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ortochini

Bluestar or Subzero 36” built in refrigerator

ortochini
2 years ago
I am trying to choose a 36” built in refrigerator with bottom freezer. I really liked the storage capacity of the Bluestar but it worries me that they have not been making refrigerators for that long and it is hard to find reviews. Consumer reports hadn’t rated it yet. Subzero is obviously a good, choice quality wise it is probably very good but seems to have less usable space. And finally Bosch or Kitchen Aide are also possibilities. Any advise or comments are appreciated!

Comments (50)

  • Jerry Jorgenson
    2 years ago

    I wouldn't worry about CR ratings. They seldom rate high end appliances very high because CR is all about cost and industry standards. IMHO, the big difference between the two is the SubZero is that SubZero has the off-gassing (from food) reduction technology that lengthens shelf life. Depending upon whether that's a big deal for you or if the space is more important (e.g. food gets eaten quickly so the off-gassing isn't an issue), are how I'd choose

    .

  • ortochini
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    Thanks! What worries me is that with only 1 year warranty and not many consumer reviews it is hard to tell how reliable the Bluestar will be. Plus it will be more expensive than the SZ. But I really like the storage capacity..
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  • Jerry Jorgenson
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    My only Bluestar appliance is the wall oven. It's been great for over two years now. I didn't replace the fridge during the remodel (just a standard Bosch).

  • ortochini
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    The built in Bosch is another refrigerator we are considering.
  • ortochini
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    That oven is beautiful!
  • Jerry Jorgenson
    2 years ago

    The fridge is pretty standard.

  • homechef59
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    We decided to save the money and designed our space for a KitchenAid Architect II 36" refrigerator/freezer. I like it and I figure I can buy two of them before I go negative cost on the Subzero. I've had Subzero in the past and I loved them. I've got a friend that just installed a couple of the Thermador columns and loves them.

    I love my BlueStar rangetop. But, I'm not an early adopter of anything. I'd be leary, too.


  • Jerry Jorgenson
    2 years ago

    homechef59 -- Mine was a money saving choice as well. No need to replace something that is working fine. The most expensive "appliance" I purchased during the remodel was the copper sink. I really like that all the mess stays in the sink and not on the counter.

  • Sammy
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    If it’s between the Bluestar and Sub-Zero, then SZ is what I recommend, no question. Have you considered Miele or Thermador like homechef mentioned? If I had to choose brand other than SZ to replace my SZ, those are the two brands I’d consider, with Miele as the front-runner.

    @Jerry: I didn’t know Bluestar made a Mercedes-Benz edition!

  • ortochini
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    Sammy how big is your subzero? Do you have the 36”?? Is it too small inside?
  • ortochini
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    Homechef59 are you happy with the kitchens I’d and it’s storage capacity?
  • wdccruise
    2 years ago

    "I wouldn't worry about CR ratings. They seldom rate high end appliances very high because CR is all about cost and industry standards."

    This is not true.

    • CR's ratings are without regard to price. CR will tag a product as a best buy if it is highly rated and is well-priced.
    • CR does test expensive, fancy-pants appliances which often perform no better than less-expensive ones. Often products within one brand perform similarly regardless of price.
    • I don't know what "industry standards" means here.
  • dan1888
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    There's no comparison between a Bluestar frig and a SZ. SZ has the history of longevity Bluestar hasn't. If I were marketing Bluestar I'd do what Hyundai and KIA did and offer a 5-10 year warranty to compete against SubZero's reputation. Bluestar is also selling a Chinese manufactured frig at a lower price point.

  • Jerry Jorgenson
    2 years ago

    I wasn't impressed with the Chinese manufactured one. Doesn't have most of the things I'd get the Bluestar for (all stainless steel interior for example).

  • wdccruise
    2 years ago

    "CR performs standard tests, meaning that they test everything with the exact same test."

    No, it depends on the product. For example, CR optimizes the pictures of TVs it tests, it doesn't just use the factory settings.

    "to get the most performance out of high end equipment, there are often adjustments needed during setup"

    In another thread a woman who had bought a $2200 Miele dishwasher (yes, it cost that much) was fussing over the settings and chemicals to get it to wash correctly. If she'd bought a $500 dishwasher and just thrown in a detergent pod, she would have gotten better results without the fooling around.

    "Most industries have a standards body..."

    CR develops most of its own tests.

  • Michelle misses Sophie
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    "

    • CR's ratings are without regard to price. CR will tag a product as a best buy if it is highly rated and is well-priced.
    • CR does test expensive, fancy-pants appliances which often perform no better than less-expensive ones. Often products within one brand perform similarly regardless of price."


    What you don't include is that CR does NOT include malfunction/repair/replacement reliability if the appliance failure was covered under warranty (mfr or extended) or if the appliance is more than a few years old. So CR's reliability numbers are pretty much unreliable.


    As to their testing methods, you will find there is discussion that their methods are not always "real world"; that they will test things like washers with minimal water even though that is not how the unit would be run by the actual consumer.


    BTW Lawrence, do you work for CR? Seems like every time they are mentioned you come to their defense...

  • ortochini
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    Ok I think Bluestar won’t be my choice. After a day of research I am down to choosing between SubZero or Dacor Modernist both in built in French door 36”.
    Any thoughts on Dacor vs SubZero?
    Thanks!!
  • wdccruise
    2 years ago

    "Lawrence, do you work for CR? Seems like every time they are mentioned you come to their defense..."

    No, but people continue to post incorrect information so I just correct it. Virtually everything you write about it is incorrect. Maybe you should stop posting.

    "they will test things like washers with minimal water even though that is not how the unit would be run by the actual consumer."

    I would expect CR to use the standard or automatic cycle, not just jack up the amount of water. That only makes sense as CR is aiming for consistent testing processes.

    "CR does NOT include malfunction/repair/replacement reliability if the appliance failure was covered under warranty (mfr or extended) or if the appliance is more than a few years old."

    This is also incorrect. CR excludes only dishwashers (for example), that are covered by an extended warranty or service contract, NOT those covered by the manufacturer's warranty. That makes the analysis consistent across products. CR does not include products more than 5 years old obviously because product reliability changes over time and CR is trying to predict future reliability.

  • homechef59
    2 years ago

    If it's between SZ and Dacor, I'd go with the SZ. You shouldn't have to have the SZ repaired in the next 20 years, but if you do, you will be able to find a repair person. The Dacor, not so much.

  • Michelle misses Sophie
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Consumer Reports Testing/Ratings discussion Reply #9 in particular

    Dacor Modernist vs Sub Zero - SZ any day, every day.

    Dacor Modernist is really just Samsung with a high price tag. It's not in the same league as SZ and the reliability isn't there.

  • wdccruise
    2 years ago

    That CR discussion is hilarious! One guy said that he "gave up on CS [sic] when they rated the Dodge Omni/Plymouth Horizon..." whose last model year was 1990! Another wrote "But, I also remember they had their favorite brands back in the 60's 70's and 80's as well" which doesn't even make any sense.

    No. 9 is a hoot:

    • "If [CR] were *serious*, they'd buy _every_ model that was different, to run every test. Every battery of tests should include one item, two items, three items, a "small" load, a "medium" load, a "large" load and a *full* load to the design specs, in *addition* to an "average" load of a "typical" family."

    Sure. GE alone makes 27 different washing machines. Attempting this kind of testing would take years. By the time testing was done, the tested machines would be obsolete.

  • ortochini
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    Thanks for all the comments!!!! I have decided to buy the SZ BI36 UFDS.
    Now I need to decide one last thing. Internal water dispenser or not??? What do you guys think?
  • Jerry Jorgenson
    2 years ago

    Depends on what else you have. If your tap water is filtered, there isn't a lot of point to it. Water and ice dispensers are generally the most problematic parts of any fridge. It might be worthwhile to purchase a tap water filter (Rachiele.com has some good ones) rather than use the fridge one.

  • PRO
    LQD Deals
    2 years ago

    Internal dispenser is definitely a personal choice. It would mean not having to have a water pitcher in the fridge if you use a Brita or something similar, and having cold, filtered water at the touch of a button. If that's not something you need or will use, then save your money.

  • minimalist183
    2 years ago

    "Dacor Modernist is really just Samsung with a high price tag. It's not in the same league as SZ and the reliability isn't there."


    Actually it's not "Samsung built" but is a very high quality (2 compressor unit) and can compete with Sub Zero. I believe the Samsung Modernists units share the same build platform as MIele, Thermador, Gaggenau, Blomberg, Fisher Paykel, Bosch and GE Monogram (just look at the beefy hinges.)


    I chose the 2 compressor Gaggenau 36" bottom freezer (stainless interior) 2 years ago and haven't looked back. Last year I purchased a Gaggenau 24" wine unit as well. My neighbors have a 36" bottom freezer Sub Zero and it's starting to yellow after 5 years (the reason I did not go with SZ)


    Sub Zero's are OK, but there are more choices now. Thermador is probably the best value for the money right now.

  • megs1030
    2 years ago

    We had a 36" Subzero fridge in our last house. Fridge on top, 2 freezer drawers on the bottom (if I remember correctly). I liked it. It was a great fridge and freezer, but like you mentioned, space was at a premium. We are a family of 4 and purchase a TON of fruits and veggies throughout the week. I also cook a lot, sometimes in bulk and so freezer space is necessary too. There was not enough room for all of our fresh foods in the fridge.


    To compensate for the lack of room, we had two Subzero fridge drawers installed in our island. We also had a standard side-by-side f/f combo in our basement. The ice maker in the freezer took up too much room and so one freezer drawer was almost useless.


    All that being said, we are getting ready to install two 36" Subzero columns in this house as everything was always kept fresh in our last unit. We will also move our current 36" f/f to our garage.


    There are so many other brands out there. I would definitely take a look at Thermador. I would also suggest that your freezer have 2 drawers or at least 2 drawer compartments even if it's only 1 drawer that you actually open.

  • michoumonster
    2 years ago

    I've had good luck with a Liebherr 36" french door, with 2 freezer drawers on bottom. Perhaps it might be another brand to consider for you. It keeps food fresh for a super long time, longer than my SZ had. ice maker is a bit slow, but that has been my only complaint thus far.

  • Dave H
    last year

    Hello everybody! Just wanted to see if anyone had any updates on the Bluestar built in refrigerators?

    I am going with the Bluestar RNB range and would get a slight discount going with their refrigerator although I was originally set on Subzero.

    I like the look and the visible construction but would really like feedback from an owner if possible.

    Thank you!

  • ortochini
    Original Author
    last year

    I ended up buying the Subzero and 1 year later I am very happy with my choice.

  • Kim Dick
    last year

    Dave H

    I went with the Bluestar 48 RNB and the 36Pro Fridge for my remodel. I am ecstatic and cant wait for them to arrive!!! I split hairs looking at everything. Went with the BS!

  • Dave H
    last year

    Thank you Kim, I'd love to hear your thoughts once they arrive!

  • Jan Sumerel
    11 months ago

    We bought the BS for one specific reason. Every time I tried to open the produce drawer on the SZ, it sort of pinched me. The BS seemed so solid. So excited. Be willing to wait though. I also saw the notes about warranty above. I would check into that. BS seemed to have an amazing warranty to me.

  • Kim Dick
    11 months ago

    We ordered the BS pro refrigerator and the 48 RNB range. It is in our garage waiting to be installed this week in our new kitchen. I’m so excited. I LOVE that refrigerator. I looked at SZ too but I agree the BS is very solid. I also liked the way it was laid out inside better.

  • Kate Hagar
    11 months ago

    We looked at SZ, but there was so much plastic. We really love all the metal and glass in the BS, and it is so so solid. We've had it for almost 2 years now.

    We have had an issue with the seal on the freezer leaking, causing condensation and some resulting corrosion on the door hinge. We called a month outside of warranty, and BS still honored it. We have had quite the time getting someone out to fix it for us because of COVID & where we live (40 min ferry ride from Seattle), but BS has been amazing through the whole process.


    We do absolutely love the fridge though...it was a splurge for us, and it definitely still has that wow factor.

  • jenmilone
    11 months ago

    Thanks, Kate. Do you have a BS range/oven also? Getting ready to order a kitchen’s worth of appliances and I am liking the capacity/ layout of BS

  • Mia Ness
    4 months ago

    Hi All, I know your post is older. I am Leaning 36" pro Bluestar refrigerator over the Subzero pro with glass door. Those that bought the Bluestar any pros and cons since you have had it? It looks so well made and no plastic. I go back and forth as I like the look of exterior of the subzero but interior better for BS. Especially that condiments can be on the door. Any issues since you installed the BS?

  • Carolyn Jenkins
    27 days ago

    Jan and Kim,

    Do either of you or anyone else have an update yet on how you like the Bluestar refrigerator v Subzero? I am also looking at their 30 inch French door double oven and 36 inch Rangetop for our kitchen remodel. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thank you.

  • Mia Ness
    27 days ago

    Hi, I have not installed either yet. I did decide on the sub zero refrigerator. On range tops I like them both still. Blue star puts out more heat. So I am making sure my contractor can install correct venting and making sure it can be done. I have a GE monogram double oven that works great. Blue star ovens did have some issues.

  • Dave H
    27 days ago

    I realize I haven't updated here in a while.  I ended up going with the Sub Zero pro with glass door and love it so far, it really makes a statement.  I did have an issue with the produce drawer being hard to close when I first got it, bit service came out quickly, replaced the sliding glass cover piece, and now it works great going on one year now.  If I ever need a new refrigerator for whatever reason I would still consider Blue Star in the future with more time under it's belt, and I love my RNB range.

  • Kim Dick
    27 days ago

    I have the Bluestar 36 pro fridge and the 48 Range. I I have used bith for 8 mo ths now and Love them both. Refrigerator is especially nice. My friend is in the commercial restaurant supply business for 50 years. He knows all about kitchen equipment for restaurants. He commented on how well my refrigerator was constructed.

  • Carolyn Jenkins
    27 days ago

    Thanks Mia

    Can you share what the problems are with Bluestar french door double ovens? Thank You.

  • Southeast Historic Home
    11 days ago

    We're in the middle of a full kitchen/master bath, laundry remodel, and have been heavily researching appliances and other components. We've narrowed our refrigerator vetting down to Bluestar, Sub-Zero, and Fisher Paykel. We've spent a lot of money over the last 25 years replacing sub par appliances every 8 months to a few years.


    Our full sized FP refrigerator in our recording studio has been performing exceptionally well over the last 12 years, needing only one repair when something happened and it froze everything, instead of cooling it. It was an easy fix, it's a nice modern looking workhorse. But it doesn't have that "pro" look or heft of being all stainless on the inside, which is what we want for our main kitchen.


    With recent supply and vendor issues, although frustrating, we've actually benefited from the delays in that we've had more time to compare and weigh specs, and visit the showrooms of the 2 main upscale home appliance and fitting suppliers in our area more than once to look at things first hand and ask a lot of questions. We've had absolutely nothing but problems with the big box stores when it comes to the quality of appliances, customer service, warranties, installations, etc.


    We were originally going to order the BS 36" PRO built-in fridge. We liked that it was all stainless steel and solid. We did not like that the interior butter/egg doors were heavy, and did not have hinges. The doors fell back down hard and fast, catching your hand if you didn't move it away quick enough. The doors were also glass and steel, so the glass had the possibility of shattering. The other interior door baskets were kind of harsh, with sharp edges. Then we started seeing that BS had overall quality issues in their refrigerators, so we removed BS refrigerators from our list.


    After our add'l research, numerous visits to the showrooms, and talking in depth to our respective reps during this vetting process, we've made our final decision to order either a Sub-Zero 36" PRO refrigerator for a built in w/ a separate set of under counter fridge/freezer singles or drawers, or a 48" PRO refrigerator period, because it has ample fridge and freezer space and no add'l units are necessary. The deciding factor will be if we have enough headroom to stand the 48" upright before it slides into the slot in the kitchen. Do run the numbers on space tolerances if you're considering different sizes!


    Lastly, Sub-Zero, from what I've read, has very good customer service, longevity, and a quality product. I also read on a houzz discussion forum that someone had a SZ and it kept their food fresh for 10 days with no electricity during a hurricane and its aftermath. We live in a hurricane prone area, so this was a great point for us to consider.



  • homechef59
    10 days ago

    I think your decision to select the SZ was a good one. I'm a huge fan of BlueStar range tops. They know what they are doing when it comes to heating food. The subject matter expert for cooling food would be Sub-Zero.

    Is suggest the 36" with an auxiliary unit in the garage or basement. Two reasons, back up if something goes wrong and 36" is easier to replace due to the market having so many good choices. The 48" is very limited in what can be used as a replacement unit.

  • mchayr
    8 days ago

    Subzero for sure! I love my SZ! Great customer service and an overall great quality product.

    I have a Bluestar range and it hasn't worked once since it was installed in August and their customer service is the worst!

  • Southeast Historic Home
    8 days ago

    @mchayr, did you get the BS range or rangetop? Which series? Can you elaborate on the issues you're having with it? We are currently vetting them for our remodel, and were leaning toward a BS platinum rangetop. Thx.

  • mchayr
    6 days ago

    I purchased a range RNB484GCBV2

    We have to turn the gas off after every use because it leaks. The grill portion only ever turned on once ot twice and the left burner stopped lighting. After spending over $13,000 you would think their customer service would be responsive but I typically spend an hour on hold to be told that they will have someone reach out or my emails take on average of 8 days for a response that is typically short and unhelpful.

  • Southeast Historic Home
    3 days ago

    @mchayr, thank you for the info. Did you have it installed by someone well versed with BS? I hope what you stated about their customer service issues aren't the norm, but I'm concerned. Sorry this happened to you.

  • mchayr
    3 days ago

    Yes, it was by someone BS recommended. He no longer works on them because he was sick of dealing with their customer service. We have not been able to find anyone in the Charlotte area who will work on it and we have had to hire a lawyer.

  • Michelle misses Sophie
    3 days ago
    last modified: 3 days ago

    There's another use here who has had well over a year of customer service problems related to a BS range that's a safety hazard (raw gas then fireball above the burners). If you search Houzz' discussions for Bluestar you'll find a number of folks with issues.