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Commercial ranges in home kitchen?

post #1 of 79
Thread Starter 
Hi All,
I'm currently in the process of redesigning my kitchen and decided to invest in a high quality range. I cam across the Garland brand which is a commercial range. I didn't find any reference of any commercial oven being used in a home kitchen. Has anyone had any experience with a commercial range in a home?
From the little info I gathered the upside is price and the downside is space from combastibles (6" on each side). Any other drawbacks?

Thanks for any advise,
post #2 of 79
Check to make sure that there isn't any city or county ordinance against the btu rating you’re looking at. Some areas won't allow the sort of btu's professional model put out & some areas that do allow it require special boarding around it.

post #3 of 79
Thread Starter 
Thanks Jim. I wasn't aware of the BTU limitation, I'll check my town's building code.
post #4 of 79
While your at it, check your home owner's insurance to see if you can actually install a commercial range in a household, and if, in the event of fire or smoke damage if you' re covered. Then check the clearance for the commercial range, chances are you'll need at least 6" from the wall and 6" on either side. Then back to City hall and check what kind of fire rating you need for the walls around the said range. Then check to see what kind of ventilation system you'll need, cause if if the range puts out over 100,000 BTU's you'll need an "advanced" ventilation system, and what goes out must come in, so you'll need some kind make-up or return air system, and then.......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
post #5 of 79
I agree with the other posters - it's probably better you don't go that route. Way more trouble and expense than it's worth. Commercial ranges are not insulated like residential and that can be dangerous - especially if there are children in the house.

post #6 of 79
also there is a plot light always lite on them so that can be a big fire danger there
post #7 of 79
If you're really serious, you can check eBay for an older model Residential Wolf Range. Years ago, before Wolf Residential was bought from Wolf by SubZero, hey took their commercial range and added insulation all around inside the outer metal part so you could bump it up right against your wall and kitchen cabinets. I still hate myself for not going for it, but at the time, from a Restaurant Supply house the Wolf commerical range with the raised griddle and broiler underneath, was about $1200 and the insulated Residential version of the same Range was about $3300. I couldn't justify the differential in price, so I went with a Thermador Professional Gas Cooktop instead. Sadly, the 15K BTU grill doesn't cut it, and the 15K BTU griddle is only passing fair if you don't load it up too much: it is only 12" wide. However, the 15K BTU burners are ok. I've got too set low (you can pull of the knob and stick a little screwdriver in and turn down the flame a bit from Maximum) for simmering stock pots.

post #8 of 79
Some of those commercial ranges have a lot of pilot lights.
post #9 of 79
BlueStar is the name of the residential line of Garland ranges. Prizer Painter made the orginial Garland ranges for both home and commercial use. Garland decided to drop the home line a while back, but gave PP the rights to use their star shaped burner in the line that PP now calls BlueStar.

I have been doing a lot of range research the last couple of months (kitchen reno about to happen), and have settled on a BlueStar. The BTUs are awesome (22k), infrared broiler, large oven for a 30" range. To top it off, it is really the only commercial range available in a residential setting - without buying a true commercial range, and worrying about screwing with building codes, and burning down your house.

Some notes about the bluestar:

Little electronics to go wrong (yay)
Really powerfull burners
Great open burner design
Star shaped burner gives even heat under pan
Build quality is very much "commerical" A really solid range, but lacks the refinement of a Wolf or Viking.

I would pick one of thes over a Wolf or Viking any day. It is cheaper, more powerfull, easier to clean, and less complicated. It is a cooking TOOL, rather than something to show off to friends with.

I took a few photos during a visit to a local showroom, that had one live - take a look, MSG me if you want the photos.

(and no, I dont sell ranges!!! I had just been looking for something like this for ages, and get rather passionate about kitchen stuff :D)

The other line you can check out is FiveStar - these are decent, a lower price point, lower BTUs and no infrared. But they aren't bad - BlueStar are better though.
post #10 of 79
I have a commercial range at home and my only observation would be that I have to keep a good eye on flame height compared to pan size otherwise the outside of my pans get blackened because of the size of the burners and the BTU output and the fact that at home I am generally using a smaller size pan than in a professional situation.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
post #11 of 79
What about the Jenn Air Pro Line of Appliances?
or Maytag Gas 30 in. Double-Oven Free Standing Range

I would go with one of these. They are just as striking in their look....if not more so....definately an attention getter! Also, they are rated for home use, so you won't have to jump thru all of the building code hoops.
post #12 of 79

GE Cafe Gas Range


After reading these posts I feel like a kid with a BB gun who has just wandered onto Aberdeen Proving Ground and is looking at all the monster weaponry they've got there... Just a bit overwhelmed by it all and a bit timid about being out of my class, but...

What do you all think about the GE Cafe gas stove? My wife -- I'll blame her -- picked it on looks and I can certainly see why.

Does anyone know about this self standing stove?

How about the GE Cafe microwave?

Certainly would appreciate some professional opinions.

post #13 of 79
All I know is that it is a pretty new stove - out in the last 6 months. My opinion is that I would rather go with something that has been roadtested a little more to be honest, especially if is one that has a bunch of electronics on it.

I have just had a kitchen remodel done, and we got a BlueStar RNB 30" put in. I do a ton of cooking, and absolutely love this stove. It is really powerful, yet extremely controlable. Very well made, commercial grade (about the only home range that you could call commerical grade - forget viking or wolf home stoves).

To top it off, the whole thing is really simple. No expensive electronics to go wrong - it does one thing, and one thing really well - cooks food. To top it off, in my area it rocked in cheaper than almost all competitors - far less cash than a Viking, Wolf etc, and IMHO far better quality.

The only thing is that because it is so powerful, you need to look a decent vent hood. Forget having a small hood, or even a microwave hood over it - that isn't going to cut it.

Anyhow, I would try and find a store that can give you a "live" demo of any stove you are looking at - try before you buy. I would also do a ton of research, and get peoples early opinions on the GE Cafe.
post #14 of 79
Thanks Matt.

My wife and I will have to vote on this; It's a democratic arrangement -- she gets to break any 'ties' -- so we may wind up with the GE Cafe units even though your advice is extremely sound and I would be inclined to follow it myself.

If we do take the "road untravelled" (GE Cafe) I will let you know by starting a new thread under that heading.

[Heck, somebody has got to go first].
post #15 of 79
Before I found BlueStar one appliance guy was telling me to wait for the GE Cafe series - apparently (according to him, who stocked GE stuff) it was going to be a decent quality unit, that looked good, and was priced right.

18k BTUs sounds perfectly powerfull enough for most stuff. I would go for the dual fuel range. There aren't a lot of full gas ranges that I would buy (BlueStar is one of them..).

Also before you buy, find out information on repair costs. The Cafe has a quite an electronic panel on the front, and those can burn out pretty easily - especially if you use the oven self-clean option because of the high heat involved. I have heard of repair bills up to $1000 for those costly electronics.
post #16 of 79

GE Cafe Reviews

There's an extensive discussion about the GE Cafe on The Garden Web appliances forum. Search for "GE Cafe appliance opinions?". Sorry, this forum isn't allowing me to post URLs.
post #17 of 79
Hi all,

Some really good information here. Thanks.

I'm heading out this weekend to look at ranges for our new build. I'm an avid amatur cook and right now have it narrowed down (I think) to either the Blue Star 30" RNB or Capital Precision (30") with the center wok burner.

I would love feedback on either of these ranges. Capital seems like it might offer the best of all worlds--powerful burners with some (but not too much) domestic refinement, plus a few wiz bang features. Blue Star looks like it "does what it says on the tin" i.e. cook well.

post #18 of 79
I manage a restaurant supply store. We often get individuals in looking at our commercial ranges for their homes. While the price appears to be huge savings, it is quite misleading.

You must have more clearance as you mentioned, but even with the clearance, you should have stainless steel facing the unit on your cabinets and back wall. You will also need a much heavier duty vent hood than standard residential units.

Beyone those aspects, there's the factor of higher insurance premiums (or risking voiding insurance). As someone else mentioned, they are not insulated like residential units and are very hot to the touch (very bad idea with kids or pets).

I'd recommend going with residential quality units made for residential applications. There are several companies out there who make both the commercial and residential units.
post #19 of 79
anyone know how much the double bluestar ranges go for? the 48" thermadors are like 12k. Not sure that's worth it.

i'm hoping to find a pseudo commercial range option that's home safe but not dramatically more expensive than a vulcan 60" restaurant range, which is about 3K.
post #20 of 79
well apparently bluestars are like 11k too.
post #21 of 79
The homestyle commercial look ranges are way overpriced for the actual performance they offer.

You'll get more performance out of a real commercial range, but they're actually pretty ugly. They usually require some extra pipe rigging for the proper gas flow plus some expensive fire code construction for the walls, a fire supppresion system (more plumbing) and a high volume exterior venting hood.

Which all puts the price back up there with the commercial looking home ranges.

Member Boar_d_laze here often recommends buying two standard home ranges which gives you more actual burners at the same output and depending on design, more ovens. He makes a good point and you'll probably save money.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
post #22 of 79
yeah, i looked into commercial ranges, which are very attractive for their 3k price range. but in the end, i decided i didn't want to worry about all that other crap, especially since i anticipate kids wandering in from time to time and those ovens get pretty hot.

I almost wonder if it's not more economical to just buy two separate 30" ranges.
post #23 of 79
I must have been editing my reply to add that comment about two ranges as your were typing. Because it can be a better option.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
post #24 of 79
yeah, i may be leaning in that direction now. while the vikings and wolves look great, i'm not sure i can justify that much money for it. I especially like the idea of buying one range up front and leaving a space and wiring/gas lines for a second one that i buy several months down the road.
post #25 of 79
JUST FYI about “real commercial ranges in homes, It is illegal to put them into most US homes:

2006 IRC 2447.2 (623.2) Prohibited location.
Cooking appliances designed, tested, listed and labeled for use in commercial occupancies shall not be installed within dwelling units or within any area where domestic cooking operations occur.”

The same statement is also found in the International Fuel and Gas Code section 623.2

This is not a new code addition but has been on the books for many years.

The IRC is The International Residential Code (IRC) is a comprehensive, stand-alone residential code that creates minimum regulations for one- and two-family dwellings of three stories or less. It brings together all building, plumbing, mechanical, fuel gas, energy and electrical provisions for one- and two-family residences.

It is up to each state to adopt these codes but almost all do, so you would have to check the state that you live in.
post #26 of 79

I read some comments about ranges by other posters on other forums here and I would have to disagree with them on quite a number of issues. However, let us all keep in mind:

"In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane." Oscar Wilde

Two 30” stoves is economical, but visually not very appealing.
Also what stove are you going to buy, most high-end home models have some serious drawbacks. Only 1 burner is high and only 1 burner is a simmer burner, etc.

Here are my takes on things

The nonsense about not needing high heat to sauté properly is silly. The extra heat is designed to keep the pan HOT after you place in the product, if you don’t keep it hot you will begin to steam rather than sauté. I would want all of my burners to be able to produce 15K BTU minimum and all of them to be able to simmer.

Dual fuel is a waste of money and a marketing gimmick, the only people who might want it are precision bakers who need very low humidity ovens.

Sealed burners and self-cleaning ovens - more gimmicks.

For reliability issues I must disagree again – 4 years ago when I purchased my second commercial style residential stove I spent many hours researching, even to the point of taking a wolf and Viking apart in a show room. I also spoke to quite a few service managers and service technicians from two very high volume Los Angeles area stores and the highest volume dealer in Seattle.

Remember things change – this was 4 years ago and this is how they rated the appliances

Wolf – unanimously they all picked this as number 1 for reliability – am very surprised to have read otherwise here (I have owned 2 for a grand total of 15 years with ZERO problems. My current 48” wolf gets a major workout weekly.)

American Range – 2nd

Imperial and Viking - 3rd, but all mentioned a higher than normal repair rate, would not recommend and Imperial as mentioned before is weird looking.

Dacor, DCS, 4 star – all bad

Currently it appears to me that SubZero, who bought Wolf (residential) have begun to tweak them, they did have some recall issues a year or two ago so this may be the decline of them.

BlueStar the other name you hear being tossed about a lot was relatively unknown on the West coast but they are a company to look into.

I choose the wolf for several reasons, reliability of my first one and the unanimous praise that service managers and technicians still had for it. Beefier construction internally than the Viking, plus I noticed that SubZero was still using the same parts on the 2004/5 stove as it did on my Wolf manufactured one. And probably the best feature of it was the infrared ceramic Char-grill was top notch. It is nothing like the Viking or BlueStar marking grill that simply has a gas tube pouring out heat, this is a true high end ceramic unit that can truly sear a steak, not just mark it. With the addition of a smoker box and some wood chips and you have 24/7 wood fired grill that 99.9% of the people will swear I cooked the steaks outside over the real wood grill by my pool. Of course you will need a hood, to do this.

Now that I’ve muddled the pot here are some suggestions for you, in today’s current turbulent marketplace, buy used.

A 3 year old 60” Viking was sold in an estate sale by me for a little over 3K. Ebay has some values, check craigslist, ($4100 for a 48” wolf with charbroiler in Phoenix) and call your local appliance stores, many of them buy back these stoves on estate sales for customers who want them.
post #27 of 79
It really depends on how you set them up and the options you choose. Typically BS is more expensive than either Viking or Wolf. In the past they were less but for the most part those days are long gone in regards to ranges.
I agree with the comment made upthread about commercial style ranges not being the best option for many. However my Viking has served me well and I've also owned a BS.
I have zero experience with them but every one I have spoken to that has a GE cafe is thrilled with it. BS has the same electronics as all the other commercial brands. The primary culprit with all of them is the ignition module. BS has had more than their share of problems with that. If you are interested in that brand I suggest you spend some time on the appliance forums over at Garden Web. Several members over there have had some luck modifying their BS ranges to use Thermadore ignition modules.
If you can install a true commercial range Garland is a far better choice than BS. You can get a 36" Garland for 2k.
I would not want two 30" ranges for a number of reasons. Two decent ranges will still set you back 5-6K and you will not have the high BTU burners which in most cases is the primary reason for wanting a commercial style range. The only exception I can think of here would be some one that actually needs 8 burners and is on a limited budget.
I don't know why people get wrapped up in this but there are only a few companies that still make true commercial ranges and commercial style products for the Home. Both Wolf and Garland sold off their home range division. Neither of those products are what they used to be. The company that used to make Wolf commercial is now producing Challanger equipment. Garland sold to BS several years ago and is not affiliated in any way with that product. In fact Garland is now owned by Manitowoc.
Viking just started a commercial line this year.
There are a few others but they are not nearly as popular if that matters.
As always before you invest in a product like this make sure there is factory authorized service near you.
It all depends on what you want in the end. I would not want DF or sealed burners.
OTOH a self cleaning oven is a must have at home for me.
Once you narrow down your list of wants and decide on a price range you can make a much better list of comparable products.
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
post #28 of 79
thanks. i looked into my city's code but couldn't find anything specific, but decided against a pure commercial oven because of all the potential headaches.
post #29 of 79
post #30 of 79
They are pretty nice. Rick Bayless is their front man. IIR one of thir main distributors went bankrupt so they may be hard to find out side of Chicago. They are not in the same league as Wolf, Viking or BS etc. but they are a step up from a standard home owner range. I have never heard of any repair issues with them but they suffer from the same problem as BS in their small dealer/service network. You may want to consider them if you are looking for the middle ground. IIR they are all sealed burners. I wouldn't buy a used range off eBay unless you can inspect it and see it function before you buy.
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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