Bluestar Drop-in Cooktop review

FFSchooleyApril 1, 2012

I recently installed my new BlueStar 36" drop in cooktop and wanted to post an in-depth review.

When I first got it, the first thing I noticed was the simplicity of the design. No fancy electronics or computers, no elaborate designs. Just a simple cooktop. I compare it to an old muscle car vs. a prius. Pop the hood of the muscle car and you have a motor that is easy to work on. Same with this cooktop. 5 big burners, 5 ignition wires, and the ignition module. Thats it. This makes me happy since I have heard bad things about BS customer service and this cooktop will be EASY to work on! Anyone with basic home repair skills should have no problem fixing most problems they might encounter.

The next thing I noticed was the scratches. I ended up getting a floor model due to some ordering problems with the store I used. The cooktop had some moderate scratches around the holes that accept the grates. Obviously customers would pull them off and then just slap them down. The grates have two prongs that go into two holes and if you are off a bit and force the grate to align, you will get scratches. Had I got it from the factory and taken care with the grates, I could have avoided many of these. Still, its possible to get scratches from the grates. The upside is the grates cover the scratches making them barely visible.

Installation was a breeze. Not much to talk about there.

Use. This thing is hot! I have used some wolf and other open burner commercial ranges and I must say, this thing puts out the heat! Work great with my wok and are fantastic for searing. The front 22k burners on the mid to low setting are good for normal use. Their low setting however is a bit hot for simmering. I have cooked eggs on these front burners in a small pan with no issues as long as I pay close attention.The rear 8.5k burners are great for everyday cooking and do simmer nice and low. The simmer burner does go a bit lower since it has less holes and use it often for sauces. The 8.5ks will simmer rice without burning and are good with sauces as well, but I prefer to use the simmer burner if I am not using it for anything else. The simmer burner goes up high enough to quickly return sauces, stews, ect.. to a simmer after adding to them. While some might want 5 burners that all range the same (FYI, bluestar can customize your burner configuration a bit) I like having the simmer burner dedicated for this purpose.

Clean-up. Not as bad as you think. The grates clean easy and the drip pans lift right out and catch most dirt. And if you "pop the hood" once a week or so and get the rest you should have no issues. Get Bar Keepers friend and a good SS cleaner and the stainless will be no problem.

One potential problem; I noticed what looks like heat marking around one of the 22k burners after my wife was done boiling water and cooking pasta on it. I tried to rub it out with cleaner as well as rubbing compound and some still exists. I am not sure if this is normal and I should expect heat staining in the stainless. Anyone with this cooktop have the same problem? I am going to contact bluestar and see what they say.

If you are looking for a cooking machine and don't mind the potential for scratches, then this is it. For me cooking ability was the most important thing with looks coming in second. I don't mind the scratches and the potential appearance of looking "used and abused" if in fact heat staining is normal. Overall I am extremely happy with this cooktop and would recommend it over any sealed burner cooktop out there! Anyone who needs a high end drop in cooktop should seriously consider this one!

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Nice review, FFSchooley, I'm sure people in cooktop-selection mode will be very interested in what you have to say! Maybe you could even cross-post into Appliances as some folk do look over there as well?

I have a GE Monogram SS cooktop which came with a little bottle of Cerama Bryte SS Brightner. The label says ''removes heat discoloration (yellowing) from stainless steel surfaces''. I haven't had very much heat discoloration but I don't wok that often which is when I use ''extra-high'' on the burner. Also, I'm on propane and at high altitude so definitely losing BTUs over you folks with natural gas and maybe I just don't get high enough heat. Anyway, this remover did work on the small amount of discoloration that I had on the SS. The bottle says it also works on aluminum and other metals but it did not work for me on the aluminum burner things that the Monogram has. But like I said maybe the aluminum stains weren't really heat discoloration and just food and boilover stains (perhaps I'm giving away what a messy cook I am, sorry!).


    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 12:17PM
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Great review! Thank you so much for taking the time to post such detailed information.

I've always wondered how cleaning worked on the Blue Star cooktop since it doesn't have the drip tray to pull out. It sounds like the cooktop may be somewhat more difficult to clean than a stove or rangetop because you have to reach down into the cooktop to clean the drip tray but it really doesn't sound too bad. This is great to know because it will give me more options when we FINALLY pull the trigger and redo our kitchen (probably 2 more years yet). I'm definitely going to check the cooktop out since I think 5 burners is really the max I need. Thank you again!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 12:47PM
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Oops, I thought I posted this in appliances. I will re-post there.

One other nice thing I found out today is that I used my griddle for the first time and since the 8.5k burners are next to eachother, it worked perfectly with them and had nice even heat!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 5:11PM
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Couple of things that would make the review more useful.

1. How much did it cost?


2. How much space is there from center of burner to center of burner...front to back and side to side. This will help determine how large of pans can be used on it. I was very frustrated with lack of cooktop real estate on my range (w/ a back console) so I opted for a rangetop.

Oh, and, position of knobs. Do you have to pull all the knobs off to clean after you cook something splattery?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 7:06PM
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I got a floor model for 1500.
Distance between burner centers is 12"
Knobs need to be pulled to "pop the hood," but other than that we don't pull them all the time to clean, just when then get greasy.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 12:21PM
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Long term follow up.

So its been 8 months now and we couldn't be happier! We have had no problems at all and this thing is a cooking machine! A few things I have noticed...

W find we use two large 22k burners all the time! They go pretty low and can be used to cook everything. We cook eggs on them almost every morning and can stir fry come dinner time.

The two rear 12k burners arnt used much except when we need more burners or need a lower heat setting for simmering stews or soups in large pots.

The simmer burner is fantastic for our rices and small sauce pans.

As far as looks and handling abuse, its standing up very well and dont see any issues with the quality or build. Top notch!

Here is a link that might be useful: My new business website! Firefighter Training Products

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 10:36PM
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Thanks for the review! It's re assuring to say the least, considering I just placed an order on a 36" RNB range

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 11:20PM
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Thanks so much for this review. I am on the verge of ordering one. A couple of questions: do you ever find the knobs heat up uncomfortably if you are using the 22K burners? Is it at all awkward having them in between the heat? ANd do you miss not having more simmer burners? Thanks so much! It's hard to find reviews of the cooktop and not rangetop.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 11:42PM
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does anyone here recommend changing the configuration of the burners? i'm getting the 36 inch 6 burner and wonder if i should do a 22k in the back...?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 11:26PM
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Typically the lower btu's are at the rear, hence the term "put it on the back burner" ...I'm not sure they will even put the 22k's at the rear, but I guess you can ask.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 11:55PM
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I'm trying to decide between this and a Wolf, but nobody around here has a drop in Bluestar I can look at. From pictures it looks like the basins are different from the ones on the range, and the drip tray doesn't pull out. Can anybody share any close ups of the drip pans and a picture of the top, popped?

    Bookmark   March 1, 2015 at 12:09PM
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