We ordered the new appliances for our kitchen last weekend. I’ll make a general post on how I bought the appliances, and I’ll also put up another post describing my other appliances but I thought the range deserved its own post.
In a previous post
, I talked about why I chose a gas range over an induction range. Gas ranges come with two different type of burners: open burners and sealed burners.
|Image of a sealed burner.
Sealed burners are designed to prevent spills from entering the internals of the oven. Fans claim they’re easier to clean but they have three attributes I don’t like.
- Flame Pattern
Flame Pattern: Because the burners are sealed, the flame doesn’t shoot straight up but instead comes out of the sides of the burner. This creates a heat “donut” on the pan, rather than the more even heat of an open burner.
The fine folks at Eurostoves made a video demonstrating the difference in heat pattern between the open burner Capital Culinarian and sealed burner ranges:
Power: For reasons I don’t understand, open burner ranges are available with more power than a closed burner. We do a lot of searing in our house and I wanted a burner that would get really hot. I also hate waiting for water to boil. Further, I’ve never heard anyone complain that their range was too powerful.
Cleaning: In my previous house, I had a sealed burner range, whenever anything spilled over, it meant scrubbing and scrubbing to get the junk off and I always struggled getting the very edge where the burner sits on the range clean. With an open burner, spillover will fall into a catch tray which can be covered with aluminum foil. Cleaning that seems easier but I’ll put up an update when I actually have the range and have to clean it.
Given my desire for an open burner, I had three companies to choose from: Blue Star, Capital, and American Range.
I quickly dismissed the American Range, when I saw it in person I found it clunky and I wasn’t happy with the build quality. I also didn’t like how poor the information on their website was, there were typos and inconsistencies between what the website said and what the vendors said. The American Range Performer (American Range’s open burner range) is also relatively new and hasn’t been on the market too long so it was hard to find actual reviews of it.
The competition came down to Blue Star versus Capital and I hate to say it, but I don’t have a good reason for choosing one over the other. They’re extremely competitive ranges with marginal differences between them. The Blue Star has two high power 22,000 BTU burners, a simmer burner and a 15,000 BTU standard burner. The Capital has four 23,000 BTU burners and claims that they can all simmer. Reviews online make me believe the Blue Star wins when it comes to simmering but that’s not a very common use case and I’m convinced I can get a good simmer on the Capital as well. Both ranges offered a grill and both have infrared broilers.
The infrared broiler is a feature I’m really excited to try. The infrared broiler produces 1800° F heat. A traditional broiler is closer to 550°-600° F. I want an 1800° F broiler to be able to cook steaks the way Ruth’s Chris
does. Ruth’s Chris has custom designed broilers that cook both sides at 1800° at the same time. Mine at home won’t be quite the same, but I’m hoping to get close.
This decision took months, In the end, I chose the Capital Culinarian
for a couple of reasons: I liked the fit and finish more and I also liked the flexibility of having all four burners be the same.
Here’s a stock photo of my new range. I’m looking forward to having a grill inside the house! Grilling indoors adds a lot of complication, you need to plan your ventilation solution
around the extra smoke that grilling will produce. I won’t be able to do super messy grilling like you would with an outdoor grill because the cleanup will be more work, no sugary marinades or very greasy meats. What I will be able to do is easily mix grilled foods with other foods when cooking. I think the first meal will be steaks cooked with the infrared broiler, grilled asparagus, and sauteed mushrooms.