36 AG range questions

afcaseApril 5, 2014

I have been reading nearly ALL the previous posts on this forum re 36 pro style ranges.
We are a family of four with two girls 6, 10. I would say we are average cooks. We currently have an all electric GE profile 30" w glass cooktop. It had worked fine over the last 3 years. We are now in the process of moving and are in the middle of a full kitchen remodel. The kitchen we are remodeling had a 48" AG thermador circa 1999. For a variety of reasons we have decided to replace this range with a 36" AG range.
Reading through the forums I have read really good and really bad things about nearly all brands.
I have looked at or considered the following AG, 6 burner manual clean with convection.

Bluestar RCS 36. $3159
Bluestar RNB. 36. $5600
Thermador pro harmony AG 36 $5130

American Range 36 $ unsure
Wolf $6000
Viking $ unsure

Capital precision "L" $ 4700 lowes

The issue I have is the prices are all quite compared to our current GE profile ( obviously a different category).

For an average cook what is my safest bet?

We have ruled out ( kitchen aid, GE, JENN air)

Many reviews comment on poor durability and service on the bluestar. Has there been significant changes in mfg and service in the last few years??

What is the reason for the $2000 price difference between the RCS and RNB? I called the cust service they said top burners and color options??? There must be more for the $$$ diff?
What about the complaints about door temp with kids with a BS???

I am not opposed to spending $5-6k but I hate to waste money or spend unwisely. We are set on a 36 " as our cabinets are nearly done.

Please help with some direction and suggestions.

I am becoming obsessed and have spent hours and hours researching but still can't pull the trigger.
Open vs sealed burners??? Cleanup of either. ??

We are getting a bit scared away from the RCS due to the low price... There must be a quality difference ??? Leaning toward the thermador as that's what came out of our new house ( we never used it)

We want a great looking range that we can cook the basics to start and more as we become more comfortable with it. Want reliability and consistent temps inside and on top.
Brand name is not so important as long as the above hold true.

Sorry for the run on but we need help!!! :-).

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Sophie Wheeler

Keep what you have. Ranges can last for many decades, and a 48'' not only gives you more cooking surface but the two ovens that are both usable sizes. A 36'' has one oversized oven that takes more energy and time to use. It's complete overkill unless you want to do two 20 pound birds in it at the same time. Even then, that's maybe once a year?

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 1:56PM
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afcase

Thank you for you feedback. Unfortunately we have already made the change in the cabinet layout and liner hood cabinet.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 2:10PM
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gtadross_gw

I have a 36" bluestar RNB and couldn't be happier with it. I also have two girls....ages 7 and 2 and a third baby on the way. The oven door, while warm when cooking at high temps, poses no danger to anyone.

The difference between the RCS and the RNB is that the former only has 15k burners across the board and has no convection oven whereas the latter has at least two 22k burners, one simmer burner, and the rest 15k burners as well as having a convection oven. Neither model comes with self clean. One last difference is that the RCS uses a single point ignition system such that when you turn on a burner, other adjacent burners click too, which is annoying in my opinion. The RNB has a different ignition system so that only the burner being turned on clicks. In a nutshell, the RCS is the baseline and the RNB is the deluxe version.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 6:29PM
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gigelus2k13

Quick correction regarding what gtadross said: if you buy a new RCS, it has the 15kBTU burners AND convection oven. The convection setup is identical to the RNB one. The older RCS did not have convection, but sported two 18kBTU burners.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 11:46PM
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gtadross_gw

Oh ok. I didn't realize that. Just gotta make sure you're not getting an old one if you want the RCS with convection.

I still find the RNB to be superior due to the better burner setup. With the RCS, you will not be able to upgrade to a higher BTU burner. Bluestar has the parts on lockdown and will not sell you the required parts unless you provide them your serial number. And the only serial number that qualifies for upgrades is the RNB.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 1:49PM
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bobelicious

Can someone comment , with examples, on what you can cook on an 18K burner that you can't on a 15K burner? I also enjoy cooking and would like to get more into it so do not know how big of a deal this really is.

From the pricing above, assuming other things equal, it would seem to make sense to save the $2300 if: 1)quality was similar, 2) you don't think you'll need an upgrade (i.e to want or need 18K or higher burners), and 3) the 15K at lowest setting can simmer fine, and 4) you are looking at the 6 burner configuration (no griddle, grill), and 5) if you're ok with stainless steel (looks like no color options for RCS).

Also, if you go to the website (http://www.bluestarcooking.com), the catalog & brochures do not even list RCS as a range type(although there are links to RCS images). I wonder whether they are moving away from RCS to RNB as the standard. If so, this may be a concern for future parts, service, repair, etc. but I'm just guessing.

There may be other reasons of course that others may add. I was looking at the 36" RNB, but now may also consider the RCS.

If pricing in line to expected, $2300 is not insignificant, at least for me :-)

Comments?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 5:55PM
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bobelicious

Can someone comment , with examples, on what you can cook on an 18K burner that you can't on a 15K burner? I also enjoy cooking and would like to get more into it so do not know how big of a deal this really is.

From the pricing above, assuming other things equal, it would seem to make sense to save the $2300 if: 1)quality was similar, 2) you don't think you'll need an upgrade (i.e to want or need 18K or higher burners), and 3) the 15K at lowest setting can simmer fine, and 4) you are looking at the 6 burner configuration (no griddle, grill), and 5) if you're ok with stainless steel (looks like no color options for RCS).

Also, if you go to the website (http://www.bluestarcooking.com), the catalog & brochures do not even list RCS as a range type(although there are links to RCS images). I wonder whether they are moving away from RCS to RNB as the standard. If so, this may be a concern for future parts, service, repair, etc. but I'm just guessing.

There may be other reasons of course that others may add. I was looking at the 36" RNB, but now may also consider the RCS.

If pricing in line to expected, $2300 is not insignificant, at least for me :-)

Comments?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 6:20PM
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gtadross_gw

With the exception of wok cooking, there's nothing you can't do the 15k that you can do the 18/22. However, the stronger burners do everything better. And I my opinion, the 22k simmer superbly. If I could, I would get a 6 burner with all 22ks. They're just much more versatile. If you don't need blazing heat, just turn down the knob to get to the 15k equivalent.

Now the 15k are fine, but even with the star pattern open burners, they just don't provide the same level of performance as the 22s.

As far as serviceability, I think both the RCS and RNB use the same stuff for the most part, so at least to my mind, that wouldn't be the deciding factor. What it comes down to is performance. And the hands down winner on that regard is the RNB.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 8:42PM
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bobelicious

gdatross,

I am curious as to what you feel you lose as far as "level of performance" related to actual cooking with 15Ks as opposed to 22ks. Can you expand on exactly what you mean by that?

I realize this might be more of a general cooking question but it still seems significant regarding the RCS vs. RNB comparison.

Any other comments (see my notes above) comparing RCS and RNB greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 12:46PM
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nycbluedevil

22K is a lot more power than 15K. That means that water boils faster, pans get back up to temperature faster when you add food to them, you can get a better sear on a piece of meat, etc. It's not like 15K is not enough to do the job. It's just that 22K does it better. There is a reason that commercial stoves have even higher BTUs. Maybe you should try out the RNB at a showroom and use both burners and see the difference for yourself.

I have the 36" RNB with grill. While I love this range, the grill is only 15K, which is my one gripe. While it is adequate, there is a noticeable difference between the grill power and the heat I get in a cast iron pan on the 22K burners.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 2:15PM
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bobelicious

nycbluedevil...great feedback, thanks.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 2:57PM
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Tom2013

I went from a GE Profile Flat top to a 36" CC. I'll start with the look. I think the Capital is the best looking range I have seen. There shouldn't be any shame in wanting a good looking Range after spending a fortune on a remodel. As far as cleaning. It is much more work to clean the CC but I only clean it about every two weeks. I cleaned my flat top after every use to protect the surface. After cleaning the CC it always looks like a new range. I would not buy a range with any porcelain on the grates or top. It is almost impossible to keep them looking good. Now let's talk performance. The GE flat top outperformed the CC with boiling water on smaller pots about 8" and under. The reason is that even though the burners are 23k, there is no way you can turn up the flame all the way without making the pot handles smoking hot. I usually use the small pot burner for 8 and under so I can turn the flame up but it is still slower than the flat top. For larger pots or WOK cooking there is no comparison. The CC is great. Simmering is better on the flat top but the small pot burner or a diffuser works fine. The oven in the GE Profile had much better control and the oven height was much taller. The CC oven racks are the worst I have ever seen. When they heat up it is impossible to get them to slide without them cocking and getting stuck. If I did it again I would buy the CC range top and buy an electric oven to put beneath it. I do like my range and enjoy getting compliments on it.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 10:11PM
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