Capital Culinarian Experience

NancyandPaulJune 9, 2013

I've read some fantastic discussions in this forum on various kitchen appliances. We're starting a kitchen remodel and I'm wondering how you folks who bought the Culinarian a year ago fared. Would you recommend it over the DCS?

Does anyone know any dealers in the LA area who carry the line, so that we can get a close look at it?

Thanks so much.

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Absolute Appliance
Address: 1522 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Phone:(323) 856-5000

These guys have a live Culinarian and Bluestar RNB in the store.

Last time I was there the burners were not adjusted but still you can compare and contrast.

Capital Cooking is in Sante Fe Springs Orange County.
You can also see a live Culinarian, tour the factory, look at large samples of the different color options plus maybe talk to the engineers or the CEO himself.

I would absolutely recommend over DCS.

I did not plan on the self clean but really love the rotis now that I have it.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 1:57AM
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"Close" deeageaux!

But Santa Fe Springs is in LA County.


    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 9:16AM
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Thanks so much, deeageaux and dodge59. I hope to check the Culinarian out in the flesh. I read "Close" as to mean dodge59 thinks DCS is acceptable. I'm thinking that I'd get a 36 inch with a grill, if that makes any difference. Also I was going to opt for manual cleaning. I'll post my final decision.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 12:21AM
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I think "close" means Sante Fe Springs is near the LA/OC county border but still in LA county.

The Capital manual clean and DCS oven are close.
The DCS is a little better actually. It has full extension racks and it has a bit more useable space inside.

The rangetop is nowhere near "close". I take it you know about the open burners vs DCS sealed burners. There is also a big difference when it comes to the grill. The DCS has a standard 12k btu grill burner. The Capital has a hybrid 18k btu partially infrared partially standard burner. Giving you most of the power of infrared but the temperature control of standard. So you can easily grill veggies as well as sear steak.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 1:44AM
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Sorry about the confusion, NancyandPaul.
deeageaux is correct. I meant He was "Close" about the County Santa Fe Springs is in. It is in LA County.

I know a bit about Santa Fe Springs, as years ago my grandfolks
moved from Iowa to Santa Fe Springs.

Alas they eventually had to move to Downey as this "Nasty Black Stuff" kept killing their corn!

Good luck with your pending decisions, although I've been "Inducted", (Induction cook top), we're I a "Gasser", I would learn toward buying the Capital.

I do have a 2 burner DCS cook top out on the patio kitchen (Huge open burners), and even outside it has been trouble free for probably about 15 years now and has outlasted 3 bbq's out there.

So why would I lean towards the Capital now?

(1) DCS is no longer open burner
(2) DCS is now no longer a US of A company, (Aussie I think now)
(3) Based on response (2), I think it would be "easier",(availability & delivery), to get parts for the Capital Culinarian than the DCS, should they ever be needed.
(4) The infra red grill the Capital has. I have it on the bbq and absolutely love the infra red!


    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 7:13AM
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I've had my 48" CC up and going since the first of the year. Can't say enough good about it.... one of the best purchases I splurged for in the new house.
I'm in VA and got mine through Trevor in Boston.... never saw one in person until I uncrated mine.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 10:47PM
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Gosh, great feedback from all. Thanks so much. And since I (Nancy) am a U of I graduate, Gary, I guess I qualify to join the group of Culinarians. Plus I too am a bit concerned about the change of ownership of DCS.
I was first drawn into the brand by Trevor's compelling video on the rangetop's open burners. I might buy from him myself, if only to support the good work he's doing.
For the moment, I'm shelving my research on my appliances to concentrate on the cabinetry/countertop material, but I'm sure I'll be back with more questions. Hope the same brilliant minds are available to answer them.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 12:16AM
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I have had a less than pleasant experience with my Culinarian (see Culinarian--Capital Disappointment). They keep sending me bandaids to fix things but the main problems of the griddle not cooking correctly and the broiler not broiling evenly have not been addressed.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 3:00PM
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I just received my Culinarian on Monday. Hooked it up that day. Everything seems to be good on it. I haven't tried the broiler. I think most of the posts are accurate. The cooktop is awesome. The new small pot burner is great. I had a small pot of sauce that I just wanted to keep warm and it started to bubble on the 23K burner on simmer. Moved it to the small pot burner and it worked perfect. The oven racks as some people have commented on are a little kludge. The advantage to the design is that you can very quickly remove or reinstall the racks which I can see will be handy when I use the rotisserie. The oven temp knob has more hysteresis than I expected and the graduations on the knob are course. I plan to place a wireless thermometer probe in the oven with the transmitter being placed in a cabinet next to the oven. The receiver can be on the counter and the receiver also has a built in timer. The only problem I see know is that I may need to hardwire the transmitter because of battery life. I don't plan to ever turn off the transmitter. Anyway I kind of went off on a tangent but it is a solution for an oven with a course dial and no built in temperature probe which are usually wrong anyway. Like others have said. There is no perfect range. You need to think about the pluses and minuses of each of them and get the one that is the least bad for your needs. One of the other things about this range that was a consideration for me is the ability to repair it. I service all of my own appliances and I see that since this unit does not have any circuit boards from what I can tell, I should be able to service for many years to come. I plan on this range being around 20 years from now.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 10:28PM
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Went with the rangetop and a separate electric oven. Best of both worlds in my mind. The grill on the culinarian is the best I've seen on a rangetop. The griddle does have a cool spot in the middle, but works pretty well. The burners are hard to beat. Fit finish all great so far. Was worried about most complaints concerning the oven, so I invested a bit more to get a real wall oven instead.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 12:55AM
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I have the Capital Culinarian self clean 48" gas range with 4 burners, 12" grill and 12" griddle and I couldn't be happier!
I live in Ontario Canada and I got mine through a friend that has a Direct Buy account...
When I first got it one of the burners didn't work so I called capital (I was a bit worried that it would be a hassle considering i live in Canada) but they were really helpful! they sent a guy out within 2 days...he fixed the problem and he even replaced one of the knobs that he said was sticking a bit and I hadn't even noticed it...great service!
I love the rotisserie and i use it all the time! I also love the warming option for the smaller oven, its great for rising bread as you preheat the other oven to bake it and its great for warming plates...the dripping pans are nice too, easy to clean...
I used to own the capital 30" before I upgraded to this one and the thing I like the most about capital compared to the other brands is the simplicity of it, everything is square and continuous, there's no cracks or spaces where food and crumbs accumulate, there's no fancy electronics, no beeping or alarms...the doors are solid, the knobs are heavy and not made of plastic, everything is really good quality! I can't say enough about it, everything cooks perfectly and most of all evenly!! I absolutely love it!!!
Good luck, hope this was helpful!

Oh and for the hood fan, I recommend getting an external blower, I have one and it's amazing how quiet it is...good to have since with a big range like that, you need an industrial size hood fan and those are normally really loud!!

This post was edited by reneef on Sun, Jun 30, 13 at 1:57

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 1:55AM
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reneef--who did you call at Capital? I have been having problems for ONE YEAR and live in central Indiana and have yet to see a serviceman. We have replaced all the orifices ourselves, have replaced a manifold, have a new fan cover, have some new rails, griddle still does not work well, broiler still does not work well, rolling racks still bind. I am practically rebuilding this thing and still have not seen a repairman. Yes, I have talked to Bob at Capital.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 6:46AM
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I called 1-866-402-4600, they don't have a recorded message which is a little strange but if you call during regular business hours I was able to get a hold of somebody and they were great help! I think I forgot to mention in my last post that when the guy placed the service call, he even ordered all the parts according to my problem in advanced in case something needed replacing so the tech came very prepared and was extremely knowledgable!
Good luck!!!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 10:29AM
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30" Capital Culinarian CGMR304 Review

Hi all,

I remodeled my kitchen in the summer of 2011 and installed a 30" Capital Culinarian, non-self-cleaning model CGMR304.
After cooking with it over the last couple years, I'll lay out the good and the bad, at least in my opinion.

Price paid: Just under $4000.00 from AJ Madison, including a one year extended warranty (making it a total of two years).

The good:
It is a beautiful range. Magnificent and impressive. All my friends suitably go "ooh and aah".
I absolutely love the high output open burners.
I love the infra-red broiler. (Although it is necessary to allow it to pre-heat for 5-6 minutes prior to broiling).
It is relatively easy to take apart and clean, and when necessary, I can fit the grates and middle piece in my dishwasher.
I also purchased the wok accessory, and use it all the time. For the first time, I can see what cooking on a high temp wok is supposed to be.
I love the simplicity of the design, and the simple controls for the light and convection fan.
The convection performance is very good

The not-so-good:
1) This stove suffers from the constant clicking of the burner igniters when on simmer. I've discovered that the reason for this is that if there is any breeze or draft in the room whatsoever, it causes the igniters not to be able to sense that the flame is on, and therefore will try to ignite the gas as they are designed to do. If I turn off the ceiling fan, and either close the window, and/or reposition the pot, I can usually get the igniters to cease the clicking. I've learned to deal with this, and it doesn't bother me (very much).

2). The low simmer. This is not, in fact, the lowest simmer I've ever seen. While it's OK for most things, I consider this to be a bit hot for a true, slow-cooker-like simmer. If I really want to simmer something at a super low temp, I've learned to grab another grate and stack it on top of the burner I want to simmer on. This elevates the pot enough to lower the temp sufficiently. I think that part of the reason for the overly hot simmer is the open burner design itself. Very little heat is lost or attenuated by a disk. So it appears that I can't have my cake and eat it too; either it's the high heat of the open burners, OR a super low simmer. Can't have both. Unless, of course, they've addressed this in a newer design. (If there is a way of lowering the flame strength, someone please be kind enough to let me know).

3). Exactly one week ago, 2-½ years after purchasing this range, the igniter on the infrared glass broiler died. Capital refused to do anything about it, as it was out of warranty, and AJ Madison (New York), where I purchased the stove through, same answer. The cost of the service call and the new igniter was $277.00. The service guys told me that they see a lot of infrared broiler igniters going bad anywhere from 2 - 5 years into service, and it is a common repair. Apparently the broiler generates so much heat that this is a recurring problem. I have no way to compare if this is more frequent with Capital than any other manufacturer, but it really irritated me to spend this kind of money on a range, only to have such an expensive repair so soon after purchasing it. And if the service guys are to be believed, I can look forward to replacing the broiler igniter periodically.

Final thoughts:
I do love cooking with the Culinarian, both stovetop and in the oven. And it is beautiful, smart-looking stove. I am somewhat disappointed in the simmer performance, to the point where I believe that the "low-simmer" claims were exaggerated marketing, and actually misleading. I also don't know if the stovetop igniters have been cured of the simmer clicking in a more recent model.
Would I buy this again? The short answer is maybe. To get the features I want, I would probably have to spend a lot more money. I would certainly evaluate which was more important to me; a low simmer or the open burner design. I don't think that I would get a stove with a dedicated simmer burner, because I like options, and I want to be able to simmer or fry on any burner I choose. And I would certainly try to get the broiler igniter covered for more than a year or two, or deal with this before purchasing the stove.

Ultimately, despite the shortcomings, I'm happy with the stove. But, it's not perfect, and some things with this remain a compromise.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 4:29AM
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All manufactures suffer from glow plug / igniter issues, its an industry problem.

As for the simmer you should contact AJ maddison and have them work with you to change the simmer burner to the new one (which will fix all your simmer issues)

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 1:21PM
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Cept he said he doesn't want different sized burners.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 7:24AM
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tyguy.... as PBaron says cake and eat it.... OPTIONS

1) Get the new simmers burner ........

2) Get all new burners any size, this will get rid of the clicking due to the new location and fixing of the ingiter.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 11:20AM
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