A kitchen range is a result of modern technology where an oven and a stovetop that has six, eight, or ten burners are combined. Standard stoves used in most households have four burners.
If you consider upgrading your kitchen stove and starting your research, you may have stumbled upon this common question among people; what is a range?
You may have heard about induction stoves or electric stoves, but cooking ranges? What are those?
Fact is, you may have seen a modern kitchen range, but you refer to it as a stove – whether electric or gas stove – or mistaken it as an oven.
Now, you are going to explore more about cooking ranges, what source of heating and power a range has, and everything you need to know before going online and shopping for gas or electric ranges.
What is a Kitchen Range?
A range is a result of advanced technology where an oven and stovetops with six or more burners are combined in a nice and convenient package. Sizes, specs, and features may vary from 24 to 48 inches (61 cm to 122 cm) wide.
A range is one of the most utilized appliances in every kitchen.
Every day, a family uses that huge square kitchen appliance to cook delicious meals on -or in- depending on what you’re cooking.
A few groups of people simply call it an oven while others call these machines as a stove.
One important thing to remember is, this kitchen appliance has both an oven and a broiler. So, the correct term is a range.
Since these appliances are a fundamental piece of every kitchen in a family, you need to understand what they are and how they work.
All things considered, you may simply end up needing to buy one sometime in the future, and you’ll be happy you did your research.
The Difference between a Stove and a Range
One more important thing to remember before buying a range; never mistaken a stovetop for a range.
Simply because they are two completely different appliances.
A range has to be an oven and stovetops in one package. Stovetops only have burners without an oven.
Regardless of whether it has induction, electric, or gas burners, a stovetop is only that – a stovetop.
Frequently, stovetops are dropped into your countertop or installed within it to provide cooking surfaces. They have kitchen cabinets underneath and contain no oven. In layman’s term, a cooktop or stovetop is only a stove.
The best part about stovetops is that they don’t occupy as much room as a range as they don’t come with an oven.
Professional chefs use stovetops as a secondary cooking appliance and install wall ovens for more flexibility in the kitchen.
Is a Stovetop Better Than a Range?
Experts agree that a range suits a small kitchen best compared to a cooktop with a separated oven.
If your kitchen has limited wall and cabinet space, a range is the best option for you.
Ranges come in standard widths of 24, 30, 36, and 48 inches (61, 76, 91, and 122 cm). You can easily place a range close to the electric lines or gas hookup.
Stovetops take up counter space but leave the cabinet below empty for storage.
Although separated stovetops and wall oven offer more flexibility and convenience, it costs you more if you want to have stovetops and an oven or two ovens.
Important Parts of a Kitchen Range
A range is a combination of a stovetop or an oven and a broiler joined into one quite advantageous kitchen appliance.
Important is that every one of these parts can be of various sizes and offer various specs or highlights.
Ranges’ sizes can vary from 30 inches, 36 inches, or even 48 inches wide.
The larger ranges offer more advantages.
For example, larger ranges may have six stovetop burners and a griddle while smaller ranges may only have space for two burners.
Types of Ranges
Ranges come in a wide variety. Not knowing what types there are can be confusing especially for new buyers.
Principally, there are two main categories to consider when selecting a range to purchase. You want to know how it is heated and how it will fit into your kitchen counter.
#1. How it is heated
Rangers are heated differently. This is where you get much more choices. You may decide fuel type based on what hookup is there in your kitchen and what kind of vent hoods you have or want to install.
Most houses are equipped with gas hookups while kitchens in apartments may only have electric lines. Deciding will be easier if you know certain power pipes have been installed in your kitchen.
For everyday household usage, you can choose standard ranges fueled by propane or regular gas and several ranges powered by electricity.
The best dishes are cooked on gas burners. If you are a home chef, an expert, or a genuine gourmet specialist, you know that gas ranges are the best choice to cook flavorful foods.
Gas-fueled rangers offer burners with direct heat and more flexibility as you can directly see the fire, thus allows easier adjustment and even faster cooking.
Controlling the cooking temperature on electric ranges is rather difficult compared to gas-fueled ranges.
On the negative side, gas ovens do not provide steady heat. This is the reason why bakers prefer electric ovens for thorough and even baking.
Benefits of gas-fueled ranges:
- Precise and direct heats.
- Instant change between heating levels.
- Heats up and cools down quickly.
- Uses less energy.
- Gas-fueled stovetops may be harder to clean.
- Grease is harder to remove.
- You need a gas hookup.
- You need to install powerful kitchen range hoods.
The latest electric range models may come with digital levels to measure the heat while older models may come only with 6 heat levels.
Although the electric range does not provide much flexibility when it comes to heat control, it is popular among customers because of its nice and sleek designs.
Besides, electric ranges are easier to clean which is the reason I bought an electric range and not a gas range.
If hygiene and a clean kitchen are important to you, choose induction ranges that offer much easier cleaning and save you a lot of time on the weekend for maintenance.
On top of that, if you don’t have a gas hookup in your kitchen and are living in an apartment where it is safer to use electric range, this is the best option you can have.
Electric range comes with electric ovens which means better and thoroughly baked meals.
Benefits of electric ranges:
- Better for baking.
- Affordable coil stovetops.
- Super easy to clean.
- Induction ranges provide a more modern look in your kitchen.
- Heat levels are limited and less flexible compared to gas.
- Use more energy.
- Takes time to heat and cool down.
Dual Fuel Ranges
This is the sweet spot where the flexibility of gas range stovetops meets the even and thoroughly heated oven.
Serious cooks prefer a certain sort of range known as the double fuel range. It enables you to cook with the best power to cook each meal.
The dual fuel range offers both with a little bit more money. Although this type of range is normally used by professional (or amateur) chefs, you can purchase this appliance for residential use.
If you do a lot of cooking and baking and are particular with your cooking experiences, you may find the difference worth the cost.
Benefits of dual fuel ranges:
- Combines the best of both sides.
- Provides better cooking experiences.
- Rather expensive for home use.
- Your kitchen needs a gas hookup.
- You need to ensure that your home provides enough electrical charge for the dual fuel range to work properly.
Apart from the heat source, you may choose a range based on how it will fit into your kitchen.
#2. How it will fit into your kitchen
The kitchen is the heart of any home and the stove works hardest among other appliances.
You need to measure how the range’s model will fit into your kitchen and its design.
Here are the 3 types of range each with a different model you can choose:
A range with this design is the easiest to install in your kitchen. All you need to do is wherever you want it in your kitchen as long as you have a gas and/or electrical hookup.
Freestanding ranges are standardized to fit into any standard range space.
This type normally has a backguard to protect your wall from any mess or heat.
If you’re looking for the cheapest and the most convenient range design types, this is your best choice.
Slide-in ranges may be custom made to fit your kitchen and easier to install than it looks.
You can just slide them into wherever spot is available in your kitchen.
However, this type of range typically doesn’t have a backguard and the controls are located in the front side. Therefore, slide-in ranges have a smoother and cleaner look.
I have this slide-in range in my kitchen and the part that I like the most is that there is no space between the range top and the counter.
This way, no drops and crumbs can get through and make an invisible mess.
Similar to a slide-in range, this type of range has unfinished sides. But it has a wide enough top to ensure there’s no gap between the range and the counter.
A drop-in range doesn’t touch the floor. It is installed on top of a cabinet baseboard.
This way, drop-in ranges look more built-in but are harder to install due to their custom-made cabinets requirements.
Drop-in ranges are less popular nowadays. So, you may find less selection with this type of range.
A wall oven is only an oven without the stovetops.
If you prefer more flexibility in your kitchen, you may consider purchasing a wall oven along with a cooktop and put them wherever it is convenient to you.
Typically, a wall oven and stovetops cost more compared to buying a range that combines both.
But, it allows you to have more storage spaces in your kitchen and add convenience.
What Should You Look For When Buying a Range?
There are many range types and models. Knowing what factors you need to consider before buying a new one can be helpful.
Here are 7 things to consider when purchasing a range:
Price is probably the most crucial factor in buying decisions. If you are looking for a cheaper appliance, you may want to choose between the $300 to $700 price range.
Range prices can go up as high as thousands but with the higher end models, you will eventually pay less in the long run.
You will prefer choosing a range with extra durability, easy to buy spare parts, great customer service, and attractive design.
Typically, electric ranges are cheaper than gas ranges but have a higher running cost.
If you are aiming for premium and extra features such as self-cleaning, high BTUs, or storage areas on the latest models, expect to pay at least $1.000.
This factor is highly dependent on your kitchen square footage. Residential ranges are typically 30 inches (76cm) wide with 4 to 5 burners.
If you have a tight space in your kitchen, you may prefer a smaller range with a freestanding model that can easily fit anywhere in your kitchen.
And if you’re going to do a lot of cooking and have a lot of space left, you may prefer a larger and wider model with oven space, double racks, and more burners.
#3. Cooking intensity
Electric ranges offer less variety of features that can be perfect for everyday cooks.
Meanwhile, gas ranges come with more detailed and extensive features that can be quite confusing even for experienced buyers.
Consider how often you cook and what types of food you usually do to determine certain features such as the type of stovetop you need and how many burners it should have.
If you need intense cooking with high heat, consider purchasing a high BTUs range.
Higher BTU does not translate to better cooking efficiency. Go to the detailed explanation below to help you determine which BTUs suit you best.
#4. Kitchen space and design
This plays an important role in your decision-making process. If you want a lot of flexibility while cooking, you may not want to buy a range.
Instead, you may want to purchase stovetops with a wall oven.
This way, you can place both wherever it makes sense to you and allows more convenience.
Deciding which range to buy may be easier if you know the 3 types of range according to their designs as explained before.
#5. Cleaning and ease of use
It is essential to buy a range that takes less time to clean and maintenance. If you don’t mind spending a good amount of time cleaning your range, you may want to choose a gas range.
For easy maintenance and cleaning, electric ranges are still the best option. You don’t want to spend hours getting the grime and dirt every week.
If your budget is limitless, purchasing a range with self-cleaning features may help you greatly in case of maintenance.
Electric ranges take time to heat and cool down. The indicator on the front part will stay red until the surface has cooled completely.
Some ranges may come with a child lock to prevent children from using the range without the parent’s supervision.
Gas ranges may be risky if you are neglectful. The release of gas can quickly become toxic and make your kitchen highly flammable if you accidentally leave it on.
If safety is your particular concern, choose induction cooktops with the controls at the backside and out of children’s reach to minimize any risk.
Consider the type of range hoods you have and how easy it is to clean it. Airborne grease may build up in your kitchen exhaust if your ventilation hood cannot keep up with the range.
The research concludes that many self-cleaning ovens can release carbon monoxide into the kitchen and increase the risk of poisoning.
This gas is odourless, tasteless, and invisible. Therefore, the self-cleaning features should be operated with open windows and a working carbon monoxide detector in your kitchen and home
#7. Features and settings
For everyday cooking, basic controls are enough.
But, if you’re a cooking enthusiast and love to experiment in the kitchen, you may want to purchase a range that offers extensive controls.
You may be interested in ranges with extra settings for baking and broiling, as well as additional features such as self-cleaning, double ovens, convection ovens, additional burners, and high BTU burners.
What is BTUs in a Range?
When buying a range, you will encounter the term BTU.
For instance, an oven may have burners on it that range from 650 BTU to 18,000 BTU.
Now, what on earth does that mean?
BTU stands for British Thermal Unit and is known as the basic measurement of heat or cooling. It basically calculates how much energy it takes to produce heat or cooling.
You can find BTU in almost every kitchen and household appliances such as furnaces, water heaters, ovens, fireplaces, and air conditioners..
Not all ranges are created equal. Some rangers offer higher BTUs and higher heat than others.
The kitchen range comes in a various amount of BTUs. The average BTUs in a household can vary from 500 BTUs up to 18,000 BTUs.
Some kitchen appliances have higher BTUs to provide quick heat.
On a latest four burners ranger, it may have:
- 1 high BTUs burner
- 1 low BTUs burner
- 2 mid-range BTU burners
Normally, the higher BTU burners are in the front side while on older ranges it may be less variation.
However, the residential four burners range maybe around 7,000 to 10,000 BTUs and that is enough for family cooks.
Avoid spending unnecessarily large amounts of energy bills by selecting a range with BTUs that fits your needs.
#1. Low BTUs Burners
Around 500 to 2,00 BTUs.
Also called simmer burners, these low BTUs burners are good for low-heat cooking such as simmering and braising.
You may control the heat easier by managing the heat because these burners offer better control.
#2. Middle BTUs Burners
Around 2,000 to 10,000 BTUs.
Mid-range BTUs are good for your everyday family cooking such as sauteing and frying.
#3. High BTUs Burners
Around 12,000 to 18,000 BTUs.
With these high BTU burners, you can perform high heat cooking such as searing and stir-frying.
Some industrial and professional ranges may have 25,000 BTUs. But if you want to have such powerful burners in your home, your kitchen should have proper ventilation.
#4. Flexible BTUs Burners
Around 1,000 to 15,000 BTUs.
There are also ranges with a flexible range of BTUs. These types of burners are necessary when you need to switch quickly between high and low heat.
Where to Check BTU Information on a Range?
You should find information about your range’s BTU information in the owner’s manual.
If you are shopping online, check the specification section on the product page.
A sales associate may also provide you with BTU information on any model you may ask and are interested in.
10 Best & Most Reliable Ranges Brands
When your selection comes from a quality brand, it is almost guaranteed that your range may last more than a decade.
Doing your research today will eventually pay off later in the future and you will thank yourself.
Here are the 10 best brands of ranges around the world. Please notice that several brands may not be available in your country.
Bosch is one of the most reliable ranges brand you can choose. They sell various types of ranges around the world and gain excellent reviews from customers.
Miele offers gas ranges with a sleek design, easy controls, and versatile convection cooking. They guarantee convenience, reliability, and durability. Many customers testify that Miele is worth the money.
Many people are familiar with GE as it is a known and trusted brand. However, the range reviews are quite mixed. Many models seem to collect positive reviews while others get complaints.
Many customers enjoy LG ranges’ ease of use, cleaning, and maintenance. They have collected numerous positive reviews for their ranges. On a side note, LG repair service may not be the best.
Customers choose Gaggenau because of its relatively good prices for a quality item. Some expensive models offer great features and worth the price. But the reviews are negative for some products.
ILVE is an Italian range, hood, and stovetop manufacturer. It is an award-winning brand known for its superior quality range. If you have an extra budget to spend, ILVE is your choice.
#7. Fulgor Milano
If you look for beautiful designs with professional-style features, Fulgor Milano offers premium ranges to suit your needs. This brand is known to provide good quality ranges for home chefs.
Kitchen appliances from Samsung often receive positive reviews. When it comes to ranges, the products seem to work as advertised. The company offers extended warranties and returns.
SMEG offers various design type and prestige. Its actual cooking capability may differ from one product type to another, but it is not all bad. Most found reviews are entirely positive.
Blomberg offers an easy to use controls range with various type. Most reviews mention a positive experience with great quality, features, appearance, and customer service.
The Bottom Line
A kitchen is an oven and stovetops combined into one nice package. If you’re looking for a range to buy, consider several important things such as:
- Size and design
- How it will fit into your kitchen
If you want to remodel your kitchen or upgrade your appliances, consider getting extensive research about what ranges you want to buy.
A range can get very expensive but a good brand will offer you quality and durability. Consider what you need in a range and how you may use it for the next 10 years.
This can play an important role while selecting a range.