Choosing a new range is a big decision. It needs to fit your kitchen, both functionally and stylistically. And with any luck, you won’t buy another range for many years, so you don't want to regret your decision.
From commercial to designer and everything in between there are a lot of looks, and a lot of cooking styles to consider when choosing a range.
So how do you know which range style is right for you?
Starting with Fuel Types
The first thing people notice about a range is the cooktop. Does it have the smooth glass finish of electric and induction or the heavy cast iron grates that come with gas.
When it comes to fuel types most people choose what they’re most comfortable cooking with, what they’re most used to. But there are other things to consider too.
Electric ranges are going to be the most affordable, and the least intimidating if you’re not 100% comfortable in the kitchen. Gas is going to be incredibly precise, and a Professional Style range is far and away the most popular look. Induction is the safest, the most efficient, and the most powerful - but it can also be the most expensive. It has the most redeeming feature of a gas range and It is incredibly precise as well.
Performance vs. appearance can really matter here. So be sure you do your research and get the style that works best for you.
Following with Design
Technically a slide-in range has unfinished sides, and needs to slot into a cut out in your cabinetry because the top is slightly wider than the normal 30” opening size which gives the range a built-in look. A normal freestanding range has a backsplash with the controls on the backsplash, finished sides and can sit open.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way here’s what it really means. Slide-in ranges have front controls and a more professional look. Freestanding ranges have a backsplash, where the control panels are usually mounted.
There’s more. But that’s a good rule of thumb. And…the “more” is that now we have slide-in, freestanding ranges…where the range has front controls, no back splash, the sides are finished it fits into a 30” slot.
Generally, people prefer the look of slide-in ranges, and they often come with more features than their freestanding counterparts. But if you have small children, then keeping little hands away from the controls is a thing, so backsplash may be a better option.
Picking the Right Finish
When it comes to performance, there’s not a huge difference when it comes to range finishes. Stainless steel requires moderately more upkeep than traditional white or black. And trendy new looks like black stainless can offer the best of both worlds. And today’s manufacturers are now showing stainless steel ranges with finishes that are fingerprint resistant.
When it comes to the colour of your range, ultimately that’s going to come down to you. You’re going to look at it every day for more than a decade. Make sure you like it!
Considering Key Features
Digging into the functionality of your new range, you’ll come across a number of innovative features that will expand your cooking and in some cases dramatically change the look of your new appliance.
Here are just a few of the most popular options out there. But there’s plenty more where these came from.
Convection ovens use a fan to circulate the hot air within the oven cavity. That circulation eliminates cold spots, preheats and cooks faster than standard ovens, all while searing in juices and cooking more evenly. True convention ranges also feature an additional element wrapped around the fan to enhance the convection cooking process.
Designed to keep prepared food warm for up to three hours, warming drawers replace storage drawers in freestanding and slide-in ranges. In some models, warming drawers can also cook food at low temperatures and can even proof dough for bakers out there.
SPECIALIZED BURNERS AND ELEMENTS
One trend we’re seeing is increasingly specialized cooktops as the professional versatility expands into the rest of the market place.
5, 6 or more burners/elements allow you to cook more items at one time. Specialized burners/elements allow you to cook with more precision; Power for increased heat, Simmer for more delicate cooking, and bridge elements for more utility. Grill and griddle tops allow you to cook directly on the cook surface, while warming elements give you a dedicated space to place food before it’s ready to serve.
There’s a lot to take in, but that’s OK. This is just the beginning. Be sure to check out our other great articles on ranges in our blog, and you’ll have your family’s perfect new range baking, broiling and cooking away in no time!
And when you’re ready to shop ranges, head over to our store to find exactly what you’re looking for.
Isabelle, your appliance expert