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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