american range performer vs. blue star rcs or rnb

woodsidecookApril 6, 2014

I have read everything i can find on this board (so helpful, thanks to all of you who have shared your experiences) and elsewhere about both stoves, and seen both in person, and amazingly I still am undecided. I'm looking at the 30 inch stoves.

Seems to me like this:
American Range pros: most powerful burners, mostly positive feedback online, cheaper, somewhat easier to clean
AR cons: a little bit deeper body and my kitchen is small, hasn't been around as long so fewer people with experiences to share, grates too high?

Blue Star pros: people seem to be truly, almost romantically in love with them, and who doesn't want that in their life.
Blue Star cons: more $$$, and i've heard of a few heartbreaks to match that romantic love.

Can anyone add anything to those lists, or else just boss me about what to do?

Also, I could eliminate the cost consideration if I just got the BS RCS but I'm afraid I'd regret not having the extra BTUS.

Thanks in advance, I'd like to make this decision in the next few days as I have been cooking on a broken ancient maytag for over a month now.

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woodsidecook

I can't figure out how to edit my original post, so i'll post this as follow up. I guess the question could be put more simply:

The american range seems like the obvious choice for me, but the sheer love people seem to feel for their Blue Stars is swaying me. Is there any other clear reason the Blue Star is a better choice?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 1:28PM
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deeageaux

The extra distance between the burners and the grates might negate the extra Power of the AR.

It is easier to clean BS cast iron than the black enamel on the AR. Plus it is easier to lift a single BS grate than the double AR grates to get into the sink. The lift and pop feature for lowering simmer on BS is "cool" and the lift and remove to place a round bottom wok is also slick. If you have a major overflow spill AR does have those enameled panels to catch the liquid.

AR has a cheap ceramic broiler while BS has a more durable steel mesh one but unless you are heavy broiler user it won't make a difference. AR has its double convection oven while BS has the normal single convection oven. The oven door on the AR can get hotter than most oven doors and the oven takes longer to preheat than the average for similar size oven.

Both have had atrocious customer service in the past. Bluestar seems to have been pretty good the last couple of years. AR was so bad people on GW stopped buying them for a couple of years until AR PS came out. Since then I have not seen any serious complaints.

BTW There is more than one thread on this and questions like these tend to start a flame war but there you go. Hope that helps.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 2:07PM
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jeffreyem

I had a Bluestar 48" range top for 5 years and loved it. We're building a new house and the kitchen will have a 36" range and 2 CookTek 3500w induction hobs. I've ben going back and forth on the Bulestar vs the AR. I just really like the grate/design of the Bluestar so I have decided to stay with the BS. I really wish I could get the Platinum series 25K burners on the RNB, I'm sure it's just some additional holes in the star.

This post was edited by jeffreyem on Mon, Apr 7, 14 at 18:56

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 6:50PM
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wekick

Then again the distance between the burners and grates might be engineered that way to maximize the capture of heat on the high end and allow a better simmer on the low end.

Cleaning is subjective. I would look at the videos on the different brands on youtube and it will give you some idea.

As far as a broiler, I would check out how much area it covers. Some are disappointed by very small broilers.

I think there are some posts on the AP by actual owners that would be helpful to get an idea about door temps and preheat times or any questions you might have.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 1:14AM
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woodsidecook

Thanks all for the input- this forum is so helpful. I just went to a showroom and finally saw the performer in person, next to the Blue Star, and I decided I definitely prefer the Blue Star- very subjective reasons, I like the look better, the slightly smaller size and less massive lines will work better in my kitchen, i like the burner design/cleaning better.
I'm pretty sure I'm going to get the RCS, though a little worried I'll regret not getting the RNB. So, i may post a new question asking about that- i.e. any rcs owners with terrible regrets. ordinary regrets i can handle :)

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 7:45PM
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chefaaa

If you are one of the unlucky ones who gets a bad american range you will be forever sad, angry, frustrated and tormented by your decision. American range will never help you get what they want and it will be a lost 3500 bucks at least. IMHO capital stove top. Electrolux has a really good wall oven. If you want all in one. Bluestar or captial. AMERICAN RANGE is a scam

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 9:00PM
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Heidi1961

Chefaaa--may I ask what issues you have had? Or direct me to a link where you have discussed it.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 8:03AM
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omega73

Yes, more info chefaaa, most seem happy with their ranges on this board. The oven only units seem to be an issue in one post.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 10:24AM
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dcrb

I would go with the BS. It is what we have had since 2008 with no problems. It is the 8 burner version with oven and half oven. If I had to do it all over again, I would. And yes, a tad on the expensive side. But the essence of simplicity: no clock, no timer, no computer board, just the electronic ignition. And to date, have not had to replace any broken ignitors. It is simply wonderful to use. I cannot speak on the AR, but can tell you the we looked at both the BS and the Five Star Range by Brown Stove Works, in a show room. The Five Star is seen on Rick Bayless's show, one plate at a time. We did not want dual fuel so we went with BS. Otherwise, we were impressed with the FS which like the BS is made in the USA, and is pricey.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 6:25PM
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windycitylindy

We had a strange issue with our AR Performer, and AR was very responsive and kept working to fix the issue (ultimately resolved). There was never any difficulty getting service when we called. I was quite happy with the service, which included several contacts with the company itself due to our odd problem.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 1:08PM
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masswineguy

Do NOT buy Blue Star. I've had a 30 inch natural gas Garland range for about 14 years. Blue Star was making the residential range line for Garland before it eventually just took over the brand and renamed it.

The cast iron parts are a PITA to clean well, as is the rest of the range. The burner igniters are pretty fragile and break down from vibration if too many trucks drive past your house (no joke; this happened). the main igniter module that controls all the burners tends to go bad and costs about $120.

From a utilitarian viewpoint, the simmer burner is really good, the front left burner, designed to be hottest, does, indeed, get very hot. Great for a steak poivre. The infrared broiler is sensational.

Maybe Blue Star's improved the range, but I also think the oven racks suck. They're quite finnicky insofar as removing them and replacing them. They tend to get jammed in. I've noticed that DCS, Wolf or someothers have bearings on their racks that make them a breeze to use.

Another major reason to avoid Blue Star is that almost no one services their ranges. Before buying, call some appliance repair people and ask not only if they fix Blue Stars, but can they get Blue Star parts from their suppliers. They might say that they handle Blue Star ranges, but I'll bet they can't easily obtain genuine parts.

For the $3,000 I paid for this range in 2001, I would definitely have put the money into another range.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 10:56AM
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Mistman

Gotta say I'm more than happy with my 36" RNB. I have been using it for just about a year now and have not had 1 issue. I did break the thermostat for the griddle while installing the hi-back guard and shelf but it was replaced very quickly, my fault. I replaced it too, no need for a service guy w/these machines, I adjusted all my burners too, easy. I also have a 30" Wolf convection and a Wolf steam oven but do use the BS oven for pizza, big hunks of meat and anything I want to use a big sheet pan for. The BS oven is the quietest when using convection mode and I love the ability to turn the fan off w/a switch, the Wolf fan stays on for quite some time after the oven is off and is LOUD. The steam oven fan is also relatively loud, we use that oven the most of any of them. I would absolutely purchase another BS range. I hadn't even heard of them until I was starting my new construction and ended up on this site. I read all the horror stories but with all the stellar reviews I figured I'd take a chance. Got a moss green range and matching pro-line 1200 cfm hood (talk about loud).
Initially I was interested in the AR performer, the place I purchase from had Capital, AR and BS all right next to each other (didn't even consider a Wolf). I had looked at an AR at another place by itself but when I saw it next to the BS I didn't even look at it again.
I may have been equally happy w/the AR but am very happy with my BS. Really the only thing I was remotely concerned about was the hot door as I have young twins (5 now, 4 when we moved in). When I saw my boy sitting on the floor in front of the range with his back against the door while it was on my worries were over, he was 'warming up'. Heck my Wolf lower panel gets hot enough to be quite unpleasant when it's on which surprised me as no one has ever complained about that. Having the 'known good' Wolf in the same kitchen as the BS oven I can say they've both been brilliant. However it does make the Wolf seem 'not soo special' since the BS is equally 'special'. I do most of my bread baking in the BS just cause I can fit more in there but have used all 3 (steam oven only goes up to 445 deg though), they all work great but the end product is slightly different in each which is kinda cool.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 12:19PM
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tinyhomebuilder

masswineguy writes:

"Maybe Blue Star's improved the range..."

_________________________________________________________________

They have. : )

Our 24 inch RNB has absolutely ~none~ of the problems you described. And BlueStar's seasoned cast iron is a dream to clean compared to porcelain coated top on our old closed burner range.

This post was edited by tinyhomebuilder on Fri, May 30, 14 at 20:26

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 1:21PM
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Ladyhawk52

Hi, just new to this forum. I'm very interested in the BS 36" 6 burners freestanding range. The RCS. My main concern is the height of the oven. 15". I did call BlueStar and with the racks at lowest position it is 11 1/2". Do yiu think that is enough room. Actually probably only 11" as you wouldn't cram something clear to the top of oven. Help. I've researched & researched.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 6:45PM
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tinyhomebuilder

Sorry... all I can do is to confirm those measurements.

In fact, if you account for the broiler igniter box attached to the oven ceiling, from the surface of the bottom ball bearing shelf to the box is 11 inches. We never bake anything that tall so it's never become an issue.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 1:01AM
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alexrander

I tested my Bluestar by turning on the fan in a cold oven.Just took a sheet of tissue paper and you can see that the fan sucks air in and blows it out the sides. It works exactly as the claims made by this shill for American.
And it's drawing air in - air that's sucked across the food. After all the fan doesn't create hot air, it just moves the existing air around.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2014 at 10:11AM
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