Should You Buy a Thermador Professional Range?
Steve Sheinkopf | May 25, 2021 | 3 Min. Read
Thermador is one of the most popular selling professional ranges in the industry.
They were behind many innovations like the Star Burner, extra-low simmering, and promotions like free dishwashers or hoods with qualifying purchases.
In this article, you will learn about Thermador's best features, reliability based on actual service calls, and a few problems.
Then we will compare Thermador's Pro Grand range to its Pro Harmony series and brands like Wolf, JennAir, Miele, SKS, and Hestan, just like you were shopping in a store.
In the end, you will know if Thermador is the right range for you.
As usual, feel free to ask questions in the comments below.Short on time? Get our free Pro Cooking Buying Guide
Thermador Kitchen at Yale Appliance in Hanover
Thermador is a premium appliance brand founded in the U.S. back in 1916.
When I started back in 1986, they were incredibly innovative with convertible microwave and oven combinations along with a convection microwave wall oven and the best slide-in ranges and cooktops.
German-owned Bosch acquired them in the 1990s. Bosch instilled reliability in the brand while retaining and even expanding U.S. manufacturing.
However, Thermador is not an innovative leader anymore.
Being in the service business as we are, reliability is more important than cutting-edge features anyway.
They are now best known for their star-shaped burner, aggressive package offerings, and their rebate program with free dishwashers and hoods for qualifying purchases.
Thermador has always been marketed as a good value alternative to industry leader Wolf.
With newer ranges on the market, you will see whether Thermador can compete with some more updated brands.
Thermador Pro Ranges
Thermador is available only in the 30, 36, 48, and 60-inch sizes with a variety of configurations in dual fuel (gas over electric) as well as all gas.
Thermador Pro Grand Ranges
PRG366WG Pro-Grand 36" Gas Range - $8,199
Thermador 36-Inch Pro Grand Range with All Burners, a Griddle, or Induction
- PRD364WDGU Pro-Grand 36" Dual Fuel Range with a Griddle - $10,399
- PRD364WIGU Pro-Grand 36" Dual Fuel Range with Induction - $10,799
- PRD366WGU Pro-Grand 36" Dual Fuel Range with 6 Burners - $9,899
- PRG364WDG Pro-Grand 36" Gas Range with a Griddle - $8,849
PRG486WDG Pro-Grand 48" Gas Range with a Griddle - $11,649
Thermador Pro Grand 48-Inch Range Options Griddle, Grill/Griddle, Induction, and Grill
- PRD484WCGU Pro-Grand 48" Dual Fuel Range with a Grill/Griddle - $13,649
- PRD486WDGU Pro-Grand 48" Dual Fuel Range with a Griddle - $13,549
- PRD486WIGU Pro-Grand 48" Dual Fuel Range 6 Burners Induction - $14,099
- PRD486WLGU Pro-Grand 48" Dual Fuel Range 6 Burners Grill - $13,549
- PRD48WCSGU Pro-Grand Steam 48" Dual Fuel Range with a Grill/Griddle - $16,299
- PRD48WDSGU Pro-Grand Steam 48" Dual Fuel Range with a Griddle - $15,649
- PRD48WISGU Pro-Grand Steam 48" Dual Fuel Range with Induction - $16,599
- PRD48WLSGU Pro-Grand Steam 48" Dual Fuel Range with a Grill - $15,649
- PRG486WLG Pro-Grand 48" Gas Range with a Grill - $11,649
PRD606WCG Pro-Grand 60-Inch Dual Fuel Range with a Grill/Griddle - $17,649
Thermador 60-Inch Pro Grand Range with Grill/Griddle and 24-Inch Griddle
- PRD606WCSG Pro-Grand Steam 60" Dual Fuel Range with a Grill/Griddle - $19,949
- PRD606WEG Pro-Grand 60" Dual Fuel Range with a 24" Dual Griddle - $17,649
- PRD606WESG Pro-Grand Steam 60" Dual Fuel Range with a 24" Dual Griddle - $20,149
Thermador Pro Harmoney Ranges
PRG304WH Pro-Harmony 30" Gas Range - $4,949
Thermador 30-Inch Pro Harmony Options with 4 Burners and 5 Burners
- PRD304WHU Pro-Harmony 30" Dual Fuel Range - $6,299
- PRD305WHU Pro-Harmony 30" Dual Fuel Range - $6,849
- PRG305WH Pro-Harmony 30" Gas Range - $5,599
PRG366WH Pro-Harmony 36" Gas Range - $6,399
Thermador 36-Inch Pro Harmony Range Options with All Burners, Griddle, and a Grill
- PRD364WDHU Pro-Harmony 36" Dual Fuel Range with a Griddle -$9,049
- PRD364WLHU Pro-Harmony 36" Dual Fuel Rangewith a Grill - $8,949
- PRD366WHU Pro-Harmony 36" Dual Fuel Range - $8,599
- PRG364WDH Pro-Harmony 36" Gas Range with a Griddle - $7,249
- PRG364WLH Pro-Harmony 36" Gas Rangewith a Grill - $7,249
PRG486WDH Pro-Harmony 48" Gas Range with a Griddle - $10,499
Thermador 48-Inch Pro Harmony Range Options All Burners, Griddle, and Grill
- PRD484WCHU Pro-Harmony 48" Dual Fuel Range with Grill/Griddle - $12,599
- PRD486WDHU Pro-Harmony 48" Dual Fuel Range with a Griddle - $12,399
- PRD486WLHU Pro-Harmony 48" Dual Fuel Range with a Grill - $12,399
- PRG486WLH Pro-Harmony 48" Gas Range with a Grill - $10,499
Let's look at the cooktop surface first.
Their Star Burner is raised, so it's the easiest to clean. Their simmer is the best for gas at 100 BTU, and Pro Grand does have one 22,000 BTU burner.
The rest of the burners used to be all 18,000 at one time.
In 2019 half Thermador reduced the burners to 15,000 BTU. Thermador ranges have a combination of 15,000 and 18,000 BTU burners along with one 22,000 BTU burner.
The only exception to this trend is their 30-inch range, the PRG305WH. This range has one 18,000 BTU burner and one 15,000 BTU burner in the front with a 10,000 BTU burner in the middle and 8,000 BTU burners in the back.
For the Pro Harmony, the range is just a combination of 18,000 and 15,000 BTU burners.
You can also buy an induction set of burners on the Pro Grand.
Magnetic induction is by far the best for simmering and speed.
Thermador has their Liberty technology so you can move the food back and forth, and it remembers.
It's also child-safe because it has to sense metal to activate. Cleaning is easier as well because the surface does not heat like gas or regular electric burners.
The Thermador ranges are also Wi-Fi enabled. You can control your range through an app on your phone.
Thermador also integrates recipes and your ability to change temperature and turn your range on or off remotely.
The app is highly rated as well, unlike some other brands.
Thermador Pro Grand vs. Pro Harmony Ranges
Thermador manufactures two styles of gas ranges - their Pro Grand and their Harmony Series. The Thermador Pro Grand gas range is $1,500-2,000 more expensive.
The Pro Harmony is available in 30, 36, and 48 inches in terms of sizes, while the Pro Grand is available in 36, 48, and 60-inch sizes.
The biggest difference may be its depth.
The Pro Grand is 27.875 inches deep versus 24.75 for the Harmony.
The main oven will be 5.7 cubic feet vs. 4.9 cubic feet for the Pro Harmony so that you can fit a chef's pan in the Pro Grand.
However, the Harmony will sit flush in your cabinets, whereas the Pro Grand will protrude almost 4 inches.
Only the Pro Grand has an induction burner option.
For modes, the Pro Grand also has a proof mode for baking bread and is self-cleaning in gas and dual-fuel, whereas the Harmony is not self-cleaning in gas.
For the ovens, along with extra depth, the Pro Grand is available with a full steam oven and warming drawer and double ovens in the 48 and 60-inch sizes. Only the Thermador Pro Grand is offered in a 60-inch size.
Dual Fuel vs. All Gas Range
Thermador has the self-clean addition in their dual fuel Harmony ranges.
What you should buy depends on how you cook.
Baking is better in electric ovens because the heat is drier and more consistent.
All gas is moister and better for roasting. Broiling is significantly better in a gas oven with an infrared broiler.
They both have similar simmers and electric grill and griddle options and the same black porcelain top.
Both have the Star Burner. The Pro Grand has the enhanced 22,000 BTU burner, but the other burners have an identical output of 18,000 on the front and 15,000 BTU on the back.
For controls, both ranges are similar, with the Pro Grand adding a small radial time clock.
Both have the same single convection ovens. You will see a comparison to other brands shortly.
How Does the Thermador Pro Grand Compare to Other Manufacturers?
It depends on the feature. Let's look at the top, then the controls, and then the oven.
Output and burners
Pro Grand has a decent combination of burners starting at 22,000, then 18 and 15,000.
Newer ranges like Hestan have more with a 30,000 BTU power burner in their 5-burner 36-inch and 48-inch ranges.
Hestan Pro Range 30,000 BTU Burner
SKS and Fisher & Paykel have a combination of 23,000, 18,000, and 15,000 BTU burners
BlueStar has 25 and 22,000 BTU burners on their Platinum all gas units.
Wolf and JennAir will have two 20,000 and a combo of 18 and 15,000 BTU burners.
The Star Burner, however, will be easier to clean than all the other round ones.
Other manufacturers offer more specialty cooking options like French tops for BlueStar and Wolf or Sous Vide for SKS.
Grill and Griddle
The electric grill and griddle are consistent at temperature but not as responsive as gas.
JennAir, Wolf, Hestan, and Miele have infrared grills and griddles for instant direct heat. The infrared burners are the same as a sear burner on a Pro Grill like Lynx to sear quickly.
Wolf 36-Inch Range With an Infrared Grill
Electric grills cannot sear nearly as well. (None of us have an electric grill in the backyard)
It's also a big advantage, especially in cleaning the grill, as the intense heat of the grill evaporates any residue or drippings.
Thermador does offer induction. Only SKS and Fisher & Paykel offer it in a pro range but with one or two induction modules.
Induction is faster than gas with a better simmer, as we've said.
Thermador has size but is only single straight convection.
Most like JennAir, Miele, SKS are twin convection.
Wolf will be debuting their VertiCross blower convection with even better heat distribution.
BlueStar has its Pure convection on the gas side with the element in the back for faster preheat and more even general cooking.
Thermador 48-Inch Pro Range With Steam Oven
Thermador does have their steam oven and warming drawer.
Miele has a speed oven or microwave convection combo with a warming drawer.
Miele offers a steam assist to use moisture for baking bread and caramelizing tops.
You can cook a whole meal in just a steam oven, whereas steam enhances the convection cycle.
SKS offers steam assist and steam in their 48-inch dual fuel.
The best is Miele with their MasterChef for 100 preset recipes and automatic cooking modes.
Miele 36-Inch Pro Range Featuring MasterChef Controls
Wolf will have their screen and Wi-Fi set up later this year.
JennAir has their Culinary Centre showing pictures of what the food will look like before it's cooked. JennAir also features Wi-Fi and recipe tie-ins through their JennAir app.
Hestan has their "Marquise" swipe controls on the handle of their dual fuel ranges only.
Fisher & Paykel has guided cooking.
SKS is Wi-Fi enabled with an LED touch screen through the parent company, LG's, ThinQ App.
Like most of the other ranges, Thermador is stainless only.
BlueStar offers 1000 colors and ten different trim packages, plus the ability to customize your color.
Hestan has 12 colors.
Thermador does have a highly rated Wi-Fi app, HomeConnect, with tie-ins to their recipes. You also can turn the oven on or off remotely.
JennAir has more functionality with their Culinary Centre showing how the food will look before it's cooked.
However, in terms of connectivity, Home Connect is the best currently. SKS has Wi-Fi as well.
Are Thermador Pro Ranges Reliable?
For reliability, Thermador is about average at 13.41% repair in the first year. For dual fuel, that repair rate more than doubles to about 30%. It's not surprising given the amount of added features.
For any pro range, service and service availability should be a deciding factor for buying any brand.
Should You Buy a Thermador Pro Range?
First, you have more brand choices now more than ever.
Thermador does have a good all-around array of features for oven size, BTU output, with the possibility of induction on the top.
The Star Burner is simpler to clean as well.
However, you can buy ranges with better output or with better grills and griddles and even better convection technology in the oven.
But no one range has every feature.
Whether you consider Thermador is based on what features are important to you and how you use the range.
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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.
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