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Commercial Range Buying Guide

The range is one of the most versatile, and most used, pieces of equipment in a commercial kitchen. With the ability to fry, grill, broil, saute, boil, braise, simmer, warm, and even bake, commercial ranges are a chef's best friend! Whether you are opening a new restaurant and considering the purchase of a range or looking to replace the one you currently have, this handy guide will walk you through the most crucial purchasing considerations. Be sure to check out our commercial range reviews as well!

What Type of Range Do I Need?

We offer several different types of ranges, with a large number of options and configurations to choose from. Let's start with the basics.

The two basic types of ranges in the industry are usually referred to as "restaurant ranges" and "heavy-duty ranges", which may also be called "master series" or "modular" ranges. Restaurant ranges are the most common type, and are designed with ease of use and durability in mind. Use this guide as a way to evaluate the best commercial ranges for your applications.

Heavy-duty ranges are designed for higher volume usage, and they boast more durable construction. They are often available with more features and options.

Restaurant Ranges

  • The most common choice in the industry.
  • Designed to stand alone, available in a variety of widths in 12" increments from 24" to 72"; The gas connection is usually in back.
  • Somewhat lighter duty construction than a heavy-duty range, but still designed for busy commercial kitchens
  • Burners provide plenty of BTUs for most cooking tasks.

Heavy-Duty Ranges

  • Designed to be banked together "in battery" with other ranges or pieces of equipment; The gas connection is often on front or side to facilitate different configurations.
  • Designed for heavy, high-volume use; They offer thicker gauges of metal and more welded components
  • Higher energy output per burner than a restaurant range.
  • More expensive.

Specialty Ranges

We also offer a few specialty types of ranges:

stainless steel square wok range with four legs

Wok Ranges

These ranges are used primarily in Asian cooking establishments for preparing stir-fry dishes. They're specially designed with high-BTU burners and a raised ring that supports round-bottomed woks to deliver the high temperatures needed for this style of cooking.

stainless steel square stock pot range with two dial controls and cast iron burner

Stock Pot Ranges

Stock pot ranges boast a lower height and only one or a few burners and are specifically for heating large stock pots full of liquid. This low height reduces the risk of spills and makes it easier to lift the large and heavy pots, improving worker comfort and safety.

Electric vs. Gas Ranges

Your current kitchen setup matters not only in terms of available space but available power sources as well. Ranges, like most large cooking equipment, run off either electric or some type of gas. Your existing connections, your heating requirements, and budget will all come into play when making this choice. Whether you are looking into the best professional gas ranges or evaluating electric commercial range brands, these factors will help you make the best decision for your business. From an operational perspective, gas and electric burners have multiple differences.

Electric Ranges

Graphic of yellow lightning bolt outlined in black with Electric written underneath
  • Uses tubular metal elements containing resistance wires. Protective hot tops or French plates cover the elements.
  • Electric units come in 208-, 240-, or 480-volt models. Thermostats range between 150 degrees Fahrenheit and 500 degrees Fahrenheit as the standard.
  • Typically easier and cheaper to install compared to other power sources.
  • Advancements in induction technology have made electric a more popular commercial choice in recent years for some industries.

Gas Ranges

Graphic of dark blue and light blue flame outlined in black with Natural Gas written underneath
  • Gas ranges have open burners, and the total average BTU for gas range units span from 25,000 to 260,000, and dials that allow for precise control.
  • Burners light instantly, which creates immediate heat and shorter cook times. The burners' grate bowl design helps with efficiently directing the heat to the cooking vessel.
  • Natural gas and liquid propane usually both perform more efficiently than electric models, and they yield lower operational costs.
  • Gas models require pre-existing hookups and equipment, which can make installation arduous and expensive.

Choosing the Best Commercial Stove Size

The most common sizes of ranges are 24", 48", and 60" wide, but models are available anywhere from 12" up to 72" - usually in increments of 12" or 18". Restaurant ranges often measure between 24" and 72", while heavy-duty, modular versions will measure between 32" and 36" per section.

When determining the best electric or gas range width for your kitchen, keep the following things in mind:

Hood Space

Most health/safety codes require the hood to extend at least 6" beyond each piece of equipment you put under it. For example, if you have a 48" wide hood, the widest range you could put underneath it would be a 36" model. It's always best to check with your local regulators to be sure.

Menu & Application

If you're only serving breakfast, do you need open burners, or would you be better off with a griddle or griddle top? For example, if you serve a wider variety of food or different meals, think about how much burner versus griddle space you might need.

  • Most range manufacturers offer griddle options in 12" wide increments, so you can tailor the exact configuration of griddle space versus burners to match your cooking needs
  • Some sizes, such as 24" and 48" typically feature "space saver" ovens

Choosing the Number of Range Burners

In addition to considering your available dimensions for range width, you should examine your kitchen's output to determine how many burners you'll require. Most commercial applications utilize 6- or 10-burner models, but you can find multiple variations between 1 and 12.

You'll also want to consider the strength of your burners, as many recipes and operations require intense heat to meet expectations. High-volume establishments, like hotels, may be better off with a range that sports 32,000 BTU burners. Smaller places with less demanding requirements could likely fulfill their productivity goals with burners that emit around 20,000 BTU.

Different Types of Stove Tops

You should select the top configuration based on what you want to do with your new range. Here are the main types:

Gas Open Burner

  • Most common in the industry.
  • BTUs for most models range from 30,000 per burner on a restaurant range and up to 35,000 per burner on heavy-duty models.
  • Excellent for a variety of cooking styles and techniques, including boiling or frying with a pot or pan.

Hot Top, AKA Even-Heat Top

  • Smooth surface makes it easy to move large pots or pans around.
  • Designed for use with stock pots.

Tubular Electric & French Top Electric

  • Tubular burners heat up fast and are great for sauteing.
  • French tops provide a softer, more even heat that's great for stock pots. They are also easier to clean.

Griddle Top

  • Commonly used in restaurants that serve breakfast, or where cooking on a griddle makes sense for a lot of menu items.
  • Great for eggs, pancakes, grilled sandwiches, burgers and anything else that doesn't need to be cooked in a pot or pan.
  • Griddle tops usually range between 11" and 72".

Combination Surfaces

  • Common configurations include several burners plus a hot top or a griddle.
  • Best for applications where you want to make the most out of available hood space; can do multiple types of cooking on a single piece of equipment.

Induction Surfaces

  • They've become increasingly popular because of their superior energy efficiency. Most models sit in the 98% efficiency range.
  • Induction ranges also keep kitchens cooler since they do not emit heat.
  • They don't always require a hood, which makes them easier to implement into your current configuration.
  • They do require cookware that consists of, or contains, a ferrous metal like cast iron or stainless steel.

Countertop Ranges

Stainless steel countertop range with four burners and four dial controls on four short legs

Countertop ranges provide many of the same features and benefits as other ranges, and you should follow the same sizing guidelines as well. They typically don't exceed 48" in width and are a great way to incorporate a range into an crowded kitchen by maximizing the limited space available. With options for gas, electric, or induction, you'll be able to find the best countertop range for your kitchen.

Finding the Right Range Base

If you're going with a full-size range over a countertop version, then the model will likely include more than just the burners.

Ranges will frequently come in tandem with ovens, storage cabinets, and other types of bases that expand their versatility. With so many options available, it'll be up to you to determine what best fits your cooking style and necessities.

Popular bases include:

Oven Bases

These comprise of either a "space saver" oven, which is approximately 20" wide by 26" deep, or a "standard size" oven which is 26" wide or more, depending on the overall size of the range.

Stainless steel four burner range with griddle and standard oven
  • With a space saver oven, you'd only be able to put in full-size sheet pans lengthwise; with a standard oven you could put pans in either way. If you're using multiple racks, you can "stagger" the facing of the pans for more even heating.
  • We also carry ranges with convection ovens, which utilize interior fans to move the hot air around the cavity and cook food more evenly. There are several sizes and variations available to meet your precise specifications. You can even find bases with two separate ovens.
  • Keep in mind that none of these models heat as evenly as a dedicated convection oven, so if you plan to do a lot of baking, you might be better off choosing a storage base and purchasing a separate convection oven.

Refrigerated Bases

Stainless steel six burner range with griddle, refrigerated base, and standard oven
With the increased prevalence of dedicated combi ovens, many kitchens have turned to cold storage as a way to use the space underneath their ranges.

  • Refrigerated bases provide additional space for cold ingredients, further improving your kitchen's product yield.
  • Having more ingredients near the cooking area guarantees quick access and streamlines the entire process, as these bases help to form comprehensive cooking stations.

Storage Bases

Stainless steel six burner range with large storage base
These models are simply an open cavity beneath the range top, in lieu of an oven, and provide a place to hold pots, pans, and other kitchen tools close at hand.
  • Storage cabinets can range in size from 12" to 36", and they can take up the entirety of the base or share space with an oven or refrigerator.
  • Some storage spaces are open, while others have doors to conceal contents.

Range Cleaning and Maintenance

From massive hotels to mom-and-pop establishments, most ranges typically run all day in some capacity, which makes these units susceptible to frequent wear and tear.

Poorly maintained ranges can increase utility expenses, and they can also impact food quality, safety, and waste. If that wasn't enough, other hazards for employees include fumes, burns, and even full-fledged fires.

For optimal performance and safety, you should always execute a regular cleaning and maintenance schedule that includes daily and monthly cleanings by trained employees. It should include quarterly and yearly inspections from a professional service company as well.

How to Clean a Commercial Range

A potential cleaning protocol might include the following steps:

  • Deactivate the power source to ensure that the unit does not accidentally turn on during the process.
  • Remove the top and ring grates, and then clean with hot water and soap to remove excess grease, baked-on food spills, and other messes. Then rinse and allow them to dry.
  • Red utility brush with white bristles scrubbing a black burner
  • Once dry, coat the grates lightly with vegetable oil, which will help to season them. It will prevent rust, and heating them slowly after installing them afterward will produce a slick, shiny appearance.
  • You'll also want to remove the burner tops, soak them in hot, soapy water, and dislodge the baked-on debris with a good brush.
  • At this time, you can clear any clogged burner ports. Thoroughly dry them, and lightly coat them in cooking oil.
  • While the grates are removed, brush crumbs into a tray and properly dispose of them. You can then vacuum to remove any finer pieces. Crumbs and grease buildup, if left unchecked, can create smoke and fire hazards.
  • You can then reinstall the removed components and heat them on low for about 20 minutes so the cooking oil will season them.

Add-On Range Options

When choosing the best commercial stove for your kitchen, keep in mind that there are many options available to help it perform well within your existing workflow or even improve efficiency. Salamanders, cheesemelters, griddles, broilers, and electronic ignition options are great additions to commercial ranges in a wide variety of applications.


Add a powerful complement to your range! These broilers use infrared heat to do anything from melting cheese in a sandwich to cooking a thick steak. The heat they produce often eclipses what many ovens produce.


They look a lot like salamanders but generally use tube-type heating elements to provide a more gentle heat. They're great for holding hot foods or finishing off dishes topped with cheese.

Griddle Broilers

These pieces of equipment are another common option, and is built right into the range top. It combines a raised griddle, with a broiler area underneath for finishing or melting cheese right before plating.

Electronic Ignition

You can choose an electric ignition for gas burners on some ranges. It eliminates the need for a standing pilot light and can save you some energy. However, they also add to your purchase price and are expensive to replace.

Range Installation Accessories

When you purchase new commercial stoves or replace one of your old commercial ranges, there are some accessories that you will need to consider. By choosing your casters, a caster placement system, and commercial gas hoses with care, you can ensure that your different types of ranges are properly installed and safe to use.


Casters are a good choice because it makes cleaning around and under your range easier. Make sure to use a quick disconnect gas hose with a restraining device if you order casters.

Caster Ramps

Like the Dormont Caster Placement System, these are a good accessory to purchase along with casters for your range. It lets you easily place your range back exactly where it belongs once you clean under it, maintaining proper hood coverage.

Gas Hoses

Appropriate hoses for your range are easy to purchase from us. We have the correctly sized quick disconnect gas hose kit with restraining hardware as a companion Item with all of the ranges we sell.
The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Please refer to our Content Policy for more details.

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