Bluestar integrated grill worth it?

evergreendanApril 14, 2007

I was all set on a 6-burner Bluestar, but then I got to wondering if I should get the grill instead. I know you can put a griddle on it, and I assume you can do that with any two burners too. I have a Jenn-Air electric grill, but I don't use it because the clean-up is such a big deal.

I cooked on the Bluestar at Eurostoves. (I wasn't expecting too, but when I commented about wanting big burners for sauteing mushrooms, out came a box of mushrooms and stir-fry makings!) The grill seemed like it would be hard to keep clean, even with lining some of it with aluminum foil.

Should I reconsider? Do people use it and if so it is hard to keep clean? Do you cook meat (with smelly grease) or just vegetables? I cooked fish on my Jenn-Air once and it was really hard to get the fish smell out of the grill and the house.

Confused...

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cpovey

In a word, yes.

You have to realize that once you use a grill, it will never look new and 100% clean. You can get a cover for it, or just learn to live with it.

Getting fish off is the worst, much worse that beef or chicken. The best you can do with fish is to just 'grill mark; the fish-get the grill screaming hot then just put the fish, lightly marinated in oil on it for a couple of minutes to get it marked, then transfer to a heat proof container and cook the fish in the oven.

The reason for the grill is that grilling givs fod a unique flavor, one that you cannot get with any other cooking method. Think about grilled asperagus versus steamed/boiled. Totally different flavor. Grilled foods are also healty, as very little fat is involved. With grilled asperagus, no real sauce is needed, just a wpritof of lemon and/or butter.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 9:08AM
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breezy_2

I got a 60 inch BS for our new house under construction now and gave this a lot of thought. First I was just going to do 10 burners but then thought that either a griddle or grill would be nice to have when I needed it b/c 8 burners was enough. So then came the debate over grill vs griddle. Initially, it was griddle but then in speaking with Trevor and others, I leaned toward the grill b/c you can put a griddle plate and.or cover over it and have the grill if you need it.

The biggest draw back I heard from people is the one cpovey mentions and that is "after you use, it will never look new again". My current Wolf 36AG has not looked new since I used it the first time. Cleans up well but not back to new. I am perfectly fine with a range looking well used. I have a Boo's A1 professional chopping block in current kitchen. Its a 16 inch thick end grain rock maple block. People asked if I was really gong to cut directly on it b/c it was so beautiful. That chopping block has knife marks all in it now and is still just as beautiful in my mind. (BTW, we are putting the same chopping block in the new house only a bigger one).

Anyway, as for the grill, I only plan to use it infrequently and never for fish. I grill ALL of my fish and most steaks and burgers outside using real charcoal. I will likely only use it for veggies and the occasional chicken breast. As a side note, I must say that the infrared broilers on these ranges do a mean job of broiling a steak nicely. I have done a few Allen Bros steaks using the Wolf broler and the steak is every bit as good as Ruth's Chris Steakhouse (if anyone is familiar with those).

BTW, does anyone know if BS makes a griddle plate for its grill and if not, where to get one?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 11:09AM
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auntiebubba

Yes, its definately worth it.

I was forced to grill blackened fish on our BS last night as a result of an empty propane tank. I have to say it did an excellant job and clean up was no different from when I grill meat. In addition there was no smoke or fish smell in the house at all, thanks to the ventahood.

I always keep the grill cover on - even when it was brand new so the "newness" factor isn't an issue.

I'm also interested in the BS compatible griddle cover.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 9:13PM
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teachersuzanne

breezy_2 - did you have an infrared grill on your Wolf? I am trying to see the difference between Bluestar and Wolf grills. I am only getting a range top, not the full range so the infrared broiler doesn't help me.

Did you end up getting the grill? How do you like it?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 10:43AM
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rhome410

Awhile back I researched this issue and found a lot of posts from people saying the grill is just a mess to clean up, besides the spatters and smoke from using it, and they wouldn't do it again. They said using a grill pan was just as good (besides much easier to clean), or go outside and use the barbecue. I guess those of you who have posted would not agree?

I planned on a 48" range top with 8 burners, figuring I could put on a grill or griddle pan anytime I want (and in any location that worked best at the time), and wash it in the sink when I'm finished, instead of trying to clean it attached into the rangetop. Is this not good reasoning?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 2:42PM
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reposado

I struggled mightily with this issue too. But, after reading all the posts on this subject, I came to a different conclusion from you rhome. My overall takeaway -- with views expressed on both sides -- was that the grill works pretty well and better than other alternatives like a grill pan or a standalone electric grill and that it is not a horrible pia to clean, particularly with judicious use of foil (although there certainly was disagreement on the cleaning issue). I decided I could live with the cleaning chore to get a reasonable winter grilling option, particularly since the grill comes with a grill cover, I understand, making a good landing area when not in use. I also hope that a griddle top can go over the grill to get that functionality for pancakes, tortillas, etc. Thus, I ordered the RNB364CB a couple of weeks ago. Hope it works out as planned!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 2:59PM
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teresa_b

My current range has a grill and after two tries, we never used it again--way to messy and difficult to clean. If that is your only option for grilling when the weather is tough, it may be worthwhile. By the way, I am ordering my 48 inch Blue Star range next week, and am looking forward to having a griddle.

Teresa

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 9:27PM
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evergreendan

Small follow-up. I ended up buying a 6-burner BlueStar, a Lodge grill/griddle pan, and a natural gas outdoor grill (Weber Summit). I've used the Weber quite a bit during construction. Haven't used the BlueStar yet (except to make some toast with the 22K burners using tongs, for fun).

As an aside, I bought it from Eurostoves. It had a tiny leak in the regulator, and Eurostoves offered to cover the $70 bill from my plumber to find it (if BlueStar doesn't). I consider this above-and-beyond what I'd expect from a retailer.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 9:42PM
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teachersuzanne

Is there an equivalent to Eurostoves on the west coast? I would love to hear any information on great Bluestar dealers/show rooms in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 12:50AM
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randgalt

You can see Bluestar in Redwood City. But, I don't know if you can cook on it or not.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 3:17AM
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seasyde

A question for breezy 2 or resposado,

Sounds like you plan to put the griddle on top of the grill. Is this possible? Seems to me I read once somewhere that you could not (of course can't find the reference now).

Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 10:42AM
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jcthorne

We have the built in grille on our Monogram. It is easily one of the most used features in the kitchen. It is Very easy and quick to use. Clean up is simply a matter of turning it up to high for 15 minutes to burn off all residue to ash and then several swipes of the SS grill brush. Let it cool and a couple wipes with a microfiber towel to clean up any splatter. Its actually easier to clean than the griddle which is not that bad either but not used as often.

We had lots of folks tell us that buying the grille option was a waste of money and was too difficult to clean and would never use it after the first time.

All those people had no idea what they were talking about and no idea how to properly use and clean the grille.

It does require adequet ventilation but its a GREAT addition to our kitchen. Very happy we opted for it.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 2:13PM
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reposado

seasyde, I was certainly hoping that a griddle could be used on top of the grill. My thinking is that you will get better heat dispersion that way than over two burners -- particularly since, with 4 burners and the grill, you don't have two contiguous 15,000 BTU burners to use. I have read posts on BS ranges and cooktops pretty consistently over the last 6 months and don't recall ever seeing a caution not to use the grill that way (although I have not plumbed the depths of all the archived BS threads), so if you have more information on this issue, I would love to see it before I do anything wrong. I know that I have seen references to people using grills as emergency burners for pots when 4 burners are insufficient, so I don't know why a griddle would be different from that.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 2:36PM
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seasyde

resposado, I can't remember exactly where I read that it could be a problem. I've been reading GW for a couple of years so it has very probably scrolled off. Maybe preserved in bluestar archives but I haven't had time to check. It may have even been generic grill info & not Bluestar specific. I download the Bluestar manual and read through (albeit quickly) & didn't see any warnings against this. Hopefully someone who has already done this will see this and answer.

Here is a link that might be useful: Most of the bluestar threads archived here

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 10:36AM
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teachersuzanne

evergreendan - The lodge is a grill and griddle pan? I thought it was just a griddle. Could I get a link for that?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 11:40AM
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rhome410

Suzanne, I'm not evergreendan, but have seen the Lodge griddle/grill pan. It's griddle on one side, flip it for grill on the other. The downside is someone pointed out that once you start to get it oily and seasoned especially on the grill side, which tends to develop more build-up, when you go to use the griddle, the grill side toward the flame/heat starts smoking.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lodge griddle/grill on Amazon (also diff sizes avail)

    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 5:05PM
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teachersuzanne

Thank you! Does it work well as a grill? I am leaning toward the 36" with a grill but maybe I get 6 burners and use that as my grill?

Thoughts on those who use it?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 2:58AM
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reposado

Susanne, I have one, although I've only used it with a Wolf cooktop, not a BlueStar range. It works as well as a good grill pan, which is to say that it is not a grill. I'm getting the grill.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 8:28PM
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teachersuzanne

I am going to get the grill. I really want it!

Thanks,
Suzanne

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 5:26PM
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Fori is not pleased

Suzanne, did you find a place to test out the BS in the bay area? I've SEEN it at the decidedly un-classy Airport Apps., but they don't have one hooked up.

And for the grill fans, if you could grill outside year-round, would it still be better to use your range?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 5:44PM
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apratt81

I just got a 48" bluestar--I indulged myself and went with the grill. I LOVE the taste of grilled food, but don't love the clean up. The saving grace? It comes with a cover!

I live in Dallas and hate the heat. And since I often cook alone while my two toddlers are running around, the thought of running in and out to check on the grill while eyeing my other food in the kitchen just didn't whet my palate. I'd much rather have everything cooking in the same air conditioned space where I can keep one eye on the stove and one on my adventurous kids.

Just make sure to get a hood with a ton of power, since grills can be smoky!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 5:54PM
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teachersuzanne

Fori,
If you call the distributor, Golden West Sales, 510-784-6835, you can see one live but there is no vent so you cannot cook on it. I put a small pan and a wok on it. He took it apart for me to show me how easy it is.

Thanks apratt81. That is very helpful. Is the cover standard or was yours extra?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 6:06PM
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Fori is not pleased

Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 6:15PM
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reposado

Fori, I would probably just grill outside if I could comfortably do so year round. Unfortunately, I can't as I put the outdoor grill in the garage during the winter.

Suzanne, I asked about the grill cover on another thread and I believe it comes standard.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 6:27PM
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Fori is not pleased

Hmm...yes. Grilling in Dallas in the summer. Been there done that. Yuck. And I have grilled in the frosty north during a kitchen remodel--not nearly as bad as Dallas in the summer! Y'all make sense to me!

So is the indoor grill very similar to the outdoor types in terms of what it does to the food? I assume it's a little more flexible and has better control, but is it kinda equivalent sorta?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 7:01PM
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breezy_2

Sorry for not responding...I did not see many of these ?'s until now.

No, I do not have the grill on my Wolf, just the infrared broiler in the oven but it is great!

I was told specifically by Eurostoves that you can put a grddle plate over the grill. That's how they sold me on getting it. With a 60 inch range, 10 burners is more than I really need and the grill gives me options. I know that Lacanche makes a griddle plate for their grill and its nice but about 275 bucks. It is probably vented on the sides to accomodate oxygen flow. I plan to get one of some make.

No, BS is still crated and covered but should be in in a few weeks. So not reports cards on the grill yet. Its crazy, I bought the BS in November to take advantage of a $300 savings assuming a March installation. Weather and life happened aznd we should install now this month. Hind sight... wait until you are 2 months out...period. I am trusting everything will be fine though.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 7:14PM
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mikensx

I have the griddle. I wish I would have gottten the grill. I would use it much more. Too bad I can't get the parts and switch it.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2007 at 12:13PM
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breezy_2

How interesting to see this post again now!

Dating back to last spring when having the BS in and working was a thought and wish. After MUCH distress, builder issues etc, we are FINALLY in and actually cooked on the BS for the first time Tuesday night. We used the grill for portabello caps and asparagus and they were fabulous.

It does not look new any longer but it doesn't look bad and it comes with a cover.

We are also thrilled with the vent hood. We put in the Prestige high capacity hood liner with a 2500 cfm remote blower. At full speed it is very quiet but I will likely rarely use it on high. At 3/4 speed they other night when searing steaks on VERY high heat, I was generating a lot of smoke and steam. Not a sliver of smoke or steam came close to escaping the capture area. Keep in mind the capture area is 6 inches past the burners on either side and 4 inches behind and in front of them. It makes for an incredibly effective vent function.

We have used every function of the range and have only raves about it. We are delighted with the decision to go with Bluestar and the grill.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2007 at 4:48PM
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freedee

For those of you strugling with the desision of weather or not to get a grill. The other draw back to having a grill in the middle is that you can't use the regular burners in the middle. When I'm making something that makes a lot of fumes, I would like to center it under the range hood.

The second disadvantage, is that you can no longer slide pots over where the grill is. In other words, to slide a heavy pot from one burner to an other, you are limited.

If you really enjoy grilling indoors, it's still worth it.

My problem has been with cleaning the grates. Burning it all off indoors seems like it would produce too much smoke to make it worth doing.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 11:48AM
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stuckintheberg

"My problem has been with cleaning the grates. Burning it all off indoors seems like it would produce too much smoke to make it worth doing"

I don't get it. If the venthood is powerful enough to control the smoke produced by the grill, it should also take care of the burnoff smoke. That's the most effective method to clean the grates. Believe me, once the particles are carbonized, there is no odor and cleaning involves a light brushing.
I use the grill often and the results can't be gotten with a grill pan. It produces great fish, meats and grilled breads but you have to taste the asparagus, baby bok choy and eggplants drizzled with olive oil and grilled to a light char to understand the siren's call to open grilling.
I, too, agonized over the configuration on my BS and in the end, the griddle everyone told me would serve me better, is rarely used (I salvaged that decision by using it as a warming plate) and the grill, what I was told I would regret, is my favorite component. So go with your gut feeling (you're the only one who understands your cooking style and preferences) and you will not regret the decision you make.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 5:25AM
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scubated

I am finally set on a Blue Star. Saw lots of them on display at Reno's in Paterson NJ this weekend. I am getting a 36" Range. The salesman was trying to talk me out of the grill. Says they only sell 1 grill out of a hundred ranges and that people are usually sorry they got it. Any new updates from those of you that were ordering them or hadn't used them yet?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 9:02PM
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mewton

My two cents. I have a 48" BS with a grill and I love it. I grill alot on it, though it is trouble to clean I just usually leave the gas on full for a couple minutes after I'm finished to burn off the worst of the mess and then it's not too bad (have to have the vent on high though). The rest of the time it's covered so no big deal. The one thing I would change is I would get only four burners, the grill, and a griddle. I bought a five star griddle which sits on my BS all the time and I use it a lot. Between the grill, griddle and four burners I've never wanted for cooking space. I've recently finally finished the kitchen remodel which I posted here....http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0321065611943.html

Here is a link that might be useful: finished kitchen after two years

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 11:12AM
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alexamd

I also have a 48" with grill. I am still breaking ours in and haven't explored the depths of its abilities, but so far I am glad I got it. I didn't want 8 burners and I thought about the griddle, but decided on the grill as our griddle works fine on the burners.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 1:45PM
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oruboris

I think having to choose between grill and griddle is a wonderful sort of problem to have!

Seems like someone here has posted that they clean their grill by turning it on high and putting a disposable [which they re-use] foil baking pan on it, upside-down, to hold the heat in. Supposed to work great.

I like to grill, don't eat much griddle sort of food. My only agonizing springs from the cleaning, and since the bluestar comes with a cover the choice seems obvious.

Obvious today, that is: by tomorrow, I may have changed my mind.

Either way: no stress, it'll be fine, really.

I wouldn't do either on a 36 inch range unless I was certain I'd use them at least a couple times a week.

But I sigh heavily when a salesman says something to me to the effect of 'most people who get the grill hates it'-- oh, really? Have you taken a poll? Are ya psychic? It's just personal opinion masquerading as science, sort of like the New York writer who couldn't believe Reagan could win the Presidency since none of her friends were voting for him...

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 4:39PM
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skwid

The best way to clean a grill is to loosely cover the grill with aluminum foil and then turn the heat all the way up for about 10 minutes. Then just a light scrub with a brush and all the extra stuff will just fall off. This is how we keep our outdoor grill in good shape and the wire brush never gets much on it.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 5:44PM
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scubated

That is a great tip about covering with foil and running it on high about 10 minutes. That is the method Wolf salespeople have told me about how to clean their grill so that makes sense. Regarding oruboris' comment on not putting either on a 36inch range. It is just the 2 of us so I doubt I will ever need more than all 4 burners at once. I love grilled food and can see mine being used multiple times a week. Hubby and I are on diets and I can so see grilling many types of veggies as side dishes not to mention the grilled meats and seafood.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 6:37PM
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cpovey

Anther good way to clean (at least periodically) the grill grates themselves is to use a pressure washer. If you don't have one, just go to the nearest self-serve car wash. The grids will look almost new.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 8:20PM
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scubated

Thanks Cpovey for the pressure washer trick. Luckily I have one and can enlist my husband to do that job.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 8:46PM
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deegeegirl

I have a 48" with a griddle and a grill. Absolutely love the grill - does a wonderful job on steaks, burgers, etc. One tip I got from another GW poster - heat the grill for at least 10 minutes first and it sears the food so much better. I got the griddle since I knew I wouldn't need more than 4 burners since I also have a Gaggenau combi steam oven. I'm still experimenting with the griddle - have used it for pancakes, sauteeing veggies, grilled sandwiches. One thing I wouldn't use it for again is bacon - the clean up was a monumental pain.

Here's a link to answers to my question on cleaning the grill - since I saw it, I have lined the grill box with foil. The first time took some doing but after that it's easier. I think it's worth it to be able to easily remove grease that collects below the grates.

Here is a link that might be useful: Line Bluestar grill box with foil

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 10:52PM
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designer-for-life

Yes yes and yes

I use ours at least once a week. You cannot get it "new" clean, but it has a cover. A grill is a grill is a grill.

You can use anything on top also. We use a store bought cast iron griddle atop and it works nicely so the grill in our opinion is a much better option than a griddle.

We use the grill in the summer and in the winter just depending on whether we want to cook inside or out and we feel it is nice to have the option. We even use it on low to keep food warm, such as dutch oven, etc... if we need the extra space on the range while continuing to cook other things.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 2:03PM
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artfulhome

YES! YES! YES!

We just hosted a party for 15 for July 4th, and I grilled massive amounts of vegetables and seafood skewers on my Bluestar grill, while my husband grilled the chicken outside. Everything came out beautifully, as always. With a sufficient hood, smoking and smells are no problem. It's a grill, and you need to expect that it will look like one. But the grill is wonderful, and well worth the investment.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 10:04PM
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