Anyone get a pro range and regret it?

crl_October 29, 2012

Dh suggested we consider a pro range. I think partly for the high BTU burners and partly for the looks.

I'm not that in to it and I am the main cook as well as the main researcher. But, what the heck, I will check them out.

So, I am wondering if anyone had gone the pro range route and regretted it? If so, why? This more a generic question rather than whether a particular brand was a bad choice.

Thanks for any feedback!

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Just the opposite, after I got my Bluestar range, I started to really enjoy cooking.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 10:20PM
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Yep, could never go back. Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 10:40PM
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Love my Wolf DF and hope I will always have one. The oven is fabulous and I had to learn to use it but it was worth it. I love the burners too.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 11:16PM
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    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 12:13AM
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Zero regrets on a pro range. For me, going from an old electric range to a gas rangetop and excellent ovens was like going from an old console TV to a new, thin HD unit. You can get along fine with the old, but when you compare it to a new one you wonder what the heck you were doing with the old one for so long.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 12:30AM
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Now that I have it, I don't know how I cooked at all before my CC.

No downside at all for me.


    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 10:10AM
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Love and hate my dual fuel Viking I bought in 2000.

Love the look. Love the power. Love the responsiveness.

Hate the unreliability. Hate, really hate, really, REALLY hate cleaning it.

I am looking to replace it with induction.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 12:17PM
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Celticmoon, can I ask which parts of cleaning are problematic? Is it the top of the range or is it the oven(s)? Is it difficult to clean or easy to scratch or something see?

Thank you all so much!

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 12:48PM
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Let's be realistic - ranges in commercial kitchens are generally not shiny and pristine. Have a peek in the kitchen next time you are out to dinner.

Maybe I'm missing something, but I find cleaning a commercial range top to be a major hassle. Grease spatter and bits o stuff and drips will happen. And cleaning is not a simple wipe. If you do try to wipe up spatter, it is impossible to wipe around the grates. So you lift a grate here and there, or not if they are hot, and live with it looking messier and messier until you lift off the grates and clean the drips and spatter off. But crumbs and crud build up in the many crevices, so eventually, with a sigh, you:

-Take off the six iron grates and burner discs and scrub them at the sink.
-Take out the drip trays and scrub them at the sink
-Pop out the large three part surface and clean that at the sink - especially the sides and drip tray seating where bits and crud get lodged
-Back at the range clean out the tracks the three surface pieces drop into - again those bits.
-Reassemble the surface and quick shine with a miracle cloth
-Replace the drip trays and grates.
-Clean the rollout tray under the rangetop.
-Wipe/shine the front.

It is then beautiful! Really really great looking. Until you use it again in a way that generates spatter or general mess.

Note that sealed vs unsealed burners is a non issue, unless you are prone to boil overs (I've never had one.) The problem lies in the complexity of the range surface. Just look at it and envision spatter, crumbs and drips. Cleaning is more involved than flipping up electric coils and wiping down a top, or cleaning a smoothtop. I think induction has a clear advantage in ease of cleaning without sacrificing power or control (just looks). I'd take the 'challenge' of fingerprints on a smoothtop over this process any day!

I've asked on this Forum if anybody has a secret to keeping commercial ranges looking great easily. Not much help. That along with no ringing endorsement of my observation that a single sink is critical for soaking chunks o' range leaves me thinking maybe GW commercial range owners have cleaning support. Or I am a particularly sloppy cook. Or averse to cleaning. Or maybe a clean freak. I dunno....I haven't read a lot of other complaints about cleaning them. Maybe I'm sick of cleaning this one for 12 years. Or maybe I'm just older and tired of cleaning in general, LOL.

Don't get me started on cleaning the vent-a-hood...

One other tip for you. Do inquire carefully about service availability. I am in an urban area, but getting my Viking serviced here is hard compared with my Bosch, KA, etc.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 12:02PM
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crl, I don't have a pro range. I used to have a coil cooktop with those chrome drip pans, and I hated cleaning it. I would imagine a pro range would have to be even more work to clean. I got induction. It is a dream to clean, and it cooks like gas.

I can honestly say that if I moved into a house with a gas stove, I'd switch to induction.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 1:12PM
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I have a dumb awful Kenmore/WP gas range. I get really excited when I can go to my friend's or my nephew's house and cook on their pro ranges. LOVE them!

But yeah, if you're a clean freak, it's not as easy as a smoothtop. A pro range is a high-end tool, and not everyone needs or wants one.

I lived for years without a food processor. Just used a commercial blender that I loved. But when that blender died, the prices on FPs had come down to the point where I didn't mind buying one even though I hardly ever use it.

Induction is a great technology. But where we live, gas rates are low and electricity is the highest in the US. Also, a gas burner can still be used in an electrical power failure (of which there are many in some neighborhoods here) while an electric/induction can't.

So for us, gas wins over electric. For me personally as a rabid foodie, a pro stove has a higher efficiency factor in getting food cooked fast, especially for certain techniques. There is no electric broiler that currently matches a pro stove's infrared broiler, for example. You might not care about that. To us, it matters, so I have to schlep out to my BBQ which isn't great, but it does a better job than my plain ole gas broiler.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 8:36PM
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jkom, good point on the gas range being usable in power outages.

To the OP crl, despite that I hate cleaning the thing and it has needed a few more repairs than would be ideal, I don't at all regret installing it 12 years ago. We've made literally thousands of great meals together. And she does look good!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 9:25PM
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Thanks for all the feedback. And the cleaning explanation was very helpful!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 9:50PM
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After cooking on crap electric ranges for most of my life, I finally bought a blue star range. I love to cook and this range has upped my game and improved the consistency and quality of my dishes. My new wife who professes (or confesses) to not liking to cook has increasingly volunteered to cook (I do about 90 percent of the cooking). The reason for her new occasional enthusiasm is what a well made and performing range we now have. I like unsealed burners because of a better flame/ heat distribution. I do not mind that I need to breakdown the range top because I can get the range really clean that way and have a 60/40 sink that can handle the grates and such. This range has increased the joy I get from cooking.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 10:55PM
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Heat is good. You can just do a lot more.

If I were starting again and had the space and budget, I would get an induction range plus a single wok-size gas burner. Get three gas burners going on the Culinarian, and the total heat output is a little scary.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 1:10AM
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celticmoon - I didn't find that Viking (I think our rental kitchen had approximately the same one) easy to clean either. It may be easier than what we have now, though. How much DO those grates weigh?!

My DH was suspicious of induction and fell in love with the 48" Capital Culinarian range top, six burners and a grill. I agree with colin3 - it IS really hot when 3+ burners are going, especially if one insists on running the burner at its absolute max for simple things like boiling water. The gas flames do point upward beautifully, but at the highest setting those flames will show up on the sides of all but the largest pans, and I'm guessing that that makes it even hotter.

By the way, I think this is not a real "pro" range top but a "pro style" range top.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 12:36PM
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I appreciate all the feedback! We have decided against a pro range at this point--primarily because of price. I am intrigued by some of the lower priced induction ranges. Celticmoon really hit on one of my goals for any remodelling which is to make things easier to clean! I am lazy and hate cleaning. Induction seems like it would offer a lot (not all, but a lot) of the functionality of a pro range in an easier to clean format.

You all are so helpful, thanks again!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 12:59PM
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crl, not to further confuse you, but I did discover today that easy off cleans the drip pans effortlessly and perfectly. Duh. I am a slow learner.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 3:05PM
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In the past we had a commerical Garland gas range and currently a Viking 4 burner + grill.

I find the open burners easy to clean. About twice a year I remove the top of the stove (3 - 12" wide section - two burners each), take it to the bathroom, and spray with Easy Off. Let it work for an hour, and rinse off with hot water. Also the tray under the burners rolls out for cleaning.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 3:07PM
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No regrets on my AGA PRO, love it to bits.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 4:30PM
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Thanks everyone! I appreciate the feedback on this. Maybe I should try some easy off on the grey grates on our current rental unit's gas range before we move out so the landlord doesn't charge me for new ones. :)

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 5:13PM
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Do I regret getting a pro-style all-gas stove?

Well, compared to what? Compared to the GE dual fuel that I replaced? No regrets. Compared to the induction ranges that I was also considering? Well, yes, sorta, kinda, sometimes there are some regrets. On a really hot day, when my gas stove is putting a lot of heat into the room, yeah I kind of regret not getting an induction stove.

On the other hand, when I'm doing a lot of cooking, the wider cooktop space on a pro-style means I can run a 5 gallon canning kettle, a 20 gallon stock-pot and two 12-inch skillets. Can't do that with any of the induction ranges I was looking at.

Same sort of comnparions go on the the subject of cleaning, Compared to the wipe-clean smooth surfaces of the induction ranges I was considering, my NXR is more work to clean. However, compared to my late GE dual fuel, my new NXR is much easier to clean. Very little seems to bake onto the NXR's stainless surfaces. The stubborn stuff comes off with a little Barkeeper's Friend. Mostly, I can wipe the stove down with windex and a microfiber cloth. The old GE had gray burner pans and caps, and plain aluminum burners that became stained and discolored and impossible to scrobe clean.

So, my answer to this question, is that that anything I bought would have tradeoffs. It is inevitable that you sometimes think you might have preferred a different set of tradeoffs, but this will be true with any stove you buy.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 6:19PM
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Oh, and for CRL, the Easy Off worked okay on my old GE's cast-iron burner grates (the dealer gave them to me to use instead of the gray grates that came with the stove.) However, easy off did not help with the burner pans and burner caps.

You probably want to separate the burner pans, grates, and caps from the sluminum burner parts. My recollection is that the instructions with the EasyOff warned against applying it to bare aluminum which is what the burners were made of on my late GE Profile stove. The burners on most pro-style stoves are more robustly built. Check the instructions before you try the Easy-off on that GE's burners.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 6:30PM
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