Choosing the Right Commercial Oven Range
A commercial range is a piece of cooking equipment that includes separate areas that cook using gas, electricity, or induction.
A range is the combination of a range top and a base. The range top is what people think of as a stove. A range top can be configured in a variety of different ways to cook food with burner grates, griddles, hot tops, charbroilers, or other accessories. The range base is many times a type of oven but can also be a refrigerator or storage cupboards.
Many times, the term stove and range are used interchangeably. Most manufacturers call stoves "range tops" and the combination of stoves on top of ovens "ranges." Someone working in a kitchen environment, or in the repair service industry, may also refer to ranges as stoves.
The individual areas that heat up on a range are called burners. A burner is used to heat up cookware. These burners can be flat, surfaces or raised open-flame surfaces. Burners can heat via gas, electricity, or induction.
Factors to Consider When Buying a New Range
- Cooking Uses
- Kitchen Design
- Ease of Use and Cleaning
- Advanced Technologies
- Other Features
Commercial Range Grades
Commercial ranges come in two different grades. There is restaurant grade commercial ranges and heavy-duty commercial ranges.
Restaurant Grade Commercial Range:
Also known as mid-size commercial ranges, restaurant ranges are best-suited for smaller restaurants. These restaurants would normally have less than 150 seats. Many times they can be found in church kitchens, shelter kitchens, schools, and mom and pop diners.
Heavy Duty Grade Commercial Range:
Heavy-duty commercial ranges can withstand more use, offer more heat power, and front gas manifolds that allow for the battering of equipment. It is recommended that they are purchased for restaurants that have more than 150 seats. These are more suitable for large facilities like correctional facilities, hospitals, cafeterias that are producing many meals in a day, and big restaurants.
Types of Ranges
1. Fuel Type
You have three options to choose from in terms of fuel type, but your choice may be limited if you don’t already have a gas hookup in your kitchen.
Many chefs (and amateur chefs) prefer gas ranges because they offer a level of precision on the stovetop that electronic ranges don’t manage. With gas ranges, you can move between different levels of heat on the stove within an instant. Because you can see the flame on a gas stovetop, you have a constant visual cue of how hot the burner is.
Gas rates better than electric in terms of energy use. You can expect to save on your monthly energy bills by going with a gas range, but you’ll spend a lot more to get your gas range set up if you don’t already have a gas hookup in the kitchen.
- Can cook with precise heats.
- Lets you change the heating levels quickly.
- Heats up and cools down in no time.
- Uses less energy.
To Keep in Mind:
- Stovetops may be harder to clean.
- You need a gas hookup.
These are popular with many consumers because smooth top stoves have a nice, sleek aesthetic and are easier to clean than gas stovetops, which have many parts you have to take apart and clean individually. For anybody that doesn’t have a gas hookup in their kitchen, an electric range will be the easiest option and cost you less to install.
You’ll find electric ranges with coil stovetops and those with smooth tops. Coil stovetops are some of the cheaper options you’ll come across, whereas electric ranges with smooth stoves tend to be some of the most expensive options on the market. While experienced chefs usually prefer the precision of gas, experienced bakers prefer electric ovens, which produce superior baked goods since the heating is evener.
- Better for baking.
- Coil stovetop models are affordable.
- Smoothtop models are easy to clean and often have extra features.
To Keep in Mind:
- Heat levels on the stove aren’t as precise as with gas.
- Use more energy than gas.
Dual Fuel Range
If you want the precision of a gas stove combined with the even baking of an electric oven, a Dual Fuel Range offers both. They will typically cost you quite a bit more than going with one fuel type or another, but consumers that do a lot of cooking and baking and are particular about their cooking experience may find the difference worth the cost.
- Gas stove better for precision cooking.
- Electric stove better for even baking.
To Keep in Mind:
- Cost more.
- You’ll still need a gas hookup.
- You may need to spend extra to make sure you have enough electrical charge for the dual fuel range to work.
2. Design Type
In addition to deciding on fuel type, you’ll need to figure out how your oven will fit into the allotted space for it.
A freestanding range is the easiest option in terms of installation. You can put them wherever in your kitchen you have a gas and electrical hookup. They have finished sides and a flat back and their sizes are standardized so they should fit into any standard range space. They typically have a backguard on them that both protects your wall from any mess or heat and is usually where the oven’s controls are found. They’re the cheapest and most convenient of the range design types.
A slide-in range has the benefit of looking like it’s built-in and custom made for the kitchen, but actually being much easier to install than that, since you can just slide them into the available spot in your kitchen. They don’t usually have a backguard and the controls are located in the front of the range, so they have a smoother, cleaner look. They’re also wider on top, so there’s no space left between the range top and the counter and drips and crumbs can’t get through.
Like a slide range, a drop-in range has unfinished sides and a wide enough top to ensure there’s no space between the range and counter. Unlike a slide-in range, a drop-in range never touches the floor but is rather installed on top of a cabinet baseboard. It makes the range look more built in, but it’s harder to install, as it often requires custom-made cabinets. Drop-in ranges aren’t as popular now as they once were, so you’ll find less selection with this type of range.
A wall oven is just an oven, without the stove. Someone who desires more flexibility in their kitchen design can buy a wall oven along with a cooktop and place them wherever in the kitchen makes the most sense. This usually costs more than buying a range that brings the two appliances together but ends up leaving you with more storage space in the kitchen and can sometimes add convenience when you’re cooking.
What Types of Gas are used in Commercial Ranges?
Natural Gas - Weighing less than air and dispersing upward, natural gas comes to a range from a pipeline. The gas and electric company normally supply natural gas. It comes into the building through a pipeline.
Liquid Propane - Also called LP, Liquid Propane weighs more than air and remains down on the floor with a gas leak. Propane is supplied to a building through a pipeline that leads to a propane tank on the property. This tank will need to be refilled.
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