Commercial style stoves at home UPDATE for 2017

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Joined Jun 19, 2017
I have been reading through an incredible amount of posts and knowledge from everyone on this site regarding commercial style ranges for home use. For background, I cook far more than bake (with the exception of bread) I use my oven to finish meats, roast veggies and I always host thanksgiving. On my range I sear, simmer, reduce and boil. I would like to upgrade to a double oven range.
That said, I have questions about ranges based on several great points found on this site but many threads are quite old and want to know what's relevant for 2017.

A) dual fuel range or straight gas - based on my cooking notes above?
B) self-clean vs manual clean - is this hype or a genuine hardship?
C) anyone have current conversations with repair companies to find out their top choices for reliability?
D) my eyes are on the following ranges: Capital, La Cornue, Blue Star, Wolf (in no particular order of interest)

Hopefully I have given enough detail for you to be able to lend some great advice or direction. I do plan on talking to some repair ships directly and wonder if there are any suggested places to call on the West Coast?

Thanks and looking forward to the replies!
 
5
10
Joined Jun 19, 2017
I have been reading through an incredible amount of posts and knowledge from everyone on this site regarding commercial style ranges for home use. For background, I cook far more than bake (with the exception of bread) I use my oven to finish meats, roast veggies and I always host thanksgiving. On my range I sear, simmer, reduce and boil. I would like to upgrade to a double oven range.
That said, I have questions about ranges based on several great points found on this site but many threads are quite old and want to know what's relevant for 2017.

A) dual fuel range or straight gas - based on my cooking notes above?
B) self-clean vs manual clean - is this hype or a genuine hardship?
C) anyone have current conversations with repair companies to find out their top choices for reliability?
D) my eyes are on the following ranges: Capital, La Cornue, Blue Star, Wolf (in no particular order of interest)

Hopefully I have given enough detail for you to be able to lend some great advice or direction. I do plan on talking to some repair ships directly and wonder if there are any suggested places to call on the West Coast?

Thanks and looking forward to the replies!
I am not certain this actually posted? With all the very passionate (and heated!) discussions about ranges on this site, I expected to be flooded with advice. If anyone has advice, please help me out of the agony of trying to decide alone!
 
4,032
850
Joined Dec 18, 2010
As a kind suggestion, you might get better response if your questions were more focused. As stated it reads like "Given the entire range of what's on the market today, what's best and why?"

Have you visited a big retailer like Pacific Sales to look, see, and hear the sales pitches. Sometimes the salesmen can offer interesting information along with their pitch.
 
5
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Joined Jun 19, 2017
Ah, thank you. Too diffuse, I get it. I have been to several large (and small) retailers which helped me narrow my choices. I look to this forum because I was struggling with features as they apply to cooks and chefs...at home.
 
4,032
850
Joined Dec 18, 2010
Here's my experience. I stopped looking at commercial-like or high end ranges because I fatigued with the sales malarkey. For home cooking I see value in two ovens and convection; not much else. It's all about square footage to me! I've always used gas only because my home not wired for 220 in kitchen. My neighbor went through the hassle of wiring and can't convince me that it was worthwhile. Self-clean is nice but so is a housekeeper... so not a major concern to me. Ha ha. The best non-commercial stove I ever cooked on was a 1954 Chambers that I foolishly left in the house I sold 20 years ago. I'm interested in what you end up with because my current oven is one of those narrow in-cabinet pieces of junk that's on its last leg. At some point I need to replace...

P.s. My cooking needs sound much like yours, except I host EVERY holiday for the family and friend gatherings. And it's never a pot luck... which I should seriously consider some time in future.
 
797
291
Joined May 25, 2015
That said, I have questions about ranges based on several great points found on this site but many threads are quite old and want to know what's relevant for 2017.

I too would like to see current reviews from users as, like you say, posts and links to posts on other sites are quite dated. Unfortunately I have a feeling that current reviews will show that quality has further declined as prices increased. Keep in mind that many high-end "prosumer" ranges are only installed to be an expensive decoration in a high end kitchen. So quality and low price aren't a priority for manufacturers. The owners won't use them much beyond thawing frozen pizza, so any opinion there is worthless. The same can be said for the sales people who try to sell them to you. I had one who wanted to make me think he was a chef at a 5 star restaurant and with this range you can produce food just as good- as he name dropped every steak house in the area.

For me, the biggest priority is no electronics. Nothing but problems and expensive to repair. Second is the ease of repair and parts availability if needed. So give me a commercial range that can be installed in a residential kitchen and I'll be happy. Oh, at a price point that isn't much above what a commercial range costs.

As for gas or electric, gas cook top hands down. Though I haven't tried induction, electric is horrible in my opinion. Ovens can go either way. There are slight advantages to each.
 

phatch

Moderator
Staff member
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One of the other issues is that these items tend to be in a house for 20 plus years. So given the user base here, there's not a lot of appliance turnover for people to have experience with the specific item you're looking at brand new today.

Additionally many of the professional-grade appliances have different Gas,Power, Fire suppression, construction requirements, and other issues needed by code that render your home uninsurable from standard home insurance.

Lots of professional-grade gear is unwarranted for home use. By which I mean they don't guarantee their use in the house and you're on your own for all repairs from the get-go.
 
797
291
Joined May 25, 2015
One of the other issues is that these items tend to be in a house for 20 plus years. So given the user base here, there's not a lot of appliance turnover for people to have experience with the specific item you're looking at brand new today.

Good point though I would argue that with the number of new builds and kitchen upgrades going on these days there have to be a lot of new buyers. Else all those manufacturers couldn't stay in business.


Additionally many of the professional-grade appliances have different Gas,Power, Fire suppression, construction requirements, and other issues needed by code that render your home uninsurable from standard home insurance.

Lots of professional-grade gear is unwarranted for home use. By which I mean they don't guarantee their use in the house and you're on your own for all repairs from the get-go.

I understand that. That's why I said "give me a commercial range that can be installed in a residential kitchen and I'll be happy". What I don't understand is why they can produce a commercial range that sells for $2000 and the "prosumer" equivalent is upwards of $5000.

The $2000 commercial range is designed for everyday use, ease of repair and should last for many years of use and abuse.

The prosumer range needs some things over and above commercial ranges like insulation in the sides and door construction to allow zero clearance and keep the outside cool. Other things like spark ignition so God forbid we won't waste gas and knobs that you have to push-in-to-turn to protect the snowflakes. So that's going to add some cost but show me how that adds more than $4000 to the price tag. On top of that, if you used it everyday like the $2000 commercial range it would fall apart.

So I don't know what the answer is. If you are a serious cook or chef and want to set up a home kitchen you're stuck between a rock and a hard place. Commercial equipment is cheap enough but you can't use it (unless you jump through hoops). Prosumer is basically way overpriced junk.
 
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Joined Nov 15, 2012
I should only hope a $2000 gas range would not fall apart with everyday home use. No if you were to go electric then I can say don't look at LG for longevity, but Bosch is a go as I feel Germans of all folk should supply decent coils as they pioneered the alloys, and I understand that their solenoids are not point-contact, though not sure if they use semi-conductor or mercury-switch types at this time. We are remodeling and I will likely go Bosch, unless the crazy takes over and a make like I won the lottery (I don't really need better than a Bosch electric, but then there is also that Rational XS oven posted about recently, speaking of lottery-mania).

As to the next step up (gas), a former poster who seemed to have a handle on just about everything recommended "American" for the home. You are definitely talking $4K+ (and likely 7K) here though.

The Europeans have some induction stuff, but maybe you don't want to got there right now.
 
797
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Joined May 25, 2015
I wouldn't give that much credit to the "Black Forrest". My experience has been that German stuff may be well engineered but when you need parts or service you pay through the nose. Just look at Mercedes and BMW.

There is another forum that I read through that's for techs who repair commercial kitchen equipment. None of them have much good to say about Rational. When they work they are great. Just don't try to fix them.
 
5
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Joined Jun 19, 2017
How do we all feel about Capital ranges in terms of reliability and performance? Seems like a [email protected]$$ range! I feel heavily weighted toward the Culinarian, then again I am somewhat drawn to Blue Star for the convertibility of the cooktop. Isn't buying something new supposed to be fun and exciting....why is this such an exercise in anguish and second guessing?!?
 
2,851
236
Joined Nov 15, 2012
How do we all feel about Capital ranges in terms of reliability and performance? Seems like a [email protected]$$ range! I feel heavily weighted toward the Culinarian, then again I am somewhat drawn to Blue Star for the convertibility of the cooktop. Isn't buying something new supposed to be fun and exciting....why is this such an exercise in anguish and second guessing?!?

Maybe then we should just expect that typical major appliance will last just will last 5-7 years.
 
797
291
Joined May 25, 2015
How do we all feel about Capital ranges in terms of reliability and performance? Seems like a [email protected]$$ range! I feel heavily weighted toward the Culinarian, then again I am somewhat drawn to Blue Star for the convertibility of the cooktop. Isn't buying something new supposed to be fun and exciting....why is this such an exercise in anguish and second guessing?!?

It's only an exercise in anguish because you aren't a kitchen decorator.

I actually did narrow it down to the Culinarian and the Blue Star. The salesman kept trying to steer me to the Culinarian because of things like better "fit and finish" and every steak house uses the same infrared broiler. So obviously I saw where he was coming from. To me the Blue Star offered more bang for the buck. No, I haven't bought one yet.
 
5
10
Joined Jun 19, 2017
UPDATE: I decided to purchase the 48” Capital Culinarian open burner all gas range. While install won’t be for many weeks yet because the remodel is massive and not starting until spring, it feels good to have made a decision. I’ll update this group once I’ve had a chance to cook on it!
 
797
291
Joined May 25, 2015
Be sure to let us know about any problems along the way with things like installation and out of box problems with the range.
 
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