Replacing a range is always a difficult task. There are numerous features and options to consider, and because this appliance is such an important part of the kitchen, we must find the best gas range or best electric range we can.
However, this search raises numerous questions, such as which fuel type to select and what specifications to look for. That's why we've put together a comprehensive guide outlining the advantages and disadvantages of each option.
Choose the appropriate size. To begin, measure your available space to determine the size of range you can accommodate. Do you prefer a single or dual oven? While most are standard sizes, the width can vary by a couple of inches, so double-check.
What kind are you looking for?
There are three types of ranges available: freestanding, slide-in, and built-in. Freestanding ranges include a backsplash and are finished on all sides, allowing them to be placed almost anywhere. Slide-in models are designed to fit seamlessly between kitchen cabinets and include a built-in bottom drawer. Built-in models are becoming increasingly rare; they sit between the cabinets but lack the bottom drawer.
Check to see if you have a gas line available. You can install a gas range if you have one, but if you don't and want to convert to gas, you'll need to hire an electrician to run a gas line to the appliance. If you want to switch from gas to electric, you must hire an electrician to cap the gas line and run a larger electrical wire to the range. Converting can be expensive.
Consider your financial situation. Ranges can range in price from $400 to over $10,000, so consider which features you want and how much you're willing to pay for them.
Do you require an app? Some of the more expensive models can communicate with your smartphone via Wi-Fi. This means you can use a smart device or voice control to preheat and control the range hands-free. Some models can also communicate with recipe apps to set the cooking time and temperature.
Think about how many compartments and burners you'll need. You may need more than one oven depending on how many people you're cooking for. You can also run two different settings at the same time if you have more than one cooking space. This is something to think about before you buy because some models come with two ovens, while others can divide a single oven to provide more than one cooking space.
The benefits and drawbacks of an electric range
Because it is a flat surface, the cooktop on an electric stove is quick to heat up and easy to clean. It does, however, remain hot for some time after you turn it off, which is inconvenient if you have young children or pets. It's also much more difficult to control than a gas range because it's not as responsive — because it's so slow to react, you may need to remove a pan from the burner if it starts to boil over.
Because of the fan, an electric range provides more even heat distribution than a gas range in the oven. This means that there will be fewer hot spots and a more even rise on any baked goods. It's worth noting that this fuel type produces a dry texture, which is ideal if you want a crispy finish, as in French fries. However, electric ranges take longer to heat up than gas range.
Electricity is, by definition, a safer option than gas. It's also easier to install because all you need is an electrical outlet. However, in terms of daily operating costs, these are more expensive. In terms of upfront cost, both gas and electric ranges start around the same price, but high-end electric designs cost less than gas models.
The benefits and drawbacks of a gas stove
A gas range cooktop is quick to respond and simple to use. This means that turning it up or down produces an immediate response. However, because of the grates and crevices, these stoves are more difficult to clean — for more information, see our guide on how to clean cast iron stove grates. They're also slower to heat than electric, so cooking large quantities takes longer.
The oven will not provide as even a heat distribution as an electric range, so expect burnt spots; however, they will heat up faster. A gas range will also produce a moist texture, which is ideal for roast dinners and meats.This type of range is the riskier option because it uses gas, and it's also more difficult to install because the gas line must be installed by an electrician. On the plus side, they are less expensive to operate and will save you money over an electric range. Gas ranges start around the same price as electric ranges, but the most expensive models can cost more than $10,000.