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Dual fuel range or all gas range and what do restaurants use ?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello All;
I am about to buy a new Wolf Range and am currently dealing with the Dual Fuel or All Gas issue.

On another forum a few folks recommend Dual Fuel and a lot seem to have it. Maybe this isn't typical of all Dual Fuel professional residential ranges, but the Wolf Fual fuel range has several features that I have read so many things bad about (on the net) such as electronics, and a self clean oven which gets very hot and can lead to failures. I am also concerned how a electronics failure can lead to the entire stove no longer working until the problem is repaired.

Thinking back to my old Range I currently have now which is a cheap, residential model, I don't use any of the timers and I don't even use a self clean feature.

The Gas model has practically no electronics and doesn't offer a self clean feature though it does offer a convection fan. I am guessing that other than the igniters, it is much less likely to fail.

So with all this said, I have a couple of questions ...

1. What do restaurants most commonly use - Electric or Gas oven ?

2. Does an electric oven offer significant benefits (and Superior results) over a gas oven to a home enthusist who loves to cook ?

Tim
post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by wtdedula View Post

Hello All;
I am about to buy a new Wolf Range and am currently dealing with the Dual Fuel or All Gas issue.

On another forum a few folks recommend Dual Fuel and a lot seem to have it. Maybe this isn't typical of all Dual Fuel professional residential ranges, but the Wolf Fual fuel range has several features that I have read so many things bad about (on the net) such as electronics, and a self clean oven which gets very hot and can lead to failures. I am also concerned how a electronics failure can lead to the entire stove no longer working until the problem is repaired.

Thinking back to my old Range I currently have now which is a cheap, residential model, I don't use any of the timers and I don't even use a self clean feature.

The Gas model has practically no electronics and doesn't offer a self clean feature though it does offer a convection fan. I am guessing that other than the igniters, it is much less likely to fail.

So with all this said, I have a couple of questions ...

1. What do restaurants most commonly use - Electric or Gas oven ?

2. Does an electric oven offer significant benefits (and Superior results) over a gas oven to a home enthusist who loves to cook ?

Tim

 

Disclaimer: I have no experience with Wolf, but do have a ton of experience with cooking appliances.

The oven (the part that actually gets hot) is simple. The "10 cooking modes" listed on the web site are simply the same modes that have come standard on every oven made in the last 20 years, plus a small fan for "convection" and a couple of "low" settings that you won't use like "proof".

The cook-top portion is average for a domestic cooking appliance and contains the usual assortment of burners ranging from 15,000 BTU down to somewhere around 9,000.

Electric ovens seems to make crispier pizza (burning gas produces water vapor). However this might just all be in my head. Also, there is the obvious: A gas oven burns gas and produces combustion products, while residential gas ovens are typically not externally vented, so the combustion products stay in your home. Whether or not this matters depends on how tightly your home is sealed and whether or not you care. Some people care a lot, some not at all.

Self cleaning is really nice. I'd never buy an oven that didn't have it. Reliability due to self-cleaning isn't an issue. Electronics sometimes fail, however there is an equal probability of electronics failure even with simpler controls and/or no self-cleaning.

It looks like a nice stove, however I beleive it costs around $7.500, which means that you can get a much bigger "bang for your buck" by picking a different brand. If money isn't an issue, please ignore this.

Terry

PS. You can buy a commercial Wolf range for much less than the domestic model you're looking at, however I'm not sure I'd recommend it as the burners are all high output (36,000 BTU each if I remember correctly) it requires special fireproofing (construction) and ventilation and possibly make-up air, and it's quite unforgiving of unwatched pots.
post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by wtdedula View Post



So with all this said, I have a couple of questions ...

1. What do restaurants most commonly use - Electric or Gas oven ?

2. Does an electric oven offer significant benefits (and Superior results) over a gas oven to a home enthusist who loves to cook ?

Tim


 

Restaurants use all gas typically. Mostly because it's cheaper than electric I think.

In my opinion the greatest single benefit to electric ovens it that they provide much more accurate and consistent temperature control - especially at lower temperature ranges. The higher end models such as your will go as low as 100 degrees where a gas oven is lucky to hold at 175.

I have no personal experience with the Wolf residential range but in other discussions on the subject the general consenus is that you are paying more than you need to for the name. And there are the operational problems commonly reported that you mentioned in your post. A Wolf wouldn't be my first choice.
post #4 of 9
In my hotel design experience, natural gas was the preferred fuel; however, when a locale had no gas service, induction (electric) was the way to go.  Here's how the cost per BTU went for cooktops, lowest first:

Induction
Natural gas
Bottled gas (propane)
Electric-resistance

If you are going to invest in a high-BTU residential gas range, be sure you are able to use it as designed.  So many purchase a Wolf, Viking, Dacor, etc. only to discover that simmering is not an option.  Those monsters crank out the BTUs, much of it wasted when not doing restaurant style cooking.

I like both electric convection and microwave/convection ovens as the results are quite good.
post #5 of 9
 Gas and only gas...Electric can't really be controlled as far as burner heat.Only thing I have electric is cabinet style steamers..Never worked in a place that had electric open burners or ovens
We do not have self cleaning, we use elbow grease. The high heats attained for self cleaning wear out the interiors faster and warp shelves.and use a lot of energy and time.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #6 of 9
Maybe I wasn't clear in my last post but I should say I am very much in favor of the dual fuel residential units - gas range and electric oven. Restaurants use all gas, no frills stoves but us home cooks don't use our equipment the same way restaurants do so we can take advantage of both gas and electric.
post #7 of 9
The conversation seems to have veered to include gas vs electric for the tops as well as the ovens.  Tim, the OP, seems to already have settled on a gas top, so there's no point in extolling its virtues.  Forgive my lurch back to the topic.

Cooking in a Restaurant and Cooking at Home:

They aren't the same things.  Because of differences in quantities, time parameters, restaurant and home cooking use different techniques and equipment.  That's a good thing.

If you've got the skills and patience, you can produce food at excellent restaurant level -- but you're not going to go about it in exactly the same way.

If you really want to cook like a pro, throw out the non-stick, get some knife skills, and work with mise en place.  To dual fuel or not to dual fuel is a distant also ran.

Commercial Ranges and Commercial Style Residential Ranges, Generally:
Look.  They're not the same.  For one thing, commercial ranges have a much larger gas inlet and can pump a heck of a lot more BTUs out the burners.  For another, commercial kitchens which do a lot of baking, top-browning, rotisserie or whatever have additional, specialized equipment to do it.  They mostly use range ovens for roasting and holding. 

Commercial style residentials have more in common with regular residentials even though the manufacturers and retailers heavily promote the

In terms of the quality of the food that's not as big a difference as you might think.  Speed yes.  Quality, not so much.  Give yourself enough time to cook, learn to preheat, and you've negated most of a commercial range's advantage.

There are a few good reasons to buy a commercial style residential.  The three most important are size, features, and appearance.  

One of the best features in dual fuel ranges is convection ovens.  Another is an IR broiler -- although you can get IR in gas now, since TEC starting sharing technology.

Answering Your Questions:
  1. Most restaurant ranges use gas ovens -- they're cheaper.  There really isn't much of a performance difference.
  2. The big advantage in having an electric oven in your commercial-style range is convection.  It is a big advantage, make no mistake.  If you can get self-cleaning, that's a good thing too for a home kitchen. 

Is Wolf the Best?

Wolf residential, commercial-style ranges have nothing to do with Wolf commercial ranges beyond knobs and logos.  They're not even the same company.  Wolf commercial ranges are made by Wolf, and Wolf residential is Sub Zero.

When Sub Zero introduced the Wolf residential line, the ranges were among the most expensive money could be, but were not necessarily the best.  Since then, the prices have become more competitive and the ranges (supposedly) more reliable. 

Most people aren't aware that almost all ranges are assembled from components made by third party, OEM manufacturers.  Consequently, despite being sold under different names there's as much commonality as difference.  It's all very mix and match.  Surprising or not, that's how it is.    

A few BTUs more or less is not going to make any difference in the use or enjoyment you get from your new stove.  14,500 vs 16,000 BTU at the front is not a life changer. 

The biggest issues with expensive ranges are related to reliability.  For instance, reliability itself; parts availability; cost of repairs; etc.  I'm not sure where Wolf stands relative to everyone else.  Before you make your final purchase decisions I urge you to investigate who repairs what, and so on.  You could do worse than call an independent stove repairman and ask a bunch of questions.

When I used to have current knowledge about these things, my impression was that Jade made the best commercial-style ranges, and that American Range gave you the most bang for the buck (but hardly inexpensive). 

Is Wolf a Good Choice for You? 
If you're set on buying a commercial style, can afford Wolf, and really like the way it looks -- yes.  If you value features over looks, it depends.  If you're looking for absolute quality, maybe.  Bang for the buck, no.

Bottom Line:

Buy a dual fuel.
What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
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What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
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post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello All;
Thanks for all of your thoughts and insights. It seems some of you like all-gas and some of you like dual fuel. I noticed that the two (probably most popular) ranges out there other than Wolf (Blue Star and American) seem to only come in a all-gas version or if not, they don't specify "Dual Fuel". The only reason I havn't considered any other brand is because they don't seem as popular and their dealer network (And probably their repair network too) doesn't seem as extensive as Wolf. I have one dealer that sells Wolf right down the road from me, Also have a factory showroom (That is open to the public but only sells to dealers) within a few miles from me, and a dealer/installer within 5 miles of me. And the factory showroom gave me a list of quite a few other dealers and dealers/installers in the area. Also, lots of people on various forums seem to have Wolf Ranges and are almost always happy with them.

I think, though the majority of you actually vote for dual fuel. It was that way on another forum too. That's probably the route I'll end up taking if I can determine that it's reliable.

It seems that all ovens whether gas or electric offer convection cooking - so what's the difference between convection cooking using gas and convection cooking using electric ?

Tim
post #9 of 9
 All Gas! Dual fuel is a serious waste of $$$ unless you are an absolutely fanatical baker and even then many professional bakers prefer AG.  You can not AFAIK get a true infra-red broiler in a duel fuel range. The oven is electric so the broiler is electric. Ultimately for me that's a deal breaker on a dual fuel range. IE The electric broilers stink Vs the infrared gas broiler you will get in a commercial style AG range.
All commercial style ranges should have convection ovens. That's not even a hard feature to find in standard consumer oven any longer. I have no idea why any one would think you need an electric oven to get convection but perhaps I read that wrong. Many professional ranges/ovens and commercial style all gas ranges have convection ovens including Wolf, Viking, BS etc.
I never suggest dual Fuel. In short they offer little benefit, They cost more and frequently contain all the electronic crud that you really want to avoid in a commercial style range. If you consider DF don't over look the fact that you must have gas and 220 runs at your range. If you don't already have both that can add considerably to your project cost depending on your home and where you live. In short the only benefit of an electric oven is a more consistent temperature but you sacrifice a better broiler and add a lot of cost. Electric also is not the best for roasting or any other application where the more direct heat of gas is far superior (IMO). 
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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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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