The Four Corners of the Kitchen.
The Stove.

There’s an old saying:




It’s quite an old saying so you maybe haven’t heard it before.  Maybe.

But there’s a lot of truth to it.  The stove (or range if you prefer) is the guts of your kitchen.  And unless, like reader Susie, you only have a kitchen because your house happened to come with one, your stove is probably pretty important to you.

I told you before that I would be getting a BlueStar range.  I got mine from Costco as opposed to from BlueStar because even though it doesn’t have the same interior finish or quite as many BTU’s it’s also thousands of dollars less at Costco.

I paired it with an astonishingly powerful G.E. Cafe range hood from Home Depot.

And here they are …





The BlueStar range (both the Costco and higher end version) have something that’s called an open burner system. Most ranges have a sealed burner.

Blue Star Open Burners



The open burner makes for easier cleaning of the stove because if a pot ever boils over it falls right through the burner system instead of staying on the surface of the stove and baking on there.

Blue Star Open Burner 2

To clean up spills, you just slide out the tray underneath the burners and wipe it out.   If I were to tell you this has made my life 14 million times easier you’d probably think I was exaggerating.  I am not.  14 MILLION TIMES.


Blue Star Range Pan


And the BlueStar open burner is designed so when you lift the centre grate out of the burner, you can fit your wok in there perfectly.  The outer grate cradles the wok, keeping it right next to the open flame and stopping the wok from sliding around your stove.

I believe we’re up to 28 million times easier now.
Cooking With Wok On Blue Star

The other thing that changed my life was getting an exhaust fan. Or a range hood in fancy talk. I have lived in this house, cooking every single night, for 15 years without any range hood. If I ever made anything greasier than boiled water I had to run around the house opening windows and doors in a complicated pattern in order to get the smoke to suction out.

If I opened one window too little or a door too much I’d get smoked out of my own house and quite often spent the evening enjoying a pleasant dinner of grubs from the lawn while shooing away the well intentioned fire department(s).
GE- Cafe Range Hood


This is a POWERFUL range hood. And that’s what I’m recommending you buy if you’re ever in the market. My mother for instance bought a cheap exhaust fan and it just doesn’t work. It couldn’t suck a meow out of a kitten.

Some things you can skimp on in the kitchen and other things you can’t.  Don’t skimp on the range hood.  I say that with all the confidence of someone who has owned one for almost an entire month.

What you *can* skimp on is the flue cover.  That’s the chimney looking part at the top of the hood.  G.E. Cafe makes a narrow flue cover that just covers the width of the vent.  I wanted something that ran the entire width of the range hood just for aesthetic purposes.

Buying one like that would have meant a cost of around $250-$300 and it wouldn’t have fit perfectly  (I have 9″ above my range hood and the smallest one for sale is 12″).  So I found a sheet metal worker to make me a flue cover for a grand total of $60.

I’ve been using the BlueStar range for a while now and I have to say I’m glad I didn’t get the higher end version with more BTUs. I’m barely woman enough to handle the BTUs the Costco version provides.  Definitely NOT in need of more BTUs.  HOWEVER, if you’re thinking of making the jump to a range like this don’t be an idiot.  Like I was.

I assumed that because I already had a gas range that I could just have this new range hooked up to my old gas lines.  But because this range has a gas oven (my old one had gas burners and an electric oven) and is so much more powerful than my previous gas stove I couldn’t just hook it up to my old gas line.

My old gas lines weren’t big enough to provide enough gas to my new range.  If I were to have all 4 burners going and the oven there wouldn’t be enough power to have everything bubbling away at full capacity.  So I had to have the gas line running from my basement to my range replaced at a cost of around $650 if I remember correctly.

A kitchen renovation is always full of surprises.  Life is full of surprises.  Some of them are bad.  And some of them that will make your life 72 million times better.

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  1. Amanda says:

    Wow, I feel so satisfied for you..! And, I love the crock with all of your rolling pins!

  2. Gini says:

    We had a six-burner Bluestar in my old kitchen (which we completely remodeled and then moved from – silly us!) and we also bought a HUGE range hood exhaust fan – smart girl! Bluestars ROCK! How are you liking baking in the gas oven?

  3. Ella says:

    Beeeeeeee-auti-ful! I also like the horsey hiding a bit behind the crock of rolling pins!

  4. Mindy says:

    I’m hating you a little bit right now. I’m now officially obsessed with your stove.

  5. Stephanie says:

    That wok-cradle feature looks utterly awesome (as does the rest of it).
    Got a serious case of kitchen-envy shaping up here.

    Is that a moose disappearing behind the rolling-pin cannister?
    What’s he looking for back there?

  6. Susan Preston says:

    …..I want one! I covet your stove!

  7. Monica says:

    Hey, you figured out where to put the kitchen TV! 🙂

    • Karen says:

      For now, lol. Not convinced it’ll be there forever, but it’s definitely there for now. 🙂 ~ karen

  8. Jamie Lynn says:

    Ella beat me to it, but just in case you didn’t know, there’s a mini horse creeping around on your counter.

    Love the range and the vent hood! Looks gorgeous! I can’t wait to see the whole kitchen together!!

  9. Pam says:

    I spy with my little eye your kitchen tv. Wondered where you decided to put it. Now you can watch Orphan Black while cooking up a stir fry. Nice!

  10. Cynthia Jones says:

    Is that a Fitbit on your left wrist or is it the new thingy from Macintosh that does even more fancy stuff than the Fitbit?

  11. Vicki says:

    beautiful. everything beautiful.
    i especially enjoyed the elk (?) peeking behind your pot of rolling pins. love.

  12. Cynthia Jones says:

    Sorry, I only skimmed your post on the stove because looking at stoves and seeing you move things to show how to clean them, upsets me.

  13. Phyllis Kraemer says:

    Colour me green!

  14. SK Farm Girl says:

    OMG I love the moose hiding his head behind the crock full of pins!!! Brilliant little dash of quirkiness!!! PS: The gas burner unit looks delish too; yup gas burner envy going on here!

  15. Amie Mason says:

    Loving the open shelving! Jealous of your burner!!!

  16. Amber says:

    aha! Karen has made good on hiding bizarre doo-dads in the photos to see what we respond to!
    it works too.

  17. Ember says:

    Is that a wooden shoe on the plates? Love the stove and hood! I love cooking with gas so much better than electric.

  18. Ember says:

    Ok upon futher inspection, it looks like a wooden bowl…but I really thought it was a shoe at first!

  19. Auntiepatch says:

    Love the stove! And those burners! Genius!

  20. Ev Wilcox says:

    Wow! And I thought I liked my stove! Now I am having stove envy. Rats….

  21. Sally A says:

    I love the pull out tray! Thank you for all of the useful information regarding gas lines and range hood too! So I’m guessing you are 99% finished with your remodel? Was it worth all the anxiety? I’m guessing yes! I’m guessing a lot.

  22. Farquist says:

    Favourite line:
    It couldn’t suck a meow out of a kitten.
    Trying to figure out how to work this into everyday conversation.

  23. Jody says:

    I have stove envy not because I cook a lot but because of how easy it would be to clean up spills. What’s with the moose? Is he looking for Waldo?

  24. Tigersmom says:

    There’s a moose on the loose!

    I love your little cast iron hobnail kettle, too.

    So glad that you have your dream kitchen finally. You’ve earned it, I’d say. Are you loving it as much as I hope you are?

  25. Tigersmom says:

    I was just scrolling back through the pics…what is in the wooden(?) box in front of the TV? It looks like it has two creepy antennae?

    Oh, and the brick looks so good white.

  26. Su says:

    72 million…. nice

  27. mayr says:

    Me too the horseymoose. Lerve, lerve lerve.

  28. Darlene says:

    Peek-a-boo with a MOOSE!

  29. Dagmar says:

    ” It couldn’t suck a meow out of a kitten” That’s the funniest thing that I’ve ever heard. But we shouldn’t laugh at other’s misfortunes. I think we should start a support group, instead. “Hello, my name is Dagmar, I suffer from exhaust impotence. I knew I had a problem when I tried to boil a pot of water for pasta and the range hood wouldn’t suck up the steam.”
    …Oh and your kitchen is so stunning, that even *I* would cook there. And I don’t cook, I mostly assemble food. Are you putting in a backsplash, or are the bricks just easy enough to clean up after making a greasy mess?

  30. Judy Miller says:

    Gorgeous kitchen and great info on stove/hood! Please tell me where your teapot is from!

  31. Erin says:

    When I scrolled down and saw the first pic of the new stove, I swear I heard angels singing….I swear. It’s an mad awesome stove!!

  32. jainegayer says:

    I thought I was madly in love with your new fridge. But now I’ve tossed her for your sweet stove.
    And what’s behind the linen curtain under the counter? Looks like Tricia’s linen.
    ps- “it couldn’t suck a meow out of a kitten” LOL

  33. Meg says:

    This looks and sounds amazing! I actually just got the GE Cafe stove and have been trying like hell to convince my husband I NEED that hood as well. (there is just the microwave over the stove and it’s so loud I hate to use the exhaust on it.

  34. judy says:

    Your kitchen is beautiful! If you were feeling magnanimous one fine day and you extended an invitation to “we, your people” for tea and crumpets or a moose roast- I would immediately book my ticket. If you could post this suggestion on the Menu board as a reminder or if that doesn’t work we could all write a 500 word essay “Why I would love to have Crumpets and Roast Moose with my friend!.. Karen…” and could you invite my other best friend because she’s as witty and informative as you are.

  35. Jane says:

    I am utterly intrigued by your tiny kettle. I had to go back and enlarge every picture to get a better look at it. Does it boil 1 cup of water at a time? Do you really use it? The stove is fabulous but that kettle??

  36. Amy in Stl says:

    I know people hate electric cooktops, but I cooked on one until I bought this house two years ago so gas is new to me. My electric stoves had a top that lifted up so you could clean up the drips on the pan below. I hate cleaning my gas stove! I also hate that most exhaust fans vent back into the house after “filtering”. It’s just asinine. My house does have an old finger slicing fan in thekitchen over the back door. It’s not convenient but it gets the job done better than the range hood.

  37. Jennifer S says:

    Yikes, that is an expensive unexpected expense! But, that range does look real nice. I’ve always been used to cooking with electric, but I have to say, you’ve almost converted me to gas.

  38. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    Awesome stove, the gut of your kitchen…and an exhaust fan that is strong enough to suck a few meows from a kitten! How do you come up with this stuff? Guess this means your Martha Stewart cabinets will be next? I’m patiently waiting. The kettle is really cute BTW.

  39. Robin says:

    most importantly, it’s pretty!

  40. I have stove envy and I don’t even like to cook!

  41. Looks awesome Karen. Gorgeous stove. I love the look of all the corners. It appears that we have very similar taste. I love how clever and strategic your photos are as well. Now clean your damn camera lens girl!!!! It’s driving me batty.

  42. Jennifer says:

    Love the pull out drip catching tray! Could have used that the other day when my lentils boiled over. What a damn mess that was! I had to pull the burner out and shove my towels down there to soak it all up. One time I even got a little jolt! Nice feature for sure! And the exhaust fan! I run around like you use to opening everything up, turning on fans etc. I love your setup there!

  43. Lynne says:

    I have some serious gas stove envy going on. I’m close to being in the market for a new one and that one is definitely in the running.

  44. Gretchen Sexton says:

    Three observations and a question:
    1-open burner=new concept. Might even sell me on a gas range (I love the clean up of the electric ceramic top)

    2- “suck a meow out of a kitten” = Karen, you can turn a phrase like no other!

    3-The moose hiding behind the rolling pins! LOVE!

    Question: is the oven convection? I became a convection fan years ago after inheriting an oven that had that feature…

  45. kate-v says:

    I am so relieved you didn’t buy that über-btu blue star stove – your earlier announcement had me worried. Also I like the drawer that slides out it can be cleaned. It all looks very nice!

  46. Leslie says:

    It looks gorgeous! If I ever get my dream kitchen I’ll go for that (presuming it’s available here). I have a 6 burner professional gas range, with gas oven, in my kitchen. I LOVE the star-shaped burners, and I can see how the open burner system would be great for a responsible person. However, it is way too much stove for me to manage responsibly. My potential new cleaning lady quit when she saw it.

  47. Sheri says:

    Suck a meow out of a kitten….hilarious and exactly our hood fan, which we bought at Costco. Hate it, loud and doesn’t suck, well any steam, odors or smoke out of our kitchen, but it does SUCK in other ways. Looking at ripping it out, chalking it up to experience and investing in a good one. Will look at this one, my big complaint in all of them is the noise level, I love to have music on when I cook and what’s the point if it’s getting drowned out by the obnoxious hood fan.

  48. JebberJay says:

    This post is full of stainless steel, gas fired goodness. Niiiiiiice.

  49. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    They are awesome for you’m afraid of gas…..bad moose..bad bad TV for you..turn around..

  50. Olga says:

    It looks like it would be very easy to clean your range. What a clever idea. I wonder if Blue Star makes similar cooktops…Your kitchen truly have Scandinavian feel now. I love it. Pat on a back Karen!

  51. I think you should leave the TV right where it is. Mine is about the same place and very handy. But then, I do carry it out to the garage, so that may be a qualifier for “handy.”

    I am stunned that you were cooking this entire time without a range hood. I’m glad you have a new kitchen for that reason alone.

  52. Laura Bee says:

    I made a sqeaky breathy sound like the one my daughter makes whe I tell her we are having ice cream for dessert. So nice! I have all my rolling pins in a basket on the low pantry in our kitchen. One day I want to hang them on the wall to display them & make them really easy to grab, but no wall space here-all window on the south & on the backsplash wouldn’t work either…
    Moose-ass gracias for sharing!
    Oh! I just had an idea-take it or leave it-what about a post on your readers favourite part of their kitchen?

    • Linda S. in NE says:

      Ooooh, Ooooh, Me, Me, Me…can I be first? My favorite part of my kitchen is the door that closes behind me when I’m on my way out to eat somewhere else!! Karen, I’m so tickled for you with all the wonderful details of your new kitchen. It’s obvious you have put a lot of thought and planning into your space. Congratulations, and thanks for sharing the details.

    • Karen says:

      WE’RE HAVING ICE CREAM FOR DESSERT???!!!!!!! ~ karen!

  53. jeannie B says:

    Looks really, really nice Karen. I’m sure that I’d blow up the house if I had a gas stove. i live in fear of the gas furnace downstairs in the basement. Irrational? Perhaps.

  54. Chau says:

    I’m in high state of Blue-Star-Range envy now. It looks awsome, Karen. Blue-Star range will be in my dream from now on.

  55. julie says:

    My husband and I were admiring your stove…major stove envy by the way. Anyway, I also was admiring what appears to be a reasonable distance from the counter to the bottom of the range hood. I thought it could be 36 inches. My husband thinks it is about the same distance as ours, a measly 25″. When you consider that I am 5’10”, you can see why I frequently bump my head! So, can you settle it for us? How far above the counter is the bottom of your beautiful hood?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Julie – The height of your hood is determined by the height of your ceiling and the width of your range. Mine is at 28.5″ from the stove top. It’s what worked for my ceiling, my stove and my head. 😉 ~ karen

      • julie says:

        Oh…forgot to mention that this range hood is over the island, blocking my view of anything or anyone on the other side. It certainly sucks to be me!

  56. Patricia says:

    I am constantly surprised the small items that the responders pick up in your pictures. I think I am fairly observant, but when I begin to read the comments I go back forth from the comments to the pictures so often, I give myself a serious bout of vertigo! Maybe I just need to slow it down!! Slow it down!

  57. Debbie says:

    Everything looks wonderful, but I want the tea kettle. I’ve seen them, I’ve handled them and I want to own one. Maybe if I plaster pictures around the house, someone will get the hint!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Debbie – I don’t even know where it came from I’m afraid. I was at my friend’s house and I said I love that Japanese tea pot and she said … Here … take it! ~ karen!

  58. Cynthia Jones says:

    Tell me more about your Fitbit. Do you use it to count your steps or do you run as well as the superwoman stuff? Yikes!

    • Karen says:

      I use it both for counting my steps and running, lol. Yes, I run on occasion. If it makes you feel any better I’m not particularly good at it. 🙂 ~ karen!

  59. Kathy says:

    I am beyond envious of this stove, and your entire kitchen! DAMN! Now I want to take a wrecking ball to mine.
    Question: I’m sure you covered this in an earlier post, but since I have a touch of ADD, I didn’t catch it. I love your butcher block counters, and yes, I am so sick of granite and marble tops…they look beautiful but are so difficult to clean and maintain. Are the wood counters sealed? I love wood, but not sure about staining and nicks.
    Love your post, it’s sometimes the best part of my day.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kathy – Butcher block doesn’t get sealed, but it does get treated. You coat it with mineral oil. 5 coats to start with as the wood will just drink it up. Then once a week, then once a month, then whenever it seems dry. Nicks you might get yes, and staining too. If that bothers you it might not be the right choice for you. The counter is hard and is difficult to scratch but it can be done and almost anything can stain it. To get rid of that it takes a light brushing with sandpaper and then more mineral oil. I prefer my countertop to have a patina and look used though so it isn’t a problem for me. ~ karen!

  60. Gail says:

    OMG- I am laughing because this concept of trays below is not new! My 1958 Sears Kenmore stove that I still have and use, has the trays on either side under the burners! I just have to remember they are there and clean them! This stove even had a burner with a brain, unfortunately, it went braindead 1999. This stove has a griddle in the middle top, and a rotissarie on the side. What more could a girl want???

  61. Debbie says:

    Hmm, maybe your friend has another one and wants another friend! 🙂 Thank you for the response. Much appreciated.

  62. Pat says:

    I too have a Medalta crock beside my stove holding all my whisks. You can never have too many whisks. By the way, if you ever get to Medicine Hat, the old Medalta Potteries site has been renovated and turned into a museum and the reproduction pieces (the bowls! OMG) are gorgeous! Big mixing bowls and matching sizes down to little prep bowls. And crocks. And mugs. And bean pots! Even original pieces; bowls and plates for sale. Oh, if only I hadn’t been flying back to British Columbia …

  63. Barbie says:

    LOVE it! I have a viking stove and hood! Hood was super luxurious and is now BROKE! Second time in fact! I miss it! Your kitchen looks spectacular Karen! Bravo.
    PS: If you give a moose a muffin….He’ll run behind your rolling pin caddy and show you his butt!

  64. jBess says:

    SIGH. Jealous 🙂

  65. Karen says:

    Looks like a great stove…..and I really like great stoves…..I convinced my husband to step it up by explaining that having that having a ‘great stove’ in your kitchen is like having a Harley Davidson in your garage. Enough said……we now have a really great stove….

  66. Cussot says:

    Late to the party, but that flue cover, hubba hubba. Really nice proportions. How is it attached?

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Cussot! To tell you the truth, it’s literally just resting on top. If I wanted to I could just use a dab of silicone to make it stay but because I had it made to fit, it’s wedged in there perfectly so it’s not going anywhere. ~ karen!

  67. Margaret says:

    Hi Karen,
    I am in the market for a hood myself. I am very close to buying the same one you bought because I figure you have already done the research. In case you read this and feel like answering, is it very noisy? Is 600 cfms really enough or does it just seem great to you because you had nothing before? I made the STUPID mistake of getting an over the range microwave (never do this). It never worked (because duh. It only covers the back and no one cooks on the back burners. My aunt warned me and I didn’t listen… why do they even sell these pieces of crap?) and my custom cabinets are always covered in grease.
    Anyway it finally died last week so I don’t feel bad getting rid of it. I would even go without a microwave at all in favour of a hood that actually works. Home Depot doesn’t list a noise rating, so I’m curious, did you test it out in the store and compare it to other hoods? Our stove is electric but we will probably upgrade to gas soon. My husband is a chef so he only cooks on maximum heat. 600 cfms is the highest Home Depot sells but not the highest out there. Just wondering if 600 is really enough for a home cook who has professional habits? Congratulations on the kitchen. It truly is amazing!!
    Thank you for your excellent blog.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Margaret – Thanks! The hood seems to work great. Yes, it’s loud, lol. But only when you have it on heavy duty super high. It’s been great for me and I cook every night and oftentimes with oil. In fact, if I ever use my deep fryer for anything I stick it on top of the stove and turn the hood on. Does a really good job of getting rid of the stink from the stink monster. So far I’ve been really happy with it. ~ karen!

      • Margaret says:

        Hi Karen!
        Just in case you read this, it’s been a year and our range hood saga is still ongoing! The range hood was back ordered (probably because of your great post) so we finally got it in October, then the installation guy said it wouldn’t fit under our cabinet because there’s not enough clearance and also we need a larger vent. So my husband has taken out the old fan and the cabinet and we want to get the piece of stainless steel above it like you did instead of replacing the cabinet. We are in Toronto. Does your metal guy service Toronto? Who installed the venting for you? It seems like we need so many tradesmen to do this and want to get them in the right order, e.g. tiler, metal worker, vent installer, hood installer, etc. thanks!!

        • Karen says:

          Hi Margaret – I believe the name of the place I used was Burlington sheet metal. Or something like that. I just brought the measurements into him and picked it up a few days later. You should be able to find a sheet metal shop around you to do the same thing. It’s literally just a piece of metal cut then bent. Sounds like you’re going through a bit o a nightmare! ~ karen

  68. Margaret says:

    Thanks so much! We are going to get the same one you have and also, great idea about the deep fryer. Ours sits right next to the stove so it will be easy to put it under the fan. I love fish and chips but I don’t like my house smelling like them. My twenty year old self could never envision my forty year old self being this excited about a fan. But I really am!! Thanks again!

  69. Tracy says:

    I was soooooo sold until I read the post about having “extra” hot flashes from the heat. Say it isn’t so! I have a glass cooktop. We’re remodeling the kitchen in the fall, so I’m doing my research now. Converting to a gas cooktop, but now I’m super paranoid that it will make it too hot to cook on. I”ve never cooked with a gas cooktop. Can’t imagine getting a range with the oven next to my lady parts Ü Spontaneous Human Combustion does exist! I don’t know what to do now….insert pathetic sad face.

  70. Karen says:

    Hi Karen! I’m having this range installed as I type…and guess what they have to move the gas line! :”””(

    My gas line is big enough but with my old range it came up as a hard pipe sticking too far out into the opening. Hope we’re not looking at $650 but I’m sure it won’t be cheap!

    How do you find the oven? I have this range at my cottage as well and find it takes forever to heat up. My kids really didn’t want one at home for that reason but the aesthetics of the range are just so nice I couldn’t resist. Hoping it will be faster now as its been 3 yrs since we bought the last one and crossing my fingers its improved.

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