A good gas range is the center and the soul of a restaurant or commercial kitchen, and every kitchen is different. Choosing the best unit to suit your specific needs can be a challenge, but if you keep a couple things in mind buying the range you need shouldn’t be hard.
BTUs and Gas Type
Commercial ranges vary in the heat output they produce, which is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units). Depending on the cooking application and energy usage concerns, you may want to purchase a unit with a higher or lower BTU rating.
Higher BTU ranges are going to heat things faster, but at a higher rate of energy consumption. A higher BTU rating also means quicker heat recovery times
Lower BTU rates will heat things more slowly, but more efficiently. Lower BTU ratings mean a slower heat recovery time
Most gas ranges are outfitted for natural gas. Natural gas is the most common gas type and chances are you are hooked up to natural gas. LP gas or liquid propane is the gas you get if your range is connected to a propane tank, usually for rural locations or portable operations.
griddle and Charbroiler Add-On Options
Griddles are ideal for cooking multiple foods at once. The large, flat metal plate that makes up the griddle distributes heat evenly over the entire surface. Heat can be controlled either manually or thermostatically. A grease trough allows for easy cleaning.
Charbroilers allow you to broil poultry, seafood, and meat quickly and effectively. Most restaurants and commercial kitchens purchase a separate charbroiler unit, but combination range and charbroiler units can be special ordered.
Casters allow you to move your commercial gas range quickly and easily for cleaning or rearranging. Manufacturers charge a ridiculous fee for casters that come with their restaurant cooking equipment. Instead, buy your casters separately and save a bundle.
Gas hose connector kits allow you to connect your new restaurant range to your kitchen’s gas source, whether it’s natural or LP gas. Make sure you check the diameter of your range’s connection before ordering.
Don’t Forget Your Altitude!
If your commercial kitchen or restaurant is above 2,000 feet in elevation, you may need to have the gas valves on your new range adjusted. Make sure you tell the manufacturer or vendor you’re buying from if you are located above 2,000 feet.