If it’s time to renovate your kitchen, you likely weigh up the benefits of an array of options. When choosing appliances, you’ll be deciding between a range or a cooktop.
A kitchen range is a versatile and multifunctional appliance found in many kitchens. Though you may commonly refer to it as a cooktop or stove, the device you use for baking and stovetop cooking would likely be a kitchen range.
When choosing the perfect appliance for your home, the first step is to choose between a kitchen range or an oven with a separate cooktop.
Read on to explore what a range encompasses, the variety of appliances you can purchase, and which is best suited to your needs.
Though ovens and stovetops can be standalone appliances, a range provides the functionality of combining them.
Commercial or high-end kitchens would primarily house standalone wall ovens. A cooktop is a general term used for a stovetop that is not attached to an oven.
A kitchen range caters to all of your cooking needs, from oven baking to stovetop steaming.
A kitchen range combines stovetop and oven to provide you with full functionality to meet all of your cooking needs. Hence, they are in the vast majority of homes.
Gas ranges heat quickly and allow accurate temperature control by utilizing natural gas as an energy source. However, it’s worth noting that gas ovens often fluctuate in temperature, a factor to be mindful of when cooking.
While gas ranges are often more expensive than electric ones, they can reduce the cost of your energy bill, mainly if you already utilize a natural gas supply. If not, it can be extremely costly to install a gas line.
Additionally, if you install a gas range, it is imperative that you properly turn off all appliances after use to avoid gas leaking into your home.
Meanwhile, electric ranges are easy to install, clean, and maintain. The drawbacks of these products include the fact that they are slower to heat up, and controlling the temperature of your stovetop can be challenging. However, they provide better stability of temperature for oven-based cooking than their gas counterpart.
Bear in mind that electrical appliances rely on a steady power source, so if you live in an area that experiences frequent power outages, you’ll want to consider this before making a purchase.
If you have a little more money to invest in your appliance, you can opt for a dual-fuel range. These varieties come with an electric-powered oven and a gas-powered stovetop, utilizing the best of both worlds.
Other additional features include convection ovens, which utilize a fan to evenly circulate the heat, allowing your food to cook with increased speed and thoroughness. Also, a double oven is an excellent addition if you’re an avid chef who likes to cook multiple things at once and could utilize two independent temperatures when cooking.
Materials are a further factor to weigh up in your decision-making process. Stainless steel is a durable and robust option that won’t rust over time, no matter how aggressive a cook you are.
For a professional finish, you can’t beat porcelain drip pans, which allow for simplified cleaning, maintaining a fresh look to your range for longer.
It’s essential to weigh up cost versus benefit when selecting your appliance. Think about the purpose you want your range to serve and choose the best option accordingly.
Freestanding ranges have finished sides allowing easy placement anywhere within your kitchen. Also, many freestanding ranges come with a backguard which helps to protect your wall from grease and food splatters.
A slide-in range fits in between cabinetry for a fitted look. The controls are easily accessible at the front (they are often on the back of a freestanding range), and they allow for a backsplash that can add color and style to the interior design of your kitchen.
While an oven is an enclosed space for cooking food, a stove is an enclosed space that utilizes fuel to provide heat. All ovens are stoves, but not all stoves are ovens; for example, coal and wood-burning stoves use energy to produce heat but do not cook food inside them.
Additionally, a stove often encompasses a stovetop. (When the stovetop is separate from the stove, it is called a cooktop).
A range describes a stove complete with a stovetop that has its own energy supply and connects to an oven. Put simply, ovens and stoves can be standalone appliances, whereas a range always combines these functionalities for an all-in-one cooking system.
Originally referred to as a cooking stove, the name for this kitchen appliance evolved into a range.
Back in the 14th century, a stove simply referred to a heated room. Over time the stove transformed to mean rooms heated by an energy source, and finally, enclosed heat sources used for cooking food.
The word range came into meaning as a variety of things. As appliances combined for more efficient cooking, ‘range’ was applied to mean a range of elements working together within one appliance.
In the debate around which is better: the cooktop or the range, there is no definitive answer, and it boils down to the individual needs of you and your kitchen.
The good news is that both cooktops and ranges come in a vast array of styles, sizes, and functionalities designed to suit all kitchen needs. The difficulty lies in deciding which one is best for you.
The consensus is that a range is the best option for a small space due to its ingenuity and versatility. Range’s can slot into small spaces and still leave ample room for storage. Alternatively, a cooktop will take up counter space but leave storage room underneath it.
The challenge is for a small kitchen that requires a double oven. Whether supporting a large family or you’re simply an avid chef, there are an array of reasons that you may need a double oven. Still, in installing this, you effectively remove 30 to 33 inches of the usable countertop.
As ranges are generally limited to one oven, you will likely opt for separate ovens and cooktop if you require a double oven.
Aside from practical applications, the aesthetics of your kitchen appliances are also of importance. If your kitchen needs a focal point, then a range is a great option. In contrast, if you have utilized something such as a backsplash as a focal point, then a separate cooktop may better complement the visual appearance of the kitchen.
- Combine the equipment you require for all cooking functions.
- Generally more affordable option.
- Great for a visual appeal if your kitchen needs a focal point.
- Space efficient and easy to install.
- More accessible if you have multiple cooks using the same kitchen.
- Has the capability to include more than one oven.
- Adaptable to different kitchen configurations.
- Can be replaced as individual parts rather than a whole.
Whatever your kitchen requirements, a range is an excellent option as a versatile and all-encompassing appliance. Through weighing up the options of gas versus electric, and freestanding versus slide in, you can find the perfect product to suit your home.