Bluestar Drop-in Cooktop review
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!