The Great Hall
What's the best stove? The Great Hall: What's the best stove?
By Adelie (Adelie) on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 12:23 pm: Edit

We are going to gut our kitchen down to the studs and completely redo it. We want, among other things, a real stove. (We've been cooking on a wretched Jenn-Air beast that puts out about 1 BTU and takes me half an hour to boil a quart of water.)

We cook on propane, which means that we lose a lot of heat between the tank and the controls on the stove. So we've been advised to get a stove that puts out about 18K BTUs in order to get a reliable 15K.

We're looking at a Jade that we really like. We've been told that Jade makes a lot of the restaurant stoves in use across the country, and they, like Wolf and Viking (but unlike Dacor,)have a deep history in commercial stoves. It's considerably less expensive than either the Wolf or Viking because it's not as well known to consumers.

So... is this a name that's familiar to you? Have you used one? What do you know about them, and the relative merits of that brand as opposed to the Big Dogs?

By Jollyroger (Jollyroger) on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 01:59 pm: Edit

I'm assuming this is in your home kitchen...You guys have propane? Do you live out in a rual area or is that all that is availible? I'm thinking, what about natual gas? Anyway, If you guys are serious then go shop some major league six burner units. You can get professional grade equipment now for the home, but you have to accomodate that with a good hood system and likely an Ansul system. All-in-all, I would say you could get away with a 10,000 dollar budget and have a kick-a*s cooking area. Before you do that, "start your own buisness" and than give the bill to your tax guy at the end of the year and cook him something nice. So as far as where to look, where have you looked? Any restaurant supply depot will have a moderate selection of super ranges you can customize for your home cooking area. My last piece of advice...if you're going to lay down some serious jack, then get something you absolutely love and that will last a lifetime. It can also prove to be an upgrade for your home if it's done right. Good luck!

By Adelie (Adelie) on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 02:35 pm: Edit

Yes, this is for our home. And we have no choice - it's LP or rubbing twigs together. Or electric, but that's not a serious option for us.

The Jade we want has six burners in 36" and puts out more firepower than any of the other pro-style ranges we've looked at. We have limited space, so can't handle a 42", and don't need the grills (we do that outside) and griddles (we're planning to get a good cast-iron one after-market.)

We went to a number of restaurant supply places but their stoves were all out of our size and price ranges. This Jade one is pricey, but about $2,000 less than comparable Wolfs and Vikings, with more BTUs. We aren't running a business, but do love to cook and want a good, reliable stove with plenty of flexible firepower.

We'll go with a 1200 CFM vent, of course.

What is an Ansul system?

By Jollyroger (Jollyroger) on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 08:09 pm: Edit

First off, an Ansul system is a fire preventative messure the excreates dry chemical over the area of "queston". I onlt suggested that in case you guys were doing some "shift" cooking. Otherwise, just be sure you have very goo ventilation.

By Foodpump (Foodpump) on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 - 09:39 am: Edit

Take a good look at commercial ranges, Garland, Moffat, Southbend, etc. You'll find the cost for a 30" or 36" range much cheaper than a fancy residential unit designed to look and match "commercial" quality. Mind you the commercial units won't have colour coded panels,or fancy piezo electronic ignition, but they are very solid and depenable. All natural gas ranges can be converted easily to propane, you will loose some btu's but with most commercial ranges putting out 25,000 btus per burner, it shouldn't be an issue for cooking at home.

Trot off to some kitchen equipment places and have a peek, then talk with your local plumber/gasfitter.

By Kinglear (Kinglear) on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 - 09:51 am: Edit

If you plan to install a restaurant style range in your home kitchen, before you purchase the thing, have your propane supplier or a reputable contractor check your gas lines to see if they are safe and if they will accomodate the extra gas needed to power such a range.
I have at least 7 friends who decided they wanted a viking range in their home only to find after laying out all the moolah for it that they had to replace their entire gas supply system to accomodate it. If you don't, you are back to taking 45 minutes to boil a pot of water.
Also be prepared for the amount of heat those things put out. Even with a hood fan (do you like having the sound of a Learjet revving over your head while you are cooking?) a commercial range will heat up a home kitchen to unbearable levels. Also, you will need to install some fire retardent on your walls around the range so your house doesn't go up in flames.
There are many sales people more than willing to sell you the commercial range without informing you as to its application in the home setting. Also check with your local fire dept and zoning about its installation. They have good info on safety requirements.

By George (George) on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 - 09:54 am: Edit

From what I understand regular commercial stoves have instalation issues in a home enviroment. They need to have a fire resistnat wall behind them and next to them.

Also they do not have the safety features a home model might have.

Not sure if this is still the case but it's worth looking into.

By Kinglear (Kinglear) on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 - 12:06 pm: Edit

It just occurred to me that you might also want to check your homeowners insurance policy to see if it protects you from damage due to the installation of commercial kitchen appliances. I know that I had to increase my coverage when I added a commercial refrigeration unit due to the excess power that these appliances pull, not just the cost of the equipment.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 - 01:44 pm: Edit

All good advice, also you may consider installing what's called "jet burners" which is basically a burner with a turbine which makes your flame look and sound like a jet engine, cooks very hot and fast but, you have to be very careful not to burn stuff!!!

By Adelie (Adelie) on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 - 08:01 pm: Edit

Well, we're not going for a commercial range - it's more than we need and the extra work to prepare for it would be prohibitive. The reason we're looking at what they call a "pro style" stove is that it has much higher BTUs - lower than commercial but higher than GEs and Maytags. I'm happy with 18K BTUs.

My initial question was whether any of you are familiar with Jade ranges. We've been told by three vendors that Jade makes a goodly percentage of the stoves in restaurant kitchens, and is a highly regarded name among professional cooks and chefs. The assumption is that if the pros think it's good, they probably do a good consumer stove as well. So I wondered if any of you were familiar with the name.

By Kinglear (Kinglear) on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 09:49 am: Edit

After 30 years in the business and over 35 pro kitchens, I've never heard of the Jade company.
I don't think it necessarily follows that if a company makes a good commercial range that they'll produce a good quality consumer version.
Why not check out Consumer Reports. I believe they had an article about home ranges within the past year.

I can understand your frustration with Jenn-Air. My experience has proved them to be unreliable and expensive to boot.

By Foodpump (Foodpump) on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 09:57 am: Edit

Ohh...Sorry. Kinda been living in a cave for the last ten years(my business). Never looked at high quality ranges for home use. All anecdotal (sp?) evidence points to Jade being a top quality range, and Viking the exact opposite. Ironically, my range at home is a GE, made in Mexico, with enough fire power to compare with two Bic lighters scoth-taped together...

If you're "in the market" for a good range, you'll propbably know what to look for:

Cast iron burners, at least 6" wide. With smaller burners the flames just concentrate on one hot spot and you'll end up with warped pans..

Cast iron grids. Yeah, the porcelainized ones look all shiny--for now. They chip and dull very quickly and easily. True, the cast iron ones are heavy, which I find a bonus. They also retain heat better

Factory warranty: At least a year,including any mechanical options like convection ovens. Also it's a good idea to get the name of the factory Representitive. All orders for brand X have to go through the factory rep, and all warranty work has to be authoroized by the rep too. This is an independant guy, who does not have any retail buisiness, and usually covers an entire state or region with Brand X and maybe even Brand "Y" too. Never believe the store that tells you "we're the representitives", the factory rep can not have a retail outlet. If you ever have trouble with your unit, and the store you bought it from is reluctant to help, the Rep. is your ticket. Most stores will not give out the name, but you can ask and use info from the Brand "X" website to find this out.

By Adelie (Adelie) on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 12:48 pm: Edit

This one we're interested in has continuous cast iron grids. I didn't measure the burners, but the spreaders more than covered my palm, so are between 4" and 6" in diameter. It comes with a two year factory warranty.

Jenn-Aire used to be a good brand; I bought one in 1990 that I loved. but since being bought by Maytag, they have been sliding downhill fast, as has Maytag. I really love the design of the Maytag stove that has a small oven on top and a bigger one at the bottom, but it only comes 30" wide with four burners and not much firepower.

By Andapanda (Andapanda) on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 05:24 pm: Edit

I have never heard of Jade gas ranges either.
I don't think that you need a commercial gas range for home use. Only yuppies buy those Viking gas ranges, so that they can show off to their friends. Forget those yuppie, high-end, name brands! (BTW, Next time you're shopping for kitchenware, check out America's Test Kitchen or Cook's Illustrated.)
I have a friend who has a Jenn-Air gas range. I was not impressed!
Read: Consumer's Digest, Consumer Reports, for articles about gas ranges.
FYI: Information about Kenmore Induction Cooktops.

By Andapanda (Andapanda) on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 09:10 pm: Edit

Was this the Jade range your were considering?
I have never seen nor heard of Jade gas ranges in any commercial kitchen where I have ever worked, or been in. Perhaps I'm just jaded(pun intended).
You'd be far better off buying that Hotpoint RGB745(if I'm not mistaken, Hotpoint is made by GE) gas range, if you really want a gas range, and that Kenmore induction cooktop, than wasting your money on some expensive yuppie stove. That's just my opinion.

By Adelie (Adelie) on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 12:42 pm: Edit

Well, we're far from yuppies, but the primary consideration for us was BTU power. We lose a lot cooking with propane, and several places we went recommended the Jade. It's got the firepower, but not the fancy logo of Wolf or viking, which cost about $2K more and don't have the BTUs. They also have a lot of fancy electronic displays, which this one doesn't have. But it does have ball-bearing oven racks, which is nice, and sealed burners. So we'll probably go with that one.

The one in Andapanda's last post is made for Dynasty. It's not the one we're considering. Apparently Jade makes commercial ranges for sale under other names, so it's possible that some of the brands you mentioned earlier are made by Jade.

None of the consumer ranges we looked at have the BTUs we want. I refuse to pay $2000 extra to get a wolf logo on the front. And Viking has become a cliche among homeowners, the gang that thinks Wms-Sonoma is a serious cookstore.

By Andapanda (Andapanda) on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 07:54 pm: Edit

Good luck with that Jade gas range. Propane gas prices will inevitably rise.
If you want a fast cooktop, nothing is faster than induction cooktops! You can reach extremely hot temperatures in literally--seconds! There is negligable waste heat as opposed to gas or electric elements. Not many chefs, nor cooks have had the opportunity to cook on induction burners. But those cooks, and chefs, who have cooked on them, can tell you, as I do, that they are instantaneous!
Most commercial kitchens do not have induction cooktops because of the cost. Besides, people, especially Americans, are slow to change, if they change at all. Only the commercial kitchens with the biggest budgets could afford induction cooktops.
I realize that you probably have never heard of them, but some of us cooks in the trade have used them, and they(actually, the cookware, not the cooktop) become hot immediately! You can buy a Sunpentown cooktop fairly reasonably.

By Adelie (Adelie) on Friday, March 24, 2006 - 01:42 pm: Edit

I'm very familiar with induction cooking, and was interesting in exploring it, but my husband didn't want to. He has it in his head that "real" cooks use gas, and that's what he wants, too.

We are painfully aware of the increase in cost of propane, but there's nothing we can do about it. We are 8 miles from town and it's propane all around us.

By Foodpump (Foodpump) on Saturday, March 25, 2006 - 12:17 pm: Edit

I remember the first time I saw induction burners, at the IGEHO show in Basel, Switzerland in the early '80's. Then demonstrator would take a SFR 50.00 note, slip it beween the burner and pot and proceed to saute a pork chop. At that time they were obscenely expensive, as were the pots, but they've come down quite a bit in price since then.

Actually Garland makes single burners, both for "western" style cooking, and with a concave surface for wok cooking. The single burners go for around US$800 I think. Great for catering, for brunches to cook omelettes, and the like.

Kinda reminds me of the whole microwave scene. Originally started off as a military radar system, microwave cooking was discovered by accident during the WWII. Actual commercial microwave ovens were built in the '5o's--as big as a house and almost as expensive. Through the years they've become progressivley smaller, more powerfull, and much cheaper...

By Chef_Blair (Chef_Blair) on Saturday, March 25, 2006 - 12:33 pm: Edit

I cooked on Induction in my kitchen at home for 20 years. And being a pastry chef it sure was nice to have imediate control over the level of temperature. Like melting chocolate, or boiling syrup. Induction gave the heat you wanted right away, no wait. There is some pretty nice cookware out there for induction also.
Now we have switched to a 5 burner sealed gas through glass cook top, with a electric convection oven. Hard to say which I liked the most. The single burner induction can go right to the table with you for cooking with your guests.

By Andapanda (Andapanda) on Saturday, March 25, 2006 - 03:59 pm: Edit

Jade apparently manufactures some very good quality gas ranges. My friend said that the Fire & Ice range was, in his words, sweet.
Whenever I hear the slang word sweet, being misused in the American vernacular, I instinctively start searching for a refractometer! (Chef_Blair, being a pastry chef, would know exactly what I'm talking about! BTW, your website looks great!) :)
(Foodpump, FYI: Microwave oven story.)

Adelie, forgive me for assuming that you were a yuppie, because if you see other chefs' forums, you'll see that most of the posters are not even chefs, much less, cooks! Most of them are gourmands, dilettantes, foodies, wanabes[sic]. It's mostly yuppies who can afford to buy pro-style ranges in their kitchens.
Most of us cooks live in poverty. Most chefs earn more than us cooks, but extremely few ever reach celebrity status.
As far as "real cooks use gas", well, that's been true for the 20th Century. However, considering the fact that oil, gas prices will only increase(remember the Supply vs. Demand curve, X-Y graph, in Micro-Economics class?), I think that in the coming years, real cooks will be behooved to consider using alternative forms of energy in the forms of induction cooktops, infrared heaters and new oven technologies.

By George (George) on Saturday, March 25, 2006 - 04:10 pm: Edit

The induction stuff is intesesting especially from a catering/station point of view.

I found this when looking arround-
SR-1881 single element smoothtop portable induction cooktop in white or black.

110V / 1200W with touch controls

White - $134
Black - $139

When you figure in the cost of the butane seems like an interesting alternative.


By Adelie (Adelie) on Saturday, March 25, 2006 - 06:31 pm: Edit

Well, Anda, all is forgiven. We're waaay too old to be yuppies! But I'm also not a professional cook. I'm an interloper here, hanging out and reading, occasionally posting or asking, and learning a lot from the people who post here and generously let me listen in. All I am is an enthusiastic home cook and consumer of other people's creations. So my needs aren't the same as those of the rest of the people here.

OK, back to lurking - thanks for all the good information you all have provided for me, here and in other threads.

By Andapanda (Andapanda) on Monday, March 27, 2006 - 09:10 pm: Edit

Hey, didn't you check the "Induction" link in my post of 22 March 2006?
Also, check the "Sunpentown" link in my post of 23 March 2006.
That model is actually under $100(not including shipping, + free frying pan!).
Yes, perhaps induction cooktops will be more common as they become more affordable.

Have you ever seen The eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters?
I think that you might like that forum too. :)

By George (George) on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - 02:34 pm: Edit


There are only so many hours in the day...

Checked it now, very cool or hot should I say.


By Chef_Mars (Chef_Mars) on Saturday, April 01, 2006 - 08:09 am: Edit

Jade is excellent but just as good (btus, options, lifespan, ease of cleaning) and much more affordable (greater value) are the professional ranges from Montague located in San Francisco.

Chef Mars

By Adelie (Adelie) on Saturday, April 01, 2006 - 12:58 pm: Edit

Thanks for the information - that equipment looks formidable. I think, though, that a true professional range is more than we need or can use. We plan to tile the back wall, of course, and have a powerful vent hood, but I think this line would require more than that.

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