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How to buy the best commercial range – A buyers guide

Planning to replace your old kitchen range for a new one? 

Starting your commercial catering business and not yet decided the right type of range for your kitchen?

Before you make the decision, it is important that you do your research. The range is one of the most important commercial kitchen equipment in any kitchen and the efficiency of it directly impacts the ability of your chef to prepare the best cuisines within a limited time span. 

Here is what you should consider first before buying one,

Type

In ranges, we have a number of variations. The first thing is to decide the type you need. Depending on the type of fuel used there are three basic categories – Electric, Gas, and Dual-fuel. Now each of these types comes with their own pros and cons but the first consideration should be the type of fuel available in your kitchen.

Size

Commercial ranges come in different sizes and you can pick according to your kitchen space and use. 30-34inch wide units are most common in commercial cooking, but they can be wider, ranging up to 48 inches.  

Capacity

The capacity is an important factor to consider and should be commensurate with the amount of food you would like to prepare in a single batch. If you are running a big kitchen, you should opt for multiple ranges of different capacities to meet the varying needs.

Budget

Budget is always an important factor to consider before making the buying decision. You should consider not only the one-time cost of the equipment but also the cost of its regular operation. Electric ones are cheaper compared to the Commercial Gas Cooktops but if electricity is priced higher than natural gas rates in your area, the operating expenses will be much more for the electric variants.

Preferences

Ultimately you are buying a source of heat for preparing food and what your chef prefers for the type of cuisines served is an important consideration. The burner flames in gas cooktops give a visual idea of the temperature, which might be helpful for frying and sautéing. On the other hand, for baking related preparations, an electrical variant is preferred because of the even heat it generates.    

The different types of ranges - their Pros and Cons

To decide the best one for your kitchen, let us take a quick look at the pros and cons of all the variants available.

1.       Electrical

The 3 primary variants under the electrical category includes, the coil-top models, the smooth-top models, and the induction top models.

Coil-top – This variety comes with exposed heating elements on which the cookware is placed directly. The primary drawback of this variety is that the coil takes time to heat up and cool which is not very suitable for commercial places. Moreover, these are prone to uneven heat distribution which can be a problem.

Smooth-top – Comes with a seamless ceramic glass cooktop and the heating element is placed under the top which ensures even distribution of heat and makes it easy to clean. The premium units of this variety come with convection ovens and use fans for better circulation of heat leading to less cooking time, which makes it efficient for professional food preparations. On the downside, all types of kitchenware like glass or cast-iron cookware can not be used on these tops and the surface is prone to scratching.      

Induction-top – Ideal for quick cooking in restaurants. These units use magnetic coils under the glass surface and the elements do not get hot, thus providing more steady heat immediately. This variety can boil water 50% faster and uses most of the energy generated to prepare the food instead of heating up the pan and other elements. On the downside, induction-top ovens are expensive, and you can use only magnetic cookware on it.   

2.       Gas

The Commercial Gas Cooktops Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne has certain benefits that are often considered paramount in professional food preparations. Apart from the superior visual control over the gas flame and uniform heating, these are compatible with every cookware and they work irrespective of electricity disruption. On the downside, these are more expensive than many of their electrical counterparts and you need a steady supply of gas in your kitchen to run them.

The different gas models include - standard models, mid-range models, premium models, and pro-style models.     

  • The standard models are least expensive but are not suitable particularly for commercial kitchens.
  • The good quality mid-range models come with high-performance burners, digital controls for time and temperature, for ease of cooking.
  • Along with high-performance burners the premium ones typically include convection ovens and stovetop griddle, electronic control, and other basic features.
  • The pro-style models are ideal for large food and catering businesses. These are typically provided with a super-hot 5th burner, multiple convection ovens, and roll-out racks. 

You can buy any or a combination of the above-mentioned gas-based ones as per the need of your business. Also, keep in mind that the number of burners will vary depending on the unit you settle for. Always make sure to install a quality exhaust hood canopy over the range for proper exhaust.

Gas ranges are available in 3 different styles – the freestanding, slide-in, and front control. While the free-standing versions are the least expensive the other varieties come with their own pros. The professional or pro-style ones are best suggested for use in commercial kitchens. 

Dual-fuel

The dual-fuel variant combines gas stove top with an electric oven thus making a perfect compact unit to serve the different types of cooking needs of a commercial kitchen. The number of burners and ovens vary depending on the model. These are expensive but they come with a bunch of ultra-cool features and flexibility that justifies the price point.      

The top Commercial Gas Cooktops Supplier from Sydney maintains the best collection of all the types of ranges to choose from. You will find stainless steel bench, sinks and shelves as well as other benchtop catering equipment from the same dealer under one roof.

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