Cookware 55

New range - Blue Star or Viking or Capital - or something else?

mrsjenpeters | Feb 20, 2012 11:52 AM

Looking for some advice on a new range. Seems the more research I do, the less sure I am. :)

We are looking at 30" models. All gas or dual fuel. Convection oven not a must, but would be nice (I like to bake, but we mainly use the oven for cooking). Must have metal knobs. Self clean vs manual clean is not a deal breaker. We cook A LOT and are essentially looking for a work horse that will stand up to daily use, with multiple burners and the oven going at the same time. Don't need any frills - no fancy gadgets or options or styling. We'd go true commercial if we had the required wall and countertop clearance, but we don't.

The frontrunner has been the Blue Star Residential Culinary 30" (RCS304BV1) ($2500). (3) 15,000 BTU burners, + (1) Simmer burner. Lists the oven as having a Convection fan system. We really like the power behind the Nova (RNB304BV1) but don't really want to spend that much cash ($4500). One of the biggest pluses is that the entire top surface is cast iron - not stainless steel, not porcelain. We can remove the entire top for cleaning, which would really be a huge plus for us (I think).

My husband is now leaning towards the Viking Professional series (VGIC5304BSS). (4) 15,000 BTU burners (which is nicer than the Blue Star since we really have no need for a separate Simmer burner). Has a Convection Oven. The biggest downside, to me, is that the top is sealed enameled porcelain. That can be a pain to clean once stuff spills. Based on a current promotion, this range would be about $500 more than the Blue Star, but still within the range we are willing to spend (based on current deals, we could get it for $3000 - it's normally closer to $4000).

Anyone have any good / bad experiences with either? In reading reviews and threads, there are folks who love both, and who have complaints about both, but it appears there is more negative feedback out there about Viking.

We've also looked at Capital, DCS, Dacor, Wolf, and American Range.

If I remember correctly, the Wolf in our price range had plastic knobs, which is a deal breaker. I think the one with metal knobs was out of our range. DCS and Dacor look out of our range, too, I think.

The Capital brand has the Precision 30" Self Clean (GCR304) in our range ($3100) that looks kind of bad ass - (4) 19K BTU Burners (sealed) (I see mention of a Power-Wok™ Burner* 800 – 25,000 BTU but it's not clear if that's included or a separate add on). The Culinarian (CGSR304) is sadly a bit out of our range; about the same as the Nova. Looks like we could get the Precision for about the same price as the Viking. Oven capcity is slightly larger on the Capital (4.6 cu ft vs. 4 - 4.1 cu ft on the others).

Any experience with Bertazzoni? Looks like they have a few in our price range, but that the BTU options may be lower? States "Triple Ring Power Burner: 12000 + 3000 Btu/h" - not sure if that means 18K total??? I'm really not willing to go below 15k, so that may strike them out.

Did very limited research on Five Star, but the small oven capacity (3.69 cu. ft) rules that out, I think.

Anyone I am missing?

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