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Advice on buying a commercial style freestanding range for the home - Page 2

post #31 of 36

I never post anything on the internet yet I thought this issue was something that people that are willing to spend big dollars on a high end stove should be aware of:

 

I recently purchased a 48" Capital Culinarian series MCOR486B - I love the look of the stove and the burners worked as expected.  The burners have a very high heat and it took a little getting used to, but I had carefully researched all of the pros and cons of purchasing a residential-commercial stove, so I was prepared for this learning curve. 

 

However, the first time that I used the oven I discovered that the oven racks could not be pulled out of the oven.  My mother had prepared a very large pork roast and nearly burned her arms reaching into the oven when putting in the roast as the racks wouldn't budge. 

 

I reported this issue to Plesser's where I purchased the stove, as well as a high end microwave, high end refrigerator, and a high end dish washer, yet they told me to contact the manufacturer directly, so I did.  The manufacturer told me that this was a defect which they were aware of and that the rails and racks needed to be replaced.  I thought that was an odd solution to the problem as it seemed to me that the oven walls were over expanding and not the racks.   The tech also said that this issue had been fixed at the manufacturing level at the beginning of the year.  He also said that they have since changed the manufacturing of the gas tank and the rails at manufacturing.  Plesser's said that they got the stove through a distributor, so I can only assume that the distributor had these sitting in his warehouse or the defect would have been fixed from manufacturing.

 

I became very uncomfortable with the idea that Capital wanted to only replace the rails when it seemed that the oven was having some pretty severe issues.   I have cooked in many low end ovens, some that cost as $300 and I have never had a problem with a stove before.  Yet, this $8,000 stove can't even get the most basic oven functionality working to satisfaction.  I requested a full replacement of the stove and requested to speak to a manager.  It has been nearly 2 weeks since I reported the issue and no one has called me to schedule a repair call.  After 3 more calls to Capital I finally got a call today from a manager from Capital and he basically told me that I have nothing to fear, that Capital has MY best interest in mind and that they will not replace the stove.  Plesser's refuses to take back the stove and I am now supposed to just let Capital mask the bigger problem with oven by simply replacing the rails and putting in smaller racks.  I would imagine that if the stove walls continue to expand the way that they do the replacement rails will eventually become loose or warped and my lovely stove will be long out of warranty by then.  If I can't get the manufacturer to stand behind their product while it is a couple of days old and under warranty what should I expect in 3 years?   I will let you know how it turns out.

 

post #32 of 36

I thought I would weigh in on this discussion. I live in a residential cohousing community. We have a common house where we prepare community meals for 30+ people 5 days per week.

We purchased a commercial-residential a.k.a. commercial-style, a.k.a. Pro-style oven-range 14 years ago and have been using it all this time. Its a 36-inch wide DCS brand all-gas oven and stove with 6 stove burners.

 

Here is our experience - generally it has worked well but with several instances (I estimate about 10 in 14 years) of needing repair. The oven door especially has been prone to breaking and/or not working correctly. As for use, it was pretty good in the early years, but for about the last 4 years and now at age 14 it has numerous problems and we are looking for a replacement. We have a handyman in our community who does all our repair work and he thinks the DCS design is poor (especially the door but also the burners).

 

Our hood was originally a residential one we found 2nd-hand. It failed after about 3 years so we kept the hood shell and bought a robust motor and fan that we mounted on the roof, thus improving air flow (with a higher wattage motor) as well as noise (motor is on the roof further away from stove). That said, our hood isn't silent, it does still make a significant amount of noise.

 

I visited a local appliance dealer and asked general questions about these Commercial-residential style ranges and here is what he said

  1)  Most of the brands for this class of range lack the robustness to endure heavy repeated use over many years. They are built for residences and will generally work well in that usage environment. The usage environment I have (30+ people 5 days per week) is well above the residence usage environment.

  2)  The Blue Star brand is one exception to the lack of durability and robustness and will last for years

  3)  These Commercial-residential style ranges are suited for use in the home. A true commercial style range or oven requires major design modifications to the kitchen including not having cabinets next to them (due to the high heat they put out).

  4)  The Blue Star ranges can be configured with different BTU capacity burners. I believe he said that you can configure 2 of the 6 burners so they have up to 25,000 BTU's each or as low as 12,000 BTUs each.

  5)  While all ranges come in standard exterior widths (i.e. 30-inch, 36-inch, 48-inch) the interior oven width is NOT standard and you can find oven sizes all over the map. Hence be sure what oven size you need and measure before you buy. Even measure your pans to see if they will fit.

 

Here are my observations and research results

  a)  The dealer I spoke with carries Blue Star so no surprise that he was extolling its virtues. Having said that he also carries all the major brands (e.g. Viking, DCS, Fisher and Paykel, Wolf, KitchenAid, Dacor, Jenn-Air, Bertazzoni and others) so its difficult to determine just how reliable his comments are. Maybe he gets a higher profit margin with Blue Star and so pushes that brand, or maybe he is telling the truth and Blue Star really is a more robust and durable product in this class of ranges.

 b)   DCS and Fisher and Paykel are two brands made by the same company. I have no personal experience with Fisher & Paykel.

 c)  Consumer Reports has rated Pro-style ranges. They rated one 30-inch Blue Star model and it came in at the lowest rating. They didn't test a 36-inch Blue Star model but they did test 36-inch models in other brands. However I also noted that durability or robustness isn't among Consumer Reports' rated criteria. They rated usage traits like "Cooktop high", "Cooktop low", "Baking", "Broiling", "Oven Capacity", "Self Cleaning". One might conclude that a low rating in one model of a brand indicates a low rating in another model of that same brand. But I have followed Consumer Reports for more than 30 years. In my experience it is somewhat common for CR to declare a given model of an appliance as "Best" and at the same time declare another model by the same brand much lower (sometimes even poor). So what does this mean for the Blue Star Brand? Its hard to say since they didn't test a 36-inch model or any other models other than one 30-inch from Blue Star. It isn't a good sign to me but I think not necessarily conclusive. I would need more info to make a decision.

  d)  Our experience with DCS seems to reflect what the appliance sales guy I spoke with said, i.e. it lacks a robustness for heavy use. I have no experience with any other brand of this commercial-residential class of ranges so I can't speak directly to those but perhaps what the sales guy said is true, most brands of this class lack this robustness.

  e)  Blue Star is U.S. made.

 

  f)  I found this article about Prizer-Painter Stove Works which is who makes the Blue Star brand. http://businessweekly.readingeagle.com/a-rolls-royce-of-ranges/

 

I have questions of my own -

  Q1)  When someone declares Commercial-Residential style ranges as "Finicky" does this apply to all brands and sizes (30-inch, 36-inch, 48-inch) and if so do they have experience with all those brands and sizes?

  Q2)  I was leaning toward Blue Star brand until I read the Consumer Reports article. So now I need more information. Not sure where to get it. I was hoping this site might help.

post #33 of 36

I am a chef and now teach. I own a basic gas stove with a convection oven. It's white, not stainless steel. It works extremely well. I would never opt for a commercial oven in my home, the heat from the pilot lights alone would add to my a/c costs apart from the need for additional costs of ventilation. Totally unnecessary for home use unless you are planning on catering from your home, and a it pretentious if not.

post #34 of 36

Since the tread is still open I thought I'd add my 2 cents. I cooked on fishing boats that use diesel fuel, old yachts that use coal and a number of restaurants. I put in a 6 burner Viking 8 years ago as I like how tough it is, I entertain 8-30 people at a time, and I know the extended use past normal family use is something the Viking can handle. Previously I had a 4 burner glass top 500$ job that was fine for family use. Of course for the price of the Viking I could have burned through 10 of those stoves! But its tough and i can slide pots and pans around on it with impunity.

It is a pain in the ass to clean a non sealed burner stove. Its a 1-2 hour operation. But its also a piece of furniture and a focal point of the kitchen. like the pros said, a pure commercial unit is a bit overkill in many respects. But heh, if you have deep pockets what the heck.

post #35 of 36
I too am in need of advice. I've been looking for new range for a while now. I just came across a brand new 48" wolf six burner range top with griddle go an unbelievable price advertised locally on Kijiji. I knew it was too big for my home but I had to buy it! It's a 2008 but it was new in the box and I got it for $1000. Here's where the delema starts. I can trade it off at s local dealer whom I know for a Bluestar Rnb30 all gas or sell it to him for double or maybe triple my money. I was set on maybe getting the Bluestar but I just found a 36" six burner dcs on clearence for $3000. So do I get the Bluestar or Dcs
post #36 of 36

If your choice is between the Blue Star an the DCS, go with the Blue Star.

 

All the ranges (and 1 cooktop) we have had in our cooking school for the past 16 years are dual energy Five Star ranges,all with open burners and none of them has ever given us any trouble whatsoever!

 

We have NEVER had one single problem with them.  They are fabulous ranges.  The heat output on the burners is easy to control - from simmering a delicate sauce to searing meat. One of the stoves has a griddle, which frankly we never ever use.  However, we did have one of the stoves retro-fitted with a flame grill which is terrific, except it is a bit of a pain to clean.

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