Commercial Ranges: An Overview

Multi-purpose pieces of equipment, ranges are a staple in most foodservice operations. Here are details on the different types of units, including the available options.

Commercial ranges consist of a top and base and can vary in width, features, configurations and available options. Most are constructed of stainless steel, though the type and gauge varies. Commercial ranges tend to be referred to as either restaurant or heavy-duty type ranges. Heavy duty models include a manifold that is accessible from the front and connects to other ranges in a battery or series.

Standard rangetop widths can vary from 12 inches up to 72 inches, usually in 12- or 18-inch increments, with 36 inches the most common size. Four- to 10-burner units are offered, although six- or 10-burner ranges are most often utilized for commercial applications.

A number of top configurations are available, allowing the operator to combine burners with griddles, char grill tops, hot tops and the like. Plancha griddles are becoming a more popular option for creating international cuisine.

Gas ranges, as opposed to electric, make up a majority of the marketplace. These units have open burners, with Btus ranging from 25,000 to 260,000. Electric units utilize tubular metal elements containing resistance wires. These are offered in 208-, 240- or 480-volt models.

Base options include standard or convection ovens, in addition to cabinet bases in a variety of configurations. Oven thermostats range from 150 degrees F to 500 degrees F as standard. Units are available in natural gas and propane. Other range options include plate shelves, belly bars, casters, a curb base, risers and shelving.
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