When you think of high-end grills, is Alfresco one of the first names that comes to mind?
It should, and it will, after watching this video.
When you think of high-end grills, is Alfresco one of the first names that comes to mind?
It should, and it will, after watching this video.
It’s one thing to see a beautiful Capital 48″ Gas range in a showroom, but how about the view inside a recently delivered customer’s home?
This is a somewhat rare sight – a sealed burner in 48″. The vast majority of our Capital sales are for the open burner Culinarian series, especially in the 48″ size. Nevertheless, she’s a beaut!
The eagle has landed…I’m happy to add this 36″ Capital Connosseurian dual fuel range to our extensive display of Capital cooking products.
Last May I brought one of these home. I had heard about its vaunted open burners, the slamming infrared glass broiler, the rotisserie, the moist-assist function in the oven…so I had to kick the tires and see if this was worth the hype. I also wanted to make sure I was cool with it from a performance standpoint so I would be comfortable recommending it to customers. So after using the range this entire winter where many soul-stirring, tummy-warming, love-laden meals were made by the Appliance Dudess, I’m happy to report that it has met the high expectations that were set for it. We sell what we believe in, and in this case, what I use at home!
Here’s our new Connosseurian on display at the showroom. They got the color wrong but I lucked out b/c I think this looks better than the one I ordered!
We’ve finally hit 50 degrees here in NY for a few days running…the snow is melting, daylight savings has kicked in, the crocus are starting to peek through the soil…all I need to do is catch my first sight of a Robin and I’ll be fully afflicted with Spring Fever!
And with the onset of Spring we welcome outdoor grill season here at Curto’s (which has actually become a year-round thing for us). We’re starting to get phone calls about Weber’s, DCS, etc…
From a product standpoint what I am most excited about this season is our commitment to the Alfresco outdoor culinary system line. Huh? Let’s avoid the marketing gobbledy gook and call it as it is – Alfresco makes absolutely kick-ass outdoor grills and their gas-fired pizza oven has received rave reviews from customers.
I wasn’t sold on Alfresco for the last few seasons as they were being distributed by Viking, who, aside from having their own set of internal issues, couldn’t seem to decide whether to promote Alfresco or their own lineup of Viking outdoor product. So the end result was that we sold a bunch of DCS grills!
However Alfresco is now being distributed by the pros at Almo Premium Appliances and they took the time to sit down with the Appliance Dude and some of my grill dudes and walk us through why this grill system is simply better than the competition. And you know what? I buy it..so much so that I’m sending a 42″ over to my parent’s for this summer, which is the site of most of my family’s grilling shindigs.
I’ll spend some time in a future post talking details about the Alfresco grill and Pizza Plus oven system. For now, feast your eyes on some desperately needed photos that us folks in the Northeast can savor as we wait to ignite our grills for the first time. The snow is melting folks, the time is nigh!
One of my customers took the time to write up a review as to why he switched from a Capital Culinarian to a BlueStar Platinum. This is gold folks. It’s informed, articulate…and not BS! The guy has owned both ranges and has no axe to grind. I own a Capital open burner myself and some of his points as to why he made the switch from Capital to BlueStar are well taken (though I am very happy with my Capital dual fuel range, exploding glass aside). My customer made sure to note that he thinks the Culinarian is a nice range, it just wasn’t going to fit his needs.
I have sent the review over to the brass at Capital and I will post their comments, if any.
Thanks again RM for taking the time to write this – you are helping lots of folks with their appliance buying decisions…and Lord knows they need it with all the noise on the web.
Dear Appliance Dude,
Iʼve owned my 36” 6 burner Capital Culinarian for over 3.5 years. As much as I have appreciated the major advantages this range has over the vast field of “pro style” ranges, I found myself very intrigued with the Bluestar Platinum after researching it. After a prolonged deliberation, I made the decision to move over to Bluestar. It was not an easy, decision. Years back, I replaced my Viking 36” sealed burner range for the Capital Culinarian, and it truly has lived up to the reasons I bought it for.
Iʼll never go back to a sealed burner, for several reasons. Rather it was based on discrepancies that were resolved upon my direct comparison to the BlueStar Platinum range. This information is not a diss on Capital, only my personal reasons that might not mean a “hill of beans” to anyone else. Still I found them legitimate enough and couldn’t find a better place to share this than the Appliance Dude’s blog.
1. For a 36” range the Capital Culinarian’s oven is very low to the floor, not that wide (25” usable) and very narrow in hight (12 1/4” from ovenʼs base to the broiler). The lowest usable rack leaves me with only 9 3/4” inches to the surface of the broiler. I could go to the lowest rack which is 1 1/4” inches further down, but that rack skims the bottom
surface of the oven which, bear in mind, is a 30,000 btu burner just below; rendering it pretty much useless. This was too hot most of the time when I wanted gentle oven heat even on the rack just above the lowest. The lowest rack was like having my pots and sheet pans on the range top burner. In some cases, it could be argued, that
this is a good feature; which it certainly can be at times. For instance, caramelizing roasted root vegetables on a sheet pan. However, most of the time it is a concern, not a feature.
* (The BlueStar Platinum range allows me to utilize all racks in its already generously wide and tall oven. No hot burner too close directly underneath, as the heat is in the rear; which Iʼve tested, and is optimum to say the least. I baked 3 sheet pans of cookies at once. One on the very top, one on the very bottom, and one in the middle. I baked them at 325 with convection on for 10 min. No rotation. They all came out at the same time and were within the target range of perfection. All were browned with crispy edges and chewy centers. Only the cookies on the middle rack were a tad less brown. Normally, I would not bake cookies on those far off rack positions, but I wanted to test the ovens evenness of heat. One thing Iʼd like to mention – before Bluestar recently decided to install a baffle/flame guard around the ovens heating element encasing the flame, I witnessed the baking of cookies in direct exposure to the blue flame. This was the ovens original design. They were only a 1/2” inch away from the flame for the entire
baking time and did not burn. The convection system compensated for the flames intense heat. The center fan pulls the heat to the rear, away from the cookies and blows it top, bottom, and around the sides of the oven to the front; where in the center the fan pulls it through again for reheating. I believe this is what is called True convention or
Tru-convection by trademark).
2. The rack positions are too few. I found I needed more optional positions to accommodate pans in such a narrow oven. Youʼre pretty much stuck using 2 rack positions all the time. The top rack is practically useless, leaving only a mere 1.5” to the surface of the broiler. Donʼt scrape your cookies! Which is all it can fit anyway.
(Bluestar has more rack options. All of them usable without the concern of the element just inches underneath).
3. The broiler protrudes down practically 1” inch, behind a piece of loose fitting glass; taking up even more of what little height there is to be used. (Bluestarʼs broiler is flush to the surface with an open chophouse flame).
4. The oven racks are lighter weight for their size. One of the thin rods broke from its light weld when I was simply moving it to another position. (Most pro-range racks are heavier gauge with thick rods that wrap over the front support. Not thin rods, cut to length with a light weld). Bluestarʼs racks are heavy duty and made well.
5. The racks rattle and buzz when the convection fan is on. At first I thought it was the convection fan, but it wasnʼt. The fan produces vibration which carries around the sides of the oven where the rack supports are and thus vibrates the racks. Even when heavy pots are on them. Go figure.
6. The oven metal is thin and insulated only average. What you want in a pro range are hefty solid sides all around, which everyone hates waiting to heat up, but makes for much better average temperatures and faster temperature recovery when the oven door is opened and closed. Itʼs a trade off, I know, especially when you just want to heat up some frozen treats for the game that just started. (I just pop em in after a
10-15 min preheat anyway).
(Bluestarʼs oven interior is like a tank).
1. Some grates wobble but not bad.
(Bluestar has leveling screws).
2. The island trim is high. This means no larger size pots on the back burners or 12” skillets either. They all crowd over the front burners.
(Bluestar has a island trim that is grate height. Now all my pots and skillets can slide to the back when needed).
3. All 6 of the burners are high output with the same simmer level.
(Bluestar has a designated simmer burner along with other burner options that offer more versatility.
4. The grates have larger gaps in them causing my saucepans to tip if I am not mindful. Only my small sauciers though.
(I prefer Bluestarʼs grate system).
I hope these are points that will help anyone in the market place make a more informed
IMHO Alfresco makes the best outdoor grill. Yes, even better than that one that costs 15K and starts with the letter “K”.
I didn’t always hold this opinion and I will reveal how I changed my mind about it in an upcoming video post.
For now, let us start the feast of outdoor grills (yes denizens of the Northeast, believe it or not the grilling season is approaching!) with a shot of the new Alfresco grill with its oh so sexy stainless knobs.
call us at 914-793-5600
Prices on the new Tuscany series for ranges for Viking start at $12,859 and run to $17,379
More info to come…
Considering a Bertazzoni oven or cooktop for your kitchen? Why bother listening to an appliance salesperson or anonymous reviews on forums (who probably work for the competition!)
I sold this lovely couple from Scarsdale a Bertazzoni package last fall and suffice to say the wife has been kicking the tires and then some. She wrote me this beautiful email stating her love for the product. It’s nice to receive notes like this when so many people are only motivated to write when things are negative.
Any questions on Bertazzoni products, just ping me or visit our showroom which hosts the largest Bertazzoni display in Westchester County and Manhattan.
REVIEW (Appliance Dude comments in bold)
“I totally love the 6 burner cooktop and electric speed oven. All my friends love them as well, even the ones with Wolf and Viking at home. They are a joy to cook and bake with – I literally feel inspired and happy in the kitchen. AD – Who needs psychotropic drugs, just cook with Bertazzoni and bliss will be yours!
“Thanks so much for holding my hand in the process. Maybe you could do a video of yourself and a cook making a dee-lish meal on YouTube?” AD – Working on it!
“On the cooktop I like the power of high burner, the various sizes for different types of cooking, the ease of cleaning, the beautiful design.” AD – It’s definitely a looker. Their product may be the nicest designed in the appliance business
It’s Valentine’s Day and the Appliance Dudess has decided to make one of my favorite dishes – Chicken Scarpiello.
The chicken is cooking in the oven of our Capital Dual Fuel Conneusseurian range at 475 when I hear a shriek from the kitchen.
I run upstairs and the entire glass door (inside panel) is shattered. My wife is flipping, and I’m like…”Holy shit”.
I had heard of glass shattering on oven doors when ranges are in self clean mode, but never when cooking. So….here’ s how we turn a negative into a positive…
Within 48 hrs Capital had a new oven door on its way out to me (would have been 24 hrs but it was a Sunday)
The diagnosis was that there may have been a hairline crack in the glass or (more likely) the screws were in too tight on the door thus there was no room for expansion from the heat. In hindsight I don’t think we’ve taken the Capital up to 475 before so I’m pretty confident that’s what happened.
So why am I writing about this negative event caused by one of my favorite brands and a valued business partner? Because it’s a lesson for everyone shopping for appliances that NOTHING is bulletproof and that shit can happen no matter how much money you spend. I have spent the last few years waxing poetic about Capital’s construct as being probably the best in the business…particularly the doors. And even after this incident I stand behind that statement.
What’s even more important is their REACTION to the event.
They moved at lightning speed to correct the issue. Do you think that would have happened if you had purchased a range from one of the behemoths? You’d still be bantering back and forth with customer service. You deal with a company like Capital and there aren’t many lines to cut through. There are many appliance manufacturers and a few distributors that could learn something from this. Kudos to Capital. I am happy and confident in selling your products
and you the consumer should be confident in placing them in your home.
When I brought my ASKO D5628XXLS home last week I noticed that the top rack was extremely stiff and somewhat unforgiving when I attempted to pull it out to load dishes. I also noticed the same situation in another ASKO that we have on display in our showroom. Hmmm..faulty racks? Bad tracks?
I spoke to a guy who knows more about ASKO dishwashers than almost any human in NY.
He explained it like this to me….
One of the reasons ASKO’s clean so well is that they have multiple spray arms throughout the dishwasher that are directly fed high pressure water. If you notice the below picture there is a black ring around the end of the pipe which feeds water into the spray arms directly under the top rack in the D5628XXLS dishwasher.
That pipe and the orifice in the spray arm need to make a tight seal so there is good pressure and no water leaking out from it. The black ring helps with the seal but the flipside is that it sometimes it takes a little muscle to get the top rack to roll out smoothly.
Solution – take some vaseline (or chapstick) and rub it around the black ring and the end of the pipe.
I’ve been told that it will completely alleviate the tightness of the rack.