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Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Posted by tomcarter101 (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 16, 12 at 15:45

I have been very impressed with the Bluestar range products but CR has just released a review of pro-style ranges - they rate the Bluestar as one of the worst. This is in direct contradiction to much of the commentary on this forum. Can people reconcile these differing opinions please?
Thanks,
Tom


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

I just googled their article and came across this evaluation

"Three of the 36-inch gas and dual-fuel ranges in our test kitchen made the recommended list including models from KitchenAid and Thermador that cost $6,000 and a GE Monogram for $7,500."

Seems like they are going after Wolf and Viking for premium pricing and no incremental advantage.

I remember reading on their site that a $700 range cooked just as good as a $7,000 one.

http://news.consumerreports.org/appliances/2012/01/consumer-reports-new-ratings-of-pro-style-ranges.html

But then again, you have a $10,000 car and a $100,000. Both take you the same place.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Consumer Reports never likes anything that I do. This is the first I have heard them do reviews of pro-styel ranges. They usually seem to ignore the higher end appliances.

I'd trust actual consumer reviews before I'd trust this magazine.

Just my opinion.

Since I don't have the magazine, do tell--- what did they like? And why did they bash BS?


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

I'm with beekeeper, CR and I do not see eye to eye too often. Their love affair with the Honda CRV was part of why I bought one, and it turned out to be one of the most expensive vehicles to maintain that I ever owned, not to mention it sounded like the engine would explode if you pressed the gas hard. I really lost respect when they didn't like Miele DW's..wtf?!? Only thing I can think of immediately that I do agree with is I like my Bosch 500 series DW, which is highly rated by them.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

CR did not recommend any 30" model.

1)Wolf DF304
2)GE Monogram
3)Kenmore Pro
4)Thermador Pro
5)Jenn-Air
6)DCS RGU 305
7)DCS RGTC305SS
8)Dacor Epicure ER30GSCH
9)Viking
10)Dacor Epicure ER30D
11)Wolf R304
12)Fisher and Paykel
13)American Range ARR304
14)Bluestar RNB304BSS
15)Bertazzoni A304GGVXE

BS got lowest rating for "cooktop low" which I guess means simmering and the lowest rating for broiling. Both BS and American range got second highest rating for oven capacity only GE Monogram got highest rating for oven capacity. BS only got second highest rating for "cooktop high" which I guess means searing.

No range got highest rating for cooktop high. KitchenAid,Thermadore Pro Grand,Viking and Kenmore Pro in 36 matched Bluestar for second highest rating in cooktop high.DCS,Wolf,Fisher&Paykel,and American Range matched Bluestar for cooktop high rating in 30" category.

A year and a half ago CR rated Miele Optima the worst dishwasher of several dozens.

My conclusion? CR should be ignored for eveything save rate of repair stats. Those stats need to viewed in context that certaing brands offer longer warranties and more liberal policies regarding claims than others.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Full CR Report on BS:

This BlueStar freestanding gas range has the following:

4 surface burners
Among surface burners, 3 high-powered burners.
Overall, this range was Fair.
Poor at low-heat cooktop performance.
Oven capacity is Very Good.
Very Good at baking.
Poor at broiling.
Oven dial instead of touchpads for setting oven temperature.
Rangetop burners auto-reignite.
Heavy, stainless-steel construction; pro-style.
Main oven relatively low to floor; use of low rack position and window viewing less convenient.
Cast-iron grates adapt for wok cooking.
No oven-temperature preheat indicator.
Convection fan is turned off and on by a separate switch.
Unsealed surface burners.

Highs
Oven capacity is Very Good.
Very Good at baking.
Rangetop burners auto-reignite.
Cast iron grates adapt for wok cooking.

Lows
Poor at low-heat cooktop performance.
Poor at broiling.
Only 4 rack positions in main oven.
No digital display for oven temperature.
Unable to melt chocolate without scorching.
Unable to simmer tomato sauce on largest burner set to low.
Main oven relatively low to floor; use of low rack position and window viewing less convenient.
Burners that look the same have different performance/ power ratings.
No oven temperature preheat indicator.

Detailed test results

Cooktop high: This model had very good performance in our test of how quickly the highest-powered cooktop burner or element heated a large pot of water to a near boil.

Cooktop low: This model had poor performance in our test of how well the lowest-powered cooktop element or burner melted and held chocolate without scorching and how well the highest element or burner, set on low, held tomato sauce below a boil.
Baking: This model had very good performance in our baking tests, which reflects even browning of cakes and cookies baked on two oven racks.

Broiling: This model had poor performance for broiling, which reflects high-heat searing and even browning of a tray of burgers.

Oven capacity: This model had very good performance for oven capacity, our gauge of usable oven space.

About - Blue Star RNB304BSS
The Blue Star RNB304BSS is part of the kitchen range test program at Consumer Reports. In our lab tests, gas range models like the RNB304BSS are rated on multiple criteria, such as those listed below.

Cooktop high:
This reflects how quickly the most powerful burner could raise a 6-liter (6 1/3-quart) pot of water from room temperature to a near boil.

Cooktop low:
This reflects the gentlest burner's ability to melt and hold chocolate without scorching it. We also set the most powerful burner to its lowest flame to test its ability to hold a large pot of tomato sauce below a boil.

Baking:
This reflects the evenness of cookies and cakes in multi-rack baking tests.

I can say for sure that this range CAN melt chocolate without scorching - I did it during a recent demo. I also witnessed very good low-heat performance and excellent broiling! There is a pre-heat light indicator.

I think these CR testers smoke crack!


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Remember CR rates based on their criteria.
Years back, they rated bicycles and downgraded bikes that weighed less! For those of us who bicycle, generally, lighter is better!


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

We have a 48" BS with a griddle and 6 burners. We love th oven, but I wouldn't recommend the griddle, should have went with 8 burners instead. e have two ovens and the 1800F infrared broiler. Anyone want to come over for a Ruth Chris style steak?

I think CR doesn't like brands they are not familiar with. I think the low burner simmer is fantastic, and the 22k BTU bruners are kick ass. I would buy another in a heartbea.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

The only part of CR that I report is the reviews (feedback) from their readers, alto I might mention x product got such and such a rating, just for "curiosity sake".

I recall getting "flamed" and having to do a lot of explaining when CR found a lotta problems with certain fridges, but then, as now, I quote the info from actual users of the appliances who responded to "CR Surveys".

Speaking of which, was there any "actual feedback" from their readers on the performance of the BS?

Gary


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Holy freakin crow! I thought I heard everything when CR rated miele dw's poorly. Miele dw's are considered by most in the business to be the best performing, best built and most reliable consumer grade, mass produced dw's on the planet. But now I think they have outdone themselves?!? BS has poor low heat capability?

>Burners that look the same have different performance/ power ratings.

They look the same? Not anymore than any other range with different power burners.

I am utterly speachless. They have officially ranked lower than the national enquirer in credibility. I am really shocked.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

One consumer review so far...

5.0 Stars - We love this range
By Brett
from Sunnyvale, CA

Pros

Attractive Design
Baking
Heats Up Quickly
High-Powered Burners

Cons

Oven insulation

Best Uses

Baking
Sauteing
Wok cooking

Comments about Blue Star RNB304BSS:

I disagree with Consumer Reports' review on both the pros and cons of this range. We really love it overall, and if we moved we would definitely get another exactly like it.

It has revolutionized our wok cooking. We can get the authentic browned wok flavor with the 22K BTU burners that you can't get with normal "large" 15K BTU burners. The larger burners are also great for rapidly boiling water.

We like the unsealed burner design. Since the flame shoots straight up, it doesn't get wider when you turn up the power, meaning you can use small pots with higher power than you can with other stoves. The low burner is not as low as many other stoves, but is usually low enough for us. I usually use a double-boiler for things like melting chocolate.

C.R. says the broiler isn't great but I like it (although I don't use it a lot). It gets REALLY hot and is more like professional ones than other ranges I've used.

The oven is very good and heats evenly. It's one of the few (only?) 30" range that can fit a full-sized commercial sheet pan (or two side-by-side half-sheets).

The black cast balanced by the fact that the surface hides most stains well. With one wipe it will look cleaner than one of those glass-top ones that shows every smudge and fingerprints.

On a funny level I appreciate the very simple design. There are no computers and buttons to figure out and program. If you want the convection on, there is a switch that turns the fan on. There is no computer second guessing you trying to adjust the temperature to counteract the effects of convection.

The main disadvantage that C.R. missed is that because of the large capacity in a 30" oven, it seems to heat up the surrounding cabinets more than other ranges I've used. The top corners of the oven door can also get surprisingly hot. There are also some sharp edges.

How long have you owned it:More than six months

Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


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RE: Consumer Reports Reader Reviews

Thanks for that, Michelle, that should be usefull info while the rest is "pure whatever"!

I hope folks that read CR or subscribe on-line have enough sense to read the reviews and draw appropriate conclusions!

Gary


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Consumer Reports has always tended to find fault with whatever a high-end brand touts as its most attractive selling points, seemingly to make themselves be the final authority on everything. Appliance manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers will claim bragging rights for favorable Consumer Reports ratings and ignore the unfavorable reviews for the products they carry. Usually, the next report will favor other brands anyway, so there is a good chance that whatever you buy will be a good decision one year and a bad one the next (or vice-versa). As a BlueStar owner myself, I am totally satisfied with both the performance on high heat and on simmer, as are most other BlueStar owners who post on this forum.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

The whole mission philosophy of Consumer Reports is bang for the buck. They don't care if the "bang" is just a little pop so long as it was a bargain.

For those of us who want to start with best bang money can buy and then adjust our expectations downward to get next best bang our budgets can buy, CR is useless.

Though I could agree with the ding if the simmer burner doesn't have a different appearance than the high power burners. There should always be a strong visual distinction so that the nanny, granny and Manny, the hunk of the week, don't have to read all the documentation to operate the range.

OTOH, who in the world would melt chocolate on a gas range without a double boiler??? There are some that have a low enough simmer to do that, but that's a special feature, not what one expects in general.

Sounds to me like the lab geeks at CR don't know how to cook...


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

I would be more inclined to rely on Bluestar's opinion of CR.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

It is well known that CR judges/rates products for the 1st standard deviation of consumers. That means the very middle of the bell curve which represents their budget minded, middle-of-the-road readership.

Beekeeperswife hit the nail on the head-- they never like anything high end. We used to subscribe and we let it lapse because they trash products that we thought were great and consistently recommend the "Honda Accord" of everything. Yawn, I can figure that out myself.

Right, the Bluestar has problems scorching food on the lowest setting of the simmer burner? All credibility is lost right there. Everyone on this board who has a Bluestar, and also the retailers, agree that the BS simmer burner excels in this category.

-Stooxie


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

I quit subscribing to CR years ago when I realized their reviews were worthless and their reviewers had no clue what they were talking about.

With the internet they're completely irrelevant...

Billy


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Hmm . . .

I'm no fan of CR, and I appreciated the reader's report posted in response. Two things caught my eye, though: some sharp edges and oven door heat. These could be deal killers for my oven purchase b/c DH is disabled and has poor balance. Thoughts, anyone?


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Glenna: sharp edges? Have you seen these in person or have you heard it on here? I can assure you there are no sharp edges on my circa 2008 bs unless you dig deep into the bowels of the unit. Fit and finish is not wolf quality, but I don't think anything is.

As for door heat, mine can get pretty hot. Hot enough that you would automatically pull your hand back to even a quick touch. But even with all of the fuss about door heat, I'm not sure I recall anyone posting on here that they received any kind of burns. I couldn't ever see grabbing any of the hot parts of the door to keep balance. Door handles btw never get hot. I would worry more about dh grabbing the burner grates while on or just having been on recently he would grab any part of the door that may get hot.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

I believe in CR evaluations. I love my KA dishwasher that they recommended. Just because they rated your Blue Star low does not mean CR is crap.

Just telling me that the oven door becomes that warm, even it is not burning hot would be a no no for my house, even if they give me the stove for free.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

The report does seem accurate. Can someone post their review of NXR?


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

The thing that catches my eye is the comment about lack of touchpad for oven temperature....personally I try to stay away from such things. When they fail it always seems expensive to replace something that has a computer chip in it. I like to keep things simple.

(learned this with a Kenmore washer and dryer--bought them when we moved into our current house, washer's digital control died after 18 months--expense to replace far outweighed buying a new Maytag machine. Dryer gone at 22months....same thing died, bought the matching dryer to the washer. Both are still going strong, 12 years later.)


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

I believe in CR evaluations. I love my KA dishwasher that they recommended. Just because they rated your Blue Star low does not mean CR is crap.

Logically these two statements are equivalent.

For people who fall outside of the first standard deviation, meaning outside the "average" CR is not a helpful publication. The type of person who buys a Bluestar is not likely the type of person that needs CR to evaluate their choice.

What would CR say about the Culinarian? Same stuff: not enough electronic whizbangs, burners get too hot, not enough oven rack positions, blah, blah.

I'm defending both the CC and the BS here. CR dings a product for the very reasons people choose them because it doesn't fit that "average" profile.

If your goal is to be average, read up! :)

(kidding. kind of...)

-Stooxie


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

oceangirl, they did not rate nxr.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

What is completely baffling to me is the areas they rank the Bluestar as "poor" (the absolute lowest rating) are simmer and broiling, which in my experience are some of BS's best attributes. My BS simmer burner can go so low that it barely keeps a simmer with a small pot. I would argue the broiler should be larger, but it is incredibly hot. It cooks 4 NY strip steaks or 2 porterhouse steaks perfectly, crisp on the outside and rare inside.

There are areas where I think the BS could be better, like it takes a long time for the oven to preheat and the much discussed on this forum oven door temperature issue, but those weren't raised by CR.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Just to be fair on the simmer test, they tested the ability of both the simmer burner to melt chocolate and the nova burner to simmer spaghetti sauce. They don't say which failed.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

We subscribe to CR. It hasn't been much help with our kitchen appliance purchases because our high end refrigerator, freezer, oven and cooktop weren't included in CR ratings when we purchased them. But reading the articles and descriptions of the rated appliances did help me discover what to look for and what to avoid in my purchases.

I find their articles are helpful when looking for middle of the road appliances to purchase - vacuum cleaners, toasters, air filters etc. We have also purchased their extra 'car buying guides' for specific vehicles which has saved us hundreds (probably thousands) of dollars over the years. It specifies what each vehicle add-on costs the dealer, what incentives are available -even those that are only available to the dealer - and we've used that information to negotiate car prices for years.

Just remember that CR's ratings are weighted in favor of value - they always seem to rate the Toyota 4Runner higher than the Lexus GX470 even in those years where there wasn't much difference between the 2 vehicles.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Just because they rated your Blue Star low does not mean CR is crap.

That is not why CR is crap.

It is because they say things we know for a fact are not true.

BS can't melt chocolate on its simmer burner without scorching.

Its 22k btu burner is no better than KA,T'dore,Viking, et al's power burner. And I don't own a BS. I own a CC.

They say stupid things like a basic GE dishwasher is better than a Miele Optima.

Three years ago CR ranked a random Chinese BBQ that no longer exist higher than a Webber Summit largely becuase it had more electronic gadgets.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

CR is rarely accurate on much of anything anymore.

You can look right down the line on virtually every rating they do and see almost without fail that the best rated BY CUSTOMERS is usually right about in the middle of what CR rates.
Meaning what CR rates as #1 is rarely if ever rated good let alone best by people that OWN IT.
go down about 1/2 way down the list to number 10-15 on CR rating and you will find that is the appliance rated the BEST by those that OWN IT and use it everyday.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

I have been visiting the site for a week now, and honestly I am tired of the BS and CC ravings, as if they are the best ranges. There are other ranges out there that are just as good and may cost cheaper. For example, just because CC has a 22,000 BTU output does not mean that one needs or wants that high burner output.

As somebody pointed out, CR test features and also value. If a dual fuel Monogram does just as good in simmering as an all gas CC then of course monogram will be higher rated.

CR will never be objective in taste because that is subjective. I looked at a BS and do not find them appealing. I think Monogram has better features than Wolf. But, I have not cooked on all three of them, neither have many on here. I am assuming CR cooked side by side on several appliances to compare their cooking performance. Their analysis helps me think that Monogram would cook and bake just as good as a Wolf or a BS or CC.

For example, KA is also highly rated. Well, for some people, KA does not have that certain cashe, so they may go with a Wolf, or a Viking even though they may cook just as good.

All cars go to 70 miles, but there are good buys and there are some bad buys, but satisfied tests.

At the end of the day, if your stove cooks great and you like the way it looks, you have hit a home run no matter what CR says.

Any chance somebody can post the review on the Monogram? It would be really helpful for my decision.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

I have been visiting the site for a week now, and honestly I am tired of the BS and CC ravings, as if they are the best ranges.

They are the best ranges with the possible exception of some very expenive custom order European made ranges. I am tired of newbs posting non-sense.

There are other ranges out there that are just as good and may cost cheaper. For example, just because CC has a 22,000 BTU output does not mean that one needs or wants that high burner output.

The CC does not have a 22k btu burner.It has a 23k btu burner.

Nobody "needs" anything more expensive than a basic range. Everybody can use a high outoput burner.

If a dual fuel Monogram does just as good in simmering as an all gas CC then of course monogram will be higher rated.

That is exactly the kind of stupid thing CR would do. Despite the fact that the CC would be better at searing,have better heat distrution, and you could buy one for less.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Ge Monogram - 65 overall points. I am not going to reformat for readability.

CR's Take
This GE freestanding gas range has the following:
4 surface burners
Among surface burners, 1 high-powered burner.
Overall, this range was Very Good.
Excellent at low-heat cooktop performance.
Oven capacity is Excellent.
Very Good at baking.
Large main-oven window.
Oven dial instead of touchpads for setting oven temperature.
Temperature probe.
Rangetop burners auto-reignite.
Heavy, stainless-steel construction; pro-style.
Main oven relatively low to floor; use of low rack position and window viewing less convenient.
Cast-iron grates adapt for wok cooking.
Highs
Excellent at low-heat cooktop performance.
Oven capacity is Excellent.
Very Good at baking.
Large main-oven window.
Temperature probe.
Rangetop burners auto-reignite.
Cast iron grates adapt for wok cooking.

Lows
Main oven relatively low to floor; use of low rack position and window viewing less convenient.
Detailed test results
Cooktop high: This model had good performance in our test of how quickly the highest-powered cooktop burner or element heated a large pot of water to a near boil.
Cooktop low: This model had excellent performance in our test of how well the lowest-powered cooktop element or burner melted and held chocolate without scorching and how well the highest element or burner, set on low, held tomato sauce below a boil.
Baking: This model had very good performance in our baking tests, which reflects even browning of cakes and cookies baked on two oven racks.
Broiling: This model had good performance for broiling, which reflects high-heat searing and even browning of a tray of burgers.
Oven capacity: This model had excellent performance for oven capacity, our gauge of usable oven space.
Oven cleaning: This model had good performance for its ability to remove a mixture of baked-on eggs, cheese, pie filling, and other ingredients using its self-cleaning cycle.
About - GE Monogram ZGP304NRSS
The GE Monogram ZGP304NRSS is part of the kitchen range test program at Consumer Reports. In our lab tests, gas range models like the Monogram ZGP304NRSS are rated on multiple criteria, such as those listed below.

Cooktop high:
This reflects how quickly the most powerful burner could raise a 6-liter (6 1/3-quart) pot of water from room temperature to a near boil.

Cooktop low:
This reflects the gentlest burner's ability to melt and hold chocolate without scorching it. We also set the most powerful burner to its lowest flame to test its ability to hold a large pot of tomato sauce below a boil.

Baking:
This reflects the evenness of cookies and cakes in multi-rack baking tests.


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RE:: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

And the 36" Monogram with griddle - 72 overall. Again - not spending time on formatting.

CR's Take
Large, 36-inch pro-style ranges offer stainless construction and the high-end panache of commercial styling; this one adds dual-fuel cooking for its high price. We haven't found any performance advantage to dual-fuel ranges, which pair a gas cooktop with an electric oven. But if you want one, this GE brings a number of perks that include superb simmering and capable baking, along with a generous oven, convection, and impressive oven self-cleaning. Other pluses include burners that automatically reignite, a cooktop griddle, and an oven-temperature probe.Minuses: So-so cooktop-heating speed and broiling, along with a relatively low oven and a high price, even for this rarified group.
Highs
� Excellent at low-heat cooktop performance.
� Oven capacity is Very Good.
� Very Good at baking.
� Very Good at self-cleaning.
� Large main-oven window.
� Covered bake element.
� Temperature probe.
� Rangetop burners auto-reignite.
� Cast iron grates adapt for wok cooking.
Lows
� Main oven relatively low to floor; use of low rack position and window viewing less convenient.
Detailed test results
Cooktop high: This model had good performance in our test of how quickly the highest-powered cooktop burner or element heated a large pot of water to a near boil.
Cooktop low: This model had excellent performance in our test of how well the lowest-powered cooktop element or burner melted and held chocolate without scorching and how well the highest element or burner, set on low, held tomato sauce below a boil.
Baking: This model had very good performance in our baking tests, which reflects even browning of cakes and cookies baked on two oven racks.
Broiling: This model had good performance for broiling, which reflects high-heat searing and even browning of a tray of burgers.
Oven capacity: This model had very good performance for oven capacity, our gauge of usable oven space.
Oven cleaning: This model had very good performance for its ability to remove a mixture of baked-on eggs, cheese, pie filling, and other ingredients using its self-cleaning cycle.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Okay, I had to weigh in on this one... I take all CR and online reviews with a grain of salt. The bottomline is these are machines..there are great ones and lemons made in the same factories every day. I have read many bad reviews on this forum about my appliances that I have had for 10 years and only had 1 service call in 10 years. I also think about our cars at our house. You could not GIVE me a Honda yet my husband still has his 14 year old CRV with 178k miles on it we still use. Also keep in mind there are very few products you can google and never find a negative review.
Okay, I'll put my soap box up now. Thanks for listening =^)


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Okay, here's my 2 cents: CR does what we in the weapons testing business call Operational Test. They seek to test the appliances in a manner identical to or closely correlated to what could be expected in the "field," or in the case of our beloved ranges, kitchen.

The manner in which the test is conducted hinges upon the test plan, and you can pretty much bet that every range was tested identically except for cases where a given testable feature was not present on a subject range (e.g., self-clean)

You can pretty much bet that all the testing was carried out by lab techs using identical equipment, not cooks.

Just going on that assumption, I can see how the two-stage burners on the Wolfs Jennairs Monograms, etc., would prevail over the Bluestars big burner in simmer performance. The big burners are simply not good for low-heat operation.

I think the high-heat rating is a misreport, in other words, an error. The Bluestar burner puts out more heat than any of the other ranges in the test. So that result is gooned.

MORE glaring to my mind is the frikkin misreport on the oven capacity. The LG oven is smaller and cannot handle 2 half-sheets per rack, the Bluestar can. So THAT is a misreport.

I can totally see the low rating for the broiler. It is small and will not evenly broil a half-sheet of burgers packed edge-to-edge. But those burgers directly under the element will sear perfectly. Lab techs judging for evenness of browning across a big sheet will score in accordance with the test criteria, not for the esoteric joy of turning out a steakhouse quality cut of meat.

I wrote to the editors complaining about the simmer result, and I think I will complain about the obvious error in the capacity area as well.

I agree with stooxie that the tests are shooting for the meaty part of the curve, but unless I am missing something they blew it on the simmer and on the oven cap.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

I have never respected Consumer Report.
Anyone who is knowledgeable in a given area will always roll their eyes at their "findings".
I always sum it up by saying they would recommend a quartz Timex over a complicated automatic Patek Philippe -costing as much as a house- simply because it keeps the time just as well, and missing the point altogether.

If Consumer Report likes it, it will have no soul, no passion, no imagination and will be amazingly bland...


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Could you post the review for American Range please? Thanks.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

American Range - 32 overall - again, not spending my time on formatting.

CR's Take
This American Range freestanding gas range has the following:
� 4 surface burners
� Among surface burners, 3 high-powered burners.
� Overall, this range was Fair.
� Poor at low-heat cooktop performance.
� Oven capacity is Very Good.
� Fair at broiling.
� Large main-oven window.
� Oven dial instead of touchpads for setting oven temperature.
� Rangetop burners auto-reignite.
� Heavy, stainless-steel construction; pro-style.
Highs
� Oven capacity is Very Good.
� Large main-oven window.
� Rangetop burners auto-reignite.
Lows
� Poor at low-heat cooktop performance.
� Fair at broiling.
� No digital display for oven temperature.
� Unable to melt chocolate without scorching.
� Unable to simmer tomato sauce on largest burner set to low.
Detailed test results
Cooktop high: This model had very good performance in our test of how quickly the highest-powered cooktop burner or element heated a large pot of water to a near boil.
Cooktop low: This model had poor performance in our test of how well the lowest-powered cooktop element or burner melted and held chocolate without scorching and how well the highest element or burner, set on low, held tomato sauce below a boil.
Baking: This model had good performance in our baking tests, which reflects even browning of cakes and cookies baked on two oven racks.
Broiling: This model had fair performance for broiling, which reflects high-heat searing and even browning of a tray of burgers.
Oven capacity: This model had very good performance for oven capacity, our gauge of usable oven space.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

GE Monogram may get a great rating. Let's say BS or Thermador or Wolf did too.

I've been shopping for 36" ranges and the GE MONOGRAM was the most expensive of all of them with the KA right behind. The BS and Thermador (both gas) were less. I was pretty open at first. But then I started looking more into Wolf and CC because now I realize they're ALL lumped in the same price range (Wolf and CC are a little more for gas...ranked about where GE Mono is). I started thinking about paying for a range and what I really wanted out of it and that I probably wanted a range from a company that was known for it's ranges if spending that kind of money. I bet a lot of people end up doing that same thing. I was shocked at the price of the GE and KA. For me, it's not about the money or being mid-end or high-end. It's about what I can really get for my money.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

>have been visiting the site for a week now, and honestly I am tired of the BS and CC ravings, as if they are the best ranges. There are other ranges out there that are just as good and may cost cheaper. For example, just because CC has a 22,000 BTU output does not mean that one needs or wants that high burner output.

I'm not going to be arrogant enough to say that the bs and or cc are the best ranges, because what is best for some is not best for others. BUT I will say that the bs and cc are THE best performing ranges on the market, I don't know why you are tired or offended about hearing that. I am constantly on here supporting people that want to buy vikings or wolf's because for some people a bs or cc may not offer what they want. And for those that make it sound like 22 or 23k btu is an outrageous amount of btu's that one would never truly need (likening it to a ferrari) then I am quite certain you have never had the pleasure of cooking on such a wonderful tool. I want even more btu's and am on the brink of trying to build an "ultra bossa nova" burner :) :)

When I heard CR had a bs in their hands to evaluate, I
predicted that it would score low according to cr. However what I predicted their low ratings would be based on is the following (not in any order):
-expensive
-hot exterior
-no self clean
-no timers or clocks or other nonsense
-hard to clean cooktop (based on some sort of standardized test developed mainly for cleaning more common sealed burner units)

But to my complete astonishment they didn't mention that, but instead complained about area's where the bs shine, particularily the simmer. (I am still actually in amazment over that)

As for the broiler, I can agree with others here that it could (should) be larger. I can not say for certain but I think the broiler in my viking was larger. I think mojo nailed it when he said the test was probably conducted with a bunch of items spread out over the entire available cooking surface and the bs broiler because of its smaller size wouldn't likely produce the best "even" results that cr is looking for. As for the simmer, the only thing I can possibly stretch my mind to figure is that the simmer was way out of adjustment. I know when I uncrated my bs the simmer was WAY higher than it can be set at. I think this actually fits into cr's test criteria. I believe their policy is to buy products annonymously at retail vendors and uncrate the product and install according to installation instructions. I do not remember adjusting the burners to be part of the install instructions. There certainly has to be an explanation as to why they were so off of real world experiences.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Curious to know what they knocked on the Berta as it would seem to have a few qualities CR would like.

Also, who broils a sheet of burgers?


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Tyguy, as one who has likened a 22K BTU burner to dragon's breath, I'd like to assure you that that doesn't diminish my admiration for them. I can cook perfectly well with half of that (and do, frequently), but when you want FWOOOOM it can't be beat. :) I do assure people who don't want them that they'll be fine with tamer types, but if you want the power, you want the power. :) I actually think the Ferrari metaphor is a good one. That is a street car, not a racer. Unlike with a faux sports car like a Mustang or Camaro, a 458 requires a high level of concentration and awareness of the road. Perhaps it's because I use them infrequently, but high power burners on full tilt are like that. No turning your back to chop an onion. :)


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Oceangirl - Berta got a 24. The actual user reviews (3) rated them high - two 5's and 1 4.7.

Full CR Report - not gonna format it...

CR's Take

This Bertazzoni freestanding gas range has the following:

4 surface burners
Among surface burners, 1 high-powered burner.
Overall, this range was Fair.
Poor at low-heat cooktop performance.
Oven capacity is Fair.
Fair at baking.
Oven dial instead of touchpads for setting oven temperature.
Heavy, stainless-steel construction; pro-style. Comes with simmer plate.
Able to melt chocolate without scorching only when tested with simmer plate (included.)
No oven-temperature preheat indicator.
Convection fan is turned off and on by a separate switch.

Lows

Poor at low-heat cooktop performance.
Oven capacity is Fair.
Fair at baking.
Only 4 rack positions in main oven.
No digital display for oven temperature.
Unable to simmer tomato sauce on largest burner set to low.
Able to melt chocolate without scorching only when tested with simmer plate (included.)
No oven temperature preheat indicator.

Detailed test results

Cooktop high: This model had good performance in our test of how quickly the highest-powered cooktop burner or element heated a large pot of water to a near boil.

Cooktop low: This model had poor performance in our test of how well the lowest-powered cooktop element or burner melted and held chocolate without scorching and how well the highest element or burner, set on low, held tomato sauce below a boil.

Baking: This model had fair performance in our baking tests, which reflects even browning of cakes and cookies baked on two oven racks.

Broiling: This model had good performance for broiling, which reflects high-heat searing and even browning of a tray of burgers.

Oven capacity: This model had fair performance for oven capacity, our gauge of usable oven space.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

The "tray-o'-burgers" test is depicted in this video. Yum! Come and get it!


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Well CR may not be, but I am!
Now it all makes sense. I was at BS in Reading on Monday and unknowingly "sat in" what was a the CR demo prep response. Now I have 25+ years of high end, big ticket, hi- tech sales experience, and I can tell you that there wasn't any smoke and mirrors being discussed. They were simple and direct about speaking about how they would melt chocolate and simmer tomato sauce.

When they were done with their meeting , it was my time to cook: simmered cheese sauce on the 15K NP, melted chocolate NP on the 9. wok-ed some veggies on the 22K, and grilled some lamb chops. Delicious.

The chocolate and cream sauce were on so long that I got a concerned and suggested turning them off. (The burner was still on and we were going to the "wall" to review the 30' French door wall ovens ( way cool and way pricey!) No one else seemed to mind....)

So it's all in what you like. I own stock in GE and Whirlpool and wish to God that I had the confidence in them to buy their products...but I don't. I like buying American made.. and I like what BS makes. I like KISS (keep it simple stupid). I hope that BS gets, and keeps their act together, so that when I get mine I am so delighted I can sing their praises with integrity and joy.

(And if I can't....there will be hell to pay!)

Do your research and based on your requirements make a choice based on what you believe is the best decision. SO...Wish me 'good luck" with that!


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Zalmrk: I am with you on being happy to buy american when you can (and I am canadian...but what is good for the US is inevitably good for canada because of our strong economic and cultural ties) However, I have to admit I really like a lot of german products.

>I hope that BS gets, and keeps their act together, so that when I get mine I am so delighted I can sing their praises with integrity and joy.

I feel very confident that when you take the plunge on a bs you will be singing like a beautiful song bird. I love my bs more than any appliance that I have ever owned. And the really nice thing is, it is the only appliance I own that I am confident I can keep running for 50 yrs....even tho there is a good chance I won't live that long, but you get the point.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Over the years I have become disenchanted with CR. But in terms of their kitchen appliance ratings, what really bugs me is their hypocrisy. Year after year they say that so called "pro style" appliances are lousy and not worth the money. But look on the cover of their annual kitchen appliance issue. What do they show? A pro style range! They claim to be a consumers' advocate, but ultimately they're just another magazine that tries to sell as many issues as possible. I've cooked on Bluestar, Wolf, DCS, and Viking. I have BS, and I have no complaints. THe others were definitely acceptable though. Let's put it this way. If I bought a new house and it had Wolf in it, I wouldn'd be rushing to replace it with BS. Ultimately, word of mouth through people who really care about cooking is the best way to judge an appliance, and any of the high end ranges will outperform a typical residential model. This seems to be lost on CR, and they definitely aren't trying to reach the cooking enthusiast demographic.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Eurekachef...good points. I agree with pretty mcuh all your points.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Although they may not care for the pro-style ranges, they seem to have gotten very high on induction, so go figure.

I agree, Eurekachef, good points.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

It's baffling to me that they'd get anything less than the highest possible marks for the high end output on the cook top. Sure, with the proper pot, you can boil water more quickly with a good induction "burner," but relative to other gas offerings (all others, but for the comparable Culinarian) -- and relative to many non-gas offerings -- you've got a fast boil, fast return-to-boil, great searing (as hot as you might reasonably want), and great response. Take away various questions about what one likes and doesn't like about a range, and the idea that the top end on this range is less than excellent is just a mystery.

The broiler I can see a bit more test or user dependence: frankly, I think it's a great broiler -- the best I've had. OTOH, it doesn't cover as large an area as some, so if you've got a particular method for testing broiling, as opposed to using and testing what it has to offer, you might find it lacking around the edges (in truth, find it lacking where it isn't). As I said, I think it's a great broiler, but this is one of those situations where a one-test-fits-all approach might be fair from one point of view and simply misleading from another.

Low output -- there seem to be two issues, one seems silly to me, and one may be due to variation in adjustment. On the question whether it's confusing that high-output and mid-output burners don't appear different on a quick glance: really? So the heck what? Does anybody who drives get confused between the gas pedal and the brake on regular basis? Does adding a clutch pedal mess things up? Do you find yourself looking down at the pedals as you go, to know which is which by visual queues? Honestly, maybe the first time or two or three you need to tell yourself which burner is which. But it's second nature quickly enough and not hard to explain to a guest. This is the sort of issue that you can talk yourself into before you use something -- it's really a non-issue.

With the low output on the simmer burner: mine was very good as delivered. A friend bought the cook top and found it a little high. Easily adjusted, but C Reports seem to be plug and go, and it's at least possible that they tested one unit that had the simmer burner running just a little high as delivered. I don't know that, but it's possible.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

I don't own a BS, but a CC. I just used the broiler and something made be think about the CR broiler tests on the BS as well as other ranges. In the CC, the broiler element is exactly as wide as the broiler pan supplied with the range. Is the broiler element in the BS also the same size as the manufacturer supplied broiler pan? I compared my CC broiler pan with the broiler pan from my old circa 1980 GE electric wall oven and they are exactly the same size. So this leads me to believe that maybe there is some generally accepted industry standard for broiler pans. If that is the case, then CR should be doing the broiler tests with these similar sized broiler pans. The reason is that most users will use these supplied pans for the broiler most of the time. Just a thought.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

CR is good for testing how automobiles crumple. I don't know about you, but I haven't the capacity, economic or otherwise, to evaluate whether your toyota or my honda is more likely to protect the kid in a crash. They're good at that, they're trustworthy. And they're invaluable because they do what I can't.

As soon as you start introducing opinion and personal preference and subjectivity into the mix, CR takes a nose dive. Oddly enough, I've come to realize that purchasing appliances is in large part an emotional matter. How on earth could CR weigh in there (usefully)? But at a minimum, the foolishly over-standardized and impractical lab tests give a false impression of objectivity where none is even warranted to begin with (even presuming they had been carried out properly).

Among other problems, CR is terminally hampered by their opacity. Rather than simply giving comparative measures of various parameters of interest, they will often make a conglomerate ranking based on -- who knows what? They won't tell you. Some weighted mixture that they've come up with of rankings of relative importance of these parameters. But you can't know what they've done, can't trace them back to tell if these rankings are relevant for you yourself -- it's all just nonsense in the end.

I didn't read through the posts above very carefully, but it looks as if they may actually have foregone the weighted summaries in this report? If so, that's new to me. But as it seems they've gotten the absolute metrics flat-out wrong in many cases, I agree the credibility of the entire report as well as its methods, is just plain suspect.

So sad. Ralph Nader (still) is my hero....


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

I totally agree with you about CR and their opacity problem. Very well stated. The first thing the organization needs to do is use open numerical scoring for each test and publish the numbers. Their "hidden" criteria for how they evaluate value for scoring and ranking completely calls their results into question. The range test with what appear to me to be obvious errors for oven capacity and high temp burner performance are really disappointing.

One small note: CR doesn't really do much crash testing unless the vehicle demonstrates some sort of anomalous behavior in testing (rollovers in the skidpad, for instance). IIHS and NHTSA do most of the crumpling of cars.

I used to like Ralph Nader until 2000. He is on my $#!+list now.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

I quit respecting CR years ago when their ratings reflected socialist social engineering more than real performance. Back in the 50s CR downgraded amost all HOT American sporty cars because they were too powerful and went faster than the speed limit and their brakes were not as powerful as thier engines. They down graded Olds 88 and Pontiac Grand Pris for those reasons. Then they started falling all over themelves praising Toyotas and Datsuns primarily because Americans shouldn't be so wasteful of energy relative to the rest of the world. Those early Japanese cars were junk just like the first Hyundais were. I can test my own toilet paper buying 5 or s6 different rolls and figure what is best for me without their quasi scientific posing thank you.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Hey Mojavean -- offtopic of course, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who's thought a lot about this, but Ralph Nader remains a hero for me despite "2000". I won't do it here, but I could lecture for many hours about why I think it was defensible. I accept that reasonable minds might disagree on this, I think, but I would also relish the opportunity to have that debate. Not here of course!

Yeah, I heard that the crash testing actually gets done by the bigbadgobment. But I have no idea how to access that information. I'd be happy for a third party to mediate and interpret and discover findings for when to insist on that.

As for the "social engineering" bent of their conclusions... I hear you. Not sure I agree, though. Globally, US piggishness regarding energy consumption is pretty breathtaking. While I respect your right to feel the wind flying through your hair while tearing up tax-payer-supported roadways and endangering innocents, I think these things - I think many rights have to be adjudicated from within larger contexts. Yes, it's your "right" to pull a gun's trigger and kill me but we've pretty much all decided that my right to live supercedes your trigger finger's. for example.

Anyway, this is of course also offtopic ... sort of. I can understand why that would be a turnoff for some. But if you want to allow CR the realm of the automotive, for example, then I'd be willing to permit incursions on social policy within that realm. I think -- dunno; musing...

Bottom line: this forum is immensely helpful in our modern world for just such topics as product evaluation that once, pre-internet, were nobly addressed, flaws and all, I believe, by CR.

However: beware the herd mentality strongly exhibited here. Social mobbing is a powerful force! This forum is far from perfect for its own little quirks and unintended consequences. :)


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Suit yourself, nerdy, but CR was completely right about those immense boats being sold by Detroit. The brakes of the era were atrocious, the solid axle and leaf spring setups were more suited to tractors than cars designed to operate on modern highways. And those Toyotas and Datsuns you lament were not junk at all. Had they been junk, they would not have taken over the market. Radial tires, disk brakes, independent suspensions, overhead cams, and several other innovations were introduced here as a result of Detroit having to innovate to keep up with the competition from Europe and Japan.

This is, of course, in addition to the changes that were literally forced on Detroit from California and DC, all of which have proven crucial to keep the air breathable in parts of this country.

Nowadays, depending upon your needs, US Marques offer several of the world's best choices. And we beat a lot of Japanese cars in terms of performance, including braking!

alaris, I agree, not the venue for Nader talk, unless he wants to venture into the realm of appliance fires ala Kitchenaid dishwashers and GE icemakers.

Getting to crash safety ratings is pretty easy, and it isn't all government, either. IIHS is a private non-profit run by the auto insurance industry. Their work is used to allow insurers to gauge risks of various model vehicles. They happily share results with the public; safer cars mean lower claims.

NHTSA ratings can be got to via their website. Note: I have no idea how the testing methodologies differ and how or if the IIHS and NHTSA share data.

As far as this forum goes, I agree about the value of it, particularly for people who really love esoteric kitchen bling. And though we can be a herd, I do think there are plenty of mavericks about.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

I have a blue star range since 2007 I CANNOT recommend this product. I have had many, mant problems, some of which are yet unresolved. The top ignitors burn out faster than lightbulbs, I have had to replace the oven ignitors and the spark assembly for the range. In the midst of a huge dinner party on new years day, both ovens failed. 30 people, no food. The door had to be replaced 3 times. I tried to be cooperative and wait to get things done, but the company has basically told me I'm on my own. It hAs been too long. If I put up a stink 3 years ago they might have replace it, but since I was cooperative, I'm out of luck. My advice, check out Dcs. My stove is a 48" range 6 burner with salamander broiler


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Another one-post wonder making the rounds on the interwebs.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

I just received my Bluestar but haven't cooked on it yet. Hope I don't run into problems. I must say that I have a DCS grill and 2-burner side burner installed this summer and the ignitor has gone already in my DCS side burner >:-(


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

And off the topic of how reliable/unreliable and useful/not useful are CR appliance evaluations.

Going back to that topic, there were some comments in previous postings in this thread that CR is lumping and averaging numerical results of specific tests into mysterious and uninformative (and sometimes misleading or wrong) graphical "ratings."

Can't do anything about them being wrong (or maybe getting a bad copy of a stove for review), but they really do need to improve their presentation of test results. For an example of the kind of thing that CR should be doing to present its test results, see the various "reviewed.com" sub-sites such as

http://www.refrigeratorinfo.com/

http://ovens.reviewed.com/

The reviews.com site has tested far fewer stoves and fridges than CR but I think CR should take lessons from the much more useful way way the test data is presented. CR could still do its graphical "magazine suitable" summaries while providing links to pages with the kinds of reports you see on, say, refrigeratorinfo.com. (Thanks to Deedles for bringing this site to my attention.)


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Just to clarify, my post above was responding to thull and mlevy, not to jenny_from_the_block which came up while I was posting.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

CR tries to target what "most" people are looking for and ranks products based on that criteria. Let's face it, most GW readers and certainly all regular posters are *not* what I would consider most people. "Most people" trust what the salesperson tells them because a good salesperson figures out what preconceptions people walk in with and plays on them. "Most people" don't spend days/weeks/months of their lives agonizing over picking appliances for their kitchen renovation. "Most people" don't care or understand the real differences between open and sealed burners.

Just look at some of the things they site as "cons" for BS. "Burners not sealed" - uh.. that's the biggest "pro" IMHO
"Dials instead of buttons" - uh.. I hate ranges with buttons and fancy electronics.
"No digital display" - uh.. again unnecessary electronics that can fail like our old Decor wall oven control panel.. $500 instead of a $20 knob to replace.
"NO oven preheat indicator" - uh.. my IQ is over 80 so I can use an oven thermometer which btw is the only real way to know if your oven is holding temp or not.
"Burners that look the same have different performance/ power ratings" - this is a I don't really care... if I can't remember which burner is a simmer burner then I really shouldn't be cooking.

If you take these "negatives" and turn them into positives, which for me they are, then I'm sure the rating would be turned on its head.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

All the better ratings are reserved for kenmore label products, by the way kenmore makes nothing except their logos to put on other brands


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Sears contracts to have things made for their Kenmore brands. Sometimes, these will be the exact same stove, fridge, etc. that the maker sells under its own brand names. Sometimes, there will be differences. The contract differences seem to be enough, that, when combined with the particular mix of makers from whom the stoves are sourced, that Kenmore brands come back with good reliability ratings from the annual CR membership surveys. Interestingly enough, CR does not factor in the objective appliance reliability results into its graphical "performance" ratings.

Some folks here think CR is being deliberately misleading or willfully obtuse. My take is a good deal less strident.

One thing I bear in mind when looking at CR is that CR's tables show both both subjective "rankings" as well as some relative performance ratings. The ratings are "poor," "fair," "good," "very good," and "excellent." Some people see "good" and interpret it as meaning "sub-par." In many cases, the "good" ranking may represent performance that many people would find perfectly fine performance. CR's rankings are relative to other stoves in the batch being tested. Compared to a stoves of 10 or 15 years ago (the stoves which are being replaced and are the frame of reference for comparing) your new Blue Star might have tested excellent and certainly seems to be a great improvement over the old one.

Again, a "good" performance rating does not mean the stove is sub-par. Who knows how fine the gradations are to get to "very good" and "excellent?"

CR tests can produce useful test information (although it gets filtered and massaged for the graphical rating buttons) but the "ranking" is based on some market-preference assessments.

I do not think that CR is actually "reserving" better ratings for Kenmore products. Rather, it seems much more likely that Kenmores and CR are looking at the same kinds of information about what seems to appeal to a large middle segment of the appliance market. Sears/Kenmore picks design and features that appeal to folks in that middle area. CR seems, in large part, to be trying to measure how well the particular stoves satisfy that market.

This needs to be borne in mind when looking at the ratings and rankings. What likely happens with stoves such as Blue Stars is that CR treats them the way CR assumes somebody typically would when buying from Sears, Lowes, or whomever. CR buys them from stores (not revealing who they are), hauls them in, hooks them up, and runs out-of-the box tests. The folks on this forum will be more likely to adjust and tweak their stoves (or have them adjusted and tweaked). A big box-store customer is presumed to not know or care about that. (May or may not be true overall, but likely true enough for a lowest-common-denominator approach.) That factor may well account for some of the differences between what folks here report for Blue Star stoves and what CR saw with the one they tested. Amcooks's point about the design preference for sealed burners and digital displays is an example of how relative rankings are shaped by the viewpoint. Also, when CR buys just one of a particular model of stove, it means that they can wind up with a bad one, too.

That CR also does not test many or all high-end stoves is probably a matter of budget. CR buys everything it tests. It buys it at retail. Buying several high end stoves eats a lot of the purchasing budget. I imagine this is getting to be more of a problem as the likes of GE, Whirlpool/Kitchenaid and Electrolux start pushing stoves into the $2900 - $3500 price range, crowding into the price range of the higher-end market.

CR's testing and reporting also seem to be different things. The individual tests may be relatively objective. For reporting, the way things get lumped together will shape the results in ways that will not tell us (GW members) what we want to know. CR is averaging and weighting the results in ways that are not apparent. A good example of this is the one somebody cited above, where "low heat" burner functions measures simmer for melting chocolate on the smallest burner and for simmering a large pot of tomato sauce on the largest burner. If they had a spectacular chocolate melt on the tiny burner but a so-so result with the tomato sauce on the large burner, it is hard to tell where that "good" rating comes from. For somebody in a hurry to buy a mid-range stove, it may not matter, For somebody here, it does matter.

With web capabilities, CR could make the test data available to those who want it (i.e., folks like us here) while still providing the "insta-take" graphics for the large numbers of people who do not want to be bothered with the details. For those of us who do care, the information could and would be further tested and argued here.

We've recently had some similar discussions of this with regard to using the CR ratings for refrigerators. (See the link below for my own rant in that context.)

As for rating high-end stoves, CR has been doing that for at least 12 years or 14 years. I think it was 1998 or 2000 that CR had a full article on testing of 36-inch stoves inlcuding Wolf (pre-Subzero), Viking, Thermador, Garland (the residential model made by Prizer-Painter that is now sold by PP as "Blue Star"), GE Monogram and maybe a couple of others. CR testers were very impressed and gave several of them very high ratings.

These days, CR still rates a number of "pro-style" 36-inch stoves and recommends a number of them. These are in a separate category for 36-inch stoves where pro-style atoves are the only choices. (I believe Kenmore and Frigidaire do still market a couple of 40-inch models, but AFIAK, there is no 36-inch mainstream brand stoves.) CR has been much less impressed with the 30 inch pro-style stoves for all the reasons discussed above and in previous posts.

So, the end result of all this is, for me, the ratings and information are useful places to start but are not the last word on anything except long-term brand reliability data.

Here is a link that might be useful: Need a new refrigerator, any recommendations on which one?


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Remember, the point of agglomerating data is to get your "hands" or "head" around a large set of information and corral it into some comprehensible, smaller form.

CR doesn't muster reliability data into the performance data for that reason; too disparate, too difficult to standardize, too subjective. So personally, I think their reporting of it separately, +/- unedited just ranked, is good. I would no more want them lumping that into their opaque conglomerate ratings than any of the rest of their unknowable metrics.

I've carried on a small dialogue with CR about why their weighting and composite scores are so opaque. Bottom line is, they say this is "proprietary information". They even use those words.

So ... I toss in my towel with the person far above on this thread who noted CR is just a commercial enterprise selling magazines. They think this is most marketable, most salable. They refuse to release data to, say, an allied website for the concerned few to peruse, again, citing "proprietary" concerns. But this is how science is done, is required to be done. Anyone who reports results does so with the understanding that they can and must be reproducible by other researchers; this is a necessary precondition for validity.

But science is not commerce and CR is not science. They like to pretend they are, but until they open their data to "peer review", they will remain to me in the category of Cosmo and Newsweek: entertainment.

CR's business practices also align them with commercialism. I signed up for an online subscription three years ago and only just now realized they've been charging me for that subscription ever since. They send no warning as, say, AAA does when they are about to involuntarily charge your card. I thought such warning shots were mandatory, required by law. At the least, I should have thought a consumer organization would have simply reigned themselves in in this regard to do the morally right thing if not the legally right one. Just because. Nope. In fairness, when I called, irate, they removed the charges (better check on that. When last noted they had removed just one years' worth). But honestly, since when did subscription become a negative option?

There is more such bad-faith in their marketing and a lot of bitter complaining about it plastered across the internet as well. That alone should place them in a separate category. But it's a dog-eat-consumer world out there. Check out Consumerist for annoyance with CR (I think it was there I read a long diatribe about their marketing practices a couple years back).

At the same time, getting your "hands"/"head" around uncontrolled "data" like that which flies here at GW is very hard. There are "one-post wonders" and "trolls" and exceptionally articulate partisans and any number of other types of posts that make it hard to come up with a fair overall assessment. It is a lot of work and I don't even have a lot of confidence in the end in my efforts.

OTOH I still hate the sewing machine I spent my hard-earned HS earnings on in 1976, "check rated" from CR. It was a horrible machine; really made my life miserable. A lemon, perhaps. But consumer input at that time was impossible to come by but would have been a far better way to select a machine.

Circumstances vary. I'd still go to CR for auto ratings, even with the helpful links above (thanks to, I think it's mojavean? for them above). Bottom line is, I don't think CR's negative "opinion" about BS is particularly significant or eclipsing of the anecdotes and opinions posted here. Personally, I'd weight it abut the same as another single post here. From a "middle-road" consumer with an attempt at objective ratings with all the freight and problematic practices noted throughout this thread. At least you know their bias. It can be very, very hard to pinpoint the biases of some of our fellow co-posters around here!


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

All good points, aliris,

I take your point about keeping the brand reliability data separate from the ratings. To be sure, there is something opaque and potentially subjective about the adjustments CR makes for the age of the appliances which the notes say CR does. Still, the survey is still about the only readily availble data of the kind that I have been able to find.

I particularly enjoyed your comment that the refusal to provide reviewable data makes CR seem like another Cosmo/entertainment magazine. (Proprietary info? Humbug, says I.) I wish I had been able to express the thought as well as you did.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Wow... after years of drinking the Consumer Reports Kool-Aid I thought I was the only one who had finally become disenfranchised by their shoddy work and self-righteous opinions. I understand the whole desire to provide "independent" reviews, but they have their heads so far up their arses as to think they are the only ones who can properly evaluate a product or identify potential defects. E.g. Could they not take even 30 seconds to go see that one of their top-rated cookware sets has an average rating of 2 by over 800 reviewers on Amazon and that there are rampant problems with the nonstick coating flaking off? Do they not realize that well-respected photography magazines - which includes many people who *actually* know what they're doing - have conducted exhaustive reviews of high-end DSLR cameras, and they could really learn a thing or two if they actually cared to read up? Instead they invent some test and then declare that "after licking the lens and making a robot depress the shutter 20,000 times inside of a running dishwasher, our incoherent formula finds that the Mattel BarbiePix 1000 outperforms the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and is 3000% less expensive".

Apologies for the rant, but it feels REALLY good to finally come out of the closet!

P.S. To the individual who said CR is only good for reviewing auto safety - does anybody remember their gaffe on infant car seats a couple years ago?


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

It was probably me you're referring to in recommending CR for auto safety ratings. But I think I've been convincingly talked out of even that position. If you search for it, I've been quite strenuous in my non-support of CR on at least two other threads; I found my way to GW precisely in search of this issue - that is, looking for alternative source of consumer information. And like you I've had to work hard to come out of the closet regarding my harbored suspicion of CR.

But it's not easy coming clean about those suspicions. I hold a life-long admiration for Ralph Nader. I will never be able to forswear him, non-congruence of political parties notwithstanding. He may have been my first hero; I just can't give him up. CR is so far from the organization he led, but my knee-jerk reaction still is to give it the benefit of the doubt.

So I pay obeisance to my loyalty by at least reading CR (potentially) even though it's entirely unclear what to do with any of the information one finds there. But it is supplemented, if not supplanted, by information from multiple other sources. So I don't ban it, just wash it out. That's just me of course. I don't think your rant is off the mark at all. unfortunately.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

After great deliberation, I chose to buy the 30" Bluestar cooktop. I have only had it not even two weeks, installed, and one of those weeks was during our NorthEast power outage due to Sandy. I am disappointed - and can't believe that others hadn't mentioned the factors that disappoint! I know that I read that it is easy to clean - NOT! Horrible - already looks worse than my 25+ yr Caloric Stainless that it replaced. The stainless can't get clean, the heavy black grates (which I do like) seem to be spotted stained. The black bowls which sit under the grates do not sit flat against the cooktop. Two ignitors are not working properly. In defense of the company, they did immediately suggest sending me out new bowls which are slightly better than the ones I had, but still not a great fit - and no ignitors as they had promised. I am calling them today, now that we have the phone back in service.

Sometimes I wonder who feeds these sites with all the glorious reports!


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Ummm... Point of order. AFAIK, Ralph Nader never ran Consumer's Union (nor CR, which is what they renamed themselves this last year, after their magazine.) Around 1970, he and CU jointly set-up the Center for Auto Safety, and he did run that for a while.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Don't disagree ... and I guess I did say "...the organization he led" which isn't accurate. I think the relationship there was complicated - I know it was. But probably it's not correct to say or imply he "led" the organization though I am pretty sure he was closely associated with it. I do not recall the details and don't really see it on quick perusal of wikipedia either. I'm guessing someone will chime in with an authoritative report on (or debunking of) any link. Perhaps it is unfair of me to allide Ralph Nader's reputation and Consumer Reports'.

Have at a clarification, anyone and all...


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Aliris: I was out at Wikipedia when you posted and got confirmation. Just wanted to be clear that we're not blaming Ralph Nader for CR downrating the Blue Star.

Meanwhile, back at the point of the thread, and Ashik's post, I should note that CR does not really rate stoves for ease of cleaning or fit and finish, dissasssembly and etc. CR would not have helped with those issues.

Beyond that, Ashik, you can probably get better help on your particular stove difficulties if you start a separate thread. Blue Star owners who could help you will be more likely to see the post and respond.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

I'm not seeing a lot of fact based analysis here. CR reviews are based on a set of tests, the cost of the product is not considered when comparing the test results! The cost is considered later when recommendations are given, such as a CR best buy! This is important to many readers as they may be more value conscience.

So what if the product you like or desire is rated poorly on CR? There is no conspiracy just fact based reviews! Decisions to buy luxury items such as a Lexus LS460 or a Wolf range are lifestyle choices and as such there is a component of emotion at play. In the case of the Lexus it is CR's highest rated auto and it is an expensive item. Conversely what CR's reviews of ranges seams to be saying is that paying the extra money for a high end appliance such as a Bluestar or Wolf range is not a value based proposition! Plain and simple! If you feel like you need a Wolf range or any other high end appliance it is a personal / lifestyle choice and that's fine! There is no need though to trash CR just because you disagree with there reviews...


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

I'm not seeing a lot of fact based analysis here. CR reviews are based on a set of tests, the cost of the product is not considered when comparing the test results! The cost is considered later when recommendations are given, such as a CR best buy! This is important to many readers as they may be more value conscience.

So what if the product you like or desire is rated poorly on CR? There is no conspiracy just fact based reviews! Decisions to buy luxury items such as a Lexus LS460 or a Wolf range are lifestyle choices and as such there is a component of emotion at play. In the case of the Lexus it is CR's highest rated auto and it is an expensive item. Conversely what CR's reviews of ranges seams to be saying is that paying the extra money for a high end appliance such as a Bluestar or Wolf range is not a value based proposition! Plain and simple! If you feel like you need a Wolf range or any other high end appliance it is a personal / lifestyle choice and that's fine! There is no need though to trash CR just because you disagree with there reviews...


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Little bit of a Freudian slip there? I think you meant "value conscious" rather than "value conscience." Still, the latter term certainly does fit how a lot of the above posters see --- and why they resent --- CR's reporting. Maybe CR sees itself as a "value conscience," too, picturing itself as Jiminy Cricket to industry Pinocchios?


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

JWV: lol!

Butane James -- did you read through the long dialog above about CR? I think it's an awful lot more nuanced than you suggest. I think there is ample justification for much of the carefully-considered "trashing" from many, formerly-long-committed members re CR. I think a lot of us once invested a lot of credibility and trust in CR and feel a little betrayed - which feels surprising. It may account for the degree of emotion you object to. But please read the long discussion; I think, personally, it's pretty informative!

Vis-a-vis Nader's involvement with CR - I think one of his (many) life's missions has been to facilitate and support a plethora of consumers' groups. I do think he was instrumental in *starting* CR to this end, but got out immediately after its finding its own legs. That was my understanding; I think he has done this "business model" over and over. I think he considers this an important task - I envision it like starting a whole passel of dreidels/tops - you know how they keep running down. But you pick it up and give it a twist-spin then move on to another, and another and another, go back and give a run-down one another burst of energy, on and on. I think that guy has 'started' hundreds if not thousands of groups that way. I think CR was his biggest, perhaps first, perhaps most successful and/or visible. But he doesn't stick around, just gives encouragement and know-how and lends the credibility of his name.

I am happy to take correction if I have this wrong. It comes from a car ride I once shared with the guy long, long ago. It was my take-away message but I haven't really investigated any of it.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Aliris19,

You're reading way too much into this! If you feel that CR are a bunch of charlatans that your business! I tend to use their reviews as a frame of reference only and certainly not as gospel. And no it was not a Freudian slip... Hahaha!


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Just for clarification, Consumers Union started publishing Consumer Reports in 1936 when Ralph Nader was two years old.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Sorry for the double post. I've deleted it.

This post was edited by JWVideo on Mon, Dec 31, 12 at 14:30


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

I have been reading Consumer Reports since 1968. So far, their most useful observation is that some refrigerators have no place to put a full-size frozen pizza, which did rule out one model for me.
Years ago, Consumer Reports gave its highest ranking to an Allison Acoustics loudspeaker. Roy F. Allison wrote to the magazine, thanked them for their praise, and pointed out that their methodology was inherently flawed. (Mr. Allison's scientific research concerned how the output of a loudspeaker interacts with nearby floor/wall "room boundaries".) Consumers Union promptly designed some new flawed tests, which gave high marks to a loudspeaker not as accurate as the Allison Acoustics model.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

They went political about 20 years ago and have become less relevant ever since.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

We almost didn't buy a Bluestar after reading the posts on this forum so I felt obligated to write in about our positive experience. We went for the rnb304v1. We have not noted that the door is particularly hot, the new venting seems to help with that. The simmer burner goes super low out of the box, we didn't feel inclined to make any adjustments, and finally the sticky door issue has not surfaced for us. We actually haven't bothered greasing the hinges yet but probably should. I'd recommend this stove to anyone, quite nice looking and the wife loves cooking on it. The open burners really do make a big difference on keeping the flame under the pot rather than wrapping around the side.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Although this thread has gone in a number of different directions, I felt like I needed to update - my DCS grill / ignitor just got wet and once it dried out, it works fine. Has worked ever since. Also I've been cooking with my Bluestar range for approx 6-7 months now and I absolutely love it. It was expensive but cooking is a joy on it.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

"And those Toyotas and Datsuns you lament were not junk at all."

Expect for the horrible body rust problems.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

We've just finalized our 2013 kitchen remodel and signed a contract for a total gut, walls removed, new floor, new franite, and all new appliances. We value our dollar and had a finite budget to stay within. Appliances really are the soul of the work space and matter more than we originally thought. After extensive visits to four appliance stores over two months...and much internet reading we knew our early choices werent okay. We chose to head out to the two top contenders to see the better appliances in a real performance test work in a show and by actual corporate entities. We went to Blue Star and Wolf.
We signed up for both demonstrations. One was at the Orange County Wolf Sub Zero showroom ( what a disappointment that was ) and the second was at Pasadena Snyder Diamond for the Blue Star.
Viking was originally in the better mix until we came across just an inorbinate number of similar complaints for faulty ranges and most not fixed. We learned from the dead beat customer care posts that it appears Viking isn’t as reliable as it used to be, Seems it has faulty units especially the electrical with their attempts at new styles. Worse than the actual burners or the oven, were over heated melted knobs. It seems calls for repairs and help went unanswered. If you go look online, Viking didn’t take care of customers whose posts were to warn others away.
Wolf was our next choice. We opted to go to the Real unit at the real showroom. We signed up for a professional cooking demonstration and were excited to be able to watch a REAL Wolf range tackle high BTU out put tests for their high end price. We asked for a wok demonstration of the chefs in action - to cook something that would set the Wolf range performance levels apart. The person who cooked on the wok at the show wasn’t able to stir fry as one would need for a real meal in a wok. After a very very long heat up time on the range under the wok, the cook dropped in cold mushrooms to start the demonstration and the heat was lost. The mushrooms steamed and no other ingredients were even added. Similar with meat. The 15,000 BTU top fuel isn't enough for a wok meal done the way the wok is intended. We bought the Sub Zero 48 Side by Side built in but the range was such a disappointment. If one wants to just fry eggs, meats or melt chocolate great but we like to get multi-level item meals started and out simultaneously dependably and efficiently and not wait around for burners to find themselves. At the Blue Star demonstration we didn’t meet a cook we met the corporate representative who goes to all the showrooms to be available to customers. What a wonderful experience! The Blue Star Range has two 22,000 BTU burners, is gas for a more commercial use oven use and is also convection. There's no electrical household look components to fail, no over heated knobs that require electrical output to keep working. Its a commercial level range that can melt chocolate without tending and can fire up a wok or two to get your steak or party rolling and without a worry or wait. We had a delicious wok meal made right in front of us - several vegetables seared and chicken as well --- no heat lost - all at the way a wok is meant to perform. We were able to dish up as well. What a treat! Following the meal, the representative spent an hour with us personally, detailing the ease of use, ease of cleaning, and then shared the history of the company in Pennsylvania. We were showed 100 stainless designer colors, and the high end oven capacity. He showed us how fast the cooking areas break down for cleaning and wiped away the stir fry areas that were present 0- just with a cloth. We loved the ease of cleaning the new tech cast iron overlay and ease of care in the oven. Then the rep shared with us that the range he cooked on that day for all of us was one of four used on television on Iron Chef America. If you know of the cooking channels and Food Network you know of Bobby Flay and Chef Zacharian, you know they are world famous chefs and those Chefs cooked on the Blue Star- season 2012. We bought that range at the Demo - the rep had already had it checked and spotless for the Demo. He was kind too, and was happy to share. He handed us the marketing flyer, taken at the studio during the television show where the range was pictured. For two months he's kept us in the loop with current events and features and recently met with us back at Snyder Diamond in Pasadena California. He showed us how to easily switch out the 22,000 from front to back or move the low simmer. All the burners are WOK receptacle ready and require no wok ring extension. Consumer Reports appear to be significantly lacking in their ability to evaluate something this nice for the home. Feel free to post back or ask for the reps name. We have his email and appreciated his highly professional demeanor start to finish matched only by his warm and accessible customer service. He was even happy to throw in red or colored knobs or switch out the dark red stainless steel that is on the range we bought. All Iron Chef America shows are stainless with reds and we opted to keep it as shown on the show. It's a long post but it's a great story to share! Good luck! There's just nothing out there for the home that can stand up to the leave alone slow simmer or the 22,000 BTU professional performance burners that come with all BlueStar ranges.
As for customer service- Blue Star has it Hands Down!

Here is a link that might be useful: BlueStar


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Thanks for the detailed post. I am not sure I understood one part - you said "He showed us how to easily switch out the 22,000 from front to back or move the low simmer." I did not realize that was something the homeowner could do, especially since I thought you had to pay extra to have the burners relocated, though I may be mistaken. In terms of the Wolf, were you looking at the AG, and if so, was it the 2012 AG model with the open burner, or were you looking at the DF or the newer AG with the sealed burner?


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

As far as changing the burners, it's a snap. Just take the bowls and grates off then pull off the whole burner and the Venturi tube. After that, you'll need a 1/2" deep socket and 6" extender to remove the brass orifice located behind the knobs. You cannot access it by just pulling off the knobs. You have to access it with the socket wrench from underneath the plate setter above the knobs.

Each burner uses a different size orifice. The 15k burners use a size 48 gauge orifice; the 22k burners use a size 47 gauge; and the simmer burner uses a size 49 gauge. The gauge refers to the size of the hold in the brass orifice. The smaller the home, the less gas flows and vice versa. (I don't know why the sizes get bigger as the hole gets smaller but that's just how it goes I guess).

If you want to switch the 22k from the front to the rear and move the simmer to the front, there'll be one additional step as the front burners have shorter venturi tubes than the rear burners which have longer venturi tubes. You'll have to unscrew the Venturi tube off the 22k and simmer burner and switch them. Very easy. Just two screws that hold the tubes in place.

Once that's done, just use the socket wrench to switch the brass orifices correspondingly.

Then put the burners back in by sliding the Venturi tube over the brass orifice and plug the igniters back in as well.

You may have to adjust the air shutters slightly to let more air in or less air depending on what you need. The air shutters are at the end of the Venturi tubes.

I know...it sounds complex as all hell. But it's really very straightforward.

I just switched out a 15k burner for another 22k burner I bought aftermarket to bring my total 22ks to three. It took me about 10 minutes to make the switch.

I believe mojaveen (an excellent contributer on this forum) on here has a YouTube video about all this and it's definitely worth viewing. Just google "how to hotrod a bluestar" and it should come up in the first page of searches.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

I suggest that these last three posts probably belong in their own thread. They're buried so far down in this one --- which is about issues with Consumer Reports --- that I worry this useful information is in danger of getting lost.

This post was edited by JWVideo on Fri, Apr 12, 13 at 3:23


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

I want to thank gtadross for his very informative post! We bought our BS in 2003 and love it. Our high performance burner is 15K BTUs. My husband and I are so excited to learn we can upgrade to a 22K. My husband is capable of doing the installation, switching burners or whatever. He will definitely check out the video too! Like I said, we have had our BS for TEN years this July. It's a workhorse and the open burners with the star pattern is exactly what we were looking for :)


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Iceeulikeit2
Which Blue Star model did you buy?
I am in the middle of a renovation and have been round and round with this range situation. I was ready to purchase a commercial range because of the high BTU's and functionality until I went into the kitchen of a friend's restaurant and saw a working range and realized what I was getting into with the continual burning pilots and installation requirements, venting, return air, not to mention the possible void of homeowners insurance.
So, back to the drawing board...it looks like the Blue Star is the closest thing I am going to get to a real commercial range. I think it's the highest BTU's, which is key for me.
Any experience/advice appreciated


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

The highest btu award would go to American Range (25k), but from a design standpoint I would say Bluestar is the closest thing to a cemmercial range, from its burners, to its appearance, to its all cast iron cooktop. Fwiw there is a higher powered bs in the works, depending on when you need your appliance this may or may not be of use.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Do NOT BUY Bluestar.

I had a Viking cooktop (36"), but moved to a different house and decided to get a Bluestar range (30") this summer (2013). Both had open burners. I loved the Viking -- worked absolutely perfectly and it was hot enough for genuine wok stir frying, but I decided to try Bluestar this time because the grate design actually cradles a round bottom wok. Since I did not have a Viking range, I cannot make a fair comparison, but based on the Bluestar's defects and poor customer service, i would not buy it again.

I purchased the 30" Bluestar range for $4,000 through AJ Madison. I buy all kinds of things online and this was the first time I had an AWFUL shopping experience.

First, the range did not arrive until well over a month after I ordered it. Second, it was defective and AJ Madison did not help whatsoever with getting it fixed. Thank goodness I paid with American Express so was able to withhold payment until I was satisfied with the repairs.

The range arrived with only 3 functional burners. One burner was missing a wire to the knob, plus the wire to the ignitor had been cut and sloppily taped with electrical tape. Ironically, I had asked the sales rep about their problem ignitors and he reassured me that all the complaints were from people who weren't used to cooking with such high BTU so were letting their pots boil over and ruining their ignitors themselves.

Secondly, the drip tray did not slide in and out easily. Seemed to have be misaligned. Third, the oven window has two panes and there were dried drips between them (not on the inside of the oven door, which I could access and clean).

When the repairman came (four weeks post delivery because of Bluestar's scheduling delays), he asked if I had purchased a reconditioned unit. Bluestar insisted I had received a brand new range that had been manufactured a month before delivery.

The repairman did not have the missing wire (!), so we had to schedule a second visit once he got the wire.

Six weeks later (long time for missing part to arrive), he returned and fixed the ignitor and took apart the door so I could wipe it clean.

All this seems ridiculous for a $4,000 range! Not only did I have to waste time on the phone and take time off from work to be home for the repairman, I had to wait many months between the time I ordered the range and finally had a normally operational appliance.

Pros of Bluestar

- very friendly, good looking male sales reps
- very hot burners boil water very rapidly
- high BTU great for wok stir frying
- comes in beautiful colors; they were originally a paint company!
- job creation for people in Pennsylvania

Cons
- poor customer service
- DEFECTIVE ignitor
- one of my grates already seems to have a tiny bit of rust on one small corner (either that or the coating was applied unevenly)
- grates seem to show grease stains no matter how they are cleaned, as noted by someone else
- the oven door gets very hot during baking. Do not accidentally touch it; this can be a problem if you are wearing shorts while cooking and baking or have small children who touch the door while looking in the oven window
- oddly, the grates look square, but are not perfectly square; they only fit when oriented a particular way

My conclusion: Do NOT BUY Bluestar. I am very leery of trusting this brand despite it being made in the USA. I would probably return to Viking, which was beautiful, completely reliable (for the three years I had it), had lighter weight grates that were easier to lift off for cleaning and kept looking clean, and has perfectly acceptable BTU for my needs (14" wok stir frying).


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

After the repairs were made, does the unit function properly?

The other complaints (hard to clean grates, hot oven door, etc) are subjective in that, while they are well documented and discussed on this forum, some (like myself) are perfectly ok with it while others are dissatisfied.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

And you joined GW yesterday just to post in this thread because --- what?
You think Consumer Reports is responsible for your situation?

The problem with your dropping a rant into this already long running thread is this: When somebody joins GW jand immediately posts a rant like yours in long-running thread where it is rather off-topic --- and this one is about Consumer Reports --- rather than starting his or her own discussion, two things happen. First, coming at the end of athread on Consumer Reports, it won';t get noticed by a lot of the people you want to reach. Second, it raises flags. There will be a strong suspicion of trolling or spam-attack and your points get disregarded.

If you want to communicate, better to start your own thread. I am neither a Blue Star owner nor a fan trying to defend them, but I suggest you try starting your own thread and try changing the tone. You'll get more mileage out of stating reasons you have regretted your purchase than you will by shouting "do not buy from these lying charlatans and I love VIking, instead!" Unless that is all you wanted to say and you've decided to move on.

This post was edited by JWVideo on Sat, Sep 14, 13 at 18:12


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Agree with the last 2 posts. What's the point? This is just 1 person's experience. Balance it against all the other stories people have told, both postiive about Bluestar and negative about other brands. In fact, most of the "cons" are either quite minor or simply reflect the OP's unfamiliarity with Bluestar. Igniters are easily replaced; you can do it yourself. Grates are cast iron; they're not meant to be glistening and shiny. You cook on them; you don't eat off them. The grates are designed to be omnidirectional. They have an orientation. Maybe the OP should have just stuck with Viking, even though most people on GW have had negative experiences with it.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

I purchased my Bluestar 36' range in February 2011. Two igniters have gone out of service in June 2012. The screws attaching the igniters to the burners have rusted and can not be removed by the typical appliance service repairman! A carpenter drilled through one set to have the igniters replaced.

Bluestar did send ONE replacement burner Sept 12' (so you didn't have to unscrew one igniter set). But that igniter/burner unit is now out as well.

It was a huge investment to buy the Bluestar range! The Kenmore oven at my rental homes work better! I now have 4 igniters out of service!!! FOUR.
I am awaiting Bluestar's response to my current predicament - 4 igniters NOT working.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

I have had the same rusting screw issues. It's a real pain-in-the-butt and especially infuriating in that it could be prevented via a 2 cent stainless screw. Sorry, others are experiencing it, too, and on a much later model, unfortunately. (My range is a 2007 model.)

I also had repeated issues with the door, the oven burner, etc. ... Just like another Bluestar owner dismissed in this thread. Believe what you want, but it's not a one-off problem.

I've also had issues with the grates rusting. It can be sanded off, but that's also a pain. I don't need them shiny clean, but rust is not really acceptable. Bluestar's answer to me was that the grates "weren't meant to be washed" and they advised "no liquid" on the stove top EVER, which seemed pretty ridiculous to me--along the lines of "people who don't know how to cook and thus have boil overs" comment--as who doesn't have an occasional food spill on a range that needs to be cleaned up? As for it being about knowing how to cook ... Ever been in a restaurant kitchen? Spills are constantly being cleaned off range tops. Boil overs happen to the best chefs. It's not about knowledge, just circumstance.

Oh and, by the way, before I bought my range, my highly regarded here Bluestar dealer told me to clean the grates in the dishwasher, which kind of flies in the face of "no water ever" ...

Yes, I dry the grates completely after I clean them. On advice from the forum, I tried going through a whole oiling-heating-seasoning process, a la a cast iron pan, but that was a major debacle that left the grates sticky and worse. The coating they do have doesn't allow them to absorb like raw cast iron, apparently. (Ended up having to soak them clean. Hours and hours wasted.)

At this point, I just do my best, and get out the sandpaper at the slightest hint of rust. I too think the grate coating was VERY unevenly applied and woefully insufficient for actual use.

I, too, had issues with build quality: random loose in the body of the range screws, broken and unfinished metal, severed wires. Quality control does not appear to be Bluestar's strong point, at least in my experience.

By the way, a "troll" is not someone who posts a less than positive product performance report, or just something you happen to disagree with. It's someone who posts something inflammatory SOLELY to get a reaction. "Spam" would be a commercial sales pitch. A negative product review is neither. I'm not that new of a poster, but I fail to understand the continued trend here of dismissing people who haven't posted previously ONLY IF they are posting something negative. (I don't see the same this-is-your-first-post-so-shut-up dismissal of those contributing glowing reviews.) Aren't most users of this forum, by definition, fairly short term? That's what makes the most sense to me anyway, unless you happen to sell or repair appliances, thus dealing with many brands on a daily basis.

For the most part, people post when they're making appliance selections, or having issues with existing appliances. Yes, there are some constant posters here, but I'd gather that most come and go as needed. That doesn't make their input more, or less, valuable than anyone else's ... No matter what they're saying (good or bad).

By the way, my point isn't to slam Bluestar, or any other brand. I'm just sharing my experience. I think it's odd that the same exact poster labeled long, positive Bluestar posts--also from new forum members, by the by--as "very helpful" while slamming negative mentions, repeatedly, as "trolls," "spam" and "off topic." That just seems very one-sided and unfriendly.

Of course, good or bad, never let someone else's judgement supersede your own. I appreciate the positive AND negative here. Take what you think is valuable and ignore the rest is good advice for just about anything you read online, or anywhere else, for that matter.

This post was edited by applnut on Thu, Oct 10, 13 at 13:23


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

AMEN. I find the defense of forum favorite brands nauseating. If someone joined today and posted a negative Viking review they'd be welcomed with open arms. Bluestar, Capital, and recently a Miele and they're immediately suspect. Fact of the matter is that millions more than the 20 posters on this board buy appliances without first becoming loyal followers. If they have a problem then their frustration might send them googling for a place to vent. And here we are.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

If these last two posts were intended to attack me for pointing out the realities of forum culture, they are shooting the messenger.

I didn't tell littlemonks that he or she was a spammer or a troll -- I told him or her that buried complaints by first timers may get perceived that way. I said it was better to start a separate thread so that his or her issues get seen when they go beyond the subject of the particular thread.

If somebody thought I was defending Blue Star or attacking the littlmonk's complaints, they have misread my post. In particular, I think applnut has me mixed up with somebody else when saying I'm the one who sees "long, positive Bluestar posts--also from new forum members, by the by--as "very helpful" while slamming negative mentions, repeatedly, as 'trolls,' 'spam' and "off topic.' '

"Off topic" was not a slam when telling somebody their post may get overlooked for that reason. "Off topic" was a description of the difference between the subject of applnut's, MXT60523's, and and littlemonk's issues and the subject of this thread. The subject of applnut's, MXT60523's and littlemonk's complaints was Prizer Painter's apparent use of inferior materials, the company's build quality issues and lack of durability in the products. The subject of this thread is the way Consumer Reports tests and reports the cooking performance of ranges and the resulting low grade it gave Blue Star ranges. The negative reports from CR were about cooking on high heat and low heat with the BS burners and about how evenly the oven bakes and broils. None of applnut's or littlemonk's issues were about those things.

For better or worse, CR did not rate or report on Blue Star's quality control or product longevity. You could fault them for that and be on topic. But nothing in CR's report could have helped people avoid the non-cooking failings that applnut, MXT60523 and littlemonks have run into.

When you want to discuss problems with Prizer Painter's product quality or support, you are going off that topic onto something that won't get noticed the way it will if placed in its own thread. My explaining that leaving comments here in the virtual basement of this thread about CR's cooking tests and saying you would be better served by putting your complaints out where more people will see them --- that is the is the opposite of dismissing the complaints.

This post was edited by JWVideo on Fri, Oct 11, 13 at 21:16


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Not to harp but, sorry, this does seem pretty aggressively unfriendly ...

"Posted by JWVideo (My Page) on Sat, Sep 14, 13 at 15:13 ...

And you joined GW yesterday just to post in this thread because --- what?You think Consumer Reports is responsible for your situation? The problem with your dropping a rant into this already long running thread is this: When somebody joins GW jand immediately posts a rant like yours in long-running thread where it is rather off-topic --- and this one is about Consumer Reports --- rather than starting his or her own discussion, two things happen. First, coming at the end of athread on Consumer Reports, it won';t [sic] get noticed by a lot of the people you want to reach. Second, it raises flags. There will be a strong suspicion of trolling or spam-attack and your points get disregarded."

So, yeah, you did mention "trolling" and "spam-attack," neither of which this would even come close to being the definition of the post you're referencing. And it certainly sounded to me like you were trying to shut someone done based solely on post count. If that was their first experience with the forum, it's not terribly surprising they didn't return.

Yes, this thread has been primarily about Consumer Reports' methodology, but there's been plenty of Bluestar reports, both good and bad, in here, too. And, while none of the positive reports, no matter who they are from, have been greeted with scorn or skepticism--and please note that I'm not saying they deserve any--the negative have, at least three times, been dismissed as "one post wonders" or "new posters coming in to rant."

Well, I'm pointing out that there's a very good reason for that. First, this is a long thread, and thus much more likely to come up in Google searches referencing Bluestar problems and reliability. And if you're directed to the forum via Google into this specific thread, it makes sense to me that you'd also post here.

And, second, because it is a thread stating, in the title, that a generally well-respected, outside of GardenWeb apparently, publication rates a specific-brand range poorly I don't really think it's "off-topic" for real-life owners of that brand to post here confirming or contrasting that idea with their own experiences. In fact, I would argue that the thread title is more indicative of discussion regarding Bluestar's performance and reliability, the criteria Consumer Reports purports to rate, than a deep dive into the motives and veracity of the magazine as a whole.

It was also just the most recent thread I, personally, happened to read, and thus post on, after seeing several others where various new posters were scorned, again and again, for joining while having the gall not to love a product that could easily be dubbed a "forum fav."

These were all detailed complaints/problems, not "such-and-such sucks" posts. (And, just for the record, included Miele, a brand I own, really like and have had positive experiences with.) I've never seen a POSITIVE consumer reviewer of these brands dismissed with, "since you just joined yesterday to post this, no one is going to take your I-love-my-Bluestar post seriously."

My primary point being: 1 post or 1,000, rave or rant, I appreciate the forum contributions of everyone who takes the time to share their experiences and welcome new users, as well as the forum regulars to do so. Scaring people away with, "you're new, how dare you!" is counter-productive to the stated aim of this forum, which is wide-ranging appliance advice and real-world reports and reviews on the good AND bad points of ALL brands.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Look, I'm sorry you feel abused, but I am not dismissing the content of your posts, nor of MXT's or littlemonks's complaints about quality control. Nor am I objecting that you or anybody else gave "good AND bad points." The fact that I "mentioned" trolling and spamming was not an accusation. It is statement of perceived fact about the culture here. I gave specific advice on avoiding the problem by starting a new thread and adjusting the tone in a way more likely to get taken seriously.

I'm participating in this particular thread because I'm interested in Consumer Reports's testing, not because I want to defend Blue Star or Miele or whoever. I am neither a Blue Star owner nor a fan.

So, start a thread on your subject, already. Give it a title that tells search engines what you want known. Get it out where it will be seen by Blue Star, Blue Star owners, and potential customers.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

JWV - The original post is that CR doesn't rate BS highly. I don't see where some people - including you - going off on a tangent to discuss the merits of CR is any more or less on topic than others posting disappointments with BS. Someone could just as easily have said, "This is a discussion about BS. Take your CR rants to an existing CR thead (of which there are plenty) or start your own." Fact of the matter this is a long, old thread and conversations wander. I don't disagree that the comments weren't well-placed here, but so what?


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Point taken.

If Applnut, MXT, and/or littlemonks decide they do not want to reach a wider audience . . . well, as you say, so what? That is indeed their business and conversations do wander.

This post was edited by JWVideo on Sun, Oct 13, 13 at 14:06


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Stumbled across this thread on BlueStar ranges and was somewhat relieved to see other people had similar problems. I thought it was just me...

PROS
They put out a lot of heat

CONS
Customer service-It's just non-existent. I can't state it in any other fashion. There was a woman that was good about it initially, but she told me she was frustrated with the company and was leaving. After she left, (which was about 6-8 months after we bought our range) I never received a return phone call or email. Not once in two years.

No range in flame height on all six burners. Maximum flame height all the way to simmer. Once past simmer, it drops to a low setting. No such thing as medium flame height.

Loose, sloppy controls. The nobs hand at funny angles and are not tight, up against the range.

Broiler temps are much lower than advertised. Their tech installed our range, shot the broiler with a heat gun. When it hit 800° after multiple attempts to get the thing hotter, he said it was good. I asked him about their advertised broiler temp and he said, "I don't know why they put that I there, these things don't get any hotter than any other."

Leaky oven door window. Ours has streaks on the inside. I hate seeing them and can't clean it.

Convection fan. You can hear ours throughout the house

Insulation. The front of the oven and the metal facing where the knobs are get almost as hot as the interior of the oven. We run our exhaust hood when we bake because it gets too hot in that part of the kitchen. Don't know what we'll do if little ones are running around, they'd get a first-second degree burn from touching it.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

After reading glowing reports on this forum about BS burner performance, I saw a demo at a local dealer and was estatic about the performance of the burners on the range top. Reading this thread though has given me major pause as the reliability and service seems to be very suspect. I just stumbled across the following reviews that paint a horrible picture, particularly about the oven portion of the range:

http://www.amazon.com/BlueStar-Range-RNB-Inch-Natural/product-reviews/B002LF2ANM/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

My original plans called for the range top but after meeting with my contractor this morning, I may be looking for a range. It seems to be a huge gamble to buy a BS range given the problems people have had with their doors, ignitors, burning hot knobs, lack of insulation, etc. I am genuinely bummed as I thought I had found the range of my dreams until I read these reviews. If I go with a range, I am back to the drawing boards. If I go with a range top, I have to decide whether the risk of bad igniter design and seemingly poor customer service is worth the gamble. Bummer......


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

While, like JW, I'm not really a Blue Star fan, I have and love my induction cooktop and Electrolux oven and speed oven, ~~~~but~~~~~reading those reviews on Amazon, most, (but not all) are for the "Earlier stoves"
that did have door problems (opening problems and complaints about hot doors).
Also there were ignitor and ignitor module problems in some of the "earlier Blue Stars".
It seems to me I read a post that on the newer model Blue Stars, the ignitors are better protected.

The doors were redesigned, and I can't recall a post about a stuck door that has the new design.

As with other manufacturers of "High end" or "Pro", if you will, Blue Star has had its up/downs as far as service goes.
A gal named Mandy that worked for Blue Star help put out a lot of "Fires" for Blue Star, (if you will), She came to the rescue as did Trevor from EuroStoves, (before he went with Capital).

I followed this Saga for years, both with Blue Star and Capital,and they, along with two other competitors whose name escapes me right now had probably more "Misses than hits" as far as service goes, (or at least post about their service)~~~which do tend to run more negative, (Most happy folks just don't post), except here in Garden Web!

From recent posts, here in GW, several have bought the newer Blue Star Ranges and seem quite happy with their purchase, alto of course it is too early to have any good info as far as reliability goes.

I would continue to monitor the posts on this thread, "Bluestar Platinum Owners - How is your Range", to get a better of Idea of how the "Blue Star World of Today" is.

Also give them a call, with a question or two. You can bet that if they don't take care of you during "Presales", It won't get any better "Post Sales".

Also since you are in California, I would look at the Capital Cullinarian~~~~~It is made only a few miles from where I live, and I suspect, if you asked, You might be able to tour their factory~~~others here in Garden Web, have.

Anyway, (alto not my "Dream")~~~~~don't give up on yours yet, (especially by reading "Dated Information"!!!!

Gary


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Gary,

Thanks for your comments. I am hopeful that the new platinum range fixes the problems without coming up with a new set of problems. I love the functionality of the burners, the six burners (on the 36") while maintaining the griddle and grill option. I plan to call Bluestar as well as the main service and repair guy in the Bay Area to check on the newer models. Fingers crossed...


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

SteveCA, reading the Amazon reviews certainly would concern me, though as Gary says, many of them refer to a previous model. I have linked to a post here in April which was a call for current experience. Not very scientific since there is no way to know whether people who are frustrated with the BS have stopped coming to Garden Web,

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/appl/msg0412150432629.html

Here is a link that might be useful: running tally


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Steve - totally anecdotal, but it's my understanding that most issues were fixed on all models, not just Platinum. I know you're planning platinum, so not an issue for you, just putting it here for others coming along and to indicate they didn't just keep making RNB's etc. with problems and only fix stuff on the platinums.


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Thanks to the threads on this site, I have decided to go with the platinum 48" range. I will have to get used to a gas oven but I will have a wolf steam convection in case I really miss my electric ovens.

Im told the platinum is 10 weeks out. My wife will have to decide quickly on color if any. Thanks again!


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

Steve,

I am also in the bay area (SF) and interested in buying a BS range as well. You mentioned "main service and repair guy in the Bay Area ". can you tell me who that is?

Thanks,
Bob


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RE: Consumer Reports not high on Bluestar

I own a Bluestar 36" cooktop - the drop-in model.

For a $2,000 cooktop, the quality is ridiculously poor. It is a good design, but it is half-baked.

If you are someone that is willing to tinker, it's fine. The craziest part was they cut a notch in the rib that supports the top. They did this in order to clear the gas pipes. Instead of rerouting the gas pipes, they CUT A NOTCH IN THE SUPPORT! The result was an oddly flimsy top.

I spent a day disassembling the gas pipes and routing them lower, and bolting in a brace to repair the rib.

Of course, the screws that hold the igniters on the burners are not stainless, as others have observed. Yeah, you have to go to Home Depot and buy stainless screws. Don't delay, or the supplied screws will rust in place.

The configuration of the burners was weird. The two in the front are the 22K burners, the left rear and center are 8.5K, and the right rear is "simmer". Dunno what BTU output that is. Yet the right rear burner is the same configuration - same hole pattern - as the center! It took a buttload of work, but I reconfigured it so the center burner is the simmer, with the smallest flame pattern, and the two outside rear burners are the 8.5K. Now I finally have the thing set up the way it is supposed to be.

Bluestar is one of those mysteriously poorly run companies. I just can't understand why they would go to the trouble of designing a pretty nifty cooktop and then not make it right.

After I finished tinkering with it, I have a really excellent cooktop. But I really feel sorry for the people that shell out a bunch of money for it but don't have the skills or motivation to make it work right.

If anybody else out there that has one of these cooktops wants to do these modifications, let me know via reply and I'll post pictures.


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