SHOP PRODUCTS
Houzz Logo Print
brianlawre

Review of BlueStar 30" RNB and Zephyr Napoli Range Hood

6 years ago
last modified: 6 years ago

BlueStar 30” RNB + Zephyr Napoli Review

Like many posters on this site, I spent untold hours
researching high-end ranges and losing sleep over which one to buy. Ultimately,
I elected to purchase a 30” BlueStar 30” RNB series and Zephyr Napoli island
range hood to replace my JennAir Dual Fuel downdraft.

First, let’s review what I considered: Wolf, Thermador (30” five-burner), DCS,
American Range, Capital Culinarian, and of course, the BlueStar.

Several friends own Wolf, so I spent most of my time here.
Although I love the red knobs, I simply wasn’t impressed by the cooking surface
layout (mostly the spacing of the burners) and a local retailer pointed out the
flimsy inserts on each side which are a pain to clean. More importantly, I just
cooked 3 different pastas for large dinner party and was SHOCKED at how slow
the Wolf was to boil water compared to my BlueStar. Additionally, the rubber feet under the grates seemingly melted to the stove. I was able to be pry off and replace rubber foot into the grate. In short, I have ZERO
regrets about not purchasing Wolf .

Next up was the American Range 30” open burner. This was our
runner up finisher. I simply wasn’t impressed by the drip tray and how it
sagged on a couple floor models we saw – visually, it didn’t have the
finish/attention to detail of the BlueStar. I really liked the porcelain drip
pans that could be taken out and cleaned, which was the main selling point on
the American. But I had my reservations about the quality based 100% on
appearance. I was also told BlueStar used a higher grant stainless.

I also ruled out the Capitol, based mainly on the design. The
grates were ugly and that is solely my opinion, so take that for what it is
worth. The Thermador and DCS got mixed reviews from all the salespeople I
talked to (and I talked to MANY), so I decided against both. I also considered
Viking but was turned away based on salespeople feedback and range quality
issues.

So I ultimately decided on Blue Star. My fascination with
the brand started when I went a friend’s home who owns two top notch
restaurants in Seattle. She loves her range and I was intrigued by the open
burners and their power.

I think it’s important to point out what I read vs. what my
experience has been. So I’ll take them issue-by-issue:

HOT DOOR: Simply not
true. I’ve used my oven for eight weeks and I simply haven’t had anything close
to a door that would burn anything. We heated a pizza stone for a good hour and
then kept the oven hot for another hour and no issues whatsoever.

POOR LOW SIMMER: This
is the most perplexing. All the reviews I read massively criticized the
low-temp performance. But my 22K burners go down amazingly low. In fact, I did
the classic “chocolate chip” test on the simmer burner and the chips maintained
their form for more than 15 minutes. I then put them on the 22k burner and they
still maintained their shape. So, going super low has not been a problem.
However, I will say that it takes a steady hand to fine tune your heat control
with the knob. Medium on this stove is like high on most stoves. Low is like
medium. To get to a low simmer on the 22k burner, you must position the knob to
a point where it is almost off. That said, it just takes a little getting used
to. Overall, I have found the temperature control to be quite easy to work
with.

CLEANING: Clearing
this unit has been a breeze. Although the cast iron is heavy, it is awesome to
be able to take each of the four burners and burner grates and put them in the
sink to clean them. With the Wolf, you have to sponge-clean the top. There is
no way to take your stove top to the sink. With the BlueStar, you can take
reasonably sized pieces to your sink and fully submerge them in water.

OVEN: Wow. I never
really expected that a full-size sheet pan is essentially the same as two
standard sheet pans. I purchased full size sheet pans from Costco and they are
perfect. I’m able to do 50+ cookies in a single baking cycle. The convection
works great and is MUCH quieter than my old Jenn-Air. The only issue I’ve
noticed here is that the back of the cookie tray baked SLIGHTLY faster than the
front – we’ve only done cookies 2x, but might be something to keep an eye on.
If it continues, might want to rotate the pans halfway through.

WOK COOKING: Simply
awesome. Everything you read about having your ingredients ready: believe it. This thing cooks fast and
furious. You’ll love it.

QUALITY: I read lots of issues about BlueStar quality,
which caused me major concern. However, ours has been great. When it was
delivered by Albert Lee Appliance of Seattle, I noticed that the drip tray
wasn’t fully on its track. Although it looked fine and operated fine, I still
wanted it to be perfect at $4k+. So, we called and they sent a service tech out
and popped the drip tray back onto its track.

RANGE HOOD: We
purchased a Zephyr Napoli Island hood to go with our BlueStar. We have a small
kitchen and chose the mid-range Zephyr based on its decent CFM and low profile.
No regrets. The hood does a solid job and I like how easy the baffled grates
clean up. I am so glad I didn’t go with the less powerful Zephyr Anzio which
features the mesh grates. Once we’ve started cooking like crazy, it’s clear how
much grease gets sucked up and I can tell that mesh would have been a regret.

One final note: before buying the RNB I agonized for hours
about whether to go with the Platinum series or the RNB. Ultimately, I decided
on the RNB and am glad I did. I can’t imagine needing any more power and I
can’t imagine how much better the oven could be on the Platinum. The RNB does
everything I could possibly ask for better than any other stove I’ve worked on.

So overall, I would not hesitate to recommend a Blue Star
30” RNB. It is simply amazing.

Comments (5)