A range is a key piece of equipment in many commercial kitchens. Whether you are outfitting a new location or renovating an existing location, it is critical to first think about your menu and your cooking processes. Next, there are a series of choices you will need to make which will enable you to build the range that best fits the needs of your operation.
After you’ve considered your menu, take some time to think about:
- What volume of cooking does my operation complete daily? How many meals per day will I be cooking? What are my hours of operation? Manufacturers generally offer two types of ranges: restaurant and heavy duty. Restaurant ranges are typically suited for lower volume operations with lower output. Heavy duty ranges are ideal for high volume operations and therefore produce high energy outputs for shorter cook times.
- How much space do I have available for a range? Ranges are typically offered in widths ranging from 12” to 72”. You will also need to think about the available hood space.
- Which cooking method do we employ most often? Your answer will guide the configuration of the top and base. Are you baking and roasting? Searing and sautéing? Boiling, simmering and braising?
- How many burners does my operation need? What types of pots/pans do we use? The top of the range can be configured to have between two and 12 burners.
- What do we typically use the oven for? Whether you are using your oven as part of your prep, or solely to finish, your answer will impact whether you choose a standard or convection base.
- Do you have a preference regarding your sheet pan orientation? Do you prefer your sheet pans facing front to back or side to side? Your preference will determine the depth and configuration of your oven base. Some manufacturers offer ovens that will accommodate both orientations.
- What type of fuel source do I use in my kitchen? Do you use natural gas, LP (propane) or electric?
- Does your operation require further versatility in a range? When you think about your menu today and into the future, do you want to devote some of the top configuration to French plates, griddles, planchas, charbroilers or work-tops? How about a salamander broiler? Each of these add-ons offer a unique proposition to assist you in delivering your menu to customers quickly and consistently.
After answering these questions, you will be well on your way to determining the right range for your operation!