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The Things No One Tells You About Professional Ranges

Like every other HGTV-watching, House Beautiful-subscribing American whose home is his primary investment, I longed for a kitchen with a “professional-grade” range. Three years ago, I finally got one. Before making the purchase, I’d consulted Consumer Reports, scoured internet message boards, dragged my favorite 12-inch skillet into every appliance store to make sure it would fit into the range’s second, smaller oven. However, there were a few things I didn’t consider:
How good a housekeeper am I willing to be?

I grew up cooking on a biscuit-colored electric-coil range. Swipe the surface after dinner, change out the coils’ tinfoil lining every few weeks, and you’re good to go. Now, after every meal (okay, every other meal…or two), special ceramic-top cleaning products must be procured, grates lifted and set aside, elbow grease deployed. This certainly has an upside (my kitchen is cleaner), but... well, when dinner’s done, my next stop is the sofa. And I want to get there quickly.

Why do they call it stainless steel?
I have no idea. Don’t touch it or you’ll leave fingerprints. Sear something and each individual droplet of spattered oil shows. Wipe it off with a kitchen towel and you’ve only made matters worse; now it’s a smear. You’ll want to keep a canister of stainless-steel wipes beside the knife block. Some nights, “biscuit-colored” doesn’t seem so bad. Or avocado green, for that matter.

Is silence truly golden?
That’s a moot point now. The ovens click and pop as they warm up. Even without the convection settings, fans blow air inside and out, warming your feet (something I never expected—nice in the winter, not so much in August). If you’re using the cooktop, you’ll want to turn on the vent hood, which should be of the same pro grade as your cooktop (and they’re not the wimpy quiet ones).
Where does all the material your vent hood sucks up go?
Into the grates. The first time you clean them, you will be shocked at the gunk inside. (I can’t stress enough: Buy the kind you of grates can toss in the dishwasher. Wash them twice.) Then you’ll be disgusted thinking about all that grease and grime that was quietly coating every surface of your old kitchen. Then you’ll thank the universe that it has seen fit to grant you an upgrade. You’ll quit asking a bunch of pesky questions, cook dinner for your loved ones, and add stainless steel wipes and ceramic-top cleaner to the grocery list.