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Capital Culinarian - About to buy questions.

Posted by Takkone (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 4, 12 at 10:15

Saw the CC at a local appliance store and I really like it. Did a lot of research on these forums and only a few concerns remain. Hopefully you can put me at ease, or direct me to a different range that would suit me better. I'm looking at either the 30" or 36" with all burners free standing range, manual clean:

1. The racks. All I can fit under the broiler on the top rack is a cookie sheet. I read some threads that this may have changed with recent production models, but then read conflicting posts where others say only a shelf was added and the top rack position has not changed from the original. Please tell me what the current production model racks are like!

2. Can I use small pots and pans on the CC burners? I have two little kids, infant and toddler, so I am often cooking a little pasta or veggies in a small 1 Qt saucepan. Is that pot going to tilt or get hung up on the grate openings if it is not on-center all the time? I notice the openings on the grates are pretty large. (BTW - often cooking one meal for adults and one for kids, I'm really leaning towards the 36" range for the extra burners. Please chime in on that too!)

3. Simmer temp. - Similar to the above, some nights here are just jar of pasta sauce with some pasta. Or I'm cooking for two and have small quantities or sauce or chili or stew in a small 1.5 Qt saucepan. Because of the diaper changes and 3 year old "melt downs" seem to always occur right when dinner is ready, I often have to keep things warm on a very low simmer, so the rest of the family can get themselves to the table (seems like a 20 minute affair some nights!) Will I scorch our dinners?

4. I know I'm leaning towards 36" with 6 burners, but who has the griddle and can't live without it? My current plan is to get a nice heavy 14" x 23" griddle pan and use that on top of a 6 burner range. But lugging it in and out of storage may prevent it from getting much use.

Just a little bit about me, if it helps. I am not a professional chef. But when I was younger I worked summer jobs in a few restaurants (prep cook, dishwasher, bus boy) and I totally got bit by the foodie bug. So I've been around and have used some professional equipment. I would consider cooking one of my hobbies, not a chore. I make my own stocks, I make dishes that start on the stove top and finish in the oven/broiler. I do stir fry (although very limited with current range). So I think a pro-style stove for me is not just for looks (although I can't pretend that is not part of it), I'm going to use the heck out of this thing!

What about the 36" oven vs the 30" oven? Are the pre-heat times very different, anyone put a stopwatch on this?

I know I will probably never need more than two high output burners on my stove. But I like the CC flexibility to not have those burners positions preset by a factory. When I stir fry, I want high heat in front. Boiling pasta, high heat in back. Boiling pasta AND searing protein, I want to be diagonal corner to corner.

And seems like the CC gets all the love, with the Precision model not talked about much. Based on the above, would you recommend one over the other?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Capital Culinarian - About to buy questions.

There have been a few discussions on simmer, some have talked about using a simmer plate. Most often these are cast iron. I'm thinking this would work a lot better and you might be able to make one. Cast iron would tend to hold the heat and the copper would tend to radiate it.

Here is a link that might be useful: bellacopper


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RE: Capital Culinarian - About to buy questions.

We have the 6 burner CC and are also infected by the foodie bug.

We chose 6 burners because we had a 5 burner cooktop and frequently maxed it out.

However, as the foodie disorder progressed we got interested in more cooking methods: sous vide, combi-oven, and more easily controlled frying. This meant the kitchen expanded to include a combi-steam oven, sous vide equipment, and a stand-alone deep fryer. All of this took load off the stove and so far (4 months) we've not used more than 3 burners at once.

If we were to do it over we'd have to seriously consider getting a grill or griddle and just 4 burners. But we had no idea that the combi-oven (especially) would affect our cooking habits so much.

What stove setup do you have now and do you max it out? Will you be adding other equipment that would take the load off the stove?


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small pans

Also some thoughts on small pans (our small pans are still in storage so I found a pan subsitute).

Here is a 1 cup measure sitting on the burner supports:

It's stable and there is some wiggle room as well. But you can see that flame will be the bigger problem (it will heat up the sides of the pan and get the handle way too hot).

Two options to deal with this. One, move the pan off to the side (it will still overheat one side of the pot):

Or do something like this (that's a piece of copper plate):


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RE: Capital Culinarian - About to buy questions.

I don't currently own a CC, so can't answer many of your questions from firsthand experience, but I have had many of the same questions as I've researched the CC manual and BS and can answer one or two. My appliance dealer called his Capital rep about the rack position and was told that Capital added a 5th rack position, but it's at the bottom; it didn't change the positioning at the top. I haven't seen a manual clean in person (all the dealers I've been to only seem to have the self-clean), but that's what I was told.

On the griddle, I waffled. I was all set to order a 6 burner, but then spoke with the owner and a resident chef at one of the dealers, and they both love to cook on the griddle because the temp is more even and is extremely versatile. Apart from using it as a griddle at any temp., they use it to hold sauces or simmer in pots (you can fit 3 pots on a 12" griddle so you gain an extra burner if the pots aren't large), and it gets hot enough to boil if you need it to. It takes time to preheat though. The sides of the griddle are also low enough that they don't impair the functioning of the burners if you want to offset the pots on the regular burners. Also, I think (but am not positive) that I put a 1 qt. saucepan on the burners without any problem. If you want to heat a butter warmer (very tiny pot), you'd have to use a simmer plate. I'm unlikely to use all six burners at once (or even three across) unless I'm using a griddle, so the griddle seemed like a good bet because it separates the burners and gives some working space. I also like the idea of being able to put a cutting board on the griddle top and getting some extra prep area near the stove. Hope this helps and that someone with some real experience chimes in.


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RE: Capital Culinarian - About to buy questions.

Thank you everyone for the real-world experiences and the pictures! I still don't get the point of the top oven rack shelf. Although I'm thinking the broiler is so powerful and even, using the second shelf from the top would be fine for almost everything.

"On the griddle, I waffled." LOL

Zartemis - Currently I am using a typical 30" gas range. It has one "high output" burner (17k BTU), a simmer burner (5k BTU), and two regular burners. I use the 16K BTU for most of my cooking, I really wish I had two of them. The 5K burner I never use unless that is the only one available.

Rarely do I find myself wishing for another burner to cook on, but I often get frustrated with the crowding and not having a place to set down a pan coming out of the oven, when 3 of the 4 burners are taken. That is the main reason for my lean towards a 36" range.

About the griddle, with the cover off it's surface is lower than the grates? And with the cover on, is it higher or level with the grates?

Oh, and I don't have the room or the $$$ for any more appliances or other cooking methods in the kitchen after this purchase. But sounds like fun!


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RE: Capital Culinarian - About to buy questions.

I think zartemis makes a good point about relieving pressure on the cooktop with other, new or different appliances. Sounds like that might not be happening for you though. But I agree and had the same reasoning about even just liking the extra space for setting pans on a 6-burner stove. That's what I have and I love it. I did actually max out all 6 burners the other day, but that was a little self-conscious and/or sloppy; I could have gotten away with fewer. Still I absolutely don't regret the luxury of a 36" cooktop.

That said, I am not so in love with my 36" oven. It's way bigger than I'd anticipated. I grew up with a 42" oven, probably, with a big and little one. I think I sort of had that in mind though I know it wouldn't literally have two ovens. I didn't quite comprehend, though, what a vast exterior (comparatively) there is to a 36" oven: lots of space to heat! Fortunately I did also get an electric under-counter oven, but I often feel icky about using electric oven heating. I'm not sure how I'd resolve all this were I to do it over.

I too have the manual flavor machine and the non-rolling racks. I hadn't realized (my fault) that the rolling racks were only on the auto-clean version. I was disappointed. I'm not so sure they would be a panacea if I had them, but I'm not the world's happiest cooker with the manual racks -- they're sticky and hard to pull in and out I find. I agree the top runners for the rack are awfully close to the broiler and the next-lower runners are a little lower than is ideal. It would be very nice if there could be more height options for the racks. I understand they're looking into this for the future, but I'm not sure whether it's a reality yet.

Personally, I don't miss the auto-clean feature, but I would really wish the rolling racks were available on the manual! That's just my feeling about it.

The description of what a griddle can do is really intriguing. I never contemplated one but am wondering if I should have! For small pots, I have a little copper "mat" dh wove of scrap wires. It works well for that purpose! I use a turkish coffee pot with a small diameter that really is not very happy perching on the grate's tines. The mat solves this problem and may spread heat a bit across a pan's surface.

However, following initial problems with the simmer, I have been happy enough with the low level of the burner's simmer setting so that I haven't yet felt the need to spread out that heat for simmering. I don't believe you will scald dinner if/when the burners are properly adjusted. Some report here that depending on where they live, local technicians may or may not be very dedicated or knowledgeable in their repair-abilities (not a problem for me personally).

I agree with you about the flexibility of having all power-options for all burners. I like all that flexibility.

In thinking about your cooking habits, do know that your infant will morph into a burger-slamming-teen in an eyeblink. They grow up overnight. It's wise to think critically about the moment, but remember too that the hazy future is the day-after-tomorrow's yesterday. Or something. This too shall change ... what other stupid sayings can I fling at you? Flexibility is good. :)

There was a thread recently about cc accessories with information about commercially available griddles that fit well. I use an old cast iron griddle that's a little smaller than it could be but I'm happy enough with. As far as wanting extra prep space, I set wooden cutting boards and plates and unused grates all the time. Probably that's not the best practice safety-wise! But all those bazillion BTUs don't really spread their heat between grates noticeably. I so like the sound of how you can use the griddle for small diameter pots and squeeze extra space from the surface that way and use the gradation to your cooking advantage. I don't miss not having it, but it does sound like something you could learn not to be able to live without!

Overall, fwiw, I do not regret the purchase of my 36" manual CC. I love the open burners and flexibility. I am making peace with the oven but because I use it less frequently than the stovetop, I think that learning curve is just taking longer to traverse. The machine is not perfect, but I am learning to live with its few foibles. I feel these are a fair trade for the cost savings compared with its competitors, which likely have comparable foibles as it happens.


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RE: Capital Culinarian - About to buy questions.

I have been cooking on a 30" CC for nearly 3 months.

1- I have the self clean, which I bought for the racks and the rotisserie, not for the self clean feature. I love the racks.

2- No problem with small pots.

3- Simmer - Simmer was too high until a tech made the proper air flow and simmer adjustments. Now I regularly get 145 degree simmers without clicking and I am convinced there is no loss of btu's on high. I posted on Breezy's simmer journey thread about that.

4- I don't have the built in griddle. I do have the chef king 7 gauge griddle which fits well over 2 burners.

FWIW I wish I had the 36" range and if I ever move I will get one for several reasons:

I would prefer a larger oven to have a bigger rotisserie - it is tight cooking 2 oven stuffers on the rotisserie.

Also, I have a tiny kitchen, so I've been leaving the wok grate and the griddle on the stove and using both much more frequently than ever - very easy clean up and both serve as good places to put food partially cooked while cooking on other burners. I also leave the tea pot on the stove and use that frequently too. If I had 6 burners, I would have 2 free all of the time, which would make things even easier.

My recommendation is a 36" 6 burner CC. Hope this helps.


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RE: More re Capital Culinarian - About to buy questions.

Also, if you plan to stay in your home for a long time, keep in mind as your kids grow your cooking style may change too and you will want your range to keep up. The big griddle is great for cooking large quantities - not only do kids eat more when they grow, but they have lots of friends who eat too. Wok cooking is quick (once everything is cut into small pieces), which is convenient when hungry kids can't wait to eat. A bigger oven will help with holiday entertaining and baking all the cupcakes and brownies you will likely have in your future.


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RE: Capital Culinarian - About to buy questions.

elisamama, yes I am now leaning towards the built-in griddle, but still on the fence. It is a $1,000 extra for it! It is also a permanent fixture as opposed to a portable one. But the thought of cleaning a 14" x 23" portable griddle that weighs 17 lbs. in my 21" wide sink, does not sound like fun.

I have another thread going asking about the built-in griddle, and I'm not exactly hearing back rave reviews. (Too messy, never use it, wish had more burners instead, etc...) But I think it has a lot to do with your cooking style. I am perfectly comfortable with a stainless steel cooktop. All my pans are stainless, cast iron seasoned, or cast iron enamel.

I don't think a portable griddle plate would get even heat like the built-in would. Although, with 40K+ BTU kicking into it, I'm sure it would heat up a lot quicker. I hear the built-in griddle takes 25 minutes to get up to temp.


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RE: Capital Culinarian - About to buy questions.

On griddles. I too have been looking for a large portable griddle that wasn't a tank. So I've been looking at thick aluminum instead of steel. Yes they're usually non-stick, but they are much lighter and heat very even and quickly.

The largest I've found is by Dacor, the AG1424 (which is 14" x 24"). It's expensive. They make other sizes too. There is also a reasonably griddle that's 22x12 called the "maxi griddle"- the cooking area is smaller because it has a grease channel running around it.

There are so many others.
Anyway, it's something to consider if you balk at the weight of the steel griddles


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RE: Capital Culinarian - About to buy questions.

I was looking for an aluminum griddle too but they all seem to be nonstick. I do have the Dacor griddle(nonstick) and a smaller uncoated aluminum griddle that doesn't quite fit over 2 burners.


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RE: Capital Culinarian - About to buy questions.

Really glad to hear from so many "CC" fans out there! We are building new home thats designed from the KITCHEN out.
Currently have 14yo 6 burner viking junk, am ordering CC 48" 8 burner range-top w/60" CC vent hood, wok ring and seperate griddle ... have family of 6, and yes - their appetite plus their friends have no bounds!!


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RE: Capital Culinarian - About to buy questions.

Look at Euro stoves website. I believe Trevor recommends the grill as opposed to the griddle because a grill can convert to a griddle function but not the other way around. My vote is for the 36!! I have two ranges and when cooking for a crowd have been known to have 6- 8 burners going.


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RE: Capital Culinarian - About to buy questions.

Reconsider the CC Hood, better hoods out there....


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RE: Capital Culinarian - About to buy questions.

Trevor - tks, why not the CC hood, and if not, then what other hood that has same functions is better?

Also, along the same line, how do you solve the problem of make-up air when operating the hood? thanks 4 input.


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RE: Capital Culinarian - About to buy questions.

So are the vent-a-hood range hooods better than the capital range hoods?


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RE: Capital Culinarian - About to buy questions.

We had the Capital hood in the cooking school above out 48" with hindsight it just did not perform at all. We replaced that hood with one made by ModernAire huge improvement MEGA. ModernAire are so much more flexible in sizing, also the designer is guided more towards function first then in some cases stunning looks.

As for Make-up my first questions is do you need it ? most people don't, they think they do because of this site, but really they don't. I think its fair to say that 5 years ago not many people had heard of make-up air, what changed ?? nothing so far as I can see from a range perspective or hood perspective.

Vent a Hood is an OK brand, but nothing special at all, IMO they do a better job at marketing than they do at hood manufacturing, if you like Vent a Hood that's fine, just don't get sucked into it by sales people looking for an easy sale or by marketing messages which don't stack up.


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RE: Capital Culinarian - About to buy questions.

Mr lawson,

Wow i seen the videos you posted of the CC and that was what got me interested to buy one for the past few months!

I have a question for you. In your videos, what brand is the hood that is above your CC? I recall you had a vid where you shut off the vent fan, and the smoke just filled up the room very quickly.

Whats the brand, and what CFM is that baby outputting?

Thanks!


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RE: Capital Culinarian - About to buy questions.

Not sure which video that was, but if I recall it was the hood we have ModernAire make for us, that hood is 54" wide x 27" deep with a 1200 cfm blower.

If you know which video it was and let me know I will confirm either way.


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RE: Capital Culinarian - About to buy questions.

"As for Make-up my first questions is do you need it ? most people don't, they think they do because of this site, but really they don't. I think its fair to say that 5 years ago not many people had heard of make-up air, what changed ?"

The answer is very simple. Ventilation and safety are only belatedly catching up with high-BTU cooking equipment in residential settings.

Moreover, appliance dealers have an incentive *not* fully to inform potential customers of the level of trouble and expense they may be taking on if they buy high-BTU gear.

A test: as I just noted on another thread, code where I live and in a lot of places now requires MUA for ventilation above 400 cfm. Possibly code is too conservative. Still, you might think that dealers where this applies would at least mention this little fact to customers considering the move to high-BTU appliances, you know, as a courtesy, as something they would need to deal with. Ha! Not *one* of the local dealers I talked to for Bluestar or Capital mentioned MUA.

Most importantly this is a SAFETY issue, not just an optional feature -- you can backdraft gas appliances and fireplaces and cause all kinds of havoc without MUA. Trevor Lawson's insouciance on this question is troubling.


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RE: Capital Culinarian - About to buy questions.

An HVAC master tech came to service our AC sys, and while here told him we were fine tuning our new house plans and would like input on an efficient HVAC sys; while taking notes he looked at our kitchen layout and asked what size of range vent (cfm) we would use. When told, he said we would need MUA so as to not blow-out door seals and not rob a/c return air.


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RE: Capital Culinarian - Hood Capability Questions

Can you help me (and perhaps others) add some steps to the 'hood size guidelines' to think through hood size for the Capital Culinarian 36" rangetop, or one of the other 'monster' home rangetops (e.g., Bluestar, Viking, Wolf,...)

The usual rule of thumb I've seen is:
100 CFM / 1,000 BTU rangetop
Width same as rangetop, preferably 6" wider (e.g., (36", 42" better)
Depth same as rangetop, preferably 3" deeper (e.g., 24", 27" better)

The problem is that it is extremely unlikely we'll run the Capital at its full 138K BTU (or any of its monster brethren).

Does the following make sense, or can those knowledgeable improve on it?
At top actual use, we'll be using:
1 Burner wok = 23K BTU
1 Burner soup/ water boil = 23K BTU, but limited need for venting, call it 10K
4 Burners Realistic Max Average = 10K BTU (e.g., 1* 15K averages w/ 1 simmer)
Total Effective = 73K BTU, and thus need 730 CFM Hood

Suppose we do the 'best practice' of turning the hood on a couple minutes prior to any 'high-vent need cooking' such as wok cooking.
If the range top is against a back wall, would we then be comfortable with the 730 CFM fan in a 36x24" hood?
If the range top is in an island, would we then be comfortable with the 730 CFM fan in a 42x 27" hood, as long as we limit any activities that would cause strong drafts in the kitchen during wok cooking (e.g., opening the door from kitchen to patio.)

In our case, we're looking at 6 burners, no grill or other top.

We look forward to your help.


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RE: Capital Culinarian - About to buy questions.

Additional note: for the island option, the hood will have a single turn when it reaches the 8' ceiling, then have a straight, 6' run to the outside.


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