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Blue Star Range and Vent-a-hood? Are they really the best?


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Hi, I recently visited a local appliance store to look at gas ranges and hoods. I currently have a low-end 30" Samsung gas range and a ducted hood which doesn't do a good job with smoke or grease. It will hold up a piece of paper successfully, but the smoke detector goes off any time I'm cooking bacon or roasting anything in the oven or cooking with high heat on the cooktop.

 

So I went in to the appliance store nearby and the guy recommended Vent-a-hood. He demonstrated how quiet they are, how easy they are to clean, and claimed they are way more effective. In fact he had a 1 track mind, and didn't think there were any other hoods worth looking at.

 

Same for ranges. He showed me the Blue Star ranges and said that there's no comparison. Other high-end appliances like Wolf, etc can't sear a steak as well. He even said that people's complaints of Blue Star not being able to get very low was incorrect and demonstrated putting a piece of paper on a burner on low and it didn't burn. He claimed that the cast-iron is easy to clean (my wife doesn't believe him on this).

 

I do think both of these products are impressive, but I want to know what others think. I want to hear why he's might be wrong and/or are there other products that are just as good?

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I think what I own is the best.  Someone else who owns something different might believe that is the best. Hard to say, since it's all pretty subjective.

 

I'm pretty sure that almost any range will sear a steak properly; it probably depends more on what cookware that steak is being seared upon, and how properly one heats that piece of cookware.

 

As far as ducted hoods go (I have a ducted hood), they are never gonna be as good as a hood properly powered, properly installed, and properly vented to the outside.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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I have one of each and am very happy with both.

 

The vent a hood runs at 55db set on its high setting. The meter describes this as a "quiet office " level.

 

The BS is simple and effective and good looking.

 

We looked at all the options a couple years ago and these were the best for the price.

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I have a BS rnb and love it, but I think the salesman was puffing a bit, there are other manufacturers that make good products.  The first question you need it to ask is do you want all gas?  Some prefer an electric oven, and that means either going with a dual fuel range, which is much more expensive, or going with induction.  Many suggest induction is faster and more responsive than gas.  I prefer the BS because it is dead simple, not a lot of computer boards to go bad.   As for your wife,  IMO, the BS does not have a clean look,  it is flat black grids on flat blat grates and there are lots of lines and gaps.  While it is not easy to clean, on the other hand, I normally just wipe it down with a sponge and it looks fine.  IMO, the stoves with a stainless steel top and sealed burners seem to show every food particle or grease splatter - so while they may be easier to actually clean, they look dirtier most of the time.  

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I'm a recent owner of a BlueStar 30" RNB. My wife can't cook bacon on the stovetop without burning it, I can't get the bacon from the same package to crisp up. Not sure what either of us is doing wrong, but we'll figure it out. Different styles of cooking, if any appliance can show us the better way to do things I'm betting the BlueStar can.

 

The BlueStar line is dead simple. The oven convection fan is a bit loud but not annoyingly. The amount of heat off the stovetop, and it's evenness, is incredible. We use older (70+ years) cast iron quite a bit, I noticed today that the seasoning appears to be getting even better on the commonly used ones. My much younger deBuyer Mineral B pans are also looking better. 

 

My venting is to the outside, with a JennAire hood. Damn thing sounds like a Boeing 747 on the highest speed but it does the job. I switched the halogen bulbs with LED after one of the original bulbs burned out after a month, no issues since. 

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I think it also depends on the home and kitchen the appliances are going into.

 

Trust me, I spent a fair amount of time agonizing over my purchase. Wolf vs. Blue Star. Wolf vs. Blue Star. Wolf vs. Blue Star.  In the end, I chose the product I felt would  not only work best, but also fit into my design quite nicely.

 

1266349229_2018_01_2205339.thumb.JPG.970b986621be84eacf4e0515e6849ca4.JPG

Edited by weinoo (log)
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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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7 hours ago, CentralMA said:

I'm a recent owner of a BlueStar 30" RNB. My wife can't cook bacon on the stovetop without burning it, I can't get the bacon from the same package to crisp up. Not sure what either of us is doing wrong, but we'll figure it out. Different styles of cooking, if any appliance can show us the better way to do things I'm betting the BlueStar can.

 

The BlueStar line is dead simple. The oven convection fan is a bit loud but not annoyingly. The amount of heat off the stovetop, and it's evenness, is incredible. We use older (70+ years) cast iron quite a bit, I noticed today that the seasoning appears to be getting even better on the commonly used ones. My much younger deBuyer Mineral B pans are also looking better. 

 

My venting is to the outside, with a JennAire hood. Damn thing sounds like a Boeing 747 on the highest speed but it does the job. I switched the halogen bulbs with LED after one of the original bulbs burned out after a month, no issues since. 

 Thanks, this is helpful. I was already really interested in BlueStar before this salesman. And was impressed by everything he showed me. RE: the bacon. I find oven bacon to be much easier to be even and consistent. Overnight sous-vide bacon is pretty good too but a bit more involved (I like to crisp it up on both sides on the stove in the morning).

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3 hours ago, weinoo said:

I think it also depends on the home and kitchen the appliances are going into.

 

Trust me, I spent a fair amount of time agonizing over my purchase. Wolf vs. Blue Star. Wolf vs. Blue Star. Wolf vs. Blue Star.  In the end, I chose the product I felt would  not only work best, but also fit into my design quite nicely.

 

1266349229_2018_01_2205339.thumb.JPG.970b986621be84eacf4e0515e6849ca4.JPG

Just beautiful!

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gfweb: Lovely setup. Looks like it's half the size of the house we've been setting up for "retirement". 1950's 1000sf ranch.

 

And as long as we're playing show and tell I'll add a couple of pics.

 

And one tip: Think hard about the size of the range you'r looking for. For me, the 30" made sense due to the size of the kitchen. The price tag on the 30" sent my wife into a daily "well if you're going to spend that kind of $$$ on a stove ........etc..etc..etc. When it arrived and we got it in place I gave her the owners manual, showing operation etc. When she got to the page of the possible styles, configurations, sizes she looked at me and said "ya know, we could have given up another 6" of counter space and gotten the 36" with the middle griddle...". I channelled Ralph Kramden for a minute or so.

 

It's been 40 years now. I love her dearly, and she tolerates me.

 

Pics when I log in with my phone.

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2 hours ago, weinoo said:

Basements, kitchens the size of our apartment, storage - how nice it all must be!

 

 

You have given up a lot in exchange for access to delicatessen meats.

Edited by gfweb (log)
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  • 3 weeks later...

I've got a Blue Star range and went with a Faber hood from Italy. It was less expensive than the Vent-A-Hood (which is by all accounts a good product) and I'm happy with its functionality, but its loud . . . very loud.  Wouldn't hesitate to buy another Blue Star -- other than Capital I'm probably spoiled now for other cooktops -- but if doing this over I might have spent a few more bucks to get a quieter hood.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Blue Star is closest to a true commercial range, in several respects. This has pros and cons, depending on your priorities. I like their open burners more than anything else on the market, but someone who prioritizes easy cleanup might hate them. 

 

All these "high end" and "semi pro" ranges seem to have worse than average reliability and higher than average repair costs. So be ready for some of the pitfalls of owning a sports car.

Notes from the underbelly

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48 minutes ago, paulraphael said:

Blue Star is closest to a true commercial range, in several respects. This has pros and cons, depending on your priorities. I like their open burners more than anything else on the market, but someone who prioritizes easy cleanup might hate them. 

 

All these "high end" and "semi pro" ranges seem to have worse than average reliability and higher than average repair costs. So be ready for some of the pitfalls of owning a sports car.

 

What problems have you seen with, let's say, a Wolf Gas range, 30", 4 burner, with no electronics?

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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We have the Thermador 36'-  6 burner (bought 8yrs ago).  Love the simplicity and construction.  No issues, just a cpl minor inconveniences. The oven exhaust comes out the back, automatically at 350, is a bit loud (probably typical) and blows on the burners a bit.  The back ones are more impacted (just need to turn them up a bit).      

 

We took advantage of a nice promotion (still running it appears) where if you buy a range you're applicable for a free hood or dishwasher.  We went w the dw (Bosch for Thermador I believe) and it's never given us a problem.   Here's the brochure if curious:

 

https://media3.bsh-group.com/Documents/13376300_TH200129_Q22020-OTFCollateralUpdates-Brochure-Digital-FNL.pdf

 

image.png.f16a45076d20b73ff2f2634dd73a605a.png

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That wasn't chicken

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Very reliable. Daily usage for 8yrs. Only 1 thermometer but no discernable temp issues. Only regret is not getting the bigger 48' w the griddle and extra 'baby' oven but alas we were running out of space. (The extra $5g factored too : )

 

I'll come for you one day, my love!

 

image.png.5f121687a6e1fec1b8bfa4af74ab4dbb.png

Edited by Eatmywords (log)
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That wasn't chicken

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4 hours ago, Eatmywords said:

Very reliable. Daily usage for 8yrs. Only 1 thermometer but no discernable temp issues. Only regret is not getting the bigger 48' w the griddle and extra 'baby' oven but alas we were running out of space. (The extra $5g factored too : )

 

I'll come for you one day, my love!

 

image.png.5f121687a6e1fec1b8bfa4af74ab4dbb.png

I'm jealous enough of the 6 burner!

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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20 hours ago, paulraphael said:

 

 

All these "high end" and "semi pro" ranges seem to have worse than average reliability and higher than average repair costs. So be ready for some of the pitfalls of owning a sports car.

See, when you make a statement like this, it ought be backed up by some evidence. An article, even maybe.

 

Otherwise, it sorta sounds like someone screaming "widespread fraud."

 

You might be interested in this article:

 

https://blog.yaleappliance.com/are-wolf-professional-ranges-worth-it

 

Or this one:

 

https://blog.yaleappliance.com/bid/98653/most-reliable-freestanding-gas-ranges-reviews-ratings

 

Quote

 

Gas ranges are about par with appliances in general at 14.37% versus 13.1% for all categories. It requires three times the repair of an electric range.

Then again, electric range burners are sealed by glass. Gas burners are exposed, so the igniters tend to need repair more often.

Gas ranges are more reliable than induction by about 10%. Induction requires more voltage, and their drivers can malfunction with electrical surges.

For brands, GE Profile looks especially good because it's high end with good features. Whirlpool and Premier are lower-end builder driven models.

 

 

One more:

 

https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/best-high-end-ranges/

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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43 minutes ago, weinoo said:

See, when you make a statement like this, it ought be backed up by some evidence. An article, even maybe.

 

Otherwise, it sorta sounds like someone screaming "widespread fraud."

 

You might be interested in this article:

 

https://blog.yaleappliance.com/are-wolf-professional-ranges-worth-it

 

Or this one:

 

https://blog.yaleappliance.com/bid/98653/most-reliable-freestanding-gas-ranges-reviews-ratings

 

 

One more:

 

https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/best-high-end-ranges/

 

That Yale blog is great. It helped a lot when I was making appliance decisions.

 

FWIW, I've not had a single problem with our Blue Star or Ventahood over almost 4 years

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25 minutes ago, gfweb said:

 

That Yale blog is great. It helped a lot when I was making appliance decisions.

 

FWIW, I've not had a single problem with our Blue Star or Ventahood over almost 4 years

 

Yes - I used the Yale blog when making decisions as well.

 

And as happens with any consumer product, one person can end up with a lemon, glued together on a Friday afternoon by someone who can't wait for that after-work beer and a snort, while someone else gets that bright-eyed, bushy-tailed perfect Monday morning job...the best product of the week.  (Or is that reversed? I never liked Mondays.)

 

I once walked into our "quality-control area," back when I was a Silicon Valley hack - there was the person responsible for QC, cigarette dangling from his mouth, ashes falling into an open computer chassis. And it wasn't even Friday!

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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