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Commercial Ranges Buying Guide

Commercial Ranges Buying Guide

Buying a range? This blog answers all the questions you may have--number of burners, size, purpose, and more--to help you make the right choice.

Restaurant cooking equipment forms the backbone of any commercial kitchen operation, ensuring everything ranging from food prep and cooking to delivery are taken care of speedily and efficiently. While these appliances find the best use in a commercial operation, they're also essential tools in industrial, institutional, and outdoor kitchens, making sure the continuity of food operations continues unaffected. Having high-quality restaurant cooking equipment can help you produce delicious and safe offerings on a large scale, ensuring you never fall short on any front.

With several different variants & options available, business owners can choose from gas & electric, standalone & countertop, electronic & manual, and full & half-sized models to suit their operational requirements based on the number of people they serve every day. Understandably, both the number and varieties of restaurant cooking equipment are large and there are bound to be questions. We look at the basics of restaurant cooking equipment and frequently ask questions so prospective and experienced restaurateurs alike can make a better assessment of the type and model of the equipment they need. 

The Essentials of Restaurant Cooking Equipment

Right from essentials like commercial ranges, fryers, ovens, grills & griddles to specialty cooking equipment that includes pasta cookers, toasters, panini grills, broilers, and outdoor grills, we list every item that is essential to your restaurant cooking operation. Based on the quality of the equipment and the company of origin, every piece of restaurant cooking equipment will have features that set it apart from the rest, however, the basic function is bound to remain the same - cooking food.

The maintenance of this cooking equipment also requires several accessories depending on how complex the construction and operation are. Most commercial food equipment work in conjunction with another appliance and there's a contribution of several tools and units in putting every item on the table.

Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Restaurant Cooking Equipment

? How is residential cooking equipment different from restaurant cooking equipment?

Most residential equipment and commercial kitchen equipment are based on the same principles. The difference lies in the volume handled and the durability of the restaurant cooking equipment to consistently work with and deliver high-volume products on an everyday basis. Residential equipment is not suited to the rigors of commercial cooking and is restricted to domestic and occasional use.

The volumes that a commercial kitchen sees can easily result in the damage or breakdown of residential kitchen equipment merely because they're not built for it. Both the volume of product handled and volumes of product produced are far higher in commercial models, ensuring a steady stream of workflow in a restaurant kitchen.

? What are the common types of restaurant cooking equipment used in a commercial kitchen?

A large number of machines are employed in making sure a commercial kitchen can run smoothly. A delicate interplay of functions between all of these tools ensures that a commercial food operation can put out quality food on time. Whether it's a restaurant, industrial kitchen, food truck, or café, a number of the following pieces of restaurant cooking equipment are bound to be used, and in varying combinations.

The most essential Cooking Equipment include: 

Commercial Ranges
These units can cook, roast, fry, broil, stir fry, and boil using hot plates, range tops, or coils based on their energy source. They're available in gas and electric models. 

Commercial Fryers
A variety of fried offerings are constants on every establishment's menu. To help you serve fries, nuggets, and chips, a fryer is a go-to. Available in both electric and gas models, their pot size configurations vary based on size.

Commercial Grills & Griddles
Some of the most diverse pieces of equipment in a commercial kitchen, commercial grills can help you prepare anything from burgers, sautéed vegetables, roasted meats to fried eggs. They come in wood-fired, gas, electric, and induction models.

Commercial Ovens
Ovens are irreplaceable items in a kitchen. They help you prepare just about anything with their all-around cooking technology. Being complete workhorses that produce a well-made product, ovens form the backbone of a commercial cooking operation. They're available in convection, rotisserie, impinger, deck, microwave, and rapid-cook options.

Commercial Toasters
The demand for toasted bread is evergreen, and  a toaster that can toast at least 200 slices of bread an hour is an absolute necessity. Depending on the extent of your operation, you can choose from a pop-up, conveyor, or bun warmer toasters

Steam Cooking Equipment
Steam ensures healthy cooking, making sure the nutrients are left undisturbed. Equipment like kettles, steamers, and steam ovens are great options for steamed menu items. 

Commercial Food Rethermalizers
Helping you tackle large crowds, food rethermalizers help your staff reheat the pre-cooked batches of food to bring all your offerings to serving temperature. They're available in gas and electric options.


? What's the difference between countertop & standalone equipment?

While standalone units are built to handle between high to ultra-high volumes of food, countertop units are smaller and set to tackle a smaller workload. The former is better suited to large and industrial operations that have an ample amount of space to accommodate a sizable standalone unit. Countertop units are ingenious options to help with food service operations in smaller establishments where they're able to fit within small areas and are ideally suited for crowded and cramped kitchens.

Countertop varieties are just as efficient as their larger counterparts, whether it's ovens, fryers, grills, or ranges. They help with capacity-building when you look to supplement your output. However, if you do have space in your kitchen, a standalone model can reduce prep-time by large periods and can be worth your while.

? How do you streamline the production flow at a high-volume operation?

As discussed in the previous section, standalone equipment is perfectly suited to large and high-volume operations. Not only are they deployed by hotels & restaurants, but they're also made use of by correctional facilities, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and cafeterias. These institutions see orders in bulk and need to get a production line going to serve their customers on time.

When the number per food item is in the hundreds, specialized high-volume equipment is a must to maintain a delay-free kitchen. Large stackable ovens, deck-based ovens, heavy-duty ranges, standalone kettles, high-volume fryers, conveyor toasters, large rotisserie ovens, roll-in ovens, and wide grills are best suited to creating an efficient high-volume kitchen undeterred by large orders.

? What equipment is best suited to restaurants targeting specific cuisines?

Whether it's a pizzeria, bakery, café, or fast-food restaurant, your kitchen has to be modeled around the needs of the food you intend to prepare so that your staff doesn't run into problems during operational hours. Here are some common equipment combinations for various food service types:

These operations require high-volume deck-based ovens, cheese melters, rethermalizers, and convection ovens to maintain a steady flow of pizza.

Fast Food Restaurant
To be able to offer burgers, sandwiches, fries, grilled food, and roasted meats, a fast-food operation needs heavy-duty griddles, fryers, conveyor toasters, convection ovens, panini grills, and waffle makers.

Cafés often operate in smaller capacities when compared to other foodservice operations. A convection oven, microwave oven, commercial kettles, beverage dispensers, coffee makers, blenders, and display cases are well suited to cafés.

Bakeries rely on high-volume ovens to provide a steady flow of good-smelling bread, confections, and biscuits. Roll-in ovens, stacked ovens, kettles, standalone dough-kneaders, proofers, sheet pan racks, and display cases are absolute necessities.

While these cooking units cover the various activities of boiling, grilling, roasting, frying, and sautéeing, a commercial food operation also relies on other equipment including refrigerators, storage units, food prep units, and cleaning options. Be sure your commercial kitchen is well stocked with the highest quality of professional cooking equipment and accessories for the best results.

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