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


Stuart Tett
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44 minutes ago, weinoo said:

 

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!

It's reversed - you don't want anything made on Monday when everyone is hungover and not paying attention...

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Honestly, once you are up in that echelon of ranges (I considered 'range of ranges...but it was too early for PUN FUN), they are all very similar.  I ended up going with a Wolf 6 burner, but I have cooked on both Bluestar's and Thermador ranges.  Ultimately I prefer my wolf, but that is personal preference you can establish if you have had a chance to try them all.  They all pump out a ton of heat and are relatively strong workhorses.

 

Equally if not more important is your hood.  No sense in having a super hot range if your going to fill the house with smoke every time you really fire it up. 

 

We ended up with a Sirius hood - the dual motor option of this guy - 4 settings, much preferred to the Wolf hood setup, and on 3 or 4 - ain't no smoke, odor or finite molecular particles escaping this beast!!

 

Easy to remove the grates and wash in the dishwasher too.  Big bonus.  Those get nasty.

 

821812c35700809e63a7e25cd7195aad.jpg

 

 

 

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24 minutes ago, TicTac said:

Honestly, once you are up in that echelon of ranges (I considered 'range of ranges...but it was too early for PUN FUN), they are all very similar.  I ended up going with a Wolf 6 burner, but I have cooked on both Bluestar's and Thermador ranges.  Ultimately I prefer my wolf, but that is personal preference you can establish if you have had a chance to try them all.  They all pump out a ton of heat and are relatively strong workhorses.

 

Equally if not more important is your hood.  No sense in having a super hot range if your going to fill the house with smoke every time you really fire it up. 

 

We ended up with a Sirius hood - the dual motor option of this guy - 4 settings, much preferred to the Wolf hood setup, and on 3 or 4 - ain't no smoke, odor or finite molecular particles escaping this beast!!

 

Easy to remove the grates and wash in the dishwasher too.  Big bonus.  Those get nasty.

 

821812c35700809e63a7e25cd7195aad.jpg

 

 

 

That industrial look is really cool...

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55 minutes ago, KennethT said:

That industrial look is really cool...

Agreed - not mine though (the kitchen, that is), the pic is from the manufactures site.

 

We went with a modern kitchen design.   Though if I ever built again, I would really consider heated concrete floors.

 

 

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On 11/10/2020 at 10:46 AM, weinoo said:

 

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

 

I don't know anything about that particular range. I've seen Consumer Reports-style longterm ownership reports on these ranges, though, and all the high-end brands have a high cost of ownership. Anecdotally, I have a friend with a 48 inch 4-burner plus grill + griddle Wolf range, no electronics (unless the IR broiler has electronics). He's had a couple of expensive repairs. His is pre-SubZero, back when they were made by Wolf. One of his repairs was because the char broiler got all gunked up. The repair guy said the solution was to not use it ("Yeah, you shouldn't barbecue indoors." Thanks for the helpful tip, repair dude!)

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Notes from the underbelly

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Let's face it, @paulraphael, any repair person, coming to any apartment in NYC to fix an appliance, from a Crapmaster 3000 range to a 60" State of The Art Aga, is gonna charge a lot of dough. Unless your appliance is still in warranty. That's just the way of the world here, as you know.

 

I had a problem with my fridge (a mid-range Kitchen Aid) once...still under warranty - cost me $0.

 

But labor rates are crazy. A plumber charges $175 to walk in the door. Service on my car if needed will be $200/hour. Etc.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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38 minutes ago, weinoo said:

Let's face it, @paulraphael, any repair person, coming to any apartment in NYC to fix an appliance, from a Crapmaster 3000 range to a 60" State of The Art Aga, is gonna charge a lot of dough. Unless your appliance is still in warranty. That's just the way of the world here, as you know.

 

I had a problem with my fridge (a mid-range Kitchen Aid) once...still under warranty - cost me $0.

 

But labor rates are crazy. A plumber charges $175 to walk in the door. Service on my car if needed will be $200/hour. Etc.

Labor rates are similar here in Portland, OR. Not really any better than when I was in San Francisco.

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1 minute ago, Stuart Tett said:

Labor rates are similar here in Portland, OR. Not really any better than when I was in San Francisco.

 

Right - and you're pretty much paying mostly for labor when you bring someone in to make a fix, though I'm sure whatever parts are needed are marked up extensively. And if the problem first requires a diagnosis, then a repair after the correct parts are procured, expect to pay labor twice.

 

I noticed a little crack in one of my refrigerator door gaskets - rather than bring in a repair person to do the job, I ordered the gasket from an authorized parts dealer - it was like $150. The only problem is that it's still sitting in my closet, cause I'm afraid if I try to replace the gasket, I'll never get the new one onto the door.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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I think there are a few hi-ends (not those discussed) that are more prone, whether shitty construction or fancy features that eventually get fried.  I remember when I was researching how beautiful and economical (compared to other hi-ends) the Bertazzoni's were but I found many complaints in the blogs.  I think Miele was another.  

That wasn't chicken

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Knock on wood, I have had my Wolf for 10 years without any need to call a repair man.

 

I did have some issues with the igniter clicking and just had to youtube a video on how to clean it properly.  If taken apart (it is amazing how well they engineer these things) and cleaned regularly, no reason why I would see there would be these maintenance costs previously eluded to.  Granted I have the gas oven model, the electric one might have more moving parts which might increase the odds of something going wrong. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, weinoo said:

Let's face it, @paulraphael, any repair person, coming to any apartment in NYC to fix an appliance, from a Crapmaster 3000 range to a 60" State of The Art Aga, is gonna charge a lot of dough. Unless your appliance is still in warranty. That's just the way of the world here, as you know.

 

I had a problem with my fridge (a mid-range Kitchen Aid) once...still under warranty - cost me $0.

 

But labor rates are crazy. A plumber charges $175 to walk in the door. Service on my car if needed will be $200/hour. Etc.

 

My friend is a Chicago suburb. 

 

I'm not trying to badmouth these appliances. Just repeating what I learned from my own research when exploring possible new purchases. It's like buying a BMW ... they don't just cost more to buy, they cost more to maintain and to keep going. I don't know WHY this would be with an all-mechanical, heavy duty thing, but I've heard the same story from many people. 

Notes from the underbelly

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I'll let you know if that happens to me - with my dishwasher or range or range hood. It hasn't yet - going on 3 years, and my last d/w of same brand was 12 years with never a problem, so...

 

As far as cars, well - let's face it - someone may drive that BMW like an asshole, or someone may drive that BMW like a church lady - who knows? Driving in NYC/Chicago is very different than driving in say, Sacramento. Different roads, different winter weather. Hard to do comparisons like that. But yes, repairs on the BMW/Bezn/Audi line tend to be costlier than on Hondas and Mazdas. Everything in cars (and appliances) isn't necessarily about the cost of ownership - some stuff is way more psychological to people.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

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

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Also, let me put it another way. Some people look at cooking as a chore - they hate it, and only do it because they'd starve otherwise.  Other people love being in the kitchen, and spend a lot of time in there - maybe they want stuff to make them happy when they're cooking. Perhaps that Blue Star/Wolf/Thermador fulfills that need - can you put a price on that?

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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5 hours ago, weinoo said:

I noticed a little crack in one of my refrigerator door gaskets - rather than bring in a repair person to do the job, I ordered the gasket from an authorized parts dealer - it was like $150. The only problem is that it's still sitting in my closet, cause I'm afraid if I try to replace the gasket, I'll never get the new one onto the door.

 

I did this a couple of years ago, and it's actually not hard but I'll give you the benefit of my dumbass mista experience.

 

First, *do* open up and unfold the gasket and put it in a warm place until all of the folds, wrinkles and crinkles unfold and it assumes its proper rectangular shape. If you have old-school rads, those are a good place to drape it (after taking suitable precautions to prevent melting, etc). I "didn't have time" to do this properly, but later was forced to make the time to take it off and start over after doing so. The instructions from the manufacturer said this was a necessity, but I figured it would "pull into shape" once it was stretched around the door. I'm sometimes smart like that.

 

Second, the way to do this is emphatically not in situ, it's FAR easier to remove the door and lay it flat in a suitable space. That means making plans to protect the food inside, which I didn't do because I was winging it and hadn't realized what a pain it would be to put the seal around the door while it's on the freezer. My on-the-fly solution was to duct tape a comforter over the opening, but of course if you can organize a couple of picnic coolers and some ice that would be a superior option.

 

Once the door is off the freezer (usually just a few screws) and laid flat, putting the actual gasket on is no more complicated than sealing a Ziploc bag (except much, much, bigger of course). Once it's on, and you've checked that it fits nice and snug all the way around, it helps to have someone to either a) hold the door in place on its pin while you replace the screws; or b) replace the screws while you hold the door in place.

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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7 hours ago, weinoo said:

Let's face it, @paulraphael, any repair person, coming to any apartment in NYC to fix an appliance, from a Crapmaster 3000 range to a 60" State of The Art Aga, is gonna charge a lot of dough. Unless your appliance is still in warranty. That's just the way of the world here, as you know.

 

I had a problem with my fridge (a mid-range Kitchen Aid) once...still under warranty - cost me $0.

 

But labor rates are crazy. A plumber charges $175 to walk in the door. Service on my car if needed will be $200/hour. Etc.

Lawyers charge less

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6 hours ago, paulraphael said:

 

My friend is a Chicago suburb. 

 

I'm not trying to badmouth these appliances. Just repeating what I learned from my own research when exploring possible new purchases. It's like buying a BMW ... they don't just cost more to buy, they cost more to maintain and to keep going. I don't know WHY this would be with an all-mechanical, heavy duty thing, but I've heard the same story from many people. 

Certainly true for the used Audi I bought.

Never again.

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1 hour ago, chromedome said:

 

I did this a couple of years ago, and it's actually not hard but I'll give you the benefit of my dumbass mista experience.

 

First, *do* open up and unfold the gasket and put it in a warm place until all of the folds, wrinkles and crinkles unfold and it assumes its proper rectangular shape. If you have old-school rads, those are a good place to drape it (after taking suitable precautions to prevent melting, etc). I "didn't have time" to do this properly, but later was forced to make the time to take it off and start over after doing so. The instructions from the manufacturer said this was a necessity, but I figured it would "pull into shape" once it was stretched around the door. I'm sometimes smart like that.

 

Second, the way to do this is emphatically not in situ, it's FAR easier to remove the door and lay it flat in a suitable space. That means making plans to protect the food inside, which I didn't do because I was winging it and hadn't realized what a pain it would be to put the seal around the door while it's on the freezer. My on-the-fly solution was to duct tape a comforter over the opening, but of course if you can organize a couple of picnic coolers and some ice that would be a superior option.

 

Once the door is off the freezer (usually just a few screws) and laid flat, putting the actual gasket on is no more complicated than sealing a Ziploc bag (except much, much, bigger of course). Once it's on, and you've checked that it fits nice and snug all the way around, it helps to have someone to either a) hold the door in place on its pin while you replace the screws; or b) replace the screws while you hold the door in place.

Oh god. None of this is happening..

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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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On 11/11/2020 at 3:31 PM, weinoo said:

I'll let you know if that happens to me - with my dishwasher or range or range hood. It hasn't yet - going on 3 years, and my last d/w of same brand was 12 years with never a problem, so...

 

As far as cars, well - let's face it - someone may drive that BMW like an asshole, or someone may drive that BMW like a church lady - who knows? Driving in NYC/Chicago is very different than driving in say, Sacramento. Different roads, different winter weather. Hard to do comparisons like that. But yes, repairs on the BMW/Bezn/Audi line tend to be costlier than on Hondas and Mazdas. Everything in cars (and appliances) isn't necessarily about the cost of ownership - some stuff is way more psychological to people.

 

All of this stuff is just about odds. An appliance with a terrible repair rate might have a 25% chance of expensive failure in the first 10 years. That would still mean you've got a 75% chance of no serious trouble. And I'm not talking anyone out of buying anything. Personally, I'd love a Bluestar range. I just think it's a good idea to get all the information and do the math before committing.

 

It also makes sense to consider who you can get to make the repairs. In a big city you've got lots of choices, but if you live farther afield, access to qualified service could be a reason to choose one brand over another.

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Notes from the underbelly

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