A good commercial range is the heart and soul of a food truck kitchen, and every food truck seems to have different requirements for their menus. Choosing the best unit to suit your specific needs can be a challenge. This guide is intended to help you select the perfect commercial range for your food truck business.
Food Truck Commercial Range Buying Guide
Commercial Range: Construction and Size
Commercial kitchens come in an many sizes and shapes, and each one has different commercial range needs depending on what is cooked and in what volume on a daily basis. That’s why suppliers offer a variety of gas range sizes and burner and oven options, allowing you to customize your commercial range according to your needs.
- The most common range dimensions are 24″, 36″, 48″, 60″, and 72″
- The most common configurations are 4, 6, 8, or 10 burners
- Options: griddle or charbroiler; standard oven, convection oven, or cabinet base
Commercial Range: BTUs and Gas Type
Commercial ranges vary in the heat output they produce, which is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units). Depending on your cooking application and energy usage concerns, you may want to purchase a unit with a higher or lower BTU rating.
- Higher BTU rates are going to heat things faster, but at a higher rate of energy consumption. A higher BTU rating also means quicker heat recovery times
- Lower BTU rates will heat things more slowly, but more efficiently. Lower BTU ratings mean a slower heat recovery time.
Standard vs. Convection Ovens
Standard gas ovens:
- Create heat using a central burner
- Heat is distributed through a baffle
- Heat and cook more slowly than a convection oven
- Employ a fan to distribute heat
- Are more efficient than a standard oven and cook food faster
- Cook food more evenly because of the constant circulation of heat
Additional Commercial Range Tips
Lock it Down
Casters allow you to move your range quickly and easily for cleaning or rearranging, just make sure if you purchase a range with casters, that they come with locking mechanisms. Nothing will ruin your day more than your new range rolling around the back of the truck the first time you make a hard turn.
Don’t Forget Your Altitude
If you operate your food truck above 2,000 feet above sea level, in most cases you will need to have the gas valves on your new commercial range adjusted.
The Bottom Line
Whether you cook food on or off board your food truck, the range you use is probably one of the most important tools. Use this commercial range guide to help you determine the best for your specific needs.