Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >

mrsjenpeters's Profile

Title Last Reply

New range - Blue Star or Viking or Capital - or something else?

Looking for some advice on a new range. Seems the more research I do, the less sure I am. :)

We are looking at 30" models. All gas or dual fuel. Convection oven not a must, but would be nice (I like to bake, but we mainly use the oven for cooking). Must have metal knobs. Self clean vs manual clean is not a deal breaker. We cook A LOT and are essentially looking for a work horse that will stand up to daily use, with multiple burners and the oven going at the same time. Don't need any frills - no fancy gadgets or options or styling. We'd go true commercial if we had the required wall and countertop clearance, but we don't.

The frontrunner has been the Blue Star Residential Culinary 30" (RCS304BV1) ($2500). (3) 15,000 BTU burners, + (1) Simmer burner. Lists the oven as having a Convection fan system. We really like the power behind the Nova (RNB304BV1) but don't really want to spend that much cash ($4500). One of the biggest pluses is that the entire top surface is cast iron - not stainless steel, not porcelain. We can remove the entire top for cleaning, which would really be a huge plus for us (I think).

My husband is now leaning towards the Viking Professional series (VGIC5304BSS). (4) 15,000 BTU burners (which is nicer than the Blue Star since we really have no need for a separate Simmer burner). Has a Convection Oven. The biggest downside, to me, is that the top is sealed enameled porcelain. That can be a pain to clean once stuff spills. Based on a current promotion, this range would be about $500 more than the Blue Star, but still within the range we are willing to spend (based on current deals, we could get it for $3000 - it's normally closer to $4000).

Anyone have any good / bad experiences with either? In reading reviews and threads, there are folks who love both, and who have complaints about both, but it appears there is more negative feedback out there about Viking.

We've also looked at Capital, DCS, Dacor, Wolf, and American Range.

If I remember correctly, the Wolf in our price range had plastic knobs, which is a deal breaker. I think the one with metal knobs was out of our range. DCS and Dacor look out of our range, too, I think.

The Capital brand has the Precision 30" Self Clean (GCR304) in our range ($3100) that looks kind of bad ass - (4) 19K BTU Burners (sealed) (I see mention of a Power-Wok™ Burner* 800 – 25,000 BTU but it's not clear if that's included or a separate add on). The Culinarian (CGSR304) is sadly a bit out of our range; about the same as the Nova. Looks like we could get the Precision for about the same price as the Viking. Oven capcity is slightly larger on the Capital (4.6 cu ft vs. 4 - 4.1 cu ft on the others).

Any experience with Bertazzoni? Looks like they have a few in our price range, but that the BTU options may be lower? States "Triple Ring Power Burner: 12000 + 3000 Btu/h" - not sure if that means 18K total??? I'm really not willing to go below 15k, so that may strike them out.

Did very limited research on Five Star, but the small oven capacity (3.69 cu. ft) rules that out, I think.

Anyone I am missing?

Feb 20, 2012
mrsjenpeters in Cookware

curing already sliced pork belly?

is it possible to cure already sliced pork belly?

we get a whole hog every year, and my husband defrosted the pork belly to have for dinner tonight... and upon opening the packages, it's already sliced. uncured. needless to say, he's pretty pissed and has already called the butcher to let them know... but can we do anything fun with this? they sliced ALL of the side pork, so we don't have any real belly to work with, just sliced and uncured belly.

is there any hope for curing this into homemade bacon?

any other ideas?

Feb 14, 2011
mrsjenpeters in Home Cooking

hot dogs near shedd aquarium / museums?

my husband and i will be taking my 10 year old stepdaughter and our 2 year old son to chicago the week after christmas. we'll mostly be hitting the aquarium and museums in the same area. i'm looking for a good hot dog place close by? our original plan had been a trip to Hot Doug's, but they are will be closed that week. since we'll have the kids and are just planning a day trip, we'd like to find something close by. suggestions??

Dec 17, 2009
mrsjenpeters in Chicago Area

Quail eggs in the Milwaukee area

i believe i've seen them at the Outpost - they have 3 locations, go to to find the one closest to you.

Dec 11, 2009
mrsjenpeters in Great Lakes

where to buy fresh pasta in milwaukee?

i do enjoy making fresh pasta, but for weeknight meals, i'm looking for an easy out. anyone know of somewhere to buy fresh pasta in milwaukee or the surrounding area? i'm mainly interested in fresh pasta sheets, but wouldn't be upset if i could also get tortellini and ravioli.

Milwaukee and Oshkosh trip need advice

great suggestions by everyone! some of our faves:

Speed Queen BBQ
1130 W Walnut St
Milwaukee, WI 53205
* we were surprised to find a true bbq joint up here, and having lived in atlanta for years has made me a snob... but this place is GOOD.

Bartolotta's Lake Park Bistro
3133 East Newberry Blvd
Milwaukee, WI 53211
* pricier end of things, but a great place for steak frites.

Wells Brothers Restaurant
2148 Mead St
Racine, WI
* this place is a bit south of the city (probably a 30 min drive from the airport), but it's amazingly good pizza.

Dead Broke for Valentine's Day

i was thinking risotto as well! i wanted to add - why not a bone marrow risotto? this, imo, adds some bang for your buck - gives it that "rich" feel without spending a ton. add a simple vegetable and a decadent dessert (maybe tiramisu?) and me thinks you're in business.

Feb 09, 2009
mrsjenpeters in Home Cooking

Side Dishes for Tacos

how about escabeche (quick pickle vegetable salad)? radishes with lime & coarse salt is another traditional side.

Jan 09, 2009
mrsjenpeters in Home Cooking

My first organic Thanksgiving

i'd suggest checking w/ any local CSAs on the organic meats. i know our CSA offers chickens and now turkeys (for thanksgiving), to both members and non members. at $4.50/lb, it's NOT cheap (that's a $90 turkey!), but it's available. (my dh put his foot down and said NO $90 TURKEY.... but now i'm curious as to just what a $90 turkey tastes like... ;)

Oct 09, 2008
mrsjenpeters in Home Cooking

Campfire Menu Suggestions!

pudgy pies! these were our favorites as kids. i think we would spray the pieces w/ pam. put bread on either side, then fill with anything. we used to do taco style ones w/ tortillas instead of bread, meat, cheese, salsa, etc. for dessert, do bread with pie filling.

not the fanciest, but fun. :)

Aug 20, 2008
mrsjenpeters in Home Cooking

Asian Style Dipping Sauce

nope, in my experience, the vinegar + sugar alone does the trick!

Aug 13, 2008
mrsjenpeters in Home Cooking

Amazon UK: Cookbooks you can't get in the US

tana ramsey's books. here in the u.s. we (at least i) have NO idea that gordon ramsey's wife has a show, books, etc. bil lives in london and for dh's bday, bil & his wife gave dh a gordon book and me the tana book. who knew! it's much simpler, but we do like it.

Aug 13, 2008
mrsjenpeters in Home Cooking

Asian Style Dipping Sauce

i would think rice vinegar would be fine. slightly different taste but yummy nonetheless. i'm not 100% sure on the ratio - check this recipe out though:

Aug 13, 2008
mrsjenpeters in Home Cooking

Which Lasagne's more common in NZ/OZ?

what about doing a lamb lasagna? can you get local lamb? i would probably use this recipe as my inspiration, and translate it into a lasagna:

Aug 13, 2008
mrsjenpeters in Home Cooking

Asian Style Dipping Sauce

my favorite is hot red chiles in a white vinegar + sugar solution. almost candies the chiles - addicting!

Aug 13, 2008
mrsjenpeters in Home Cooking

Need Meal for New Mom suggestions

how about tuna casserole? make your own mushroom thyme cream sauce, use good quality tuna and pasta, fresh herbs, and homemade bread crumbs. easy and delicious.

Aug 10, 2008
mrsjenpeters in Home Cooking

Your Once Famous But Now, "Oh My God I Cant Believe I Used To Serve This" Dish

my aunt used to make this when we were young and it was our favorite. she would bring it to easter dinner (god only knows why). god we loved that stuff.

i do make tuna casserole still but like kelli2006 i made my own mushroom thyme cream sauce and use homemade bread crumbs, not potato chips.

Aug 06, 2008
mrsjenpeters in General Topics

What's in the CSA basket where you live?

we live in wisconsin. we paid $325 for a half share (full bushel every other week). the full share was $575. started june 1 (actually was delayed 2 weeks because of all the rains up here) and will go through the fall - november 1 is the offical date, but we'll go 2 weeks past that due to the initial delay.

the farm we went with also does early season greens for the month of may, $180.

you can elect to do an additional fall storage share, a single day pick up for $100 (beets, turnips, carrots, rutabagas, winter squash, fresh greens and more)

they also offer poultry april 24 - november 1 at $25/2 chickens/month.

This week in your box
* Hothouse Cucumbers
* Beans (yellow & romano)
* Lacinato Kale
* Kohlrabi
* Greentop Beets (Chioggia)
* Scallions
* Ribes Mix (currants and gooseberries)

here's a pic of our last pick up -

Aug 06, 2008
mrsjenpeters in General Topics

I miss Isaly's ham salad!

my favorite way to make ham salad is simply to cube up some baked ham (i've always done this with left overs), and toss it in the food processor with some celery, onion, mayo, dijon, salt, and pepper. maybe some pickle relish.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich ideas?

my fave is homemade pimento cheese, grilled in truffle butter. with a thin layer of jack or fontina in the middle, for the goo factor.

i'm also a big fan of sharp white cheddar and spinach.

Jul 23, 2008
mrsjenpeters in Home Cooking

Jfood needs help please: New to Homemade Hummus

i am one of those terrible americans that uses way too much garlic. :) i understand it's a bastardization, but i really love the spicy kick it gives, and don't mind the dragon breath afterwards. ;)

Jul 08, 2008
mrsjenpeters in Home Cooking

CSA Help: I got ___ in my CSA box and need recipes!

dh does carrots glazed with butter and brandy. yum.

Jul 08, 2008
mrsjenpeters in Home Cooking

CSA Help: I got ___ in my CSA box and need recipes!

oh i remembered something else for fennel. i had some apple & fennel hand pies at a dames de escoffier event with cheddar cheese ice cream that were to die for!

Jul 08, 2008
mrsjenpeters in Home Cooking

CSA Help: I got ___ in my CSA box and need recipes!

i second the fennel in a salad idea. i like mine with blanched red beets. then either orange segments & red wine vinegar/olive oil, OR with some greens (watercress or something) & a horseradish/creme fraiche dressing, maybe red onion.

Jul 08, 2008
mrsjenpeters in Home Cooking

Favorite Corn Dish

there's nothing like fresh picked corn!!

grilled with lots of butter and salt

corn budin

warm with mayo, lime, salt, and cracked black pepper

Jun 01, 2008
mrsjenpeters in General Topics

Making Your Own Butter

i did the same thing - was making whipped cream one day, walked away to do the laundry and forgot... we ended up with DELICIOUS vanilla butter though... it was awesome on pancakes!

May 26, 2008
mrsjenpeters in Home Cooking

Favorite burgers and toppings?

pepper jelly and mont jack cheese

smoked paprika in the burger is a fave, good w/ garlic, parsley, worcestershire mixed in as well

topped w/ avocado

May 26, 2008
mrsjenpeters in Home Cooking

What do you do with a store bought Rotisserie Chicken?

well, you can use them in pretty much anything that calls for chicken. ;) our favorite is chicken tostadas:

fry up corn tortillas.
slather w/ sour cream.
top with sliced avocado, shredded chicken, shredded lettuce, thinly sliced tomato.
finish off with crumbled cotija cheese and pickled red onions.

May 26, 2008
mrsjenpeters in Home Cooking


those all sound delicious. our favorite application is based on some we've had at a loncheria on isla mujeres, quintana roo, mexico.

fresh fried corn tortilla
slathered with sour cream
topped with sliced avocado,
shredded roasted (or boiled) chicken,
shredded lettuce,
thinly sliced tomato,
crumbled cotija cheese,
and pickled red onions.


May 23, 2008
mrsjenpeters in General Topics

Rachael Ray Tidbits

holy crap, that was hilarious! i am getting weird looks at work for cracking up!