Chef cooking in commercial range oven

Best commercial range ovens 2023: Buyer's guide

What’s inside this buyer’s guide

 

  1. Introduction
  2. What is a range oven?
  3. Types of commercial range
  4. Electric vs. gas ranges
  5. Choosing the best range oven size for your needs
  6. Choosing the right number of range burners
  7. Types of stove tops/cooktops
  8. Countertop ranges
  9. Types of range bases
  10. Range oven add-ons
  11. Range oven accessories  
  12. Best commercial range ovens
  13. Frequently asked questions
  14. Commercial range oven glossary
  15. Save your cash, use ours!

 

 

 

From bustling neighborhood bistros to high-end, Michelin-starred restaurants, the commercial range oven holds an irreplaceable position in the heart of America’s vibrant gastronomic scene.

A range oven brings together versatility and performance, giving your kitchen the stamina to keep pace with demand and exceed expectations, all while simplifying operations.

Choosing a commercial range is a task that demands careful consideration of several aspects.

This comprehensive guide is designed to shed light on the different categories, designs, and leading commercial range ovens available in the USA so that you can make a well-informed selection.

 

 

 

What is a range oven?

A range oven, often called simply a range, is a single, combined cooking appliance that includes both a stovetop and an oven.

The stovetop, or cooktop, typically has multiple burners (or heating elements) where pots and pans can be placed for cooking.

The types and number of burners can vary, with some models offering options like griddles or grills.

Beneath the stovetop is the oven, which can be used for baking, broiling, roasting, and other cooking techniques that require enclosed, controlled heat.

 

 

 

Types of commercial range ovens

Commercial range ovens are typically classified into two categories – heavy-duty and restaurant range. 

Apart from these two, there are also specialty ranges that we will discuss at the end   

 

Heavy-duty commercial range

  • Engineered for demanding, large-scale settings such as high-footfall restaurants and hospitals.
  • Offer enhanced durability, features robust grates, and is capable of handling heavy-duty cookware.
  • Provide higher energy output per burner and are more expensive than restaurant ranges.

Heavy-duty industrial ranges can be paired ‘in battery’ with other ranges or combined with appliances like griddles or charbroilers for added capacity and versatility.

 

Restaurant range

  • They are less powerful than heavy-duty ranges and are made of thinner gauge steel, featuring fewer burners and lighter grates.
  • Provide less BTU output per burner than heavy-duty ranges but enough to cook a wide range of dishes.
  • Versatile in cooking capabilities but are better suited for small to medium-sized commercial kitchens with lower volume demands.
  • Less pricey than heavy-duty commercial ranges.

The key distinction lies in heavy-duty ranges being designed for high-volume demands, while restaurant ranges are optimal for comparatively lower-volume commercial cooking.

 

Specialty range

Specialty ranges are designed for particular types or methods of cooking.

However, they are typically less versatile than heavy-duty and restaurant ranges.

The most common types of specialty ranges include,

 

Wok Ranges

As the name suggests, these ranges are designed to hold round-bottom woks.

These are used in food services that prepare a lot of stir-fried dishes.   

 

Stock pot ranges

These compact, low-height ranges are used for heating a large volume of liquid in stock pots.

The lower height makes moving the heavy pots easy.

 

 

 

Electric vs gas range ovens

Commercial kitchen ranges can typically run on electricity or gas.

There are also dual-fuel ranges that use both electricity and gas.

Before you get a commercial range oven for your kitchen, it is important to consider the available connection in your kitchen, cooking requirements, and budget.

 

Electric commercial range ovens

  • Commercial electric range ovens operate on electricity, eliminating the need for a dedicated gas line.
  • They offer steady and precise temperature control, making them suitable for delicate recipes requiring consistent heat.
  • However, electric models have slower heating and cooling times compared to gas ranges.
  • They may be less energy-efficient, potentially leading to higher energy bills.
  • Electric ranges may not impart the desired flavor and char as effectively as gas ranges.

 

Gas commercial range ovens

  • Commercial gas ranges utilize propane or natural gas as fuel, employing open flames to provide high heat output directly to the cookware.
  • Gas ranges offer swift temperature control, making cooking techniques like searing or sautéing more manageable, but precise temperature control can be more challenging in gas ovens.
  • While commercial gas ranges may have higher upfront costs and installation complexity, their operating costs are typically lower due to the affordability of natural gas and propane.
  • Unlike electric models, the open flame of gas ranges adds desired flavors and textures, such as char on grilled steak or caramelized sugar on desserts.
  • Gas ranges with electronic ignition are less energy-intensive than those with standing pilot lights. However, they are pricier, and repairs can be costly.

If you are getting a commercial gas range oven, you may still need an electrical connection to power the lights and activate the touchscreen on the oven.  

 

Dual-fuel commercial range ovens

  • Commercial dual-fuel range ovens feature gas burners and an electric oven.
  • The electric oven provides precise temperature control and even heating, while the gas burners offer faster cooking times and versatile cooking options.

They require both gas and electricity connections, which may lead to higher installation costs and potential complexities in repairs.

 

 

 

Choosing the best range oven size for your needs

Commercial kitchen range ovens come in a range of widths, usually spanning from 24 inches to 72 inches, although the most commonly preferred options are 48 inches and 36 inches.

When selecting the size, take the following factors into consideration:

 

Hood space

For optimal coverage, it is recommended that the hood extends a minimum of 6 inches beyond the outer edges of your cooking surface on both sides.

Thus, if your hood measures 48 inches, your range should not exceed a width of 36 inches.

Always check your local regulations to confirm the exact requirement.

 

Menu and application

Consider the menu and the volume of customers you will serve to pick the right kitchen range size.

It will also help you decide the type of cooktop that will suit you best.

If you are considering a combination cooktop, decide how much space you need for a griddle and how much space you need for burners based on what you'll be cooking.

Bigger restaurants that serve a lot of customers will need larger cooktops with more burners.

However, a smaller cooktop with fewer burners can be enough for a café or a small restaurant.

 

 

 

Choosing the right number of range burners

When choosing a commercial kitchen range, it's crucial to think about how many burners you'll need based on the amount of food you'll be cooking and the variety of dishes on your menu.

Commercial ranges usually have 2 to 12 burners, but in commercial kitchens, ranges with 6 to 10 burners are most common.

Keep in mind that having more burners gives you more cooking options and flexibility, but it also means using more fuel and requiring more space in your kitchen.

The power or output of a range burner is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs), which indicates how much heat it can produce per hour.

The burner's BTU requirement depends on the type of cooking you do and the amount of food you prepare.

For instance, high-volume restaurants may need burners with BTUs ranging from 25,000 to 35,000, while smaller cafes or catering businesses can manage with burners in the 10,000 to 15,000 BTU range.

It's essential to match the burner strength to your specific cooking needs to ensure optimal performance and efficiency.

 

 

 

Types of stove tops/cooktops

Different types of stove tops, as well as a combination of different stove tops, are available.

Decide according to the type of dishes you will cook.

Gas open burners

Gas Open Range Top

  • Open gas burners, often made of cast iron or steel, are favored in commercial kitchens for the direct flame contact with cookware.
  • Ranges with four to six burners are most common, but options range from as few as two to as many as 12 burners.
  • Open burners offer high heat output and precise temperature control for rapid cooking.
  • They are extremely versatile and ideal for a large range of cooking tasks like boiling, frying, and sautéing.

Cleaning open burners can be more challenging as debris can accumulate in the burner grate, requiring daily cleaning.

 

Hot top / Even heat top

  • Hot tops feature a flat and solid cooking surface with electric heating elements underneath, ensuring even and consistent heat distribution.
  • They are commonly utilized for simmering sauces, keeping food warm, and sautéing or frying.
  • Hot tops are typically smaller in size compared to other commercial range cooktops.

In commercial kitchens, hot tops are often combined with other cooktop types to enhance versatility and accommodate different cooking needs.

 

French top

  • French tops offer a large and flat cooking surface, accommodating various cooking techniques.
  • The cooking surface is typically made of cast iron and divided into concentric rings, each of which provides different heat output for more cooking flexibility.
  • Ideal for slow-cooking dishes like sauces and stews, as well as recipes requiring delicate heat control, such as caramel or chocolate.

 

Griddle top

Griddle Range Top

  • Griddle tops feature a flat and smooth cooking surface, commonly made of stainless steel or chrome-plated steel.
  • They are perfect for frying, searing, sautéing, and grilling, particularly for foods that require a flat cooking surface, like pancakes, eggs, bacon, and sandwiches.
  • Griddles are available in various sizes, ranging from 12 inches to 72 inches, making them suitable for cooking large quantities of food simultaneously.

Cleaning griddles can be more challenging and may require specialized cleaning tools.

 

Induction cooktop

Induction Range Top

  • Induction cooktops utilize electromagnetic fields to heat cookware directly without heating the surface of the cooktop.
  • They require magnetic cookware, typically made of cast iron or stainless steel, as the magnetic field interacts with the iron molecules to generate heat.
  • Commercial induction ranges are known for their speed, efficiency, and precise temperature control.
  • The complete absence of an open flame makes them safer, and the cooktop surface remains relatively cool to the touch.
  • Induction cooktops are energy-efficient, emit less ambient heat, and are suitable for compact kitchens or areas with limited ventilation.

The downside is they require special induction cookware, which may necessitate purchasing a new set. Also, induction cooktops cost more, and repair, if needed, can be expensive.

 

Combination surfaces

Combination Range Top

  • Combination surface cooktops, also known as hybrid cooktops, offer versatility by combining multiple types of cooking surfaces in one unit.
  • Popular configurations include griddle and open burners, French top and open burners, and hot top and open burners.
  • Chefs can perform multiple cooking methods simultaneously on a single range, enhancing productivity and efficiency.
They are particularly beneficial in busy kitchens with limited space, allowing for the preparation of several dishes simultaneously.

 

 

 

Countertop ranges

Countertop ranges do not include an oven and are a great option for compact kitchens, like food trucks and concession stands.

These are typically not more than 48 inches in width and can easily fit on a countertop.

Available in gas, electric, and induction options, countertop models are also a good choice for kitchens that already have an oven and trying to save space.    

 

 

 

Types of range bases

A full-size commercial range typically comes with any of the three types of bases described below, along with the stovetop.   

 

Oven bases

  • Standard ovens are the most frequent choice in industrial range bases due to their versatility.
  • The larger ranges may include multiple ovens or a combination of an oven and a storage base.
  • Convection ovens are often the preferred base choice for their quick cooking times, even browning, and energy efficiency.
  • Full-size ovens offer the benefit of handling multiple cooking tasks simultaneously.
  • Narrow, "Space-saver" ovens are suitable for kitchens with limited space.

If your menu covers a lot of baked items, you may prefer to get a storage base and invest in a separate oven.

 

Refrigerated bases

  • A refrigerated base provides additional storage and convenient access to chilled ingredients.
  • It can reduce the dependency on the kitchen’s primary refrigeration unit.
  • Ideal for space conservation and potential cost savings.

If your kitchen already has an oven, a commercial range with a refrigerated base is a good option.

 

Storage bases

  • Storage bases offer extra storage for kitchen utensils, making them easily accessible.
  • The usual widths for ranges with storage bases in commercial settings are 24", 36", and 48".
  • Open storage bases provide easy access but can seem cluttered.
  • Door-equipped models appear neater but might limit access.

If your kitchen already has an oven and sufficient refrigerated storage, a simple storage base is a good option. It also costs less.

 

 

 

Oven range add-ons

To make your commercial oven range more versatile and effective in your kitchen setup, you can opt for different add-ons.

Salamanders, cheesemelters, and griddle broilers are some of the most common range add-ons in busy commercial setups.

 

Salamanders

Ideal for cafes, fast-food outlets, and restaurants, salamanders can efficiently grill a wide range of items and are also frequently used for melting cheese.  

 

Cheesemelters

Cheesemelters provide gentler heat, ideal for browning au gratin dishes and melting cheese toppings.

They are also used for warming plates or for holding warm food at the right temperature.   

 

Griddle broilers

Griddle broilers combine a griddle with a broiler underneath and deliver incredible efficiency.

They provide high heat output and are versatile in application.

 

 

 

Oven range accessories

There are different accessories that you can install with the oven range for easy operation and maintenance. Some of the most common ones include,

 

Casters

Casters with locks ensure that you can clean under the oven range with ease.

 

Caster ramps

Caster ramps make moving the range simple and ensure that it sits back in the right place once the cleaning is done. 

 

Gas hoses

Easy removable gas hoses and restraining hardware are some of the other essential accessories you will need for proper installation, use, and cleaning.

 

 

  

Best commercial range ovens

Garland

Garland Logo

Garland Group, a proud member of the Welbilt family of companies since 2008, has built a rich history over its century-plus years in business.

Born in 1864, Garland has grown into a leader in commercial cooking solutions, earning a reputation for robust craftsmanship and culinary innovation.

Garland has an excellent collection of commercial oven ranges.

Celebrated for versatility, these ranges serve diverse cooking needs - from sautéing, broiling, and grilling to baking.

They manufacture both heavy-duty and restaurant ranges in several configurations to suit different requirements and energy preferences while ensuring efficiency.

A popular choice is Garland’s G series 36-6C gas restaurant range.

This six-burner, 36-inch range with a convection oven is compact yet mighty, making it ideal for kitchens with limited space.

Garland’s sentry series electric restaurant range SS686 with six sealed burners and a standard oven is known for its exceptional durability and precision.

 

 

Wolf

 Wolf Logo

Wolf, a part of the esteemed Sub-Zero Group since 2000, has a long-standing history dating back to 1934.

Over decades, it has earned a reputation as a leading provider of high-quality, professional-grade cooking equipment.

Wolf's commercial kitchen ranges are celebrated globally, admired for their exceptional quality, robust build, and pioneering technology.

Known for seamless integration of power and finesse, Wolf kitchen ranges facilitate precise control, enabling chefs to deliver perfect culinary results every time.

One of the most popular models is the Wolf C36S-6BN, a six-burner gas range oven acclaimed for its impressive heat control and spacious oven cavity.

The 72-inch industrial range model C72SC-8B24G from the Challenger XL series is another hit, bringing versatility and power to large commercial kitchens with a combination of top configurations and oven bases to cater to specific needs.

 

Vulcan

Vulcan Logo

Vulcan, with roots tracing back to 1865, has been a trusted name in the food service industry for over 150 years.

As part of the ITW Food Equipment Group since 2004, Vulcan has become synonymous with superior quality and performance.

Vulcan's line of commercial oven ranges is known for its durability, exceptional temperature control, and versatility.

They have made a mark by blending traditional craftsmanship with innovative technology to meet the diverse needs of commercial kitchens.

Among their popular models is the Vulcan 36C-6BN Endurance, a six-burner commercial gas range with a convection oven base, recognized for its consistent heating and robust construction.

Among the commercial electric ranges, the EV36S-3HT Restaurant range is a sought-after model with three hot tops and a standard oven, known for its precise temperature control and efficient operation.

 

 

Cooking Performance Group

CPG Logo

Cooking Performance Group (CPG) has quickly earned a reputation for manufacturing robust and efficient commercial kitchen equipment.

Founded with a commitment to deliver performance, value, and service, CPG has successfully carved out a niche in the market.

CPG's commercial range ovens are particularly acclaimed for their high BTU power, longevity, and economic price point, catering to businesses seeking cost-effective and reliable solutions.

They offer a variety of models with varying burner configurations, enabling customization based on individual kitchen requirements.

Their S24-N model, a 24-inch, four-burner gas range with a space-saver oven base, is a favorite for its compact design and affordability.

Another standout is the S60-G36-N, a four-burner, 60-inch commercial gas range with a 36-inch griddle and two standard ovens.

It is a versatile cooking solution for busy establishments.

 

 

Cookline

Cookline Logo

Cookline, with its focus on commercial kitchen solutions, has been a trusted player in the culinary world.

Established with the mission to produce reliable, high-quality equipment at affordable prices, Cookline has gained a reputable name among chefs and restaurant owners.

The company's commercial oven ranges, known for durability, efficiency, and user-friendly designs, are a preferred choice for diverse food service businesses.

They provide exceptional heat distribution and control, ensuring precision in every dish.

Among Cookline's portfolio, the CR36-6-NG range oven stands out.

This 36-inch, six-burner gas model, with a spacious oven base, showcases versatility and robust power.

The CR60-10-NG, a 60-inch industrial range with 10 burners and two ovens, caters efficiently to large kitchens with high demands.

 

 

Frequently asked questions

Range Oven

What is the best commercial range oven to buy?

Choosing the best commercial range oven largely depends on your specific kitchen needs.

Factors like the volume of your food service, available kitchen space, your menu items, and your budget are all significant.

Oven ranges from brands like Vulcan, Garland, and Wolf are renowned for their reliability, versatility, and efficiency. Cookline and Cooking Performance Group offer cost-effective solutions without compromising on quality.

However, always remember to thoroughly research and compare features, warranties, and reviews before making a purchase.

 

 

Do commercial range ovens need a hood?

Yes, most commercial range ovens will require a hood for ventilation.

This is mainly for safety and health reasons.

A hood ventilation system helps to extract heat, smoke, and grease, improving air quality and reducing the risk of fire in a commercial kitchen.

However, the specific requirements can vary by state and local health department regulations.

Therefore, it is crucial to check local building codes and consult with a professional installer to ensure that your kitchen complies with all regulations.

 

 

How much does a commercial range oven cost?

The cost of a commercial range oven can vary widely based on a number of factors, such as the type of range (gas or electric), the size (number of burners and ovens), brand, features, and whether it's new or used.

You could expect to pay anywhere from around $1,000 for a basic, entry-level model to over $10,000 for a heavy-duty model with multiple features.

The top-of-the-line ranges from high-end brands can cost you upwards of $20,000. 

 

 

 

 

Commercial range oven glossary

Backsplash

This refers to a vertical panel constructed of stainless steel placed at the rear of the range's cooktop.

It serves to guard the wall against heat, grease, and food splatters.

 

Burner output

This is the heat intensity produced by each burner on a range, quantified in British Thermal Units (BTUs).

 

Crumb tray

A detachable tray located at the base, designed to gather food residue and crumbs during the cooking process, which simplifies cleaning.

 

Drip pan

Positioned beneath the cooking surface of the range, the drip pan collects grease, food spills, and particles, thereby maintaining cleanliness in the cooking vicinity.

 

Electronic igniter

An electronic igniter generates a spark that triggers the gas when the control knob for the burner or oven is activated.

It provides a dependable ignition and is a safer and more energy-efficient alternative to the continuously burning pilot light in traditional gas ranges.

 

Pilot light

A small continuous flame that lights the burners and oven when the gas is delivered to it.

This method is now being replaced by electronic igniters.

 

Split grates

These are grates separated by a gap.

Unlike uninterrupted grates that cover the complete cooking surface, split grates can be removed to accommodate larger or irregularly shaped cookware or to establish separate cooking zones.

These are also easier to clean.

 

Thermostat

A device that regulates the oven or cooktop's temperature.

It typically includes a temperature-responsive switch connected to the heating elements or burners, controlling them to maintain a stable cooking temperature as determined by the user.

 

Warming drawer

A warming drawer, also referred to as a baking drawer, is a segment incorporated into a commercial range to keep food warm before serving.

It generally contains a metal box with insulating walls and a heating component providing gentle, consistent heat to keep food at an optimal and safe temperature.

 

 

 

 

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Read more about Rent–Try–Buy.

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