About to buy - Is CC right for me?

jbartMarch 13, 2012

My addition is nearing completion and the new stove will be going in soon. Had planned to buy a Culinarian until checking in again at GW and finding all these complaints about simmer and rack positioning in the manual clean.

Now I am trying to figure out if this is still the range I want to buy. I am not looking to reignite any broader fight

I wanted the Culinarian - a 30-inch range - for three reasons:

1)The highest BTUs on the market

2)Open burners.

I do a lot of stir-frying, hence the desire for 23K flame.

3)The 1200 degree oven broiler. I want restaurant quality crusts on steaks, salmon, etc.

Problem is, I also make a lot of sauces and stews that need to cook for long periods (without the lid). So I need basic simmer capability. I want to be able to drive my daughter to gymnastics and not come home 45 minutes later to see the marinara sauce boiling over.

I also hear about problems with the rack on the manual clean range, which is all I can afford.

Given my needs, is the Culinarian going to work for me (I am a very experienced cook) and my wife (she is not). I'd be curious to hear from people like jscout and billie and deseaux (sp?)

If not, what else in the $4500 price range? Bluestar is my next option, but does anyone else aside from American Range do 20K burners, ordinary simmer and a restaurant-sytle broiler?

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Hi jbart, Culinarian will deliver on your top 3 reasons. The simmer is an issue that has been brought to Capital's attention and as you can read from multiple posts, the severity of the problem varies.

Neither the Blue Star or Culinarian are perfect and have their own limitations. You need to review what features are most important to you and go with the range that matches your needs. What features must you absolutely have? If you didn't have it, would it cause you to have buyers' remorse? You have a good budget to buy a fantastic range from a reputable company.

I am not sure about keeping a range on (even at simmer) when you are not in the house...BUT...if simmer is the most important feature for you, and you cannot wait for Capital to fix the problem...then it sounds Blue Star is the answer (but you get slightly less BTU).

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 11:10PM
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Properly calibrated the CC will deliver on the promise of a 145 degree simmer IMO. Can't prove because have not run batter of test. My kitchen reno starts next week. BS promises 130 degree simmer from its dedicated burner.With the Ilse 8.25 heat diffuser available from Eurostoves for $27 delivered the CC will reach temperatures needed for most delicate French sauces, again IMO till kitchen reno.

Some people say heat diffuser is a stupid idea because you need to adjust and wait. I say after a bit of trial and error you will know what knob position equals which temperature on the heat diffuser.

IMO people are trying to configure ever more ridiculous simmer test for the CC to pass. Marinara for two or more people for 45 minutes IMO no problem. Beurre blanc for party of ONE maybe need that heat diffuser.

Can't help you on manual clean racks since I have self-clean and that is the one I really examined and am familiar with. I can tell you I have no buyers remorse buying the CC.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 11:37PM
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BTW I would not leave ANY range cooking unattended for 45 minutes while I leave the house.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 11:52PM
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jbart -- I would invite you to search the forums and read various experiences with the CC! I do think deeageaux does a good job of summarizing the current feelings, though, about it. I had troubles with its simmer, but after a second visit from the factory, where I think they too are having some growing pains about calibrating in the field, I can report I'm happy-enough with the simmer. I believe they are now taking reports of troubles with simmering very seriously and are on top of trying to sort out everyone's personal issues that might affect the bottom-line simmering temperature. I believe they will be right on top of any such problems that might develop in the future.

Nevertheless I am looking forward to the simmer plate they come up with as promised. The details of its offering, though, are still unknown to me at least. However, I'm willing to wait a little longer and for the time being, I feel very happy about the purchase ... now at least, now that my simmer is working better.

The manual-clean racks aren't optimally positioned. It would be nice if there were another height-option. I understand they're looking into improving that too, but again, that's maybe down the road. It's not enough of a problem that I feel unhappy about the range I did buy. It was a good price for what you get. But I will be thrilled if when they work out a better series of runners for the manual clean racks, they offer the new hardware to old customers. I've no idea if that will happen -- not holding my breath ;)

I suggest you find a show room with both ranges available to try, bring your best simmering recipe and just test it out. Failing that, at least just search and read a bit more -- there's tons that's been written here about this already.


    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 12:16AM
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If the simmer is the only issue, you can always simmer in the oven. I do this if I an going to leave the house but for anyone who thinks the simmer is too high it would be a way to have a low simmer. I used to always make split pea soup that way on my old ranges. It will never scorch.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 1:14AM
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Based on how you described your cooking, the CC should work for you. I'm probably one of the few CC owners on this forum who don't really have a problem with the really low simmer. For example, I always use the double boiler method to melt chocolate, make Hollandaise and anything else like that. Since you're an experienced cook, you should have no issues. Your learning curve on the range will depend on your experience.

For "blub blub" simmering (I saw it described that way by someone else and I like it so I'm reusing it) which I do all the time, the calibrated CC will have no issues, especially with the lid off, as you described. You get more "blubs" with the lid on, less with the lid cracked and even less with the lid off.

My wife also isn't a really experienced cook and she hasn't encountered any problems with the simmering. She's not savvy enough to do anything crazy or complicated. Her cooking is usually limited to pan-frying, stir-frying and soups. Simmering soups has not been is issue for her. When she does cook anything complicated, she typically follows recipes. Most recipes that do require things like melting chocolate will typically be written with the double boiler method, so that shouldn't be an issue.

I have the self-clean, so I can't speak to the racks in the manual clean.

I'm also not a big fan of leaving an open flame unattended unless I'm close by or in and around the property. You just never know sometimes. That said, I have left something simmering in the oven so I could run to the market to pickup a missing ingredient. Or I'll just turn off the burner and pick it up when I get back. Just a friendly word of caution, that's all.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 1:54AM
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If 1 and 2 are your top priorities then it would indicate CC is the right choice for you.

As for simmering and broiling, Bluestar has no reported problems with simmering, and the broiler is advertised as 1850 degrees (which is much closer to what a restaurant is going to use).

Tradeoffs are different burner sizes (I think the 30" would come with 2x22K, 1x15K and 1 simmer-- all changeable at time of order) and the broiler face is smaller. It measures 7"x10".


    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 8:20AM
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Hey Stooxie, not to be argumentative, but I believe the broiler temperature ratings on all these residential ranges should be taken in context. While I don't doubt Bluestar's temperature advertisement, I'm guessing they took the temp at the cooking element. Restaurant salamanders require upwards of 40,000 BTU to achieve an 1800 degree cooking temp at the cooking surface, not at the element. The Bluestar and CC broilers are rated at 1500 and 1800 BTUs respectively. I doubt either of these range are as close to steakhouse temps as they boast. Having felt the inferno of a restaurant salamander, I can say with certainty that the CC broiler is no where near that temp. Hotter than any residential broiler I've ever owned? Yes, but not as hot as a steakhouse. I can't say the same about the BS, because I don't own one. But it's worth thinking about.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 10:53AM
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I understand. I was just trying to keep this from degrading into yet another he-said-she-said thread. The broilers are different between the CC and the BS. The OP should research as to which style is thought to better suit his/her cooking preference.

As you note, since proximity to the broiler is key on these ranges, oven rack positioning becomes a primary factor in their effectiveness.


    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 11:04AM
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The reports of 1850 degrees and 1200 degrees are both way off. BS for instance reports the surface temp of the broiler not the cooking height temp I don't recall Capital reporting a temp, but if they did it would be surface temp.

CC has the hottest temp at cooking height, with open door broiling.

CC (Manual Clean)
top rack 2"
second Rack 4 3/4"

Top Rack 3 3/4"

As you have read simmering seems to be a calibration issue for some, time will tell what Capital decides to do about this recurring problem.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 11:55AM
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jbart - kill two birds with one stone and buy a small countertop electric burner for when you want to do an unattended simmer. That's much safer than leaving a gas flame on, and it will go plenty low enough.

We have the one linked below; it's small, light, and works very well.

Here is a link that might be useful: Countertop electric burner

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 1:01PM
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Oops, just a correction to my post about BTU. BS and CC are rated at 15,000 and 18,000 BTU, respectively.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 1:44PM
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Thanks for all the comments. I have actually read most of the CC threads and the various flame wars, but it's taken a long time and so much material relevant to my needs is buried and hard to find. The longer those threads are they less they inform on a per-word basis!

I've been leaving some sauces and stews partly unattended for years, but maybe it doesn't seem like a big deal to me because I have a 25-year-old electric Jennair that I can barely get to work. I can see not leaving a "gas" stove unattended. I can use my electric oven or a slow cooker for those occasions in the future.

BTW, I don't simmer small amounts of sauce on the stove. I am talking 2-3 quarts minimum, often more. I usually leave the lid off or cracked to let some moisture escape, letting me control the thickness of the liquid better.

Anyway, it sounds like the simmer level will work fine for me.

About the broiler. I seemed to think the CC and other ranges like it could generate steakhouse level heat in the broiler to sear proteins. Is this not the case?

If so, I may get the rangetop instead. I wanted the range/oven specifically to get a restaurant-style broiler.

What then is the advantage of a CC or BS broiler over a basic Electrolux or Kitchenaid? Is it really worth having as I initially thought?

I will check out the CC racks again, but last time I checked, the only store in my area to carry the CC on the floor had a self clean.

I merely want to be able to put stuff under the CC broiler or roast a whole turkey now and then. I'll also have a separate electric wall oven, so my daughter and wife can bake without getting in my way.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 8:31PM
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The racks on the Manual Clean range were modified months ago. They no longer seems to be an issue for recent buyers.

The CC and BS broilers may well be hotter than many others, if you want restaurant steaks buy a BS salamander, that is really hot.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 9:27PM
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jbart, as Trevor says, these broilers are very hot relative to other residential ranges. And while they may not be as high-powered as advertised, they still do a great job. The biggest difference as compared to true restaurant salamanders is that everything is so much faster in the restaurant. Remember, it's all relative. You can get great results on either the BS or the CC. It just takes a little longer than the steakhouse to achieve a similar sear. I doubt either the Elux or KA could even come close.

I replaced an electric wall oven that had an underwhelming electric broiler element. It pales in comparison to my CC. I'd take the gas broiler any day.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 10:26PM
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I lusted for a salamander, Trevor, but it's out of my price range when added to the range.

BTW, are you actually in Beverely? Thought Eurostoves was in NY.

I am looking at the Cavaliere-Euro AP238-PS29-30 to put above my CC, but it's one of the few brands I've never personally seen. I might buy it if I could see it -- meets all my specs (CFU, baffles).

Next time I visit my parent's home in Dedham - I live in DC now - I think I will pop into your store to check out the Cavaliere. Do you usually have it in stock?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 10:26PM
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I just have to consider if the broiler is worth an extra $1300 TO $1800 for me. I could drop to a Thermador, CC Maestro or BS cooktop, get double wall ovens and save a good chunk of change for other parts of the reno. For now I am sticking with plans for a CC 30-inch manual range.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 11:03PM
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Trevor - can you please say a word or two about the evolution of the manual-clean racks? And when they changed as well?


    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 1:55AM
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I'll be making my decision between Bluestar or Culinarian (30-inch range) on Wednesday. Wish I could get one of each!

I normally don't agonize over these sorts of things, but I've waited more than 25 years to get a range like this. It will be the last one I buy for a very long time.

Seems like the simmer issue with CC won't be a problem for me. I do like the larger size of the BS oven, but I think pro-size cookie sheets are not worth the bother of cleaning or storing.

For me it comes to down to whether I need four 23K burners and whether the CC broiler is definitively better.

I'd be curious to know if anyone uses three 23K burners (or three on a reconfigured BS) at the same time, and if so, what for?

Wife and daughter vote for BS, but I count for three votes and I lean toward the CC.

In addition to a new range, I plan to buy:

*30-inch hood: Either Kobe, Zephyr Anzio, Elica Rimini or KA. 600 to 800 CFM with baffle filters.

*Freestanding fridge: KA French door (double door) or Electrolux Wave Touch

*Single Wall oven, either Electrolux Wave Touch or KA Architect II

Microwave with trim kit: Either KA or Electrolux to match wall oven

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 2:08PM
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This is just me, but I only need ONE big burner. I have a short attention span and when my big burner is roaring it takes just about all my focus to stay ahead of it. When I am doing large, multi-skillet dinners I invariably start dishes out on the biggie to get things going quickly, then move the pans to one of the 15K burners for the saute or the 8k for maintenance.

These burners are really hot on full tilt. About the only time you can light one up on full blast and walk away is when there is a large pot of cold water over it. And even then you had best not forget about it for long.

I seriously doubt you will often find yourself with more than one burner going full blast at one time. The rest will be dialed down to some extent. These things put out big, serious, fire, and if you do not watch them carefully when you have them roaring, you are apt to burn dinner.

But all of this is secondary. You can turn the big burners down easily.

If you find you really need a low-temp simmer burner on the CC you can do the Billy-G Coolrod surgery on one of them. The main thing is get what YOU want. Why spend your money on a range you do not really want? If the CC is what appeals to you, and you can get your wife's honest agreement that it is okay, just go get what you want.

There is no way you will not be thrilled with whatever you chose; both ranges are top-line performers.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 3:36PM
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I have the CC, but could be happy with BS too. I think BS looks better, but your choice.
lots of issues with Elux fridge, I almost bought one till I researched on this forum Elux claims to have fixed but I am skeptical. I bought KA FD and am very happy with it.
lots of issues with the KA oven, they claim problems don't exist, The Elux ovens seem to be very popular on this forum, with few if any problems. I would choose the Elux oven.
Most micros are about the same, I would get the Elux to match.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 3:38PM
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Mojavean, do you use your broiler a lot to develop crusts on steak, salmon, etc. What do you use it for generally?

Caddidaddy, I had the same concern about Electrolux fridge, based on what I have read on GW and elsewhere. Yet the independent store (5 mins from my house) at which I plan to buy my stuff promises to back it to the hilt in case of problems.

I have thought about KA fridge with the Electrolux wall oven and mike, but these items will be side by side. My wife would prefer I buy the same brand for all three devices to match handles in an entirely new kitchen.

My guess is mix and match will look fine, but I figured I would look into going with just one brand.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 3:54PM
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jbart - while I sympathize with dw and dd getting outnumbered by voting weight, I think the bottom line is: everyone will be happy regardless. You don't have the ability (I presume) to buy both; the machines won't ever be side by side. What you chose - whichever you chose - will be good enough and wonderful. You will never know whether one would have been better ... and it won't really matter.

People are, for better or worse, very good at working around stuff, being resilient, making it work. If there's some slight comparative defect with one machine over another in some absolute sense, in no time flat you'll all have worked your way around it so you just never feel it, never again!

Enjoy the luxury of choosing between two excellent machines, give yourself some permission to feel excitment and happiness about your good fortune ... and flip a coin (no, not really). Pick a metric that matters most to you, make your decision and don't look back. Because there's nothing back there anyway, they're essentially side-by-side!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 3:56PM
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My broiler sees limited use, jbart. I do most of that stuff outside on my grill as a rule. We live in an area where year-round outdoor cooking is the norm.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 4:24PM
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Jbart: I have two 22k and can not recall ever needing a third, but of course that is me, and you may be different. As for broiler, it is quite wonderful but just like mojavean, mine doesn't get much use because I have a wonderfull grill on my bs that I use for most purposes.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 9:08PM
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jbart, for me, the idea of having all burners the same is not about using any or all of them on high at the same time. It's more about being able to perform the same cooking task on any burner exactly the same way. In that regard, it's more of a feature than a necessity. Personally, I put more weight on this feature, because I've always disliked mixed burners.

For example, I have a 48" range and I do most of my cooking on the four burners on the left half. When I cook pasta dishes, I like to have the pasta pot on the left rear burner while I saute on the front right. Could I easily boil pasta on the other front burner? Absolutely. But then I'd have a wall of heat right in front of me. So putting it in the back mitigates that.

BTW, I find myself using my wok more and more for pasta. It takes a little more cooking space, but I have a lot of room for tossing the pasta. So in my case, a pasta pot on the other front burner would be cramped. In your case, that probably won't matter since you're going with a 30".

I just remembered another consideration I had when I was deciding on which range to get. I think I read that some people with the high BTU burner in the back had backsplash scorching issues. I think that all depends on what material you have back there. I can say that the CC range with the island trim is not an issue, because the back vent is taller and deeper, keeping the heat well away from the backsplash. I have seen some minor scorching on the back vent of the range, but a little Bar Keepers Friend on a sponge completely removed it and restored the shine on the steel.

Pick the range that best matches your cooking style and/or "speaks" to you. You can't go wrong with either, IMHO.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 9:15PM
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> You can't go wrong with either, IMHO.

Ever wonder why threads between bs and cc get so intense? Because owners are extremely happy with their choice, proof positive that you can not go wrong with either unit.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 9:52PM
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Good point about the backburners, jscout. I like to cook pasta on the back burner so I can use the front ones for sauces or other stuff requiring more active cooking. If I go with BS, I will have the 15 upgraded to 22 to give me that ability. I don't need more than one low-simmer burner.

Cooking pasta in a wok - now that is interesting. I am a dedicated wokker, but that's hard for me to get my head around!

Per mention of the grill, I have a high-octane gas grill with very heavy, cast stainless steel grates. It tops more than 1000 degrees near the grate. Yet I don't always have the time or inclination to use it in the colder months (Wash DC).

Further, I have a hard time getting the same exact crust on the grill as I do indoors using the old-fashioned cast-iron skillet method. The steak crust on the grill is uneven and salmon usually sticks (at least a little) despite the various techniques I have used.

I was hoping an infrared burner could give me that restaurant-style crust on steak and especially fish, particularly since the top-down heat avoids the problem of fishing stick to the bottom of the grill or pan. I love how restaurant salmon is crispy on the outside, and the flesh unmarred, while the flish is tender and juicy.

Maybe that just isn't possible at home ...

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 9:55PM
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I use my broiler, (Bluestar) and I think you can get a great crust. Start at 1 inch away, and if the cut is thick you may have to lower it to finish. I think those broilers are plenty hot.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 10:21PM
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So there is no clear winner and if you really can't decide, I'll offer this silly tip. (If nothing else, it might be good for a laugh.)

**All things being equal. Pretend you went to place your order for a CC tomorrow, and you were told that the 30" range was not available for another 12 months. Would you be heartbroken? Now, pretend you went to order your BS tomorrow and were told that their 30" was not available for another 12 months. Would you be heartbroken? Which scenario makes you more upset? If you have an answer, that's what you order.

Someone on the Bathrooms forum suggested this to me when I truly couldn't decide between tub fillers. I've applied the same set of questions to myself on other issue along the way on our whole house reno. ;)

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 12:55AM
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Wish it were that easy, Breezy. I would not be heart-broken in either case!
The reason I come to this board is the same as everyone else. I love cooking, so I love appliances. I want the best and research everything to death.

Problem is, it sometimes leaves us semi-paralyzed over small differences. That�s where I am now, even though I am usually decisive.

If I could take the CC rangetop and the BS oven and combine the two I would be thrilled.

I am really picking nits, but here's how I see it:

Capital Culinarian

Pros - 23k burners; all 23k burners; good looks, rounded edges and better fit; bigger and hotter broiler, heats faster, seems easier to clean. Customer service.

Cons - simmer not as low; smaller oven, oven-rack configuration, broiler too close to top rack, can't fit pro cookie sheets.


Pros: 9k low-simmer burner, tighter grate structure; no need for wok accessory; bigger oven, better rack configuration, one rolling rack, fits pro cookie sheets.

Cons: fewer high-heat burners, broiler not quite as hot, doesn't look as good (to me); sharper metal corners, takes longer to heat, formerly poorer customer service.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 12:03PM
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jbart -- I think that's a perfect summary. Except IMO there's no need for a wok accessory on the CC either.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 12:44PM
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jbart -- I've been similarly (unusually) paralyzed in making the CC vs. BS decision. Let me add a few more pros/cons that I can think of offhand to the list you compiled that I've come across in my travels here and in appliance stores while checking these ranges out. Hope this helps you with the decision.

I actually like Breezy's test; also at one local appliance store the resident chef suggested that you think about the top three things to you that are most important -- the non-negotiables -- and go with the one that does those best (he says that more times than he would imagine, it's "red knobs". There's no right or wrong here -- it's simply individual cooking styles and functional and aesthetic preferences). Also, local dealer support is important for many people,and if one brand has better local support and servicing, that might be a factor that tips the scales. All that said, I've tried them both out, and they both are fabulous ranges.

Additional BS Pros
In the event of a spillover, you can shut down and clean just the burner affected without taking apart the SS rails on the CC and the SS plate underneath.

Each burner can be leveled individually with screws under each burner plate.

Can be custom configured to add more high powered burners

Oven door is hotter. Whether it's too hot, seems to be a matter of individual opinion.

Additional CC pros:
ignitors are better protected and probably prone to less breakage.

I haven't gotten a feel for whether the ovens cook equally evenly and true to temp, but it doesn't seem to be a problem for either CC or BS owners.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 1:12PM
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Snowyct - good point on the BS spillover clean-up. I hadn't thought of that.

I was quoted $150 per burner upgrade. I didn't think that bad at all. I think there are some who home adjusted but I am not that brave.


    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 3:11PM
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Let me just weigh in on the CC broiler. Not worth too much here, say, 0.01 ;) -- but when I decided to brown a lasagna, which I don't usually do, wow did that come out amazingly! It so looked like something that would have been depicted in a magazine. Should have taken a picture. But I realize now that's probably not luck; that's this super-duper broiler talking. I don't know much from broilers, as I cook meat (or brown cheese) very infrequently. OTOH, when I did the Xmas lamb chops (long story) under the broiler they were also unbelievably wonderful - fast, easy, perfectly cooked ... and come to think of it that has always been a major struggle of a task in the past.

So this is as amateurish a report as they come - obviously I don't even deserve such fire power as I don't recognize it's value! But you shoulda seen that lasagna top... so perfect.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 3:22PM
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Snowy, just a note about cleanup on the CC. I think it's a common misperception that you have to take the CC apart to clean up every time. I had that same misperception at first too. But what I discovered was that the SS pan around the burner catches most if not all of the spillover. After my first spillover, I shut everything down and took it apart to clean. To my astonishment, the SS pan caught virtually all of the spillover. I had so much spillover that it not only filled the SS pan, but I got about a few tablespoons into the drip tray below.

In subsequent spillovers, I don't even take it apart anymore. I just lift the grate where the spill is, both front and rear if necessary, soak up the liquid with kitchen or paper towels and wipe off any solids. I pull out the drip tray to check and if nothing, I put the grates back on and continue cooking. After cooking, I just use some Bar Keepers Friend to clean the haze from the spillover. I haven't had a spillover bad enough to make it to the drip tray since. Just some errant splatter that made it through the crevices. The foil I have lining my drip tray the same foil from after that first spillover. And that was over 4 months ago.

I think Billy also reported being surprised about how little gets through to the drip tray too. Perhaps other CC owners can comment on this also.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 6:38PM
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Jscout -- that's actually a really important and practical point of which I wasn't aware, even having watched Trevor's video on cleaning up from a spill.

The resident chef at my local appliance store said essentially the same thing about the ss pans around the CC burners -- that they catch virtually everything and almost nothing gets through to the drip tray below (he had just cooked a meal for a lot of people, and showed me the drip tray). I just assumed that if you didn't take the ss pan out and clean it pretty thoroughly right away after a spillover, whatever residue was left after a quick wipe would just get baked on and be really difficult to clean later. Thanks very much for the clarification.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 8:58PM
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I have been following this thread but this didn't clarify things for me. I get that the ss pan catches mostly everything. What I am having trouble with is drawing the conclusion that snowyct drew about residue not becoming baked on. Let's say that someone (DH of course) cleans up but doesn't do a good job of it and then someone uses the range to cook. Why doesn't it make the whole thing harder to clean later? It seems to me that the pans have the potential to get full of baked-on schmutz unless someone is religious about cleaning the pans.

Am I missing something? I was looking at the absence of the pans in the BS as an advantage, not a disadvantage. Why do I care if spills go down to the drip tray? I am going to cover it with foil anyway. Why is it better to have a piece (the pan) that is always visible that I have to keep after? That is the situation I have with my sealed burner Bosch now.

Am I misunderstanding something?

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 9:48PM
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I know this is going to sound like Capital propaganda, but it's not. The CC basically cleans like a sealed burner range is supposed to. Nothing gets baked on because the SS pan doesn't make contact with the burner and the open burners send the flames straight up rather than sideways. Most days clean up is just wiping with a wet sponge. I have to confess, after experiencing how nothing ever bakes on, I don't even clean that SS pan after every cook anymore.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 10:00PM
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".... also at one local appliance store the resident chef suggested that you think about the top three things to you that are most important -- the non-negotiables -- and go with the one that does those best..."

That's sort of what I did, but things didn't really turn out like I thought they would. One of the main reasons I chose an AG pro-style range was for the infra-red broiler, because I broiled a lot of stuff in my old oven in my old kitchen. But what ended up was, the burners on my new range were so much more powerful than those on my old crappy cooktop, that now I sear a perfect crust over a high BTU burner, and finish in a hot oven if necessary, but I rarely broil.

So, it depends a lot on where you are coming from, since you can do so many really neat things on a great range that you can't imagine doing on a basic one.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 10:37PM
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Bluedevil - I'm glad jscout suggested that explanation; I wouldn't have had one. All I could have offered was to confirm jscout's observations about how not-gross the whole thing gets, but I couldn't quite make out why either. But he's right, the drip tray just isn't really -- *darn* -- there are two trays, a deep one that goes underneath the burner and then a pull-out one below that. Which is which?? I don't do nomenclature well at all; I need a diagram. The deep tray that's closer to the burners, just isn't all that close to them when push comes to shove. The heat must, as jscout says, be going up ... empirically, stuff just does not crust on there. It is *very* easy to clean gunk off. And believe me, I have boilovers and overspills or whatever they're called all the time (I had a head injury and this or past chemo may be some reason for forgetfulness; whatever it is, I forget stuff on the burners very, very, very, very regularly. In fact recently I had cause to celebrate that, as Trevor puts it, most annoying sound known to man, the simmer-burner clicking. I heard it all the way upstairs and some distance away. After thinking *darn*!!!!!! That was supposed to be fixed, I thought ... wait, that is fixed, what's going on ... oh. The tea I put on to heat. Must have, um, finished heating. It had boiled over, boiled dry, and put out the flame which proceeded to spark. So ... that annoying sound has its charms too).

Anyway, I can confirm that stuff does not crust over underneath the burners and I will confess likewise to not really cleaning up all the time, all that scrupulously as a result! And I haven't even had to resort to any friends of the barkeep's; just water removes everything. Except in the burners. For that I've used the famous anorexic screwdriver, which is just the right size to ream out the burners' holes. And the ignitor permanently discolors as a result of untidy cooking. I'm told this is not important to function though.

I have had a little spillage onto the lowest pullout tray, but the upper trays overlap quite tightly so this doesn't happen much.

IME cleanup is easy and satisfying. Haven't cleaned the oven yet. ;)

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 3:11AM
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I agree with the above on the CC. In the event of a spillover we don't even worry about it, just clean it up when we are done eating. Otherwise we just wipe up any spatters on the ss top surface, maybe we wipe the upper drip trays once a week. Have only cleaned the lower tray once in 9 months, because I made a big mess roasting tomatoes on a stovetop grille. We don't line the lower tray with foil either. I don't think there are any cleaning issues with the Bluestar either, so don't let that even be a factor. Both ranges kick butt on anything else out there, so choose what you like best for whatever reason. You will be happy either way.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 8:19AM
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Hmmmm . . . I see that what was a pretty important factor for me (ease of cleaning with spillovers -- I'm partners in crime with Alaris on attention span) might not tip the scales in the direction I thought.

BS owners -- just how hard is the stove top to clean with a major spillover? Does most of the liquid get funneled to the drip tray beneath or does it get into the guts of the wiring and tubing in between the burner plate and the drip tray (which, to me, would be much harder to clean later)? Thanks for your input on this (apparently not yet exhausted) subject.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 9:09AM
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Why is it better to have a piece (the pan) that is always visible that I have to keep after?

NYC, the whole pan isn't visible all the time. The grates are so large that not much of the SS pan underneath shows. There is about an inch between the burner and the bottom of the grate. So that's all the steel you see, +/- depending on your viewing angle.

True story, a couple of weeks ago, my wife invited some friends over for dinner to show off our newish kitchen. She asked if I could clean the range before the guests arrived. I told her, "Sure thing," while thinking to myself, "What's the point? I still have to cook on it." Anyway, I got caught up prepping and ran tight on time. So in a rush, I grabbed the container of disinfecting wipes, pulled up each grate and only wiped the visible SS underneath, literally a circle around each burner. I then replaced each grate and wiped those and the rest of the range surface. She came down, saw that the range looked shiny and clean, thanked me and moved on to other things.

When I chose the CC, cleaning was not a factor for me. But it has been a pleasant post-purchase surprise.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 10:53AM
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Thanks jscout. I think I need to take a trip to Boston......

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 11:03AM
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Some time ago, I asked Stooxie to make a video of cleaning his BS. The link is below.

The full thread here:


Passion from both camps.


Here is a link that might be useful: Stooxie Cleaning his BS

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 11:19AM
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BS owners -- just how hard is the stove top to clean with a major spillover?

It's not hard.


What about how you clean UNDER the range? The Bluestar is on legs so it's a non issue. Also makes leveling and re-leveling (as houses shift, etc) easy. Personal preference, I guess.

I think the whole breakable ignitor thing with Bluestar is the biggest red herring out there. They work great. The CC ignitors seem to have their own issues as people try to lower their simmers. I'm still dying to know what the metal disk is for around them. That was a fix for something.

Without getting into it again, let me offer this pro for Bluestar.

Bluestar is a known quantity, a product that has been pretty thoroughly wrung out at this point (V1). It just works. The Capital products seem to be in beta, figuring it out as they go along. I wouldn't have time to deal with that. Others don't mind. Personal preference again.


    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 11:22AM
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Here is one from Trevor - may be the same as in the previous post - Don't know.

Here is a link that might be useful: Trevor Cleaning a BS

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 11:33AM
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Thanks so much Michelle and Stooxie. I've watched the video a couple of times (it was extremely helpful), but I still can't get a feel for what happens with a spill over. I get the feeling that doesn't happen to Stooxie much! Where does the liquid go? I'm not sure how to describe it, but are you cleaning the wires and metal tubes connected to the burner head under the burner head and the small ss plate the burner rests on (which is what the ss pan under the CC burner would successfully contain) or does most of the liquid miss that area and drip down to the drip tray?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 11:50AM
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Oh but Stooxie, if it "just works" and has left beta-mode, then why spend so much time defending? That should be one of your perks, to not have to incessantly scrutinize and defend, the hallmark of beta-life.

I'm just teasing, though informed by slight ongoing astonishment at the sharpness of partisanality.

For the record, I have never -- and will never, on this or the cheapest of any range from camping stove to roach motel -- lined a drip pan with aluminum. (Don't like the waste, I'd prefer to live with the grunge. YMMV.)

Good luck, jbart. Was it you whose kid makes heroic quantities of cookies? I thought of you yesterday as mine made -- and under-shot by adding insufficient flour and much raw-dough eating -- a "full" recipe on two sheets in a Miele speed oven. Small in theory, rather mighty in functional interior space. Capital does, BTW, give you three racks with the oven which is quite frankly, a whole lot of butter to prep.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 12:00PM
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Snowyct - I can't speak to cleaning either range as we don't break ground until next month. I went through everything you are going through now and still believe both are awesome.

I selected BS for reasons other than cleaning. For us it was local support (can't find a CC locally), looks (we just like the looks of the BS better), lower BTU simmer burner, rack positioning and ability to customize the burner configuration - I will be adding a few more 22K burners (60" range). I don't broil often so that didn't factor into my decision.

Good look with your decision. IMHO, both are great ranges.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 12:26PM
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There are complaints here and at Chowhound from unhappy BS owners post-V1 model. No appliance is perfect and nobody manufactures anything 100% free of any design flaws or defects. The breast beating gets tiresome and the worst partisans only hurt their cause because at this point they have no credibility left. Clearly some people would refuse to admit any problem with their range even if it blew up their children.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 1:31PM
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Oh but Stooxie, if it "just works" and has left beta-mode, then why spend so much time defending

Ummm, because a few posts up someone asked a question?


    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 3:30PM
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Wasn't Wednesday supposed to be the day, jbart? What did you decide? Or are you still in the throes of decision-torment?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 3:34PM
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I am still waiting for a bid from one store, mojavean. Supposed to get it tonite or tomorrow. Two stores within 10 minutes of me carry Bluestar and Capital. Got a bid from one, with the 30-inch BS priced at $4050.

My cabinet maker is doing a full custom job (mucho cash) and wants exact models for cutouts. A bit fussy, but a genial guy who is really good at what he does. We fleshed out the job on Wednesday, which is why that was my original deadline.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 8:03PM
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>BS owners -- just how hard is the stove top to clean with a major spillover? Does most of the liquid get funneled to the drip tray beneath or does it get into the guts of the wiring and tubing in between the burner plate and the drip tray (which, to me, would be much harder to clean later)? Thanks for your input on this (apparently not yet exhausted) subject.

I'm not promising, but I will try and take some pics of the wiring and tubing of my 4 year old bs. I have not once cleaned the wires or tubes in 4 yrs and it still looks great there.

>What about how you clean UNDER the range? The Bluestar is on legs so it's a non issue. Also makes leveling and re-leveling (as houses shift, etc) easy. Personal preference, I guess.

This one is huge to me, and paramount to my wife. She would probably lose sleep if she could not clean under the range.

Oh and on a related note, I found out bs sells castors which would make taking the range out for a thorough cleaning a snap, not to mention easy to install the range particularity when, like me, you have hardwood in the kitchen. Wish I had known this before I installed mine. Also goes like hand and glove with the industrial look of the bs.

> Clearly some people would refuse to admit any problem with their range even if it blew up their children.

Yup, unfortunately there are one or two cc fans that this is the case.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 11:08PM
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Thanks tyguy! All good points you make. But how's your boil over record? A picture would be wonderful, but if you never or rarely boil over (unlike me), it wouldn't surprise me much that the "guts" under the burner plates are relatively clean . . .

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 12:11AM
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Snowyct: I am not a boil over king. I have done so, but not on a regular basis. I thought a photo may just illustrate what 4 years of regular use looks like. Ymmv if you in fact are a boil over master.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 12:42AM
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Full disclosure-- I have a Blue Star and love it so much I convinced a local guy to become the first dealer in my city.

It seems that (may-be other than the lingering simmer issue) the BS and CC are close at this point. I will say BS customer service has been absolutely excellent so don't let that be a concern. It really comes down to which one looks better to you.

The only other thing I would double and triple check -- if you're going to get the CC with manual clean, make sure that the "fix" to the oven racks that was alluded to means that you can get rolling racks.

Having now had rolling racks I would definitely rate these as a "must have." They make all the difference in the world. Went from wall ovens to range with some trepidation but rolling racks make the oven so easy to use.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 7:46AM
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The oven is likely to be the deciding factor. I like the CC's bigger and hotter broiler, but the lack of even one rolling rack is a surprising omission on the manual clean. The BS gets the edge with the rolling rack and better configuration.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 10:30AM
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The CC broiler is certainly bigger but I would not concede hotter at all. I have not seen any good evidence to suggest otherwise and BS owners have all reported excellent results from the broiler.


    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 11:44AM
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Tyguy - While I'm not a boil over "master", I'm certainly a star apprentice! I've been cooking for years on a glass top with ceramic elements designed to retain heat as an "energy saving" mechanism (certainly hasn't saved my energy!). It makes the heat hard to regulate and boil-overs almost inevitable since you have to plan the heat about 2 minutes ahead because you can still get a pretty good boil for quite a while even after you've turn the heat to "off". I expect it will be less of a problem once I can regulate the heat better. Nonetheless, I'm sure it will happen occasionally.

I've seen a bluestar video (can't remember which one) in which it looked like the ss bar the burner assembly rests on and the wires attached to the burner were covered loosely in foil beneath the burner plate. BS owners -- is there any reason that wouldn't work (or wouldn't be advisable for some other reason) to cut down on the clean up with a major boil over?

P.S. Tyguy - if you ever get the time, I'd love to see the picture of the space beneath the plates on your range after 4 years of use (but no pressure of course!).

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 1:11PM
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Posted by sayde (My Page) on
Fri, Mar 30, 12 at 7:46

Full disclosure-- I have a Blue Star and love it so much I convinced a local guy to become the first dealer in my city.

I didn't buy one but convinced a local dealer to carry it. When I was looking, he had never heard of it and tried to tell me it was junk but I told him the benefits and a little while later he started carrying it.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 2:22PM
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Hi snowy: See, by asking so nicely you put the pressure on without wanting to! :) Who could say no to a request so nicely asked?

I will try to post these two pics of my front 22k burners. Keep in mind that it is really dirty as I havn't cleaned the stove in a while as we are in construction mode right around the range at the moment (highlighted by the thin coat of drywall and saw dust on the burner). Still a couple of weeks away before I will be giving the range a good bath.

As you can see there is some spillover on the cross braces that support the burner head. This is very easy to clean, all you have to do is pick up the burner assembly, lift it up or out and clean the bracket. Certainly as easy or easier than the cc top drip tray. The other nice thing about the bs is that because it is not a visible part, it only has to be clean so it doesn't attract bugs, but not polished. Unnecessary to give it a buffing or polish with barkeepers friend or the like. Also note, that I do not believe that I have EVER (in four years) cleaned those tubes and wires, other than a very quick wipe which every surface that is reachable will receive when cleaning the range. Absolutely ZERO special attention has been given to those parts in four years.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 4:16PM
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Hello all and nice, informative thread. Both new here at GW as well as to these Pro-cooking machines, I just finished reading the Blue Star installation pdf. to review specs, requirements and warrenty.

Regarding casters, it may be possible to pre-position approximately the casters on install, yet Blue Star has requirements for method of 'placement' of their unit. Specifically one cannot 'push' the oven into place as it may unbalance or misalign their factory settings.

Haven't checked out either yet but reading BS, CC, AGA Pro and others specs to wrap my thoughts around Pro-line vs non-pro function and venting.

Thought this might help someone. Congrats to O/P on near decision!

Here is a link that might be useful: Blue Star install instructions

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 6:36PM
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Tyguy -- Thanks a million! That picture is indeed worth a thousand words. It's not at all as bad as I had feared. It was awfully nice of you to take the time to take and post the pictures.

Sparkling - That's a good reminder to all of us that, as much fun it is to look at and play with these ranges while we make our decisions, it's just as important to do the tedious stuff like reading the manuals and fine print to make sure we know exactly what we're buying.

I really love both of these ranges and wouldn't have known about either if it weren't for all of you on this forum. So thanks to one and all for spending the time to give us the benefit of your experience. Jbart -- good luck with that decision.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 9:40PM
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Snowy: I'm glad my pictures helped. It was actually the first pics I have posted to gw, and I must give 100% credit to mojavean for his simplistic and humourous post making the job very easy. I really like the photobucket feature allowing a simple copy and paste of the html code. I didn't realize they had this.

Judging by your posts, it seems like you have a good grasp of the pros and cons of both the bs and cc. You really will not go wrong with either range.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 10:25PM
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Turns out my decision might come down to ... price. I can get the CC for $300 less, and since my wife and I are overbudget on other stuff, the savings are needed anywhere we can find them.

Was leaning toward BS, but my wife and daughter did an about-face and said I could go with Capital. My daughter bought the argument that pro-size racks would be harder to clean, handle and store.

I am going to see both ranges one more time this weekend when I deliver the check to my dealer for all my appliances. Everything else is squared away.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 11:33PM
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I have found that making compromises based on price rarely work for us when it comes to items for our home, but we are kinda weird like that :). However, I understand that the decision between a cc and bs is so difficult for some that price could easily be the deciding factor. You will be happy with either product and if you save a few bucks all the better.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 12:18AM
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On the issue of cleaning a CC, I can share some pics. I took the burner grates off to clean the inside last month for the first time. Here's what the middle drip tray looked like after about 3 months of use.

If you look to the left, you can see what the unit looked like under the drip tray. Nary a drop on the parts I'm scared to touch. (Insert your macho insults here to the girl who doesn't know how the inside parts work so is afraid to touch.)

Longer view of the under-drip tray.

Closeup of the drip tray.

Yes, the tray was dirty. A topside view down into the rangetop doesn't show the majority of this gunk. I told DH I finally neeed to get my butt in gear to clean it and he couldn't believe it was actually dirty as you can't see much with the grates on. I clean the grates regularly as they obviously show when they're messy or greasy. When I exposed the drip tray, I was embarassed at the mess. Very, very easy cleanup in the sink so am doing it more often now. I had a decent potato water boilover a couple of weeks ago and was relieved that the drip tray caught the mess.

I've never seen a BS IRL (or even saw a CC before I ordered), so I can't compare the two. My comments just mean that for an unmechanically inclined girl who has never disassembled anything like this in her life, cleaning is easy.

Jbart--You're close! I think making the decision at this point with no clear winner based on financials is a fine method. Reno'ing a kitchen is horrendously expensive. Save where you can. You've got a ways to go, and other unknown expenses can easily crop up. Believe me. :)

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 2:39AM
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Breezygirl, those are great pictures. If you want to clean the metal around the small ignitor, a toothbrush and baking soda will do the job.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 11:30PM
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Breezy -- thanks so much for posting those pictures! It really does seem that keeping the area clean won't be a problem at all.

FWIW, I went yet again to the local appliance store that has both a live BS and a CC (where I'm rapidly becoming a fixture myself) and played around with the CC (the BS wasn't hooked up today -- I'll go to a store further away tomorrow that has a live BS). There has to be a way of adjusting the range to achieve a good simmer, because the CC in the store was stellar (although I just fooled around with a pan of water). Every burner could be adjusted to the lowest simmer setting without clicking at all and the water just gently steamed at the lowest simmer setting (no bubbles at all, not even at the bottom of the pan) -- seemed like it could have stayed like that all day (although I couldn't hold my hand 6-7" above the flame for more than about 5 seconds). And at full blast, it came to a boil so rapidly that other customers commented.

In addition to the air shutter and knob adjustments, I really wonder whether it's the ignitor position that has been speculated on (can't remember by who or which thread) because in Breezy's simmer journey thread, Mangiamo says that her burners click at a 2-3 setting, which this CC definitely didn't do. Hopefully the replacement ignitors will solve the problem.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 1:23AM
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Well, Capital it is. I am getting the 30-inch range, manual clean.

I began the journey four or five years ago, when my wife and I first considered a kitchen reno, wanting a Bluestar. It was the only high-heat, open burner range on the market.

After my wife delayed our project - repeatedly - Capital came into view and the Culinarian became the object of my desire. Yet a closer comparison of the two ranges ultimately made it a 50-50 choice.

In all honesty, tguy, I wanted CC just slightly more. Call it a 50.1% to 49.9% decision.

The Bluestar almost got me with the removable grate for wokking, the bigger oven and rolling rack and the simmer burner. The CC won me with four 23K burners, bigger broiler (I use a broiler more than most people) and more modern looks. It was an extremely close call.

As I mentioned, price did play a deciding factor. Since I could not decide on features and performance, the nearly $300 in savings made it an easier call. Had BS offered a burner upgrade (the 15K to 22K) for free I might have gone the other way.

There were a few other factors I won't mention publicly based on my discussions with the dealer about pros and cons. (For the record he was a big supporter of both brands).
Breezy, you mentioned the need to find savings wherever we can. Well, I have a spreadsheet with every single item costed out from the contractor cost to the handle pulls. We even have a sizable contingency budget even though the nature of our project is unlikely to contain any big surprises at this stage of the process. That $300 will come in handy since my wife has decided she wants the Rohl Shaws farmhouse sink.

Everything else in our addition has been chosen except for window treatments, right down to the plates that will go on the electrical outlets. My bout of indecision on the range was unusual. I (we) decided almost everything else weeks or months ago.

I ended up buying locally in the DC area at a store called M&M Appliance. I got tremendous service and an excellent price from the store, which beat out a nearby local rival that also made a fine offer. I am lucky to have two stores selling both brands within 10 minutes of my house.

The people at M&M, from the owner down, were super helpful. They promised extra support if I need it and will make sure the burners are adjusted to my satisfaction. The owner said they haven't gotten many complaints about the simmer ability on the Capital, but he mentioned the problem to a regional sales rep after our discussions. The store has the special screwdriver and knows how to adjust the burners.

While I could have bought online, the store offered a better price than all but one online retailer, even after taxes and delivery were included.

I decided early on that I wanted to buy locally for the customer support. I also felt a duty of sorts to support an independent store where I could actually see, touch and play around with the range I wanted. It simply would not be possible otherwise and that's a bad thing for consumers. A big purchase like this, it's important to get to know the product.

That said, I would have bought online if I did not get a competitive price. I believe in competition and I buy many things online. The internet has given consumers a fairer shake in the buying process.

Anyway, I look forward to cooking on the Capital in another two or three months. Wish I could have cooked on the Bluestar too. In different visits, I queried four salespeople and the owner of M&M as to which range they preferred. Capital won 3-2 in a tight call. And each had slightly different reasons for their choice.

Thanks to everyone here who made my decision easier - and harder - because of all the shared experiences (and arguing). It made me a much more informed consumer. I hope I have contributed a wee bit in my own way.

I'll post pictures of my addition and new range when the project is complete, probably on Houzz.

Only thing I regret is that my wife won't let me get a color (wine red)!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 7:28AM
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Enjoy your new range. It feels good to get those decisions made.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 9:50AM
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Congrats on reaching a decision. I was in your boat a year ago. Similar pattern too, having started planning five years ago and facing one delay/postponement after another. Started with a BS and ended with a CC. Good luck with the rest of your project. These are exciting times.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 9:24PM
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Jbart, congrats to you and your family. I know you guys will have a ball cooking on your new range! All the best and thanks for letting us chime in as well as letting us know what you picked.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 9:49PM
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Woo Hoo.

Actually, I'm working on a theory here that pain of decision-making isn't always even directly related to the "true" pain of the decision, as it were (presuming there is such a thing to be measured, theoretically).

That is, I think sometimes you get worn down by the whole process of the whole thing and eventually at some point you seize up, somewhat independent of what it is you're considering. There are an awful lot of decisions to be made in this process. And while in the midst of it you gear yourself up to keep moving ahead, keep focused. Then it's mostly done, you're near the end, exhausted and worried. So you play a lot of that worry out on an excessive amount of cogitation about some one random purchase that's left.

For me this was the faucets. And I'm still fixated on them and the decision (I don't like my choices). Maybe it's not relevant, but I think to some extent it's just a surrogate for anxiety and frustration about the whole meshugaas.

You all will be happy, though, completely independent of coloring! mazel tov. ;)

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 2:32AM
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I love my CC! You will too!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 9:08AM
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I am not easily worn down, aliris! My problem is, I spend too much time searching for the ideal instead of settling for the merely fantastic. Lot of us do that, I can see.

Take my range search. The rolling rack and ability to fit pro-size cookie sheets on the Bluestar really captured my fancy for awhile. Then I realized: I don't make cookies myself and I've never had a rolling rack in my entire life, as a minor or an adult. I've done just fine without them.

One thing that really turned me toward the CC is fairly simple. Jscout mentioned that he likes to push his pasta pot of water to the backburner. Well, I do that all the time even on my old Jenn-air, which has a smaller burner on the back. That's something I actually do regularly, so I can actively cook the sauce or some such on the frontburners.

Similarly, I plan to get a stovetop griddle to straddle a front and back burner. I want both burners under the griddle to put out the same heat for easy adjustment.

If a range cost $1,000, I wouldn't worry. Get the other one in a few years if the initial purchase does not work out. But when you are talking $4000, or more, well, no one wants to make what they think is a mistake.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 10:24AM
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I love(d) my Capital most of the time, but the latch cooling fan has failed twice within less than a year, and their service response is simply abysmal. If you live in CA, within range of factory service, then go for it. I'm on the east coast, and reget spending so much money on a range that is close to unsupported.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 6:19PM
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Jbart: I'm really happy for you, even if you bought the next best range on the market! :). Kidding of course. One would either clearly like one range over the other for whatever reason, or the choice is a difficult one and as I said before you can not make a wrong choice if you are in the latter camp.

You are going to have a blast with your cc, and if you report back saying you have become a better cook, you would not be the first one to do so.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 9:29PM
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Tguy After reading virtually every thread about the CC and Bluestar - it takes a long time! - I honestly don't understand all the Blue-and-Gray skirmishing. As you note, these are both great ranges. Each has minor flaws, but I never seriously considered other ranges.

I will end up cooking on one, not the other, so I'll never be able to comment about the BS from a cooking standpoint. All I know is that it looks like a great range, has great specs and holds a few advantages over rival ranges, including the CC.

Hopefully the CC works out for me. If not, I'll send it back and get the Bluestar. I like them both and hated to have to choose just one. If I ever get rich, I'll put a BS in my second home! (-:

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 11:13AM
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>Hopefully the CC works out for me. If not, I'll send it back and get the Bluestar. I like them both and hated to have to choose just one. If I ever get rich, I'll put a BS in my second home! (-:

no worries, it will work for you!

again, congrats!! You will have to post some pics when its installed.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 2:40PM
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zfrankle -- I just posted to you on another thread. I am fortunate to live close to the factory, but your telephone will reach them even quicker than they could drive here. Explain how long and how patient you've been!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 3:04AM
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Been superbusy lately but here's an update on my purchase and decision.

I got the Culinarian as planned. It was a close decision over Bluestar. Mainly I picked CC for the four 23K burners, cleaner modern look, somewhat hotter broiler and supposed better custom service. I saved a few hundred bucks too, but that was not a major consideration.

My biggest concern with the Culinarian were the reports of its inability to simmer at a low-enough temperature. I do make a lot of sauces.

Sure enough, I had the very same problem. None of my burners went low enough. I briefly regretted not getting the Bluestar.

Yet my local appliance dealer, M&M Appliance in Washington, DC, sent a technician over to adjust the burners. He used that special screw, and after about 5 minutes, all four of my burners could simmer at a noticeably lower temp. (M&M is a terrific dealer for those in the DC vicinity).

Before the adjustment, the CC burners would click repeatedly when set to the lowest setting on the dial. The temperature was too hot, too.

After the adjustment, two of my four burners can be set to the lowest setting on the dial without clicking. They produce a low simmer now. The other two burners can go lower, though I cannot leave them turned all the way to the right. They will click sporadically (but not like before.

The result: I am a very happy camper. I love having 23K power on any burner I choose to use and the CC goes better with my appliances than the Bluestar would have.

That said, I think it's a tossup between the two ranges (I like the BS oven a bit more). My advice to buyers who lean toward CC is to make sure you get it locally or feel expert enough to get one of those special screws to maker burner adjustments yourself.

If those conditions don't apply and low simmer is very important, I'd recommend the Bluestar to avoid any potential problem. Some new CCs won't have the same problem as mine did - but some will.

Pictures soon ...

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 2:36PM
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@jbart - what hood did you finally go with?

I noticed Elica on your list prior- interested also here.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 1:10PM
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Just to add one more data point, I recently did the Culinarian adjustment following Trevor L's instructions here:


and it worked well. I managed with a 1/8" x 2 1/2" screwdriver, but I know some people have found 1/8" too wide.

I looked for a Trevor video on the adjustment process and didn't find one. Trevor, you might consider putting a video up as an encouragement and guide.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 12:41PM
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I went with XO over Zephyr and Kobe, mainly because my dealer did not carry Elica. He preferred XO support over Kobe and the Zephyr chimney (my preference) was too flattish for my wife.

XO works well and is simple to operate. Few bells and whistles or electronic parts to break. Looks nice, solidly built and does what I need. Low is quiet and high is fairly loud, but I rarely use high for more than a few minutes.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 1:18PM
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