Professional Ranges – American Vs. European

I’m passionate about sports, baseball in particular.  Ever since they rolled the huge 25” black and white TV in on the AV Carts into the lunchroom at Raleigh Park Elementary so we kids could watch the Cardinal/Tigers 1968 World Series, I’ve loved baseball. Anytime those carts came out, that meant something special was going to happen. Watching the 1970 All-Star game, when Pete Rose obliterated Ray Fosse in the 12th inning to win it for the National League, I was in…  hook, line, and sinker.  That passion has never waned.

How am I about cooking?  Not quite as passionate.  I can follow a recipe fairly well. I can really enjoy the process of creating whatever it is that I am making. To be honest, I enjoy and appreciate the kudos from those who enjoy the end results, it is something about creating food for your loved ones that really makes me feel great.  As a certified meat and potatoes guy, BBQ is my thing (Expect an entry on that soon!) and I rarely eat anything fancy that I make.

It is like cooking is your creative pallet, and luckily enough, we have the art supplies for you to make your masterpiece gallery-quality.

Except for a chocolate souffle. No one can resist a chocolate souffle.

That being said, while I am at work I love to talk to people passionate about cooking. I can understand where you are coming from, what you want to accomplish and how deep those feelings run. I love to hear the stories and experiences that you have had in your kitchen. You are creating meals for your family from the heart. It is like cooking is your creative pallet, and luckily enough, we have the art supplies for you to make your masterpiece gallery-quality.

Ryder Cup
The Ryder Cup is a biennial men’s golf competition between teams from Europe and the United States.

Most people who come to us looking for a range of the highest performance and quality describe what they want as a Professional Range.  There are so many outstanding brands and features that we can help you with in the store, but here I want to concentrate on style.  American vs. European – a Ryder Cup of Ranges, if you will… Gotta’ follow that sports analogy somehow!

First I want to tackle (get it?) the definition of a Professional Range. A Professional Range will look very similar to what you would expect to see in your favorite steakhouse kitchen. A lot of stainless steel, cast iron grates on top, will most likely be gas or propane powered and will generally offer burners that will surpass a normal home gas range in terms of heat. That gives us a good base, now, let’s talk about what is different between an American Professional Range versus a European one.

The Pro Ranges that are American by nature, are very similar in outward appearance to an American football player: Bold and hulking masses of intimidation. The ranges will have large bullnoses that will bump out from the countertop as much as 3-4”, extremely grippable knobs, large and thick cast iron grates, large ovens, robust oven handles, large, high output burners that give you large, high output flames. These Pro Ranges have surprisingly sophisticated systems designed to maximize your ability to cook like a pro as well! Specific high heat burners, delicate simmer burners, and an array of range top configurations to allow you an amazing amount of versatility (griddles, grills, French tops, rotisseries, etc).

Pro Ranges that are American by nature, are very similar in outward appearance to an American football player: Bold and hulking masses of intimidation.

When cooking on this type of range, you will feel like Gordon Ramsay running an Iron Man (Which he does!), in control and unstoppable. Most likely you will recognize these manufacturers of American Pro Ranges; Wolf, Monogram, Viking, Capital, and American. These ranges also come in a variety of sizes that are typical for kitchens, from 24”, 30”, and 36”, all the way up to 60” behemoths.

Now, let’s take a look at an example. This is the Wolf GR484CGNG Freestanding Gas Range. A perfect example of an American Professional Range.

  • Large bullnose in front of your burners
  • Bold, easy to grab red knobs,
  • Two ovens, the larger one with a convection oven and restaurant quality infrared broiler (commonly referred to as a “Salamander” in the foodservice industry)
  • Cooktop with an infrared griddle AND a chargrill area AND four of Wolf’s extremely versatile patented dual stack burners
  • Fully sealed top to help the home professional cook keep their playing field clean
Wolf
Wolf GR484CGNG Freestanding Gas Range

Ok, why don’t we talk about our European Footballer friends now.

Much like a soccer player, the European Pro Ranges will be slimmer, less imposing…

Much like a soccer player, the European Pro Ranges will be slimmer, less imposing and will look more fleet on their feet, so to speak. In looking at the range you will see differences immediately.

  • Absence of the bullnose in front of the grates
  • Trimmer build throughout the bottom and sides
  • Slimmer and more spare cast iron grates
  • Larger windows into the oven
  • Thinner door handles and knobs
  • Fits flush with the 24” countertop, with clean, squared lines

European brands like Bertazzoni, Ilve, Superiore, Smeg, and Verona aren’t as familiar State-side, but are quickly gaining as much popularity here as they’ve enjoyed in Europe for years. Generally, they will have lower powered burners and smaller ovens.  Performance will be more up to the chef and less up to the range.  They still offer great versatility and performance, and color… wow, what color options!  Blues, Orange, Reds, Carbon matte finishes, etc. You can get some of the American brands in colors, but none that are painted in a Ferrari plant. An honest to goodness Ferrari plant!

Let’s take a closer look at a specific European Professional Range. This is the Bertazonni PROF486GGASXT Freestanding Gas Range.  In this example, you can clearly see the difference in the lines between this European range and the Wolf range seen earlier. This Bertazzoni European range is much more minimalist in form and stature. The cast iron grates are much more spare and the knobs are smaller, and lighter, but still easy to adjust. Both this Bertazonni range and the Wolf range have a griddle, but this griddle is stainless steel vs the cast iron of the Wolf. The windows of this Bertazonni range are much larger, allowing you to see what you are baking more clearly.

Bertazonni
Bertazonni PROF486GGASXT Freestanding Gas Range

As for what you should choose? They are both fantastic ranges! You certainly cannot go wrong choosing an American over a European Pro Range or vice versa, it just all comes down to your preferences. Do you like the bulking, gleaming steel of the American or the refined finesse of the European? Metropolitan Appliance has a fine display of all of these great products, and the sales associates who

You certainly cannot go wrong choosing an American over a European Pro Range or vice versa…

know so much about the differences, the similarities, and the questions to ask you to make sure you get the perfect product to either enhance the talent you already have, or to give you the tools to become the chef you’ve always harbored inside; to release that creative talent and make your kitchen “the place to be”.

With that said, when the Seattle Mariners win the World Series, you owe me a World Series chocolate souffle…really, your range won’t be as old as you think when that happens!

 

Jim FreedmanJim Freedman is President of Metropolitan Appliance and an appliance wizard. He can tell you about BTU, measurements, installation processes and more. Just ask! Click here to send him a message!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s