The 30” professional range category is popular and crowded with many prestige brands.
You have your choice of Thermador, Wolf (owned by Sub-Zero), a diminished Viking (now being hopefully rescued by Middleby), Jenn-Air, Dacor, Capital, and other lesser known brands.
Thermador is by far one of the most popular by volume and for good reason. However, should you consider the Thermador pro range?
We will look at the company, the range and then analyze its features to see if it is the right choice for your kitchen.
Thermador has impressive history continuously innovating the appliance industry. Founded in 1916 by William E. Cranston, they were really known for their portable and built-in heaters. In 1932, The company was merged with another business man, H. H. Fogwell, in order to form its appliance manufacturing business.
Thermador has been credited with the innovation of stainless steel appliances, wall ovens, downdrafts and cooktops. They have pioneered low simmer technology and their patented star burners are considered state of the art in the industry.
Thermador Pro Harmony PRG304GH - $4,149
- Patented Star(R) Burner
- Patented Pedestal Star(R) Burner with QuickClean Base
- ExtraLow(R) Simmer (100
- Fastest Time to Boil
- QuickClean Base(R)
- Exclusive, patented Star(R) Burner - most even heating, unsurpassed flame coverage
- QuickClean Base(R) designed for easy surface cleaning
- Precision simmering capabilities as low as 100(degree)F (375 BTU) with 2 ExtraLow(R) Simmer burners
- Professional style, continuous cast iron grates
- Continuous porcelain, easy to clean cooking surface
- Every burner 18,000 BTU (NG)
- Widest range of simmer options from 375 BTU to 3,000 BTU
- Star(R) design delivers superior heat spread for any size pan
- Simmer without stirring/scorching with exclusive ExtraLow(R)
- Powerful, 23,500 BTU bake and 20,000 BTU broil burners
- Convection Bake offers precise multi-level baking results
- Massive oven capacity of 4.4 cu.ft.
- Six rack levels for multiple item cooking
- Electronic oven control ensures precise heating
- Large oven door window for maximum viewing
- Powerful halogen lighting illuminates the oven cavity
- Sabbath mode
- Signature blue indicator lighting
Thermador’s gas range has a bold and professional style design. It is truly flush mounted for a sleek look. It has restaurant style metal knobs and signature LED blue lighting.
Thermador has a very different burner. This is not just for aesthetics. The exclusive star burner has a unique five-point design.
The design actually reduces cold spots and the coverage allows for more flame distribution than a round burner. You receive better distribution of heat and faster boiling times with each burner being 18,000 BTU.
These star burners are also comprised of more expensive, but durable brass. They are easier to clean, because they are mounted on removable pedestals.
Thermador also has the lowest simmer in the industry at 100 degrees versus 500 degrees for most of the competition. You can melt chocolate perfectly and slow cook very easily in the Thermador.
The oven is single gas convection for better temperature management. All of the competitive brands have single, but some like Miele and Jenn-Air offer dual convection for even better control. The big disadvantage is the lack of a self cleaning cycle.
Thermador has been incredibly reliable since the acquisition from Bosch in 1998. Thermador is one of Yale's least serviced brands at 17.4% serviced within the first year with the average being 18-24%.
While making an array of different products, their specialties has always been cooking, especially cooktops, wall ovens and professional ranges.
When the recession hit in 2007, Thermador announced their "1, 2, Free" rebate or a free dishwasher and hood program for qualifying cooking and refrigeration purchases.
With a free dishwasher, the Thermador professional gas range is about the same cost as a good gas slide-in range.
Should You Buy?
It depends. Thermador has the best cooktop performance along with Miele and Jenn-Air with a high of 18,000 BTU and the industry’s best simmer at 100 BTU.
The reliability is excellent especially for a premium brand. $4,149 with a free $1,200 dishwasher is very fair when compared to other ranges.
The oven may have a few drawbacks. It is single convection, and not dual convection. Most people are used to a self cleaning feature. It depends on how often you utilize the self clean.
The PRG304GH is a good range at decent price. If self clean is not a huge feature for you, then it is certainly worth considering.
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Editor's Note: This article was originally published on September 2, 2015 and has been updated for accuracy, freshness, and comprehensiveness.