On Tuesday I took delivery of my new 30" American Range Performer all-gas range. I was between BlueStar, Capital, and Wolf. I briefly considered NXR but really wanted something made in America with higher BTU output. You can always turn down the heat but you can't really turn it up.
Wolf was nixed due to the rash of complaints about the ovens chipping. It was also far more expensive and to me, didn't seem worth it as at least on paper, with sealed burners, it was the lowest performance cooktop of the bunch.
BlueStar seemingly makes incredible ranges but when considering the "hot oven door" issue and issues with service well-documented, I passed.
The manual clean Capital Culinarian was the only range to really give any serious competition to the Performer. Once I found a deal on the Performer for 3k delivered, my mind was made up. I took a risk buying it sight-unseen and it's not like my area has any dealers for any of the above, I had to rely on reviews from here and GardenWeb to make my decision.
I am so very happy with my decision to get the Performer. I am not a chef by any stretch, just an enthusiastic home cook who appreciates quality tools. I've used every inch of this thing over the past 5 days and have been cooking up a storm. I've baked the same recipe of chocolate chip cookies for over 20 years now. This oven is the first I've used with a convection fan, FWIW. Anyway, the batch I turned out on Thursday night is hands down the best batch I've ever made. Perfectly browned on the outside, fully cooked on the inside with no flattening. They are the "tallest" cookies I've ever made.
Then we have Pizza; I have made three so far and each has been excellent. I have another thread kicking around on here but what I'm doing is heating up my Chef King griddle with the 1800* IR broiler in the Performer to a surface temp of about 700*. Plop the pizza on it, and leave the broiler going for about a minute. Turn the broiler off and the oven back on at 500 and about 3 minutes later I get a crisp, airy crust and fully cooked toppings.
Last night I tried a stir fry and did some beef strips, veggies, and tossed it all in a simple thai sauce. The beef was perfect. Fully browned and seared on the outside, juicy and reddish-pink inside. I used a Mineral B for all of the stir frying, don't have a true wok yet. The heat on both 25k burners is addicting :) The simmer on the 12k burner has allowed me to make the best rice I've ever made, no rice cooker needed. On my old range I would burn rice often because I couldn't get it low enough and I'd have to constantly add water. With the Performer it's boil, add rice, turn to simmer, cover and come back 20 minutes later with a fork. Boiling water? 6 cups in a 3Q sauce pan boils in just about 5 minutes. It was 7.5 on my old range. I have an infrared thermometer and last night I was heating some crisco up in my CS pan to repair some loss of seasoning from the beef I made and in about two minutes, the pan was at almost 600* with a light coating of Crisco. It gets hot, fast.
It has no frills to speak of, it looks squarish and boring, but it cooks like mad and won't set you back a second mortgage to own it. If you're in the market for a pro-style range, check out these guys; they have made ranges for restaurants for a very long time I believe. Regardless, they make a killer range for the home.
I hope this was helpful!
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