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Which residential/professional RANGE?

Peter_Polshek's picture

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Greetings Folks:

I am in the process of researching which residential professional/commercial quality range to purchase. There is very little I can find in the way of comparisons, third-party assessments, etc. of the several manufacturers I have identified. I do know that at the end of the Summer Consumers Report will be publishing a review article. I cannot wait that long. The brands I am aware of are:
Wolf
Garland
Viking
Dynasty
Five Star
Dynamic Cooking Systems (DCS)
Thermador
Dacor

The Questions:
sealed burners
dual fuel (gas cook top, electric oven)
griddle or grill
other, I have not considers.

I urge all of you to post opionions and experiences in an effort to identify the brand of choice and the issues inherent in selecting such a high quality applicance.

There are many people out there who are conducting similar research. This topic will be a valued effort. Thank you.

Sandra_'s picture

(post #53572, reply #1 of 27)

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Hi Peter: This subject has been discussed fairly exhaustively recently. If you do a search of discussions using "kitchen range" in your subject line, you'll find all sorts of opinions and information from all of Taunton's discussion groups. Good luck.

P._Polshek's picture

(post #53572, reply #2 of 27)

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Folks:

Having posted the topic's initial message, another question occurred to me that I imagine other have had as well. Is it really necessary to have the BTU power that comes with the residential/professional quality range? I ask this having considered quality residential ranges whose max BTU is 11000, such as the Thermador standard series, or DACOR, preference series 12500.

Note: I will be installing my choice with LP gas.

Thanks again.

BTW: I did a search of the Taunton site with keyword "range" and came up with scattered info, but not comprehensive opinions and experiences.

Peter.

Gerard's picture

(post #53572, reply #3 of 27)

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You'll have to special order the LPG range, it uses a different jet.
Any commercial range is going to be commercial quality hardware, theres no comparing them to consumer types. Seems a bit overkill unless you have 150 children at home.
Also , commercial units adapted to domestic lines don't (normally) put out the heat like a commcial unit does. They install smaller jets to compensate for the lower residential BTU rating, the only way to get the heat is install larger pipe from the meter, I did that and it cost $700 15 yrs ago.

P._Polshek's picture

(post #53572, reply #4 of 27)

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Note:

I am not considering a commercial range, but rather the residential versions manufactured by the various companies making commercial equipment and those with similar specs made by residential appliance companies, ie. Dacor.

Thanks.

aussiechef's picture

(post #53572, reply #5 of 27)

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Peter - There's one part of my Viking that I really love and it's the infrared broiler.
Everything else is a bit of a fizzle - BTU rating doesn't mean much because it seems to depend on how close your pots get to the flame. On the Viking they sit so far up that there is a big heat loss.
It's only 3 years old but has incurred hundreds of $ in repairs.

Good guy to ask is a kitchen designer in Los Angeles called Donald Silvers. He's very opinionated but with good reason. During my remodelling, everything he advised that I did turned out wonderfully, and all his advice that I didn't follow, including brand names, I now regret. If you are interested in contacting him let me know and I can scurry around looking for his last phone number. Think he had an article once in Fine Cooking. You don't have to buy anything from him - he's just passionate about kitchens.
Good luck in choosing and keep asking around.

Glenys_'s picture

(post #53572, reply #6 of 27)

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Buying the range is just the beginning, and Gerard is right. In smaller kitchens a res/pro range can be beyond your cooking needs and can heat the kitchen beyond anything imaginable, unless you've worked in a hot kitchen. Even with good venting, my gas stove causes the paint in my kitchen to yellow- partly due to the humidity here- so I repaint once a year. In another area of town, with different zoning, the requirements for the hood were so prohibitive it meant a roof reno. That definitely was not included in the sticker price of the stove or the specs. I like six burners but extraordinary BTU's at home I don't need. Like buying cookware, define what and how you cook before starting out on the quest.

Gerard's picture

(post #53572, reply #7 of 27)

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My Brother in Law is a pro chef and likes his jen-air with range top grill, he also has their convection oven (wall type, gas).
I don't know about commercial brands making home type stoves, seems to me they are best at making their Mack truck type commercial units.
Commercial styling is an oxymoron, ugly as sin really.

Rebecca's picture

(post #53572, reply #8 of 27)

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Also make sure the BTUs are low enough. I have Viking and its difficult to get the flame low enough for a "bare simmer" and that is even using heavy cookware (magnalite prof.) & a flame tamer. I have begun "simmering" my rice in the oven because the cooktop flame is too high (my cooktop is 3 years old). This is my only complaint. The six burners are great & the difference in cost between 4 & 6 burners was not great.

KarenK's picture

(post #53572, reply #9 of 27)

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Welcome to the remodelling in progress club. Based on research and some discussion here, we decided on a Wolf range and finally got it hooked up about 4 weeks ago. We absolutely love it. And, incidentally it has the highest BTU capability of any of the comparable ranges. (I'm a stir-fry fanatic and this was as close to a wok burner as I could get and not go bankrupt.)

Catering_Chef's picture

(post #53572, reply #10 of 27)

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Karen, How many burners on your Wolf?

mangia!'s picture

(post #53572, reply #11 of 27)

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Not sure which thread this is in now, but when I asked Mean Chef about the BTU's in a gas range, and he responded that the oil in pans in commercial kitchens (unlike in homes) can spontaneously burst into flames, I was about to respond:

Holy Inferno, Batman!...

But I didn't get to it because I was still dealing with one of my own - my husband with a 104 degree temp, and a bout of pneumonia. He's fine now, and I don't like help to go unacknowledged, so thanks for the info, MC. It's one more thing to ponder in deciding whether to switch to gas. I do appreciate the input.

MEAN_CHEF's picture

(post #53572, reply #12 of 27)

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I have said this many times before: ANY gas range is better that an electric.

mangia!'s picture

(post #53572, reply #13 of 27)

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I'd always had the impression gas was better (doesn't EVERY commercial kitchen, and EVERY cookshow host on PBS have one), until I read a post on this forum where an owner of a gas cooktop was having trouble getting his water to boil for pasta. Made me think maybe the ones available for home use weren't that much better.
Wish he'd be seeing this & explain his problem. I thought if I could make sure the BTUs were enough, I could avoid his experience. Before his post, I never thought gas could be a problem. Maybe the best bet would be to see if I can find some Consumer Report ratings. Has anyone else had trouble with a particular brand of gas cooktop, or did this poor fellow get a lemon?

sysop_'s picture

(post #53572, reply #14 of 27)

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mc, i thought you were boycotting the sub-folders?

;)

slumming?

MEAN_CHEF's picture

(post #53572, reply #15 of 27)

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There is one cookshow host who doesn't use gas. Anyone know who it is? There is a prize.

MEAN_CHEF's picture

(post #53572, reply #16 of 27)

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The new message indicators on the main page make it almost ok.

mangia!'s picture

(post #53572, reply #17 of 27)

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Well, I did see Julia Child cooking on an electric cooktop in her series "The Way to Cook". Do I get a prize?

MEAN_CHEF's picture

(post #53572, reply #18 of 27)

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Ancient history, no prize.

mangia!'s picture

(post #53572, reply #19 of 27)

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Aw-w-w, Man! (I should get a handicap - I don't have cable!)

I know, I know - it IS a handicap.

Smittyroo_'s picture

(post #53572, reply #20 of 27)

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Didn't Peter whoosit the now trotting gourmet use electric?

MEAN_CHEF's picture

(post #53572, reply #21 of 27)

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Far too vague, no prize.

Rebecca's picture

(post #53572, reply #22 of 27)

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I, too, like the new msg indicators better but would still prefer no subfolders. I just want to make a guess here. Is it Sarah Moulton?

BTW, Nancy - higher BTUs will make it quicker to bring up and easier to maintain a boil. I had a Magic Chef (new 6 years ago) that took a long time to boil water & then took time to bring back to a boil once food was added. I now have Viking that has greater range of BTUs but I still need to cover the pot when adding food to bring the boil back in a timely manner. Still not perfect for blanching things. Better than the Magic Chef, though. I'd prefer a still greater range in BTUs (lower AND higher) but we thought we were getting optimal when we bought (about 3 yrs ago).

MEAN_CHEF's picture

(post #53572, reply #23 of 27)

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The answer to this weeks quiz is Graham Kerr. NO prize awarded. Maybe next quiz.

mangia!'s picture

(post #53572, reply #24 of 27)

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Rebecca, can you please tell me what your range of BTU's is, so I have an idea of what people are and are not satisfied with? (I just got back from a week long trip, and just saw your message. Thanks for responding!) The cooktop I'm looking at has (2) 6000 BTU "simmer" burners; (1) 9500 BTU "extra large burner"; (1) 12,500 BTU "Power burner"; and (1) 14,000 BTU "Ultra Power burner". Since the adjectives are theirs, I don't know if the degree of power they describe is true or not.

It's not advertised as a "commercial" cooktop, and the price is very reasonable ($879.), so I just want to make sure it will perform well. Incidentally, I spent part of my trip cooking a snack on a HUGE POWERHOUSE of a Wolf range. Holy inferno is right! It was amazing. I know I won't experience anything like it in the type I'm looking at, but it sure was fun cooking on it. So powerful, so instant, so controllable! Smitty, you would have loved the raging beast of a fire in this thing, just waiting to come out and play at your command!

Rebecca's picture

(post #53572, reply #25 of 27)

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Hi Nancy...our highest BTUs are 18,000 but I'm not sure about the lowest. If we can find the info, I'll let you know. We think its quite a bit lower than 6,000. Good luck!

Nancy_G.'s picture

(post #53572, reply #26 of 27)

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Does anyone have the Dacor Duel Fuel range? I just spent the morning cooking on one at my local appliance store and was very impressed. I have a 14" saute pan and I was able to panfry 5 chicken breasts in about 5 minutes. I can finally cook for my whole family at once. I also used the griddle and baked 3 sheets of cookies in the oven using pure convection. The bottom two sheets of cookies were finished at the same time but the top rack needed about a minute more. Before I plunk down the $3500 plus, I would like to know if anyone else has any feedback.

I took a kitchen design class from Donald Silvers and bought his book. All of his advice seems to be proving itself out so far.

Earlene_Millier's picture

(post #53572, reply #27 of 27)

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I installed a DCS cooktop about a year ago and use it a lot every day. I love it. It has 4 burners (space constraints, I'd rather have 6) and a grill. It cleans up pretty easily because everything comes apart and can go in the dishwasher, including the grills. The gas burners generate plenty of heat. One has extra BTU capacity and is great for stir-frying. You can get a stir-fry ring that helps get the wok down into the flames. The simmer setting is low enough for everything I do. You can stack 2 burner grates together if you want an even lower setting, or get a flame tamer. One caution on the installation: find a cabinet maker/installer who has worked with this kind of equipment before. And you will need an exhaust hood that moves at least 1100 CFM.