Whether you're an all-star chef or simply cooking basic family meals, a top-of-the-line range will make mealtime easier. Whether you go for a gas stove or an electric stove, chances are that you’ll run into the wide variety of options available. Knowing the differences among the choices will ensure you order up the right range for your cooking style.
Should I choose a gas stove or an electric stove?
Much like apples and oranges, electric and gas cookers have distinct differences:
• Electric: An electric stove will generally be less expensive than its gas counterpart and will allow you to maintain low heat levels. It can sometimes be difficult to regulate a consistent temperature overall with an electric model, and keep in mind that the higher the wattage is on your burners, the faster your food will cook. Burners typically come in one of two styles: a standard coil burner that features coils sitting above the surface, or a smooth top, for which heating elements are installed beneath a glass surface for a smooth look.
• Gas: Providing better control of temperatures, gas stoves also allow you to heat up or cool down your cookware much faster than electric cookers. Check that your gas range comes with at least one high-output burner, used for quick boiling and searing, as well as low-temperature options for simmering.
How large should my range be?
Range cookers come in a variety of sizes to accommodate your needs. The standard size is 30 inches; however, you can go as large as 60 inches. To determine what size will work best for you, consider how many people you’ll typically be cooking for and if you’ll need to utilize several burners at a time for large cooking projects. In addition, take into consideration how much room you have in your kitchen — it’s likely this will also affect how large your range can be. With that in mind, be sure to measure your available kitchen space as well as the stove itself to make sure there will be no surprises when it arrives at your home. Don’t forget to also make sure you have access to a natural-gas source or an electrical outlet, depending on which type of range you choose.
What types of stoves are available?
Depending on your kitchen setup, you can choose from a freestanding, slide-in or drop-in model. Freestanding range cookers don’t need to be fitted into your cabinetry and can have finished sides. A slide-in range does just what it says and slides in between your cabinets, while a drop-in range rests on a toe kick plate in between your cabinets.