Moving-help me pick a 30 inch gas range

juliekcmoJune 2, 2013

I am hoping to get some good GW advice.

We are moving soon and I am leaving behind my 10 year old beautiful kitchen with a 36 inch Thermador all gas range.
I have the round burrners (the version right before the star burner was introduced) and an all gas oven with infared broiler. I need some advice on picking a range for the new house.

Things I like about this range:
All burners are same BTU high heat capacity.
No computer/no fan noise.
Gas oven cooks wonderfully.
Large oven capacity (holds a full sheet pan).
Heavy duty continuous grates.
No special "babying" is required of DH.

Things it has that I don't use/or don't care much about:
Broiler works very well, we just don't broil very often.
Doesn't have self clean and I don't care about that.
Don't care about dual fuel.

Our new home will be our forever home. We are just getting the kids launched, and hoping to do some updates as budget allows. The new home is from the late 1980s and is ready for some updating. I won't have a huge budget, and will need to re-use existing cabinets. We can remove existing micro/wall oven and fit a 30 inch range and range hood in that space. (and remove the jen-air coil cooktop on the island and put in butcherblock there for much needed prep and counterspace.)

I am at a loss about what to pick. Hood is easy. I need 600 cfm, halogen lights, and baffles.

But to pick a range? Since I won't have the space for 36 inches, what is the best bang for the buck in 30 inch ranges. And which ones will hit the most items I care about? I would be happy to pay $1500 for something if it will get the job done in a satisfactory manner. I just don't know where to start. It seems like the $4000 pro tier models now have these noisy fans and computers in all of them. If that is the case, then I am having a hard time justifying spending more than twice as much as a standard brand.

Please help!

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The mid price ranges are the ones with the most electronics.

All gas pro-style ranges are the ones with the least.

Best bang for the buck is AR Performer Series 30" for $3300.

No circuit board/computer just electronic igniters and spark modules. The oven fits full size pan sheets. Standard 30" ranges do not fit full size pan sheets.

Burners are powerful and even but come in three btu ratings. Grates are two burner but not continuous across to slide pans horizontally.

This post was edited by deeageaux on Sun, Jun 2, 13 at 2:58

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 2:55AM
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That looks interesting. I did some quick checking around, and it doesn't look like there is any local distributor or service provided for American Range here in Kansas City.

While I like that my 36 range fits a sheet pan, that is something that I can let go. But I do need to a large oven for my Thanksgiving turkey.

I am mostly interested in something that won't by noisy, and is powerful enough for how I cook. I don't need BTU above15-18 on the burners, but geez louise, I do need at least 2 large burners. Many standard tier ranges only have 1 burner that really puts out any heat.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 8:13AM
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This is just something to look at and may exceed what you want to spend but it hits most of what you want feature wise. Big Chill, is made by Blue Star and holds full sheets. It is the standard 30 inches wide and 24 inch deep. It has sealed burners (2) 15K BTU in the front and 10K and 6K in the back. I can't say how well it works personally but I think there have been some threads about it. It has a retro look and comes in colors. I'm not sure how that fits what you want.

Here is a link that might be useful: Big Chill

This post was edited by wekick on Sun, Jun 2, 13 at 9:03

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 9:00AM
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American Range, If you are interested I would call them directly to see about local sales and service 888-753-9898.Their website does not update regularly. Maybe every two years.

Nobody "needs" anything more than a $1K gas range.

Virtually everybody can use the power AND evenness of a powerful open burner.

Thermador 18k btu star burners are pretty good, better than most standard sealed burners, but American Range and Bluestar are in a different category.

When boiling water it is obvious power is good but when frying high power is also helpful. When you drop cold food into hot oil it drops the temp so you are paraboiling and your food is absorbing oil instead of the oil crisping the outside and simply cooking the inside with energy/heat transfer. Searing, sautéing, and woking also much improved. You sear steak carmalized brown/black without grey meat. Woking without making your veggies mush boiling in water released by the vegetables themselves.

Which brings me to my next recommendation up the price scale Bluestar RNB. About 1k more than AR but has continuous grates and is able to take a full pan sheet as well.

If AR is off the options list for about $3k is GE Café 30" gas range. These are made in Mexico and have circuit boards or "computers."

Next downs is NXR. Chinese company and Chinese made. Allegedly they buy many premium components from Europe and North America, ship them to China, assemble them with Chinese made frames and sheet metal then ship them back to America for $2k retail. Several fan threads on these ranges on GW. I have my doubts but you can read those threads yourself and come your own conclusion.

If you want a rec for a $1.5k range without convection.

Frigidaire Gallery Series FGGF301DNF double oven with one 17k btu and one 9.5k btu burner. Probably can find for a few hundred under $1.5k.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 9:57AM
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I think a Bluestar RCS (if they are still made?) knocks off everything on the checklist of what you like about your current range and want in your next one with the following points of small exception:

A) All the burners are the same on the RCS except one dedicated simmer burner or small pan burner as some would call it. Please note that you are not limited to simmering on just the one burner, properly adjusted the 15k regular burners serve wonderful simmers as well.

B) the unit does have a fan (for convection) but you by no means have to use it. It is totally manual and if you never want to flick the switch on there are no computers or any other gadgets to override your descion.

C). Might be slightly out of budget. I'm not sure what they go for but my guess is that they would be substantially under 3000$ I do remember some talk a while back about them possibly being discontinued. I have no idea about the merit of those threads tho. (I am sure someone will chime in)

You will get one of the largest 30" ovens on the market. You will get very heavy duty cast iron grates. (I'm not sure if the RCS had the middle cast iron grates included but if not they can be bought fairly inexpensive). Oh, and your hubby certanly will not have to baby this range. The rangetop is made entirely out of cast iron just as they are on many commercial ranges and this setup lends itself well to being used and abused and with heavy non babying use it just gets "seasoned".

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 10:03AM
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Blue Star might be your best bet for what you specified. The RCS models are on promotional pricing through (I think) mid month at about $3k. (If you live in Canada, Costco Canada has them for $2400).

While I am glad to see that Deeageaux is starting to moderate his stance on the NXRs --- and only a small part of the postings here on the NXR are fanboy ravings --- the 30" NXR is not for you. It certainly meets most of your specifications and, at $2k (delivered), it is the only "pro-style" stove that even comes close to your $1500 target price. But the oven isn't big enough to fit a full sheet pan (18" x 26"). The width is only 24" and the depth is only about 17.25" when you account for the protruding convection fan housng.

This post was edited by JWVideo on Sun, Jun 2, 13 at 16:28

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 4:22PM
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OK everyone. Thanks so very much! I knew I could count on GW!

It looks like I can source and get local service on Blue Star.

So anyone know the going rate for the RCS 30inch would be?

DH and I discussed getting the hood, range, and butcher block done late summer this year.
Then we will hold off and save up to tackle painting cabinets, doing countertops, moving fridge and opening up the wall from DR to kitchen in a couple of years.

I have vision and can be patient. But I need my game plan :-)

Thanks everyone.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 7:29PM
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>>>"So anyone know the going rate for the RCS 30 inch would be? "$3K US from a dealer on the US side of the border (through June 15, IIRC) and $2400 from Costco CAnada, otherwise. From what I saw at the dealer here in Montana in April (while helping a friend shop for a new stove) I believe that the $3k promotional price includes a 6 inch vent/riser/backsplash which you otherwise would have to pay for separately. IIRC, the promotional pricing goes through mid-June, 2013. Apart from that special pricing, the RCS has been running around $3500 US (w/o backsplash/vent). Reports here are that there is not much variation from the suggested prices.

This post was edited by JWVideo on Mon, Jun 3, 13 at 12:07

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 11:19PM
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