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blue star vs capital culinarian cooktop

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

recently bought a house with a viking 6 burner cooktop and a downdraft vent - which i hate due to lack of btus, very poor flame pattern and useless downdraft vent; can't wait to get that system out of here

 

will either go with blue star or the new capital; 22,000 btu for blue star vs 23,000 for capital; star burner pattern for blue star vs 3 concentric circles for capital (which on paper seems to leave a dead spot in the middle); i' have seen the blue star in use but not the capital yet

 

either seems to be a major improvement from what i have and hopefully close enough to real commercial ( i used to cook professionally) so i don't have to go with a 30,000 btu vulcan and then all the stuff (e.g. fire control system) that a full commercial unit requires

 

anybody have any direct experince with the blue star and/or capital culinarian that you can share?

 

thanks

post #2 of 21

I've loved the bageebies out of every Bluestar that I've ever cooked on. If I wasn't economically strapped, and my home kitchen was bigger, it's what I would have myself. The only glitch I've ever had is that I'm not very tall. I'm sorta kinda round. Bluestars are not small units.

post #3 of 21

I have recently become semi-obsessed with Bluestar.  There are lots of threads on the gardenweb  appliance forum. I saw a Bluestar at a store, but while they had a Capital, it wasn't the Culinarian model. 

post #4 of 21

Culi has great high heat.  

 

I was originally having a problem on "simmer" setting as the ignitors were clicking incessantly, so I double-stacked grates running a higher flame setting for achieving low heat. Now the ignitors are quiet.

 

post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Markin Kansas View Post

Culi has great high heat.  

 

I was originally having a problem on "simmer" setting as the ignitors were clicking incessantly, so I double-stacked grates running a higher flame setting for achieving low heat. Now the ignitors are quiet.

 

 

Do you have the old style burners with nothing in the center (under the igniter) vs. a metal disk? If so, I believe Capital will replace the burner assemblies for you - we had the clicking problem at low heat settings, but the new burners almost entirely fixed the problem. I can now simmer very well, even with small pans. I also invested in a copper diffuser plate, which helps further with super low-heat cooking.

 

Love the Culinarian overall, and compared to any other residential range I've used, it's amazing to cook on. The heat dispersion is very even, and for almost all applications, there's more than enough firepower. For me, having a wok grate that holds the wok so securely (and a little bit above the flame) is a big plus vs. Blue Star -- yes, you get it a little hotter by sitting it closer, but the flames will spread out more, rather than being focused on the bottom. Look at the design of commercial wok burners (with a large chamber and jet burners) to see what I mean. Still wish someone would make a range with 30k+ burners for home use -- I was drooling over Garland's commercial range with 33k BTU/hr open burners in a star pattern.

post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 

update - i got the culinarian; couple of immediate issues that surfaced upon first use; grate pattern isn't optimal - you can't slide pans around (especially smaller ones) without a tipping risk as there are some 'holes' in the pattern; i have a self clean - the oven racks are the worst i have ever encountered in any stove - they're on 4 flimsy little wheels which makes the rack very wobbly and also difficult to pull out completely and relocate to another level (especially if hot) - whoever designed those never used it; last point - the oven vent behind the rear burners is raised and is too close to the burner such that you can't center a large pot on teh back burners

 

now we're trying to get the hood setup right - tip: be careful to base your hood size decisions on the internal/operative size of the hood (i.e. the part that actually tents/captures/removes fumes - not the external dimension of the hood box which may have 6 inches or so on non venting dead space; similarly consider the depth of the operative dimension of the hood - especially if in an island setting; we made this mistake and now likely will junk a wolf hood that's too small and possibly have to do a custom

post #7 of 21

I am having the same dilemma...BlueStar RNB vs. Culinarian.  Like the Bluestar burner config better, oven width better. Culi is a looker! Blue star more utilitarian. Any input on broiler performance?  Is under glass broiler better then infrared ceramic?

post #8 of 21

We are also considering a 36" CC and I noticed the 2 issues you brought up.  The racks

were not good at all.  The manual clean probably work better.  Also noticed the spacing on the

grates and wondered if it was an issue.  The other discussion was whether the burners would

go low enough for a true simmer.  We did look at BluStar and the oven racks were great.

The fit and finish were more industrial, but the range does not protude as far as the CC.

This range will be in an island and we are looking at a 42" x 27" modernaire hood with a remote fan.

Any suggestions as to why one range over another or hood choices will be appreciated

 

cobalt21

post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 

at low simmer, you fight the clicking - question is how low is low; as somebody above pointed out, you can double stack the grates

 

i have also put mine in an island setting which makes venting much more of a challenge; i would strongly suggest that the 42" inch hood is too small; mistake we made was using the outside dimension of the hood (42")  vs the actual operating dimension internally (~36"); same issue re depth; you want 3 + inches of active hood coverage (i.e. the portion of the hood that actually captures and exhausts fume vs the flat non operative borders of the hood frame) beyond the outer edge of you pan on the burners; we used a 42" wolf and then very quickly found out that we lost about 4-6" of active hood coverage due to the shell; now trying to get a stainless steel specialist to basically put about a 3-4 inch flange angled at about 45 degress all around the outer edge of the hood shell to better capture fumes; if this doesn't work, we take this one down and get the next size (though the depth problems would still impair the next size wolf); have had some discussions with the modernaire expert to make a custom (46" wide  and deeper) - the likely plan B; also, we initially started with a 900cf motor - too small - pulled that and put in the 1200cf motor which helped but still not there

 

self clean oven racks are a joke - whoever designed/approved them should be fired; be sure you check them out

post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 

one more point; the blue star burners are not fully adjustable (why not  is beyond me); that was the single point that got me to the CC; otherwise i would have gone with the blue star

post #11 of 21

Midnight,

 

I'm 99% decided on a Capital Culinarian range (60"), but my wife is an avid baker. I notice you're a professional baker. Have you done much baking with your Culinarian? How is the oven on it? I've heard complaints that the heat is uneven, cooking about 10% faster on the left side of the oven. What's your experience?

 

She'd really like to have full sheet (18 x 26) capability, and she likes the uneven ovens of the CC (small oven for most tasks, large oven for bigger tasks). She really likes electronic oven controls, which I don't think are an option with slide-in ranges, at least not the commercial-style ranges. Any comments on the controls would be awesome too. Thanks!

 

David

post #12 of 21

Husband and I are updating and remodeling kitchen. I have always had electric ovens and stove top. My dream has been to always own a pro gas range. After much research, I have narrowed my two choices down to Capital Culinarian 60" vs Bluestar 60"; both with griddle and charbroiler.  The date is : 6/7/2012... which means a lot of the issues and problems may be straightened out with the ranges. Bluestar I heard had poor service. It is an excellent range and the star shaped open burners are awesome. After doing comparisons and chefs showing the differences between the two...I am now strongly leaning towards the Capital Culinarian. It has 23,000 BTU's on ALL burners and simmer on all. True simmer  ?  well, can be accomplished easily. But melts choc. easily without burn and seems to be a good simmer. We are dumping $70,000 into redoing EVERYTHING in the ktch., new tile, new cabinets  and top appliances. A true Chef's kitchen.

 I like how Capital range has their igniters sealed and protected causing less breakage. Both ranges have open burners. Bluestaryou  can add an extra 22,000 BTU if you request at an extra cost. There is not much data yet on the Culinarian...but I loved the history and story of the brilliant engineer and CEO of the company from India. 

Capital Culinarian seems to have all that the Bluestar offers plus an extra 1,000 BTUs on each OPEN burner. I watched the chefs demos on cooking several items and see that each matches the other on flame distribution, etc. However, the CC seems to be on top.

The service is excellent for the CC. BS not as good. BS looks more commerical and doesn't look as nice. I was disappointed in the Wolf 60"  due to having SEMI open burners and only going up to 16,000 BTUs. Looks beautiful, but not what I want. GAS ovens seem to always have hot spots; but now since they made the ovens convection with fans, the air circulates distributes heat more evenly. CC gives you a rotisserie which is a NICE feature to have. Can cook two 15 lb. turkeys at once. It also offers self cleaning ovens on a GAS which is very nice. Next year I hear the CC will also offer Dual fuel ovens. Some showrooms show the dual fuel, but it isn't offered yet. Good for bakers. However, from the demos I saw, the CC gas ovens did an excellent job on pasties  suffles' and pies. The oven temp. seems to be dead on in temperature. On some things you cook, yes, you may just have to rotate your pan if one side seems to cook faster. I think it is because the element box is on that side of oven? Don't hold me to as why? But there was a reason. ;-)

I also found out I can get a 48" oven AND a 24" oven on the 60" if requested. I like a little bigger oven  for the smaller oven. Overall, CC seems to blow Bluestar away. That is actually WHY it was created. To compete with the Bluestar .Before that, it had not too many competitors unless it was a commercial range for a restaurante. CC seems to pass BS by on the BTUs on ALL burners, simmers on all the burners, open flame on all the burners, rotisserie in the oven and self clean and igniters sealed and protected.. Little complaints on any breakages or issues. It also has a flame adjuster if the burner isn't burning as hot. Very easy to do.This is a BIG investment...and I was sold on the Bluestar until I met the Captial Culinarian. Again, BS had a lot of issues on their service. That is its main fault which to me is a big one. Most ranges without an open burner NOT sealed, has been the cause of why BS became so popular. Now Capital holds its own and gives alittle more then BS. Would love feedback on someone who has used BOTH. From my research, all the chefs seemed to praise how the CC worked. Good luck...

post #13 of 21

need to also mention, Bluestar has issues with igniter breaks... I was also told...DO NOT SKIM ON THE HOOD AND VENITALATION. With the high BTU's it is very important to measure hood correctly. The high BTU burners throw off a lot of heat, and without a good pro hood...you will regret it and have a VERY hot kitchen.

post #14 of 21

update:  my new remodeled kitchen is midway to completion. I designed my new Chef's kitchen to be a Tuscan style kitchen with Italian style cabinets. My beamed  20' ceilings are almost complete. They have imitation styrofoam beans now that look so real and awesome that you cannot tell the difference and they cost much less. All appliances have been ordered and some shipped. I went with a Meile dishwasher, a Sharp microwave draw, a Wolf 30' single electric oven, a 60" Capital Culinarian range with charbroiler/griddle and six  23,000 BTU burners, with wok grate and two gas convection ovens.Our hood will be a Vent-A Hood 1500 CFM, Wolf wine cooler, subzero refrigerator.All appliances are stainless steel along with the range. We went with an ALL stainless steal backsplash and hood to the range, mostly because the high heat burners  and any grease splatter can easily be washed off without staining. We are playing it safe by cutting out our drywall to the back of the CC range and adding durarock drywall for fire protection. With having the back burners at 23,000 BTU LP gas, we are being extra cautious. 20 X 20 tile imatation marble porcelian tile with rectified edges does away with having grout lines that are just paper thin. I am so thrilled after months of researching to own the Capital Culinarian 60 " gas range. orginally it was going to be the Bluestar until I research the CC. Alot of pluses. The gas convection oven has a built in rotisserie and also self cleans. I am so thrilled to see the kitchen all completed so I can start using my CC range. I added an electric oven just for one oven to have the dry heat necessary for avid baking. The gas ovens are great for moisture and cooking meats. it bakes well too...but best to have the best of both worlds. Will post pics of the completed Chef's kitchen in a few weeks.CC was specifically built to compete with the Bluestar range. Both are restuarant commercial style ranges built for the home. I feel that CC goes the extra mile with ALL burners at 23,000 BTUs, true simmer on all burners, gas convection ovens with built in rotisserie and self cleaning ovens. BS only gives 2 burners at 22,000 BTUs  with and added price to add another 22,000 BTU burner; the stove has an unfinished look and the igniters are designed better on the CC with less chance for breakage. CC also has a flame burner adjustor. I have  LP ready from factory and just had LP out and was told I will NOT lose any BTUs on my burners. 

post #15 of 21

I have decades of experience as a professional chef, restaurant owner, caterer, and baker, and cook at home extensively.  I have cooked on every conceivable commercial device, from french flat tops to camp burners.  At home, I have owned Thermador, Viking, Capital, and Wolf.  Based on all this, I can say that Capital was the absolute worst range I ever cooked on, for a host of reasons, and I would caution anyone against buying a Capital, even though it seems to have a lot of neat features.  I presently have a basic all-gas Wolf, 48", with four burners, flat griddle, and BBQ grill, and I really love it.  In fact, the grill on it compares favorably with many commercial grills I have used, and is better than many.

 

I like all-gas because of the faster response, and also because in case of a power outage the ovens will still work drawing only a modest current from our generator.  The Wolf does not have as many BTUs as some ranges, but that can be an illusory distinction.  For everyday cooking serving 2 - 10 people, it has plenty of output.  We use mainly heavy tin-lined copper, and do not lack for heat.  I do like having the flat griddle, though, because that is best for heavy duty searing and frying, such as browning meat for stews, sauteeing veggies, or even stir-frying.  Both the griddle and the BBQ are powered by infrared  sources, which provide great response and nice even heat.  There is also an infrared broiler in the oven which works very well, although as with any such broiler it is in an awkward place to use.  Certainly good for crostini or the occasional broiled fish, but less convenient for broiling steaks.

 

About the Capital -- it looks well designed and well made, but ours arrived not functioning and despite struggling with repairs for over a year, the Capital folks never really lived up to their warranty.  The ovens were mis-calibrated, and even after calibration burned stuff on the bottom and left it raw on top.  The flat griddle would not hold a steady temperature, and died when we put a lot of food on it.  It was also very uneven, and you couldn't cook 6 pancakes at one time because those on one side would burn before those on the other started browning.  The char grill was OK, but nowhere near as good as that on the Wolf, and another problem was that the grates were loose and tended to fall down when you cleaned them.  There were some other annoying things as well -- for example, the grates on the burners did not give good coverage so smaller pans did not balance well, and they had little rubber feet that fell out, so the grates scratched the base surface and rocked slightly.  The worst thing was the responsiveness of the warranty department, though.  They simply did not seem to care that their stove was not working right!  In fact, as we continued to complain, they sent a rep from the regional distributor, but it seemed not so much to figure out how to fix the problem, as to confirm that we actually had a problem.  They simply did not take our word for it that flames were coming up out of the back of the griddle.  Yet another problem:  Capital crams stuff in behind the front control panel so tightly that repairmen had trouble packing it all back in, leaving the panel bowed out.  

 

Incidentally, eventually I had to sue Capital because they could not get the range going, but the dealer stepped in and credited me the full price of the range, so I paid the difference and got the Wolf I now have.  Ironically, the Wolf had a small warranty problem too, but the dealer was able to fix that quickly and I have had no further problems.  This further confirms that there are some fundamental design flaws with the Capital.

 

Previously, we had an older Viking, and I don't want to comment on that because it was an old design so I don't know about the new ones.  We also had a Thermador about 8 years ago which we really loved also.  The griddle on that was the best I have seen, but they have replaced that model because the griddle was steel and could rust (heat response on carbon steel is about three times better than on stainless).  Another problem with the Thermador we had, as with all closed burner models, is that the heat comes out sideways from the burner, so the heat tends to spread in a circle (or star with the new Thermadors) with nothing in the middle.  That makes cooking with small pans very difficult.  Another annoying feature is that the extra-low power on Thermador works extremely well for melting chocolate or keeping things just warm, but it does it by turning the burner on and off, so there is a constant clicking of the ignitors.  However, the functionality was excellent.

 

Hope this helps people considering new purchases.

post #16 of 21

as a professional chef ...not much gets by me regarding anything culinary, from knives, to food and even training and staffing, getting the most out of  everything that I'm in contact with... 

my own personal thoughts on the bluestar or capital culinarian line, both systems works well in regards to even heating,

bluestar type burners have been around for ages and most of the pros are using them in most institutions for good-fast

reliable heating,

capital's culinarian line, with the new burner is top notch, with the guts that easily come apart and ease of cleaning and replacement parts (if necessary),  just like professional units, and thoses BTU's one of the highest in the industry,

the 36" model will also accomidate full size baking sheets,,, finally ..for me thats a blessing in disguise, as I'm also a certified baker, and the oven is equiped with convection for even heat distrubution, over all this is one of the best profession in home units I have seen to date... just to let you know.  I too... looking to buy a new range and torn between the 48" or 36"..

decisions decisions decisions???.... don"t forget ...Capital is made in the good old U.S.of A.  so replacement parts are here.

and it looks soooo sexy...can't wait for mine to start cooking ....where was this unit 50 years ago?.........cheers

post #17 of 21

Just remodeled my kitchen and put in a Capital Culinarian. It took aehile due to poermits and reinpections. I absolutely love my Capital Culinarian. Mine is a 60" with a grill and a griddle and 6 burners. I love that ALL my burners at at 23,000BTUs and all go to a true simmer. The two gas ovens have covection and are the larger oven has a rotisserie. The ovens also self clean. I created a true chef's kitchen and also love the wok grate which costs extra but holds you wok easily firm in place. The high  heat is for wok cooking. My husband put in a 1500 CFM hood to accompdate any smoke issues  with dual fans and warming lights. I am totally pleased with its function and looks. When range was drop shipped in crate to appliance store it damaged my wire hook up to my griddle. Service was great on fixing it and it works great. Although I am NOT a pro chef, I am an advid cook and a  good one. I understand that when using the convection gas ovens...  my recipes I usually cook must be dropped temperature wise 25% then called for OR you can cut yor time by 15 or 20 minutes to recipe. Convection cooks faster. It will take alittle experimenting till I balance using the ovens with my previous recipes, but I am amazed at its a power and its efficiency. I watched videos of chefs using my gas range by googling  cooking on capital culinarian. they helped teach me how to adjust my flame on burners or lower it lower if I wanted or needed too. they also demo-ed  cooking chocolate and butter showing its true simmer. It was very helpful on several cooking techniques. This chef also compared bluestar to capital range ...in the end capital culinarian blew away alot of bluestars abilities  and matched many as well. I am happy with my beautiful powerful force in my kitchen and its look is stunning as well.

post #18 of 21

Sorry...typos from typing too fast. So i reposted.

 

Just remodeled my kitchen and put in a Capital Culinarian. It took awhile due to permits and inspections. I absolutely love my Capital Culinarian. Mine is a 60" with a grill and a griddle and 6 burners. I love that ALL my burners are at 23,000 BTUs and all burners go down to a true simmer. The two gas ovens have convection and the larger oven has a rottisserie. The ovens are also self clean for a gas oven. I designed a true chef's kitchen and  love the wok grate on my range which costs extra, but holds your wok easily and firmly in place. The high  heat is great  for wok cooking. My husband put in a 1500 CFM hood to accommodate any smoke issues  with dual fans and warming lights for food. I am totally pleased with its function and its looks. When the  range was drop shipped in crate to the appliance store,+ it damaged my wire hook up to my griddle. Service was great on fixing it and it works great now. Although I am NOT a pro chef, I am an avid cook and a  good one. I understand that when using the convection gas ovens... my recipes I usually cook must be dropped by  temperature-wise 25% then it called for OR you can cut yor time by 15 or 20 minutes to the recipe. Convection cooks faster. It will take alittle experimenting till I balance using the ovens with my previous recipes, but I am amazed at its  power and its efficiency. I watched videos of chefs using my  capital culinarian gas range by googling  "cooking on capital culinarian". it helped teach me how to adjust my flame on burners or lower it lower if I wanted or needed too. they also demo-ed  cooking chocolate and butter showing its true simmer. It was very helpful on several cooking techniques. This chef also compared bluestar to capital range ...in the end capital culinarian blew away alot of bluestars abilities  and matched many of it as well. I am happy with my beautiful powerful force in my kitchen and it looks stunning as well. In most gas oven the suggest rotating your pans in case if cooking too much faster on one side or other.

post #19 of 21

I know that this thread is older and I know that there have been a lot of changes to the models since this thread was started but I am looking into both of these 30" open burner rangetops and can't decide which one I want.  I am leaning towards the Capital as it seems easier to clean, possibly better customer service, and it's a bit cheaper (not by much though).  So any thoughts or follow-up from the early posters would be greatly appreciated.  Captial Culinarian or Bluestar RNB?

post #20 of 21

I know it doesn't answer your question but food for thought. With the current price of those two models approaching the $7,000 mark, that same amount of money will buy a 6 burner commercial range, a 7' commercial hood with both blowers and a fire suppression system. (Doesn't include installation.)  That's almost enough encouragement to get inventive and figure out a way to do it "legally" in a residence. 

post #21 of 21

We looked at this option. Unfortunately we were told that Garland could not honor the warranty if the range was installed in a residential setting (even if zoned C2A if the house is used primarily as a residence) and our home insurance representative firmly stated that if we used a professional range we would not be covered for any damages which resulted from its use. So we are purchasing a BlueStar and paying double :(

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