In need of a new stove for your kitchen? Read on for everything you need to know and consider before purchasing.
If the kitchen is the heart of the home, at its very center is the range. When it's time to upgrade your at-home cooking experience and purchase a new oven range, there are a few things you'll want to consider. A new kitchen appliance is an investment, and if you use the range regularly you'll want to make sure a new one fits your style and needs. Here are the details to consider when choosing a new oven range.
Though the terms "stove," "oven," and "range" are used interchangeably, they're all quite different.
When it comes to oven ranges, there are three standard style options: freestanding, slide-in, and drop-in.
When purchasing a new range, it's also important to consider what type of burner you want for your stove/cooktop. There are three main types of burners: gas, electric, and induction.
There are two options when it comes to powering your stove: gas and electric. If you’re replacing a stove, you’ll likely need to choose one with the same power source as the one you’re getting rid of, as converting from one to the other can be extremely expensive. New home builders may be able to choose between the two depending on what’s available in their area.
As previously mentioned, gas ranges require a dedicated gas hookup and heat and cook via flame, while electric ranges run on electricity, which is easily accessible as long as the power is on. If your home loses power, you also lose the use of your stove.
Some ranges employ a dual-fuel approach, combining a gas cooktop with an electric oven. This hybrid approach is appealing if you're looking for direct heat burners but more even heat in the oven. However, these are generally the most expensive option since they require multiple power sources.
Size: Standard ranges are 30” wide, 25-27” deep (excluding handles and knobs), and 36” tall (excluding control panels) and are designed to fit standard cabinet cutouts. Additional size options are also available.
Capacity: The internal size of the oven is referred to as its “capacity” and is measured in cubic feet. When an oven is part of a range, it is typically five cubic feet; a separate oven is typically three cubic feet.
Convection fans: Built into the back of oven walls, convection fans circulate heat for more evenly baked food.
Drawers: Some ranges feature bottom drawers that keep food warm or broil, or a baking drawer that cooks smaller dishes while the main oven is used for something larger.
Additional burners: Most standard cooktops include four burners, but additional burners are helpful when you need more space.
Specialty burners: Burners that simmer or that generate high heat are meant to provide greater function and flexibility. Grill and griddle burners expand the possibilities of what can be cooked on your stovetop.
Cleaning: Some ovens offer self-cleaning features that operate using either high temperature or steam. With the high temperature method, the oven locks and gets extremely hot (as high as 900-1,000°F) to burn off residue over several hours. Steam-clean self-cleaning involves adding water to the bottom of the oven that transforms into steam to remove residue.
Color + finish: Traditional ranges are white, black, or stainless steel, but newer models and designs embrace color and customization. For finishes, the shine of high gloss and glass looks fresh and clean, but smudges easily. Matte and slate options give a modern look that hides fingerprints, but they aren’t as bright.
Warranty: A new stove will come with a standard limited, five-year manufacturer warranty that covers defects and malfunctions. Be sure to check the details of your home warranty too, as it may offer additional coverage.
Energy usage: Using your range on a daily basis will consume a lot of energy, so it's important to consider energy-efficient options. Traditionally, gas stoves are more efficient—it takes three times as much energy to deliver electricity to a stove as is needed to deliver gas.
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