July 7

Stove vs. Oven | Which Should You Get for Energy Efficient and Delicious Cooking?


Author: Cornelia Suehr
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You have a large box in your kitchen, right? Yes, the cooking appliance you use when preparing meals. What is the proper name for that? An oven, stove, or range is most likely what you're looking at. However, why can't everyone choose one name? Both appliances can accomplish the same task. However, there are some significant differences. 

It likely has a lot to do with custom and upbringing. However, additional factors are at play. As home cooking has diversified and progressed, so have the terminologies we use to describe our kitchen appliances. Use this guide to get the Stove vs. Oven terms straight.

Stove vs. Oven: Is There a Difference?

Most people no longer cook over an open fire or with wood or coal because of advancements in home cooking technology. Instead, it is because the kitchen appliances are evolving and becoming more diverse. If you're interested in discovering more about the differences between stoves and ovens available, consider checking out here.

There are differences between a stove and an oven despite people using them interchangeably. An oven heats the air within an enclosed cavity to cook food. Stoves, also known as ranges, are kitchen appliances that combine both an oven and stovetop.

There is no better place to broil, roast, or bake food than in an oven. You can scorch, sauté, simmer and stir-fry your food on the stovetop (or cooktop). All stoves come with an oven and a stovetop. However, you purchase ovens separately as wall ovens if necessary.

a large clean kitchen

What Is an Oven?

An oven is a box you can use to cook or heat food. If you'd like to get a little more specific, you can say it is an enclosed space or chamber where the heating occurs.

An oven can range from a hole having a fire built on top to a toaster oven on a tabletop to an industrial oven. Everything outside the cooking chamber, such as gas, electric, and induction burners, is not an oven. There is a specific phrase for that!

However, that does not prevent some people from calling the entire structure an oven. Altogether, "oven" is perhaps the most commonly used word to describe a typical kitchen cooking appliance. Therefore, we use it to characterize the category.

What Is a Range Oven? If you have heard the term "range oven," you're most likely referring to a typical range. The word "range oven" is not used by appliance manufacturers since it conveys two distinct concepts: a range & an oven. There are two types of ovens. A range comprises a stove pot and an oven. An oven may be a range component or a separate appliance completely. Stoves are another name for ranges.

a part of the kitchen with range oven

What Is a Stove?

A stove and range are the same cooking appliance combining an oven and a stove pot. More precisely, stoves were around long before the contemporary kitchen range and were mostly used for heating rather than cooking. For example, consider a cast-iron wood stove inside a log cabin.

There are also various stoves on the market that only heat the room but do not cook food. Stoves that burn coal, wood, or pellets fall under this category. Finally, you may look at the oven as another kitchen appliance. Not all stoves are ovens. However, all ovens are stoves.

The griddle inside a wood-burning stove can be heated by the radiant heat emitted by the fire inside the stove. Modern stoves feature either gas or electric burners. You can separate stovetops from the stove to function independently. Stovepots support cooking appliances or allow their placement above the cooktop during preparation.

Why Are Ranges Called Stoves? The word range originated in the 15th century. Range originally meant a line or row. The name may have originated from a series of ovens in wealthy families' spacious kitchens. Burn Labs aims to distribute 3.5 million stoves to help those who still cook over open fires. 

black range stove

Stove vs. Oven: What is Installation Like?

Installing a wall oven is best left to the experts because it needs hardwiring. In addition, wall ovens with internal vents do not have to be vented externally, so this can be a difficult task to accomplish.

A cooktop surface is required in every kitchen with a wall oven to maintain a unified design appeal. Installing two appliances may double your installation costs. However, it's well worth it if you have the available room.

A range can be placed between the two base cabinets or left a stand-alone. If you don't want to custom-fit your cabinets, a cooktop and oven combination will save you significant counter space.

Is It Better to Have a Stove or a Wall Oven in Your Kitchen? What to Consider

The first step in choosing the best kitchen appliances is to pick between a stove and a wall oven with a separate cooktop. Think about the following before you make a decision:

Kitchen Layout

You will need a cabinet or wall area to accommodate a wall oven. It is now possible to place ranges all across the kitchen. More storage space around the cooking surface is possible using cooktops instead of stoves.

Kitchen Size

Larger kitchens are more likely to be able to fit a wall oven and cooktop arrangement. A range centralizes culinary activity in smaller kitchens.

Cooking Style

A range may be the best option if you often switch between cooking on the stove and in the oven. A double wall oven is an excellent alternative if you bake a lot and need more oven space.

kitchen with wall oven

Is a Cooktop a Stove?

The most prevalent kitchen appliance in American homes is a stove. It has a cooktop and an oven built into it. On a cooktop, you sear and sauté without an oven, but rather on a flat surface integrated into the countertop.

A "cooktop" can be referred to as a "stovetop" if it's the top of a stove. Gas and electric ranges and cooktops are available in various sizes. Most cooktop buyers also purchase a single or dual-wall oven for their roasting, baking, and broiling needs.

Are Cooktops Worth It? If you're looking for a cooktop that quickly heats pans and pots, uses less energy than others, and is generally safe for use near children, induction cooktops are a worthwhile decision. However, these cooktops aren't for everyone and certainly not for everyone's wallet.

Cooktop vs. A Rangetop: Is There a Difference Between?

Similarities exist between cooktops and range tops. Cooktops integrate more completely into countertops, whereas range tops resemble the appearance of a range. Regarding countertop space, range tops have it all the way around, while the cooktop has it only on one side, similar to a slide-in range.

Here are more differences between the two:


Rangetops get a more commercial look than cooktops, which feature a more sleek, built-in appearance.

Location of the Controls

Rangetops place the controls in front of the operator, facing away from the cooking surface. The cooktop controls are set inside the cooking surface itself.


Cooktops slide into a cutout in the countertop from above, while range tops glide in from the front. In addition, certain range tops have an overhanging trim to fill up any gaps between them and the countertop.

a woman baking pastries in the oven

Frequent Asked Questions

Are Stove and Oven the Same Thing?

Some call the whole appliance an oven, though. There is a difference between a stove and an oven. An oven is the most prevalent kitchen appliance terminology. An enclosed space that consumes fuel for heat is a stove.

Is an Oven Called a Stove?

A stove, a range, or an oven are some of the more common names for this appliance. Even though they refer to three distinct appliances, these three terms are often used interchangeably to describe the same thing. Ovens in the kitchen can be integrated into the stove or stand alone as a wall oven. An oven heats air to cook food. Stoves combine an oven and stovetop.

Is Stove Top Better Than Oven?

Both electric wall ovens and electric ranges have roughly the same life span. On the other hand, gas cooktops and stove pots have a longer lifespan.

Is a Stove Considered a Range?

Range and stove terms are often used interchangeably. A stove lacks an oven, but a range combines a cooktop and oven. Some say both stove and range can signify a stovetop plus oven. However, the number of burners differentiates them. Standard house stoves have four burners, while ranges include six, eight, or 10. Others say a stove is any heated cooking equipment, oven or not.

Are Cooktops Better Than Stoves?

It comes down to pricing, performance, and preference. As far as kitchen convenience goes, nothing beats a cooktop plus wall oven as a duo. Cooking on the stovetop and baking in the oven can be done independently, which is impossible when using a range.

Should I Choose a Cooktop or Range for My Kitchen?

You can save space by condensing your kitchen appliances into one area with a range. Do you often prepare meals with someone else? For example, one person can sear, boil, and sauté on the cooktop while the other tends to the oven.

Ranges are available in various pricing points and aesthetics. If you look at a wide price range, you might be able to find something that fits your budget better. Do you want more open space? Double-wall ovens offer a larger capacity than double oven ranges. A range and wall oven are also options.

About the author

Cornelia Suehr

A professional chef and a passionate writer on all topics related to cooking, baking, appliances and kitchenware. Her posts resonate with foodies, home chefs and professionals.


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