Capital Culinarian vs GE Cafe? Yes I'm serious

carnivoreMay 2, 2012

Capital Culinarian CGSR304 vs GE Cafe CGS985SETSS

I realize this probably seems like a Toyota-vs-BMW type of comparison but there are reasons I'm considering both 30-inch ranges. There's no doubt the Capital Culinarian is a serious cooking machine with open burners and all around great performance, fit and finish. But I think the GE Cafe seems more versatile.

I have no space for a separate wall oven so the Cafe's auxiliary oven / warming drawer could be especially useful for my situation. The 20k BTU tri-ring burner seems plenty powerful for a wok stir-fry (which I do often), and the Cafe's burner arrangement seems suitable for normal home cooking needs (for example I can't imagine needing all four of the Capital's 23k burners running at full blast at once just to cook ourselves dinner). The GE Cafe also includes temperature probe roasting and a number of other conveniences offered by the digital oven controls which I believe are actually useful in a home kitchen, not just marketing gimmicks.

On the other hand the Capital offers those wonderful 23k BTU open burners, all of which can do everything right down to a great simmer meaning less shuffling cookware around to various different burners for each job. Infrared broiler vs the Cafe's gas broiler. More even heat in the oven (by some accounts)? Rotisserie. Available wok ring which I would get. And all the panache of a high end pro style range for our new kitchen, but at 3x the price of the Cafe.

Like our last car purchase, it might come down to whether to get the BMW that could conceivably go 150-mph down the turnpike, or the Toyota SUV that can transport our pets and building supply purchases, and still get us comfortably enough from point A to point B. Different classes. Luxury vs practicality. Which to choose?

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Hello there,

I was in your exact situation. I was going to get the GE cafe (around 3100 CDN), but ended up getting the CC 30 (4600 CDN), and then upgrading to the CC 36" 5800 Cdn).

can you really compare it like its a car? I mean if you want a practical range, i am sure there are ones that are cheaper than the GE cafe.

I like Capital ranges, but some of the features are not worth it. The CC 30 with the self cleaning over and rotisserie function is like 2K more than the manual clean model. If you can live without those features and you only use the 23K open top burners, then the CC 30 manual clean isnt that much more than the GE Cafe...

Plus, the CC will look more grand in your kitchen than the Cafe.. hahah

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 2:03PM
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I'd pick a cc hands down. I understand your your comparison with cars but its not the most accurate as you CAN use the the performance of a cc but can't really use the full potential of the least not in north america

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 6:22PM
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I think it comes down to how much oven cooking and baking you do.

The GE Cafe will have delayed started, timer off, easier fine control over oven temp settings (versus the analog dial of the CC) and will go to a lower temperature.

You can always get an aftermarket temp probe, so I wouldn't worry about that.

If you only use the oven now and again and mostly for meat and casseroles and especially if you might use the rotisserie and broiler regularly, go for the CC.

If you will want to do regular baking, want easy-to-set fine repeatable temp settings for precision baking without using an in-oven thermometer (want 315F, just punch it in), and might use the timed cooking options, I think you'll be happier with the GE.

We have a CC, but I enjoy the electronic features of our Gagg wall ovens very much and typically only use the oven of the CC for rotisserie and broiling, much preferring the convenient features of the wall oven for other tasks.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 11:57PM
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I went through a similar type of dilemma (I was debating a Wolf double oven, ended up with a Frigidaire instead).

I decided that I didn't bake well enough to warrant a $5400 oven and that the money would be better spent elsewhere.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 6:18AM
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I think that if you are asking this question, the additional capabilities of the cc are not important to you, so the extra money would be better spent elsewhere.

Almost every time I have gone against my instincts and bought "up" from what I originally intended because of what others told me was "better" or I "had to have," I ended up with buyer's remorse. Only you know what is important to you. Either way, go with your gut.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 8:16AM
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Cafe is a hell of a range, very versable

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 9:05AM
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Interesting - more comments than I expected lean toward the Cafe.

The precise oven temperature control is something I hadn't factored in. Our previous (electric) range had digital controls and I'm so used to having them I didn't even think about the fact the CC would mean reverting to the analog oven control, so good point.

I know the CC excels in many respects, but since we don't have the luxury of separate wall ovens here I think our range needs to be more of a Jack-of-all-trades. The Cafe seems to fit that bill better for our situation so that's the way I'm going to go. Yes it does looks like a hell of a range, and there actually aren't any cheaper ones that offer such high powered burners and comparable feature set. The Cafe seems to be in a class of its own bridging the gap between typical consumer models and the higher end pro-style ones.

The nice thing about a freestanding range is it's easy to swap out, so if I hate it, it's no big deal to change it later.

Thanks for the feedback.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 1:38PM
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The Cafe would simmer better also from what's been said about the CC.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 1:02PM
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oceangirl67, I think that's the biggest irony of all, given the price difference.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 2:42PM
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