rebron.org: Everyday Life, Work, Ironman Training

home | photos | toolbox | about me

January 3, 2008

BlueStar Range

I’d love an induction range w/ a convection oven and some sort of solution for a wok (doesn’t exist), but instead of that, I hear the BlueStar range is the one to go with and we’ll probably be getting one in the next couple of weeks.
Probably the 30″ BlueStar Residential Nova Burner. It’s supposed to produce some crazy heat, is well reviewed, and beat out Viking and some other “professional for the home” grade ranges.



21 Comments »

  1. I was looking at the BlueStar ranges as well. Did y’all ever get the one you wanted? How’s it treatin’ ya?

    Comment by Evan — January 30, 2008 @ 10:30 pm

  2. We bought/ordered one. Hasn’t come in yet. It’s fairly expensive.

    Comment by rebron — January 31, 2008 @ 7:37 am

  3. I hope you didn’t get a Bluestar or, if you did, you’re having a heck of a lot better luck than I did.

    In April 2007 we moved into a new home, filled with very expensive
    appliances, most of which we purchased from Massachusetts-based Eurostoves, whom I believe is Bluestar’s largest dealer (or so I have been told by the owner, many times), after a visit to the store in May of the previous year; among those appliances was/is a 36″ Bluestar RNB range.

    Unfortunately, though I was very impressed by the Bluestar I cooked on at Eurostoves, we’ve had nothing but problems with this range from day one.

    The unit–which, due to a shipping error made by Eurostoves’ owner Trevor Lawson, sat in a shipping facility for months–arrived damaged, we thought only cosmetically, with a weld blemish/mark on the door. Then, I discovered the oven temperature was very inconsistent (meat or other long cook items seem fine, but baking is totally unreliable; cookies may take 20 minutes, or be burned in five, though the temp setting is the same for both batches and the cookie size consistent) and the broiler remains totally unusable, as food would burst into flames (no exaggeration) in one part of the oven, while still room temperature in another (this is using a small cookie sheet’s worth of, for example, garlic bread and we’re talking about pieces four inches, at most, away from each other). This happened even with very precise placement of the food, lots of futzing and other “tricks” suggested by Bluestar to get it to work correctly. (One Bluestar employee advised me that the broiler had to “warm up” for “20-30 minutes” before it could be used—a statement in total contradiction to the printed manual.) I had used the broiler at Eurostoves, with no such shenanigans required, and loved it so much it’s the reason I bought a range, instead of the cooktop only I had planned on. Imagine my distress to have never been able to use my broiler; not even once.

    Right off, the burners were wildly out of sync, to the point they were unusable, except for one, which somehow worked perfectly. The 22k burners had no adjustment at all, beyond on and off and the simmer burner had no low flame. The high-BTU burners also “exploded” upon lighting, a very scary and dangerous prospect. (That last problem we eventually paid someone to look at ourselves because we couldn’t wait for Bluestar to fix it and didn’t want to die. This after one night when the flames went all the way up to the hood when the burner lit with a whoosh.)

    I could not get Bluestar’s service manager, who was then Pete Bloodgood, to
    address any of these issues, despite months of back and forth. (Prior to my
    purchase I had talked personally to Mr. Bloodgood, who was then at
    Signature, about service in my area, since I knew this was a little-known
    brand and he had assured me there were, quote, “dozens” of available service
    people; when I actually needed service, he claimed to be unable to find even
    one.)

    Eventually, after more than four months, Mr. Bloodgood dispatched a man who told me he had never even worked on a Wolf range, let alone seen a Bluestar (he’d never even heard of it). This person, who was nice enough, just had no idea what he was doing. He turned on the burners, stuck his head in the oven and pronounced my range fine. In the 10-15 minutes he was in my home he said all manner of nonsense, including that this range was “made by Wolf, only a cheap version” and that the simmer burner was “not designed” for a low flame. It seemed worthless to even attempt to argue with him, so I let him leave and asked Mr. Bloodgood to find someone more knowledgeable. (My husband had, eventually, replaced the door skin himself, with no instructions, after we waited months, no joke, for a promised service person to do so. The only repair that was ever actually completed successfully.)

    Mr. Bloodgood then took the position that nothing was wrong with the range and refused to help me. More than five more months went by–really!–while I attempted to get Mr. Bloodgood to do anything. Finally, after paying someone to come out and check the gas and prove the pressure was correct (which we already knew, since our furnace, two water heaters and fireplace had no issues) and after agreeing to written threats from Mr. Bloodgood that we would be charged if the range was found to be incorrectly installed (which he had been insisting after the first visit, based on no evidence at all and which proved to be completely untrue), Bluestar finally relented and said they’d send someone back to look at our range.

    Then, after making that promise, Mr. Bloodgood stalled for several more months, claiming to be unable to find a single person to come out and assist me, even though I gave him the name of a company I knew worked on Wolf, Gaggenau, etc. (This company later told me Bluestar wouldn’t pay their rate, though they do lots of warranty work for other companies.) All this time–coming up on a year since we got our range–I had a single 15k burner that worked properly on the range. It was during this time that Mr.
    Bloodgood told both me, and my husband, via phone, that he was extending our factory warranty. (This promise is one of many that have not been honored.) At this point, we were talking to Mr. Bloodgood almost every day in an effort to get someone to look at our Bluestar.

    Finally, almost 10 months after I first registered a complaint, Mr. Bloodgood sent back the same repairperson who had first come out and done nothing, all the while telling me how “lucky” I was that Bluestar was sending anyone at all and that I should be “grateful” (I have these comments in writing, via email) that this man even deigned to return to my home after I dared question his competence. (This being the same repairperson who said the simmer burner wasn’t designed for low flame.)

    This time, with a manual from Bluestar in hand, the repairperson adjusted our burners so that they now all had both low and high settings and could actually be used.

    He did look at the oven temperature and broiler but, again, only cursorily
    and did nothing to fix them, saying that if the oven heats up (it did) and
    the broiler lights (it does), there are no other adjustments/repairs he knew
    how to make. So, our oven remained (mostly) unusable and our broiler totally
    useless, but at least we had burners, finally!

    After this, Mr. Bloodgood said that this man was a knowledgeable
    repairperson and had deemed our oven and broiler working so
    Prizer-Painter would not be responding to my concerns on these matters
    anymore.

    Next, our oven door began to flop open at the slightest touch–a very
    dangerous proposition, especially as we have a toddler. At first, Bluestar claimed this was a “feature” of the oven, though it hadn’t worked like that at all in the beginning. After more months of complaining and begging on my part, Bluestar finally sent the same repairman back, in April, to fix the door, but even he said that the adjustment he made would be useless as soon as the door was opened a few more times (which has proven true, even though I rarely, if ever, use the oven—it’s not as bad as before he came out, but it’s getting there). This time, when I told Bluestar what he said, they claimed this man had no idea what he was talking about, because he didn’t know Bluestars–the very same person whom they trusted implicitly to tell them
    my oven and broiler were/are fine, when they’re not.

    Now, with all of the above still unresolved, I’ve also been without both my
    22k burners since July. (I reported, prior to even the April service visit, that one of the burners that is now non-working would sometimes not light, but was, again, ignored. When I asked the repairman about it, he said he was authorized only to look at the door.) I have attempted to go through Eurostoves, which supposedly promised me a three-year extended warranty in purchasing through them, and Bluestar, and both have, again, totally ignored me. Three months later, nothing has happened.

    One repairperson, through the extended warranty, came out and said the
    igniter was bad, but they couldn’t find a part replacement. It’s been seven
    weeks since then and we finally ordered the parts ourselves, only to discover it’s not the igniter at all, but something more complicated in the electrical or
    igniter module, a complaint a lot of Bluestar owners have had. (We discovered this because the burners can be swapped and the non-working burners will work–i.e. the igniter sparks–and the working burner won’t once placed in the non-working burner’s slot.)

    My $5,000 range currently has a sort-of working oven (as long as I don’t
    need exact temps–even the repairman said the range was 100-200 degrees, which seems huge to me, but he claimed was “normal”–and don’t care if my child is burnt by a flopping open oven door), an unusable broiler, only four working burners and none of them the high-powered ones I got a Bluestar for in the first place.

    This is not acceptable. This range is a dud, plain and simple. (Mr. Lawson
    also gave me an “old” model, again because of his shipping error, even
    though customers who had installs BEFORE me, through Eurostoves even, got
    the then-new models.) No one will take responsibility and I am left holding
    the bag.

    I have spoken, at length, with Pete Bloodgood, Matt Schutte (who, to his credit, did at least send me new oven grates, after I was able to prove to him, by sending photograhs, that mine were damaged) and Mike Trapp, all to no avail, as well as at length with Mr. Lawson who has treated me abysmally.

    I’m at my wit’s end. I’ve never had such a poor product or such poor
    customer service from any two companies, Eurostoves and Bluestar, in my life.

    Comment by Susan W. — October 2, 2008 @ 1:40 pm

  4. We’re having pretty good luck with the BlueStar we own. It’s a 30″ RNB w/ convection oven and it works fine. We cook a lot and the burners adjust fine, we bake, roast, broil, and make a lot of pizza in the oven. I’d check-in with Bluestar again as they’re trying to make a big marketing push. I’d contact their PR department too and complain. I always get good customer service if I go that route and truly at a frustrated point.

    Comment by rebron — October 2, 2008 @ 1:48 pm

  5. If you haven’t caught on, Susan is cutting/pasting her diatribe all over the net. She’s been canked from THS as a result of crossing the line between legitimate complaints and propaganda.

    Comment by MrT — October 17, 2008 @ 5:13 am

  6. MrT is dead on about Susan. I hate dealing with customers like her who have no clue what they are complaining about. BlueStar service has been nothing but first rate for me.

    Comment by MEL — October 21, 2008 @ 4:47 pm

  7. I love my 30 inch bluestar …it is the best.
    The only problem i find is the broiler seems to go off or the light goes off when I’m broiling. I’m not sure i’m working it right, the light goes out and it seems to slow down. I at first see the flame then I don’t, then if i open the door it goes on again. Maybe it goes off when it gets too hot??

    Comment by Lauren — December 27, 2008 @ 3:50 pm

  8. I bought the 36″ RNB Bluestar range from AJMadison via the web. (No sales tax, free shipping). Unit arrived w/ non working broiler control- tho it worked for oven- which was replaced at no charge, though it took nearly 3 weeks from first visit, to part coming in and repair. We are VERY pleased.

    Comment by charles — February 8, 2009 @ 12:53 pm

  9. Good day – My husband and I are remodeling our kitchen and I have been debating between the Bluestar 30 RNB and the Wolf 30 DFR. I am not a professional chef, nor do I want to be one, but I like to cook and now that I am able to come home every night and cook for my family, I want to have a really nice range. Also, in the future, I would like to do some entertaining. Is there any advice you can give to a regular working woman that enjoys cooking about these two ranges? One other thing is that, in the event we ever had to sell our home, I would like to have a nice range as a selling point – and we are fortunate enough to live in a very nice neighborhood in Northern Virginia (we bought my inlaws house at a price we can afford, which is how I got this lucky at age 31) so we don’t want to have a hot point or something cheap from a home improvement center.

    Comment by Emily Graham — February 18, 2009 @ 10:40 am

  10. We were looking at Wolf and Viking too and went with Bluestar. If you have a wok, Bluestar is awesome because the wok fits right in and it sits right on the fire. I can’t really say much more about the others. Went with Bluestar because it felt more solid, classic/no-nonsense/frills design (i.e. no digital timers just knobs), preferred Bluestar’s power and grill design, and it’s been good so far. Frankly, I wish more ranges looked at Bluestar’s design because of the classic, simple look without all the gauges and frivolous cooking settings. Hope that was a little helpful. Good luck. It took a while for us to get our range, about 3 months or so. It’s in black and you can get all sorts of different colors to match your kitchen redesign. Stainless steel/silver they usually have on hand, sometimes black also but other custom colors may take a few months.

    Comment by rebron — February 18, 2009 @ 10:50 am

  11. Thanks, this is helpful. I don’t think I will be wok cooking much, but you never know. I was talking to a dealer today who said that the door can get rather hot, but no reports of anyone getting burned or anything. Do you have to have a lot of clearance for something like this? That is, can this sit between regular cabinets and not burn the house down? Also, the dealer told me that it is not a true convection, but they put a fan on it so it is “like” a duel fuel range – but not exactly. I do like to bake, so I am curious how this convection fan works?

    Comment by Emily Graham — February 18, 2009 @ 12:58 pm

  12. I’ve heard of Diva and Fagor. Does anyone have any references? I have even found a website called what is induction cooking

    Comment by Aguero — November 8, 2009 @ 7:24 am

  13. I am a personal chef and cooking teacher. I love my blue star 30 inch so much. Never had a problem. This is the only 30 inch stove that can fit a giant tray in the oven. Or even more than one. This is fantastic for roasting tons of veggies and is a real time saver.
    I love everything about my bluestar, and am so happy with it. Sounds like that lady got a lemon.
    The stove is so beautiful to look at and I love being near it.

    Comment by Lauren Lee — November 14, 2009 @ 5:21 am

  14. I’m afraid, I’m with Susan. My kitchen fills with the smell of gas every time the stove is turned on. A service man has been by once to repair it, but says that the “slight” smell of gas right after you turn the oven on is normal. I have owned many ranges in my time, and this has never been a normal function. On top of that the grill is unusable, the heating is so uneven – burnt on one side, raw on the other, the oven knob falls off and the fan makes the loudest racket I rarely turn it on.

    I believe there are some pretty heavy propaganda artists talking up the Blue Star all over the place. From my experience, its a sham.

    Comment by Abby — December 20, 2009 @ 7:36 pm

  15. I have a 36″ Blue Star Range w/ gas convection, we have guests and I am cooking rabbit braised in red wine and roast potatoes as I write this. I am VERY pleased w. my Blue Star. This is NOT Viking or Thermador (been there done that) . This is a restaurant stove for serious cooks. Amateurs need not apply

    Comment by cf — December 22, 2009 @ 5:49 pm

  16. So interesting to read about Susan W’s terrible experience with Blue Star. We are now dealing with a similar story.
    About 2 months ago we bought a Blue Star 36 inch. It has been a nightmare! We would NEVER wish this product on anyone. We are fighting to get our money back, but the retailer says he cannot get his money from Blue Star, and the Canadian distributor for Blue Star says it is the responsibility of the retailer. We spent a considerable sum for this “high end” product, and are sorely disappointed.
    Upon delivery the cast iron grates were badly chipped.
    The burners did not light properly (releasing too much gas before spark resulting in big poof to start), and did not turn off properly (another poof to end).
    The knobs are inset too far, so we cannot read the indicators.
    The oven casing expands upon heating resulting in a large “bang” sound as it expands each time.
    Blue Star has sent replacement grates, new knobs and replacement burners. The tech has struggled to install these correctly – to no avail. They have been out twice – so far.
    Blue Star’s recommended “fix” for the knobs was to stuff PAPER into them so they sit out further!
    The new grates do not fit into the cook top properly. It is so tight now we cannot remove them for cleaning, and the trim sits askew. Another manufacturing defect.
    When the tech left last time, we continued to smell gas, and were forced to turn off the main gas valve at the wall. When he called the next day, the tech postulated that this was due to the stupid “paper fix” for the knobs pressing on the valve, releasing gas slowly.
    We are continuing to fight through this problem. We have lost faith in the quality, and SAFETY of this product.

    Comment by Canada — January 13, 2011 @ 2:20 pm

  17. Once again, the only prob i ever had was my door jamming. I called Blue Star and immediately got a response and said it was a common problem with these older models. They sent me a brand new door with installation instructions within weeks and were very cooperative and nice and it was no charge.
    I love my Blue Star and i am a pro cook.
    I almost love it more than my child.

    Comment by Lauren Lee — January 19, 2011 @ 10:39 am

  18. My Blue Star frss standing 36 inch is now 2 years old. We have had no problems. This i a stove for serious cooks.Not for sissies. Yes you have to actively cook, not walk off and leave what is cooking. Yes, you have to clean it. Why? Because it is a restaurant stove, and thats how true chefs cook.

    Comment by Charles — January 19, 2011 @ 10:51 am

  19. Blue star 48 with grill. I LOVE IT. The best range you could every ask for !!!!! Buy one if you can. High power burners are fab. And simmer burner works perfectly. If your a home chef who loves a food dinner party this is the way to go. I love the tow ovens could not be happier.

    Comment by Marjorie — March 31, 2012 @ 2:15 pm

  20. I have a bluestar range and have had a lot of problems with it starting from the first week. Initially there was a gas leak from the back burner which they fixed, the oven door has never sealed properly which causes the knobs to heat up too hot to even touch ( the repair man claims that it needs to open a little to let the heat out), when the oven gets turned on the igniters on the stove all click and this has been “fixed” four times already and needs to be repaired again, and the “modulator” for the burners has been replaced 6 times. All of these repairs have been done in less then a two year time frame. Fortunately I have the extended warrenty but unfortunately it will expire this September.

    Comment by Lisa — May 20, 2012 @ 10:29 am

  21. Susan is not nuts, or “one of those customers”. I had similar problems to hers and was also very frustrated with Pete Bloodgood. He was very condescending and acted like every problem was a fantasy. One should also know that I am a potter by profession and regularly run an 18 foot gas kiln. I have also taught many classes on firing techniques. I am no stranger to gas and maintenance of equipment. I have never ever been treated so badly by a company and in retrospect I probably should have sued them for gross negligence. One should also know that I have never thought of suing anyone before my dealings with blue star.

    Comment by Gable — October 24, 2012 @ 8:31 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

rebron.org: Rafael Ebron's Web site