Bluestar--All that cast iron retaining heat during summer cooking

needinfo1July 21, 2013

We'd seriously considered Bluestar when we bought a new range six months ago, but for several reasons decided against the brand. Instead we bought the now-discontinued open burner, AG Wolf. So, I am not in the market but have been wondering about this question ever since the summer heat arrived.

My Wolf has big, clunky cast iron grates that retain heat for a long time after I turn the burners off. And, all of that extra heat sitting there after cooking is not pleasant in the hotter months. When we were shopping and looking, in some ways I'd been attracted to the idea of the entire top of the BS being cast iron. But, now, standing by the Wolf with the grates that take a long time to cool down, I started to think about the Bluestar with its entire top made of cast iron and wondered if there is so much after cooking heat radiation that is a problem in the summer heat (all that extra warmth would be great in the winter though).

As I said, just curious about this.

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I have a 36" RNB that pumps out the heat. I've never noticed it retaining heat after cooking such that it affects the ambient temperature of the kitchen.

While its cooking, and especially when I have several burners going, sure it gets hot. But that's true of any range. If your wolf is affecting the surrounding temp, maybe there's an issue with the range or perhaps the venting??

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 5:30PM
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I have a 36" RNB, with the griddle that I use quite often. Yes, it does heat up while cooking, and does remain warm to touch for a bit afterwards, but not unreasonably long, or enough to warm the area. We do live in a So Cal coastal town, so summer heat is not all that hot, and the windows are usually open almost all year long, so I'm sure that could help cool the kitchen as well.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 5:50PM
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gtadross & ctycdm--

You are right about the venting/windows being the issue. This was a replacement for an old downdraft, and for a couple logistical reasons we have yet to install a hood (coming up soon though). Although we have always planned to put a hood in, for quite some time I actually thought we could live without one because we were fine all winter and spring and just opened the window if we needed to. But, when the exterior temps are high and our window ACs are cranking away (100 year old house with no central air) so we don't want to open a window, I can really notice the heat from the range top even after I have finished cooking.

I just brought up this question because it is something I would now think about before buying a range if I lived in a climate that is hot year round.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 8:27PM
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I live in the southeast so half of the year it is hot outside. We have central air conditioning, but despite that, cooking with any indoor stove, of any brand, you will produce some heat in your kitchen.I have a Bluestar 48 inch range and I don't feel there is any more heat generated with this range versus a basic GE. Gas or doesn't matter.

All ranges will remain warm and continue to throw off a little heat for a short time period after cooking. There is no noticeable difference in that fact with the BlueStar over any other stove I've used over the years. I cook totally from scratch, and if I don't want to deal with hovering over a hot burner or dealing with oven heat we grill outdoors.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 12:54PM
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Most of the responses seem to have been about the burner grates, which get and radiate heat on most any gas stove.. What I think needinfo was asking about is the BS burner-bowls and cast-iron top assembly in which the burner bowls sit. Sandy has pointed out that many stovetops will radiate heat for a while and that she thinks the BS is not much different.

So, maybe this version of the question will get closer to the question that I think needinfo asked:

How long does it take the burner bowls on the BS stoves to cool down to the point that you can lift them out (with ungloved hands) after cooking as you might do if you wanted to wash them.

Seems to me that, if it takes a while, then they will be radiating heat for some time after cooking, adding considerably to the warmth that comes from the grates.

I don't have a BS but I have cooked on the old residential Garlands (the predecessor to the BS) as well as had to work on (as in clean) Garland commercial stoves. My recollection is that those burner bowls got pretty darn hot when cooking for for any length of time and then radiated heat for quite a while after the burner was shut down. (Of course, the commercial ones also had pilot lights that added to the warmth.)

So, I too, am curious about the extent to which cooking on the BS ranges heats the burner-bowls and related cooktop surfaces other than the grates

This post was edited by JWVideo on Thu, Jul 25, 13 at 14:28

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 2:23PM
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i never really measured the length of time it takes to cool down. but i don't think it takes that long for the cast iron apparatus to do so.

for instance, after dinner, i'll wash the pots and pans and use the stove top as a sort of "drying rack." when i put the wet pots and pans on, i don't even notice a hiss or anything...unless i put the pots/pans on right after cooking. that's not something i do anyway, b/c i wouldn't want to damage the ceramic ignitor.

so, if i had to guess, i'd say that in about 20-30 minutes (i.e., the time it takes to eat the food), its' cool enough where you can put your hand on it.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 2:48PM
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I don't want to start a flame war, but just want to throw out there that this is an area where induction shines. Having always cooked on gas prior to a few months ago, my anecdotal evidence says that induction produces much less heat in the kitchen than gas. That's mostly due to the difference while the burners are in use I'm sure, and not the subsequent cool-down time, but the difference is quite noticeable.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 3:36PM
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Soibean, I don't have an induction, but I would guess that a much higher percentage of the heat generated by the range gets to the pan with induction, than with a gas open burner, so I would expect that the gas open burner puts more heat into the room to get the same amount of heat to the pan. Also, with induction, you are not heating up the grates either. That said, I went with gas since it is easier to see, and for me to understand.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 8:54PM
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I have a BlueStar range, and had a Garland in our previous house.

The burner bowls only get significantly hot if you're cooking for an extended period -- boiling pasta water, making stock, etc. It's heat reflected back by the pot or pan that heats the bowl; they sit below the burner and are somewhat air-cooled by the combustion air flowing in. For a quicker cooking task -- searing a steak, using a wok, etc. -- there's not enough time to really heat up the bowl.

The burner grates are light enough that, while they get hot, they cool relatively quickly -- within 10 minutes, I'd say.

On a hot summer day, I would certainly hesitate to make anything long-cooking -- like a previous poster, I'd prefer to use the grill. But I think the amount of heat contributed by the cast iron parts pales in comparison to the heat produced during actual cooking.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 9:26PM
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Thank you, parkercat, that was a good and informative answer to the question.

This post was edited by JWVideo on Fri, Jul 26, 13 at 3:28

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 3:27AM
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Not that I hesitate to use my Bluestar in the summer, but I would disagree about that length of time. The cast iron bowls/burner grates stay too hot to comfortably touch for a LONG time (hours after cooking is complete), and even adjacent burners to the one that was used can heat to the point you don't want to touch them. (I've mildly burned myself many times doing that.) That's what cast iron does: retains heat.

Many times it's been 1-2 hours past dinner and when I'm cleaning up, I'll hear a sizzle or pull my hand away when wiping down the top of the range.

Of course, my well-insulated Wolf oven is the same. Open it even hours after use and, assuming you just took the food out and closed it back up, and there's still a good bit of heat there.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 8:22AM
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I would disagree with applnut on the length of time it takes for the bowls to cool down. I have not measured it yet on my 36" 6 burner BS range top, but I know for sure it is not hours to the point where I can safely touch them.

I will try to remember to get a better idea in the near future and post back.

I will agree with applnut on the Wolf oven though, I have found that if you close the door after cooking and leave it closed the interior well remain very hot for several hours. I have personal experience with our L-Series 30" single wall oven and doing that shortly after we first got it late last year/early this year. We had cooked something, we were new to the oven and we were wandering around the new kitchen so the door on the oven got fully shut. We went and watched some TV and came back at least 2 hours later. I opened it up to put a rack back in it and it had to be over 250F still, it was crazy and it was OFF for sure.


    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 9:52AM
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Many current models of wall and range ovens are so well insulated that they take a very long time to cool down.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 6:05PM
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Just for fun the other day, I was making a brown/simmer dish in a cast iron dutch oven on the stove top before moving it to the oven and I thought I'd see how long it took for my burners to cool down. (Just to see if it was my imagination.)

When I got done cooking and removed the pot the burner bowl was 370 degrees on the outside edge, according to a Raytek infrared thermometer and an hour later, give or take 5 minutes, since I was still working in the kitchen, I checked again and it was 151. Enough to make you pull your hand back and not touch it again ... Which is pretty much what I recalled.

That having been said, even though we live somewhere it gets quite hot, I never hesitate to use my range in the summer months due to fear of it excessively heating up the house.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 6:44PM
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I'd be interested to see the results had you not continued with something in the oven. My guess would be that the heat would transfer up, and keep the bowls from cooling more rapidly. Granted, I don't have one of those thermometers, but I'd be willing to bet there's no way my burner bowls are 151 an hour after using them.
edit... joke's on me if you have a wall oven! ;)

This post was edited by ctycdm on Thu, Aug 1, 13 at 20:46

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 8:15PM
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The "something in the oven" was in an electric wall oven ... The Bluestar oven was never turned on.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 7:59AM
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Logically it makes sense to me that all of that cast iron on a BS would retain the heat for a long time and then radiate it into the room. After all, my old house has cast iron radiators; heat retention is why radiators have been traditionally made of cast iron. And, think about cast iron tubs and sinks. They keep the heat for a long time. The principle and physics have to be the same.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 8:40AM
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