Gone are the days when a cook”s only choice when it came to kitchen ranges was the basic four-burner range. Today, people who have a passion for cooking can have a professional or high-end range in their kitchens. These ranges offer the extras that can make cooking not only easier, but also more fun.
Clearing Up the Confusion: Commercial Ranges
Often, people confuse commercial ranges with professional ranges. Commercial ranges are designed for the workplace and are meant to withstand a lot of use and abuse. Commercial cooking ranges are generally less energy-efficient than other ranges and often use continuous burner pilots.
Commercial ranges require a larger gas supply line than normal and need heavy-duty ventilation. In general, commercial ranges are not recommended for home use. In fact, some building inspectors don”t allow them to be installed in homes and many insurance companies won”t insure a house that features a commercial range.
High-End and Professional Ranges Explained
When people think of high-end or professional ranges, they often envision a range that offers all sorts of technical gadgets. However, while these ranges do offer extras, they are designed to mimic commercial ranges and, therefore, don”t feature many of the components found on traditional ranges. For example, professional ranges tend to be free of such things as timers, clocks, start time functions, etc.
The extras that professional ranges do offer, however, are prized by many cooks and include:
- childproof controls
- convection ovens
- flame-failure safety devices
- larger than normal burners
- more burners than traditional ranges (up to eight)
- multiple cooking surfaces (griddles, grills, etc.).
Also, professional ranges are heavy-duty and should last for many years. The majority of models are made from stainless steel, which makes them easy to clean.
Price of Professional Ranges
If you”re considering buying a professional or high-end range, expect to pay a pretty penny: These ranges can cost anywhere from $4,000 to more than $12,000.
Heat Source for Professional Ranges
While most of the traditional kitchen ranges are available in either a gas or electric model, the vast majority of professional ranges use gas as a heat source. Gas cooking is preferred by chefs because it allows greater temperature control when cooking.
Though professional kitchen ranges operate on gas more often than not, many offer a dual-heat mode. This allows users to heat the oven with electricity. Electricity is the preferred heat source for an oven, as it provides a more reliable and even heat than gas. Another plus of electric ovens is that they do not require ventilation.
High-End Ranges: Buy Wisely
Unlike traditional ranges, high-end and professional ranges aren”t mass-marketed and, therefore, aren”t mass-produced. As a result, the quality of professional ranges isn”t as consistent as traditional ranges.
Do some research before selecting a model and thoroughly review the seller”s return policy.
Installing a Professional Range
As professional ranges put out more heat than the average range, it is recommended that you have at least 50 cubic feet per minute of ventilation for every square foot of your range. For many, this will require installing a professional hood for your range. Range hoods can be customized to match the design of your kitchen.
Also due to the high heat output, professional ranges should never be installed in a room smaller than 880 cubic feet.
In general, it is best to have a professional install your professional range and ventilation system.
Keidel Supply, Co. (2001-2006). Professional does not mean “commercial.” Retrieved December 13, 2007, from the Keidel.com Web site: http://www.keidel.com/design/select/ranges-comm.htm.
Keidel Supply, Co. (2001-2006). Professional ranges and cooktops. Retrieved December 13, 2007, from the Keidel.com Web site: http://www.keidel.com/design/select/ranges-prof.htm.