Blue Star 48" - 6 + griddle, 8 , or 4 + French top?

fmyr6May 8, 2013

Hi. Finishing up new home build, and I have to make the final call on my rangetop. The spot is cut for a 48" Blue Star rangetop so that's the brand and size we're going.

What I'm debating is 6 burners and a griddle vs. 8 burners vs. 4 burners and a French top.

I have a griddle pan (that has been used maybe 6 times in 10 years) and a countertop panini press/griddle (that is used primarily for sandwiches, but has been used for pancakes twice, bought it maybe 3 years ago).

I currently have 4 burners, but the vent is in the middle so I rarely have spacing issues. I do have 4 pots going at once sometimes, and at times have actually thought through what I was cooking to avoid needing a 5th pot.

I debated a Lacanche for weeks before deciding I felt safer with wall ovens and my toddler and deciding I really wanted space for more baking. I was intrigued by the idea of a French top as a means for making delicate sauces, and frankly, having multiple pots going on low to medium heats.

I know this is really a matter of preference and cooking style, but how do you know about FT until you have one. I also like the idea of being able to use a griddle pan across the back instead of having it right down the middle.

Comments/experiences welcome. Thanks.

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I've had my 36" Bluestar for just over three months now, and while everyones cooking habits may differ, I can tell you my experience so far. I have not used all four burners at once yet, so having six, (let alone 8), would be useless for me, and a waste of cooktop real estate. I can't comment on a french top, as I've never used one, but I can say my griddle has been used every day, often two or three times a day since I've owned it! It is so versatile, and saves cleaning a skillet or fry pan or two each day. In fact, if had room for a 48", I would likely opt for four burners and a 24" griddle! Now the only complaint I might have is the size of the broiler, why have this nice large 18"x28" oven, and this little 8"x10" broiler in the center?? That's not even as big as a half sheet. Still haven't mastered the garlic bread under it, as I have to keep rotating and sliding the tray around under the "hot spot :( Other than that, enjoy your new range, it is truly a workhorse and thing of beauty as well.

This post was edited by ctycdm on Thu, May 9, 13 at 10:00

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 9:55AM
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I have a 36" rangetop with 6 burners. I have used 5 and 6 burners a few times, but as CTYCDM said how you cook can be different than anyone else.

I haven't personally used a french top, but the concept is great. Just keep in mind for a french top there is only one burner, right in the middle, and to get a different temperature you move the pot/pan closer or further from the center ring. The further out the cooler it gets. How man pots/pans can you put on a french top at once, I honestly don't know. But I don't think you can use the french top as a griddle either, I don't think it is meant for that, but I could be wrong.

I personally debated on getting a griddle for myself, but opted not to and I am so glad I didn't get it. I bought an older (1950's) cast iron griddle and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it, it is great. I just store it in my wall oven when not in use and pull it out when I need it. It fits right over my two middle 15K burners and works great. I have made pancakes, eggs, quesadillas and other stuff on it.

I truly appreciate having the extra burners when I need them and know that I can throw on my griddle any time I want to use it.

I think you can work with BS to reconfigure your burner layout, so you could move two of the 15K burners to two of the front burners out of the 6/8 and then you can put the griddle across them.

Hope this helps some.


    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 11:36AM
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I have a 36" 6-burner rangetop on order. Decided to not get the griddle as I believe you have more flexibility with 6 burners (on the 48" you will have more burners and need to decide if you want to sacrifice a couple). They can be used as burners but also as a griddle with a true cast iron or other type of griddle over the burners. For the times I need 5-6 burners, I did not want to compromise not having access to them. Now, I have the best of both worlds.

As well, I believe my cast iron griddle will clean up much easier than the griddle on the BS. I could be wrong but that's my opinion.

Whatever route you take will surely be the right one.

This post was edited by swimman on Thu, May 9, 13 at 15:53

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 3:46PM
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This is a good older post.

Here is a link that might be useful: The French top

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 5:08PM
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As some of the posts in wekick's link point out, you can use the griddle as a french top, but you can't use the french top as a griddle...
@ swimman, I think there some misconception regarding cleaning built in griddles. It is "cleaned" the same as one would an old cast iron skillet. Never use soap and water, I just scrape with a flat spatula, and wipe down with a paper towel as it cools. Mine is only a few months old, but has already developed the patina and seasoning resembling years of use, and is now as non stick as grandma's Griswold :)

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 5:47PM
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That is a tough call. We all have doubts about decisions and once the decision button is hit...
more doubts. First and foremost, you have chosen a lovely stove top. My cast iron griddle is almost 90% out and on two burners or the center big single. I've gone back to basics the past few years...chop by hand, toast, and no longer use countertop appliances. It is my therapy to cook with good ingredients and fresh. I do often have 4 burners going because i multi-task and enjoy prepping for the week and making stocks and sauces. Panini i just put a heavy enameled pot on top. It does become intuitive for any love of cooking.
French top? Not sure. I actually think i have one in my summer home. Maybe? It is a wood fired stove with a solid thick iron top and i slide pots over and away and such a fun way to cook. Adjusts with this and that to give air flow over different parts of the top. I do like the slide around of the heat. On a flat surface. Under your possible french top would be a single burner? Still has a slide ability to reduce a strong simmer to a very low heat. But you could do that on a grate top, 6 burner with a griddle.
Not all restaurant trained chefs actually know how to cook BTW. Judging by many mediocre meals i have had out in NYC. No love and a bit like robots. An old friend of mine was on Iron Chef and won but that is an exception. To truely love what you are doing and are passionate about cooking, you will know what you need and work with what you decide.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 8:42PM
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