My new appliances - nine months later

acertainJune 4, 2013

Hi all -

I gained a lot of information and good advice from this forum when selecting our new kitchen appliances, so I thought I'd post my experience with them after nine months, in the hopes that somebody might find this information useful.

So, here they are, in no particular order:

Capital Culinarian 36" self-clean range with grill
Although we make pancakes on an electric griddle every weekend, we went with the grill rather than the griddle after reading many posts about people who had done the same. I'm very happy we went with the grill, but I don't think that putting a grill pan on top of the griddle is practical. It takes way too long to heat up. I've used a grill pan on the burners, which is OK, but not very even. Mostly I just pull out the electric griddle. So if you really want a griddle, I would get the griddle, but the indoor grill is great for burgers, etc. I got rid of my outdoor gas grill and just use my BGE and the indoor grill. It's great and not hard to clean.

We've used the rotisserie a few times, and it's also just OK, in my opinion. I'm too much of a control freak when it comes to cooking, I guess, and it's too hard to get the meat cooked correctly when you have no control over the broiler setting or the distance from the broiler. Chickens, for example, either have the breast done too much or the legs not enough. It's not the end of the world since the rotation does keep some of the juices in, but it's not as good as other methods, in my opinion. I did use it for a porchetta, which I think with practice I could nail. But, overall, I wouldn't miss not having the rotisserie. The self-clean is nice, though.

The main burners are awesome. They heat up fast and are very uniform. I agree that they are useless for simmering without a simmer plate or something (we have had them adjusted as low as they can go). I have a friend with a Blue Star and I can see the advantage of having a simmer burner. I'm totally happy with my purchase, but since I care less about the rotisserie than I thought I would, I might choose differently had I to do it over again.

Vent-A-Hood 42x27" Island Hood
We decided to go with a custom hood because in simple finishes it wasn't that much more expensive than a standard island hood, so we got the ISFH18 in a jitterbug finish with rivets around the bottom. It looks great. Unfortunately, it doesn't capture as well as I would like. I think one of the problems is that the controls and front lights are mounted on a flat section that has only a 1/2" lip around it, so smoke that hits that area is almost as likely to escape the hood as be captured by it. The actual venting area is only 28x14". I think that I would have gotten a larger hood had I realized.

Gaggeneau ED220 Combi-steam Oven
I bought one of these off Amazon and after a slight calibration problem (, it has been great. Part of the reason I don't really care that the range can't simmer is that everything we would have simmered we now do in the oven. We bought some 1/3-size pans so that we can do smaller quantities (and, say, rice and beans at the same time). I've used it to do prime rib @ 140 all day, refresh frozen breads, steam sweet potatoes, etc. It also heats up to high temperatures quickly for things like pans of frozen french fries, etc. And it holds the temperature to within a few degrees consistently. It's fabulous. I can't imagine having a kitchen without one. My wife was skeptical of my purchase, but I don't think she would have a kitchen without one either. Being able to set the steam percentage and the temperature separately to anything from 0% and 90 degrees to 100% and 450 degrees is great for a control freak like me. I wouldn't get one that didn't have that manual-control flexibility.

The bulb burned out pretty soon after I installed it. If anybody is curious, the replacement bulb is the Philips Plusline ES 60W@230V R7s bulb. It ended up not mattering, but the replacements web site I bought it from sent me a 48W bulb (because it's halogen, the package indicates it produces the same light as a 60W incandescent, but the bulb I removed was an actual 60W bulb).

Bosch SHX3AR55UC dishwasher
Meh. We had a middle-to-lower-end Bosch in the kitchen before the remodel that we put no time into picking and we were happy with, so I didn't put much time into picking this. Our salesperson originally sold us a Kitchenaid claiming it was better than the Bosch, but it didn't have nearly as much capacity. The cavity was marginally larger, but the rack tines were farther apart. The Bosch, though, doesn't load on the top as well as the old Bosch, though the bottom is better. Cleans great; since Seattle isn't very humid, it dries fine as well. I would spend more time looking at the rack layouts if I had it to do again, but it's fine.

Samsung RFG237AARS refrigerator
We had to have a counter-depth refrigerator, and the only thing the kids cared about in the whole remodel was ice and water in the door, so we got this one, which I think had the most usable space or was cheaper or something. I did more research with this one than the dishwasher, but not a lot more. It has been fine. The ice selector doesn't work, so we only get crushed, but I didn't care enough to call somebody out even under warranty (I just open it up if I want cubes).

So that's everything. I hope this information is useful to somebody. Let me know if you have any questions.


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Thanks for the review, it is always helpful to hear from someone after a few months with an appliance. The first few days you have it, you are still learning about it, and it probably takes a while to get used to it. Glad you like your combi - hopefully a few more manufacturers will start offering them at more modest price ranges, so we can get enough of them in houses to get some decent cookbooks. I just steamed some crab legs tonight, came out great. As for sweet potatoes, I have tried steaming, convection steaming, and regular convection, and find we like regular convection the best - you get a crunchy skin - but that is probably personal preference.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 8:50PM
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Wow, what was the total installed price for all of those appliances? Sounds like they're mostly overpriced duds.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 10:40PM
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Thanks for the feedback, Andrew. I'm sure that there will be many who appreciate the time you took to give back to the community.

And as always, it's important to never feed the trolls....


    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 11:46PM
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I know not to feed the trolls, but I should at least clarify what I meant to say:

I spent a lot of money on the Capital range, and I'm happy with it. I would spend that much on a range again, though I would look at Blue Star.

I spent a fair amount of money on the Gaggeneau, but since it was discontinued, about half or less of what a new one would cost. If I had to, knowing what I know now, I would pay full price for a new combi-steam, as it fundamentally changes some of the ways I cook.

The other appliances were mid-range, and they perform adequately. I would buy all of them again except for the dishwasher, but I would probably buy something in the same price range as the dishwasher, even another Bosch. I would just pay closer attention to the rack layout.

So I don't think that any of them were overpriced duds, because I'm happy with them. If I had spent on the dishwasher what I spent on the range, I would think that it was a dud. But for what I spent on it, it's fine. If I had spent on the range what I spent on the dishwasher, I would be ecstatic.

With most things, a doubling in quality commands more than a doubling in price. Whether you think that is reasonable or overpriced depends on how much you value that quality.

Or maybe I'm just overpaid.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 1:26AM
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Great feedback. I agree with you, and the Combi is our kitchen's best bang for the buck! Even nicer that you got a great deal on it! When mine starts looking nasty, I remove the side grills and the filter. I spray Easy Off (blue can) on the interior, and place the parts I removed on newspaper and spray them also. I let it sit overnight. Wipes like a charm with damp paper towels. Then I run a 20 min steam cycle to assure all the cleaner is out of the oven. Looks new after 7 years.

My bulb has never burned out, and thanks for the recommendation....I will get one to have it on hand.

Do you have the details on the 1/3 pans you ordered? I would like to get a few.

Thanks for sharing,

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 8:28AM
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For the pans, I just went to a restaurant supply store and browsed their selection. I've attached a link to an online source (no endorsement; I just have looked at their selection). I haven't been able to find any shallow (e.g. less than 2.5" deep) pans. If anybody knows of a source, I'd love to hear it (other than from Gaggenau - $250!).


Here is a link that might be useful: Steam-table pan

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 11:42AM
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Thanks. I have looked in the past, but was unsure of the measurements (rim to rim or base to base, etc), so I hesitated online. I will look into this some more, thanks!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 4:30PM
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