The Things No One Tells You About Professional Ranges
Like every other HGTV-watching, House Beautiful-subscribing Americanwhose home is his primary investment, I longed for a kitchen with a“professional-grade” range. Three years ago, I finally got one. Before makingthe purchase, I’d consulted Consumer Reports, scoured internet messageboards, dragged my favorite 12-inch skillet into every appliance store to makesure it would fit into the range’s second, smaller oven. However, there were afew things I didn’t consider:
How good a housekeeper am I willing tobe?
I grew up cooking on a biscuit-colored electric-coil range. Swipe thesurface after dinner, change out the coils’ tinfoil lining every few weeks, andyou’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 setaside, elbow grease deployed. This certainly has an upside (my kitchen iscleaner), but... well, when dinner’s done, my next stop is the sofa. And I wantto get there quickly.
Why do they call it stainless steel?
I have noidea. Don’t touch it or you’ll leave fingerprints. Sear something and eachindividual droplet of spattered oil shows. Wipe it off with a kitchen towel andyou’ve only made matters worse; now it’s a smear. You’ll want to keep a canisterof stainless-steel wipes beside the knife block. Some nights, “biscuit-colored”doesn’t seem so bad. Or avocado green, for that matter.
Is silence trulygolden?
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 yourfeet (something I never expected—nice in the winter, not so much in August). Ifyou’re using the cooktop, you’ll want to turn on the vent hood, which should beof 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 thegrates. 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 andgrime that was quietly coating every surface of your old kitchen. Then you’llthank the universe that it has seen fit to grant you an upgrade. You’ll quitasking a bunch of pesky questions, cook dinner for your loved ones, and addstainless steel wipes and ceramic-top cleaner to the grocery list.