need 48” dual fuel range recommendation

lepetit matin
August 18, 2019

Probably going to need to replace our older Thermador 48” dual fuel range because it’s not functioning properly and repairs aren’t working. Have to stick with this size given opening in kitchen.

Been doing days of research via old posts, and would love updated info. I want to spend under 10k if possible (5k would be great, as we’re not sure how long we’ll be in this house), but I cook and use the oven a lot so need something that will perform well, and that hopefully won’t need a lot of repairs, but if it does, repairs that will be easy and not too costly.

I’ve narrowed it down (I think?) to: GE Monogram, GE Cafe, Zline, Capital Culinarian, Capital Precision, and maybe Bertazzoni? Please share any thoughts! I don’t need a lot of bells and whistles. Just a strong machine. Thank you!

Comments (11)

  • wekick

    The Culinarian is an all gas oven and there are other posts about why you would not want the connoisseurian, the DF.

    How do you use your oven? If you could use all gas, you could get a BlueStar RNB.

  • wdccruise

    One-hundred thirty-two people seem to like this Hallman HGR4802DFST 48 Inch Dual Fuel Freestanding Range at $4400.

  • lepetit matin

    @wekick thanks for that info on the capital lines. Didn’t realize that about the culinarian and precision; I’d prefer dual fuel. Will research the connoiseurian. Do you recall why it’s a bad bet?

    I do lots of all types of cooking; not sure how to answer that?

    Never heard of hallman. Will look into that.

    Anyone have updated info on the GE cafe and monogram lines?

  • M

    From reading here on Houzz, most people seem happy with their Hallman. At least one person claims that Hallman is a rebranded Ilve which sells at a discount because of the less well-known brand name. That would explain, why most people have good experiences; Ilve is supposedly one of the nicer'ish Italian brands.

    All the negative reviews seem to focus on lack of service. If anything goes wrong, Hallman is apparently really difficult to deal with. Of course, that's hard to evaluate as you are more likely to read negative rather than positive reviews.

    Dual fuel is always a challenge, it seems. Most American brands seem to use blue enamel in their electric ovens. Dunno why. And that particular type of enamel is prone to chipping after a few years. I am not sure I want to find small bits of glass all over my food.

    On the other hand, gas ovens seem mostly immune to this issue. And German brands for some reason also don't appear to suffer from this problem. It's all a little anecdotal. But that's the general sense of what I have been getting from reading Houzz for a couple of years.

  • lepetit matin

    Good to know. Will keep that in mind!

  • Ephma

    I bought a GE Cafe. It looks beautiful but I haven’t used it yet! Fingers crossed

  • wekick

    lepetite matin, if you bake or use the oven in any way that you need to open the door(changing pans around or for something with short cooking times like appetizers or cookies), I would not buy it.

    There are a couple of long posts about this a few years ago and one of their engineers came on one of the posts to answer questions. He admitted the ovens are not for everyone. One of the dealers supplied a letter from Capital answering complaints about oven performance. I looked on their current manual for the DF ranges and the way it works has not changed. I will post a couple of excerpts from the manual they have online now.

    The oven works in a a odd way. I had a Dacor wall oven and range that worked the same way and Dacor bought them back. The preheat comes on and heats the oven cavity. This is an intense heat and you cannot put food in during this time.

    After the preheat completes, it switches to sort of a maintenance mode with the element rapidly cycling on and off to maintain the temperature. When in this mode, it can’t raise the temperature in a timely manner. If you open the oven and lose temperature, it keeps cycling in the maintenance mode and takes a long time to come up. If you open it frequently as in baking cookies, the temperature drifts down but it has to drop 150°F for the preheat to come back on. Every other oven I have had, if the temperature drops 50°F the element comes on and brings the temperature back up quickly in 60 sec. or so.

    The result is the temperature is all over the place. It might work ok if fully preheated and you don’t open the door for casseroles. It’s the same thing if you turn the temperature up. It will take a long time to go up because it just sits in the maintenance mode with very little capacity to increase the temperature.

    To illustrate the length of time it takes to move in temperature in that maintenance mode, this section talks about how long it takes to preheat the oven without the preheat.

    This is time in addition to a normal preheat time. 20 min would be for lower temperatures and 40 min for higher temps. If you needed to preheat to 350°F, it would take about 40-45 min to move 280°F from 70°F to 350°F. If you put something in frozen, it can take longer.

    If you open the door to check cookies, the temp drops 50°F or if you turn the oven up 50°F it takes 10-15 min to recover. If you open again in 5 min, it hasn’t recovered and it drops again, you can see where it drifts down.

    There was one poster here who said that she liked that it worked that way. That type of heating did not work for me. There are also a couple of posters who like their connoisseurians but seem to talk about the burners more than the oven. One even had other ovens they used.

    This was from earlier this year.


    May 15, 2019

    reading all of these comment a few years later - I've owned a culinarian 36" cookktop and loved it. in new house, new state and getting ready to redo kitchen. really have my sights set on a 48" connoisseurian open burner dual fuel and i started to hyperventilate reading all the reviews on the net about horrible oven performance.”

  • lepetit matin

    Such great information thank you! Yes I bake, but also use it for roasting etc. honestly what you’re saying about the temperatures in the oven sounds like what my thermador annoyingly does now.

    All gas makes me nervous for some reason... I’ve never had a gas oven.

  • lepetit matin

    The bluestar rnb is intriguing. Can someone explain the difference between gas and electric ovens?

  • wekick

    While some say they can’t tell the difference, these are some of the comments often repeated on cooking/baking forums about gas ovens.

    -More heat/moisture into your kitchen

    -increased browning so great for roasting

    -much more difficult to keep added steam in the oven

    -some bakers note when coming from electric ovens to gas, cakes don’t rise quite as much

    Most manufacturers and some chef’s say “gas heat is moist” because gas produces water as a byproduct of combustion. They are not considering the oven and food cooking in it as a whole. Gas ovens have much bigger vents though so the moisture and products of combustion are vented out. Food, cooking produces a lot of humidity and is held in an electric oven. This promotes starch gelatinization which gives a little longer rise to baked goods.

    Electric ovens tend to have more controls over direction of heat(roasting modes, baking modes), fans, and often have 1-2 elements in back( Euro or true convection). The epitome of this control is the combi oven. The Monogram has a new feature that allows airflow from the convection fan from the top.

    Gas ovens are simpler with usually just off and in convection fan. Less to break though.

    The prostyle gas ovens have infrared broilers which are very hot and even but tend to be small, so take a peek and check the size. I use a lot of half sheets so need a wide broiler like you find in an electric oven.

    Some gas ovens, even the 30” will hold a full baking sheet or two 1/2 sheets side by side. BS is the only electric oven(wall) that holds a full sheet and it is tight.

    I bake a fair amount and I prefer electric because I can get the browning effect by using the convection fan as needed. If I am baking a cake, I start with standard bake and after the cake rises, I open the oven briefly to let humidity out and turn the fan on. In my cake I have low and high speed fans.

    One thing that has changed in ovens over the last several years is that they have hidden bake elements. It seems like it cuts down on the radiant heat from the bottom and I have one recipe(upside down caramel apple pie) that doesn’t work because the bottom doesn’t cook enough. It is also very hard on the steel/enamel on the bottom of the oven. I think the high heat is the cause of some of the problems with the enamel.

    edit-That’s not to say you can’t bake in gas because you can and some recipes work fine in both but some might not. My sister and I bake the same oatmeal cookie, same ingredients and pans but hers come out thin and crispy and mine are thicker and chewier. She has gas and I have electric.

  • M

    We had a 30" Bluestar RNB for almost nine years prior to remodeling our kitchen. I use the oven quite a bit, and I only have good things to say about my Bluestar oven. It is a very reliable and predictable oven. (I guess, predictability is the common theme for anything you can do with the Bluestar range!) The only thing that I had to pay attention to was proper pre-heating. It takes a minimum of 20min to do so. That's the cost of having such a huge oven cavity. But the upside is, if I want to bake six or more 3 lbs loaves of bread all at the same time, I can do that.

    Yes, there are differences between electric and gas. But I find these differences are pretty manageable. After our remodel, we now have two more smaller wall ovens; one 24"-wide Miele combination steam oven, and one (same size) speed oven.

    I find I use the smaller ovens more frequently, as I like that they preheat so quickly. But I don't see a huge difference in how they bake. With a little bit of forethought, I can easily adjust my recipes between both ovens. And yes, it helps if you understand how different ovens work; so, make sure you read what @wekick wrote. That's very insightful.

    What I do like about my combination steam oven though is the fine control of moisture. It helps for a ton of different recipes in ways that neither a gas oven nor a traditional electric oven can. If you have the space and the budget (!), I strongly recommend adding this appliance. It's a game changer. It also does great double-duty as a sous-vide cooker.

    I find, after the remodel, I only use the Bluestar for three things:

    1. if I need the really big cavity; and honestly that happens surprisingly rarely. In practice, the Miele CSO looks small, but is surprisingly capacious,
    2. if I do something that splatters a lot. The Bluestar is a lot more forgiving than my shiny and more complicated CSO,
    3. if I want to broil. That actually happens a few times a week. The Bluestar broiler must be the closest thing you can get to a commercial salamander in a residential kitchen. It is such a joy to use. But you often need to keep the oven door open to carefully monitor it. It broils so quickly. The Miele CSO is ridiculously underpowered by comparison (and I think, that's true for most electric ovens of other brands). And the broiler in the speed oven is just a pathetic joke, if you know what a good broiler can do.

    So, if you want my advice, get the Bluestar RNB. It's a no-frills oven. But once you figure it out, you'll probably like it a lot. Then, if at all possible, complement with a Miele CSO. You'll use the latter multiple times a day. It's so versatile.

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