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Commercial Kitchen and Restaurant Range Buying Guide

By Greg McGuire

A good gas range is the center and the soul of a commercial kitchen, and every kitchen is different. Choosing the best unit to suit your specific needs can be a challenge, and this guide is intended to help you select the perfect range for your restaurant or food service business.

Construction and Size

Commercial kitchens come in an many sizes and shapes, and each one has different commercial range needs depending on what is cooked and in what volume on a daily basis. That's why Tundra offers a variety of gas range sizes and burner and oven options, allowing you to customize your restaurant range according to your needs.

  • The most common range dimensions are 24", 36", 48", 60", and 72"
  • The most common configurations are 4, 6, 8, or 10 burners
  • Add optional griddle or charbroiler
  • Choose a standard oven, convection oven, or cabinet base

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 rates 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. Remember that LP gas typically burns slightly cooler than natural gas, and you should account for this when considering the BTU output of the range you want to buy.

    Standard vs. Convection Ovens

    Standard gas ovens:

    • Create heat using a central burner
    • Heat is distributed through a baffle
    • Heat and cook more slowly than a convection oven

    Convection ovens:

    • Employ a fan to distribute heat
    • Are more efficient than a standard oven and cook food faster
    • Cook food more evenly because of the constant circulation of heat

    Griddle and Charbroiler Add-On Options

    Your commercial kitchen or restaurant serves a variety of foods, and not everything can be prepared on range burners. A griddle or charbroiler add-on is a great way to turn your gas range into a cooking machine that can handle anything you throw on it.

    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. These heavy duty units are designed to handle a high volume and use either radiant or lava rock heat transfers, depending on the manufacturer.

    Necessary Accessories

    Casters allow you to move your commercial gas range quickly and easily for cleaning or rearranging. 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. A quick disconnect kit allows you to quickly and easily disconnect the gas hookup on your range for convenient mobility. 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.

    Greg McGuire is a regular contributor to The Back Burner, a restaurant news, trends, and marketing blog. He also works for, a company specializing in restaurant equipment, supplies, and equipment parts.

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