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mommytofive

Will I regret buying a 30 inch gas range instead of a 36 inch?

9 years ago
last modified: 9 years ago

I have 7 children, 12 years old and younger. I love the 3000 dollar price point of the 30 inch Capital precision gas range. The 36 inch is a little over a thousand dollars more at 4100 dollars. I initially was going to purchase a 36 inch but as i see my kitchen renovation expenses building I am considering the 30 inch range. Currently I am using a 30 inch stove and believe it or not only two burners work, so I have a hard time envisioning whether I really need the 36 inch for a family of 9. I do cook a lot. What do you think?

Comments (59)

  • 9 years ago

    I do and I only cook for 4. What I didn't realize was how much nicer it was to cook and bake in a properly functioning and well laid out kitchen. If I had known how much more I would cook from scratch and how much more I would bake I would have bought a 36" range without a backwards glance. It is one of two things I regret about my decisions in the reno. (The other is the choice of counter but that's another story!)
    The other thing to consider is will you be getting your little ones involved in the cooking and baking process. A larger range would make that easier and more comfortable.


  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    As a Capital range owner, I would suggest you opt for a different brand that may not be "pro-style" but will be a better range. While my Capital looks great and I do use the high BTUs on the stovetop, the oven is far worse than the oven in my old GE range. It heats unevenly and the convection does not make a difference in the even-ness of heating. I have had 3 techs "adjust" it with no improvement. It is also a HUGE PITA to clean the cooktop. Honestly, I had an opportunity to buy my friend's Kenmore Elite 42 inch range and I am still kicking myself that I did not, that range was wonderful.

    Kenmore range

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  • 9 years ago

    It's hard to say whether you will have regrets over a 30" gas range. I went from a vintage 40" 6 burner gas range (that I loved, but it was a bear to clean) to a 30" gas range and I cook a lot, albeit not for 9!. I haven't missed the extra burners or the stove top space since I captured extra countertop to the right of the range for a better landing zone which was more important to me.

    I wanted a good gas range, but within a certain budget because my splurge zone was the sink and prep area. And I haven't regretted that for a moment.

    I can't imagine using 5 burners on a 30" top, but maybe it works. And the point about cost difference for a 36" or wider hood should probably be a consideration.

  • 9 years ago

    mabeldingeldine, It is so hard to pick a range I am finding out. Yours is one of the first negative reviews I've read on the capital. I wonder if the uneven oven heat is common on the capital. I think picking a range has been my hardest kitchen reno decision.

  • 9 years ago

    I think I'd find one oven harder than 4 burners. How do you feel about one oven? Has that worked for you so far?

    Just curious!

  • 9 years ago

    I really wanted a 6 burner but I wanted to be economical too. I didnt get it. If I want another burner someday I will get a stand alone induction burner. Likewise, I didnt get double ovens. I don't need them often. It wasn't worth what it would mean to my layout.

  • 9 years ago

    localeater, it's good to note what we all can do to increase our resources when needed. A electric or induction burner and roaster oven can save the day on occasion.

  • 9 years ago

    If you have 2 people working at the stove at once more than occasionally you would be happier with a 36" range. I have a 30" pro style range and even if I use all 4 burners (which is almost never) the stovetop space doesn't feel cramped. However, if 2 people are each using a front burner at the same time they have to stand at an awkward angle to not bump shoulders. With my parents' 36" range 2 people can work side by side without a problem.

  • 9 years ago

    I would definitely go with a 36" range for a family. The additional 2 burners or the grill/griddle possible are definite pluses.

    However, I would look for a different brand. If you haven't read negative reviews of Capital, you haven't done enough research. There are horror stories on the Appliance forum.

  • 9 years ago

    Mimipadv,, No, I don't find it hard having only one oven. And even though I'd love to envision having one of my children always cooking next to me on the stove I don't think it would happen all that often. I can picture prepping and cleaning up together more than I can envision sharing a stovetop. With having 7 kids around me all the time sometimes it's nice to do a task alone if you know what I mean..... Now holidays I'm sure other adults would work nicely together at a 36" stovetop.

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    rococogurl, wow! I have not found those threads yet. What are the awful things? Is your preference a bertazzoni then in that price range? The different powered burners on the bertazzoni seem confusing to me.

  • 9 years ago

    mimipadv, I was thinking the same thing! I'd go with the 30-inch and add an extra wall oven. I cook a lot and I rarely need more than 3 burners, but there are so many times I could have used an extra oven. Unfortunately my current kitchen doesn't have room for one, but that would definitely be on my list for a future kitchen. And mommytofive, if you can at all fit one in, I bet you would not regret it. I think an extra induction burner could work well if you really needed it, but those counter top convection ovens are not really like having a full size oven.

  • 9 years ago

    Oh, sorry, I posted before I saw your reply that you don't mind having one oven. It must just be me. I guess I'm always wanting to bake something for dessert at a different temperature than the main course. Drives me crazy...

  • 9 years ago

    30" is standard, and until recently it's what everyone had -- except for commercial applications. It's plenty, even for a large family.

    Before you decide what to buy, find out whether the larger model would ALSO require you to have extra support under your floor. If so, it might not be a matter of an extra $1000 or so.

    And as for the extra cost being stretched across years to come ... keep in mind that if it's included in your mortgage, you'll be paying the extra $1000 PLUS interest, which can easily mean paying 3Xs for the item.

    Clearly, I come down on the side of the standard-sized 30" range.


  • 9 years ago

    I don't think I have room for an extra wall oven, even though that would be convenient. My kitchen plan is kind of funky because I live in a really old house with very low windows. It limited my plan a bit.

  • 9 years ago

    I'm going with a 30" range and a speed oven. I know it's not a popular choice, but I honestly only would find more than 4 burners useful if I'm hosting Christmas or thanksgiving. And I've hosted big parties, and always made it work, so decided to keep the size I have. I did go with a blue star, which has a large interior to the oven, so that wilol be an improvement to my current situation.

  • 9 years ago

    mommy - I had a Berta in our apartment for 2 years. It is a gorgeous range and very good value but it has some quirks. Before I bought it I did a lot of research on old threads and emailed owners. Everyone was happy with them. I liked mine too. However some hate the Berta which has electric ignition and a smaller than usual oven as it's on legs and has a drawer below the oven. Again, check out the old threads on the Appliance forum.

    Stoves are so tough. I really feel for you. Vedazu has a Verona she likes -- it's another Italian like Berta. You might read that thread (again on Appliances) and email her about it. The Italian ranges tend to be more affordable than the others.

    There are NXR threads as well. That's another range that's affordable. But I'd read all those and also do general Google searches. Chowhound often has range reviews.

  • 9 years ago

    We used a 36" and it was busy all the time especially during holidays. I decided to upgrade to 48" rangetop.

    I can refer you to my special place to buy the range for about 40% off. You'll have to pay shipping but even with that it should be cheaper than full retail. The choices differ every week. Blue Star goes within 2 days of shipment received. I haven't seen any Capital Culinaire. They get a lot of Viling, Wolf, Bertazzoni.

  • 9 years ago

    Thanks rococogurl. All I really want is a reliable range that I won't have to get serviced. I can handle quirks as long as they're not faulty. I've been reading as many threads as I can to try to make the best decision possible.

  • 9 years ago

    Another friend has a Berta and she is very happy with it, and it is very pretty! I know the range question is hard, best of luck!

  • 9 years ago

    Beachum do they sell cooktops also. We are putting in 2- 36" cooktops gas for religious reasons that are way to complicated to understand unless u know the intricacies of kosher and I'm having a really hard time finding my that are within my budget since I need 2 and are work horses. I have the capital don't know which model and I like it but don't love it. I cook ALOT think 30-40 people at each meal Friday night and Saturday same thing with holidays. I need a workhorse or 2

  • 9 years ago

    I spent about 3 months researching and looking at ranges and their installation and hood requirements (as well as code in my county) before purchasing. It came down to the Berta or the Big Chill http://bigchill.com/shop/cook/big-chill-pro-stove/ I went with the Berta because it fit my budget and needs and the local appliance dealer will service it if needed.

    Perhaps it would be helpful to know what features of the Capital Precision are most attractive to you.

    Self-cleaning? Other electronics such as timers, digital displays?

    22,000+ BTU burners? Good simmer burner?

    Does the burner layout matter, e.g., where the power burners are vs. the simmer?

    Do you want heavy cast iron grates or porcelain over cast iron?

    Would a warming drawer be useful? Or the storage drawer?

    Just some ideas that might elicit additional range options for you to consider.







  • 9 years ago

    Beachem what is the name of the discount store?

  • 9 years ago

    Zwizzle, I am looking for a simple range with minimal electronics. Don't need super duper powerful burners. With the capital I liked that burners were the same with capability of simmer. That was my one hesitation with the Berta, figuring out when to use each burner since they're all different. I could care less about self-clean. Capital had a nice size oven even for their 30 inch size. I do think Berta's 36 inch size oven would be sufficient as well.

  • 9 years ago

    My objection to a 36" range would be the big oven. My understanding is that it takes a much longer time to heat up and uses a lot more fuel. Even with a big family, I don't see that you'll have much need for all that extra space.

  • 9 years ago

    Mommy: I don't think you would have a problem adapting to the various burners on the Berta, but I have a feeling you might be happier with your first choice - the Capital Precision. I am not aware of the horror stories from owners of Capital Precision on the Appliance forum - guess I didn't see them when I was doing my research. I think there a number of satisfied Capital users and hopefully you will get a response from you posting on there. Good luck with your decision! I know it can get confusing but it sounds like you know what you want and it's a matter of doing your due diligence on the reliability.

  • 9 years ago

    @heffer they have rangetop and cooktop. Last week's newsletter had several Blue Star and DCS. They don't have a website but they are an authorized clearance distributor for all the high end appliance companies.

    They sell discontinued, showroom models and customer returns. For example I almost bought a Viking built in Fridge that was 60% off. It was new but returned because of a dent on the side that would be hidden behind paneling. I got my brand new Blue Star rangetop there. It took 3 shipments before I snagged one cause they went so fast.

    I even saw a gorgeous La Cornue used but in pristine condition.

    If something has been there too long, they keep discounting it because they get so much delivered every week.

    You call them and check if they have what you want. They will email pictures to you of the item. It's a 2 hrs drive for me so I just called and checked every week then pay by phone.

    Last week they had a BS 36" rangetop with griddle for $2700 and a 30" BS cooktop for $1400.

    They just started distributing for GE.

    @mommy and heffer, just put your profile to accepting messages so I can email you the latest newsletter and contact info.

  • 9 years ago

    @beachem I updated it thanks so much

  • 9 years ago

    @beachem I updated. Thanks.

  • 9 years ago

    Zwizzle, how do you know when to use which burner for the bertazzoni? Do you regularly assign rice to one, vegetable to one, boiling water to one, etc? Or do you just start on the high powered one and move dishes to lower powered as you cook?

  • 9 years ago

    To be honest, there is so much more power and ability to adjust the flame than I had with my old gas range, that I find I use any of the 3 burners other than simmer almost interchangeably for a lot of my cooking. I tend to use the 2 front burners (power/wok burner and medium burner) the most because they are handiest. I sear meat and boil pasta water on the power burner, cook vegetables, scramble eggs, and cook rice on the medium burner or the high burner in the back depending on what else is on the stove top. I use the simmer burner for sauces, and things I want to keep warm while other things are cooking.

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    zwizzle, do you have the 30 inch with the 4 burners then and do you have the pro or the masters with the black knobs?

  • 9 years ago

    I have the Master series 30 inch gas with 4 burners model #MAS304GASXT. I actually prefer the fat black knobs and the oven handle on the master ranges to the ones on the pro series. Not unique to Bertazzoni, but I love that it has legs and I can get my vacuum under the range to clean.

  • 9 years ago

    I chose a 30 inch vs. a 36 for the following reasons:
    - I hate scrubbing pots, so I optimize my cooking to rarely have more than 3 going at any given time.
    - I do a good bit of baking and roasting, but don't really need a larger oven. I got a GE cafe with the baking drawer, for those occasions where I could use the extra heating space (holidays, mostly).
    - I wanted the extra 6 inches of base cabinet space
    - Not only are the 30 inch ranges cheaper, but the hoods are too.


  • 9 years ago

    zwizzle do the black plastic knobs melt from heat at all?

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    mommy: No - the knobs do not get hot at all nor show any signs of melting. They are more like a hard rubber material than plastic. Easy to grab and turn and any grease splatters wipe off easily.

  • 9 years ago

    The nice thing about a 30" range is that the oven will heat up considerably faster. The best thing for me in having a wider cooktop (ours is 39") is the extra real estate for hot stuff coming out of the ovens. I just don't use 5 burners simultaneously. Usually the max is 3, rarely 4.

  • 9 years ago

    I went with the Blue Star 30 inch. I like it a lot so far but I've only had it for about a month. It has much more cooktop space compared to the old GE 30 inch that I had. I guess because there is no back control panel on it. So I can put 4 large pots on it simultaneously, which I could not with the GE.

  • 9 years ago

    I was in the midst of trying to figure out our appliances about 6 months ago. It was overwhelming and confusing! I test drove a Bluestar Platinum 48" range at a local showroom. Loved the top. HATED the ovens. They baked sooo unevenly! I originally thought I was going for a range, but I ended up finding great deals on a couple of scratch and denters: a 42" Miele 6 burner gas cooktop and Miele double ovens from Goedekers online instead. I have been pretty happy with our choices so far.

    We have seven kiddos, too. Our oldest is 14, so we're just a half step ahead of your kids' ages. I think you could be on the cusp of needing more cooktop space to accommodate larger pots and pans. A couple of years ago, a single 10 or 12" skillet held all the portions we needed for a meal. Now we've upgraded to a 14 or 15" skillet, and even then there are times it feels small! Add in cooking for a few additional guests, and it's quite a meal to prepare.

    Prior to the remodel, I was working on a 30" electric smoothtop range, and for some meals, it was tough to make everything happen on just 2 burners (the configuration rendered the small burners nearly useless.) I couldn't use my largest skillet on the electric because only the middle of the pan got heated while the edges were cool. The gas cooktop does a much better job of heating the giant skillet.

    I do like having the room to operate 3 large pots/skillets at once. It is so nice to have the space for a number of large pans to be going all at the same time. I'll admit I haven't had all 6 burners going at once yet, though. But, I'm not canning right now either. We'll see what happens when I go to put up some jam or applesauce later this summer. : )

    I also caution you on a 36" oven. I knew a couple of families with 36" NXR's, and from what I understood, it took quite a while for those large ovens to stabilize their temperatures. I don't know about you, but I usually want to get dinner done and on the table in a hurry, and adding a half an hour onto my cook time isn't usually in my plans (Last minute Louie, that's me!) I'm pretty happy with being able to use 3 racks on convection (takes about 6 minutes or so to preheat) for an extra sheet of cookies as opposed to cooking extra large pans that can't go in the oven until a 1/2 hour wait is over. Plus, there are times that a 9"x13" pan of food, say lasagna, is adequate for our family. I'd hate to waste all that gas to heat up a huge 36" oven in order to bake one "little" pan of lasagna, ykwim?

    A 30" stove could certainly work, people have done it for years. I just felt like it was tough to fit our size pans on their tops. And we do appreciate the little bit of extra side by side room for the times that 2 of us are at the stove. It's not every day, but it does happen sometimes.

    We still use our giant electric skillets by Presto, even with having the 42" gas cooktop. The electric skillets are great for pancakes and eggs over easy. We still use our rice cooker, because I can't boil it over like I always did when I cooked it on the stove, and it keeps the rice warm and waiting for supper. I thought long and hard about getting a portable induction burner, but from what I understand, unless you get a commercial one, they don't work that great with large pots and pans, since they only heat a relatively small circle in the middle of the burner. A Breville countertop oven could work as a second oven to cook 9x13 pans in if you don't have room for a full-fledged extra oven and feel like you need one.

    I wish you well with your choices!

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Laughable moments, what size fridge freezer do you have for a family of 9? I will not have an extra freezer or fridge anywhere else in the house. So I need a fridge and freezer in the kitchen big enough. I'm leaning toward and all fridge and all freezer twin pair. They're like 30 inches each, so 60 inches total. I saw them today, and they look huge, but I do have room for them. I was also worried that if I did go with just a 30 inch range that it might look ridiculous to have it in the same kitchen with a humongous fridge/freezer set. What works for you?

  • 9 years ago

    @mommy I bought the Electrolux fridge/freezer standalone at 32" each. We don't have as many kids but do have up to 9 eating at the house a lot (i.e. almost daily). We had 2 36" fridge/freezer - 1 in garage and 1 in kitchen and I hated them both. They were the french door. The problem was that the freezer section was so small and narrow.

    I measured the Electrolux and both sides had 14" deep shelves and I can fit a full size sheet cake from Costco. Yay, we may have normal cake writing instead of a lopsided cake that slide halfway down from being inserted diagonally in fridge.

    If you splurge for an integrated look, they will just look like cabinets.


  • 9 years ago

    beachem, I am considering the frigidaire fridge/freezer standalone or the electrolux version. Did you compare the two versions? I've only seen the electrolux version IRL. I also hate the french door fridge freezers because of the lack of space on the freezer side. Most likely at this point I won't be able to "build in" the fridge and freezer for a prettier look. Maybe down the road.

  • 9 years ago

    Are you both really referring to side-by-sides? They have narrow freezers on one side. French door fridges have full-width freezers on the bottom. Just trying to clarify.

    @laughable - I've often wondered by people need 36" or wider cooktops. I only cook for large groups like you do when we entertain and then it's rare that so much is made stove-top...I'm in awe that you do it on a daily basis. It was enlightening for me.

  • 9 years ago

    funkycamper, I guess I mean I dislike the side by sides where there's narrow freezer space. What I'm considering are all refrigerator/all freezer units where each unit is around 30 inches wide.

  • 9 years ago

    Yes, I don't blame you. I will never have a side-by-side again for that very reason. Just clarifying because side-by-sides are different than French doors. It was confusing me. (And that is easily done!)

  • 9 years ago

    i thought side by side and French doors are the same. I bought the standalone 32" Electrolux fridge and freezer combo. I didn't look at Frigidaire because I saw a good deal on the Icon at $2200 each then I went for the professional series because I got an even better deal at $1300 for each.

    The only difference with the Icon was the handles. I can live without the long handles for a discount of $1800. It was also cheaper for both than the Samsung full depth french doors we liked.

    They will look built in because I bought the trim kit that made them look like sub zeros but will have better flexibility and lower repair costs than a built in. I hated how little my built in actually stored.

  • 9 years ago

    Just for clarification.

    Typical side-by-side with freezer on left, fridge on right:


    Side-by-Side Refrigerators: Buy Side-by-Side Refrigerators In Appliances at Sear · More Info


    Typical french door with fridge on top, freezer on bottom:


    French Door Refrigerator from Sears.com · More Info


    Fridge and freezer columns are two separate units that might be placed apart from each other or next to each other but they're not called side-by-sides.


  • 9 years ago

    I wanted to contribute my experience- we got the capital culinarian all gas 48" w/ the griddle (so we have 6 burners) within the past year and I have been using it for a few months. I LOVE LOVE LOVE our decision!! I too did a lot of research and did not read many negative reviews about it- and they are very well built, pretty, and simple design-wise (my husband is a contractor and thought they were most similar to the commercial ranges he has worked on, i.e. if something breaks it would be easy to fix). I probably wouldn't need 6 burners just for cooking- but it is nice to have. I also do a lot of canning/preserving, and do use 6 burners at the same time (simmer for warming lids, canning pot, pot for extra hot water, pot w/ stuff to be canned, pot w/ syrup for the stuff to be canned, one pot w/ dinner cooking). My husband loves the griddle- very easy to make breakfasts, hot sandwiches, etc. You could always do 4 burners and a grill/griddle as an option if you don't can/need 6 burners.

    Also, I really enjoy the big oven on the 48" (not sure how this compares in size to the 36" since the 48" has a large and small oven and the 36" one large oven). It can fit 9x13" pans side by side, and cookie sheets. The roll out racks aren't as smooth as some of the other brands we looked at (we liked the thermador racks the best- very smooth) but they work pretty well. Also, I haven't had any problems w/ the baking heat/evenness, and our oven is gas (which I think is typically worse than electric ovens?). I haven't baked bread yet- but have done a lot of other foods (cookies, casseroles, etc.).


    So if it were me I would definitely do the 36" over the 30" :-) It sounds like you would use it w/ all the cooking that you do. If you have any questions about mine please let me know :-)

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    To respond to your question about our fridge, we went with a Samsung French door fridge with no water in the door. I've been impressed with what it holds. We upgraded to this from simultaneously running 2 smaller fridges ( One was a fridge on top, the other was a fridge on the bottom. ) It holds almost as much as the two 30" wide units, but only takes up 36" of width. Full disclosure is that we also have a big upright freezer, as well as our "2 cow" chest freezer for our meat. I wouldn't need 2 full freezers except we were raising our own meat for a time.
    In case it helps, here are some pictures of our fridge, We got groceries yesterday afternoon, but we've eaten 27 servings since then, lol. The freezer does hold quite a bit, but our fruits and veggies that we freeze ourselves as well as our giant ice cream tubs are in our upright freezer. Samsung 25.5 Cu. Ft. French door Fridge at Lowes


  • 9 years ago

    @Mommy and @Heffer. I sent you guys the latest newsletter from the appliance store. Let me know if you have any questions.