Purchasing a new stove or range for your home can be a challenge. In the past, there were two options for your home stove, gas or electric. Today there are a wide array of options and features available that help improve accessibility, usability, and the quality of both your food and the range itself. This guide is designed to help you familiarize yourself with the different models, features, and terms you need to know when shopping for a new stove for your kitchen.
Three Things You Need to Know
1. Your budget
Before you start shopping around for a new stove, oven, or range for your home the very first thing you need to do is determine your budget. With such a wide array of models, styles, features, and fuel types the price range of new cooking equipment can range from $350 up to $10,000.
2. Your cooking needs
Take a look at your lifestyle and cooking habits. Do you bake a lot? Do you execute high-heat cooking techniques? What types of meals do you prepare most often? Knowing you cooking habits, and favorite methods is a key element in determining the type of range you need in your home.
3. The Variety
The manufacturers of today produce cooking equipment with multiple stove tops, oven combinations, fuel types, and more. Depending on your cooking needs you may prefer gas, electric, induction, or dual fuel models.
Types of Ranges
Gas ranges have been a favorite cooking companion for ages due to their powerful, uniform heating ability. These models feature open flame burners to surround the bottom of your cookware completely, evenly heating pots and pans.
The burners on a gas cooktop range from 5,000 BTUs up to 17,000 BTUs, making it easy for you select the burner best suited for your favorite cooking techniques.
The continued popularity of gas stoves has created a large price range: $450 to $3,200.
If you prefer a sleek, trendy design in your kitchen, you may want to look at glass-ceramic cooktops. The smooth black surface adds a flair of elegance to any kitchen décor, while making the cooking surface easy to clean.
Generally, electric smoothtop cooktops feature a four element range, some include a fifth element designated as a warming zone. When the surface is hot from usage or residual heat, these cooktop alert with a hot surface indicator that lights up red.
The major downfall to smooth cooking surface is they limit the type of cookware you can use. Ceramic-glass cooktops scratch easily, so you cannot use cast iron pans, stoneware, or glass on the cooking surface.
The growing popularity of these sleek ranges has significantly expanded their prices range from $550 up to $3,600.
Induction cooktops do not use traditional open-flame heating or electric heat; instead these cooktops use electromagnetic waves to heat your pots and pans directly, leaving the cooktop relatively cool.
In order for an induction cooktop to work properly, you must use the appropriate cookware on the cooking surface. Induction cooking works through electromagnetic fields; when you place a steel or cast iron pot or pan on the magnetic element it creates heat producing vibrations to heat the cookware directly.
Induction cooktops range from $1,700 to $3,000.
Commercial-style ranges are fueled by natural gas, and typically offer at least 8 burners. These powerful stoves are not designed for traditional home kitchens. They are best suited for large kitchens, where you cook large meals for your family on a regular basis. Since these units are not designed to fit a traditional kitchen layout, you may need to redesign your kitchen cabinetry to allow enough space for the installation of a large commercial-style stove.
These heavy-duty units range in price from $1,200 to $10,000.
Dual Fuel Ranges
A dual fuel range is perfect for your kitchen if you want to ensure even heating in the oven cavity and on the cooktop. Gas ranges are notorious for uneven cooking in the oven cavity, while electric cooktops are well-known for uneven heating of pots and pans. With a freestanding dual fuel range you have the best of both worlds, the powerful, even heating of a gas cooktop and electric oven, in one appliance.
Dual fuel models can be purchased as either a conventional or convection oven.
These units range from $2,000 to $10,000.
The standard oven features multiple adjustable oven racks, so you can reconfigure the interior layout to meet you cooking, baking or roasting needs. Many ovens also offer a door lock, broil element, door window, and oven light.
Many manufacturers include more advanced features in the oven for convenience and versatility. Some of these features include:
• A hidden bake element to provide you more usable oven space.
• A baking drawer offers an additional baking cavity, perfect for small items such as biscuits
• A warming drawer so you can hold foods at the ideal temperature until you are ready to serve the meal
• Broil drawer
• Double oven cavities
• Even heating technologies
• Steam cooking to keep foods moist, and eliminate the need for water baths