I spent a week researching to find out which is the best commercial professional range for my home, for the second time. I need a new commercial range for my home to replace the one I already have.
The First Time I Bought a Commercial Range
The first time was when I built my custom house in 1994. At that time, I was looking for a commercial stove. I wanted a 48-inch dual-fuel commercial range with 4 restaurant-style burners, a gas grill (BBQ), and a gas griddle.
At that time, I decided the best commercial range was the Thermador GCR484GGD.
Will a Commercial Range Last a Lifetime?
I thought my Thermador would last a lifetime and it did. It lasted the lifetime of the range which was 28 years.
Why should my Thermador professional range have lasted a lifetime? Because it is all cast iron, steel, and stainless steel with no electronics except the buttons for the two ovens, igniters, and wiring.
Apparently, Thermador parts are not available after 20 years and I need three inexpensive parts, a glow bar igniter which is available, a wiring harness approx $29 but not available, and the main relay also not available. Now, my beautiful Thermador professional range that should have lasted a lifetime is garbage.
Modern professional ranges including Thermador have become residential ranges with a commercial look. Even worse, modern professional ranges have all kinds of electronic features and even WIFI that a cook doesn’t need and only provides more parts to break or fail.
Because those electronic features come from China, it can take a year to get one of those ranges after you order it!
BlueStar is the only range that doesn’t have electronic features and is completely built in the U.S. in Philadelphia. Consequently, I was told it will be 4-8 weeks to get my BlueStar.
My Requirements for a Commercial Range
- 4 Burners
- Open restaurant-style burners
- Maximum coverage of the bottom of pots and pans
- BBQ grill
- Gas grill, not infrared or electric
- Gas griddle, not infrared or electric
- Dual fuel would be nice but was the least important to me.
My Thermador was dual fuel, meaning that the top is gas and the oven is electric. Electric is a lot more expensive but is preferred by chefs because it has more accurate and consistent heat and heats up quicker.
What I Don’t Want on a Commercial Range
- Sealed residential burners
- Fancy electronics and especially not WIFI
Sealed residential burners simply do not distribute heat evenly. They’re easy to clean but not good for cooking. Open restaurant-style burners don’t get dirty every time the stove is used and are not difficult to clean.
Fancy electronics are not needed for a range and only provide expensive and frequent repair bills.
WIFI is the worst. Some things you may want to do with your oven may require you to use the WIFI. It’s just another thing to break and then there’s the WIFI app. Just read the reviews about Jennair’s WIFI app! Jennair’s app reviews are almost all 1 star!
I Looked at the Following Commercial Ranges to Replace My Thermador
My Choice for the Best Commercial Range for My Home
BlueStar is a serious commercial range for homes with chefs that like to cook. With no fancy electronics to break, it just cooks better than the competition.
Unfortunately, BlueStar is not dual fuel. BlueStar will have a dual fuel range next year but only on the Platinum model and it won’t have a grill, so I’ll have to get used to a gas oven.
BlueStar’s grill has two gas burners and uses a stainless steel hood over the burners that looks like an upside-down V shape which is the same as my KitchenAid BBQ in my backyard. Other companies use infrared which is for searing, not cooking. I’m serious about my hamburgers, so I didn’t want an infrared grill.
I bought the 48″ RNB Series Range with 12″ Griddle & Charbroiler RNB484GCBV2.
BlueStar RNB ranges have burners that go up to 22,000 BTU. BlueStar Platinum ranges have burners that go up to 25,000 BTU. BlueStar Platinum ranges are a little less expensive than the BlueStar RNB ranges.
BlueStar has open restaurant-style burners with a design similar to my 1993 Thermador GCR484GGD providing maximum flame coverage of almost the entire bottom of pots and pans.
Watch this video showing the difference between the flame coverage of BlueStar vs. Wolf and see what flame coverage means for your cooking.
Commercial Ranges I Crossed Off My List
Unfortunately, a few years ago Thermador changed the grill from gas to electric and now Thermador doesn’t even offer a grill option. Without a grill that crosses Thermador off my list.
Additionally, Thermador no longer has restaurant-style burners and now only has sealed residential burners but with Thermador, that’s not so bad. Thermador’s sealed residential burners have their patented star design that results in 56% more area being covered by the flame than traditional round burners.
Although their new sealed residential burners are better than competitors, they are not as good as their original restaurant-style open burners that cover the entire bottom of a pan or pot.
If Thermador offered a grill I would probably buy it.
American Range Medallion Series 48 Inch ARR484GDGRDFN is a dual fuel range but has sealed residential circular burners.
Wolf’s grill is an infrared grill that used to be either off or on, at very high heat, making it difficult to BBQ a hamburger or steak. The video, below, shows how to move your hamburger or steak to the front of the grill and then to the back to avoid burning it.
However, a response to my comment said Wolf now has a variable temperature infrared grill but I don’t want to buy it without being able to try it. I never grilled with infrared before. Infrared is used for searing, not cooking.
Wolf has sealed residential circular burners which I also don’t want.
GE Monogram is GE’s luxury brand designed to generate more profit. It’s still a GE and is really a residential range.
What You Should Know Before Buying and Installing an Indoor Grill
If you’re considering buying an indoor grill, you should know that it can make a lot of smoke.
This is what I did the to avoid problems with smoke in the house:
- I installed the range on an outside wall.
- This provides at least one barrier as opposed to installation on a center island that is open 360 degrees.
- Installing it on an outside wall also means that the distance the exhaust blower has to send the smoke is much less.
- I bought a 54-inch range hood for my 48-inch range so the range hood extends past both sides of the range. This is adequate but 60-inch would have been better.
- I bought the largest 1500W three-speed motor for the range hood.