Commercial Induction Range Buying Guide: 6 Things to Consider
Bring your commercial kitchen into the future by no longer cooking with fire. Instead, use commercial induction ranges and cook with science. These innovative burners use electromagnetism to control the heat.
Are you looking to add an induction burner to your kitchen? Then are a few things you need to know before you start shopping. Look for these six things when buying an induction range for your commercial kitchen.
1. Temperature Control
The way an induction range works is by pulsing on and off until it reaches the temperature that you want. The problem with this is that lower grade ranges only work well when you set them to "as hot as it can go". Anything less and the range struggles to hold the correct temperature.
This is a big problem when the goal of your restaurant is to produce consistently high-quality food. You'll find that lower quality ranges fail when it comes to simmering; it's either nothing or full boil.
Look for a higher-end model that addresses this issue by having a more sensitive temperature sensor. This will allow it to react to changes in temperature faster and take corrective measures sooner.
You should also look into the pulsing technique used. This lets them use a range of wattages to keep the temperature within a 5 to 10-degree range.
Look at the temperature ranges of the different ranges. Then, compare these ranges to the items you intend to cook on them. Most ranges start at 140 degrees, but you can find a few that go lower than this.
The top-end temperature can vary greatly, so consider this if you intend to cook certain items that require high heat.
2. Build Style
Where do you intend to use your induction range? There are three basic types when it comes to commercial-grade burners.
If you want a portable option, then countertop models are perfect. You can pick these burners up and move them to anywhere that you need.
Drop-in models are perfect for when you have a specific space that you cannot change. All you need to do is find the range with the dimensions that fit and drop the unit into place.
Finding the right size shouldn't be too difficult when they range in depth from 12 inches to 28 inches. Widths range from 11.4 inches to 15 inches. The heights range from a short 2.2 inches to 4.53 inches.
The final option, built-in, is perfect if you want to outfit your buffet or create a unique dining experience. These units can be built into a tabletop for customer-controlled cooking.
These units typically have the most safety features, such as automatic turn off within one second of pot removal detection.
Be Careful of the Term "Commercial"
It is best only to buy your commercial range from a reputable source. Some portable commercial ranges claim to be commercial but are in fact not. They use the word commercial as a marketing ploy.
These ranges are no better quality than standard consumer-grade ranges but are priced significantly higher. You need to read past their marketing jargon and pay attention to their specs for weight, temperature control, temperature range, and fans.
3. Knobs vs. Pushbutton Controls
Look at the controls that are on the range. Most commercial-grade induction ranges have knobs. They are quicker and easier to adjust than buttons.
You may find that buttons are better because they create a smooth surface that is easier to clean. All your staff would need to do is wipe down the button panel. This will save time having to clean around a dial.
Another thing to think about is what your team is already used to. If they are comfortable with buttons, then it will be a smooth transition to your new induction range.
4. Burner Size and Number
How many burners to do you need and how big do you need them to be? You will need to choose between one and four burners.
If you only need one burner, there are many portable options available to you. These work well both in the back and front of the house. If you plan to use yours in the front of the house, look for one that has a sleeker and less industrial look about it.
If you have a smaller kitchen, then you'll want to effectively utilize your space by choosing a range with multiple burners. This will allow you to cook a variety of dishes simultaneously for maximum cooking efficiency.
The wattage available on commercial grade induction ranges can be anywhere from 300 to 14,000. There are also two different types of outlet plugs. The standard two or three-prong outlet that you see on all consumer electronics is 120V and can handle a wattage of up to 1,800 watts.
This is the type of plug you will find on many countertop and portable induction ranges. This is so you can easily move them around and still be able to plug them in.
For a range that requires more than 1,800 watts, it will have a 240V plug. You see these plugs like these on some of the large appliances such as commercial stoves and commercial refrigerators. These appliances aren't meant to be moved around.
When choosing your induction range, take into consideration where you intend to use your range and the plugs available.
You are investing in a piece of equipment for your business, so it needs to have a warranty. Carefully read what the manufacturer and seller will cover.
Having less of a warranty shouldn't deter you from buying the ideal induction range for your kitchen. What it should do is signal that you need to prepare for your range to need servicing in the future.
Most warranties will cover manufacturer defects. These are things that cause the range to work improperly due to something that went wrong during the production of the range.
Choose Your Commercial Induction Range
When it comes to choosing the right commercial induction range for your kitchen, think about your cooking needs and the space you have available. You should also select a unit that has the temperature control abilities you need to cook your dishes effectively.
Once you have your new range, you'll need to know these four tips for keeping your new range clean.