BS vs Wolf

sspiperJuly 20, 2012

I just started my kitchen remodel. I live in Arlington Va in a tiny but lovely colonial. I've done my homework here on the forums but am still struggling over my choice.

I've gone and laid my hands on a BS cooktop and am very drawn to it for all the obvious reasons. Unfortunately the dealer didn't have a working oven, but I still am able to see the fit and feel of that as well.

I love the higher BTU capacity, but honestly I have never actually cooked on a pro style range.....

I guess my biggest questions/concern is will I be able to simmer like I do on my crappy closed burner GE?

It seems like a good measure for me would be something like making rice on the stove top. Is this something I can only do on the simmer burner or can you actually do a low simmer on the 15 and 22000 BTU burners as well?

And will the oven run me out of the kitchen from heat when baking? Its been really hot here on the east coast and even with the remodel my kitchen will be what many of you would consider small. How much heat does the oven put out?

Asking this subjectively not scientifically.

In my indecision I tend to look at Wolf and closed burners/well insulated oven as a safe choice.

I know their duel fuel ovens are suppose to be exceptional.

But I almost feel like what's the point in going upscale without open burners. Love any input....I can't manage a trip to Boston to cook on a CC. I'll need to make a decision with a bit of a leap in faith!

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Until 2002, I lived in Arlington -- 22207 zip code -- so I can easily imagine your "tiny but lovely colonial".

I have never cooked on a Blue Star, nor lived with one, so I cannot compare/contrast. In 2005, when I remodeled my kitchen in my current home, I installed a 30" DF Wolf. And I've been delighted ever since!

I find the BTU output of the 3 large burners more than sufficient for my style of cooking (sautee, simmer, etc.). I'm wild about the very small BTU output of the burner in the left, back. I can put delicate sauces, or butter or chocolate on that back burner, turn it low, and leave it all unattended while I do other things in the kitchen, and nothing ever scorches. Browning butter for sauces is a piece of cake with this range. Another thing I do frequently is use the back burner for a many hour, low simmer for soups or stews.

You asked about rice, and I do cook a lot of rice. I will cook the rice on any of the burners. And, then I'll "hold" it on that very low BTU output burner for however long I need. Nothing scorches. And it's so liberating to not have to continually supervise, stir, etc.

Regarding the oven, I'm guessing there is less heat output with the 30-inch range, than the larger ranges. I know my oven heats more quickly than the larger ranges. I confess that I don't use the oven that much in the summer, but when I do use it, I don't sense heat emanating from it, heating up the kitchen.

Regarding the Wolf DF --- it's beyond fabulous for baking and roasting. I love the temperature proble for roasts, which results in perfect degree of roasting. And all of my baked foods are just marvelous. I swear that recipes made in my DF Wolf taste much better than the same recipe made in my mother's conventional electric oven....although I don't tell her that!

Good luck with your decision process. I honestly think you'll be delighted with a Wolf, and will marvel at how it simplifies your cooking and makes you feel like a more accomplished cook

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 10:51AM
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A couple of things. One, Capital is going to introduce a dual fuel with open burners. I don't know the release date.

Second, all gas ovens are vented and draw in fresh air and vent out heat usually at the top and through the back splash.

So no matter how well insulated the oven is, heat is being pumped into the kitchen. It's anyone's guess, since some of that heat goes directly up and out the overhead hood.

Finally the Bluestar simmer burner and 15 burners go very low and both do fine simmering on small to medium pots. The 22K burner goes low but there are more (very tiny) flames when set at a simmer and it does a simmer better with a larger quantity of food.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 2:17AM
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Much appreciated. Both comments are very helpful. I am leaning towards the BS because of the cooktop. In fact my ancient GE is a gas oven so that's what I've lived with all these years.
I am thinking the oven in the BS shouldn't put out that much more heat. At least I don't know why it would?
I am still a bit on the fence but will have to make a decision very soon.
beth4 cool that you lived in 22207 i am one zip over so yes you know our tiny homes ;-)
alexr your comments about simmer capabilities are very helpful. Definatly appreciate any more feedback. thanks!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 10:48AM
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this was helpful to me too, so thanks. I am leaning to BS too. was just concerned about having a gas oven. what are the advantages/disadvantages? the infrared broiler is supposed to be awesome in the BS. i have a gas oven (non-convection old oven) that is just OK. i would think that duel fuel would be better so i can get electric oven but really love the BS. i will have a wall oven which can be electric but i haven't decided on that since i may just go with a speed oven and a steam oven on the wall.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 11:17AM
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also, i've been researching on this site and seems that the top concern is or used to be the hot spots on the blue star door to the oven. is that still a concern? i thought i read they had fixed it but i'm not sure.....

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 12:43PM
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So all the burners on a Bluestar no matter what size - can be adjusted at their simmer setting. That is, you can 'fine tune' the lowest flame setting of any burner and then it will keep that setting when the knob is turned to simmer.

It requires you or someone to slide the knob off, and use a small flat blade screwdriver to lower the simmer flame. This adjustment doesn't affect the high full open flame setting. The second adjustment is the air shutter, which mixes air in to the flow of gas going to the burner. Also very easy.

You can set the flame so low that it barely pop up from the hole, but does not cause the ignitor to re-spark.

Anyway, that can be a very small flame.. If you set it too low not enough gas comes out of the burner to light every hole and the flames 'wander' from hole to hole and eventually the ignitor will spark. You get the idea.

Then it's just a question of how many holes- the smaller burner has about 35 flame holes and the other sizes add 4 or 8 more holes on each arm of the 'star' burner, or an additional 32 for the 15K and an extra 32 holes for the 22K.

The largest 22k Bluestar burner's simmer produces about the same heat as the lowest simmer setting on a Capital Culinarian- a competing open burner range.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 12:48AM
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I'm handy and could do those adjustments, especially if there is written instruction. This forum is amazing. I am really grateful for the great advise.
Now my only decision will be burner configuration. The 30 inch BS comes standard with 2- 22000 btu burners up front. I am wondering if changing one out to a 15000 might be a good choice for simmering and cooking grains, rice and so on? Perhaps with the simmer adjustments I am over thinking ? Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 8:24AM
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My only comment is I think I would prefer the 15K burner at the right front position and put one of the 22K's to the right rear position.

They used to do it that way, but the back 22K burner would leave a scorch mark on the 6" stainless back splash. To me, that's not a big deal, and it's nice to park a big pot of pasta water or whatever back there.

And if you have the short "Island trim" the scorch marks won't show anyway. In that case, you'll need stainless or tile on the wall behind the range unless there is no wall behind the range-as in an island.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 2:49PM
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sspiper, I live less than 10 miles from you and I have a 48" Bluestar. I'm not sure how comparable our situations may be since I have central A/C but I don't find that the ovens cause any noticeable increase in ambient room temperature. For what it's worth the GE electric double ovens I had in my last house had a vent, too.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 11:59PM
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