Wine country in California has been keeping a secret. Hestan has been an old hand in commercial kitchens there. World-renowned chef, Thomas Keller, progenitor of such destination restaurants as Per Se in Manhattan and The French Laundry in Napa Valley has Hestan professional ranges as staples in his gourmet kitchens. Until recently, the brand was relatively unknown outside service industry. Now, it is bursting into residential kitchens. To familiarize with the rest of America with the brand, we’re doing an in-depth overview of a Hestan 36-inch dual fuel freestanding range (KRD365NG).
When not in use and from a distance, this 36-inch wide beast lies like a sleeping giant. Despite being available in cheerful colors as well as stainless steel, the range seems relatively unassuming. As you walk closer, though, you’ll notice the dimpled surfaces on the control panel and the oven handle.
You run your hand over the unique texture and have a feeling that this range is different. When you smoothly turn one of the knobs and hear the “click click” of the ignitor, a burner flares and the backlit knobs come to life and your suspicions are confirmed. This range is special.
The cooktop has five sealed burners which are kickstarted by a robust electronic ignition/reignition system that ensures they light immediately and remain lit. The least of these burners, at 15,000 BTUs, would put the power of standard burners on competing models to shame. What really shines, though, is the CircuFlame power burner in the middle.
It’s capable of putting out a monstrous 30,000 BTUs, the highest in the residential market. With this sort of heat, you can have a stock pot of full of water and blue crabs ready for a New England boil in minutes. All you need to bring is the Old Bay and a mallet. The burners are also subtle enough to hold a low 500 BTU output without flickering to gently melt some dark chocolate, mix in some heavy cream and a dash of habanero for a decadent winter drink without scorching or curdling the ingredients.
The cooktop is framed by heavy-duty and continuous grates that can withstand sliding even the heaviest pots and cast-iron skillets between burners. The burners themselves are cradled by watertight sealed diamond-shaped bowls. These have the dual purposes of maximizing airflow to the burner and prevents any spills or food particles falling between seams.
The oven cavity is a cavernous 5.8 cu ft and the space is used to fullest effect. In the back you’ll find a single convection fan. It uses Hestan’s proprietary PureVection technology. This adjusts heat levels and air circulation as needed for optimal cooking. This is used to assist conventional oven heating elements in high-performance modes such as convection bake, convection broil, and convection roast. You’ll be able to quickly and evenly prepare delicate soufflés, swordfish steaks, lamb shanks, and so much more. The interior walls are coated with a durable porcelain enamel for consistent heat distribution.
You may be thinking to yourself, “I don’t see an informational panel on the front or the backsplash. How will I monitor what’s going on in the oven?” If you look closer, you’ll see the unique MarquiseDisplay embedded in the oven door’s handle. With long experience manufacturing ranges for restaurants, Hestan’s engineers and designers know that when you’re in a frantic kitchen environment, simplicity is best. Squinting at a complex display can be inconvenient and even dangerous. At a glance, you can see the timer, the cooking mode, the oven temperature, and, if you’re using it, the internal temperature being measured by the built-in meat probe, which is all the information you really need. Using this in tandem with the large viewing window and vivid interior lighting, you’ll never miss a thing.