My Personal Beast

My BlueStar range has been fabulous. First, let me tell you what it is.

When I was looking for a new home last year, I was searching for something small, one story, and relatively inexpensive. It is, after all, real estate. Even inexpensive is still expensive. After finding Casa Wineaux™ I knew that I’d have to get rid of a lot of furnishings, replace some items with smaller versions, etc. Moving from a two-story home with high ceilings was quite a change.

However.

I knew that I wanted to splurge on one thing. I wanted, no matter what, a commercial/restaurant style stove. I did some serious research and homework. I looked at the high-end KitchenAid (yeah, I know), Viking, Wolf, La Cornue (which STARTS at about ten grand) and many others. I decided on BlueStar because it was exactly what I wanted. It’s the residential version of a restaurant range made by a company that has been around for over 100 years.

I discovered that even the pricey luxury ranges don’t have the powerful burners that the BlueStar does, and in most cases were far more expensive. To put it bluntly, you’re paying for the name.

I found that the style that I wanted – 30 inches in width, four open burners, single French door, deep red, extended warranty – would cost me north of $7000. That’s enough to make anyone queasy, even though it’s pretty much on the low-end of the “luxury” brands. Except for wanting the dark red color, I was all about functionality.

BlueStar Model RNB

My BlueStar Model RNB. Gorgeous!

I finally decided that I would have to settle for a nicer everyday range rather than getting the stove of my dreams.

And then there was the stroke of serendipity that changed everything.

While randomly visiting a local premium appliance store (i.e., not Sears), I inquired about the BlueStar. The one that they had on display was a 48-inch, bright orange, impressive beast. It was glorious to behold, but the price, color, and size were way out of anything that I had planned for my tiny kitchen. I told her that I just wanted to see how they looked, hoped to see how they cooked, and then go off and buy something else that would fit into the features that I wanted and the budget that I had. When I told her my desires for a smaller red range, she got an odd look at her face and said, “come with me.”

We walked through a couple of showroom/staging areas, and into the dark and dank bowels of the clearance area/warehouse. There, sitting next to another stove, was a deep red, swing door style, 30-inch, four-burner BlueStar range. It fit my wishlist EXACTLY!

We walked through a couple of showroom/staging areas, and into the dark and dank bowels of the clearance area/warehouse. There, sitting next to another stove, was a deep red, swing door style, 30-inch, four-burner BlueStar range. It fit my wishlist EXACTLY!

I looked at this and (nearly) screamed, “Oh my goodness, it has everything that I wanted! How much is it?”

It was an older model and their former floor model which was moved into the warehouse after their big store renovation. That meant that instead of the $7100 I expected to pay, I was able to purchase it for a little over $2700 because they needed the room. The price included the sales tax and three years extended warranty. I wrote a check on the spot.

Well not really. But you know what I mean.

So what about its performance?

First, the good

It is powerful; the open burners are a big change from the sealed burners I’ve always used, and the broiler is a ceramic style that heats up to 1850°F. That’s not a typo.

And while many people may consider this a “con,” it has no electronics other than the ignition sparkers (or whatever they’re called). That means no clock, no timer, no self-cleaning oven, etc. See the KitchenAid link above, and you’ll see why no electronics on a slide-in stove is a good thing for me.

Did I happen to mention that it is gorgeous? That beautiful dark red stove in my tiny kitchen looks as impressive as it cooks.

Made in America, in Pennsylvania. As a former Philly gal, what’s not to love about that?

By removing the ring on a burner, it turns into a wok cooker – no wok ring needed. It makes cooking healthy stir-fry foods a breeze. The video demonstrates that better than anything I could come up with.

The oven is cavernous. Because of its restaurant DNA, commercial sized sheet pans fit. Easily.

Convection like nobody’s business. It is IMPORTANT to adjust the timing of recipes if you’re using the convection feature. Unless you think “overly crispy” is a good thing.

And while many people may consider this a “con,” it has no electronics other than the ignition sparkers (or whatever they’re called). That means no clock, no timer, no self-cleaning oven, etc. See the KitchenAid link above, and you’ll see why no electronics on a slide-in stove is a good thing for me.

And the Not So Good

Of course, with the good, there is inevitably some bad stuff to deal with as well.

My New Door on My BlueStar

The replacement door after the original failed.

Within two months of it being installed in the house, the oven door fell off. You heard that right. The oven door fell off. I quickly emailed both the appliance store and BlueStar Customer Service with a note that used a lot of words and carefully described what happened, but basically came down to a simple WTF.

I heard back from both of them immediately. While the wait for the new door seemed unnecessarily long, they finally got everything together and it was replaced with a brand new door with the updated design. I’m using the oven again, and I love it! As it turned out, that particular generation of the swing door had an inherent design defect. Because it was a never-used floor model, the defect was never noticed. The new door and its installation hardware are free of the defect and perform flawlessly. So a solid two thumbs up on customer service and quality of repair.

You will have to say goodbye to your over-the-stove microwave. The medium power burner on this range is equal to the high power of most stoves, and a powerful vent hood is required because the high burners will destroy your microwave’s itsy fans.

I quickly emailed both the appliance store and BlueStar Customer Service with a note that used a lot of words and carefully described what happened, but basically came down to a simple WTF.

While this isn’t the BlueStar’s fault, I’ve burned more things on this stove in the year that I’ve had it than I have on every other range in my life collectively to date. Because of its powerful, restaurant-style burners, keeping an eye on the food becomes a must. You blink, take a deep breath, scratch something, wash your hands, or daydream, and you are toast. Or, more accurately, your food is toast. And not in a good way.

This is not a stove you can just use right out of the box. It’s imperative to be aware of the work and focus that you will have to have in order to take advantage of its features. Not reading the directions is not an option. Ask me how I know.

Casa Wineaux™ & My Beast

So here I am at Casa Wineaux™ with my new toy, and although everything else in the house is pretty everyday – I have decorated in early Clearance Sales, Pier One, Overstock, and Etsy – this is my one beautiful gift to myself. I have what I need to cook, entertain, and to serve up the best food that I can craft and pair with the wines that I love.

And then there’s Tim’s vintage O’Keefe and Merritt. But that’s for another drool-worthy post!

Note –  I am not being compensated or sponsored for any of the information presented here. This is all about my own personal experience. That said, if you decide to purchase a range that requires a vent hood, I highly recommend the one that I bought from Amazon. It’s American made, reasonable in price, and could pull the chrome off of a trailer hitch. And it costs the same whether you use the affiliate link or not. Sweet.