Help with chosing a range!!

gestalt42April 12, 2013

I am renovating my kitchen and need help picking a range. We just discovered yesterday that the stove I have (and have had in storage for awhile now...) won't work in my kitchen. It's too commercial. It's a Garland 30", really old, propane. Basically in order to install it I'm going to need a commercial permit, commercial hook up, ect, ect. So now I need to buy a new stove! (Luckily I can still use the Garland for the cabin)

I would like to take this moment to say that we are smack dab in the middle of renovations. As in no sink, no stove, nada. I was hoping to have the guy come and template the counters on monday but I can't do that till I make a decision on the stove. Right.

Because the cabinets haven't been permanently set in place I have a bit of wiggle room now with size. I would love a 48" stove (who wouldn't!) but in order to do that I would have to switch one of the 30" cabs to the island and take the 24" back over to the wall. That screws up the kicks and the butcherblock on the island. It's not a huge deal, we'd keep the countertop and make a table for the cabin or something. Still, extra cost. Or do I go with a 36" and regret it forever? Just kidding, kinda. The stoves I've been looking at are....

Aga 36" Legacy, BlueStar 36 or 48, American Range 36 or 48, or the Bertazzoni 36 or 48. I have always dreamed of having a real Aga but no way can we afford it. One other stove I've been looking at is the Esse Cat flueless, anyone have any experience with that? Like an AGA but not always on.

I really love the multiple ovens on the Aga and on the 48" sizes of the other ones. But is it worth all the re-do of the cabs for the 48"? Plus I've read on here that the build on the Aga is not so great? We love to cook, it's a huge part of our lives. My husband gets up at 5 so he can be home early to cook dinner together. This is important. It's got to be good. Here's a tricky part. I live on an island so it's not super easy for me to go and see them in person. So I've been looking online and have found some good deals, some with free shipping (very good for me!). And this forum has been a godsend for everything! I don't know what I'd do without reading what you guys have to say! But after spending 6+ hours at the computer today trying to figure this out I finally realized I should just ask you. Please excuse the ramblings, it's late and I've been looking at ranges all day, my head is spinning. Thanks.

I accidentally posted this over in the kitchen forum last night, so tired! So I'm re-posting over here now, hopefully you can help!

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I too am looking at 48" double oven all gas ranges. I am considering: Wolf with 8 burners(the griddle is useless to me)
Blue Star RNB with the 24" French Top

I would have LOVED an Aga - the traditional 3 gas oven. I really, really like it and felt it would have been the best to cook upon. We live in an apt. and can't vent above the roof which is what the installer told me we would have to do.
Here is what I have learned so far:
I have measured the internal ovens on the
Wolf, Bert and Thermador. I have yet to see the Blue Star on the floor.

I believe in measuring the actual oven racks not oven wall to oven wall. You will place your pans, cookie sheets, casserole, pyrex, le creusets etc. on the oven racks and need to then get the pans into the oven via the racks the racks do not go flush up to the wall. For example, the Wolf specs say the oven is 24" wide BUT the racks are 22". You would not be able to put a dish that is 24 or 23" wide into the oven. You can only put a dish in that is as wide as the racks.
The same goes for height. You don't rest the pan on the very bottom of the oven yet the internal height measurement in specs is from the very bottom of the oven to the very top. The top has a broiler and you don't put your food up against the broiler.
So: Wolf is actually 22" wide and 10" high
Thermador is actually 21" wide and 10.5" high
Bert 20 3/4" - close to 21 wide and 8" high. The Bert actually had one of their own ceramic dishes in the oven on display and it was as wide as the rack and if you believed the specs as written, an got a pan based on that, you would not be able to get it in the oven.

The Wolf has the ability to have all burners go to 18K
The Blue Star RNB Nova with a 22K BTU and the French Burner is 18K BTU and I have read that some people have had to change their gas pipe and venting to take care of the 22K BTU ability.
The Thermador and the Wolf have a temp. gauge on the ovens but Bert does not. The Bert also has only one burner that goes to 15kBTU, the other burners are 11K, 6500K and I think a simmer burner.
All have stoves that can be manually lit in the case of an electrical outage but I haven't read that any of the ovens can be manually lit.
The Bert Pro and Heritage series needs an internal themonitor the Master series has an external gauge.

I love the AGA and the hobs. I am really leaning towards the French cooktop on the Blue Star. A french top seems to me to make much more sense and provides flexibility than a grill/griddle.

You can design the Blue Star beyond color and knobs and cooktop config. You can change the way the door opens.
I would like to hear from anyone too who has had any of these ovens in the past 3 years. Thank you!!!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 1:37AM
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We just purchased the 36" American Range performer... it accomodates full sheet pans and has an 1800 degree broiler. Besides the Capital ranges, I don't recall seeing both of those features in any of the competitors products we looked at. The AR commercial products are used in some of the best steakhouses in our area (Seattle), as well as at some big restaurant chains, including Ruth's Chris if I'm not mistaken. Let me also mention that I grew up in my family's own restaurants, so I take it all very seriously. Considering the (relatively) low price, it seemed like a no-brainer...

we spent, er, 'invested' the difference in a super-turbo mega powered Vent-a-hood... a 3 blower model with 10" duct work...

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 5:16AM
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I'd get a 36"or 48" bluestar RNB without question. It's the residential version of the garland and if you love to cook like I do, it's the best there is.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 5:32PM
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living in NYC here is what I have learned and what different sales person have put forward:

-WOLF all the way

-People forget to look at the Thermadore. It's a great range.

-People love the Bertazzon - it's footprint is elegant and the performance is really good BUT you have to understand that only 1 burner goes to 15K btu

BlueStar RNB - the best ..come on.
Vicking - WTF is going on with that company? LIke SubZero Frigs. it's really hit or miss.
I have looked uptown, downtown, mid town, flatiron, etc.

the usual debate about open and closed burners - comes down to cleaning than to power/heat.

Service is really about where you purchase and then it comes down to how you cook. I think.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 9:36PM
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Bluestar 36RNB owner, and I don't know how one could improve on this range...

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 11:28PM
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Well, this last week has been pretty crazy, I ended up finding a Cluny on Craigslist Seattle. Awesome price. So we're going for that. I'm going down to pick it up next weekend! So glad to finally pick something. And not at all what I thought it was going to be.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 11:48PM
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Yeah! I think you will love it. I have been looking at the Cluny 1400 and would realy, really live to know how you find the laCanche. Please post again!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 3:49PM
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HI e1314935. I've been looking at the American Range 36" Performer myself, but am having a hard time finding reviews/info online. Would you be willing to post your thoughts on your range now that you have it installed? Also, any pictures you'd be willing to share would be super-helpful. What I'm most interested in is how easy is the cleanup since my wife and I are both messy cooks, and want to be lazy when it comes to cleanup. Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 4:05PM
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