Are you building a new kitchen, or you're thinking of upgrading your old kitchen appliances? If yes, a range is one of the cooking appliances you should consider buying.
Luckily, the cooking appliance comes in different sizes and styles, ideal for any kitchen size. Depending on your budget and other needs, you can choose between drop-in, slide-in, and freestanding ranges.
Ranges also make it possible to multitask. You can cook food, bake cookies, stir fry, roast, and boil ingredients using the same appliance.
But what is a range in a kitchen? Here, we'll look at what it is, how it differs from an oven, and its uses.
Let's jump into it.
What's a Countertop Kitchen Range?
A kitchen range or stove is a cooking appliance in several American kitchens. The multifunctional kitchen appliance features an oven you can use for roasting, baking, and broiling.
It also comes with a cooktop or stovetop that you can use for searing, sauteing, and boiling.
Most ranges come with a stainless steel material construction when it comes to design. The stainless steel material is sturdy and can withstand a tough job. The material remains strong and durable irrespective of how brutal you become with your cooking activities.
The material is also easy to clean. Therefore, you don't have to worry about making a mess as you cook. It is also rust and corrosion-resistant, and the shiny surface adds to the range's sleek and elegant look.
Since kitchen ranges are versatile appliances you need in your kitchen, it's essential to know how they work.
So, what parts make up a kitchen range?
Parts of a Range Oven
A range combines two essential parts, including an oven and a cooktop or a stove. The parts come in different sizes and features.
Additionally, range ovens come in different sizes, including 30-inches, 36-inches, and 48-inches in width. Larger ranges can offer you more features than their smaller counterparts. For instance, a large range can come with six stovetop burners and a griddle. A smaller range can come with only two burners.
Before purchasing a range, you also need to understand how they're heated. Some ranges are electrically heated, while others use gas (propane or natural). You also have dual-fuel ranges that are a favorite of professional chefs and bakers.
The dual fuel range allows you to use the power that works best. For instance, using gas is better than electric heat when using the stovetop. Gas offers a better and more visual control of cooking temperatures.
On the other hand, electric heat is better for baking as it offers even and consistent heat.
What's the Difference Between a Stove and a Range?
You shouldn't confuse a range with a cooktop.
A kitchen range is a stove with various parts, including stovetops and ovens. It's a common kitchen appliance in most high-end kitchens as it combines the two cooking appliances instead of purchasing each appliance separately.
A kitchen range can use either electricity or gas fuel.
A cooktop is a stove and can be electric, induction, or gas-fueled. A cooktop is a standalone appliance and doesn't contain an oven. It helps cook food by providing heat directly. Some stoves can be enclosed, and you can confuse them with an oven. However, ovens feature an enclosed chamber used for cooking, baking, and roasting.
You can install the appliance within your counter and have cabinets below it.
You can use a cooktop as a secondary cooking appliance, and they also don't take as much space in your kitchen as a range. You can use a cooktop for cooking food, boiling, and searing.
What's an Oven?
While a modern kitchen range contains both an oven and a cooktop, you can use an oven as a separate appliance completely. The stand-alone appliance is called a wall oven. You'll mostly find one in high-end or commercial kitchens.
An oven contains an enclosed space where you can bake cookies and roast your meat.
Ovens can use either electric or gas fuel. Most professional chefs prefer electric heat as it's more consistent and even. Most single and double-wall ovens utilize electric heat.
Is There a Difference Between a Kitchen Stove and Oven?
It's not unusual to have the word oven used interchangeably with stove. However, a wood-burning stove existed before the coming of the modern-day oven.
Today, stovetops use fuel to heat a surface on which cooking happens. Stovetops can stand alone as independent kitchen appliances or be part of a range.
On the other hand, an oven is the enclosed cavity used for baking, roasting, and cooking your food. The familiar appliance can be part of a range or a separate cooking appliance. Ovens feature one or two open cavities, enhancing their cooking capacity.
Different Range Styles
When it comes to installation options, range ovens offer different styles, including freestanding, slide-in, and drop-in. The various styles are installed differently in your kitchen space. Before buying a kitchen range, it'll be best to consider its style and how it fits in your kitchen.
Freestanding ranges feature prominent legs that allow them to stand on your countertop. They can come with overhead storage, and they can take up more space in your kitchen than drop-in or slide-in kitchen ranges.
Ensure you install the range close to a gas-line connection or an electrical hook-up.
Unlike their freestanding counterparts, slide-in ranges don't feature finished sides. They are designed to provide a better fit on your countertop.
You should install the range into a countertop with a proper cutout. The installation option offers you more proximity to your counter space, making food preparation easier.
The drop-in range style is installed between cabinets. You wire it directly to the wall, and it rests on cabinet drawers instead of an oven bottom drawer.
The range style has a built-in look ideal for a kitchen island.
What Is Btu in a Kitchen Range?
When purchasing a kitchen range, you'll come across the term Btu which can be confusing.
British Thermal Unit (Btu) is the heating unit used to measure the heat output in a range. It's the amount of heat you require to increase the temperature of one point of water by a single Fahrenheit.
BTU is the amount of heat a burner in your stove puts off. For instance, you can have a kitchen range with Btu ranging from 650 Btu to 18,000 Btu. The average Btu for kitchen ranges is 7,000 Btus.
However, some stoves have less making them ideal for simmering, while others have more, ideal for boiling water fast.
How Do You Choose the Best Range?
If you want to buy a range, here are features that will help you get the best:
Some ranges come with a double oven to cook two different dishes at varying temperatures simultaneously. The double-oven kitchen range can feature two full-size ovens stacked over each other, one full-size oven paired with a smaller one, or two small-size ovens side-by-side.
A double oven enhances your efficiency as you can prepare more than one dish simultaneously.
Modern kitchen ranges are Wi-Fi enabled, allowing more options when baking or cooking. The Wi-Fi connection offers you more flexibility and efficiency.
For example, you can use your phone to preheat the oven as you do other activities such as preparing the ingredients or watching TV.
Some kitchen ranges have a voice-assistance feature to control the appliance using your voice as you prepare the ingredients.
As you look for the best kitchen range to buy, consider one with a self-cleaning feature. Some ranges feature a high-temperature cycle that turns all the food debris into ashes.
Therefore, you don't have to worry about scrabbing the debris that sticks to the kitchen appliance. You sweep the ashes, and you're good to go.
However, if your oven doesn't have a self-cleaning feature, we provided solutions, like how to clean your oven with vinegar steam, which is a quick and easy way to keep it clean and prevent food from sticking and burning.
It'll also be best to go for a convection oven as it cooks more evenly and faster.
Convection ovens feature an internal fan that helps circulate the heated air in the oven cavity for even cooking food.
Which Is the Better option Between Gas and Electric Kitchen Ranges?
Gas and electric fuel sources come with their benefits.
For instance, an avid baker may prefer an electric kitchen range as it offers more precise temperature controls in the oven. Electric ranges also feature a coil-style stovetop that offers faster cooking than their glass-style counterparts. The electric ranges are also easy to install.
Gas ranges are best for stovetop cooking options as it provides precise temperature adjustments. They're also cheaper to operate if you already have a natural gas line.
What's a Kitchen Range?
A range in a kitchen is a cooking appliance that combines an oven and a stovetop. It's an excellent option as it saves you the trouble of buying the appliances separately.
You can buy an electric or gas-fueled kitchen range and enjoy various activities, including baking, roasting, cooking, searing, boiling, and frying food.