The What & Why of Commercial Ranges


open range burner

The What…

A commercial range is an essential piece of cooking equipment in many commercial kitchens. Powered by gas or electricity, ranges are easy to use even for untrained kitchen staff, making them appealing for a wide variety of operations and menu applications. Ranges are typically comprised of a cooktop surface with an oven or open storage base below. The range top allows for direct-heat cooking, and works independently of the oven base.

In a residence, a range is commonly referred to as a stovetop, or a stove. However, commercial ranges put far greater heating power than residential units, which is why they are essential in commercial kitchens. Ranges are usually free-standing units, but they can be connected, or “batteried” together, for greater efficiency. Ranges can also be installed as drop-in units, which include a cook top on a countertop without an oven or storage space below.

What are BTUs? Commercial heating equipment measures energy output in terms of BTUs, or British thermal units. This is the traditional unit of energy measurement used in commercial cooking equipment. Commercial ranges typically operate at 20,000-35,000 BTUs per burner.
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And The Why

Commercial ranges are one of the most common types of commercial cooking equipment. Depending on cooking methods and menu items, the range may be the most important and frequently used equipment item in the kitchen. Ranges offer extraordinary cooking flexibility in terms of top heating configurations, and these units can be used for any and all of the following:

  • Frying
  • Grilling
  • Broiling
  • Sautéing
  • Boiling
  • Braising
  • Simmering
  • Warming

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You need a commercial range if you plan to cook food over direct heat on a cooktop surface. If you need to boil, braise, stir-fry, sauté or grill on a regular basis, a range is most definitely for you. Cooks, chefs and caterers all make use of commercial ranges on a daily basis. Commercial kitchens of all types use commercial ranges, from restaurants to schools.


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