Thermador Pro Harmony PRD364GDHU 36-Inch Dual-Fuel Range Review
Power and performance meet a professional look and feel.
When we got the Thermador Pro Harmony PRD364GDHU dual-fuel range (MSRP $7,599) in for testing, we had great expectations. After all, it's the 36-inch version of the superb Thermador PRD304GHU—one of our favorite pro-style ranges.
You won’t find any extraneous features here, but you will be pleasantly surprised be helpful bake settings, burners that can get astoundingly low, and an electric griddle.
When we put it to the test, the 364 did not disappoint. Between its straightforward design and superior performance, this Thermador embodies what it means to be a high-end cooking appliance.
Functional and Professional
The PRD364GDHU is a part of Thermador’s Pro Harmony series, which means its 24 inches deep and designed to sit flush with your cabinetry. It's essentially a stretched version of the PRD304GHU with a griddle installed.
The look is clearly inspired by the commercial ranges found in restaurant kitchens. The materials are heavy and we found no visible welds or seams, but—like many other pro-style ranges—there isn't a clock or timer. Two cast iron continuous grates cover four of Thermador’s classic 18,000 BTU star-shaped gas burners. In the middle, there's a 6-pass, 1630-watt cast aluminum electric griddle coated with a nonstick titanium surface.
The cast iron grates are heavy, but can be removed for cleaning. The griddle and drip tray are also removable, although we found the process to be a bit of a challenge. Below the grates, a porcelain surface doesn't shine like stainless—but it is deep enough to capture spills and easy to clean.
Knobs are important on a high-end range because their responsiveness determines flame control, and the controls on this Thermador don't disappoint. Blue indicator lights switch on when the burners are in use—they're bright enough that you'll never leave a burner on by accident.
Open the 5 cubic-foot oven with a tug of its thick handle. Its easy to open and fairly resistant to slamming shut. The oven window is a bit on the smaller side, and a halogen light on the left side of the cavity didn't do a phenomenal job lighting food. But we were fans of the three easy-glide racks, which improved the ergonomics of lifting heavy items.
Switch things up.
Thermador offers three 36-inch ranges in the Pro Harmony series. Except for what goes on in the middle of the rangetop, they're all identical.
The PRD364NLHU ($7,799) offers a unique electric grill with ceramic briquettes, designed to mimic the feel and flavor of an outdoor grill. The PRD366GHU ($7,249) has six burners and no middle grill or griddle.
No matter which Pro Harmony you choose, if you're installing it in a kitchen island, trim is included in the box—but backguards must be purchased separately.
Thermador offers two options here: A 9-inch low backguard (Model PA36GLBH—MSRP $449), which will protect the wall directly above the range, and 22-inch high shelf backguard (Model PA36GHSH—MSRP $699), which offers further wall protection and a storage shelf. Both are made of stainless steel.
You can also change up the look of your control panel by purchasing a Blue Metal Knob Kit (Model PAKNOBLU—MSRP $199), or add a sleek griddle cover to your rangetop with the Professional Griddle Cover Accessory (Model PA12CVRJ—$199).
If it’s increased rangetop versatility you want, grab a Professional Wok Ring (Model PWOKRINGHC—MSRP $99) or two, or nab a grill with included drip tray (Model PA12GRILLN—MSRP $299). Also available: a maple chopping block (Model PA12CHPBLK—MSRP $129) sized to fit the center of the rangetop.
Visually, there isn’t a lot you can do to alter the PRD364GDHU’s clean appearance, but there are definite options if you want to get the most out of your rangetop by adding extra features.
We were amazed by the breadth of temperatures and speed to boil we measured from the PRD364GDHU's rangetop. Thermador claims its star-shaped burner design offers superior coverage for quick heating, and—whether it's the shape or the sheer power—our tests are inclined to agree: The right rear burner got as hot as 427ºF, and every single burner got six cups of water boiling in under 5 minutes.
Thermador's burners also take a unique approach to low-temperature cooking. Instead of simply "turning down" the flame, the ExtraLow setting cycles the burner on and off for output as low as 370 BTU. While users will notice a clicking sound as the burners turn on and off, we measured temperatures as low as 86ºF with ExtraLow in use. Keep that in mind if you're trying to simmer. The burners without ExtraLow still got well below 200ºF, which is better for soups and sauces.
All in all, this is an extremely capable rangetop with a lot to offer, and not a single burner proved shaky or unpleasant to use. The central griddle is a nice touch for those who will make use of it, although it can also act as a resting place for cookware when not in use. Everything from the look of the star-shaped burners rimmed by blue flames to the extremely low minimum temperatures has us singing its praises.
Simple, but effective.
The 5 cubic-foot oven features an 8-pass broiler that will heat the surface immediately beneath it to 600ºF in just 7 and a half minutes. The oven itself, however, was painfully slow to preheat. It took about twice as long to heat the whole oven to 350°F, which is likely due to the three sliding racks—the oven has to heat up all that thick metal as well as the air inside the cavity.
However, if you can handle the wait, the results of our baking and roasting tests were excellent.
Cakes did very well in the PRD364GDHU’s oven, emerging uniformly browned at both standard and convection settings—although with a slight variance without the use of the convection fan. Cookies, on the other hand, were uneven at standard settings, but had near-average browning from left to right and center to edges with the use of convection. Paying close attention to your results and reducing or increasing the temperature and bake time accordingly should yield more even baking.
We roasted pork loin in the oven using the standard settings and found the result to be moist, evenly browned, and quick to cook through. Surprisingly, convection slightly slowed cook time very slightly, but bumped up the evenness of the roast a small amount. The differences between the two settings, however, were basically negligible.
Oven controls are basic, consisting of a temperature knob and one that allows you to select between Bake, Extended Bake, Convection Bake, Broil, Convection Broil, as well as the two-hour clean cycle. Our only complaint is that both knobs have “Clean” and “Broil” settings, which makes use a little less intuitive. (Pro tip: Set them both to Broil or Clean.) A separate switch turns the oven light on and off, although we found the light to be a little too dim to adequately illuminate the oven. Above this switch, indicator lights are lit when the oven is on, preheating, or self-cleaning.
Why We Like It
Convenient and powerful
The Thermador Pro Harmony PRD364GDHU may be large, but it’s neither intrusive nor assuming. Equipped with plenty of power, a wide temperature range, and a few handy features, this range has lots to offer. Simplified design makes it convenient for everyday use, but sharp craftsmanship and professional style give it that high-end touch.
The PRD364GDHU is all about balance. But most importantly, it has the capabilities required to cook and cook well. Fancy or complex it is not, but there’s a strength in its simplicity that will let your food speak for itself.
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