There are various types and sizes of cooking ranges - all catering kitchens will have a least one of these
Open top burners
Open top ranges comprise either gas burners or electric radiants with an oven underneath.
When buying a range you should look a model with one burner which is more powerful than the others so you can heat large pans or when rapid boiling is required.
You should also choose an easy to clean range as it won't take long for the grime to build up.
As the name suggests these have a solid, generally, cast iron top heated underneath either by strategically placed gas jets or less commonly electric elements. They will have an oven underneath the same as an open burner range. Their main advantage is that they can accommodate more pans than an open top range and pans can be moved around from direct heat to a cooler part of the top. Energy can be wasted where there are unused areas of the top being heated.
Exactly the same as a standard cooking range or solid top but without the oven element underneath - the void can be used as a storage area for pans.
Kitchen island suites are generally bespoke and constructed especially to contain all necessary cooking appliances in one seamless unit. All sorts of options are available from burner ranges and fryers to ovens and griddles.
The close proximity of cooking appliances means you have everything close to hand. These units are usually situated in the centre of the kitchen so that chefs can work from both sides, but wall facing islands are also widely available.
Key Points to Consider:
- Do the oven doors open downwards or traditionally from the sides?
- How easy is the unit to clean?
- Are spare parts readily available?
- What kind of cooking range do you need - Open, Solid or a combination of the two.
Using a built-in fan this type of oven spreads the heat around the cavity evenly. This gives very even cooking for all foods, but it is especially good in bakery and dessert work where evenness of temperature is critical to the overall product.
As the heat is forced around the oven cavity, cooking is faster, so on standard recipes either the cooking time or the temperature needs reducing - cooking by convection is faster and gives better results.
While a combination oven, when using the dry heat option, will perform all the functions of a convection oven, if a lot of dry-air baking and roasting is done, it would pay to buy a convection oven to free up the combi-oven for cooking tasks which require its steaming function.
Key Points to Consider:
- A humidifier to inject a small amount of steam and aid crisping
- Variable fan speed for cooking delicate goods?
- A timer or programming function for consistent batch results
- Cook & Hold function for perfect results on demand