For the last two decades commercial-looking gas ranges, stove tops and free-standing stoves have been the rage. Magazines are full of kitchen remodels with commercial style cook tops. Many homeowners dream of getting a restaurant style commercial stove. Generally speaking gas cook tops are considered the chef’s choice of cooking due to high temperature and temperature control. The most commonly associated brands with residential restaurant-style stoves are Wolf/Subzero, Thermador and Viking. Both are pretty similar though the look of grill patterns, for example may sway you one way or another.
Hefty looking iron burners, beefy knobs evoke a feeling of abundance and substance. But are you giving yourself state-of-the art cooking technology? Or, are you being seduced by a look promoted by clever marketing? Are there downsides to residential restaurant-style ranges?
These stoves run on gas only. Either natural gas or propane gas lines must be brought to the location. Running gas lines from a street hook up or from an outside propane tank can get a bit involved. Additionally, be sure to know the correct size of gas line required for the model you select.
Today’s stoves can be purchased with popular griddle and/or grill inserts. Kitchen remodels must, however allow for additional width since this will make your stove or cook top wider.
Proper venting is a must-have and is one of the significant “hidden” costs. Since the required vent motors must be pretty heavy duty they tend to be noisy and thus roof mounted units are advisable – up charge. Of course, by the time one adds in the exhaust duct installation from the kitchen to the roof and ancillary finish work from enclosures (framing, sheetrock and painting) the overall tally can be significant.
Know that many models are slightly deeper than your 24” base cabinet. While this sounds like it could look strange it is really just fine.
Restaurant-style cook tops have been cleverly marketed to imply “give your kitchen a cooking restaurant quality”. The industry has done a great job in making expensive commercial gas stoves the visual anchor of fancy kitchen remodeling. To be a visual delight the range better be clean, if not spotless. Nobody would enjoy looking at a caked-up stove the likes of which are found in restaurants. And, mark my words cleaning a restaurant style stove is time consuming! Also, ovens are often not self-cleaning.
Cleaning involves taking apart elements, sections and trays to be able to really scrub them. While the cast iron looks and feels great they can get heavy. In addition to the daily clean up post use, a thorough weekly cleaning takes 1-1 ½ hours.
I am not saying “NO” to commercial ranges. The look great! But I would like every homeowner to know the reality of living with one before making their selections.
Look for our upcoming blog on induction cooking – a viable alternative! It’s a different look and feel but with great and to some even superior cooking technology.