Commercial Ranges Buying Guide.
For the majority of commercial kitchens, the range is the most vital centerpiece. This is easy to understand when you realize what a versatile and powerful piece of equipment it is. However you customize your range top or how large a battery of ranges you construct, a commercial range can bake, broil, grill, boil, simmer, and finish any food you choose to offer. Don’t hesitate to share your dreams of the perfect commercial range with a member of the Chef’s Toys team today because we are here to make that dream a reality. Or at least let us help with tips and advice. In a hurry? Contact us. We are happy to help.
Designed for the majority of busy commercial kitchens the restaurant grade or “medium duty” range is designed as a standalone unit usually available in sizes between 24” and 72”. These ranges are powerful enough for the majority of uses though they are constructed somewhat lighter than heavy duty ranges.
Heavy Duty Ranges
Too often people underestimate how much they use their range which can lead to purchasing a range that isn’t up to the task. If you use your range every day and it is a central part of your kitchen, then a heavy duty range is probably the right choice for you. Heavy duty ranges are built to withstand heavier use, to produce more heat consistently, and are more capable of being included as part of a battery of equipment.
While more expensive than restaurant grade ranges, heavy duty ranges are powerful work horses. If your range is going consistently throughout the day every day, this is likely a better option.
- Wok Ranges
Most common for Asian food cooking these ranges are ideal for stir fry dishes. With a circular ring that supports round bottom woks, these ranges feature high-BTU burners that allow wok dishes to be cooked at high temperatures.
- Stock Pot Ranges
Ideal for cooking in large stock pots, these ranges are shorter so that it is easy to add ingredients and stir these tall pots while also reducing the risk of spills.
The top of your range can be customized to almost any format you can dream up. With a large range you can include a combination of burners, griddles, or charbroilers to suit whatever the needs of your restaurant may be. Make sure to talk through everything that you offer your customers with a Chef’s Toys Team Member so that they can help you find better efficiency through a versatile rangetop.
Combination rangetops often include two or four burners and a griddle top or Charbroiler.
- Range Burners
It is common for most rangetops to include several range burners. Often fueled by natural gas or propane, these burners reach BTUs as high as 30,000 per burner on restaurant grade ranges and 35,000 on heavy duty ranges. These are the most common rangetop in the industry and are intended for cooking with pots and pans.
A grill or grate suspended over flames that you can cook directly on for meats and large vegetables.
A flat, heated surface that you can cook directly on, a griddle is an easier to clean option than the charbroiler. Griddles can come in grooved versions.
Much like a griddle, a plancha is a smooth cooking surface. However, the heat is central in a plancha and the edges are slightly cooler.
Just as you can customize the top of your range, there are a few options for the base of your range that offer you different opportunities. The larger your range the most ovens will fit into your range base, allowing you to cook multiple things at the same time. Common range sizes like 24” and 48” usually include a space saver oven.
- Standard Oven
Also known as a conventional oven, the standard bas for a range is perfect for baking and broiling foods. This is the most common range base in the industry because it is so versatile.
- Convection Oven
The convection oven features an internal fan which circulates the air inside the oven to keep foods cooking evenly. Convection ovens are a great option if you are often baking with multiple full size baking sheets.
- Space Saver Oven
Space saver ovens are more narrow than standard ovens, usually 20” wide and 26” deep. These are perfect for kitchens where space is limited. A full size baking sheet can only be used in a space saver oven lengthwise.
Stay Inside the Box
When you are buying a range make sure that your new range will fit well into the space under your hood. Most health safety regulations require 6” or more of additional hood space beyond the footprint of your range. For a standard 36” range you will be required to have a 42” or larger hood. Be sure to review your local regulations before making you purchase.
Base Options and Add-ons
- Storage Base
If you would rather have storage space than an oven, the storage base is your best choice. Instead of having an oven you never use you can use a storage base to keep pots and pans or other kitchen tools.
- Refrigerator Base
While not very common in the industry it is possible to purchase a range with additional cold storage space underneath. These refrigerator bases have to be manufactured to reduce the amount of heat transfer from the rangetop into the refrigerated box.
Salamander attachments can be installed above the rangetop to make it easy to cook thick steaks, melt cheese, or finish off a toasted sandwich. Salamanders are infrared broilers that can produce intense heat.
Much like a salamander, cheesemelters can be attached above the rangetop. These are tube-type heating units that broil foods. These are ideal for hot holding or finishing dishes.
- Electronic Ignition
Some ranges offer electronic ignition so that your no longer need a standing pilot light. This option can save you money and energy but the unit is often a little more expensive.
Adding casters to your range can make it convenient to clean beneath and behind your commercial range. Should you choose to install casters we recommend that you also install either a caster ramp system or caster cradles so that your range always rolls back to the same location. It’s also important that your install durable, longer hoses so that you never have to worry about damaging your hose during a regular cleaning.
- Gas Hoses
It’s very important that you purchase a quality, durable new gas hose along with your range but you may also want to install quick disconnect gas hoses. Make sure to discuss this with a member of the Chef’s Toys team when you purchase your range.
Top Commercial Ranges Brands
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