At a Glance
A professional range should be easy to buy. They differ in terms of BTU output, fuel types, and cooktop configurations such as having a grill, griddle, or French top.
However, over the last ten years, professional (pro) ranges have changed with more residential features like self-cleaning, dual convection, guided cooking, sealed burners, and different color options.
Now, it's the most confusing, single appliance to buy.
In this article, we will review the different features of pro range ovens, controls, and cooktops, along with the reliability of every pro range brand based on 34,687 services call our service department logged last year.
We will also show you the best attributes of all the major brands.
This is a long article, but by the end, you will understand how, when, and which pro range is the best for you and your cooking style.
Before we jump into how to buy a pro range, you should learn about what a pro range is not.
Most salespeople in appliance stores don’t know the difference, so it’s important you do.
What a Pro Range Is Not
If I showed you two almost identical-looking pictures, would you be able to pick which one was a pro range?
Brands like Bertazzoni, AGA, Ilve, and Fisher & Paykel (featured above) manufacture high-end, large 36 and 48-inch gas ranges but they lack the high BTU output that would qualify them as a professional range.
High-end ranges are typically less expensive to buy than a professional range, and they are styled-well.
If you value style and price over performance, then a high-end range may be the best option. Always check specifications first and compare them to any pro range to see how they perform.
How to Buy a Residential Professional Range
The most important factors to consider when buying a professional range are:
- Burners and BTU Output
- Stovetop Configuration
- Oven Controls
- Oven Functionality
Professional Range Sizes
Your first step is looking at size. Pro Ranges are available in 24, 30, 36, 48, and 60-inch sizes with 30 and 36 inches being the most popular.
Here are the differences between sizes:
24-Inch Pro Ranges
24-Inch Professional Ranges at Yale Appliance In Boston
Twenty-four-inch pro ranges are smaller ranges for apartments, smaller vacation homes, and galley-style kitchens.
30-Inch Pro Ranges
BlueStar 30-Inch Professional Range At Yale Appliance In Framingham
A 30-inch is the most common range size. It has the same burner configuration as a 24-inch pro range. Although, a 30-inch professional range has a larger oven as well as a vast selection for controls, brands, and other features.
36-Inch Pro Ranges
36-Inch Professional Ranges At Yale Appliance In Boston
You move into a larger oven at 36 inches plus you have a choice of a griddle, grill, or six burners instead of just four burners like the 30-inch pro range.
48-Inch Pro Ranges
48-Inch and 60-Inch Professional Ranges At Yale Appliance In Boston
Forty-eight-inch pro ranges have a second oven. Steam, speed, and warming drawers can also be added to a 48-inch along with a French top and up to 8 burners.
60-Inch Pro Ranges
The second oven is larger in a 60-inch pro range. You also have up to 10 different cooktop combinations instead of 8 options in a 48-inch.
Before you look at burner outputs, simmering capabilities, grills, and the option of a griddle, you should understand the difference between an open and sealed burner and why it matters.
Open Vs. Sealed Burners
An open burner typically is hotter than a sealed burner because there is more surface area for oxygen flow.
BlueStar Professional Range Open Burners
BlueStar and Capital are both open with 25,000 BTU max output in both of their ranges. Viking has the highest with sealed burners at 23,000, but most pro ranges' sealed burners are typically 15-20,000 BTUs.
In terms of cleaning, sealed burners keep spills on the top making it easier to wipe down. However, you can disassemble an open burner and clean it in the sink just as easily.
BlueStar is the most powerful with multiple 25,000 BTU burners, as previously mentioned because of its open burner.
Viking has 23,000 in a sealed burner with Samsung Chef at 22,000 BTU. Wolf (in dual fuel) and Jenn-Air have 20,000 BTUs while Miele has 19,000.
Thermador is 18,000 for half their burners with 15,000 for the other half. Wolf in all gas is 15,000 BTU max burners.
Thermador Professional Range Star Burners
Thermador has the best simmer at 100 BTUs on two of their burners. Wolf has a 340 BTU simmer on all their burners. It has a consistent simmer, whereas Thermador achieves the low BTU by turning the flame on and off.
Professional Range Infrared Grill
The infrared style is the best grill for a professional range because it's a direct heat and sears quickly.
Infrared is much easier to clean than a gas or electric grill.
Miele, Jenn-Air, Thermador, and Wolf employ an infrared grill. Keep in mind, you need to think about a more powerful hood with an indoor grill.
Jenn-Air Professional Range Chromium Griddle
Griddles are like grills. Griddles, powered by infrared, heat up faster.
However, the electric Jenn-Air has a chromium finish and is the easiest to clean than any other. Electric has a consistent temperature but takes more time to heat.
Most people assume Griddles only cook more pancakes and eggs. When I was a kid, Yale used to be on Canal Street near the Garden with a diner across the street.
I watched the owner cook omelets, hot dogs, hamburgers, potatoes, bacon, grilled cheese, and eggs on a griddle about the size of a desk - the guy could cook anything on a griddle.
You can always buy a portable griddle for almost any range, but a built-in griddle will have better performance because of its ability to maintain a consistent temperature.
La Cornue Professional Range French Top
French top professional ranges look like griddles but have one big burner in the middle, so the outside temperature is further away from the burner or center.
French tops are used for cooking multiple items at different temperatures.
Wolf, BlueStar, and La Cornue all have French tops.
Sous Vide Stovetop Accessories
Sous Vide Cooking - Before And After
Sous Vide cooking achieves precise internal temperatures through water immersion. It’s precision boiling in a bag.
Sous Vide has become popular on cooking shows for its even temperatures. Right now, only Signature Kitchen Suite's (SKS) professional range, a high-end division of LG, offers sous vide.
Induction is magnetic heat. The magnets of the induction burners excite the metal molecules in the pan, and the pan cooks the food.
It's faster to boil with a better simmer than a pro-gas burner. It is also safer and requires less venting.Narrow down Pro Range options with our free tool
Thermador has two induction burners on a few of their pro ranges.
Thermador Professional Range With Induction Module
You can also buy larger 36-inch pro-type induction ranges from Wolf, Dacor, and Viking.
You should consider induction over dual fuel for boiling and simmering because it is a better heat source for burners than even the hottest pro range.
However, you do not have a grill, built-in griddle, or French top capability.
The oven is electric, as well.
Pro Range Oven Controls
Miele Professional Range Oven Controls
Oven controls run the gamut from having no controls like BlueStar, Thermador Harmony, and La Cornue to controls completely accessible through your phone like Jenn-Air's pro range.
Wolf has better clocks and timers, but Miele and Dacor have elaborate self-guided controls.
Miele M-Touch/ Jenn-Air Cuisine Center
Miele and Jenn-Air have guided cooking to calculate temperature and time. All you have to do is input the food type and your preferred doneness level. It calculates time and temperature for you based on those factors.
Wi-Fi/Smart Pro Ranges
Wi-Fi is the future of appliances. Pretty soon, you will be able to tell your oven to cook lasagna. The oven will set the right time and temperature to your liking.
It will then scan the refrigerator for ingredients, buy what you need online, and then set your dishwasher to the right cycle for clean up.
However, we are not there yet. Wi-Fi or most “Smart” appliances is powering the appliance and setting the cycle or temperature from your phone.
For pro ranges, Thermador has recipes available through their app Home Connect.
Jenn-Air is the closest to this brave new world with Alexa functionality and ties to different cooking apps like Yummly to improve and guide your cooking.
Gas vs. Electric Convection Ovens
Gas is a moister heat and better for roasting, whereas electric is dryer and more precise for better baking.
Certain gas manufacturers have hotter infrared broilers like Thermador, Wolf, and BlueStar being the best.
It’s also a bit more complicated than just straight gas vs. electric for pro ranges.
The Wolf, Thermador, and Miele dual fuel ranges have better features than their all gas models like better convection systems, controls, and steam and speed functionality in the Miele specifically.
La Cornue Professional Range Oven Interior
The best oven may be the La Cornue with its arched top for natural convection flow and even temperature.
However, the Wolf dual fuel range has twin convection with both fans connected to thermostats to control temperature more precisely.
In every other dual-fuel range, both fans are on continuously or shut off when a central temperature has been reached, like in the Miele or Jenn-Air pro ranges.
You would think self-cleaning would be a given, but commercial ranges are non-self-cleaning, as are many pro ranges.
BlueStar, La Cornue, Thermador Harmony, Capital, and Wolf pro gas ranges are not self-cleaning.
Miele, Jenn-Air, Dacor, and Thermador Pro Grand are self-cleaning in all gas.
Every dual fuel professional range is self-cleaning.
Special Oven Features
Miele, Dacor, Thermador, and now Jenn-Air have changed the standard for pro range features.
In the Thermador Grand 48 and 60-inch ranges, you have a steam oven option. Steam does not bake nutrients out of the food. Instead, it adds texture and flavor.
They were also the first to add a warming drawer for keeping food warm up to three hours.
Miele's dual fuel pro range adds steam assist for bread baking and caramelizing foods. On their 48-inch pro ranges, you also have a speed oven option and a warming drawer option.
Steam Oven Vs. Steam Assist
Steam is the best way of cooking. By using steam, you are not baking nutrients out of the process like radiant heat.
You can’t cook a meal with steam in a steam assist oven. So, what does it do?
Steam assists by adding bursts of steam 1-3 times in the cooking process. It is essential for proofing bread or caramelizing and hardening of other foods like lasagna.
Speed is a convection oven with a microwave boost. You can use a speed oven as an oven, microwave, or combination of both.
The combination will save you half the time without the rubbery microwave texture.
Speed Vs. Steam Ovens
Speed ovens will cook faster than a steam oven. However, food prepared in a steam oven will be far more flavorful. (We can teach you how to use a steam or speed oven. Sign up for a class by clicking here).
BlueStar Custom Color Professional Range At Yale Appliance
Most pro ranges come in stainless steel only like Miele, Wolf, Thermador, and Jenn-Air.
BlueStar has 750 different colors and eight trim styles. La Cornue can be totally customized too. Viking has colors and trim options, as well. Dacor has a new black finish.
Based on our 34,687 service calls completed last year.
Most Reliable Professional All Gas Ranges For 2019
|Samsung Chef Collection||0.00 %|
|Fisher & Paykel||20.00 %|
|La Cornue||50.00 %|
|Grand Total||27.46 %|
These figures are actually way lower than they were in previous years, mostly because we stopped selling problematic brands. You probably think 28% is still too high.
However, most of our service calls were due to minor igniter issues rather than major oven failures.
Pro ranges do have a higher incidence of repair than every appliance other than refrigerators. Then again, a pro range can be equivalent to one and a half to two ranges in some cases.
They require proper installation and sometimes minor adjustments and education after you start using one.
Still, you should understand who can service your new range before you buy it.
Pro ranges are more complicated than regular ranges, and not every agency can fix them in your home.
Thanksgiving is not the time to discover repair appointments are 2-6 weeks out due to a lack of field technicians.
What Are the Best Pro Range Brands?
Great unit for the price with 22,000 BTU output and Wi-Fi.
Weaknesses: Limited availability with just 30 and 36 inches available. It’s similar to the basic Dacor (Samsung owns Dacor) but is much less expensive.
Jenn-Air 30-Inch Pro Range JGRP430HL - $4,599
Jenn-Air has good output, very good controls, especially in WI-Fi, twin convection, self-cleaning, and the most cleanable griddle with an infrared grill at a good price. Their new ranges are beautiful, and the Wi-Fi is the most advanced.
Weaknesses: the griddle is electric, not gas, with an average stove — no an infrared broiler.
BlueStar 30-Inch Pro Range BSP304B - $6,495
BlueStar has five series of pro ranges (they need maybe 2). Their Platinum range is the most popular. It is all burners.
They have less powered series with built-in grills and griddles, and others with French door ovens for easier access and two less costly series in sealed and open burners.
The Platinum is a powerhouse of a range with great burner output and the hottest infrared broiler at 1850 watts. It is the only pure gas convection pro range on the market other than SKS.
You can choose any color option.
Weaknesses: The burners are open and not sealed. The range is also not self-cleaning and does not have a clock and a timer.
Miele 36-Inch HR1134G - $6,799
Miele has a clean, modern appearance with an infrared grill, griddle as well as self-cleaning in both electric and gas.
Their 48-inch dual-fuel range has a steam assist, a speed oven, and a warming drawer.
Weaknesses: Oven is a bit low. Their style may be too modern in a traditional kitchen. They are a bit late for Wi-Fi functionality.
Wolf 48-Inch Pro Range GR488 - $10,350
Wolf has the best grill, griddle, and a very good broiler. The simmer is probably the best and is available on every burner.
Their all gas is not self-cleaning without a clock and timer and is a bit underpowered with 15,000 BTU burners. Their dual fuel has more power, twin convection, and a clock.
Wolf, like Miele, is late to Wi-Fi.
Thermador 48-Inch Pro Range PRD48NLSGU - $14,999
Thermador has the best simmer and good Wi-Fi.
Their 48 and 60-inch ranges could be the best featured with a steam oven and warming drawer. Like Jenn-Air, the price is excellent with their 1, 2 free rebate program of free hood and dishwasher with qualifying purchases.
Weaknesses: The Harmony all gas series is not self-cleaning and does not have a basic clock/timer. The grill and griddle are electric, not infrared. They also recently changed half their burners from 18-15,000 BTU.
La Cornue 60-Inch Pro Range CH5USK1 - $49,900
La Cornue is customizable on the top and oven. This French range is almost like a high-end piece of furniture. Their arched top ovens are the best for heat distribution.
Their CornuFe 110 is less expensive and available in a few styles - $9,950 for Classic Colors.
Weaknesses: Very expensive with a 3-4-month wait.
When Is the Best Time to Buy a Pro Range?
Miele Kitchen And Professional Range
For commodity products like washers, dryers, dishwashers, and refrigerators, I always say buy around promotional holidays like Black Friday, Labor Day, and Presidents’ Day because there will be a savings of 10-35%.
High-end brands do not typically offer these holiday deals. Your best strategy is to buy one brand because most companies will have rebates with multiple purchases.
Jenn-Air and Thermador have the best promotion with free dishwashers and hoods with other qualifying products.
Miele will have 10% packages, and Viking will have 5% at certain times of the year. You want your store to keep track of manufacturer rebates then buy when the rebates are active.
Another strategy is to buy closeouts, returns, or floor models for bigger savings.
We have an outlet in our Boston store just for that. Just make sure it’s not used and still has its warranty.
How Do You Choose a Professional Range?
Wolf Kitchen And Professional Range At Yale Appliance In Boston
First question: What is important to you? Do you bake, roast or broil? How do you use your stove top? Will you grill or use a griddle?
If it is a high output, then BlueStar is an obvious choice.
Wolf has a versatile combination, especially in their dual fuel of infrared grill/griddle, good output, and simmer.
Thermador has a fantastic simmer and good all-around cooktop performance. Their 48 and 60 have steam.
Jenn-Air is another versatile unit in gas or electric. Easiest to clean griddle, good power, and twin convection are its hallmarks. Their Wi-Fi will change the industry eventually, and the new look is stunning.
Miele is clean and modern with self-cleaning in both gas/electric and infrared grill/griddle. Their self-guided cooking with steam is amazing.
It depends on what you will use. Look at rebates and less expensive options like Samsung. However, be careful. You want to make sure whatever you buy can be fixed promptly and competently.
Now try this - the Yale Pro Range Configurator.
We're beta testing our new Professional Range Configurator. Input your personal preferences, and it should guide you to the appropriate brand. Try it multiple times with different features.
Still, need help?
How to Vent a Pro Range
I included this because it's important. You should download our Ventilation Buying Guide, especially if you live in Massachusetts.
Let's start with what not to do. You will be reading an opposite viewpoint from most manufacturers.
If you cook, you cannot downdraft a pro range. It doesn’t work because downdrafts have no capture area and are reversing too much airflow through a narrow aperture.
Here is how you vent:
Capture Area: The vent should be a minimum of 24 inches deep because the smoke has to be channeled and then vented. Smoke will bypass a hoodless than 24 inches.
Duct Pipe: Check the specs, but 8-10 inches round is the minimum. I have seen 5-inch round duct pipes installed. It doesn’t work.
Duct Run: Straight up through your roof is the best because of smoke rises. Straight back is ok. Do NOT turn the duct with an elbow more than once or it won’t work. Shorter runs are also better.
CFM: The big question. It depends on how you cook. The minimum for a 36 inch is 600 CFM, 48 in 1000-1200, and 630 inches is 1200-1500. More is better if you like to grill or wok.
Makeup Air (Massachusetts Residents)
If you live in Mass, inspectors will inspect for makeup air vents over 400 CFM. New homes are built tight; it's unhealthy to evacuate air when no air is “made up.”
So, you must have a return. It’s not that hard when planned. Most builders have a return in the HVAC system.
It is not as easy if you are reading this after the vent has been installed without the return. There are some aftermarket kits available, depending on your install.
So plan in advance.
Get our free Pro Cooking Buying Guide with tips, trends, and reviews of all the best brands. Over 600,000 people have already found answers in a Yale guide.
Steve is the third-generation CEO of Yale and a lifelong Bostonian. He currently resides in Boston, one mile from where he was born. Despite being one of the worst goalies of all time, he is a huge hockey fan of college hockey and the Boston Bruins. The love of his life is his daughter Sophie.
Steve has also been featured in numerous publications such as the New York Times, Consumer Reports, The Boston Globe, Bloomberg Radio, the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur, for his knowledge of how to buy appliances and appliance repair.
A Note About Pricing