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pro range dilemma

michelle puglia
February 12, 2019
Trying to decide on pro range, 36 inch for new build. Have looked at wolf, ge cafe, and bluestar.

Like the larger oven depth with ge cafe and bluestar. Like the Btus on wolf dual fuel, but not on the gas. Love the smaller burner on wolf, and simmer on all. Bluestar doesn’t have dual stacked and low simmers except on the one smaller burner. Cafe doesn’t have a small burner at all, but is dual stacked.

Like high heat on burners for searing, stir fry. Also need low simmer. Prefer to not have open flame.

Do a lot of baking of multiple items and would prefer electric oven, so dual fuel is on the table, but like the cost of gas better

Help! Any suggestions? Other ranges to look at? Pros and cons I haven’t considered?

Comments (13)

  • Jerry Jorgenson

    Did you ever consider a wall oven/induction cooktop combination? Wall oven: No bending over, less floor space taken up when the door is open. Induction cooktop: Faster to boil water. Less energy used. Only heats the pot. Both: No gas fumes. If one breaks, you can still use the other.

  • Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real

    You open up a lot more choices when you eschew the range and break things into best in each category. Induction is fabulous. You may want to consider it while you are reevaluating your choices.

  • michelle puglia
    Really want gas cooktop. Gas vs dual fuel is up for discussion. We will have a separate wall oven and microwave combo (probably advantium...looking at ge cafe for rest of appliances. They are on opposite wall with island in between
  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    Induction sucks for stir frys what I did was get a counter top induction burner for sauces it is awesome but I have to behonest I still like cooking with gas for most things. I have a Bertazzoni 36” 6 burner one of which is a wok burner it also has a simmer but I find for really delicate sauces the induction works better. Mine is all gas with convection and I also have doulble all electric walloves with convection That combo seems to meet all of my criteria since I also run a catering biz from my house. IMO you shop for appliances for how you cook bottom line. BTW I like some items baked in a gas oven better tha electric like bread , pizza for a couple,

  • 3katz4me

    Why do you really want gas vs. induction cooktop? Just wondering as I once had the same thought.

  • mishmosh

    Just go all gas range. The GE dual stacked burners work great.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    I think it must be the fire thing but I am a chef and I just like the ability to use whatever pot I want to do waht ever I want. I have very expensive stainless from Italy that I purchesed one at a time for many $$$$ and I have no plan to ever replace them and they don’t work on induction. I think like I said you need to get waht works for you. I suggest you go to a really good appliance store that does demos on Saturdays and try out induction you might love it. If you decide to do induction your electrian will need to know that..My wok burner functions sort of like a stacked burner it has a separate cnetr burner that is like a simmer with a large outer burner to crank up for wok cooking or boiling water very quickly.

  • wekick

    Read up on the chipping in Wolf ovens with the blue lining before you go too far down the Wolf DF road.

    It has always been difficult to evaluate the simmer on a BS in BTUs because they have never released that number. There are ways to work around the simmer. Many cooks here say it is adequate and there is an adjustment. If you stir fry, it is hard to beat the uncapped burner because the flame comes straight up. What do you mean that you prefer not to have an open flame?

    I have the Wolf DF but it has the 15K burners like the ones on the AG range. Have you used a prostyle range? The burners are wider than regular ranges. I use a lot of wide frying pans with high heat so they work for me but might be too wide for some people. If you up the BTUs, the flame might be wider yet.

    If if at all possible try to see these ranges in action. There are also helpful videos on youtube and many posts here.

    Do you use an electric oven now? Gas is a different type of heat so your baking results might be different.

    I would definitely consider a rangetop and wall ovens. You could consider a combi oven as one of your ovens. It funtions with steam and dry convection so excellent for bread baking.

  • ccwatters

    My advice is to do as much of your own research as you can because you will definitely get some helpful information on Houzz, but also a lot of conflicting advice at times.

    So this is what I did for a recent Wolf double-oven purchase/what I suggest you do to feel confident in your decision:

    - take your favorite cookie sheets to test out in the actual ovens to see if the capacity is "true" (For example, bosch ovens - according to specs - should have fit my huge cookie sheets, but in reality when I tried them out in-store, I found that the back of the rack had a "lip" on it that prevented my cookie sheet to go all the way back to the deepest part of the oven...rendering the "capacity" a bit useless for my personal needs)

    -try to see an actual demo in person of the ranges you are considering (may not be possible depending on your appliance stores, but call the manufacturer to see if THEY have locations near you where they demo...I know Wolf does), because seeing these machines in action/in person will likely make your decision for you

    -check the warranties because some are superior/protect you more, should something go wrong

    -found out how accessible customer service is....and make a cll to them before you purchase to ask them questions as well.

    -find out if you have an authorized repair service for each manufacturer you are considering (if you don't have anyone who is authorized to service the Wolf within 50 miles of you...that may change things...same with other manufacturers), and ask them if you had the range and needed it repair right now...how quickly they could fit you in.

    -speak to actual repair TECHNICIANS and ask them if they service one range over the other more often, if there are any consistent "issues" with any of them, if there is any hassle to repair any of them (ie hard-to-get parts) , and finally ask them which THEY would buy if they had the money to buy any of them.

    For what it's worth, I love my Wolf cooktop of 15 years, but it's not a range....

  • dan1888

    If you have a Miele Experience Center near you you can compare gas and induction as well as combi/steam ovens.

  • live_wire_oak

    The ventilation and make up air will cost as much or more than the range. Don't forget that in your budgeting.

  • M

    You mentioned that you don't like the lack of stacked burners in the Bluestar range, but you fail to realize that stacked burners are a band-aid solution for the fact that capped burners distribute heat so unevenly.

    With capped burners, you need to match the burner size to the pot, and you need to adjust things as you change the heat. At high heat, capped burners tend to heat up the outside of the pot more, at lower heat the flames move more towards the center. Stacked burners allow the manufacturer to pick two different burner heads that are optimized for different temperature ranges. But the transition between the burner heads is often awkward. And even in the best case, heat distribution is still uneven.

    Bluestar completely avoids all these issues with their star-shaped burners. They bring heat to where you want it. Their burners are much less dependent on finding a matching pot size. They actually heat a wok in a way that makes wok cooking possible (i.e. maximum heat at the bottom and cooler tall sides to "park" food). And most importantly, they heat very evenly (for things other than a tall wok). Once you have used Bluestar burners, it is painful to take a step down and use capped burners (tell me about it, we have been using a Viking capped burner range during remodel; it's such a bad experience!).

    As for simmer performance, I find that even Bluestar's most powerful burners regulate down quite well. In fact, I removed the dedicated simmer burner from our range. We have two 22kBTU and two 15kBTU burners. Perfectly happy with that setup after making sure that the burners are properly adjusted for our altitude. But then, if I really need to simmer for a long time and at really low temperature, I prefer using the oven anyway.

    That brings me to my second point. I really like the Bluestar oven. It's no-frills and works great for me. Bakes very evenly and predictably. But I also have a Miele combination steam oven, and it fills an important gap in my cooking needs. It pre-heats much faster than the Bluestar, it has full independent moisture control, and it has fine-grained temperature control from around ~100°F up to about ~435°F. Capacity is of course smaller than the Bluestar, but in most cases it is quite sufficient and actually surprisingly bigger than it looks. I have only had it for a few weeks, but find that a lot of things that I used to do on the stovetop are much easier and better (!) done in the CSO.

  • wekick

    ”M—-You mentioned that you don't like the lack of stacked burners in the Bluestar range, but you fail to realize that stacked burners are a band-aid solution for the fact that capped burners distribute heat so unevenly.

    With capped burners, you need to match the burner size to the pot, and you need to adjust things as you change the heat.“

    Can you explain what you mean? What do you mean adjust things as you change the heat? Heat distribution is due to the arrangement of the burner ports, star or multi ring vs single ring.

    The dual stacked burners cut down on the flare with a sealed burner. One of the characteristics of a capped burner is that you have more flare as you turn the heat up. A burner like a 5 Star Sealed Ultra High-Low Burners(“With 350 to 21,000 BTU of burner power – the industry’s widest range of performance”), all of the range of heat is in one burner so there is a lot of flare by the time you turn it up all the way. Wolf, Monogram, NXR and maybe others split the the range of the burners and stack them so there is not as much flare.

    You have three opportunities to bring even heat heat to your food.

    The “evenness” of heat means even distribution to all surfaces of the food.

    There are a few people look at the heat source. BlueStar has its star, Capital has a triple ring burner and now.... Kitchenaid has this new burner to apply heat evenly in a given area.



    If you want to take advantage of the even heat distribution, because you have cast iron or steel pans that don’t conduct heat as well, this is when the pan must be sized to the burner. One of the characteristics of an uncapped burner is that the flame goes straight up. The BS has the ports along the rays of the stars so that as you turn the burner up the flame stays more under the pan. Many choose the burner for this reason.


    The downside is that a burner like this cannot change sizes. If you have a great big skillet, the heat is no longer evenly distributed, it is still in the middle of the pan So what was even heat for one pan becomes concentrated in the middle on another.

    Most people with gas have ring burners though. Even if you have something like a star burner, it can‘t be all things to all cooks. Your choice in cookware is the second chance to even out heat -It‘s purpose is to serve as the interface of heat to food. The metal you choose has specific physical properties that relate to the distribution of heat.

    This is an excellent site and he tests pans for even distribution.


    Also this one


    Once you have good heat conducting cookware, the heat source becomes much less of an issue. This is why you see so much aluminum in restaurant kitchens. For me the ring burner works pretty good. The flame is smaller on low heat but the only time I use really high heat is with my big frying pans so that flare on high heat works pretty good. The burner size is adjustable. If the flame ring has a diameter of 4” on an 8” pan and I put a 12 or 14” skillet and turn it up it might flare out to 6“ or 7”. I also use a big 15”x23” aluminum griddle over two ring burners to do wall to wall grilled sandwiches and it is pretty even.

    The third opportunity to apply heat evenly is boiling for wet heat or frying for dry heat. The liquid can have direct contact to all sides of the food If deep enough.

    It is pretty easy going through the range of heat on the Wolf dual stacked burners. I can‘t remember it taking any kind of getting used to and the control is great.

    I’ve been using the wok a little more since I found Grace Young’s FB page, Wok Wednesdays. I’m just cooking for two or three when I do that but was surprised at how well the wok works on my 15K BTU burners. The wok gets smoking hot even in the middle but that is because cooking with it for me is a very active process and I just naturally move it around so it does heat the middle. Increased BTUs would definitely allow you to stir fry bigger quantities and the uncapped star burner will keep the heat more centralized. There was a guy on this forum a few months ago complaining that there was a cold spot with his BS burner with a wok but he must not move his wok at all.

    I use use all my simmer burners. I have put foil catering trays over the simmer on the regular Wolf burners and nothing scorches. I’ve also held mashed potatoes in LeCreuset with no scorching.

    There Is no “best”, but only best for each individual. You have to ask questions to understand what each individual needs. I can see BS and Wolf or?

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