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Professional range advice needed

t
Tracy L. May 14, 2005 07:07 PM

I am contemplating remodeling my kitchen and if I want it done sooner than later then I need to do it on a tight budget. I've seen second hand professional ranges/stoves for sale and my handyman is gung ho to install the hood and exhaust vents and my coworker is willing to convert my kitchen to gas. I worked in a cafe and have used this sort of range before and I have to admit a range that would cook things faster would be wonderful. However, I would prefer more storage than stove space and I am concerned about resale value if we choose to sell the house. Is a big range/stove like this more of a hassle (in terms of installation and maintenance)than it is worth or is it one of those situations where I'd ultimately say "I don't know how I lived without it for so long?" Thanks

  1. k
    KenOnDean May 14, 2005 07:28 PM

    It really depends what you are cooking . . . A professional oven will last longer, be more durable, hold a more constant temperature, will probabily have more btu's, but if you are only cooking scrambled eggs and grilled cheese this is not neccessary. If you roast, braise, bake than I would say go for it, if you got a good deal.

    1. t
      The Rogue May 15, 2005 10:40 AM

      I think it depends upon many factors. The actual range size,btu output, and venting system, the size of your kitchen, the amount of commercial style cooking you do, who will be using it, pets, guests, your skill level, etc.

      I used a pro range in a large farmhouse kitchen and it was both good and bad. The good points were the high heat and large cooking area. You could really get a great sear going and churn out some foods fast as all hell.

      The bad points were the installation, insulation, size, the difficulty anyone else had in using it (guests ruining several very expensive pans and pots, ending up more than the cost of the range, burns to people, kids, and pets, clothes scorched, etc. had to be careful who we let near it), and the intense amount of heat it put out into the room. In winter it was ok and walking into the busy kitchen was warm and steamy, but spring through summer it was a nightmare, the infernos of hell. You were literally dripping with sweat, and this was with a heavy duty commercial exhaust system venting, which by the way was also a nuisance, noisy, and on high was actually windy. It also was huge. (Also a guests kid triggered the fire suppresion system... what a disaster) Also keeping it as clean as I like in a home kitchen was a pain in the ass. It's much easier when someone else does all the cleanup for you on one of those critters.

      Eventually moved it out of the home kitchen and made a commercial kitchen in a separate location that could handle it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: The Rogue
        t
        Tracy L. May 15, 2005 02:19 PM

        These are excellent arguments. I really appreciate your sharing your experience. I think I am going to rethink my idea . All the negatives you mention would really frustrate me, they are all the things I absolutley would not want. I think the disadvantages outway the advantages. Thanks again.

      2. l
        Leper May 15, 2005 10:59 AM

        Tracy, The Rogue speaks with great wisdom. Here's a suggestion to "split the difference" in performance and cost. Talk to a few installation contractors for high end housing developments. (Houses costing $500,000 or more and being developed in groups.) High end appliances (like Viking and Dacor) are purchased in advance for the upscale kitchens. Invariably, someone wants to change the appliance option before final installation---leaving the pre-purchased ranges and refrigerators as extra inventory. These can be purchased for 50 cents on the dollar versus the same unit at a major appliance store. It will take some homework, but will pay off beautifully. And, as The Rogue so aptly states, they'll have actual insulation so you can enjoy being in your kitchen.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Leper
          t
          Tracy L. May 15, 2005 02:27 PM

          What a great idea!!! My friend married a contractor and he does a lot of kitchen remodels (he is so good I can only afford his advice). I am sure he can help. I have a lot of time right now to do my homework as we have more pressing home improvement projects pending. Thanks again for the suggestion.

        2. t
          Tracy L. May 15, 2005 02:08 PM

          Thank you for the great advice! My handyman is really good at getting second hand items. I was kind of afraid if I expressed too much of an interest in a prof. range that one would appear before I had the chance to get advice. Thank you again.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Tracy L.
            d
            dkd May 16, 2005 08:03 AM

            check code also, and your homeowners ins.
            Given the right house/kitchen i have no prob with commercial ranges.Ease of cleaning is one.

            They are inexpensive compared to "professional quality" junk out there. Its the hidden expenses that may not make it feasible(if legal). Hood, Firewall/backsplash, fire suppression if mandated, etc...and your a/c bill-pilots will warm up the house by themselves.

          2. b
            Barham Turner May 16, 2005 01:46 PM

            I'm kind of taken aback by some of these posts cautioning about excessive heat, etc. from "professional" ranges. I've had a Viking six-burner range for 3 years now. It's my understanding that these are made specifically for residential use and that the heat and insulations issues date back to when residential users were buying actual commercial ranges that were not designed for home use. There's no problem with the Viking range heating up the kitchen. It performs just like a GE or KitchenAid, except that it has the high BTU firepower.

            For what it's worth, I am not a fan of the Viking. I've had problems with mine, but problems unrelated to heating up the kitchen or causing fires, etc.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Barham Turner
              d
              dkd May 16, 2005 03:06 PM

              stainless steel does not a pro range make....obviously you are confusing home and commercial models.

              note: i make a living cooking over these things. The home models don't hold a candle to a commercial range and yes there are concerns.

              1. re: dkd
                b
                Barham Turner May 16, 2005 04:22 PM

                I don't think I am confused, but I didn't understand that the original poster was looking specifically for a commercial range as opposed to a professional-style high-BTU range such as Viking Pro, Wolf, Dacor, etc. Anyway, this from the Viking website about commercial versus "commercial-type" ranges:

                "After evaluating standard restaurant ranges for use in the kitchens of upscale homes, Fred Carl, Jr. founder and president of Viking, recognized that these commercial appliances had numerous disadvantages when considered for installation in a residential kitchen, making them undesirable and impractical for home use. Viking was designed to overcome the problems of installing commercial equipment in the home. Included are such features as automatic ignition, in-the-oven broiling, more convenient and safer controls, additional insulation to decrease surface temperatures and heat output in the kitchen, flush-to-cabinet installation capability and many more unique characteristics. Viking received an overwhelming response to its introduction of the first commercial-type range for the home in 1987."

                1. re: Barham Turner
                  t
                  The Rogue May 16, 2005 04:28 PM

                  The original poster specifically said a professional range, not a high end home range, not a "profesional type" or "commercial type" range. Big difference.

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