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Bluestar Ranges & Ovens


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23 replies to this topic

#1 rgruby

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 09:17 AM

Hi,

There's been scant discussion of Bluestar ranges here. Just looking for some more feedback on how these perform.

Do you find yourself needing/ using all that power on the cooktop?

What do you think of the oven? Is it reasonably accurate, and stable when it comes to temp? They also call it "constant cleaning" or some such thing. Can you tell me if this actually works?

Thanks,
Geoff Ruby

#2 lcdm

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 11:49 AM

There are hundreds of posts about BlueStar here:
http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/appl/

#3 rgruby

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 03:11 PM

There are hundreds of posts about BlueStar here:
http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/appl/

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Thanks for the link. I'd forgotten about that place.

However, I still didn't find out all that much about how the oven in the Bluestar performs - although I did read good things about the infrared broiler.

So, anyone else have thoughts about the oven in the Bluestar, stability at temp, cleaning etc.?

Cheers,
Geoff Ruby

#4 MobyP

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 11:11 PM

Didn't bluestar take over, or emerge from, the domestic garland pieces? Either way, they look good. If I were in the US and looking for a new cooker, they'd be in the top 2 or 3 to think about.
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#5 jamiemaw

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 11:21 PM

David Rosengarten's article in Departures seems thoroughly researched.
from the thinly veneered desk of:
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Vancouver magazine

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#6 Sharky

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Posted 13 October 2005 - 05:25 AM

Hi,

I chose a Bluestar Range based almost entirely on the David Rosengarten article linked in this thread.

I say almost, because what really sold me was seeing the range on the showroom floor. It is without a doubt the closest thing I have found to a restaurant range.

I joined egullet today so I could tell you how much I LOVE this range. The open burners are amazing. The heat is even, it is easy to slide pans around, and the simmer burner holds a beautiful steady low heat, making custards and melting chocolate is a breeze.

The oven is dual convection/conventional and is large enough to hold a full sheet pan. The temperature has remained steady and true for me over long periods of time. Perhaps because of the intensity of the heat, I have not had any cleaning issues. So far, I've just wiped it out. It is the nicest gas oven I've ever used. I know, I know, it's new and all, but I've worked with some new gas ovens that were not so great from the start.

I think it is well worth the investment.

#7 mikec

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Posted 15 October 2005 - 12:50 PM

I have no opinion on the quality of Bluestar ranges. However, I can't for the life of me understand why anyone would want open burners these days. What a mess.

#8 LindaK

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Posted 15 October 2005 - 03:11 PM

I have no opinion on the quality of Bluestar ranges.  However, I can't for the life of me understand why anyone would want open burners these days.  What a mess.

My understanding is that closed burners adversely affect flame (thus heat) distribution. Any comment on that from the pros on this site? I've never minded them, myself.

The BlueStar is indeed the new incarnation of the non-commercial Garland. It's on my shortlist for when I finally get around to renovating the kitchen. The limited distribution network is a little worrisome, though--I wonder about service.


 


#9 MobyP

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 01:09 AM

I have no opinion on the quality of Bluestar ranges.  However, I can't for the life of me understand why anyone would want open burners these days.  What a mess.

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You ever try roasting a pepper on an induction hob?

Edited by MobyP, 16 October 2005 - 01:10 AM.

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#10 mikec

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 11:08 AM

I have no opinion on the quality of Bluestar ranges.  However, I can't for the life of me understand why anyone would want open burners these days.  What a mess.

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You ever try roasting a pepper on an induction hob?

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MobyP,

Maybe I'm mistaken, but I've always understood the difference between an open burner and a sealed burner is the fact that spills and overflows can't seep down into the inner guts of the cooktop or range.

I have sealed burners on my DCS cooktop, yet it's still an open flame. I have no trouble roasting a pepper on my cooktop.

I think that you are misinterpreting what is being discussed.

#11 daves

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 07:48 PM

I noticed that BlueStar also sells a home salamander. I've always dreamed of having my own salamander in the kitchen one day. Anyone have this one and can comment on performance?

#12 LizR

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 10:45 PM

I have no opinion on the quality of Bluestar ranges.  However, I can't for the life of me understand why anyone would want open burners these days.  What a mess.

View Post


You ever try roasting a pepper on an induction hob?

View Post


MobyP,

Maybe I'm mistaken, but I've always understood the difference between an open burner and a sealed burner is the fact that spills and overflows can't seep down into the inner guts of the cooktop or range.

I have sealed burners on my DCS cooktop, yet it's still an open flame. I have no trouble roasting a pepper on my cooktop.

I think that you are misinterpreting what is being discussed.

View Post


Just to chime in late here - the stuff that "seeps" down onto the inner workings is very easily cleaned up by taking off the burners and the grates. There is even a pull out plate beneath the burner area for easy clean up. Part of the beauty of this range is that there is not a lot of "inner workings" to get dirty. Very basic and simple. A joy to use and actually quite easy to clean.

#13 Soupcon

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 05:06 PM

Hi Liz
Having just (in the past month anyway) installed and started to use my new blue star range top I would love :biggrin: to know how to clean the burners. Please detail for me.
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#14 LizR

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 03:50 PM

Hi Liz
Having just (in the past month anyway) installed and started to use my new blue star range top I would love :biggrin:  to know how to clean the burners. Please detail for me.

View Post



Took me a while to see this!!

I am sure you have figured it out by now, but just remove the burner grates and wash them in the sink. You can even scrub them with steel wool. Putting them in the dishwasher works ok, but if there is a lot of grease cooked on it is best to scrub by hand.

I have a new Bluestar question:

The outside of my oven gets pretty darn hot. Like beginning-to-melt-the-plastic laminate-finish-on-my-kitchen-cupboard-doors hot. I am a bit concerned because the interior of the cabinet walls that abutt the sides of the oven get quite warm. As far as I know, there is no required clearance between the oven and the cupboards. I finally called Bluestar yesterday and they told me that the outside of the oven can get as hot as 140 degrees. Is this too hot to have up against pressboard? They also indicated no need for clearance between cupboard and oven wall.

Anyone else with this sort of issue or experience? Am I worrying about something I don't need to worry about? Otherwise, I love my Bluestar.

#15 DerekW

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 08:13 PM

The outside of my oven gets pretty darn hot. Like beginning-to-melt-the-plastic laminate-finish-on-my-kitchen-cupboard-doors hot. I am a bit concerned because the interior of the cabinet walls that abutt the sides of the oven get quite warm. As far as I know, there is no required clearance between the oven and the cupboards. I finally called Bluestar yesterday and they told me that the outside of the oven can get as hot as 140 degrees. Is this too hot to have up against pressboard? They also indicated no need for clearance between cupboard and oven wall.

View Post


If the 140 degrees is Fahrenheit then it should present no problem - picking one manufacturer at random, MSDS figures for ignition temperature for particleboard are in the 450 degree range. Of course you might reasonably expect charring and other degradation before your cabinets burst into flames, but still, that's a big gap. It's not hard to get timber construction up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit by painting it dark colors and leaving it exposed to sunlight.

I'm a little curious about the exact definition of the 140 degree figure you were quoted - on the face of things it's pretty meaningless, since the figure alone does not specify measurement conditions or factors which would affect the ability of the stove externals to maintain a steady temperature, such as ambient air temperature.

If Prizer Painter are saying that when the oven is running at full output in a given ambient temperature and when installed with their recommended clearances then the exterior wall temp will never exceed ambient by a given amount then I'd have more confidence in the actual numbers. I'd be very surprised to learn that they had not done due diligence on this, since selling ranges capable of burning houses down in normal use would have surely raised problems by now...

This is far from being a hypothetical issue for me, since we are looking seriously at buying a Bluestar. Have you placed a decent oven thermometer probe against the exterior of the oven when it is up to "melt-the-plastic laminate" temperature?

cheers
Derek

#16 joancassell

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 10:38 AM

I have had problems with my 30" BlueStar range. (1) I could not get the simmer burner to simmer, turned out I needed a new handle, the one I had was defective. (2) The hinge on the oven door kept sticking and had to be wrestled open. I had just moved into a new house, with many defects that needed fixing, and by the time I got to the door, my warranty was over (bought the range in January, it was not installed until late March). The appliance serviceman reported that forcing the door open pulled the door lining out of whack, and I needed a new lining as well as hinges. I called Pritzer-Painter, who were curt and unhelpful; call the distributor, I was told. The distributor ordered one, which was not in stock; they had to construct a lining with attached hinges. Four months and $260 later, plus $90 for the serviceman, I have an oven door that works. Two defects adds up to poor quality-control. (3) I'd also prefer it if the oven heated up to 550, rather than 500 (as did my unlamented previous Amana range), so that it did not take forever to heat a baking stone for artisan bread. I like my BlueStar a lot, it's a serious cooking machine, but David Rosengarten's rave review does not compensate for imperfect quality control and downright poor customer relations.

Edited by joancassell, 27 April 2007 - 10:39 AM.


#17 rgruby

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 12:39 PM

  (3) I'd also prefer it if the oven heated up to 550, rather than 500 (as did my unlamented previous Amana range), so that it did not take forever to heat a baking stone for artisan bread.  I like my BlueStar a lot, it's a serious cooking machine, but David Rosengarten's rave review does not compensate for imperfect quality control and downright poor customer relations.

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Hmm. I was told the oven went to 550. I too would prefer that - hello oven manufacturers, some of us want high temps for pizza, bread making (naan especially in my case) etc. I know the ovens will do it and not get too hot on the outside surface if properly insulated - the self-clean cycle shows that. Is there some reason ovens typically only go up to 500?

cheers,
Geoff Ruby

#18 LizR

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 05:27 PM

I have had problems with my 30" BlueStar  range.  (1) I could not get the simmer burner to simmer, turned out I needed a new handle, the one I had was defective.  (2) The hinge on the oven door kept sticking and had to be wrestled open.  I had just moved into a new house, with many defects that needed fixing, and by the time I got to the door, my warranty was over (bought the range in January, it was not installed until late March).  The appliance serviceman reported that forcing the door open pulled the door lining out of whack, and I needed a new lining as well as hinges. I called Pritzer-Painter, who were curt and unhelpful; call the distributor, I was told.  The distributor ordered one, which was not in stock; they had to construct a lining with attached hinges.  Four months and $260 later, plus $90 for the serviceman, I have an oven door that works.  Two defects adds up to poor quality-control.  (3) I'd also prefer it if the oven heated up to 550, rather than 500 (as did my unlamented previous Amana range), so that it did not take forever to heat a baking stone for artisan bread.  I like my BlueStar a lot, it's a serious cooking machine, but David Rosengarten's rave review does not compensate for imperfect quality control and downright poor customer relations.

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Holy moly!! I was looking online just now because I have the EXACT same problem with the oven door on my 30" Blue Star. Ours, too, is obviously out of whack from us yanking on the door to get it open. The sticking hinge got progressively worse and worse, and then last night we were unable to open it all all until it cooled down. Because we had food in there, we did yank it open but not super, super hard. Now I see that the metal on the side of the door is warped. I am really, really depressed to read your post. Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away. I need my oven. I am going to be super mad at Pritzer-Painter if I can't get it fixed by then.

This door problem is an on-going issue. When we first had it installed, the local distrubuter incorrectly attached the door, and both cabinet fronts on either side of the oven melted a little. Arrgh!!

#19 gfweb

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 08:04 AM

I have had problems with my 30" BlueStar  range.  (1) I could not get the simmer burner to simmer, turned out I needed a new handle, the one I had was defective.  (2) The hinge on the oven door kept sticking and had to be wrestled open.  I had just moved into a new house, with many defects that needed fixing, and by the time I got to the door, my warranty was over (bought the range in January, it was not installed until late March).  The appliance serviceman reported that forcing the door open pulled the door lining out of whack, and I needed a new lining as well as hinges. I called Pritzer-Painter, who were curt and unhelpful; call the distributor, I was told.  The distributor ordered one, which was not in stock; they had to construct a lining with attached hinges.  Four months and $260 later, plus $90 for the serviceman, I have an oven door that works.  Two defects adds up to poor quality-control.  (3) I'd also prefer it if the oven heated up to 550, rather than 500 (as did my unlamented previous Amana range), so that it did not take forever to heat a baking stone for artisan bread.  I like my BlueStar a lot, it's a serious cooking machine, but David Rosengarten's rave review does not compensate for imperfect quality control and downright poor customer relations.

View Post


Holy moly!! I was looking online just now because I have the EXACT same problem with the oven door on my 30" Blue Star. Ours, too, is obviously out of whack from us yanking on the door to get it open. The sticking hinge got progressively worse and worse, and then last night we were unable to open it all all until it cooled down. Because we had food in there, we did yank it open but not super, super hard. Now I see that the metal on the side of the door is warped. I am really, really depressed to read your post. Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away. I need my oven. I am going to be super mad at Pritzer-Painter if I can't get it fixed by then.

This door problem is an on-going issue. When we first had it installed, the local distrubuter incorrectly attached the door, and both cabinet fronts on either side of the oven melted a little. Arrgh!!

View Post



Any resolution to all this? I'm about to buy one myself and am getting nervous reading about your problems. Was it the distributor or Bluestar tah screwed up?

#20 joancassell

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 11:02 AM

I don't know who screwed up. The oven door is fixed, but the oven stopped working entirely yesterday. Broiler worked, burners worked, oven did not. Turns out the element that heats it had been wet (probably while mopping the kitchen floor) and I needed a new one. Discovered the oven was out just when I had an 18-hour-rising no-knead bread ready to bake. Tossed it -- it was a Friday afternoon -- called the repair man on Monday morning and he came and fixed it.
I still like the BlueStar, but still wish the oven went up to 550.
And some recommendations from other owners and how to clean really grummy range tops would be appreciated. The pots and pans cycle of the dishwasher did not do the job. Do I dare try Dawn Power Dissolver?

#21 kbjesq

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 02:02 PM

And some recommendations from other owners and how to clean really grummy range tops would be appreciated.  The pots and pans cycle of the dishwasher did not do the job.  Do I dare try Dawn Power Dissolver?

I can't offer any advice on the ovens as I have only the BS cooktop, but in that regard, I have a few suggestions that should help.

First, if you have a total blow-out mess on your hands, take the grates off, put them in a huge, heavy duty garbage bag and spray down with an entire can of oven cleaner. Close the bag and leave it overnight - a minimum of 8 hours. Take the grates out and rinse them off. I use an old scrub brush for any bits that still seem stuck on, and they turn out good as new. This is a once per year job, at most.

Second, if you have a decent-sized mess, but not a total blow out, take out the grates that are offending you and put them in the sink with Dawn Power Dissolve. Scrub before you rinse (after 45 min). Should be good as new.

Third, once you have the grates good and clean, it is important to keep them that way as best you can. The method that I find most satisfactory (and I've tried many) is to apply a fairly damp side towel (I use the ones that are just about to go in the laundry, anyhow) to the grates while they are hot. Simply lay the wet/damp towel on the hot grates. Steam is quickly generated and I find that steam to be more effective that any spray cleaners. This technique will loosen just about all of the day-to-day grime. Follow up by scrubbing vigorously with the now-hot-and-steaming side towel. Obviously, no rinsing or anything else required.

Step #3 sounds like a lot of work, but it really takes just a couple of minutes and if you do it while the grates are still hot, it works like a charm.

I do a lot of wokking and frying on my BS and without step #3, it would look like a wreck every day.

Hope that this helps!

ETA: I agree that the pots and pans cycle of the dishwasher is useless for this task. Try the hot towels - I think you will be pleased with the results, once you get the grates cleaned initially.

Edited by kbjesq, 12 December 2007 - 02:03 PM.


#22 LindaK

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 06:29 PM

With my own oven out of commission, I baked my Christmas cookies last night in a friend's almost-new Blue Star. The oven capacity is amazing. Being able to put a couple of full sheets in the oven at the same time cut my baking time considerably. My friend needed a few adjustments to his range initially, the grill and a couple of the burners, but it didn't seem to concern him--it was an installation issue rather than something wrong with the stove. I don't know if that's typical for Blue Stars or other high end ranges. But he loves it, and I hope to have one of my own in a few months.


 


#23 joancassell

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 04:01 PM

I have a sad update. Thursday, when I was about to put a loaf of just-risen Peter Reinhart's Potato Rosemary bread (2 days to prepare) into the preheated oven, the oven door would not open.
The lining was out of whack for the second time!
I sent a very unhappy letter to the BlueStar CEO, and when the repairman came on Friday, I telephoned Blue Star, got someone who listened, said he'd talk to the President, who was in California. It sounded as though they were going to send me a second lining and hinges.
But I still paid for two visits from the repairman plus the first lining and hinges, and will be paying for two more visits, to diagnose-and-jury-rig the oven, and again, when the new lining arrives.
There's something off with their design and/or quality control. At least for the 30 inch range. :angry:

#24 joancassell

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 08:30 AM

Update on my update. Blue Star has promised to pay for the second lining and its installation. For those who need to get in touch with them, the toll free number I finally got (after several paid calls) is: 800-449-8691. The very pleasant man I talked to (quite a change from the abrupt person I talked to the first time around) is named Matt.