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davidhunternyc

Anyone with a BlueStar 36 inch RCS Sealed Burner Range?

5 years ago

Hello everyone. I am thinking about getting a BlueStar 36″ CULINARY SERIES (RCS) SEALED BURNER RANGE. Model # RCS36SBV2. I love the fact that it is only 24 inches deep so it will fit in my narrow doorway of my pre-war NYC apartment. I also love the fact there is no noisy cooling fan.

I do have questions though. First of all, does anyone here have a newer model of this stove so they can comment on the sealed burners? Are the sealed burners on this stove really easier to clean than open burners?

Also, on the 36 inch RCS there is only one simmer burner. All the rest are high-output btu burners. What if I want to also simmer on these other burners. Will they burn too hot for a gentle simmer?

Thank you.



Comments (32)

  • 4 years ago

    Just curious if you have purchased yet, this was one of my original picks but was discourged when I couldn’t see one in person and then sales people kept pushing towards the Wolf. Still confused on which direction I will go with on my 36” range.

  • 4 years ago

    bratcat. Yes, I did get the Bluestar RCS sealed burner range. I‘ve had it now for a few weeks. So far I love it and I have no regrets. My favorite part is the ceramic infrared broiler. I‘ve broiled steaks with excellent char and have made chicken tandoori with very little smoke in my kitchen. I haven‘t used it enough to do a full review, however, but I plan on doing a review soon. It was a tough decision for me because I initially wanted a Bertazzoni or Fisher Paykel but I don’t regret my purchase. I even bought a stove top cover for the burners that I use for my spoon rest and other cooking necessities. I don’t plan on using all 6 burners often.



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  • 4 years ago

    Go figure... on the BS sealed burners. Wan't on my radar. I would never have a sealed burner again. Just on the cleaning aspect. Even after a wipedown of the top on the Wolf after dinner, it was either a 10 day cleaning affair and sometimes depending what and how many is being cooked, a 2 day cleaning affair. I hated our sealed tops (not moreso the burner) but the upkeep on cleaning

  • 4 years ago

    A1an, it just goes to show how differently people perceive cleaning of burners. I think the wolf sealed burners are easy to clean. I don’t think the BS star burners would be hard to clean either. I will say some other factors like the material the tray is made of, other types of black enamel or stainless might make it a little harder.

  • 4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Not the burners but just the tops. With the BS, I can remove - take it outside, oven cleaner (lye), pressure washer rinse spray or just hose and easy peasy cleaning. With the sealed top, the heat on overspray, etc....just cooks the grime in. I don't/prefer not to use oven cleaner inside, so it's a slow *cleaning process* of baking soda dwell, scrub, etc.


    I may cheat and use lite *lye gel* for the surface cleaning, but, I really don't prefer sealed tops for this reason

  • 4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Here we go again: Sealed vs. Open Burners? : ) My mother has a Thermador glass sealed burner cooktop. After 20 years it looks as good as new and was an inspiration for me to buy a sealed burner range. Another friend of mine had a BS open burner range in her house. She loves the performance but admitted to me if she were to do it all over again she would get a sealed burner range. As for me I can barely take care of my cast iron pan let alone an entire cast iron stovetop.

    I work in a steakhouse and the kitchen only has open burner stoves. At the end of the night they turn on all the burners full blast for a good 1/2 hour to burn off all the food before conditioning. The vent hoods are enormous and powerful. They‘re expensive to clean also.

    I live in a small pre-war NYC apartment. I don’t have a range hood. I don’t need 25,000 btu’s like on the BS Premiere line. 18,500 btu’s is plenty for me on the RCS line. Yes, I’ve had a few spills on my stovetop so far but the clean-up was a breeze. After every time I cook I clean the stovetop like it was a dirty plate. I take after my mom.

    If we lived in an ideal world I would take different parts from different stoves and magically have perfection but we all know that perfection doesn’t exist. Industrial design is very difficult indeed. As much as I love my BS there are a few nagging issues. These issues may be my own subjective bias or it may not. I will bring them up in my review.

  • 4 years ago

    David -

    I wish you the best of luck in your decision. Like everything you read on the internet....take it with a grain of salt. I can only offer you my experience in both and hands down, open top wins for me over sealed top everyday. I've cooked and cleaned religiously on both.....and just consider the CI top a seasoned top.

    With a sealed top, there have been times where I've had the baking soda/cleaning 3X on a busy cooking week. Even for a OCD cleaning nut like myself......it get's tireing real quick trying to keep that enamel top clean and not letting ~overspray~ build up and harden....



    davidhunternyc thanked a1an
  • 4 years ago

    I agree with a1an. I have had both open and closed burners. The open burners are much easier to keep clean. Would never want to go back to a closed design. If I had to make a different choice, the only viable alternative would be induction.

    And in fact, if I couldn't have a vent hood, that's probably what I would have done in this situation.

    But all these decisions are very personal and depend a lot on cooking style. So, there is no perfect right or wrong. And it's fun to hear first-hand experiences from somebody who actually ended up buying Bluestar's closed burners. That's not normally their unique strength, so we rarely hear about that on Houzz.

    davidhunternyc thanked M
  • 4 years ago

    Eeeks OP. I did not see post #3 and not realize u bought it :-)

    Congrats regardless !

  • 4 years ago

    David, looking forward to your review, (nagging issues) I spent some time over at PIRCH yesterday comparing the BS to Wolf, sales guy loved the Blue Star and felt the oven was superior to Wolf but said you couldn't beat the simmer quality with Wolf. As a day to day cook for myself and family get togethers, the sales guy made a good point, ultimately anything you choose will bake a cake, roast a turkey or fry an egg. I do like the griddle on the Wolf but just not sure if it is worth the addition $2600.00.

  • 4 years ago

    My Bluestar simmers fine even on the big burners. In fact, it simmers so well, I removed the simmer burner altogether as I didn't want to surrender one of my four burners for this dedicated function. I now have 4 full power burners (between 15kBTU and 25kBTU respectively).

    But then, it depends on your cooking style. It isn't very often that I need extended really low simmer temperatures. The lowest I need is keeping a pot of water barely boiling. If I need it less than that, then I prefer using one of my ovens. Much better temperature control and even heat from all sides.


    Ovens are great for stews, for vegetables, for low'n'slow roasts, for reheating, ... I am very happy that after this kitchen remodel, we now have a total of three different types of ovens.

    So, yes, your Bluestar stove top won't replace a sous-vide immersion heater, but for everything else, the simmer function works just fine -- even if you do what I did and removed the dedicated simmer burner.

  • 4 years ago

    In my past threads and posts about seeking a gas range my number one concern was how low the simmers go. So far I‘m very happy with the low btu capabilities with the BS but I need to do more tests. I will write up my thoughts in the review.

  • 4 years ago

    Just a quick note about my BlueStar RCS range. I have not done a review yet because I'm waiting to see the results of an issue I'm having with it. I'm an avid bread baker and I need constant high oven temperatures. My oven never reaches temperatures past 450º. I bake at 500º. I have two different analog oven thermometers and even after a lengthy pre-heat time the oven won't heat up over 450º. It may just be a calibration issue and BlueStar is working on a fix. Stay tuned...

  • 4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Ive had a RCS 36" that I bought from Costco 4 years ago. The burners are definitely sub par as compared to the more expensive sealed burner brands. I think they do this to push you towards their RNB versions. Its hard to explain without seeing it but the flame is inconsistent. The biggest issue is the igniter in the oven. We've already replaced it once and it is broken again. Also when everything is functioning the oven takes a lng time to heat up.

  • 4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    I'm still not quite ready to write a full review of my Bluestar RCS 36" gas range but I will do my best to put my cursory thoughts together for the moment. At this time I would give this range 4 out of 5 stars.

    I am completely happy that I passed on the Bertazzoni. Beware of the loud cooling fans on the Bertazzoni and Fisher Paykel. There are computer chips inside of them that heat up and fail. It's the biggest reason why I passed on these two ranges though there were also design decisions that did not make sense. (Who uses a hob rail?)

    There are no computer chips inside of the Bluestar. It is analog simplicity at it's finest. I have not put the Bluestar through all of it's paces because of the hot summer and I don't have air conditioning in my pre-war apartment. Once fall approaches I will be using the Bluestar quite a bit more and will have a more thorough opinion.

    After the first few weeks with the Bluestar I had quite a scare. I was using a new top recommended oven thermometer from America's Test Kitchen. The oven temp on the thermometer was more than 50º off from what was on the dial. I called Bluestar and they sent a technician to my apartment within a few days. Luke, the tech, was very kind and knowledgeable and he tested the oven temp with a much more accurate and complex digital thermometer. It turned out that the oven temperature was completely accurate and my $20 oven thermometer was inaccurate. He explained to me that this happens frequently with new Bluestar owners. Trust the oven. I was holding on to the oven thermometer like a band-aide and just because it was analog it did not mean that it was accurate. Now that I know that I had a perfectly functioning stove I could move on to cooking without any worries.

    Let me tell you, one of the major reasons why I chose to purchase the Bluestar was because of the 1850º infrared ceramic broiler. What I didn't expect was how life changing it would be. I mean, wow, it's a stunning piece of tech. The flame is so hot, it's blue. Because it's an instant heat I do not have to wait for it to warm up before use. Even in the hot summer I could grill a steak in just a few minutes with incredible char without heating up my kitchen. My Thermapen MK4 ensures my meat is cooked perfectly. My favorite recipe so far is chicken tandoori.

    One of the reasons why I initially wanted the Bertazzoni and Fisher Paykel was because of their true 24 inch cabinet deep profiles. Both stoves are slim and elegant. Their grates are light, thin, and easy to remove for cleaning. The Bluestar, on the other hand, is a more industrial, restaurant style stove. I was apprehensive about putting it in my small NYC kitchen. It took me awhile to adjust to the larger footprint of the Bluestar but I am now quite happy with it's size but I'm still adjusting to it's more blunt kind of styling.

    Now on to why, so far, I am knocking one star off of this stove. My opinion is entirely subjective, so please take my thoughts with a grain of salt. Look at the photo below. You see how deep that front bull-nose is? I just can't quite get used to it. Granted, I have been using a rental grade stove beforehand for 20 years so I am still adjusting. My roommate, however, adjusted almost immediately to the added depth. Because of the deep, flat stainless steel area it is begging to get scratched. Yes, just three months in I do have a small micro-scratch. I brought up my concerns to Luke who came to check on my oven temperature problem. He agreed with me that scratches are going to happen and I just have to let go of this concern. Wait for several years and in the future there are ways to polish out the scratches and he would be happy to help me with how to do so when the time comes.

    But still, why does the bullnose have to be so deep? Luke explained to me that the wiring for the stove was all tucked densely behind the bullnose, which I gathered. But what I didn't see was that on the underside overhang of the bullnose there are air vents that help dissipate heat when cooking. These vents omit the need for the cooling fans that are in the Bertazzoni and Fisher Paykel. Hmm, again, brilliant simplicity. My question now is why can't Bluestar design a shallower bullnose while still keeping the space for the wires and the vents? Checking other stoves, like Wolf and Viking, they too have thick bullnoses but none of them are as deep as Bluestar's. I guess it's just the new world order of stove design to have these thick bullnoses. Checking the stoves out at the steakhouse I work at they too have thick bullnoses. I just need to give myself more time to adjust.

    Now on to those thick grates. I did not want them. Another reason why I initially chose the Bertazzoni and Fisher Paykel. But what I like about the Bluestar is that there is one grate for each of the 6 burners. Each grate, though heavy duty, is lighter than expected and easy to remove for cleaning. Other stoves have one continuous grate over two burners which makes them quite a bit heavier to remove. As you can see in the photo below I had a powder-coated stainless steel cover made for the middle two grates so I would I have more room for cooking equipment. It is easily removable for those times when I need to use all 6 burners.

    And what about those burners? I was amazed with how quickly I could boil a huge pot of water for pasta. I love the fact that all of the burners have high output btu's except for the far left back burner for low simmering. If you have read my other threads some of you may know how anal retentive I am about burners with incredible low simmering capabilities. I still have not tested the low simmering capabilities enough to come to any conclusive opinions but so far I am happy. I am considering getting a diffuser for this stove because the burners are so wide in diameter that the flames burn the sides of narrower objects like my moka pot. I will follow up later on the burner capabilities when the weather cools and I have more time to use them extensively. Let me tell you this though. I am so glad I chose the sealed burner range over the open burner range. Yes, I know that the open burners on Bluestar ranges are legendary. The open burners are superior in performance to the sealed burners but I can't believe how easy to clean the sealed burners are. I barely have to take a wet soapy sponge to the surface to clean up spills. I am not a professional chef. I am an avid home cook and I don't need anything more than what I have. The Bluestar sealed burners are exceeding my expectations.

    A couple of more notes. I have not used the convection oven too much. Again, I need to wait for temperatures to cool. Also, this stove does not have a warming drawer. I thought this would be a problem at first since my small kitchen has very little storage. My solution is that I slide my large sheet pans under my stove. I am surprised with the amount of clearance under my stove for storage. A plus is that I can now mop under my stove. Say goodbye to under-stove dust and debris. With a storage or warming drawer on other stoves cleaning under them would not be possible.

    Let's just say that I am happy with my Bluestar purchase. I am glad I did not get the Bertazzoni or the Fisher Paykel. An added bonus is that the Bluestar is designed and built in America and, so far, Bluestar support has been excellent. This is a set-it and forget-it kind of stove. Simplicity is what I was after and simplicity is what I got. Thank you, Bluestar.



  • 4 years ago

    A red Scotchbrite pad and some elbow grease should remove the scratches from the bullnose. Just make sure to carefully follow the direction of the grain

  • 4 years ago

    @davidhunternyc Any update on the BS issue? I replied to one of your previous posts on another thread before I saw all the details you posted here post-purchase. I'm looking at an open burner 30" RCS myself.

    I want a fully customized 36 RNB but sadly, I don't have the space in my historic cottage, and the restoration is 3X over budget so that custom RNB is now a dream! I can settle for an electronic SS dual fuel or bump up a little for the RCS instead.

    I know you went with the closed burner so it's not a direct comparison, but thank you for all the review info you shared!

  • 4 years ago

    I want a fully customized 36 RNB but sadly

    The nice thing about Bluestar is that their ranges are built very modular. It's easy to change things over time, either because you want to upgrade some part of the range, or because your needs actually change. We took full advantage of this when upgrading our 30" RNB in order to make it work in our remodeled kitchen.

    The kitchen cabinets are very oversized, and we needed to raise the range higher and eliminate the backguard. No problem, those parts can be bought separately. In fact, I believe if you buy a new range, you would also buy these parts as extra components; good to know that they still fit a 10 year old model.

    Our range was from a model year that had faulty oven-door hinges. They lasted surprisingly long, but did eventually fail a few months ago. Bluestar allowed me to buy a replacement door for about the cost that the hinges would have been separately. We paid $100 extra and had the new door painted to match our Miele appliances (black and stainless). This wasn't an expense I had planned for, but it also didn't break the bank and I do like the new look.

    The oven glow igniter died after about 5 years. It's a disposable part that is subject to wear and tear. Amazon sent me a replacement overnight and it cost me about $30.

    When we bought the range, I asked the dealer to sell me an extra 15kBTU burner head in place of the simmer burner. I think he only charged $100 at the time. I am sure it's a little more expensive these days.

    Similarly, a few years ago, I found a 25kBTU burner head online (about $150 give or take) and swapped out one of the front burners.

    Our range truly is the "ship of Theseus".

  • 4 years ago

    @M That is really fabulous info! Thanks!

  • 4 years ago

    @Robin H Thank you for your question. I did get the 36" BlueStar RCS range. I am sorry. I told everyone I would write a thorough review of the range but I have not yet. I am torn. I don't know which criticisms I have are subjective and which criticisms I have are objective, having to do with the fault of the range. Some people have said that everyone who buys a BlueStar RCS sealed burner range always wishes that they had bought the open burner model. Do I wish I could have the open burner model to compare to the sealed burner range? Yes, but then again, I live in a small NYC apartment and I do not have an exhaust hood over my stove. I know people who cook with an open burner BlueStar and I know what it is capable of. My personal circumstances steered me towards the open burner model. Like I said, I have roommates and they don't necessarily take care of kitchen equipment. I needed a stove where I did not need ventilation nor stovetop maintenance. I still plan on writing a full review, however. The short story is that I would give the BlueStar range 3 out of 5 stars. A bit better than average rating but barely. The burners are atrocious. The burners are third party burners, made cheaply, and covered in an odd perhaps toxic powder coating that can not be cleaned. Though the higher btu's perform brilliantly the lower simmer settings are useless, except on the one low btu burner.

  • 4 years ago

    Oops, you are copying the conversation into two threads. Please let's pick one. I suggest: https://www.houzz.com/discussions/5209880/bluestar-rcs30sb-sealed-burners-model#25061855

  • 3 years ago

    I wanted to provide and update here. I have owned the BS 36" range for 5 years. We have changed the oven igniter twice and now the convection fan. Total cost $700 cad. there will be more. So far still way ahead of wolf or viking costs and I hear they fail as well. Unfortunately all of these ranges are all made to fail. I miss my Kitchen Aid gas range. it wasnt as fancy but it still works to this day without failure and its 14 years old.

  • 3 years ago

    As I have repeatedly explained in this thread, the oven igniters are consumable parts. They are expected to fail. But there are good safety reasons for why these parts get used. And they are no different from what most other brands do. Heck, even my furnace uses the same components. The only uncertainty is when not if the igniters fail. Apparently, there is a lot of fluctuation in these parts, even if they are from the same batch. If you had to replace it twice in five years, you got unlucky. But that unfortunately happens. Pay for the replacement part ($30 when bought from Amazon) and move on.


    Now, the oven fan failing is a completely different issue. That shouldn't happen. If that happened within the first five years, I'd reach out to Bluestar customer support and ask for some professional courtesy. Even if it's out of warranty, that's a little too early. These appliances don't have complicated parts and things like fans shouldn't fail so early. Maybe, you can negotiate a discount on the replacement part? Unfortunately, you'll probably have to pay for labor. That's usually how most appliance manufacturers deal with these type of situations.

  • 3 years ago

    Oven ignitors are "designed" to fail? What? Is BlueStar taking a page out of the Apple playbook? I had a old $600 Premier Gas Stove for 20 years and it never failed. It was in the apartment when I moved in and it was already 10 years old before I started using it.

  • 3 years ago

    what about the fan? Are they consumable parts as well? and why dont old gas stoves inginters fail at the same rate. I call BS M.

  • 3 years ago

    I've promised a full review of my BlueStar awhile ago. I still plan on writing one but I want to talk about the convection fan. The fan is mounted at the rear of the oven and blows hot air towards the front of the oven door. Why I did not expect is that the fan turns off automatically when the oven is heating up.


    BlueStar, like most ranges, turns on and off during the cooking cycle. For instance, if you set the oven to 375º the oven will heat up to 425º and then turn off. When the oven temp drops to 325º the oven will turn on again. The "average" temperature is 375º During the on cycle where the oven heats up from 325º - 425º the convection fan is disabled. It does not work. Apparently this is a safety issue to prevent burns when the oven door is opened. It's utterly silly to me.


    I'm an avid cook and I was hoping the convection fan would elevate my pie crusts and make crackling skin on my roasted chicken. None of this happens with the convection fan in my BlueStar. Conversely, I also have a $300 Breville oven and when the convection fan is on it is on all the time and it has made a huge difference in my cooking. I have this $5,000 BlueStar and when I cook I have a debate with myself over which stove I'm going to use. I'm really disappointed in the convection fan in the BlueStar but I have a feeling most ranges function similarly.

  • 3 years ago

    The glowbar igniters are a really old and proven technology. You'll find it in lots of gas appliances (e.g. water heater, furnace, ovens, ...) as they are so safe. Whenever the thermostat calls for heat, it turns on the igniter. As a first approximation, a glowbar igniter is the same thing as an incandescent light bulb without the protective glass shell. It draws a couple of hundred watts and uses that to produce heat. Right next to the glowbar is a temperature activated gas valve. As long as no heat it produced (i.e. glowbar doesn't call for heat or glowbar is defective), no gas flows. This is very safe. But if the valve detects sufficient amounts of heat, it opens and gas flows over the glowbar and ignites.

    This is damn simple and there is very little that can fail catastrophically. So, it is inherently a safer design than using click igniters. Those are good for the stove top where a person can supervise the burners. But the oven has to work even when it cycles on/off without human intervention.

    The downside, of course, is that this glowbar behaves just like an incandescent bulb. Some bulbs live for decades, most live for a couple of years, and a small number dies within months. Same is true for glowbars. Nothing much you can do about it. Fortunately, they are cheap and standardized components. Every appliance manufacturer buys from the same factory.

    And yes, gas ovens always cycle on/off completely. There generally isn't a great way to modulate heat output. This is a noteworthy difference when compared to electric ovens, which frequently can keep constant temperatures much more easily. For many dishes, that doesn't actually matter. But there are some that do in fact cook much better in an electric oven. And I guess the reverse is true too.

  • 3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    davidhunternyc;

    "The fan is mounted at the rear of the oven and blows hot air towards the front of the oven door."

    The convection fan in my Bluestar RCS range blows the other way. It sucks air from the front and blows toward the back wall of the oven where it is deflected outward along the back wall and then forward along all sides of the oven cavity, then around to the inside surface of the oven door.

    The on/off cycling of the fan is a relatively recent change in the design. Up until a couple of years ago, the switch on the front of the range was the only thing that controlled whether the convection fan was on or off. The user manual for the range stated that the convection fan must not be turned on while the oven is preheating or when using the broiler in order to prevent unignited gas from being pushed by the fan away from the ignition area. Unfortunately, not everyone reads the manual and there were some reports of accidental gas explosions caused by late ignition of built up unburned gas clouds in the oven cavity. Bluestar responded by announcing a recall and providing modification kits to prevent the convection fan from running while any gas was flowing in the oven. This is overkill but, because there are no electronics (besides the spark controller), it was the most straightforward way to address the issue.

    There are ways to workaround it. For example, if I want a long stretch of convection fan to brown things at the end of the cook, I turn on the fan and turn down the oven temperature. This keeps the fan on while the thermal inertia of the oven maintains an adequate temperature for browning.

  • 3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    For those blurbing on ROI and such. I've posted this comment before. Life was much simpler with no repairs on my non deeeeziner appliances.

    Just DIY repaired my Wolf. About $300 parts and it's seems like it's a 2 year recurrence/interval. That was 5 1/2 hrs of OCD level meticulousness though. I can't imagine paying $250 per HR x let's say a rushed ad-hoc repair done by a factory level tech. Even if they did the job in 3 hrs. Every part I took off....surfaces for (gaskets) were scraped clean, and part that could be done as part of the disassembly, I removed, took it outside, Easy Off'ed it.....all parts are buttery smooth when put back.

  • 3 years ago

    Thanks for clarifying M. That makes sense from a safety perspective. Its also a good business model for all of the manufacturers to place the ranges and make money on the components. Like every business they are built to fail. Regardless of whatever safety issues these glow igniters provide, its more about the recurring revenue model than safety. Its funny, my range was actually recalled because the "safe" glow igniter needed a relay installed to delay the fan turning on. The issue was that gas was building up, not igniting and the door would blow open upon ignition. Well at least my fan no longer works. I think I will just get used to not using the convection feature and replace it when I sell my house. Again, I miss my Kitchen Aid that was moved to the country house. It never fails, ever and it uses the click igniter in the oven. Ive never had a problem.

  • 3 years ago

    hey M, Guess what the igniter went again? I even had a bluestar technician come to replace it and he explained to me that they dont even replace with the BS original parts because they charge tou much. This is the 4th one in 5 years. Each time the guy comes its 300$. your theory about safety is total BS. Im beginning to think you work for BS. Everyone looking to buy a BS range. Save your money the ovens dont work. They have always had problems and continue to have problems.