Ranges come in many shapes and sizes. On top, you can get any combination of burners and griddles. For the bottom section of ranges, you can choose between ovens: standard, convection, space saver oven or no oven at all. Commercial ranges are available in many variations to fit the needs of any commercial kitchen.
Heavy Duty Ranges vs. Restaurant Duty Ranges
Most restaurants and chains can get by with a high quality, restaurant duty unit, which can usually accommodate a salamander broiler or cheesemelter. Hotels, hospitals, schools, institutions and some high volume restaurants can justify the additional expense of a heavy duty range. They have higher energy output and shorter cooking time.
Heavy duty ranges are equipped with larger gas valves to allow for easier combining of other components. They can be used “in battery” together with other ranges or equipment to create large units for high volume kitchens and are built to withstand intense use. They usually cost more both up front and in service fees. Additionally, the higher energy output also means higher energy costs.
Most restaurants opt for restaurant duty ranges, which are suitable as a free standing model with BTU and power levels close to the heavy duty standards, but for an economical price. They cost less and have lower service fees. However, they are not built to withstand intense use as well as the heavy duty ranges
Ranges are available in almost any mix of open burners and griddle tops. Convection ovens can also be added to the standard oven base.
The top choice for most professional kitchens, gas ranges provide instantaneous heat that is easily controlled. Look for easily removable top grates, a wide range of flame heights, ring or star burners, and individual pilot lights for each burner. You should also consider the BTU rating before purchasing.
Instead of a gas burner, you could also choose a griddle for the top of all or part of your range. It is a flat metal plate made of steel, cast iron or aluminum and food is cooked directly on top allowing multiple food items to cook simultaneously. Look for a large grease trough for easy clean up, manual valve controls for user-regulated temperature control, thermostat controls for accurate temperature control and a non-stick or well-seasoned surface.
Raised griddles are your basic griddle top, except raised above the burner surface. This raised surface allows for a broiler underneath for the purpose of broiling of food before serving.
There are several options on oven type. A space saver oven, which is usually about 20” wide, will accommodate a sheet tray only one direction. The standard oven is usually about 26” and will accommodate sheet trays facing either direction. If you bake frequently or just want to ensure an even heat distribution, opt for a convection oven. They’ll cost a bit more, but you’ll get the convection oven you desire! Your final option is the storage base which doesn’t include an oven at all, but offers additional storage of pots and pans for quick access while cooking.
Other Range Considerations
Casters, which are sold as optional features on most models, are highly recommended for easy clean up and service. Also, if you will be using your range at an elevation above 2000 feet, be sure to note that while ordering. Gas valves must be adjusted to account for higher elevations.
As with any gas appliance, be sure and include a new AGA commercial gas flex hose. They are designed to withstand commercial wear and tear, usually with a brass quick disconnect. Standard, plumber supplied home-type flex hoses are not designed for commercial applications and are not NSF approved. It is recommended that even if your existing range has a gas hose, you should go ahead and get a new hose with your new range. Safety first!
One final note - Please remember that all ranges carried by ShortOrder.com are commercial ranges and not meant to be installed in a residential setting. Installing a commercial range in a residential setting often voids the manufacturer warranty and can also void your home owners insurance.
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