HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >


"professional" or not home range?

I am remodeling my kitchen and after ordering and taking delivery of an electric 30" freestanding stove/oven, I've decided to get what I really want, a gas stove. Unfortunately, I don't have natural gas available where I live so it will have to be propane. I just returned from the appliance store where I have to purchase the stove from (because I'm returning the electric one to them) and I need some advice.
I am a retired chef and a CIA graduate. I cook dinner most days for my wife and myself and we entertain occasionally.I like good equipment but wonder what you get for your money when you buy a "professional" style range other than impressing your friends. I know they are more solidly built but do they function any better and are they more reliable? I looked at a non professional GE model PGB930SETSS which costs around $1,800.00. It has all the features I'm looking for, one piece continuous grate, self cleaning gas convection over, warmer draw and a powerful main burner rated @ 17,000 BTU using propane. My limited experience using a propane stove is that the are not as hot as natural gas. They also have several professional style ranges priced at $3,500.00 and up. What am I getting for the extra $2Kor more? I appreciate your feeback!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. 17k btus for a home range, pretty kick ass, no?!! I'm very jaded regarding so-called upscale units (exp with friends, family, and repair guys), and I think you hit the nail on the head, professional "style," lusted after by all the over-monied housefraus. Pro style will be nothing like what you've used in your commercial kitchens....and be prepared to become friends with the appliance repair people

    1 Reply
    1. re: BiscuitBoy

      Im not sure I can agree with that. My experience with Blue Star has been nothing short of fantastic. Not impressed with viking or wolf home equipment, but blue star is pretty legit (and will get you 22,000 BTU).

    2. You can get a professional range (the real thing, not "style") with convection oven and snap-action thermostat for that price. All you have to do is convert from NG to LP...any gas company can do that.

      If you don't want convection, you can get a commercial range/oven for about half your cost above.

      5 Replies
      1. re: JayL

        A true commercial range might have standing pilots. Would that be desirable in a home kitchen?

        1. re: JayL

          From what I've read true commercial ranges are not insulated enough to pass the fire codes for residential use. If thais is not the case I can go to Restaurant Depot and get a commercial range on the cheap. Does anyone know the laws? I live in CT.
          PS: I visited two area appliance stores today+ and neither sales person could tell me why the "professional" style ranges are better. There apparently is no imporoved function over a conventional range.They don't offer more power (BTU's) or necessarily work any better or are more reliable. You are basically paying a lot of money for form not function.

          1. re: zackly

            "true commercial ranges are not insulated enough to pass the fire codes for residential use. If thais is not the case I can go to Restaurant Depot and get a commercial range on the cheap. Does anyone know the laws? I live in CT."

            The laws are different in every state. In some states in every county and in other states every city and township. You need to call your local building inspector.
            Buying a professional range for a home is a bad idea for a number of reasons IMO.
            You may also want to consult with your home insurance co to verify coverage if you use true professional equipment. A few years back I had a neighbor that built a 10,000 sq ft house and decided to cheap out and buy a commercial range. His house burnt down and the insurance co denied the claim. This shouldn't stop you if that's what you really want to do but make sure your bases are covered.

            1. re: TraderJoe

              "You may also want to consult with your home insurance co to verify coverage if you use true professional equipment"

              Good point. I talked to a Vintner a while back that built a new Tasting Room as well as a detached residence. While he has a commercial range in the Tasting Room, he has a pro style in the residence. His Insurer (same for both buildings) told him flat out they would not cover him if he put a commercial range in the residence.

            2. re: zackly

              I think if you spec your home kitchen to commercial standards, it may be Ok (aside from the insurance issues), but the problem is, doing that would probably eat up the savings from the true commercial stove.

              But yes, you absolutely do pay more and get less power when you buy a pro-style range for the home kitchen vs. a real professional range.

              That said, we have a Capital Culinarian, and despite one or two quirks really love it.

          2. I have a Blue Star and love it. Yes, very expensive but we cook a lot. It has open burners so much easier to keep clean, killer hot with burners you can "sink" a wok into, infrared broiler that browns in seconds if you want and the oven has convection. The last is not that important to me. It also has operates with real knobs, has no digital timers or such and is not self-cleaning.

            1. Remember there is a difference between a professional-style range and an actual commercial range. I would not get a range that is designed for commercial kitchens.

              With a range like BlueStar (which is built for home use), you may need to retrofit your ventilation to handle the additional BTUs.

              1. I have a KitchenAid Pro Dual Fuel range and I love, love, love it. I've used it in two homes - one with natural gas and the other with propane and there was no notable difference. Personally, it was worth it to me to pay the extra money because I really wanted that pro range look without paying for a Wolf or Viking. I also wanted convection and self cleaning features.

                1. Hey Chef, 17k BTU's on propane is rockin! Viking is only 15k and BS can give you a lot of different configurations which is nice but service can be problematic and you will pay dearly for a few thousand more BTU's. Check the service structure in your area before you select a brand. When you get to BS/Viking/Wolf etc this becomes a lot more important.
                  Usually there's a significant downgrade in BTU performance when you convert a gas range. IIR BS is the only brand that doesn't take a hit when converting but that could be a bit of marketing. The best way to find out is to give one a test drive if you can.

                  1. I have an Amerian Range--6 burners and grill, large and small ovens. I love it,it is quie powerful (Total 100+K BTUs). I went with them over others--Jenn Air, Viking, Wolf, Blue Star, etc. because and they had supplied restaurants for years and had branched into the resiential maket--and I liked the look and feel (hey-that's important!).

                    I cook daily and am still "mastering" this stove vs. the one that came with my original house-: a 70's era mMagic Chef, standard 30" kitchen stove.

                    1. You might want to check out the Gardenweb appliance forum for additional discussion. They are actually discussing this now. There are pros and cons for all kinds of ranges .
                      I would also consider induction, especially in your situation. Many chefs are going that way as well.