. Also, I am not done with the kitchen yet, so I will post pics when everything is finished. Until then, here is my experience:

Range installed in mid January. Simmer had been running very high, with all simmering running 195-210 degrees, no matter what I was cooking - 12, 3 and 2 qts. soup, stock, sauces, covers on and off, bringing to a boil first or not. Even the 2 burner griddle was cooking pancakes too quickly on simmer. Also, burners in back were hotter than the front.

Called Capital service and they arranged for a tech to come. Prior to the service call, I made sure the tech sent knew about this range, the simmering issue, the right screwdriver, etc.

Tech did an air flow adjustment and adjusted one or 2 of the burners. He thought the simmer would not go any lower without clicking. However, he was not able to get the simmer below 200. He only tested the temperature with the griddle on 2 burners only; he seemed to be in a rush and would not let me test any anything, much less heat any food.

Tech's boss followed up by phone, spoke to Bob at Captital, and returned with printed instructions. This time, air flow burner on each was adjusted and each burner simmer level was individually adjusted. I was permitted to test each of the burners with both a pan of water and a pan of sauce. After a couple more adjustments, we were consistently getting 145-150 degrees on all burners.

My back burners are still a bit hotter. The tech pointed out that the range should be leveled better. It is just a tiny bit lower in the back, which is making the back burner hotter when I use the griddle. Unfortunately, the tech would not make that adjustment; he said the installer needs to do that. I will need to get the plumber back in to do that, but will wait for the backsplash to be completed first.

So far, I am able to keep soups and sauces at simmer without boiling. Cooked pancakes yesterday and did not need to use lowest setting, actually had more control than before. Still have the issue with the back hotter than the front when using the griddle, but since I have more control, I am able to work around that by putting the front burner a notch or 2 higher than the back.

The moral seems to be that the tech really needs to have the proper directions from Capital, take the time to adjust each burner air flow and then adjust each burner simmer. It is also important to test soups or sauces as further simmer adjustments may be necessary.

Overall, I am very happy with the range and the service. I love the high heat burners and the oven heats accurately and consistently. I like the racks, although I do agree that the rack positioning is not ideal for broiling. I like the wok grate. I like the rotisserie, although I think that if it was positioned diagonally as I saw in a photo of demo model recently on another thread I could cook larger birds. I recommend this range for anyone looking for even simmering and high heat on all burners.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 12:17PM
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When new ranges are tested by UL for residential approval, they have to test submit the btu rating on high, Capital clearly did this, and it was passed by UL for 23k which means it puts out what Capital says 23k.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 12:43PM
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Regarding the max BTU rating on ranges... I posted this a while ago but things get lost over time here. The industry standard way to measure BTU of a range is using input fuel volume flow rate and calculating output BTU using standard formulas. At the risk of starting yet another p*ssing match, true heat output can be affected by many other factors such as ambient temperature, available oxygen flow, and flame pattern, just to name a few. Ultimately, there are so many variables that the ideal measure is usually good enough to gauge. Personally, I feel 22k vs 23k BTU/hr is effectively the same. The difference of 17k vs 22k, however, would probably translate to a significant difference when cooking... if you need the power that is.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 1:48PM
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Good to know. Maybe I'll just go out and buy some cheap sauce and test out the burners I self adjusted.

I didn't quite understand the leveling of the range and how that would affect heat output? Especially when you say it is only slightly out of level in the back.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 2:56PM
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OMG, Marcolo -- I am still so amazed by this sort of thing you're pointing out! Honestly, after so long on this forum now I ought to be used to the idea that there are "trolls" on here. I am getting annoyed with myself for being shocked by this, but still I am. I just can't wrap my head around the idea of someone lurking here, fomenting industrial espionage. Really??????? There was another one too ... someone accused of being a BS dealer and when I asked about it, they just vanished. I can't even remember that name. What is it with ranges??? I don't think anyone's nipping in here and whispering sweet malodors about, say, Samsung refrigerators are they?? Honestly, there is just way too much testosterone swirling about these things. It's just a heating source, guys.

So is it true there are 3 accused "BS-over-partisans", shall we say, on here? veech, beefstew and ... kist1. It took me a little digging to find the thread where it was alleged but there you have it. Are there yet more? Are there concomitant Capital trolls?

Elisamama -- thanks for the great recounting! It's really interesting to read about such a shift in temperature. I never measured mine so don't have those big numbers to refer to.

Aliris practical-simmer update: I melted butter and chocolate today on simmer. It was too low. :) I was supposed to get a "good sizzle" on the butter but that clearly wasn't gonna happen soon enough if at all on simmer. I sure didn't worry the chocolate would burn under such circumstances! I'm a happy, if fatter, camper.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 3:09AM
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Aliris--WOW! Butter and chocolate? Burner too low? I'm assuming in a pan diretly on the burner. No double boiler, right?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 3:32AM
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Yeah, sorry -- le creuset 2 qt straight sided pot. Directly on the burner. It was kinda maddeningly slow, to tell the truth, but I couldn't bring myself to turn it up.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 3:58AM
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Aliris, kist1 is not a dealer. It was I who made that accusation and he finally responded, denying it. I must have misinterpreted one of his posts. I apologized to him for my mistake. But I think you can add him to the BS partisan list. Off the top of my head, you can probably add at least +2 on the BS partisan count. As far as I can tell, all the partisans owned a BS range before the CC was available, so that should provide some context to it. In any case, anybody who has evaluated both ranges for a new purchase, post-CC BS-purchasers included, knows how close both appliances are and understands the trade offs between the two.

Anyways, back to simmer. Kuddos for melting chocolate. How long did you hold the chocolate for?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 5:52AM
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Hiya -- I didn't hold the chocolate any longer than bare-necessity! There was clamoring going on. I just melted it, um, 4.5 Tb of unsalted butter. When all melted I turned off the heat and allowed to melt into it 1/2cp + 1Tb non-Dutch cocoa - when melted I stirred in a cup of sugar also off-heat til it turned all-damp, "brown-sugar-like". Then whisked in an egg plus two egg whites. Then barely beat in the combination of 1 cup ww pastry flour plus 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp b. powder.

Alice Medrich suggests leaving this overnight in the fridge before baking at 350 for 15-18 minutes. Who is she kidding? She does acknowledge this might not, ahem, happen. Instead you get unbelievably gooey chewy brownies which I'm pretty sure have an LD50 of about 1/2 square worth (from an 8" pan cut into 16's). I have no idea what would happen if you actually let these sit overnight. Maybe they get gooier? Hard to imagine how....

My apologies to kist1 but fwiw, s/he sure didn't respond to my point-blank question about it. S/he was very aggressive and then just ... vanished. To me it did seem remarkably fishy. I would squawk some loud should my integrity, even on a quasi-anonymous online site, be questioned improperly. And someone with such a head up of steam about integrity and honesty and value, I should think would too.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 11:40AM
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I completely missed your other thread where you posted pictures at my request. Thanks for posting the link here. I'm glad you have you problem resolved to a point where you are mostly happy with it, even if not 100% satisfied.


Your pictures (posted in the other thread) was definitely too high. I would be complaining loudly as well if I couldn't get them any lower than that. If you feel like tinkering, you can try one thing.. Take one of the SS drip trays out and then put the grates back on the rails suspended over the burner. Then adjust the simmer to see if it will go lower without clicking. The other thing to check is to make sure there is no accumulation of grime on the ignitor head. Take a wire brush to it if it looks like it's got something on it. The ignitors work by sensing current flow through the flame so if there is a layer of burnt on grime then it will increase the resistance and therefore reduce the current and click even if the flame hasn't gone out. Keep in mind if your simmer is set correctly, it may still click occasionally when the flame next to the ignitor wavers or goes out and that is what it's supposed to do. You're getting new ignitors though so there shouldn't be a problem with buildup.

Best of luck with the service call.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 1:41PM
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I looked up the term hypocrite in the dictionary fully expecting to see a picture of a particular gw member depicting the perfect example. There was no picture, however the description fit this particular member here to a "t". If there was a hypocrite award there would be no contest.

Just for the record I have posted many times pros and cons of both ranges. I have never ever ever ever ever denied where one range is superior. (So not sure how that defines partisan) In fact even made a list of pros and cons and posted it. (Right here on the appliance forum if you care to search) Other partisans (to be generous) in the cc camp have failed to do the same and in fact make up reasons and excuses and asinine "solutions" to spin the cc's shortcomings(in comparison). Let's be clear, there may be some areas where a ranges "shortcomings" really do not affect or bother you personally, but at least be unbiased enough to admit it. Example, the door heat issue with bs, it does not bother me one single tiny little bit, in fact, as stated before I didn't even KNOW the door was unusually warm until I started feeling around because of what I read on here. But I will be big enough to put the door heat in the "con" side of the checklist.

>I always enjoy pointing out the mendacity of the many manufacturers and dealers who come on here posing as concerned consumers so they can take anonymous potshots at their competitors. I enjoy pointing out, then exposing, then humiliating.

Did I miss these posts? Which manufacturers and dealers have you busted?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 9:18PM
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"I looked up the term hypocrite in the dictionary fully expecting to see a picture of a particular gw member depicting the perfect example."

OK, I'm stumped - I actually went back through this whole thread trying to work out what specifically you were referring to, but I couldn't see anything in this thread that struck me as notably hypocritical.

"Did I miss these posts? Which manufacturers and dealers have you busted?"

You didn't miss the posts, you missed the point - Marcolo was simply taking a tongue-in-cheek shot at what certainly appeared to be some kind of shill. FWIW, I thought it was quite funny, but I accept that Marcolo's sense of humor may not tickle everyone's funny-bone.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 9:06PM
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>OK, I'm stumped - I actually went back through this whole thread trying to work out what specifically you were referring to, but I couldn't see anything in this thread that struck me as notably hypocritical.

It goes waaay beyond this thread.

>You didn't miss the posts, you missed the point - Marcolo was simply taking a tongue-in-cheek shot at what certainly appeared to be some kind of shill. FWIW, I thought it was quite funny, but I accept that Marcolo's sense of humor may not tickle everyone's funny-bon

Sorry I didn't detect any tongue in cheek in the post, and I'm quite certain I am not the only one. I realize what was said is pretty ridiculous, but it seems as tho when I think I have heard the most ridiculous thing imaginable, I hear something even more absurd.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 9:51PM
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Hey Amcook -- you're forgiven as long as you pass (favorable!) judgment on our little jury-rigged comal. ;) No one has even said a word about it, which I suppose probably means I should be quiet. But I thought it was pretty clever!

As evidenced by your missing that whole, long contentious thread, it's really easy to miss stuff on these forums. I want to state again for the record, though it feels really boring and repetitive of me, that for me personally, I withdraw my objection regarding the CC's simmer. I think I would love to see it a little lower still, but likely a simmer burner would get it that last little way. I would not have squawked had my current level been available at first.

I note further that in my case it was improper air adjustment that made a tremendous difference, big enough to go from "simmering" dry gallons of water in just a couple hours to almost no boil-off all day long (of stock).

I believe there are several people out there still who are experiencing simmering problems and these may stem from different, possibly more complicated issues. I do not believe there is anyone from GW out there who has simmering problems and been unsuccessful in connecting with Capital about the difficulties one way or another. They may yet be waiting for a successful fix but I do not believe they are feeling ignored.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 2:51AM
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tyguy, I am sure I am not alone in having no idea what on earth you're nattering on about.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 2:37PM
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Hey Aliris,

Your simmer plate does look quite interesting. Does it work well? It would seem that some kind of solid plate would reduce the amount of convection and radiant heat further.

I missed your thread because I took a vacation right around that time and was super busy when I got back. I'm glad you got your problem resolved. I do agree it could be lower but it's simply not an issue for me. I mentioned before that I actually have a "simmer" burner from the initial production run and chose to exchange it with the full sized burner when those became available.

I think the key to most of these problems really is the air shutter adjustment. I'm a real fiddler so even though I'm happy with the simmer level, I still pulled off the top a couple of nights ago and lowered the air shutter on two of the burners that were a bit higher and now have all the the burners at a the same simmer level. I'd suggest anyone working to solve this on their own range to try closing the air shutter down lower. Even with it closed pretty low, I get nice blue flames on high with slight orange tips.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 4:27PM
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>tyguy, I am sure I am not alone in having no idea what on earth you're nattering on about.

Oh I'm 110% sure you are right, but it kinda goes to prove my point. I am equally sure I am not alone on my thoughts.

Are you able to point me to a post that you actually helped someone out? Or are they always negative bashing of one member or another or one product or another. I really had troubles finding a useful one. I suppose everyone has their hobbies.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 10:22PM
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Maybe I was wrong. Maybe it wasn't a competitor casting anonymous, undocumented aspersions on Capital up there. Maybe it was you. Who knows.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 10:42PM
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Your simmer plate does look quite interesting. Does it work well? It would seem that some kind of solid plate would reduce the amount of convection and radiant heat further.

Nah... ;) But it works well as a support for a smaller-diameter pot. I'm uncommonly fond of it but without much reason!

I need to learn to get more comfortable fiddling with the air shutter.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 1:14AM
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It would sure be nice if all this bashing could stop and we could get back to the original topic of Breezy's simmer problem...Breezy, have you had any more progress on this yet?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 11:14AM
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I was reading about gas burners in general and air shutters and by turning the air shutter to reduce air flow and to reduce the heat(BTUs) for simmer, it seems to be a general adjustment that would lower heat through the whole range of the burner, not just the low end. Can anyone shed more light on this other than to just say "no it doesn't"?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 11:44AM
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no it doesn't

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 12:47PM
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The air shutter controls how much air (i.e. oxygen) is mixed in with the fuel. If the fuel to air ratio is too high, then you get incomplete combustion and potential CO and C2(solid) production. That would result in black bottom pans. In this case, the flame would be mostly orange. A ratio that is too low, can produce sputtering and potential flame loss. Neither situation is ideal. That was the long answer, the short answer is that it's certainly possible to go too far but I found that the shutters can be turned down a great deal from what might be shipped from the factory. I have mine down to a lower level then I had thought it should at first. You want to adjust the shutter until you get mostly blue flame with slight orange or yellow tips when set on high. For me that turned out to be with the shutter shut down pretty low.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 1:03PM
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The key is to first adjust the air shutters for proper flame. The point where the flame is no longer lifting off the port and the inner blue flame cones are at their sharpest. If the air shutters are closed beyond that point, the inner flame cones will become less defined (fuzzy) which does in fact lower the BTU output as it reduces cumbustion efficency. It also increases the CO output. In my case I have LP and my air shutters are almost wide open. Once the air to fuel ratio is properly adjusted you will have a more stable flame at the simmer setting allowing you to adjust the simmer screw in to produce a smaller simmer flame.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 1:13PM
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Got it! Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 1:42PM
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I am on natural gas and when I started playing with the air shutter I found that they needed to be almost all the way open to maybe a little closed to get the perfect flame and no lifting. While you really had to close the air shutter almost completely to get a orange/wobbly flame and smoke. I found that the rest of the adjustments gave a blue flame. However, there was lifting or what I will call blending of the flames. For example, on most of the burners, when the port was 50-75% closed, the inner most ring would be a wider fuzzy flame that did look like it was lifting but would meld together. When you got a little shy of full open, I found that this gave the most individual tight flames on each port. While adjusting up and down a quarter turn didn't at first seem to make much of a difference, I noticed lifting on some ports. You also can feel the difference in heat output on high as well. The tighter the flames got and no lifting on all ports, I could feel a noticeable change. I also found that by doing this when its dark out and can turn off/down the lights its much easier to see the flame. Sort of like Trevor's video. What might look like a nice flame can turn out to really be lifting under regular lighting.

Although, I adjusted I am not sure if mine is OK or not. I haven't had a chance to re-simmer yet. Thus, not sure if I did it right yet ;).

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 4:59PM
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A appliance repair company finally returned my call a couple of days ago. He is scheduled for 2pm Pacific time today. I'm not sure if I'll be able to post the result today. Maybe tomorrow.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 11:43AM
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