thinking of buying a 36" range top and would love to hear your thoughts on 6 burners vs grill vs griddle... vs arguments for 48" with everything? have seen conflicting reports on wolf vs bluestar. any thoughts? thank you
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Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking
My family and friends who are happiest with their ranges have the 48" Wolf dual fuel with six burners and a griddle. The griddle can be set low enough to just keep things warm. Plus it provides a nice space so that two people can work at the range without continually having to nudge each other out of the way. My brother often says that of every appliance that they agonized over purchasing, the Wolf range is the only one that's consistently lived up to his hopes and expectations. He wishes he could say the same for his refrigerator.
amysarah is a trusted home cook.
Definitely dual fuel, in either size. I think it's also a question of how often you'd realistically use each of those - enough to have both as a permanent part of your range? My company does lots of kitchens, so a couple of thoughts to consider - think about the relative size of your kitchen. Would that extra 12" of space be more useful as cabinetry, or do you have plenty of cabs anyway? Also, remember that bigger range means bigger exhaust hood = the whole shebang's expense rising, so factor that in. Our clients have been happy with their Wolf's, but for what it's worth: I was chatting with an experienced appliance install/repair guy at a job site recently (who turned out to be an avid cook) - he said if he were buying a range for himself, he'd get Blue Star. At least according to him, less repairs and equal function. I've never used one, so just passing it along.
Pegeen is a trusted home cook.
Great tips! Will pass along to a family member who is re-doing their kitchen.
I have a 6 ring Blue Star range with griddle and it certainly took some getting used to, it is a beast of a range. I would have to say I do love it, but there are some serious considerations. You absolutely need a good and powerful extractor - the heat it throws off is a lot and it regularly turns my kitchen blue! Despite what everyone says the low ring does not go low enough for a sauce to simmer comfortably - you have to watch. All of the rings on the low settings are still sometimes hotter than I want. I had hoped that the griddle would have lots of use - however it is reserved for weekly pancake breakfasts and not much else, but it does a wonderful job of them. One of the biggest considerations I think really has to do with cleaning the range. The grates are heavy and don't clean really easily - it takes a time commitment and some effort. The best part is the grates are really stable and you don't have to lift pots, they slide easily across from one to another and they are secure - even with a huge Le Creuset, and the wok burner is fabulous. Hope this helps.
I'm leaning toward Blue Star, but worried about simmer ability. Question for you: On Bluestar's website, there is a video showing how to adjust the flame on the burners. Have you tried adjusting your simmer to its lowest setting? If you've done this, and it is still a problem, then it might make me reconsider the Bluestar. Thank you!
I haven't seen the video, and so haven't done the adjustment. I will check it out and report back.
My low burner (9k btu) gets low enough to melt butter without burning. The stove has taken some getting used to but it's a fabulous addition to my kitchen. If I had it to do over, I'd still get the BlueStar. That's right about needing a powerful exhaust system. The range will heat up your kitchen I. A quick minute. It's fun to use, easy to clean, and I absolutely love it!
thank you all!!!
this is super helpful.
space is tight since kitchen is a long narrow space inside an old shipping container that's part of a 3-container barn house.
kitchen is only 12 feet long but has a 4 foot pantry, both 7 feet wide. could be room to stretch the range top bay to 48". but I see that bluestar has a new cast iron interchangeable griddle charbroiler system. so, maybe 36 with that flexibility is enough?
Here's a couple mockups of the kitchen:
and one of the whole barn, which is nearly complete: http://tinyurl.com/barn2014111403
should that range hood be the same size or a step larger than the range?
My hood is the exact width of the range top and it works really well. I don't really think you need it larger, but I certainly wouldn't go smaller i.e.. built in hoods that look the same size but aren't. One concern I have with your design is the wood that goes down to counter height. With the burners on I would be worried about them getting too hot. I do have upper cabinets that run up to the range and they really do get quite warm, even with the extractor working full. My burner of preference is a middle front one and the rear right which is the lowest heat - with those two going it gets warm. But if I use the 2 front burners on the outside it gets really hot. I would be concerned about warping the wood......but then again maybe that won't happen. Maybe you could contact Blue Star and see if they can give you some guidance.
stanford, exhaust hoods come in the same standard widths as ranges - 30, 36 and 48 inch - and are engineered to work with the corresponding size. No need to size up. (Of course, various styles and hood different heights are available to work with your cabinet config, or the ceiling/soffit height above. But widths for residential models are standard.) Worth taking a look at the site of some manufacturers, e.g., Vent-a-Hood, Wolfe, Viking, etc. to get the gist.
good point about the heat on the sides. they're set back six inches but maybe they should be tile, stone, or sheathed in metal.
A set back is a much better idea and will help, but I think it would be prudent to cover the surface with tile or something similar. It will certainly help with the heat and clean up.
We did a total remodel of our kitchen in May 2012 largely because I wanted to convert from an electric stove to gas. I looked at a number of the higher end stoves and decided on a 36" BlueStar rangetop. I have never regretted it. We put in a 42" Neptune ventilation system, and it is perfect for this stove. To address the comment about the 9000 BTU burner, I regularly use it for melting butter or chocolate, and for anything that needs a very low simmer. I have never had anything scorch or burn on that burner. Pan selection might be the issue there. I use Le Creuset, plain cast iron, or heavy-duty stainless steel. If you enjoy using stainless steel, you want to purchase a good, heavy-duty set to stand up to 25,000 BTUs. The only thing I would change is that I would get the full range instead of just the rangetop. I had nearly new double electric wall ovens and thought about keeping those AND buying the full BlueStar range, but decided that would be a bit of overkill. If I were doing this all over, I moght convert the spot where my double ovens are to storage, and put in the full BlueStar range with ovens. The 36" rangetop with 6 burners cooks bigger than you might think and gas been more than adequate for preparing even the biggest of holiday meals here. I've never run out of burners!
I've attached a mockup of our kitchen but the ventilation chimney isn't shown.
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