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bluestar vs culinarian ovens

Posted by cassity (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 14, 12 at 14:27

Are there any people who have baked in both the Bluestar and Culinarian?

I'm wondering if the Culinarian runs more (uses more gas) because of the cooling fan(s)?

I would think that the cool door on the Culinarian comes at the expense of taking heat away from the oven. If the oven is basically a box and you're blowing air across its outside (and I'd assume through the door), the temperature inside the oven is going to drop and the oven is going to have to run more in order to hold temperature.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

GWer amcook has owned both and maybe he will chime in.

The CC oven is also smaller and better insulated therefore using less gas.

In any event I think the operational cost difference is neglible.


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

The CC oven is also smaller and better insulated therefore using less gas.

Wow, didn't take long for the first completely unsubstantiated post to crop up.

Really, Deeeago? How much insulation is there in each product? Have you disassembled them and measured? You are drawling a completely baseless conclusion. Well, at least the first part of your statement is true.

To cassity, I have not baked on both, all I can offer is that I am amazed at how little time my oven burners are on. At about 350 to 375 the burners are on for about 3 minutes and off for about 10-12 minutes. At lower temperatures the between-interval can be even longer. I am also amazed at how long the oven will old heat after being turned off. The oven is still quite warm (not hot) a good 4-5 hours afterwards.

I have a Bluestar.

-Stooxie


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

Employees from Bluestar have said more than once to me and other posters that the Bluestar oven is so large it leaves little room for insulation and that is a major reason for the hotter door.

Yeah,just like you Stooxie every post I make is backed by scientifically valid personal research.


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RE: Assumptions'R'Us

What you're saying makes no sense-- the amount of insulation around the oven box has nothing to do with the oven door. Either way you still haven't measured it.

Whatever.

-Stooxie


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Measureing

I never claimed that I personally measured the insulation on the ovens.

I have never personally measured the distance from the Earth to the Moon. But I know the average distance is 238,855 miles.

The oven box/cavity and how much room is availble for bakeware includes the oven door and its thickness. And how much room is available for insulation.

I doubt anyone outside the respective companies have measured the amount of insulation on both ovens.

And I doubt either will post here to help out the OP.

As a Culinarian owner,I can admit when the Culinarian does not have the best specification in a given area.

My advocacy for the product I own is not so rabid I can't even admit one simple shortcoming .


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

At about 350 to 375 the burners are on for about 3 minutes and off for about 10-12 minutes. At lower temperatures the between-interval can be even longer. I am also amazed at how long the oven will old heat after being turned off. The oven is still quite warm (not hot) a good 4-5 hours afterwards.

Stooxie--thanks for the information. That really holds the heat.

Deeageaux--the operational costs might be significant or not, but I'm also wondering more about the evenness of the bake.

Any Culinarian owners have info similar to that which Stooxie provided?


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

The CC has more insulation than the BS on the sides and the door that obvious to anyone who has seen both units, but that's not where either unit loses the most heat, the heat from the cavity is released via the backsplash / vent on the back of both units, I doubt this is measurable by anyone.

The cool door on the CC comes from insulation.

The fan on the CC blows room temperature air across the controls to keep them cool.


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

The cool door on the CC comes from insulation

I am genuinely curious, is the door thicker, i.e. larger air gap? Is there fiberglass around the window? Is the window triple pane?

Clearly the CC door temperature has shown to not rise much, just curious as to how this is achieved.

-Stooxie


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

Stooxie, Just buy one and you'll find out. Just kidding. The answer is yes to all of your questions except the fiberglass part. There is no fiberglass in the door as far as I can tell. But there are three panes of glass. The inner two panes are sealed. The gap to the outer pane is vented.


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

First off, Trevor is right all gas ovens are vented and are not completely enclosed boxes. Air comes in at the burners, and out the top of the oven through a small opening.

There were some clever? bread bakers who were sticking metal tubing down their back splash vent and into a pan at the bottom of the oven. Then with a funnel they would pour hot water in to steam (crisp) the crusts.

Dead air space (using insulation wool to keep the air molecules from moving) is probably the best insulator.

I don't know why the doors themselves are 'vented' so much. I would think just enough to keep the air from creating pressure would be ideal.

Also, using bricks, tile, baking stones etc., is the way to go. Not only does it store heat, but it reflects Infra-red radiation much better than metal. And that cooks your food much faster than a few excited air molecules.


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

I agree with alexr about the stones. I always keep a baking stone in my oven, except when I use the rotisserie, of course. It takes a little longer for the oven to com up to initial temps, but once there, recovery is very fast.


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

Stooxie--in case others provide actual numbers: do you have any fire brick, tile or pizza stones et cet et cet in your oven?


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

Cassity,

I just made some bread this morning and kept track of the oven. It was one of those no-knead boules you bake in a covered Dutch oven. Temp is 450 (so can't really directly compare with Stooxie's 350-375). I don't keep any stones in the oven and it is a 30-inch CC manual clean.

Turned oven on at 7:26, was at target heat at 7:41. Put the bread in, took one minute to come back up to temp. After that, it was on for 1-2 minutes and then off for 3-4, so going until I popped in to take the lid off the pot. Interestingly this seems to be a much shorter "cycle" than the BS (on for 3, off for 12?) but maybe similar proportions of heat to rest.

Apologies to Eurostoves and everyone else who does more scientific studies, I was just trying to ballpark it in the course of a busy morning with the kids!

GG


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

GG,

Thanks for the information, very informative.

Now we only need you or Stooxie to take some times at the other's temperature. One other factor--Stooxie, is your oven a 30" as well?

Seems like the cool door on the CC is coming at a cost.


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

Stooxi... Jscout is right on the money with his answer about the door.

We should also remember that the cycle time of the oven does not really matter that much, it's about maintaining a constant temp with in the cavity that important to all ovens.

I think the key here might be how much heat is vented out to the rear on any given range.

Better thermostats have lower swing temps, so if you are trying to maintain a cavity temp of 350 with a swing rate of 10 degrees up and down, to maintain 350 the thermostat might come on more often, which is better than having a swing of 25 degrees up and down which will not come on so often. Overall the average temp is really what we cook at not highs or lows.

A pizza stone in the oven is a proven method of improving the results of any oven.

Some testing we did showed the following

1) In 51.38 min/sec the oven cycled 11 times about 4-1

2) 3 cycles in 15.57 min/sec (should not cook before 3 cycles)

3) From 3 cycles - 11 cycles the highest temp was 357.4 degrees with a lowest temp of 345.7 degrees


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

Hi Cassity,

My ovens are 36" and 18" in a 48" range. Behavior I cited was from the 36" although the 18" operates the same way.

I have nothing else inside my ovens but the racks.

I'll do the 450 degree "test" now. I'm not baking any bread but I'll put in a pan with some water to simulate a little thermal absorption.

More to come.

-Stooxie


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

Here's what I got.

Let me first agree with Trevor that this doesn't necessarily show much.

Time to to first "off" from 59 degrees: 24 minutes. I opened the door and waived my IR thermometer around and it showed 465 degrees. I know, not very scientific.

After that it was:

Off: 6 minutes
On: 3 minutes
Off: 9 minutes
On: 3 minutes
Off: 8 minutes
On: 2 minutes
Off: 7 minutes

So it cycled four times in 60+ minutes.

This was with the convection fan off and not a heck of a lot in the oven.

Cassity, just FYI, on the test that Trevor has on his website the temperature of "first off" wasn't the target temperature. It reached target temp about 4 minutes later. I only mention that because unless you measure the temp somehow you don't know if your oven was actually at target temp at your 15 minute mark.

NOT saying it's a big deal but some people get all worked up about who gets the blue ribbon on "preheat" time.

Enjoy.

-Stooxie


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

Stooxie--great information. Only four times at 450? As I was suspecting, that thing sure doesn't cycle a lot, so it's really holding the heat.

Thanks again.


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

Cassity, the 'cooler' outside of the door, or one that the outside of the door is better insulated has no negative effect on the oven's gas use, So the 'cool' door doesn't come at a cost at all. Just the opposite, it should be of some benefit. Also the type of glass in the door may affect the I.R. emissivity.

And what you put in the oven, it's size and even it's shape will determine how much heat is absorbed and affect the thermostat cycles, however sensitive they may or may not be.

The flow of the heat around the oven also has many variables, but pre-heating is probably the most important and longer is better,(up to a point).

Some of these tests are meaningless because of different amounts of food and different oven cavity size and even opening the door (door size). Oven floors sometimes have baffles underneath to redirect the "hot spot" that might occur on the floor directly above the burner.

The gauge or thickness of the walls and floor and ceilings affect the oven... as well as insulation ( a good thing unless you have a cast iron Aga and are using it to heat the house).

Then you have the natural and necessary venting, the convection fan, and the baking stones. As I mentioned before, stones, brick, tile, etc have a greater thermal mass or heat capacity, but they also re-emit about 90-97%of their Infra-red radiation. Stainless steel is about 16%


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Full of hot air

Cassity, the number of times an oven cycles doesn't tell you whether it's holding it's heat well or not.

As Trevor was trying to imply, some thermostats may be more sensitive and cycle on and off for shorter periods, versus letting the temperature drop and then heating for longer periods but fewer cycles.

The gas burned over a certain time period could be the same, or not...

Unless you measure the gas used, or the Btu's of the burner times the number of minutes it is on over a period of time or if you know they have the same thermostat placed in the same spot in the oven, we have no idea of the gas used. And even that won't tell you how 'even' the baking is.

Full disclosure, I own a Bluestar and love how it cooks.


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

Alexr is right, this isn't conclusive of much other than another stylistic difference between the two units.

-Stooxie


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

All, thanks for the informtation, I appreciate the input. There is a lot of variables involved but I think it can be said that the Bluestar holds its heat pretty darn good according to the cycling times. Again, only my opinion.

I'm looking to get a Bluestar within the next year and just want to do due diligence.


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

Just ran a test on our BS (60") and the time was 25:36 from a standing start to 450 degrees, not sure what this tells us, other than that's another 24:36 min/sec of my life I wont get back.....lol


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

>>The CC oven is also smaller and better insulated therefore using less gas.

>Wow, didn't take long for the first completely unsubstantiated post to crop up.

I don't know which one has more insulation as I have not taken any of said ranges apart and examined them. However, every indication shows that the CC does have more insulation than the BS and would I would therefore *assume* uses less gas, ceteris paribus.


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

Tvguy: don't get too hung up on insulation. It only prolongs heat transfer. Once the oven is saturated it's as if the insulation isn't even there. If it was that easy no range would have a hot spots.

The cooling fan(s) are the key. Trevor claims that the fans are to cool the electronics, which I don't doubt, but I'd bet dollars to donuts that the door is benefitting from the fan(s) too; however, the fan(s) can not help the cycle times, they're indirectly removing heat from around the oven cavity.

Another thing, if the fan(s) fail I'd guess the oven is inoperable.


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

Please see answer to my questions posed to the factory today, directly from kist1 posting above

QUESTION TO FACTORY

1 The cooling fan(s) are the key. Trevor claims that the fans
are to cool the electronics, which I don't doubt, but I'd bet dollars to
donuts that the door is benefiting from the fan(s) too; however, the fan(s)
can not help the cycle times, they're indirectly removing heat from around
the oven cavity.

2) Another thing, if the fan(s) fail I'd guess the oven is
inoperable.

Trevor

The cooling fan does cool the electronics as you state in no. 1. In the
ranges, the only electronics cooled is the door latch. The remainder are
electro-mechanical switches in the valve panel which stay within the
operating range of the components during all operations.

Oven is not affected by a fan failure.

On the ranges the door does not benefit from the cooling fan which develops
a natural draft of heat from the bottom and out the top.

On the wall ovens the door does benefit from the cooling fan which pulls
cool air up through the door and across the top of the oven then out the
bottom.

I hope this answers your questions.

Regards,


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

On the ranges the door does not benefit from the cooling fan which develops
a natural draft of heat from the bottom and out the top.

It surely does, albeit indirectly.

The natural convection of the heat rising thru the door is helped by the powerful blower that's moving air over the latch and thru all those holes in the oven front. All that air is blowing out and across the underside of that air "spoiler" that's angled down towards the door (thanks for the pics zartemis!).


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

I noticed above some possible misunderstandings of the infrared behavior of metals and bricks. First, for non-transparent objects, the sum of the percent reflected at any wavelength and that absorbed at the same wavelength is 100%. What is absorbed raises the temperature until the absorption is matched by conduction to somewhere else (where applicable) and by radiation back into the environment. Objects hanging in the oven do not continuously absorb heat becoming hotter an hotter beyond the oven temperature. This would violate laws of thermodynamics* and allow construction of a perpetual motion machine.

At constant heat input, a metal's temperature increases until radiation outflow counters the input heat flow. It is important to know that while polished metal is very reflective in the visible, it is less so into the infrared, becoming almost a black body absorber/radiator in the long-wave infrared. (In some cases such as gold, reflectivity dominates well into the infrared, while for others such as aluminum, absorption begins in the near infrared.) Stainless steel will most certainly re-emit most of the radiation absorbed or conducted into it from the air, it may predominantly do so at a different wavelength region than that of the input.

Whether a big block of stone or of stainless steel of the same weight is better for cooking would depend more on their relative heat capacities, rather than their reflectivities in the visible. After all, even for broiling, the peak emission wavelength of the reddish coils of an electric oven is in the infrared.

kas

*You can't win
You can't break even
You can't get out of the game


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

Kaseki, I wasn't talking about visible spectrum, I was talking about infrared.

I don't think there was any misunderstanding, I stated that bricks, stones, etc have "high heat capacity, but they also re-emit about 90-97%of their Infra-red radiation. Stainless steel is about 16% "
http://www.infrared-thermography.com/material.htm

I stand by that statement- that brick and stone have high heat capacity and high emissivity for infrared. I thought that was common knowledge.

I'm not sure what you're disputing. That stone and brick have higher heat capacities than metals?

Or that stone and brick have higher emissivity than stainless? I think most of the infrared radiation in the oven walls is dissipated before it can be re-emitted and returned to the air in the oven.

Also, if the stone is unglazed it will absorb some of the moisture of dough placed on it.


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

"Also, if the stone is unglazed it will absorb some of the moisture of dough placed on it."

Not really. That might only happen if the stone is cold. But not in a hot oven on a hot stone. If anything, any oils in the dough will settle and season the stone like cast iron...even on non-porous soapstone.


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

"Not really?" I meant exactly what I said: a hot unglazed stone or brick. I would not recommend trusting what jscout said, or you might end up with a cracked baking stone if you decide to wash it- thinking it doesn't absorb moisture. The moisture that the stone absorbs turns into steam in the oven and cracks it- especially if a cold stone is placed in a hot oven.


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

Right, so if the stone has been heated in an oven, what moisture from the dough will a hot stone absorb? Sorry, I was being generous when I said that. How about just simply, no it doesn't? Is that better?


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

alexr:

Suggest roaming a bit further at your link. The very next two lines show two other values. And the wavelength region is not specified for these cases. (All of the cases where wavelength is listed shows on my browser at meters instead of micrometers, but I have assumed micrometers.) Also, the link at the top for "normal emissivity" shows higher values for the mid-IR region.

My point was not directed against using stones in the oven, or against the fact that steel is less emissive than stone is at wavelengths where it matters, but against the implication that stainless steel, or for that matter oven side walls, have low emissivity everywhere. In fact, they _have_ to re-emit heat as radiation in some spectral band whatever heat they can't conduct to the air or to whatever they are supported by.

Relative to thermal capacity, soapstone and other stone-like minerals, including dirt and emeralds, have a c_p about twice that of steel, so I agree that the using stone instead of steel means less heavy lifting for the same thermal capacity.

kas


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

guys, let's focus on topic.

trevor: nice misdirection on the thermostats and oven flues. We all know that gas ovens have flues to vent the products of combustion, so that’s not really a factor.

As far as a “better” thermostat goes, that’s simply not true. Both the Bluestar and the Culinarian have mechanical thermostats. At 350 a mechanical thermostat is plus/minus 25 or 30 degrees. I don’t think there’s a mechanical thermostat in the world that’s plus/minus 10. They’re just not that accurate; additionally, it’s hard to judge when they’re exactly set to any given temperature.

Cassity: common sense dictates that an oven that cycles less (as trevor said, don’t start baking until after the third cycle) holds its heat better and therefore bakes better. The less times the gas comes on means the heat is being maintained better.

Another thing to remember: the oven on the Culinarian was an after-thought, simply carried over from the Precision.


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

Thanks kas for clearing that up.

And jscout, I just disagree with you and think you're wrong about heated 'porous' stone, brick or tile baking/pizza stones. Maybe your stones are more seasoned than mine, but thanks for being generous.

In the meantime, I'd also not recommend leaving your 'seasoned' cast iron skillet around wet, thinking as you might, if I can be generous, that the seasoning makes the iron impervious to the effects of water, because I think they will rust as well- and fairly quickly. This is just a hunch though.


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

Yes kist1, back on topic. I ran my CC oven tonight, and I can say that you are probably out a bag of donuts. It turns out that the engineer is correct that the fan has nothing to do with keeping the door cool. When that fan runs, it does shoot out warm air. But contrary to your theory, that warm air does not channel into the door. It comes straight out across the heat shield. That's what that "spoiler" thingy is. If you think about it, that makes sense, because that warm air would have to fight the convection of the warm air coming from the door in order to enter it. As such, the heat shield prevents the knobs, drip tray handles and anything else above it from getting warm.

The more I look into the CC and Capital in general, the more impressed I am with their engineering. After all, they did design their own range. That also explains why when the grates on the range top didn't fit, they turned it around so quickly for TonySak and others.

Compare that with BS and how long it took for them to resolve the door hinge issue, assuming it is totally resolved. To a lesser degree is the warm door issue, which I agree with most BS owners is probably not that big a deal. But it is a real concern with potential customers and fairly so.

Here's my thought behind BS based purely on circumstantial evidence. BS didn't design the range. Garland did. Correct me if I'm wrong, as this is based on info I had when I was originally interested in BS a few years ago. When Garland dropped out of the residential arena and Prizer-Painter took over the range, they weren't up to speed on the range. And I don't blame them for stumbling. After all it wasn't their "baby." They went from being a contracted manufacturer (probably considered OEM) to the owner of a product they know how to build but didn't know intimately. It's a steep learning curve.

So maybe you can talk to your contacts at BS and pass along stuff in this thread, if they don't already monitor it. Maybe it can it can help them put the hot door concern to rest. Since you're a seller of BS (if I remember correctly from previous threads), I appreciate your strong desire to raise any potential concerns regarding your main competitor and criticize it. I don't blame you for shying away from BS criticism. I don't expect you to bite the hand that feeds you. As an owner of a CC, it has helped me appreciate the range even more than when I first got it.


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

jscout,

I could be wrong but from what I see in the Eurostoves videos the CC is far from a blank sheet design. According to the videos much of it comes straight off the Precision line and has been adapted for open burners. The Bluestar has always been open burner.

I think BS took "so long" to fix the oven door issue because not that many people had it (proof is in past posts), despite the vocal handful on GW. You don't just go changing everything based on a minority. That's business. Obviously they did get around to improving the door and they rolled it in to an overall product update. Then they very nicely offered to retrofit anyone that did have the problem. What more does anyone want?!

Again, let us all be happy with our ranges, but the supposition and assumption around here is way over the top. According to the Bluestar website they introduced this line 10 years ago. The simple fact is that they decided that this design doesn't warrant cooling fans, heat shields, collars, etc.

I can believe that the CC fan doesn't affect the door but it certainly does draw more heat away from that oven. That's a mathematical fact. If the insulation was so vastly superior you wouldn't need a cooling fan at all. Period, end of story. I'd love to see someone tell me that's not the case, that the heat somehow comes from nowhere.

I'm not here to say which range is better, but how can you post something that you essentially call out as a total fabrication???

-Stooxie


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

jscout: What are your thoughts regarding my thermostat statements?


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

kist1: I don't have any thoughts about your thermostat statements, which is why I didn't comment on it. I keep thermometers in both my ovens (as I do in my fridge and freezer) and it hasn't been very far off from whatever I set it to. It's always been within tolerance, so it hasn't been an issue. I don't even pay attention to them anymore. I keep them in there in case I notice anything weird. So far so good.

But regarding your comment about the oven being a holdover from the Precision. I don't see that as being a negative. From what I could find about the Precision, it was/is a very good sealed burner range. So the fact that the CC is essentially an evolution of the Precision is an indication of the engineering department's aptitude. How is that a negative? As a customer, that track record was a selling point for me. It was comforting to know that the CC wasn't brand spanking new and that I could draw from Precision reviews.


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

The fact that such a large amount of air is being blown over the slots in the top of the door (not necessarily into it) is going to enhance the natural heat convection thru the door. Cooling the door and thereby the cavity as the inside of the door is part of the oven cavity.

Take a straw and put it into a glass of water. Blow over, not into, the straw. This makes the water rise up into the straw because of the pressure difference you're creating.

In the case of the oven door the air in the door acts like the liquid in the straw (air is considered a fluid in fluid dynamics)--rising at a faster rate than natural convection.

To say that the blower is not cooling the door because it does not blow directly into it is simply not true.


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

Well, if that's your theory of fluid dynamics and its effects on insulation, you'd better explain that to the hundreds of thousands of people who installed double and triple-paned insulating windows expecting their houses to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. I think we all have a class action suit against Anderson, Pella and any other manufacturer of those windows. While we're at it, we might as well sue Thermos too. It keeps hot things hot, cold things cold. How do it know? How do it know?

Sarcasm aside, the more you dig, the more you make the case for the CC being a better engineered range.


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

jscout, it still doesn't add up for me. If the insulation is so superior why the need for the cooling fan at all?

-Stooxie


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

The latch has to be mounted onto something. Perhaps it can get hot via contact with the oven wall. So it is not protected by the insulation. Perhaps the latch has a lower heat tolerance, so the fan prevents it from rising above that tolerance and failing. Perhaps it's something BS could have done long ago to avoid the door latch issue in the first place. Perhaps it doesn't add up to you because you don't want it to. What can I say? Trevor posts a response from the factory that answers the questions asked yet the skeptics/detractors still reject or question it. I haven't heard of any CC owners who question it. I own one, use one, and the answers all make sense to me because I see it in action.


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens (correction)

Sorry, I meant the BS door hinge issue above. Don't want to get crucified for misspeaking.


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

Let it be known that I had taken the side of the CC here (read above). But I find some of the cc people on this forum to be soooooooooooooooo hypocritical that its actually amuzing.


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

You're right, tyguy.

Stooxie, I sincerely apologize for the sarcasm. Here's my revised answer to your question:

I don't know. I'm not a Capital engineer, just an owner. In my experience with the CC, it has operated very well. If you would like more info about the fan, you will have to contact Trevor or even Capital directly.


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

Windows! Class action lawsuits? Holy tangents! What on God's green earth are you talking about?

It's not my theory, it's fundamental fluid dynamics.

You're likening an airtight, sealed house window to a range door with has airflow through it?

There's a saying in boxing and cards which I recommend to you: "go down when you're beat."


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

Give it up, Lew. Along the lines of your own advice, quit while you're behind. Others have moved on from this, so should you.


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

Can anyone state very simply for the non-technical which oven bakes and roasts best? Not faster, just produces better roasts, cookies, cakes, pizza etc? If you have used both CC and BS, I'd like to hear comments. I wouldn't mind hearing about other ranges (American Home, NXR etc.).


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

They are both high quality ranges that anyone who buys either will be extremely pleased. They each have their lists of advantages and disadvantages, but even in those categories neither is miles ahead/behind. As for better results in the oven? I'm pretty sure there are no advantages. (Other than the cc has the rotisserie)


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

The more I read these CC vs BS flame wars, the more weary I get. The posts are so emotionally charged and hyperbolic that 1) they're completely devoid of credibility, 2) hijack these threads with unproductive exaggerations, and 3) chase off people interested in learning real facts.

All these arguments do is prove that human beings are nearly incapable of being objective about anything they claim as theirs. Please grow up.

David


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

Hey David -- I know you're actively researching pursuant to buying. I can't compare BS & CC; I have cooked in a CC-manual only.

There's a difference between the CC racks in the manual and automatic cleaning versions. The manual has pullout racks; the automatic has rolling racks. I don't know about the placement of the automatic, but I agree with another poster that the manual's racks relative placements "suck". You can learn to work around them though (I am at least).

I've had trouble with my racks buzzing but not another soul has reported this problem. I believe mine is unique and like the other issues with my machine, I hold out hope this will be resolved. Speaking with someone from the factory today they had good suggestions for tackling this problem so the jury's out.

I agree bias is pretty powerful. Inherently, if you collect information from someone with experience in one arena, they will be biased. I think Schroedinger? (I am so not a physicist like many others on this site seem to be) had something to say on this matter....

Since bias is unavoidable, it's necessary to do one's best to understand it. Your own "hyperbolic" reaction, while understandable, isn't going to help --i.e. #1 above where you wing to the conclusion that all is "completely devoid of credibility". Probably, there is credibility in here, somewhere, nestled among the hysteria and red herrings. I agree it's hard to extract it, but that's always the job of trying to draw a truth from out of messiness. As you note, the participants in these threads are emotionally invested and biased. But I think it may yet be possible to glean some information. Comparative information may be especially hard to obtain, however. But I think the bottom-line reason for this -- as has been noted -- is to your advantage: there's no clear winner. Which means you likely won't make a mistake one way or another. You're about to be a lucky new range owner of an excellent machine, whichever you settle for!


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

If possible could owners of each brand give a opinion as to how their ovens perform as to baking, broiling, convection baking, etc. Give likes and dislikes on ovens based on what you would normally use them for. I hope that this can be informative and not brand bashing for those of us considering a future purchase. I am not looking for which is better, rather actual
impressions of the good, the bad, the ugly of each brand based on owners personal use.


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

Lannie -- I've found there to be a learning curve; possibly all ovens have this? I don't love the spacing of the racks and the interior of the oven cavity is at once smaller and larger than I'd realized. Mine is a 36" so it's wider, but perhaps due to a lot of "professional"-type guts, it is less tall than I had bargained for.

I'm learning to be used to all of the above, but it's been an adjustment. Note also that I have a manual-clean machine. The automatics are very different inside, with rolling racks which the manuals don't have, and a rotisserie -- I'm guessing that equipment might take up some space.

There was a thread some time back where someone posted a picture of a half dozen loaves of bread baked at once. Another noticed a gradation in the "bake". When I had a similar experiment I also noticed that gradation. Capital came and checked with fancy thermometers the gradation of the temperature inside the oven and declared it perfect. However I definitely still notice a slight gradation. Note well please that it's not in any way a deal-breaker for me. I'm happy moving trays of granola about; gotta take em out to stir anyway, and it's not hard to learn to be especially careful about placement of pans. It is becoming quite second-nature to me and I don't mind. But I do notice this 'finickiness'.

It's an adjustment for me also because it's a 36" oven which I've never had before. I feel pretty silly heating up such a yawning cavern for something small; I'm having to learn not to, to use my smaller, new electric "Speed oven" instead. I'm getting there. But because this is such a broad, deep but not tall expanse, the internal volume may be similar to ovens I'm familiar with of yore, but the convections inside, probably, are different. I have to remember to push in the convection fan button because it makes a big difference in the evenness of the bake and the temperature. It takes longer to come to temperature than I've been used to in a more commercially-shaped oven. Perhaps it is only that lacking an internal thermometer read-out, I keep one inside and am more aware when I am not yet up to temperature. I hate preheating! And I think it's more susceptible to closeness of pans to interior walls. I was always taught to be sure to leave air space between pans but it seems to matter more with this oven.

It's also quite possible I'm just paying more attention.

Bottom line -- I'm happy enough. But it has been an adjustment, and the learning curve is a little slow. But life for me is still flooded by other building issues and kids and aging parents and all manner of other of life's issues. I don't have the luxury to just immerse myself in baking and cooking, so the learning curve may be spread out by life's other interruptions.

HTH.


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

deeageaux wrote: "The CC oven is also smaller"

I always read that on GW without checking the specs myself for both ranges. Having seen a CC and a Thermador yesterday, I was compelled to take a look at them. Here's what I found:

BlueStar RNB 48" (http://www.bluestarcooking.com/images/pdfs/bluestar_rnb_48.pdf)
Extra large oven capacity. 26.25"W x 20"D x 15"H.

Capital Culinarian Self-Clean 48" (http://www.capital-cooking.com/product/documents/Culinarian_48_Self-CleanRange_SellSheet.pdf)
Large oven: 4.6 cu. ft. oven cavity � 27" W X 14" H X 21" D

So what's the catch? Is it the usable space that is smaller on the CC?


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

BS: 7875 sqin
CC: 7938 sqin

Interesting!

Probably you should measure the size of each rack as a better surrogate of useable space? Though the dead space you need to maintain at the edge of the racks matters too. In the CC, for example, the fan housing at the back of the cavity projects inward in the middle, creating "automatic" dead space, if you will, at its sides. Therefore it's possible (though I don't know for sure) that you can afford to place stuff closer to the wall at the back than at, say, the sides.

No idea how this compares with BS -- or even if it matters.

It was mentioned earlier that amcook is a high-volume and skill user who has owned and used both. Might want to search for his posts of earlier.


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

Aliris (and everyone else): I apologize for making such a blanket-sounding condemnation. It was not my intent; it was aimed at the guiltiest, but I think EVERYONE took offense (though few reacted, proving me largely wrong!).

Back to the topic at hand: I'll add my vote for insulation reducing heat transfer/loss. If there is indeed better insulation, it will reduce the use of gas, but as cheap as gas is (vs. electric ovens), the savings will be negligible. Vacuum and argon are probably the best thermal insulators, and low-E glass will reduce radiant heat loss. Trevor, do we know if CC uses triple pane or low-E glass or both?

Also re: capacity, while the CC's and BS's large ovens are basically equivalent (BS is taller, CC is deeper and wider, CC is 0.8% larger), my guess is the CC's small oven is smaller than the BS's due to thicker walls, though I can't find specs on the BS small oven for comparison.

Comparing 60" range oven capacities is also tough because Capital's spec sheet for the 60" range shows identical capacities as their 48" range, which can't be right. I do see thicker side walls on the 60", but the small oven looks visibly wider for the 60" vs. the 48". I measured the relative opening sizes of the small and large ovens from a photo of the 60" range, and my rough calculations suggest 18 vs 12" width, which would make the small oven capacity of 5292 cu in 50% larger than the 48" CC's 3528 cu in. Of course, the 5292 cu in is a rough estimate, but if accurate, it would be 32.8% smaller than the BS's full-size second oven. But I like the asymmetric ovens so you can choose the right capacity for the job, and I like the prospect of better insulation.

So... Trevor, please clarify the specs for us!

David


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

I agree with aliris, the convection does help to even things out. I have the 48" self-clean and I found the rack spacing more than adequate. It's really too bad that the manual clean doesn't at least have the same rack positioning as the self-clean. There are five positions and I've never had a problem finding the spacing combination I need. I have a bigger issue with where to store the extra racks if I have to take them out. They're pretty big.

The broiler does take a while to warm up too. But I think that's a common complaint for this type of broiler. Early on, I made the mistake of not waiting long enough and ended up with overcooked salmon even though the surface was only moderately broiled. Lesson learned. But it does seem kind of silly for such a long preheat for a five minute broil.


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens (sizes)

David, you're estimates are close. I believe the CC has the same large oven capacity for 36" models and wider. Any leftover space is then given to the smaller oven. So the 36" has no small oven, the 48" has a 12" and 60" is relatively similar, though I don't have the number for that one. My only complaint about the smaller oven on my 48" is that it isn't 13", so I can't fit my half sheets. Scratch that, make that two complaints. I wish it has a broiler too. I do use the small oven all the time, especially for finishing things in the pan.


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

Since the ovens are not bathtubs or cylinder bores I'm not sure what calculating the volume is going to do. Usable space is all that matters.

Here are a couple pictures of the Bluestar ovens with a standard half baking pans in them. On the 60" Bluestar has the same 30" oven on the right and left.

Take it for what you will. Again, all this attempt to calculate which is better on paper is silly. Can you fit your turkey into it? Can you fit your bakeware into it? Does it hold temperature? Does it hold heat? All have been answered here multiple times.

30" oven. Two half sheets with some room to spare. There is about 2.5" in the back for the convection fan to circulate air. A hair under 12" of clearance from the lowest rack to the top of the oven.

18" oven, fits a half sheet with some room to spare in the front (which is needed for air circulation).

The broiler is smaller on the Bluestar but it gets hotter than hades in just a few minutes and the rack is perfectly positioned to get food right up to it or further away for better coverage. I don't doubt it hits at least 1,500 degrees but I can't measure beyond 1,050. I hope I can say all that without being accused of anything.

Here is this one again if anyone finds it helpful:

Enjoy.

-Stooxie
p.s., the ovens look clean 1) because they are and 2) because the flash on the camera increases the contrast and makes little specs hard to see. We use the ovens all the time.


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

Stooxie: Thanks for the details and great pictures. Again very informative.

jscout: What I take from your complaints is that the CC can't fit full size sheets in the large oven and can't fit half size sheets in the small oven. I'm still puzzled at why the CC is marginally wider and deeper than the BS (on paper), yet Stooxie shows that they fit nicely in his ovens (assuing that the sheets in the picture are indeed 13x18).

That said, both are a major step up from what we currently have, but the usable space (in terms of baking sheets) in the BS seems definitely a plus.

FWIW, when I saw the CC this weekend, I thought the oven looked smaller than the Thermador, and thought it was smaller than what we currently own. And on paper, it's marginally bigger than the Thermador and a lot bigger than our oven! Perception can definitely play tricks on your mind. My impression might come from the smaller height of the CC's oven.


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

Sorry for the confusion. The large oven does take full sheets just fine. There's also a bit of room on either side too, because the rotisserie bracket sticks out about 1/2 an inch where the middle rack position is. I can also put in two half sheets side-by-side without any problems. It's the smaller oven on the 48" that won't fit a half sheet, because it's only 12" wide.


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RE: bluestar vs culinarian ovens

Thanks for correcting me jscout. I tought I read in another thread that the CC didn't take full sheets.


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