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How to Choose the Best Kitchen Range

How to Choose the Best Kitchen Range

kitchen range

Whether you’re replacing, upgrading, or remodeling, this kitchen range buying guide will help you get cooking. Learn everything you need to know before purchasing a kitchen range to ensure your piece of equipment gives you a flawless cooking experience.

What is a Kitchen Range?

kitchen range

A range is a large cooking appliance that offers both stovetop burners and an oven in one appliance, whereas cooktops and ovens can be bought separately and installed in different areas of the kitchen. A new non-commercial range can cost anywhere from $900 to $3,000. A large commercial appliance can cost upward of $10,000.

The best kitchen range will combine form and function. Handy accessories and modern features can help you refine your search or the perfect range, from built-in griddles and warming drawers, to self-cleaning and self-locking controls. Read on to learn all you need to consider before buying a kitchen range.

Compare Range Sizes for Efficient Workspace

Illustration of a kitchen range Illustration of a kitchen range Illustration of a kitchen range
Size 30-Inch-Range 36-Inch-Range 48-Inch-Range
Burners 4 5 6
Placement Residential Residential Commercial

From small, quick meals to feeding the masses, your kitchen range size will determine how you multitask while preparing your meals. The standard household sizes might include room in the center for a griddle or spoon rest, but small commercial models offer double ovens and much more elbow room. You might appreciate greater accommodation if you have a large family or frequently entertain guests at home.

When shopping for different sizes, keep in mind your kitchen design and how much space you’ll need for the size you want. A significant size upgrade could require some renovation and rewiring. In that case, make sure you work with a professional to carve out countertop and cabinet space as well as rewire electrical hookups or redirect fuel lines.

Consider Cost and Function of Heat Types

Illustration of gas range cooktop Illustration of electric range cooktop Illustration of fire and electricity Illustration of a fan
Type Gas Heat Electric Heat Dual Fuel Convection Heat
Heat Source Natural Gas Electricity Gas and electricity Fan
Advantages Heat control, energy efficiency, faster cooking Consistent  temperature Heat control, consistent temperature Even heat distribution, faster cooking time

It’s important to know about your fuel and heating options so you can invest in the best kitchen range for your cooking and energy needs. The type of fuel that powers your kitchen range will affect utility costs, installation costs, and how your range functions.

Gas ranges run on flammable gas, so they can be adjusted quickly to cook with precision. Electric ranges warm burners with radiant heat, which can increase stovetop cooking time and energy usage. However, they’re easiest to clean. As the name suggests, a dual-fuel range uses two types of fuel to power the appliance. Usually, the stovetop is fueled by gas, and the oven is powered by electricity, so it’s equally efficient for cooking and baking. Convection ovens use a fan to heat food evenly, helping it cook up to 25% faster.

Determine a Body Type for Your Kitchen Design

Illustration of freestanding kitchen range Illustration of slide-in kitchen range GE black built-in single convection wall oven
Style Freestanding Slide-In Drop-In
Placement Flexible Flush with countertop Flush with countertop
Features Finished sides, backsplash Backless, gapless Custom-made

The style of range you purchase affects how and where it will be installed in your kitchen, as well as the overall look and feel. Stainless steel is the culinary standard for range finishes for its durable, stain-resistant qualities. These ranges are available in different metallic shades to upgrade any kitchen with a professional and clean look.

A freestanding range is the most common type of range and functions as its own unit, so installation doesn’t usually require any renovations. A slide-in range includes both a stove and an oven in a single unit, but it has a cooktop that fits in seamlessly with the surrounding countertop, keeping crumbs from falling to the floor. Slide-in ranges also have no back panel that obstructs your existing backsplash. Instead, the knobs and switches are located on the front of the oven.

Drop-in ranges have stovetops and oven doors that typically sit flush with the surrounding countertops and cabinets. Installing this type of range requires a custom-made space to ensure a seamless look.

Match the Cooktop to Your Cook Time and Cleanliness

Illustration of an electric coil range Illustration of an electric smooth top Illustration of an induction range Illustration of a gas range
Type Electric coil Electric Smooth Top Induction Range Gas Range
Heat Source Circular metal coil Glass or ceramic surface Electromagnetic induction Gas fuel
Features Easy to remove, easy to clean Slow cooling Faster heating, requires specific cookware Heats quickly, cooks evenly, temperature control

When it comes to cooktops, different burners generate different types of heat, so it’s important to know what works best for you and your kitchen. Each type also offers its own aesthetic.

Electric coil burners rest in a drip pan, so maintenance is super simple. An electric smooth top hides its heating elements underneath a stylish surface, but you’ll want to look for features like warning lights that indicate whether the surface is still hot after cooking. An induction range looks like a smooth top range, but needs magnetic cookware to conduct heat. A gas range wastes less heat than any other type of range heat source, so this type of fuel is the most cost effective.

Weigh the Ease of Installation for Your Range

tools for kitchen range installation

Once you’ve purchased your range, it’s important to know what you need to safely install your new appliance. Depending on wiring, placement, and power source, installing your new range might take more grunt work than you think. Make sure it’s in your budget to have a professional help you safely install your range so you can enjoy using it with peace of mind.

Range Hookups

New ranges often don’t come with hookups. Consult your owner’s manual or a professional to determine the hookups you need to purchase before installing your range. It’s best to hire a professional so safely install range as they will make sure all wiring and fuel lines are undamaged and attached correctly. This is especially important if your new range uses a different energy source than your old one. You’ll want to make sure gas, electric, and dual-fuel ranges are correctly connected to their power source to prevent life-threating accidents or damage to your range.

Range Placement

Before installing your range, make sure you’ve measured your appliance and have the appropriate amount of space in your kitchen. If you don’t already have a place to put a range, or if you’d like to create a new space for it, make sure you work with a professional to carve out countertop and cabinet space as well as rewire electrical hookups or redirect fuel lines.

It doesn’t matter if you only cook occasionally or if preparing gourmet meals is your favorite thing to do — a new range will be one of the bigger investments you make for your kitchen. If you’re looking at a full appliance overhaul, consult the Large Kitchen Appliances Buying Guide.