Which Range Should You Buy?: Professional vs. Standard Ranges

Find out which range is right for you at Appliances Connection, whether it's a Pro-Range or a standard range.

Here's the backstory: Industrial-type appliances gained popularity in the 1980s when people started to clamor for more burners with high-powered BTUs, larger oven capacities, Convection fans that would distribute heat evenly, indoor grills and Griddles, and lots of beefy knobs, among other things. While they weren't professional chefs, these people did cook and bake frequently, preparing restaurant-quality meals right in their own home for family and friends.

For a while, commercial ranges (the ones you'll find in restaurants) were sort of a solution, but there was one huge problem: They came only in one size (36-inches wide) and often didn't fit well into an average cooking space, especially in the smaller spaces. In fact, they often stood out, rather awkwardly, and some could even forget about that time-honored kitchen work triangle! So, a lot of manufacturers jumped on the metaphorical bandwagon and introduced pro-style ranges, models that offered all of the desired features, but in widths ranging from 30-inches to 36-inches, and 48-inches wide. Some brands have even started making 60-inch pro ranges (like the Thermador PRD606REG 60" Pro Grande Range depicted in the top banner). Please note, the larger the width, the more burners a range will have.

Blue Star appliances are all chef-inspired, and they proudly say their appliances "deliver restaurant-quality performance in your home." Blue Star has been manufacturing appliances since the 1800s and is one the top luxury appliance brands that we carry.

Here's 48-inch wide freestanding Blue Star BSP488B range, model with eight open burners, Griddle, Convection Oven Cooking in Stainless Steel. This is a freestanding range, which is the most common type, so it has finished sides, fitting anywhere in your kitchen. It can either stand on its own or be placed between cabinets. Incidentally, Blue Star has models in other widths, including the smaller 30-inch.

Blue Star ranges also allow you to order your range in a custom color. You can choose the fuel option, the main color, the knob kit color, the trim kit color, and the side body paint color. You can see a demo on our Blue Star Custom Color page, which allows you to click on a color and testure of your choice to preview it on a kitchen model.

A stainless steel Blue Star BSP488BLP Freestanding Range, available at Appliances Connection.

Make no mistake: While they fit neatly into residential homes, these ranges can blast out up to 25,000 BTUs (compared to a basic range's 12,000) and can sear, saute, simmer and melt. Many also have indoor Griddles or grills. Purchasing a pro-style range is a serious kitchen upgrade, but it can really increase one's cooking mastery. Today, your kitchen can still look like this, with a range than delivers restaurant-quality performance.

Standard ranges, on the other hand, have lower BTUs but they're still packed with powerful features. This is because the industry is ever evolving and everything gets pulled forward as new advances emerge. Therefore, simple non-professional ranges can still include some cool features like continuous grates, low simmer burner power, and even heat baking. Two such ranges are from Whirlpool and Maytag.

The Maytag MGR8800FZ Gas Freestanding Range, available at Appliances Connection.

The Maytag MGR8800FZ 30" Gas Freestanding Range with five sealed burners and a 5.8 cu. ft. primary oven capacity, in Maytag's Fingerprint Resistant Stainless Steel finish.

  • A Storage Drawer
  • 18000 BTUs of Fire Power
  • A Delay Bake Feature
  • A Self-Cleaning Mode
  • A Viewing Window
  • AquaLift Self-Cleaning Technology
  • A Power Burner that easily delivers slow even simmers amd powerfully high heats for searing
  • An 8,000 BTU Oval Burner that's perfect for oversized pots and pans
  • True Convection Baking

The Stainless Steel Whirlpool WFE540H0ES 30" Electric Freestanding Range with five smoothtop cooktop elements and a 6.4 cu. ft. primary oven capacity, in Stainless Steel.

  • A Storage Drawer
  • A Delay Bake Feature
  • A Self-Cleaning Mode
  • A EasyView Viewing Window
  • AquaLift Self-Cleaning Technology
  • An EasyView Feature
  • Available in a Range of Colors, including: Black, Black Ice, White, White Ice, and Stainless Steel
  • A FlexHeat Element that combines two-three elements into one element with expandable outer rings
  • An Easy Wipe Ceramic Glass Cooktop
The WFE540H0ES Whirlpool Electric Range in Stainless Steel, available at Appliances Connection.


A stainless steel professional range from Thermador with blue knobs, available at Appliances Connection.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Pro-Style Range

Power Source: Make sure your home is properly configured for gas and/or electrical. If you use gas, be sure to have a natural gas pipeline or propane tank to provide fuel for burners. If you don't already have one, find out how to get it done! If you're oven is electric, you'll probably need 240 volts. If you're unsure, it's wise to have an electrician inspect your wiring. And you'll need to do all of this if get a dual fuel option.

Exhaust: If you're planning to purchase a pro-style range, it means you cook, roast and bake a lot, and your house will get pretty smoky at times. You'll want to draw out any smoke or grease, so purchase a range hood.

Floors: Yes, you read that right! The appliances carry a pretty heavy load, so check if you should reinforce your floor joists. Check door measurements to make sure your entryway is wide enough to get the stove in.

Cooking Style: Are you the kind of cook who boils pasta, simmers sauce, and sears meat at the same time-- then puts the meat in the oven to roast, at the same time you're baking a bread or souffle? If so, you'll want a large oven and a lot of burners, with possibly one or two smaller ones that simmer sauce, so you don't have to keep juggling. Are you the kind of host who doesn't just serve one dessert but, rather, creates a buffet of assorted cakes and pastries? If so, and if you bake them yourself, you'll probably want a larger oven with Convection fans, and plenty of range burners for simmering those dessert sauces. By the way, interlocking burner grates will allow you to slide pots and pans back and forth with ease.

Space: It can't be emphasized enough: the smaller the pro-style range, the fewer the burners and features. If you want all of the features, as well as the indoor grill, go for a larger size.

Cost: Pro-style ranges can be a major investment, but Appliances Connection carries manufacturers that do offer a variety of prices. What you select will depend upon budget, as well as your cooking and space requirements. The Pro-style ranges cost more, so if your budget doesn't allow, you can always purchase a less-expensive non-pro range and add a couple of the features you like. "This is what I tell my clients who do like certain features, but may not want to pay several thousand dollars for a pro-style range," said Appliances Connection designer Ahmed Ahmed. "However, they should know that features will be similar, but not exactly what they've seen; if they want the exact one, they'll need to go with that range." Make sure you consider the cost of repair and parts in your budget.

Here are some more Pro-Picks from our team to give you a taste of what professional culinary power looks like, and our unbeatable prices will keep them within your budget:

All appliances in the GE Cafe series are restaurant-inspired. Here, we show one in the 30-inch width, the GE Cafe Series CGS990SETSS Slide-in Gas Range with a Sealed Burner Cooktop, and a 4.3 cu. ft. Primary Oven Capacity, in Stainless Steel.

  • 20,000 BTUs of Fire Power
  • A Non-Stick Griddle for greater culinary versatility
  • Convection Baking for even heat distribution and professional results
  • A Delay Bake Feature
  • A Self-Cleaning Mode
  • A Convection Mode
  • Star K Certification
  • A Precise Simmer Burner for even, low heat
  • A Double Oven for a 6.7 cu. ft. total oven capacity
The GE Cafe Series CGS990SETSS Slide-in Gas Range, available at Appliances Connection.
The Wolf Freestanding IR365PESPH Electric Pro-Range, available at Appliances Connection.

Here's a 36" Electric Freestanding Wolf IR365PESPH Range with five Smoothtop cooktop elements and a 5.4 cu. ft. Primary Oven Capacity, in Stainless Steel. Other notable features include:

  • A Delay Bake Feature
  • A Self-Cleaning Mode
  • A Viewing Window
  • Star K Certification
  • A Convection Mode
  • Induction Technology and a Glass Ceramic Cooking Surface
  • Cookware Sensing that only heats the pan, not the surface
  • A personal touch through your choice of either stainless steel, red or black knobs
  • Multiple Baking Modes, including: Bake, Roast, Broil, Convection, Convection Bake, Convection Roast, Convection Broil, Bake Stone, Proof and Dehydrate

If you've still got questions, ask us! Pro-style ranges are all about form, so they may not include things like self-cleaning cycles or warming drawers that you'd find in non-professional, residential ranges. Many do have self-cleaning cycles, but some don't, and If that's important to you, be sure to mention it to Appliances Connection so they can point you in the right direction.

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