36" range: Capital Precision, culinary, or DCS?

AristidaAugust 13, 2012

We're picking appliances for our new home, and need to make a decision relatively quickly on the range and hood--within the week. We've done some research online and saw some ranges at a showroom. We're leaning towards a Capital. We like the look of the Culinary, but think the 22 btu is a bit much for us. It's also got the $1k premium. We like that Precision has simmer, and hopefully won't require an expensive hood; however, we're concerned that the cooking top is stainless steel. Will this stand up to years of daily cooking? Is it easy to clean? There's also some good deals on DCS ranges online, about $800 less than the Precision.

For the hood, we want a chimney hood, and want to stay under $1k. We were thinking about Cavaliere Euro (up to 700 cfm), but read 1 negative review on this forum, not enough suction. Does anyone else have experiences with this Hood? Or have suggestions for another one in the price range? We want a chimney because we don't like look of cabinets on top.

Loved the posts on the forum so far. Thanks for any tips or advice in advance.

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deeageaux

What size range are you looking at?

Self-clean or manual clean?

Grill or Griddle options?

There is one person on this forum that has owned both a Precision and a Culinarian; hopefully she will chime in.

BTW: There is no such thing as too much BTU. You can always turn it down. You can't turn a standard burner past the max.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 2:58AM
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wekick

"BTW: There is no such thing as too much BTU. You can always turn it down. You can't turn a standard burner past the max."

Yes there is for some cooks. The high BTU burner can only be turned down to a certain point just as the stacked burner can only be turned up to a certain point. Each has a range. Bluestar has a simmer burner to give at least one burner with that capability and Capital supposedly is coming out with that as well. There are a few threads that talk about problems with the simmer on the Culinarian. There have been discussions about what even constitutes a simmer-Just under a boil, which suits some vs low enough to hold a pan of mashed potatoes without scorching which suits others. The DCS is a dual stacked burner that goes very low to just warm on the simmer component and high on the upper component. I would figure out what YOU use the most and there are always work arounds for a particular short coming in the less frequent uses. There are cooks on these forums that are happy with either choice.
Another consideration is that the DCS is a sealed burner and the Culinarian is an open burner. I would read about the difference in those. One may be easier to clean for you and the sealed has a little wider flame base. This makes one heat more evenly for larger pans(10 inch or more) and one may be more even with smaller pans. Depending on where the ring of heat meets the pan the heat will radiate more to the center of the pan until it reaches equilibrium. It is much harder to heat outside of that ring. If you use a good conductive pan, it will be the biggest factor in providing even heat to what you are cooking though.

If you stir fry for more than 2 people at a time, need to boil water a little quicker daily, use smaller pans or frequently have some other application that requires very high heat, you might want the higher BTUs. If you use larger pans, want to have full control of the lower end of the simmer/warm spectrum, yet high enough BTUs to sear steaks and stirfry for only 1 or 2 then dual stacked burners might be for you.
The work arounds-
You can probably bring the simmer down on a high BTU range a little more with a big square copper simmer plate to radiate the heat away from the pot. You can simmer in the oven if the temp goes low enough.
With the stacked burner, you can heat cast iron to very high heat for searing. The heavier the pan, the more heat it will hold. It just takes a little time to fully heat. If you read about how cast iron is used to simulate a pizza oven there are people who have mapped temps for this.
I do not have any of these brands but do have dual stacked burners and given the field of choices presently offered would choose them again or possibly induction for part of my burners. Others have made other well thought out different choices for what suits them the best.

Good Luck in your search.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 3:15PM
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deeageaux

Yes there is for some cooks. The high BTU burner can only be turned down to a certain point just as the stacked burner can only be turned up to a certain point. Each has a range.

No there is not.

All those problems are adjustment problems not design problems.

Those dual stacked burners will give you an average lower temp but not a lower temp under the flame.

The Culinarian will give you a very even 140 or even lower in a few reported cases.

Plus,those super-low burners give a clickety-clack from the the burners turning off and re-igniting.

If looking for even super-low simmer better off with double boiler or simmer plate than dedicated simmer burner.

This "issue" has become a marketing problem not a cooking problem hence the possible Culinarian simmer burner. To a lesser degree this has become a "service" problem with a few people unable to get a competent tech to adjust simmer.

And no amount of cast iron will make a 15k burner sear like a 23k btu burner.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 3:34PM
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cooksnsews

DCS stacked burners do not "clickety-clack". All 6 burners on my 36" range go low enough to simmer rice or render schmatlz, regardless of their max BTU output. I believe other brands, perhaps Wolf, use a similar system. Thermador is the only range I'm aware of that does the on/off/on/off thing to achieve a low temp simmer.

Just my opinion, but for the price of these ranges, the use of a simmer plate is a real bush league compromise if you really value and frequently use a simmer feature.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 10:39PM
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wekick

"Those dual stacked burners will give you an average lower temp but not a lower temp under the flame. "

Can you explain what this sentence means?

The Culinarian will give you a very even 140 or even lower in a few reported cases.

Capital gives the high end rating in BTUs but is not forthcoming with the rating in BTUS on the simmer end so that you can compare. The self reported temperature is a meaningless number. The number will vary wildly depending on cookware and what you are cooking. My point is that it has been an issue on this forum. I will leave that to the OP to read and make up their own mind if it is an issue for them. For me it would be. The evenness of heat of any burner is more a function of the pan.

Plus,those super-low burners give a clickety-clack from the the burners turning off and re-igniting. "

Yes, the only ones that work that way on purpose are the Thermador. You might be thinking of the discussions about the Culinarian doing that when turned low. There might be a few others with those issues. The dual burners have two separate burners for this reason and eliminates any clicking. This thread has more about the clicking and why it occurred.
Culinarian Clicking

If looking for even super-low simmer better off with double boiler or simmer plate than dedicated simmer burner.

It is a matter of personal preference I guess. I love that all my burners go to just warm. I don't have to fool with a double burner or simmer plates. I will often have 3 or 4 burners going at low temp and I don't have to ever worry about burning anything. My double boiler is in the basement and hasn't been used in 5 years. I was cooking something with eggs the other day and couldn't believe I didn't need a double boiler.

And no amount of cast iron will make a 15k burner sear like a 23k btu burner.

It actually can. If you study the properties of various metals as they relate to cookware, it will help you maximize the usefulness of your range. It is a matter of getting the temperature up to a certain point and having enough mass to hold enough heat to properly brown and cook a steak. In this case it is a matter of the amount of heat collected in the cast iron. Maybe you have seen where they heat rocks to a certain temperature and then cook steaks at the table in restaurants. Sort of the same principle. There is no direct heat under the rock at the moment but it is holding enough heat to cook the steak.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 7:43AM
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Aristida

I love the passion people on this forum have for their appliances. I guess it's a personal preference. Any thoughts are being able to keep the stainless steel top clean or on the vent hood?

Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 10:11AM
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weissman

I've had a DCS range for 10 years and love it. I really like the simmer on all the burners and find the 17.5K high heat more than adequate for all my needs and I wok a lot. The stainless top on the DCS is very easy to clean - usually a simple wipe up - occasionally need to use a blue Scotchbrite with Bar Keeper's Friend for burned on stuff. I can't say this is true for all SS cooktops but it certainly is for the DCS.

Yes, you certainly get passionate people on this forum :-)

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 10:37AM
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wekick

I was hoping weissman would post.
People who have been on these boards for awhile love and have studied their appliances. You will be happiest if your choice is made on based on your own unique set of wants and needs. Most posters here post with the idea of helping you understand how these appliances work and the differences in them. The more you know and understand about how features work together with cooking vessels and what you are cooking, the better your decision will be.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 11:00AM
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jbart

Never had a problem keeping SS clean on my old jennair range or new CC.

Sounds like Precision would be better for you, given your desire for low simmer. Or you could save with a DCS and put a bit more into the hood.

XO is around $1,000 but is a great value. Combines good looks with solid build.

Kobe and Elica also have good value hoods in that range and nobody beats Zephyr for slightly less, IMO.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 1:09PM
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alexrander

Some folks prefer the stainless over the black sheet metal found on some sealed burners rangetops. Evidently spill overs sometimes leave spots after they are cleaned.

On the Bluestar ranges, the entire top is thick porcelain coated cast-iron- it doesn't mar from spills and is another alternative.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 11:38PM
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BrightFutureFoods

My range is all stainless and it's VERY easy to clean. Fantastic, actually. I own a Capital Culinarian and could not be happier with it FWIW. I do think you express a reasonable concern about a hood that can take the 23K BTU burners. It can be hard on electronics. If you go that route, I recommend getting an outdoor hood (they still work indoors) to save money but still have the higher grade electronic switches/circuitry to take the heat. The outdoor ones are made for the high BTUs put out by outdoor grills.

Best luck,
BFF

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 5:17PM
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GaborSD

weissman, thank you for the info. I can`t wait to hook up my 36 inch DCS. Can you tell me what type of hood you have?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 1:09AM
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GaborSD

weissman, thank you for the info. I can`t wait to hook up my 36 inch DCS. Can you tell me what type of hood you have?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 1:11AM
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weissman

I have a DCS Euro hood - it's a different model than the one they currently sell. One of the main reasons I got it was that it only required a 6" duct which is what I already had. It's 600 CFM which is fine. The main drawback is that it's only 19" deep - some grease does get on the outer front of the hood. In hindsight, a deeper hood would have been better - today I'd probably be looking at Kobe.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 1:45AM
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