Ranges and ovens are investments worth thinking over â€” they cost at least $500, you use them nearly every day and youâ€™re going to hang onto them for at least a decade. You need to take your time when itâ€™s time to add a range or oven to your home, and weâ€™re here to help you sift through the options.
Ranges and ovens are investments that cost at least $500. As you will use them nearly every day for hopefully at least a decade itâ€™s very important that you get the right one according to your needs. Donâ€™t worry, here we are with a great buying guide that will help you sift through the options.
First, we need to learn the differences between oven, stove/cooktop and range/stove:
Here are a few questions you should ask yourself before you make any purchase decision for an oven or range:
Here is what you can expect in different price categories:
Electric: The heat output from electric stovetops is measured in watts. Output varies from stove to stove and burner to burner, but the output generally goes from 1,200 watts for low heat on a small burner to 3,800 BTUs for high heat on a large burner. There are different types of electric cooktops from which you can select:
Smoothtop (glass-ceramic cooktop): These cooktops are made of smooth glass-ceramic with heating units under the surface. A built-in sensor will let you know when a burner is still hot. Before you consider buying one of these, please keep in mind that this specific type of cooktop is prone to scratches, and not all cookware is safe to use on the surface.
Electric coil oven
Electric coil: These burners convert the electricity that runs into the coil into heat. These cooktops contain sensors that notify you when a burner is on, but not necessarily whether it is still hot. To sum up, it is hard to keep the coil perfectly level. In addition, electric coil ranges are slower to heat and to cool than other models. But ranges with this type of cooktop are cheaper than comparable models.
Induction cooktops: Induction burners use the heat created from electromagnetic energy to cook your food. A component just below the surface of an induction cooktop creates a magnetic field. When you place a piece of cookware containing iron on top of that magnetic element, it will cause a vibration of sorts that converts to heat through a series of magnetic interactions with iron. You have to keep in mind that induction burners wonâ€™t start to heat unless you put something on them that contains magnetic material.
Electric ovens: This type of oven uses a heating element that is either visible on the top or bottom of the oven, or hidden.
Gas cooktops: Both home and professional cooks have valued gas stovetops because of the how uniform the heat output is. An open flame surrounds the bottom of your cookware, which evenly distributes the heat around it. Like electric models, the power range varies from one model to another, but the output generally falls somewhere between 5,000 BTUs for low heat on small burners and 18,000 BTUs for high heat on larger burners.
Gas ovens: These types of ovens will have a harder time producing baking results than electric ovens.
Dual fuel: Some ranges use two types of power: gas for the cooktop, and electric in the oven. These dual fuel ranges are a good compromise for folks who want the direct heat of a gas burner but the even cooking of an electric oven. However, these hybrids cost more than traditional one-power-source ranges.
Picture taken from: Home Depotâ€™s community website
Freestanding: Ranges are designed to fit anywhere in a kitchen. Oven controls are often located on a back panel that raises up above the cooktop. These are less expensive than slide-in models.
Slide-in: These ranges donâ€™t have a back panel and are designed to fit in flush with the surrounding countertops.
Drop-in: Drop in ranges are designed to sit flush with the surrounding countertops and all the controls are located at the front of the unit.
Companies are becoming now more proactive in including wireless capabilities such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and near-field communication (NFC) in ovens and stoves so you can control your appliance from your smartphone or tablet. Some manufacturers have also started to connect appliances with smart-home devices to add some automation and voice control in the kitchen.
Convection fans circulate the heat in the oven so hot air is more evenly dispersed, which means your food will bake more evenly. Mid-priced ovens will have at least one convection fan integrated.
Your basic oven can bake and broil. But as the price for ovens increases, youâ€™ll see that there are more cooking options. Some ovens also come with cook settings for specific foods, such as pizza and rice, or food preparation methods, like dehydration or bread proofing.
Some range ovens offer a baking drawer, which enables a person to use the main oven to roast or broil, and the baking drawer for smaller dishes, so you can cook more than one thing at the same time using different temperatures. A warming drawer will keep food warm, but it wonâ€™t cook the food. Some ovens have a broiler drawer, which functions like a regular broiler.
Temperature probes plug into the wall of your oven, and you use them to monitor the internal temperature of meat as it cooks. The temperature displays on the control panel of your oven, so you donâ€™t have to open the door to see if your dish is done.
The ovens on some ranges have dual baking chambers, which give you the flexibility of double wall ovens without the need for more space.
Buying a range or stove is a personal experience. You need to pick the stove or oven that works best for your needs. There will be lot of extras that you can select to add some convenience or consistency to your cooking according to your budget. However, now that you know more about stoves and ranges, we are sure you will know what the best option is going to be for your needs.