Simmering Culinarian(, batman)! [photo heavy - ignore if on dialu

February 29, 2012

OK, you asked for it amcook: how's *this* for TKO?!

Here are pictures of all six of my burners on simmer with the lights out, plus one of the homemade "comal" dh fashioned of scrap copper wire.

Clockwise, from upper left:

Middle rear:

Right rear, with comal:

Right front:

Middle front:

Left front:

And here's the cute homemade disperser, a thing of beauty, no?

Because the disperser was on the right rear I think it couldn't be well seen so I snagged it again, this time with some light on it:

So here's the thing - when my machine arrived its burners were all clicking with, as Trevor so aptly puts it, the most annoying sound known to man. For this and two other problems the factory folk visited me in my home for several hours; I live near-ish to the factory. They definitely fixed the clicking - there is still some residual but it's sporadic, usually when a breeze gets set up near the stove.

I know I could probably make these sporadic clicks go away, but only by cranking *up* the flame, and the problem is, the flame's too high already. I can't simmer anything. Soups, sauces - both delicate and not, rice - they all stick and burn and/or boil roilingly even at the lowest setting.

To compensate, I stack grates one on top of another, move the pot to the side, use the disperser or some combination of all of the above. And I have ruined one le creuset pan (my fault - I did as amcook cautions against, I turned my back on cranberries (actually, I let a kid be in charge and didn't supervise) and they just boiled dry and scorched big-time. My fault, but just for the record, the stove *was* on "simmer").

I hadn't quite appreciated earlier what a large portion of my stove usage is devoted to simmering. Consequently I am really more than a little disappointed in this stove, to tell the truth. That said, I have not pursued the problem to date. Therefore, my current unhappiness is my responsibility and my fault and should not be understood as a condemnation of the machine. The people from the factory who came out were very nice and tried to convey that they would be happy to return if I needed them. I have been reluctant to bother them to return, but for this they cannot be faulted. I have figured some large part of the problem was due to "operator-error" inasmuch as I had not been cooking for well nigh something like 1.5 years when my kitchen got back into swing (long story why).

And now, I think I'm back up to speed in the cooking department, so it's time to address this simmering issue. I was bemused to note the problem still being kicked about here on the appliance forum; I haven't visited here for a long while. But clearly operator-error or no, this continues to be an issue for some. Don't know the denominator -- maybe thousands out there have no problems at all. But when dh presented me, proudly, with his homemade copper-wire disperser I was just so *embarrassed* that the machine I'd garnered so many thousands of his hard-earned income for, needed that sort of fix. I hadn't even mentioned any problem to him whatsoever, but I guess it was sort of obvious.

So. Do these burners look too high? How can I turn them down without sparking the death-clicks? And why are some not having this problem and others are? This can't be a terribly complicated problem, and the metrics are pretty straight-forward: either the burner is clicking or it isn't. Either the soup is burning or it isn't.

Thanks for any help from you knowledgeable cooks and engineers. I'm happy to foist a thin screwdriver if needed, though I have not to date. Seemed to me the factory guys were going to have done all that could or needed to be done. But it's been long enough now that I'm up for fiddling if the doctor so-advises.

Comments (150)

  • PeterH2

    @billy_g said "I bought two of the Flame Tamers (first link) and two of the SimmerMats (third link) and they don't work"

    Apologies, by the time I posted, I had forgotten your posting. I didn't expect any kind of device that is smaller than the pot to work; I just figured that a 6" pot on an 8" plate would likely be OK.

  • tyguy

    Billy: it wasn't just because of this one short email. It would be really silly of me to say negative things based on ONLY that email. And I agree that it is cool that he leaves a contact name and number, however there are several other posts I have encountered on the internet where kalsi was quite rude and or arrogant to his customers. There is also a whole slew of other negative points about the man and his business ethics I oppose. These are only my opinions and if you or others don't share them that is totally cool. I'm just not sure how he got such cult status on here to the point that a person must sensor their opinions when if someone from viking or wolf or where ever had ever said the same things my bet is there would be no shortage of negative criticisms.

  • dodge59

    Mr Kalsi doesnt have "Cult Status".

    Folks that actually visited the Captial factory reported that he was a "Gracious Host", (Paraphrasing).

    My problem here, is we are not treating the two companies and especially the mgmt in a similar manner.

    No body, at least that I can recall got "Personal" or took on Prize Fisher's Mgmt, (SP?)(Blue Star) during the problem times there. Folks were unhappy, at the company, sure, but I don't recalls "Potshots" at mgmt, alto of course they were not available as Capital has been.

    Also recall that the problems there were much more serious, Food stuck in ovens, Ranges that were completely Inop, whilst here, the stove is fully operational except for different variations of the word "simmer" and for some here no simmer at all, so we read.

    Thanks for the explanation of Elder Respect, tvguy, it was as I suspected, but I try never to "Assume" anything--you made it crystal clear!

    And thanks for the honest point that Capital did give out a phone number of a Capital Employee who Mr Kalsi thought could give a better answer than He did, If He didnt care, why didn't he just say, "We have the Best Simmer Burner" and leave it there.

    He opened the gate for those with problems to take them to the right place, and at last this ol *@`1 is smart enough to see that!!


  • snowyct

    Alaris -- just chiming in here to thank you from the bottom of my heart for crystallizing this issue, setting up the survey quickly and advancing this discussion so well (I was mortified that you thought my last post showed impatience with the topic -- glad you re-read!).

    This week, I've got to decide whether to order the CC (and roll the dice that Capital is going to figure out a fix for the simmer problem), or switch my order to a BS. How big a roll-of-the dice it might be depends on the results of the survey, so you can bet I'll be holding my breath and checking back frequently! I hope you get enough CC people responding that we're able to draw some decent conclusions.

    In any event, if I go ahead and order the CC, at least I won't be blind-sided by the issue, and will know where to begin in getting it fixed. Again, thanks so much for taking the time and making the effort to try to get this issue resolved (as well as to everyone else contributing posts with suggestions on how to get that simmer to behave).

  • stooxie

    My problem here, is we are not treating the two companies and especially the mgmt in a similar manner.

    Correct! One company's CEO gets major kudos for being able to use his iPhone(!) while another company, who made their mistakes, licked their wounds and has a totally solid product is still treated like the outcast.

    Good observation, Dodge!

    Seriously, you don't recall the vitriol and contempt people had for Bluestar when it was in the spotlight? I just did a search and found them within two seconds.


  • dodge59

    As I said, stooxie, they were mad at the company.

    None bothered to look up and post the names of the CEO and other "Dignitaries" of BS so they could take "Shots at them"or if they did, then you're right, I either missed those posts or I forgot about them!

    Indeed when help arrived, Mandy as well as some other guy whose name I don't recall right now (Matt)?, Folks were soon to sing their praises, as they should and we had real names.

    To me and I'm an old Senile guy by now,so what do I know?, but, "to me" it takes guts to stay in the kitchen when the fires are burning in the kitchen. Maybe I get that from being a Field Service Engineer for 40+ years, but I never ran from a fire, and indeed, especially in my youth, and even later, I always enjoyed the challenge, so hence my
    admiration for anybody that does the same nowadays.


  • aliris19

    Snowy -- thanks.

    There have been numerous posts now -- I can't begin to remember where-all they are between different subject headings and two forums (appliances and kitchens) -- regarding the importance of this issue to folks in the process of making an imminent purchase.

    If you are in this position yourself and are really on the fence about the purchase because of this simmering issue, you would all actually help those of us current owners by dropping a line to Capital and telling them. It has been pointed out that in fact active, imminent purchasers are the most influential group of all. You are the ones who are potentially taking your business elsewhere, and if there are enough of you, Capital is likely to get more proactive about this issue.

    So. -- My first request is for you to contact Capital regarding your dilemma, for the rest of us if not for yourselves please.

    My second request is that everyone help out in trying to get folks to respond to the survey. If you recall someone who complained about the simmer issue and can take a moment to hop back onto their thread or drop them an offlist email requesting their participation, this would be terrific.

    So far 14 pple have responded. I can update people periodically or privately as to the numbers if you encounter a deadline for knowing them. Ideally, we'd make a push to get past complainers to participate but also a concerted effort to find non-complainers too. After the survey had been available for a while, I think the information should be passed to Capital and give them a chance to respond before posting the numbers.

    But I understand there are people with building schedules that might want to know the information earlier. If you are one, please contact me offlist if/when your needs for the information are urgent. Especially should you happen to be in touch with Capital (for fairness' sake) already, I can probably make the interim numbers known to you if necessary. If anyone thinks this is unfair please contact me offlist with a correction or different suggestion.

    Thanks for everyone's help soliciting participation - on either side of the simmering line - in the survey.

  • breezygirl

    Aliris--Survey monkey wont let me go back in to add my fuel type.

    Will you be posting the survey here under a separate thread for greater visibility? The survey, as it is now, is buried in this thread.

    Thanks again so much for taking the lead on this issue!

  • breezygirl

    Oops! I see that you started a new thread, Aliris. My mistake!

    And thank you Aliris and Mangiamo for the good health wishes. I'm finally feeling almost up to snuff. So glad to have that business behind me! Now on to my simmering business tomorrow with Capital...

  • snowyct

    Alaris -- That's an excellent idea, thanks. I was feeling bad that I couldn't contribute to the solution since I couldn't put in a call for service. So contacting Capital directly to let them know that they are going to lose sales unless they come up with a solution for past and prospective units is going to be at the top of my to do list today!

  • tubeman

    What's a true simmer? Who cares. All I know is that when I cook rice it boils over and never did on my other stove with my same rice pot. In my mind, that's too hot. Something that was so easy is now made difficult. That is not the definition of a good tool.

  • soibean

    Aliris, thanks for the idea. Here is the email I sent to Capital this morning. I will report back anything I hear back from them. Is email an effective method of contacting them, do you think? Here is the text of what I wrote:

    Dear Capital,

    I am planning a full kitchen redo in the next few months. After a long search, I had narrowed down my choice to a 36" Capital Culianrian rangetop with Maestro double ovens. I got there by carefully researching different ranges, and by reading online forums such as Garden Web, where people discuss their real-world experiences. I was about to pull the trigger on the CC 36" six burner rangetop, when I started reading about simmering issues on the lowest setting. I visited a couple of showrooms to see for myself; at the first showroom (Yale Appliances in Boston), the lowest simmer temperature was clearly too high for a simmer. I then decided to visit Trevor at Eurostoves - his simmer goes low enough to produce acceptable results. I found this re-assuring. However, recently, a number of CC users have complained that they have been unable to reproduce the results the Trevor gets with his range, without inducing the ignitor clicking, even after numerous service calls and work arounds (simmer plates, hand-fashioned devices). Given the persistence of the problem, I am now concerned that I would be unable to achieve acceptable results with a CC, and am leaning toward choosing a BlueStar rangetop. While I am still on the fence, I am wondering if Capital is considering addressing this issue in some way, either by offering a dedicated simmer burner, or with a retrofit kit that would allow existing burners to be fixed. Whithout that type of asssurance, I don't think I would be willing to purchase the Capital, even knowing that Trevor stands behind the products he sells.

    Please let me know if any changes or fixes might be available in the near future that could influence my decision and restore my confidence in Captial.


    Miriam Soibelman

  • PRO
    Trevor Lawson (Eurostoves Inc)

    Tubeman ... have you called capital? i hope so

  • Shareher

    I think I am going to chicken out and get a bluestar or wolf instead.

  • jscout

    Well, it was a busy weekend. So, in case anyone was waiting with bated breath on videos from me, sorry. I didn't get a chance to make a red sauce, but I did squeeze in some Irish oats...barely. Here are the three parts I did capture. Apologies for the 3rd part as it was not as useful as the first two. I almost didn't post any of the parts because of the 3rd part. I'm tempted to do it again. But here they are any way. I did post some details in the description of each video.

    Part 1:
    Part 2:
    Part 3:

    In regards to the screwdriver, I bought mine from HD, but not in the tools section, as one would expect. None of the ones there were either thin or long enough. I found mine in the electrical section. The brand is Klein Tools.

    In regards to the ignitor and burner cap "tweaks." I don't consider them tweaks at all. The shutter adjustment and the simmer adjustment, yes. Those are tweaks where calibration is concerned. But lining up the "pilot" port with the ignitor and checking that the top of the ignitor and "pilot" port are as close together as possible is part of routine cleaning and maintenance. It's like remembering to leave the windows closed when it rains out. The alternative is a fixed burner head where the whole assembly has to be removed to clean it out. I've pointed this out before, but even Garland now has removable burner caps on all their commercial star burners. There's a reason for removable burner caps. It a better design. I'm not trying to diminish anyone's simmering issue, because if you're having an issue, it's an issue. But I do want to offer some other considerations.

    Fortunately, that's where every CC owner should be thankful that Trevor is on their side. If there is any doubt about his relative objectivity, this thread is just one piece of evidence that he isn't some snake oil salesman. To put it bluntly, he does give a crap.

    I hope that in the end, Capital does offer the simmer burner as an option for those who need it. If they make it standard, I hope it's a no charge option to change it to a full burner, because there is a market for that too.

  • kist1

    "...a number of CC users have complained that they have been unable to reproduce the results the Trevor gets with his range, without inducing the ignitor clicking..."

    Soibean, keep in mind, Trevor could have derated his burner in order to get favorable simmer results where others could not.

    Derating the burner means putting in a smaller orifice (aka spud) which send less gas to the burner.

    Of course, derating the burner also means that it won't be 23,000 BTU on the high end anymore.

  • aliris19

    Soibean - fantastic letter.

    Snowy - I think they got it.

    Shareher - do convey your decision (well, you have....; but really it's more, dunno, more the done thing to convey to them directly instead of this tangential way, on GW)

    All -- I just posted a separate thread about a phone call I just received from Capital. They have heard the hue and cry and are on the issue now, I think.

    Trevor: an awful lot of people are very grateful for your involvement. For myself, let me say: Thank You.

  • stooxie

    jscout, thanks for taking the time to post that.

    So it seems you have definitely lowered your simmer to the point where the ignition system is no longer quite happy with it. It seems like if you made any air current at all you'd get a click or two.

    From an engineering standpoint I am very interested to see how CC will respond/handle.


  • jscout

    @aliris - Sorry, I almost missed your question about ventilation. First off, I'm no expert, nor am I a scientist. But I do understand and have an affinity for the sciences. I think it does have an impact where drafts are concerned. If it's enough to cause the flame to move off the igniter resulting in excessive clicking and thereby causing the user to raise the temp to avoid the clicking resulting in a boil-over, it's a problem. As far as "sucking" more gas out, that's probably not too likely. Unless the house is fully sealed and pressurized, the regulator should always push out gas at a higher pressure than the room. On the other hand the temperature in the environment might have more of an effect. For example, you might get denser gas in colder climates, resulting in a slower flow.

    @marcolo - Can you post the recipe? I'd love to try it to see what results I get.

    @dodge - Hats off to you, sir. Again, you call a spade a spade.

    @BS owners posting on this CC thread - You all remind me of this:

  • soibean

    Thanks, aliris19. I am (selfishly) rooting for you to get your simmering problem fixed. I really want to get the CC rangetop, but I need to feel confident that it will work for me. This will be the most important purchase we make for our new kitchen. I would hate to spend all that money and then regret it, especially if I knew about the problem in advance.

  • Caddidaddy55

    kist1, changing the orifice would make no differance to the simmer as the asjustment screw could be turned in far enough to stop the gas flow. The only reason to change the orifice is if you replaced the burner with one with less or smaller holes. This weekend I decided to play around with the simmer. I readjusted the air shutter on one of the rear burners and then adjusted the pilot until I got only an occasional click from the ignitor. I then placed a 2 qt Emeril sauce pan (about 8" in dia. with a thick bottom) half full of water on the burner and attached a digital thermometer. I quickly brought the temp to 135 deg. and then reduced the heat to mimimum. The temp fell to 126 deg. and then gradually raised to 133-135 deg. where it stayed for at least an hour. Then I lit the oven at 425 deg. to cook a home made pizza. By the time the Pizza was done the temp of the water was 142 deg. which I attribute to the fact that the pot was right in front of the oven vent. This was over 1.5 hrs. after I had placed the pot on the burner. The temp never reached the 145 deg. simmer that Capital states. I am on LP 900 ft. above sea level. I have, but did not use the same simmer plate that Trevor used in the broccoli cheese video. Trevor stated that water was not a good simmer test, interested in the reason for that, so I guess I will have to go out and purchase a couple of cans of broccoli cheese soup and repeat, meanwhile I am satisfied thet the CC will do whaat Capital says it will.

  • jscout

    Sorry, I stand corrected:

    @BS owners AND SALESMEN posting on this CC thread - You all remind me of this:

    @stooxie - "any air current at all" is a biased exaggeration on your part. But I expected that.

    @Caddidaddy55 - I'm glad you're getting better results. I can see why water is not the perfect test, because there is no mass in the pot to retain and trap heat. You can get a pot full of water to a full boil and it won't boil over. But throw in a chicken carcass and watch out.

  • Caddidaddy55

    Thanks for the explination on the water. By the way the wife has had no problem cooking rice even before I tweaked the burner, however I have adjusted the other burners down some too. I am not sure if she uses the simmer plate or not, but I think not.

  • stooxie

    @stooxie - "any air current at all" is a biased exaggeration on your part. But I expected that.

    You got clicks when you bent down to view the burner. It also started clicking when you turned it down to simmer. Sorry if I am interpreting the video wrong.

    The point of this thread, as others have mentioned, is to get a fix not find the best workaround.

    Don't blame me! :-)


  • breezygirl

    I called Capital this morning and spoke to Bob Waymire. Upon explaining my inability to adjust the burner low enough to get anything other than a rapid boil, he suggested maybe something needed to be adjusted with the ground or that the modules might need to be changed. I freely admit I am not of a technical/engineering-gas-cooker mind so I haven't a clue what that means. Bob will set up service and call me back.

    During our talk, I tried to emphasize just what an issue this is for owners and particularly for future owners following our discussions with impending range ordering deadlines looming. I suggested that a fix for what is beginning to be perceived, rightly or wrongly, as a major problem by many on GW (Kitchen forum members have been commenting on a thread there as well) would go a long ways towards garnering future business. Of course, I fumbled my way through that communication cuz I'm not too eloquent over the phone with a 2 y.o. fussing to talk on the phone. :) I'm not sure if he really heard me or not.

    I'll let you know what happens next for me.

    Tubeman--please, please call Capital as Trevor suggests. The more people they hear from the better. Plus, you need to see if your range can be adjusted!

    Snowy-- Please contact Capital!

    I encourage *everyone* considering a CC range or rangetop and being turned off by the simmer issue to call Capital to express their concern as Soibean has done. The more potential lost customers they know about the better!

  • jscout

    Well then, isn't a separate simmer burner really just a workaround for the range taken as a whole? I'm only posting stuff to be helpful for other CC owners and for potential CC owners to judge for themselves.

  • aliris19

    Stooxie, jscout - I, for one, appreciate, Hugely all this patient back-and-forth experimenting and explaining!

    The labels, "work around" or "fiddling" or all the rest of it don't really matter much. Bottom line is, jscout has found a way to make the range work for him, and he's sharing that with us. Personally, I haven't the expertise, time or patience to do a lot of what he's offering -- but some have!

    And all of it is really helpful in getting a handle on this problem, trying to figure out if it is a problem, what needs to be done to back it down from problem-status for mere mortals, etc.

    I can't even remember who said what helpful thing at this point but I think you both have many times over.

    I appreciated the thought about why water v water-with-carcass might matter in terms of boiling-over; never knew that.

    I appreciate that moving the ignitors closer to the iron rings might be a no-brainer and not a "work around" for some -- for me, a generic housewife, essentially, I'm intimidated by the equipment and wouldn't think to nudge it like this. Wrongly, presumably, I'm thinking that it's been engineered to fit precisely where it belongs and any nudging on my part might be destructive. But I'm beginning to understand this is not a rocket we're sending to the moon. [maybe there are bad o-rings somewhere? ;) ]

    I appreciate the thoughts about the contribution that a super-high ventilation system might add. I can see "sucking" might not be a propos, but 'replacement' might be. If you can actually physically draw the flame up, you'd be essentially requiring replacement of fuel at a greater rate, no? I'm thinking this really might be an important factor. No engineer I but I'm thinking there may be a ton of itsy bitsy little contributors a couple degrees at a time that result in the bottom line of can't-simmer-my-chili.

    Anyway, please don't carp about labels; all these explanations and tests and thinkings and videos are really helpful.

  • snowyct

    I just e-mailed Capital. I really am at the point where I have to fish or cut bait. If I don't hear back from them within a few days, I'm afraid its a Bluestar for me, much as I've always loved the Culinarian. Here's the message I wrote:

    "Dear Capital,

    We are beginning a full kitchen renovation, with demolition due to begin a week from today. I intended to order a 36" Culinarian range this week, but am seriously reconsidering my decision because I have recently become aware of an issue regarding the ability of the Culinarian burners to maintain a low simmer. The ability to simmer at low heat is essential to the way I cook and, as much as I really like the Culinarian, I will not purchase a unit that cannot adequately simmer. I am writing to you directly to ask whether Capital is planning any design modifications and/or fixes that will permit the at least one burner on the unit to maintain a low simmer.

    I made the decision to purchase the Culinarian close to a year ago, after substantial research, both online and at appliance stores. It is spec'd into our cabinet design. I cooked on a Culinarian in person, and have been very comfortable with my decision. Although the Culinarian oven racks are not optimal (in terms of placement or construction, particularly compared to the Bluestar racks), I believed the superiority of the burner design outweighed the drawback of the Culinarian racks.

    I now have become aware that quite a number of Culinarian owners have experienced substantial trouble with the ability of the burners to maintain a simmer. This is true despite multiple service calls, burner adjustments and use of a wide variety of different types of simmer plates -- none of which appear to remedy the problem adequately.

    Would you kindly advise whether Capital is aware of the simmer issue and is planning to offer a modification designed to address the issue. If so, please also advise when that modification will be available on ranges yet to be ordered, as well as whether a retrofit kit will be available for current owners so that they can take advantage of the modification. My decision to purchase a Culinarian rested in part on favorable owner feedback on Capital's commitment to customer service. Apart from how it reflects on Capital's customer service, the availability of a retrofit is particularly important to me because my timeline for ordering a range is such that I may have to order it simply on faith that if simmering presents a problem for me, I will have a remedy backed by Capital. Without such an assurance, I am going to have to order a unit from another manufacturer.

    I would appreciate a reply at your earliest convenience since I really need to order a range this week."

    I'll keep you posted when/if I hear back from Capital.

  • jscout

    aliris, I know you appreciate all this. Thank you. I wasn't sure what your comfort level was. So, without judging you, I was merely doing what I could in the chance that it was beneficial to you. This applies to any other CC owner with the simmer issue. Finding a fix involves finding a problem.

    Here's what I'd like to see. I want to see Capital roll out a "White Glove Service" plan, just like what BS did. Does BS even offer that still? I thought I read somewhere that they cancel the program. Someone will no doubt correct me if I'm wrong. But perhaps a qualified service tech could properly calibrate the range on installation. I'd even accept something like Miele does where if you paid for this post-installation service you get an extended warranty out of it. Anything else along these lines would only benefit the customer and ultimately Capital.

    @snowy - You cooked on a CC? How much simmering did you do? If not much, then that's definitely something every potential CC owner should do going forward.

  • billy_g


    That's a good idea for Captital to have a White Glove service plan. I wonder if part of the problem is the service people in the field don't know how to properly adjust the CC simmer. They may adjust the simmer a little hot to preven the clicking, which is not problem on a lesser burner, and that "a little hot" ends up being too much with the 23,000 BTU burner. The service people may not understand the adjustment window for simmer on a CC is *much narrrower* than on lesser burners, and they need to take more care in performing the adjustment.

    The more I think about it, this may be a sensible explanation as to why some of the simmers are too high -- because the service people did not understand how to make this adjustment on a CC and they adjusted the CC simmer too high. They turn down the flame until the ignitor starts clicking and then they back off until the clicking stops -- but if they backed off too far they leave the simmer too high (without realizing it) and then they tell the homeowner "the simmer has been adjusted.".

    A service notice and/or more information in the manual would be helpful.

    I think I'll retry the adjustments tonight. I suspect I can get my simmer down a little lower than the service rep did.

    I can truthfully say there is no way the current simmer panic would cause me to re-think my decision to buy a CC. I LOVE cooking on this stove and in addition to its performance I personally think it is the best-looking open burner range out there.


  • snowyct

    jscout -- Thanks so much for your videos and words of advice -- they really are helpful.

    Unfortunately, I didn't try to simmer (anything other than water very quickly) when I cooked on the Culinarian. I only had about an hour, and was mostly interested in how even the flame distribution was; the fit and finish; the size of the oven and how easy the range was to dissemble/clean/adjust/maintain. I was really impressed with all of those in the Culinarian. And rightly or wrongly, I just assumed any high-end range with with advertised simmering capabilities would be able to do something as basic as a simmer.

    So you're absolutely right -- prospective purchasers should try out the simmer capability (using something other than water for more than a minute) as carefully as everything else, particularly those for whom a low simmer is really important. That said, I doubt I would have had a problem getting a good simmer -- it was Trevor's range, and that range appears to simmer quite well. Trevor was incredibly helpful during the visit, and is a true asset to Capital.

    They are beautiful ranges, both in form and function, and I hope Capital comes up with a workable solution.

  • aliris19

    I still can't try to adjust the machine because -- five stores later -- I still can't find the right size screwdriver. I don't have any metal files or time to whack down a coat hanger. grump.

  • breezygirl

    Just a small tangental observation. I wonder how many live ranges there are across the country to test out for oneself. To my knowledge there are none in my state, and I live in a geographically largish state. It's easy to say "try one out." BUT, how many are there, really, in the U.S.?

    As a followup to my posting about calling Bob at Capital today, I've heard nothing back yet.

  • jscout

    @breezy - Yes, you're right. Assuming there is one to try out, like up in MA, it should definitely be an item on the checklist to test.

    @aliris - I realized I made a mistake above when I posted about where I bought my screwdriver. It was at a local electrical supply house. After I bought it, I remembered seeing the same brand of tools in the electrical department at HD. I'd assume Lowes would have it in the electrical department too. The brand is Klein Tools. Their website has a "Where to buy" link.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Klein Tools

  • zartemis

    I haven't chimed in here yet about our CC simmer because we haven't yet needed a good simmer for some of the things we've done. Heck, most of our kitchen equipment is still in storage.

    One thing we will want to do later, though, is be able to hold a pressure cooker at appropriate pressure, and ideally, be able to vary it at will between 5 and 15 bars. With the newer pressure cookers, they don't spew vapor until the pressure gets too high so it's important to hold a steady heat input that doesn't push the pressure over 15 bars (at which point US pressure cookers will start to release steam as a safety). Limiting steam escaping is especially important for stocks (see here for more info).

    Anyone done pressure cooker tests yet? Ours won't be out of storage for quite a while still.

  • zartemis

    between 5 and 15 psi, not bars

  • kist1

    @caddidaddy55--I'm not sure what your point is that the simmer could be turned in far enough to stop gas flow. Sure you could stop the gas flow outright but I'm not sure what that proves as you have nothing then.

    Think about it this way. The ports on the burner head don't change. You lessen the amount of gas going to the ports with a smaller orifice (derating) the fewer BTU are produced. Pick a burner and note the flames or how something simmers. Now, without adjusting the simmer, put in a smaller orifice and you'll see the difference in the flames or in simmering the same thing/amount as before (you'll have to make an air shutter adjustment as well--less gas uses less air obviously).

    Sure you could turn any amount of gas off, but if the simmer is on as little as possible with one orifice and you put a smaller orifice in you'll see a reduction in flames, BTU. You have to. If you had 1 port or 100 you're using less gas with the smaller orifice. Again, doing this will be the max BTU down from the 23,000 proportionally.

    That being said, whether such a large number of ports on the CC's burner can burn evenly or stay lit with a reduced amount of gas is another question entirely.

  • Caddidaddy55

    Ok, how do I explain this to you? Do you understand anything about the internal combustion engine? Your car may have one. Think of the gas valve as the carbruetor. The orifice is the main fuel jet. It controls the amount of fuel available at wide open throttle, nothing more. The air shutter controls the fuel mixture. The shaft with the knob is the throttle, it controls the amount of fuel mixture throughout the operation range. The simmer adjustment screw is like the idle mixture screw. It controls the fuel to air ratio only at idle, or when the throttle valve is completly closed as it is in simmer. If you were actually to put in an orifice small enough to affect the simmer, that is all you would have is simmer you would not be able to provide more gas to the burner regardless of the knob position. As I stated before. "The only reason to change the orifice is if you replaced the burner with one with less or smaller holes." Then you would need to change the orifice and adjust the air shutter to allow the proper amount of air/fuel mixture for proper combustion. Trevor did mention that he worked with an engineer from Capital and they plugged the outer two rows of holes and changed to a #55 orifice thus producing a 8000 BTU burner. The 8000 BTU was wide open and yes the reduced amount of holes produced a lower simmer temp. The smaller orifice was used to compensate for less holes, but the simmer was still adjusted using the simmer screw.

  • buffalotina

    caddi: Your explanation is very useful in terms of understanding how to adjust these gas burners. I have a question: Are you saying there are effectively two feeds downstream from the orifice: A main feed controlled by the main valve/throttle (aka the knob) and then when that is fully closed (presumably at the end of travel of the knob) there is still some kind of small feed/bleed remaining (the simmer feed if you will) which can be adjusted up or down in itself. Presumably the level of said feed is inconsequential when compared with the main feed/throttle. Do I understand it correctly? Thank you for your help.

  • Caddidaddy55

    Yes, buffalotina you basicly have it except I would say there are two feeds upstream from the orifice. The orifice is the last thing the fuel passes thru as it enters the burner. There are effectively two passages thru the gas valve that feeds the orifice. The simmer screw is a tapered needle and seat allowing very fine adjustment. Otherwise you understand perfectly. Make sure you hold the shaft closed as you adjust the simmer screw so it doesn't move. If you can't maintain a flame at the end of travel open up the screw (counterclockwise) a little then turn the shaft to the seated position and turn the screw back in until you have an acceptible flame. How warm the burner is will affect it some too. Best to warm it up a bit before adjusting.

  • jscout

    Caddi, save your breath. Kist1 is a BS dealer and has been posting what amounts to a witch hunt against Capital, especially the CC. Just tossing out theories with any angle that might make the CC look less appealing. Just do a search on his previous posts. He neglects the fact that no matter how low the BTU, you still have to deal with the igniter clicking. Yeah, that Trevor character is really sneaky alright. Over in another thread, tossing out ideas of how the CC oven loses heat faster due to fluid dynamics of the fan cooling the door latch while ignoring thermodynamics. The constant attempts at derailing Trevor, even the most catty of BS owners accept as a reliable resource for his customers. Pretty desperate measures I tell ya.

    I don't think he knows it, But I think much of the GW community is onto him. I've received e-mail thanking me for pointing out his role and that it puts things in perspective.

  • jscout

    Also, another tip to adjusting is do it in a small increment and then pause. It's like opening or closing a dam but on a very tiny scale. You have to pause to let the flow level off. It's very subtle.

  • aliris19

    Really? Are you certain this is Kist1's IRL affiliation? Does he deny it? Kist1? Please, would you have the decency to disclose fully your bias as the rest of us are trying to? It doesn't disqualify you from being a valued contributor, but it does seem minimally decent of you just to disclose your perspective. Everyone has a bias and perspective. The only real issue is trying to adjust for it and no one can do this appropriately without information as to the angle of perspective.

    Just fyi, I, for one, consider it especially valuable when professionals toss in their 2 cents -- it's really very generous of them. I do hope you'll come clean...


  • TonySak

    does anyone know the exact screw driver or where to get it that fits down the brass valve shaft? I have tried 3, the last one i bought had the smallest diameter shaft i have ever seen and it still didn't fit down there.

  • chas045

    Sorry to get in so late, but I believe we should be able to agree on the meaning of simmer. I have two definitions. The first is from The Joy of Cooking (1982) with intro: "Simmering protects fragile foods and tenderizes tough ones. The French verb for slow simmer is mijoter, and the French engagingly refer to low simmers-between 130 and 135- as 'making the pot smile.' When food is simmering, bubbles come gently to the surface and barely seem to break. It is the heat best used for soups-uncovered; and for stews, braises, pot roasts and fricassees-covered..."
    And second, an essentially identical definition from "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" where under the definition for BOIL it says: "A very slow boil, when the liquid is hardly moving except for a bubble at one point, is called to simmer, mijoter."

    I would suggest that anyone (in the USA anyway) who does not accept those authorities, has no business near a high end range. The same goes for anyone who would seriously use water for the testing (see first definition).

    While rice cooking doesn't technically use simmering, I think that it could also be used as a basic example where a low burner is required, and burning would be a clear example of failure. It seems to me that if a range can't perform basic tasks, it should be considered a failure.

  • billy_g


    Use a 3/32 inch slotted screwdriver. See link below.


    Here is a link that might be useful: Amazon 3/32 Slotted Screwdriver

  • IceMan965

    After cooking on and adjusting my CC for the past four months or so I think I have come to the conclusion, as others have, that you will never get a CC with its current burner configuration to get low enough for most of us regardless of how you adjust the "Simmer" screw or igniters. I am not going to get hung up on the "Book" definition of "Simmer".

    Why would I make such a bold statement? The CC burner has 92 ports or holes � 36 in the outer ring (39%), 36 in the middle ring (39%) and 20 (22%) in the inner ring. Let�s ASSUME for the sake of the discussion that all of the ports are the same and the output is equally divided between the 92 ports at all settings.

    Now look at the picture below:

    As posted at the start of this thread this is how one of my burners is adjusted � no flame in the outer ring and no "Clicking". If you follow my calculations above this means this burner is operating at 61% of the burners total capacity and much lower than most of the burners shown on this thread. This week end I cooked two pot roasts at the same time on the CC. One was in a 6 � qt Lodge enameled, cast iron pot and the other in a 13" aluminum oval roaster. Both had a 3 to 4 pound roast, broth, veggies, etc. On "Simmer" this burner produced a temperature of 205F with more bubbles that I would call a low simmer and the other burner was 207F with bubbles. I believe the 92 or 56 ports (the inner and middle rings) will never be able to be adjusted to produce a low enough Btu output to satisfy the average cook.

    This is why myself and several others believe that CC will ultimately have to redesign the burner to something like a single 20 port ring (like the inner ring on the current burner) with the appropriate office and air shutter to achieve a true "Low Simmer". I would to see Mr. Kalsi and Capital produce a burner that had a range of something like 100 Btu to 23,000 Btu, but I don�t think it can be done and I know the current burner is no that adjustable.

    Side Note: Has any manufacturer ever published the Btu output of its burners at its lowest setting? If they have I surly have not been able to find it. All they publish is the MAXIMUM output and I have no idea what the lowest setting is when expressed as a percentage of the maximum.

  • aliris19

    Well.. this shall be the penultimate posting on this thread, I think, unless someone slips one in before me.

    So I'll just say here for future reference, that I've just finished a long, productive, interesting service call with the engineer at Capital, Joey. I will report on a separate thread.

    I believe there is another manufacturer of the necessary long-shank tool, "Klein". These seem to be tools marketed more or less directly to electrical supply places. Someone posted a link to them,, yesterday noting that there was a "where to buy" button on their site. Listed near me are electrical supply warehouses.

    So, I think this thread has flamed and simmered out ... or at least flamed. It's gonna die a forced death in a moment.


  • billy_g

    Klein tools are excellent, but tons of manufacturers make small screwdrivers...

    We can't wait to hear more.


  • aliris19

    Here's the link to my report on a simmer service call from Capital.

    Bottom line: they absolutely were able to turn down the heat and not from the front screw alone. Whether it's enough is still open to discussion. Capital is wanting to discuss it: call them. :)

    Here is a link that might be useful: simmer service call report

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