You are looking to buy a professional (pro) range and do some basic research.
You Google "best pro ranges" and read an article on page one stating the Bertazzoni 36-inch range MAST365GASXE is the best. So, you buy it. The article is on page one, so they must be an authority, right?
After installing it, you may have two different mindsets. You just saved a bunch of money and have a nice-looking range.
However, if you like to cook, you have made a big mistake because you have bought a pro-style, not a professional range.
In this article, you will learn the difference between the two and, more importantly, what is suitable for your cooking style. I will be referencing a few brands like Miele, Wolf, and BlueStar while providing some insight into a pro range.
Keep in mind, you may not need to buy a pro range. This article only explains the differences. It's up to you to determine your best choice.
Professional vs. Pro-Style Ranges
Let's look at a professional range and a pro-style range head-to-head. I chose the Miele 36-Inch Pro Gas Range HR11341G and the Bertazzoni 36-Inch Pro-Style Gas Range PROF366GASXT.
Miele Professional Range HR11341G vs. Bertazzoni Pro-Style Range PROF366GASXT
||Miele Professional Range HR11341G
||Bertazzoni Pro-Style Range PROF366GASXT
|Number of Burners
|Type of Burners
||5.7 Cu. Ft.
||5.7 Cu. Ft.
||Dual Horizontal Fans
|Clock or Timer Functions
|Smart Home Connectivity
The price is $5,499 for the Bertazzoni and $7,499 for the Miele. But what justifies the $2,000 difference? Let's break down their features and specifications.
Both oven interiors are around 5.7 Cu. Ft. in capacity. Clearly, that's not the difference. They both have twin convection (convection system uses two fans) as well.
Bertazzoni is the most powerful of the pro-style ranges with two 19,000 BTU (British Thermal Units) burners. However, the rest of the burners drop off with one smaller 10,400 BTU burner, two simmer burners at 5900 BTU, and lastly, one 3500 BTU burner.
Bertazonni Pro-Style Range Burners
Other pro-style ranges include Smeg, Forno, and Forza. They are all Italian home appliance companies and have similar burner profiles.
Miele’s burner outputs are average for a pro range with three 19,500 BTU burners, two 9,000 BTU burners, and one 8,000 BTU burner.
Professional ranges have much higher burner outputs. BlueStar has an output of 25,000 BTU max.
BlueStar 48-Inch Professional Gas Range
SKS (Signature Kitchen Suite) and Fisher & Paykel are 23,000 BTU with Wolf and Jenn-Air at 20,000 BTU. Thermador is 18,000 BTU, with the back burners being 15,000 BTU. However, if you only cook on one or two burners, the Bertazzoni will still be worth considering with two 19,000 BTU burners.
BlueStar Pro Range Infrared Broiler
Maybe because my mom broiled everything when I was a kid, I always check these specifications.
Both ranges use infrared technology for a more direct, intense heat. However, Miele is more powerful at 23,000 BTU vs. Bertazzoni at 11,000.
Twenty-three thousand BTU is the same output as the Lynx sear element in their $10,000 outside grills, so it is powerful. Most pro ranges are between 18,000 to 20,000 BTU for their broilers.
Miele is self-cleaning while Bertazzoni is not.With Miele’s pro range, you can leave the racks in while using the self-cleaning mode. The grates are dishwasher safe as well.
For pro ranges, all dual fuel ranges are self-cleaning. For gas, Wolf, the Thermador Pro Harmony, and BlueStar are not self-cleaning, while Miele and JennAir are self-cleaning.
Clock and Timer Controls
Miele MasterChef Controls
Bertazzoni and all pro-style ranges do not have clocks and timers, while most pro ranges do with some exceptions.
Many companies like Wolf, Thermador, and JennAir now have smart functionality. So, you can cook through an app on your phone.
You can input the food type and how you want it cooked, and the Miele, Wolf, and JennAir units will calculate time and temperature automatically.
Bertazzoni has five finishes in orange, black, red, white, and yellow. Italian ranges are beautifully styled and available in colorful finishes other than stainless.
For pro ranges, BlueStar offers 1000 colors and ten trim options. Viking has 17 different colors. However, most brands like Wolf, Miele, Thermador, and JennAir are stainless only.
Wolf Pro Range Griddle
Most of the pro-style ranges are burners only for their stovetop. Professional ranges offer several options. Let's look at each option:
Wolf Pro Range with a Grill Stovetop
The best inside grills like Wolf and Miele are infrared and 16,000 BTU. You can grill well with that BTU. In the more extensive 48- and 60-inch ranges, you can even buy a double 24-inch grill.
Wolf Pro Range with a Griddle
Griddles provide a consistent temperature. Most local breakfast joints like Charlies in my neighborhood cook everything on a griddle. You can cook pancakes, burgers, home fries, and hot dogs on a griddle.
Every pro range has a griddle option at 36 inches and double griddles at 48 and 60 inches. Bertazzoni has a lower power electric griddle on their 48-inch range only.
Read More: Professional Range Griddles vs. Grills
Wolf Pro Range with a French Top
French Tops are designed to offer a different output in the same unit, so you cook many items at different temperatures, from boiling to simmering.
Only a few companies offer the French Top like Wolf, BlueStar, and La Cornue and only in the larger 36 and 48-inch sizes.
Read More: What Is a French Top Range and Should You Buy One?
Thermador Pro Range with Induction Burners
You will start seeing the induction option more in gas ranges for various reasons. Induction is the fastest way to cook with the best simmer. It's also the easiest to clean and requires the least amount of venting.
SKS, Fisher & Paykel, and Thermador all offer an induction element starting at 36 inches in pro ranges.
Sous vide is the newest feature. It's precision boiling in a vacuum-sealed bag. Presently, only SKS offers a sous vide water bath on their cooktop.
Read More: Should You Buy a Signature Kitchen Suite Professional Range?
Miele Twin Convection Fans
While pro-style ranges offer one option, you have completely different options available in a Pro.
Miele has their MasterChef allowing you to add three bursts of steam to bake bread or caramelize the tops of food in all their pro ranges from 30 to 48 inches.
Thermador Pro Range with a Steam Oven
You can buy a steam oven option in the SKS and Thermador lines starting at 48 inches. Steam is the healthiest way to cook, add moisture, and maintain the nutritional value of food.
In the Thermador and Miele lines, you have the warming drawer option. Warming drawers can keep food up to 3 hours without dehydration so that you can cook and eat later.
Different Convection Options
Wolf has redesigned their dual fuel ovens with blowers instead of fans. Blowers deliver more air for more even heat. BlueStar has their "Pro Bake" with the element behind the fan for more consistent heat in their all-gas ranges.
Read More: What Is a Convection Oven and How Do You Use It?
Professional vs. Pro-Style Ranges: Which Do You Buy?
The answer depends on how you use your range. It's important you know the difference to make an informed decision.
Pro-style Italian ranges are beautifully styled, especially in color. You do have one or two hot elements. It's decent, especially if you only cook a few items at a time. The ovens are basic, but you will be able to bake and broil in these ovens. You can save $2,000 on average as well.
If you like to cook, you should consider a pro range. You have greater output and better oven functionality.
You can buy a Thermador for $6,799 with a free dishwasher and not spend more. There are more options and functions with a pro as well. So, it depends.
Lastly, I didn't mention service because most service is universally bad these days. However, most pro range companies have support networks to address problems.
You must always check to see what support each manufacturer offers.
Looking for more information on pro ranges? Get the Yale Pro Cooking Buying Guide with features, specs, BTU Outputs, and detailed profiles of the major brands. Well over 1 million people have read a Yale Guide.