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Which high end range? Leaning towards the Capital GSCR364G

Posted by sheckylovejoy (My Page) on
Fri, Mar 21, 14 at 1:49

There are older discussions on this topic, but I thought I'd start it up again as I'm doing a kitchen remodel and it seems to be a fast moving sector. All opinions welcome

I am open to all suggestions, but right now I am looking at the Capital GSCR364G as the most likely candidate (http://www.capital-cooking.com/product/324), but holy smokes, the price! ($6750 here in Cali)

I cook a lot and when I was younger worked as a line cook in restaurants, so I am used to professional equipment. I was originally going to get a commercial range, but once I learned of the modifications to make it up to code here, I balked.

My criteria:
1) 36" model with 4 burners and a griddle without a non-stick surface
2) 1 hot burner, 1 simmer, and 2 mediums
3) Burner reliability and evenness (why is this so difficult?)
4) Burner easy cleanup
5) Large oven with even heat (why is that so difficult?)
6) Self cleaning oven
7) Service network
8) Hopefully, no need for service network

The Capital seems to be the only one that fits all these criteria (though the hot burner isn't as hot as some others), and people here and on other kitchen forums seem wildly happy with theirs, as opposed to Viking owners, who all seem very disappointed. The other one that people seem to like a lot is Blue Star, but they don't have a self-cleaning option.

Also, I'm dying to pop a brined/herbed chicken on that Capital rotisserie.

On the other hand, holy smokes, the price!

All opinions welcome, including, "Don't waste your money get a Kenmore".

Thanks in advance for sharing your experiences

Here is a link that might be useful: Capital Self Cleaning Precision Series


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Which high end range? Leaning towards the Capital GSCR364G

3) Burner reliability and evenness (why is this so difficult?)

The Capital Precision has one of widest circle heat patterns of any sealed burner.

The Capital Culinarian is the one with a very even heat pattern.

I have a 36" Culinarian with self-clean and motorized rotisserie. The Rotis is awesome roasting chicken,turkey, steak, sausage and many other meats.


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RE: Which high end range? Leaning towards the Capital GSCR364G

Thanks deeageaux, I figured that out late last night after I posted. It seems like the models are the same except for the open burners. The open burners on the Culinarian look really easy to clean in their videos, is that the case?

Are the burners as even as they look?

Do you have the griddle? How even is the heating? What's cleanup like?

Thanks


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RE: Which high end range? Leaning towards the Capital GSCR364G

I would ask why you think you need a self-cleaning oven? If that is the only thing holding you back from looking at a BS, I would say at least look at them. Self-cleaning cycles are just another thing that can and does go wrong with many appliances, so why not keep it out of the equation if you can live without it and put in some elbow grease.

I don't have a range, but I do have a BS range top and love it. There are a ton of people on here that love their BS ranges as well.

But, going with a CC I don't think is a bad choice at all, they are great units from everything I have read about them on here and other sites.

I would opt for the open burners, I know I will personally never go back to a sealed burner if I can avoid it!

Phil


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RE: Which high end range? Leaning towards the Capital GSCR364G

Thanks for your input philwojo99. Everyone seems to love the BS like it was a child.

And yes, I had made a mistake in my research, I had meant the Culinarian open burner model which is CGSR362G2N.

As far as I can tell, all BS and CC owners seem madly in love with their ranges, and they both have the basic features and quality I am looking for. The CC edges out the BS to me because:

1) Self-cleaning. I'm not afraid of a little elbow grease, but I am afraid of inhaling Easy Off fumes. I've had self-cleaners since the 1980s and never had a problem with that.
2) Service network. I had heard that it was sometimes difficult to find someone to repair the BS, and some calls around to several appliance repair companies in my area confirmed this. More of them repaired the Capital than the Blue Star.
3) Rotisserie chicken with the Capital. No rotisserie chicken with the BS.

The BS burners are fairly impressive I must say, but I feel like the Capital is equally impressive and has better features.

Do you have a griddle with your BS cooktop?


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RE: Which high end range? Leaning towards the Capital GSCR364G

Not all of us are in love with Capital, as I suspect is the case with any brand.
I have had 2 Culinarians, one was a replacement for my original which had too many problems. The replacement has too many issues and it will be going back also. If you do a search, I am sure you can find my discussion.
However, there are a lot of people who did not have the concerns I have had (which is one reason I bought a Capital in the first place). Good luck.


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RE: Which high end range? Leaning towards the Capital GSCR364G

Thanks for sharing your experience Heidi. I guess I should keep looking around gardenweb, as I missed your discussion. Have you decided what you are going to replace it with?


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RE: Which high end range? Leaning towards the Capital GSCR364G

Love my Culinarian. (48" with grill) I've had it about 15 months now, purchased long distance via Trevor.

It has zero drawbacks as far as I'm concerned. .... okay maybe one, the small oven isn't as even heating as I'd like. I find myself using the bigger oven even for small things because I don't like rotating etc.

I got mind before the simmer burner option came out, but since I haven't had simmer issues, I'm not sure I want to bother trying to get one. Haven't ruled it out though. Actually I thought that my CC was coming with a wok ring and have been a little disappointed not to have that feature since my wok is a little tippy. If I break down and order a ring, I may splurge for a simmer burner.

I get a lot of enjoyment out of the grill. Need to use the rotisserie more and would love some recipes and ideas for different meats. All I've done is chickens.

Despite using the rotisserie and putting it all through it's paces on a daily basis, I still haven't used the self clean. It hasn't needed it! I put foil on the bottom extended out over a jelly roll pan when using the rotisserie and that seems to do the job.

Anyway, it was a wise decision for me and I give it a big thumbs up. It makes even cooking the simplest dish a pleasure and complex ones come out superbly.


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RE: Which high end range? Leaning towards the Capital GSCR364G

It is stories like yours, gbsim, that solidified my decision to buy a Culinarian in the first place. I wish I had had your experience. Now, I have two Culinarians waiting to be shipped back.
My latest one does have the simmer burner, which I did not want. I had good luck with the regular burners. I would rather have the flexibility of using my big pots and pans on any of the burners.
Sheckylovejoy, I debated between BlueStar and American Range Performer. American Range won and am anticipating its arrival soon. If you would like more detail on the issues I have had, I would be happy to share, but it seems my luck has been worse than most.


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RE: Which high end range? Leaning towards the Capital GSCR364G

Thanks Heidi, I'm going to check out the American too.


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RE: Which high end range? Leaning towards the Capital GSCR364G

Thanks for sharing your experience gbsim. I was originally thinking about the 48" with both a griddle and grill, but I decided I didn't want the smoke and cleanup from the grill. How has that worked out for you? Seems like it's not an issue for you.

Here's a rotisserie chicken recipe as thanks

The night before, or early in the morning, fill a 3 gallon stock pot with:
6 qt water
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 cup sugar
2 TBSN peppercorns
6 bay leaves
Handful of fresh thyme sprigs
Handful of fresh parsley sprigs
1 fresh rosemary sprigs
1 whole bud garlic

Mix it all together and drop in a cleaned whole chicken. Use a 5 gallon bucket and you can do 2 chickens. Another option for sweetness is to substitute apple juice for the water.

Brine all day or overnight. Put a plate on top to keep everything blow the water line

3 hours before cooking, pull out the chicken and prop it up with its legs down on a vertical rack or been can inserted into cavity. Let it dry for 3 hours on a counter. While that's happening, toss into the brine:
2 large onions in large pieces
5 large carrots in large pieces
2 large russet potatoes in large pieces

After 3 hours, pull the garlic and herbs out of the brine. Coat the chicken in olive oil, then rub the garlic and herbs into the skin of the chicken really good, and then stuff the cavity with garlic and fresh herbs. Truss up the chicken. Liberally sprinkle ground pepper, dried thyme and dried rosemary on the outside of the chicken (you can add more salt here, but you should have enough from the brine).

Spike up the chicken and put into the rotisserie, and start turning. About 30 min later, pull the potatoes, onions and carrots out of the brine. Coat in olive oil and then add a little ground black pepper, dried thyme and dried rosemary. Put it all on top of the broiler pan and let the chicken drip all over it is they roast together.

Cook to 160 degrees F internal temp, then let sit for 20 minutes on the counter. Pull everything out of the cavity (the garlic becomes a great and powerful bread spread) and carve the chicken into quarters.


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RE: Which high end range? Leaning towards the Capital GSCR364G

Am in the "love the blue star" camp. The cooktop is a breeze to clean and the cast iron means it rarely looks "dirty or messy". Our oven is wall mounted 30" French door GAS so. It self cleaning of course. It is a breeze to clean because of the baked enamel surfaces. We had a disaster with a. Full wheel of Brie bubbling out if it's puff pastry and getting all over the oven. I was dreading cleanup ... Went fast and easily. Three years now and I would not change the choices. Can't comment on range but functionality would be the same


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RE: Which high end range? Leaning towards the Capital GSCR364G

Thanks litebags. I really wish BS offered a self cleaning option for the oven.

BTW, since it is pretty close by, I am going to take a tour of the Capital Cooking factory here in So Cal this week


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RE: Which high end range? Leaning towards the Capital GSCR364G

Update: Went to a dealer a 1/2 hr from here that had a Blue Star that was live. They let me bring my pans and play around. I just boiled water to see how even the heat was and to what extent I could control it.

I brought my giant 16" pan and the little 8" as well to see how it handled both. On the large pan, I found the heat to be uneven, concentrated in the hot spots at the end of the star pattern. It was probably a bad setup in-store, but it was also a little hotter on the left side.

With the 8 inch, the heat was more balanced around the pan, but the center was much cooler than the edges.

With both pans, I found I had a lot of control over temperature, moving it up and down at will. Love that.

Overall, I loved the look and feel, and the temp control, but the evenness of the burner was underwhelming and something I would more expect from a sealed burner.

Performing the same test on the Capital tomorrow.


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RE: Which high end range? Leaning towards the Capital GSCR364G

What kind of pan did you use?


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RE: Which high end range? Leaning towards the Capital GSCR364G

These are aluminum commercial pans. The big one is a Toroware and the little one is Adcraft I think.


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RE: Which high end range? Leaning towards the Capital GSCR364G

I don't think any gas burner will provide even heat to an 8 inch and 16 inch pan even if there is variation in their size like the BS. Burners are pretty limited if you are looking to the source of heat to produce even heat for various sized pans. The heat foot print is determined by the configuration of the gas ports. There is nothing inherent in an burner being open or sealed that makes the heat more even. In order to take advantage of BS or other ranges that disperse the gas ports over a greater area, you would have to size the pan to the configuration of the gas ports. This is only a benefit when a pan has poor heat transfer or is thin.

You can provide even heat to your food with a greater variation in the size of the pan by choosing pans that are made of heat conductive metal and are also thick enough to take advantage of that property. The metals commonly available would be aluminum or copper. I have two commercial aluminum 14 inch skillets and one is slightly thicker than the other and heats very evenly while the other one isn't as even. Even small changes in the thickness matter. I just have sealed single ring burners and yet choice of cookware allows very even heat to what I am cooking. I have a 15x23, 7 gauge aluminum griddle over two burners that can be loaded with sandwiches wall to wall and they will toast evenly all the way across. I have a 7 inch saucepan that I use for caramelizing sugar and although the flame is almost to the edge, the bubbles start on the edge but move toward the middle and cover the entire bottom of the pan within about 30 seconds.

There are two main aspects of heat control when talking about gas burners. The response time to a change of heat to the food is a function of the pan. Something like aluminum and copper are almost immediate while something like steel or cast iron, at the other end of the spectrum of heat transfer properties takes a long time to heat up and holds a lot of heat so takes a long time to cool down. The other aspect is the knob. Some have more play than others and some have a shorter distance for the knob to move from the highest to the lowest setting, making control more difficult.

I think sometimes air currents can push the heat to one side of the pan. This happens in my kitchen sometimes.

These are a couple of articles that I found to be very useful.
Cooking For Engineers-Common Materials of Cookware

Understanding Stovetop Cookware


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RE: Which high end range? Leaning towards the Capital GSCR364G

Thanks wekick, what a load of info! Definitely a lot of food for thought.

Just to update, though. I went to the Capital factory here in So Cal, and I found the burners to be much more even (though still a little less even for my tastes) than the BS burner. The biggest difference was with the 8" pan which heated up in the center much more quickly than the BS


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RE: Which high end range? Leaning towards the Capital GSCR364G

That may be true that the Capital being a little more even heating, but as Wekick says, "It's really the pan that makes all the difference. (Paraphrasing).

Now how do I know that?

I have induction in the inside kitchen, and great pots and pans, Emerilware~~~~~
(a lower cost version of All Clad).
Everything is nice and even tempwise in those pots and pans~~~~~~example, I can put my largest pan on my smallest hob, add some water and watching the boiling pattern. First it starts out as a ring the size of the small hob, but very quickly spreads to the rest to the pan and boils evenly throughout the pan.

Now outside I have a "Ranging Inferno" DCS 2 open burner cooktop, with more holes in the burners than I want to count!!!~~~~inside, middle, outside, tons of holes for the gas to come out. I use my aluminum pans on this cooktop.
I have to continually stir whatever is in those aluminum pans as that which is towards the outside of the pan will burn, whilst that which is in the center, barely heats at all.
I've learned how to live with that, (Keep stirring), but if I were willing to put my good Emerilware pots/pans on that cooktop, I'm sure I could save a lotta "Arm muscular Activities".

It's the Pans!!!!

Gary


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RE: Which high end range? Leaning towards the Capital GSCR364G

If you are looking at a Capital with a griddle, make sure you try your large pans on it first--I have only two burners on my 48" stove I can use my 14" pan on because my burner grates are a bit lower than the griddle and the pan is not level if used on the burners next to it.


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RE: Which high end range? Leaning towards the Capital GSCR364G

I went to the Capital factory here in So Cal, and I found the burners to be much more even (though still a little less even for my tastes)

As opposed to what?

There are no good or bad choices save for alternatives.


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RE: Which high end range? Leaning towards the Capital GSCR364G

Any updates?


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RE: Which high end range? Leaning towards the Capital CGSR362G2N

Sorry, willinak , I was sucked into the remodeling vortex all week. When your reply came across I was at home researching zoning restrictions on hedge height at 9 PM on a Friday night. Good times.

I have decided to go with the Capital CGSR362G2N which is the 36" open burner NG range with 4 burners and the griddle. While I like the BS a lot, and would be super happy with it, I felt the Capital burner performed slightly better, and I also like the self cleaning option, because I intend to give the rotisserie a WORKOUT. Speaking of massive oven cleanup:

Beef Shwarma on the Capital CGSR362G2N

Feeds 8

5 lbs boneless beef rib roast. Choice is good, prime will have too much fat. If you can, choose one with a thick outer fat layer, but a small "eye" of fat in the middle
whole bud of garlic
2 cups lemon juice
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup olive oil
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground pepper
3 tsp cumin
3 tsp turmeric
2 tsp fennel seed
2 tsp cardamon
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp hot pepper flakes or cayenne (more for spicier, obv)

Note on spices: every shwarma stand has it's own formula. Play around with this. If you like spicy, add more of everything spicy. If you want to taste more beef, add less of everything. Some optional ingredients: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, coriander seed, mustard seed. And sugar. Everyone loves sugar.

Carve the fat off the outside of the roast and put aside. Slice the trimmed roast to 1/4" - 1/2" steaks. Make very thin slices of the fat. Put it all in a bowl

Put all the spices in the food processor and let her rip. Add the lemon juice and vinegar and mix it up good. Pour the mixture into the meat/fat bowl and massage into the meat well. Add the olive oil and massage some more. Cover and let sit overnight in the fridge.

The next day, pull it out of the fridge for a couple of hours to let it get to room temp. Then put the meat on the spit, alternating the thicker beef slices and the thinner fat slices. Fix in place with the tines, and then conv rotisserie until the internal temp hits 150-155 which is medium well once it sets. This will take over 2 hours. There will be much dripping, so be prepared. Beef fat smokes at 350, so you shouldn't have a problem there.

Pull out the spit and let it sit for 15 min. While you wait. Prep some raw and pickled vegetables to go with it on some pita.

After 15 minutes, slice the shwarma horizontally on the spit, across the beef steaks so you get large thick shreds of beef. A bread knife works well for this. For a little extra crispyness on the edges, throw the shreds on the hot griddle of the CGSR362G2N for 20 seconds. Serve on pita with pickled and raw veggies, and some tahini, or whatever it is you like on shwarma, because there is no wrong way to eat it. Of course you can't go wrong with Sriracha.

Bonus recipe (not mine): awesome Lebanese garlic sauce for the pita: http://youtu.be/quem5X-YV_4

Have I mentioned I'm excited about this stove?


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RE: Which high end range? Leaning towards the Capital GSCR364G

Working on the same purchase dilemma here. I've been reading lots of reviews and have found mixed emotions. I've looked at the american range, bluestar and capital culinarian. I'm drawn to the culinarian. I like the performance of the burners, oven and oven insulation compared to the others. I had a BS sales rep tell us to not purchase it if we had young children in the house because you can't touch the oven door while in use with out gloves. We've pretty much made our choice with the culinarian for many reasons, how ever. There's a floor model we are looking at that we can get a good deal on. I called Capital to find out what changes have been made in the past two years, this model is 18 months old. They said the changes are the burners have been replaced with cast iron bottoms and case aluminum tops and the igniters are formed into the top portion. The model we're looking at has all cast iron burners. I like the idea of the heavy cast iron as opposed to aluminum and cast iron mixed. I'm concerned there will be compatibility issues putting those two metals together. I don't like the idea of a small simmer burner that comes with the new model, I like all full sized burners with a simmer plate if needed. Just wondering what other people's thoughts are on this matter. Cast Iron will last for ever, is there a good reason for mixing two different metals? Is there any other changes that have been made in the past two years that may change our minds into purchasing a new model? Just wondering if anyone knows. Thanks


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RE: Which high end range? Leaning towards the Capital GSCR364G

I received my second Culinarian in October 2013. It has the simmer burner and the aluminum burner tops.
Some of the aluminum burner tops have lost their black finish.
The burner grates are a fraction too low and large pans can not be used next to the griddle without tipping a bit to overlap.
Some of my burner grates are not level across the top so pans rock.
The drip pans do not cover the whole drip tray and it cannot be fully extended.
The griddle drops too much in temperature before coming back on so it takes forever to cook something like pancakes.
The broiler does not work well--two items burned in the center while items next to them were not even slightly browned.
Convection did not cook well--worse than without using it.
The oven racks get jammed due to the front of the oven being narrower than the rear.
Self clean quit working.
The oven cooling fan quit working.
The one I had before it was the old design and had many of these same problems. I was also told that these were "non issues," and that I was being picky.


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RE: Which high end range? Leaning towards the Capital GSCR364G

Thanks for the feed back, We have always used the average elec stove in our house. We're rebuilding our kitchen and have decided to splurge and upgrade to a high end all gas range. We are drawn to the culinarian, but we have looked at everything else. I just don't feel there's any quality advantage to getting a wolf for nearly 4,000.00 more. I think you're paying a lot just for the name. I also like the performance of this range which is one of the reasons for going with a gas range. I just can't get over the fact that we're paying 5 times more for a range like this compared to an elec and we read nothing but complaints. I'm concerned, every model we've looked at has many unhappy owners. Is this because we pay so much for them that our expectations are set to high, or is because the manufactors are taking advantage and over charging for garbage. We have never had problems with our stoves before and I'm concerned that going to a high end gas range will seriously disapoint us. I don't understand why so many problems with all of them out there? Why did Capital go to alunimum burners when nearly everyone says don't buy anything with alum, go with cast iron or brass. Did you notice any performance change with your second range with the alum burners?


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RE: Which high end range? Leaning towards the Capital GSCR364G

The reason for the new burner heads is this.

When you drill the holes and then put a finishing coat on a cast iron burner head the holes are no longer the size you started with, so Capital decided to make a burner head that has the PERFECT sized holes after everything is finished, you have the right size, the flames go in the right direction so your combustion is spot on. It was a performance decision.


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RE: Which high end range? Leaning towards the Capital GSCR364G

Buy your Culinarian from Trevor. I have had conversation after conversation with the man. Although it is sometimes a little odd to hear him speak with his accent so definite (just kidding Trevor) he always is available, does call you back if in the middle of something, adds a great degree of personal knowledge and attention, does cooking classes at the shop, innovates, and has had experience with both BS and Capital.

If you parade your desire to own and see the price as an obstacle, save up; you will not be disappointed. Check out the Eurostove's website and go carefully through all of his information.

Once again, I have spoken with Trevor for years and would have purchased a Culinarian if I had the 7 thousand to spend. Unfortunately, I still have a ways to go because it has become so expensive to live in Southern California . . . and yes I am only 20 miles from the Capital factory.


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RE: Which high end range? Leaning towards the Capital GSCR364G

To @psient and @trevor
Yes Trevor is good for thorough answers. He helped in my decision to buy the BS range top 36" four years back. He was quite the enthusiast for it and used to have a u tube video on the product if I recall. But moreover the explanations were sensible when I has questions
I love the BS but now in a separate locale that is due for a 22 year old upgrade, am considering the Capital range top as all burners deliver high btu but also drop to low. I would have preferred that the burners were not aluminum re the clean it factor and this is not a small consideration as this will be an open format renov with kitchen visible "from everywhere" So Trevor.... Have you changed who you represent or are you selling both these days??


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RE: Which high end range? Leaning towards the Capital GSCR364G

We have had the new burner heads in the cooking school for 2 months now on a 48" duel fuel range with no discoloration, not to say it wont happen, just saying it has not happened so far. Should it happen I will be fine with it, Look at sealed burner ranges that have either scorch marks or an abundant of scratches on the surface. As I say many times its about cooking not looking.

I don't represent anyone, I recommend what I feel is the best range or range top for the job.

Example....If someone asks me "which is the best drop in cook top I would say Bluestar 100%".

We have not sold Bluestar for about 3 1/2 years now.


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RE: Which high end range? Leaning towards the Capital GSCR364G

Capital would have been one of the stoves in our consideration, but they don't make a 24 inch so that ruled them out. I didn't know that the burners are aluminum. That would also have been a deal breaker regardless of what kind of anodized coating they had. We really like that everything on the top of our 24" BS including the burners is easy to clean cast iron.


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