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Capital Range Culinarian vs BlueStar Range Platinum: User Review!

Written by Appliance Dude | March 6th, 2015

Shop for Capital Culinarian Ranges at Curto’s
Shop for BlueStar Platinum Ranges at Curto’s

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.

REVIEW
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.

"Wow. I never thought I would feel it for an orangey appliance. Bravo to Capital for this wunderkind

“Wow. I never thought I would feel it for an orangey appliance. Bravo to Capital for this wunderkind


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.

The BlueStar Platinum 48" Gas Range at Curto's

The BlueStar Platinum 48″ Gas Range at Curto’s

OVEN:
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).

Range Top:
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
decision.

Posted in: Bluestar, bluestar range review, Capital Range,

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16 Responses

  1. C. Cagle says:

    Purchased Blue Star Precious Metals 36” range at a cost of $7,500 in April. Oven doors are crooked and do not line up. As a result there is uneven heating so I can’t use my oven. The installer notified Blue Star (as well as my husband has numerous times) that the doors are defective. Also the handle is loose under the burners and can’t be fixed since it’s stripped. Installer also informed Blue Star. We have also been in constant contact with the appliance store we purchased this piece of crap. They get the same run around from Blue Star. THIS IS A NEW RANGE, NEVER BEEN USED. ONLY 3 MONTHS OLD. We wanted a replacement to this piece of crap but was told too bad. We did not purchase a floor model, no refurbished model. We were told the oven doors will be sent to us and then another Blue Star qualified installer will come out and install the doors and handle. That’s been over a month and no replacement doors have been sent. ANd no replacement handle. We’re told these are custom made and no one can tell us how long that will be. Customer service says they don’t know where it is in production and can’t find out. WHAT???? My husband had customer service forward him to someone that can make decisions only to get a voice mail with no return call. If anyone knows a name and number to Blue Star Corporate Executives I would surely appreciate it. I can’t say if this is a good or bad range but I know that customer service is awful. I’m stunned the company is still around. I DO NOT RECOMMEND BLUE STAR AT ALL!!! We are not wealthy people, this was a large extravigant purchase on my husbands retired military pay (32 years service and 3 wars). I feel like I’m being held hostage with a pretty range that serves no purpose Imagine if this were the holidays with big dinners?

    • Donna Meadows says:

      Hello,

      I have to say I have had the same problem with Blue Star for years.
      They are the worst company ever and their repair people are just as bad. There is only one guy in my area. One time he said he was coming around 2 and didn’t show until after 7pm. Every thing that could go wrong with my stove has. The logo on the front fell off, when the oven is on the outside gets so hot you can’t touch anything , the bunners click and click even when the flame is on, the paint on the grill chipped off within a few moths and now after 4 years the paint on the outside is bubbling and chipping off ( has to be that the out side gets to hot even though they say thats normal). A few months ago my oven door got stuck closed when roasting a chicken. I couldn’t get it open to save my live. Finally got the repair guy to come out a few days later and he pried the door open bending the lining. He said that the hinges break sometime and he would order a new lining and hinges that was 3 months ago. Nobody returns my calls. Contacting Blue Star or their repair people is a joke! I am now looking for a new stove. My advice NEVER BUY BLUE STAR

  2. Evelyn Vega says:

    The review is great, however I was hoping he would addres the issue of the oven door hinges, and the oven ‘s heat in knobs, and lastly the oven exterior sides getting really hot.

    Most reviews I found are from 2013, 2012, 2010 ect.

    Its now 2015 has bluestar fixed this issue in their ranges? I live in California and it seems that most reviews are from east coast.

    Any information good or bad is appreciated. My kitchen is undergoing a minor face lift so my. Bluestar 36 ” 6 burner has not been installed yet.

    Thank You
    Evelyn Vega-Fong

  3. Dan says:

    So if I am reading this review correctly, with respect to the stove top, the only thing the author didn’t like was the grates (3 of 4 comments). The one comment about burners makes no sense as how can having one dedicated simmer burner be more “versatile” than having all six burners being able to simmer? I’v e seen these simmer side by side and the simmer, in my opinion, is equal. So to me, being able to simmer on any of my 6 burners is much more versatile than only being able to simmer on one burner. But as the author said, its only my opinion

    • Appliance Dude says:

      I appreciate the great review that was written by the user, but in my opinion the Capital is a better range. I’ve owned one for over a year now and the construction is better than the BlueStar, the oven runs circles around it and the burners have more flex since you can simmer on all. My .02

      • Ron says:

        Appliance Dude, you sell both ranges and are under the opinion Capital is a better range. You have experience with the Capital range as you have one, curious if you have cooked on the Bluestar range? I have been in your store and did not see the range hooked up to gas. In what way does the Capital oven run circles around the Bluestar oven? How is the construction of the Capital better? These comments appear to go against the comments/experience RM shared with us. I just want to make the most informed decision as possible with my purchase.

      • Appliance Dude says:

        I like the Capital better from a construction standpoint and the oven is better. When we first brought BlueStar in the oven door glass was rattling all over the place. They’ve improved but I still consider the Capital better built, as does a major servicer in the NYC metro market who handles both ranges. However, BlueStar definitely raised its game considerably with Platinum.
        And remember, this blog is a democracy…Raleigh has his own opinions and they are beautiful, informed and deserve to be shared!

  4. Louis Daviau says:

    Now I’m even more confused. I have been researching Blue Star and Capital for several months. I’m building a new home for retirement. I want to do this only once. I want it right the first time, however I do not have unlimited funds. This review is well thought out with facts as well as opinion. I appreciate that.
    He compares the Capital Culinarian to the BlueStar Platinum. I have been considering the Blue Star RNB range. It sounds like they have addressed the “hinge issue” with the Platinum but have they done anything with the RNB? Does the RNB with the more conventional heating element at the bottom of the oven cause the same problems mentioned about the Capital?
    It seems the only way I can get a double griddle (24″) is to go with at least a 48″ range. I am a big fan of cooking on a “Flat top” For me a 24″ griddle and two burners would be ideal. I’m thinking about a 36″ range and an after-market 24″ griddle that would all but live in place on the top. Of course one of the concerns there is that the griddle would heat unevenly with the circular burners as opposed to a burner designed for a griddle. The Platinum comes with an interchangeable 12″ griddle. I suppose I could order a second one, but at $600 for just a few pieces of cast iron, it hardly seems worth it. I have considered going with the Blue Star 24″ RNB all griddle top only and adding another 24″ range top. That with a pair of wall ovens might work. That puts me back at 48″, something I am trying to avoid. We are downsizing. It’s a retirement home. I love to cook. I refuse to give up on the idea of having at least a 24″ griddle.
    Any comments or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

    • Raleigh says:

      Hi Louis,
      I’m pretty sure the hinge issue is old history by now. The RNB I’ve seen recently seemed the same as my Platinum range. Solid. In my estimation, the RNB bottom rack won’t have the same problem getting too hot as my older Culinarian . The RNB oven has more height and the lowest rack is not so close to the bottom as it was in my Culinarian. Which I had to use so many times because the interior was so narrow and low. That was an older Culinarian model, so changes may have been made.
      The griddle works very well on the platinum, you have to follow the instructions tailored to the Platinum for optimum performance and consistent temperature. You can read about it at openburner.com. If you’re set on a 24″ griddle in a range space of 36″, I’m not sure how to resolve that. Possibly a custom order, or 2 separate griddles as a last resort. 1 large one might be feasible too. You have me thinking.
      Hope this helps.
      Raleigh

      • Raleigh says:

        I’m friends with some of the best chefs in Seattle, who have cooked on my range and love it. More dedicated websites with informative videos for both Bluestar and Capital is necessary to really show people the greatness of these ranges. To learn more about the how the Bluestar Platinum’s griddle and grill work, openburnerrange.com is very informative. Select Platinum under the Product section. Maybe I should create some demos and post them somewhere somehow. Hope this helps.

  5. Wendy says:

    We purchased our 48″ platinum in August of this year. When we installed (new build) we read all the install instructions and followed to a tee. Our stove does not fit as the manual is wrong. We even called bluestar to double check on gas and electric location. They told us wrong! After we got the stove the burners didn’t light and we had to call several times to get an answer. When we did get a reply they sent a tech out who adjusted our burners and our ovens. Our large oven does not cook evenly. I put a chicken in the oven on Thanksgiving and over 2 hours later was still not done. Top was browned beautifully but bottom was raw and center was still bloody. I cooked on 375. Dinner was RUINED!!! The Powr Oven is a joke. Nothing browns on the bottom and nothing of any substance cooks through. I would not recommend the Platinum to anyone. I have followed all instructions from the techs and customer service. The burner on the back of the oven does not heat the bottom of the dish. Cookies do not come out even. The small oven is okay but we purchased for 2 ovens as I love to cook. Love the top burners. Open burners are the way to go. I would recommend RNB series as the Powr Oven is not what they say it is.

    • Raleigh says:

      Man! That is frustrating to say the least. I’d like to say these matters can seem like design flaws but can be easily remedied when the cause is recognized. Don’t give up on your lovely range. My Platinum performs incredibly. My mother, who loves to cook and bake all things, has since bought a 30″ Platinum and loves it.
      I think your oven is not properly calibrated to the temperature setting on your oven knob. Any chicken at 375 roasting for 2 hours is going to be done. Provided big mistakes were not made. Like a frozen stuffed bird plopped in the oven. Also, the under side of the bird will not brown if it’s nestled down in a roasting pan. Make sure it is elevated. Or butterfly the chicken and roast on a cooling rack on a baking sheet. Anyway, that’s just what comes to mind. Like I say, oven calibration seems to be the issue. Also, if you cannot see, have the technitian check to see if the heating element behind the baffle is igniting all the way around the fan. That might be what’s behind your unevenness. Best of luck and don’t give up.
      Raleigh

      • Appliance Dude says:

        Raleigh thanks for the commentary. Raleigh certainly puts his range through the paces so if there was going to be a weak spot on the Platinum he would have identified it.
        PS – Raleigh, you should have sent mom over to me!

  6. Raleigh says:

    Hi Jonathan,
    That was the plan. I directed her to you. However, she was able to obtain a great deal she could not turn down.
    The distributor in our area was liquidating their inventory at a 35% discount. For a new 30″ Platinum,
    she just didn’t want to pass up the deal. Anyone who talks ranges with me knows I bought from you. The Appliance Dude! Have a great Christmas and New Year!

  7. NJR says:

    Any experience with the French Doors on the RNB model? We went to a local high end appliance store and saw the platinum BlueStar Demo’d. We however really like the french door look that is only available on the RNB model. They had a floor model with the doors but they were broken. The sales rep said the damage was caused by showroom personal that tried to move it incorrectly.

    With historic issues with doors ( that supposedly were addressed) It looks like overall size of oven in 36inch model is the same . THe Burners are not as powerful but still provide ample power. Thoughts?

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