Choosing the right range for your kitchen is an important decision that requires careful consideration of your needs, kitchen layout, and budget. With ranges available in gas, electric, induction, and dual fuel models, selecting the ideal range can be overwhelming. Follow this comprehensive guide to determine the right range for your kitchen.
Outlining Your Needs
Before shopping for a new range, clearly define your needs and priorities. Ask yourself:
- How will you primarily use the range – baking, broiling, or general cooking? If you love to bake, look for a range with a high-powered convection oven. For broiling, consider a gas range with an infrared broiler.
- What size range does your space allow for? Measure the width of your current range or the available space. Standard sizes are 30, 36, 48 and 60 inches.
- How many burners do you need? Four to six burners accommodate most home cooks. Professional-style models offer up to 12 burners.
- Do you require any special features like a griddle or double oven? Know which features will enhance how you cook.
- What’s your preferred fuel type? Choose from gas, electric, induction or dual fuel. Every type has pros and cons.
- What’s your budget for a new range? Prices range widely from $500 up to $15,000. Setting a budget helps narrow down choices.
Being clear on your must-have features, space requirements, and budget lays the foundation for choosing the ideal range.
Consider Fuel Types for the Range
The fuel type significantly impacts a range’s cooking performance and features. Compare the pros and cons of each:
- Provide instant, precise temperature control
- Burners heat up and cool down quickly
- Ideal for sautéing, stir-frying, and searing
- Open flame can reach very high heat
- No temperature regulation on the burners
- Gas lines may need to be installed or modified
- Burners and knobs can be tricky to clean
- Easy to install – simply plug into electric outlet
- Smooth glass surface is easy to clean
- Even heating throughout the oven
- Digital controls make it easy to set precise temps
- Longer preheat times for oven and cooktop
- Hard to adjust heat quickly
- Cooking surface doesn’t get as hot as gas
- Very fast preheat times
- Exceptional responsiveness and temperature control
- Easy to clean flat surface
- Only works with ferromagnetic cookware
- Installation may require updated wiring
- Expensive models
Dual Fuel Ranges
- Gas burners offer quick, precise heat control
- Electric oven provides even, consistent baking
- Best combination of gas and electric benefits
- One of the most expensive range types
- Professional installation often required
Consider your cooking preferences, kitchen setup, and budget to determine the ideal fuel type for your range.
Select the Right Size Range
The size range you choose depends on your existing space and layout. First, measure the width of your current range or available space for the new range. Standard range sizes include:
- 30-inch – Best for small kitchens and apartments. Accommodates 3 or 4 burners.
- 36-inch – Ideal for most home kitchens. Fits 4 to 6 burners.
- 48-inch – Provides extra room and versatility. Fits 6 to 8 burners.
- 60-inch – Commercial-size with spacious cooktop. Fits 8 to 12 burners.
If you’re remodeling your kitchen, think about traffic flow and how the range placement impacts the triangle between the cooktop, sink, and refrigerator.
Check your cabinetry as well – you may need to alter or replace cabinets to fit wider professional-style ranges. Design the kitchen layout to allow sufficient countertop work space on each side of the new range.
Select the largest size that realistically fits your existing kitchen space. Prioritize usability and functionality over squeezing in an oversized range.
Choose the Right Number of Burners
The number of burners you need ties closely to the range size. Common configurations include:
- 4 burners – Minimum number for most ranges. Ideal for 30-inch models.
- 6 burners – Accommodates most home cooks. Fits well in 36-inch ranges.
- 8 burners – Allows simultaneous cooking. Included in many 48-inch ranges.
- 12 burners – Found in commercial-style 60-inch ranges. Provides expansive cooktop space.
Evaluate how many pots and pans are on your stove during typical meal prepping. Do you regularly cook large quantities or use multiple pans? More burners provide flexibility.
However, don’t overbuy on burners if you won’t use them. Optimize the range size and burner count for your daily cooking needs.
Look for a range that allows you to bridge two burners to fit large griddles or oval pots. Having one high-BTU power burner is useful as well.
Special Features to Consider
Determine which extra features best support your cooking process:
- Convection cooking – Circulates hot air for faster, more even baking.
- Double oven – Adds extra oven capacity and flexibility.
- Warming drawer – Keeps food hot until ready to serve.
- Air fryer – Uses convection heat to “air fry” foods with less oil.
- Griddle – Flat cooking surface is perfect for pancakes and grilled cheese.
- Induction cooktop – Allows very precise temperature control.
- Booster burners – Super high-heat burners reach up to 18,000 BTUs.
- Infrared broiler – Broils meats intensely with infrared heat.
- WiFi connectivity – Enables monitoring and controlling the range remotely.
- Simmer burners – Provide precise low heat ideal for simmering.
Factor in which extra capabilities would be useful based on your typical cooking. Avoid overcomplicating with too many extraneous features you likely won’t use.
Carefully Compare Gas Range Models
With an overview of size, burners, and features, now closely compare specific gas range models. Focus on:
- Burner layout – Evaluate burner sizes, high-BTU turbo burners, and overall configuration.
- Ignition type – Choose ranges with electric spark ignition for reliability.
- Burner grates – Look for continuous grates to easily move pots around.
- Griddle option – Select a range with an available griddle accessory.
- Oven capacity – Consider cubic foot capacity and standard vs convection.
- Broiler power – Check the broiler’s BTU rating and infrared abilities.
- Extra features – Determine which extra features are worthwhile for your needs.
- Reviews – Read reviews and look for excellent ratings on performance and reliability.
- Brand reputation – Stick to well-known brands like GE, Whirlpool, KitchenAid, etc.
Take time making side-by-side comparisons between multiple gas range models using these criteria. Identifying the right match takes research.
Compare Electric and Induction Range Options
Similar to gas models, closely compare electric and induction ranges using these factors:
- Cooktop surface – Electric is typically coil or smooth glass-ceramic. Induction uses magnetic technology.
- Heating technology – Electric uses resistance heating elements. Induction relies on magnetic coils.
- Cooking controls – Look for an induction range with zone-specific temperature controls.
- Power management – Induction ranges provide more precise control over cooktop power.
- Burner layout – Focus on overall burner configuration and size options.
- Extra features – Consider convection fans, air frying modes, and zone bridging.
- Oven capacity – Look for 5.0+ cubic feet total capacity.
- Temperature precision – Induction ranges can precisely control temps down to the degree.
- Safety features – Induction won’t heat without the right cookware on the cooking zone.
- Ease of cleaning – Smooth glass surfaces simplify cleaning.
Take your time comparing electric and induction models. An induction range provides the latest cooking technology for discerning home chefs.
Review Dual Fuel Range Options
Dual fuel ranges provide the unique combination of gas cooktop and electric oven. Compare your options based on:
- Gas cooktop – Evaluate burner layout, power, griddle capability, and continuous grates.
- Electric oven – Look for options like convection fans and self-cleaning mode.
- Broiler – Infrared gas broilers quickly produce intense heat.
- Ignition – Reliable electric ignition limits troubleshooting.
- Overall size – Dual fuel models are available in 30”, 36”, and 48” widths.
- Special modes – Some models include air fry, dehydrating, and yeast proof settings.
- Smart features – WiFi and app connectivity for monitoring oven status.
- Brand reputation – Stick with proven manufacturers like Wolf, Bosch, and Miele.
The combination of gas and electric in one range provides ultimate flexibility for diverse cooking needs.
Set Your Budget for a New Range
Finally, set realistic expectations for your budget. Quality ranges start around $500 for simple models and go up dramatically from there.
Entry-level – $500 to $1500. Basic coil cooktops and minimal oven settings.
Mid-range – $1500 to $3500. Better brand names, smooth cooktops, some extra features.
High-end – $3500 to $6000. Commercial-style sizes, convection cooking, griddles.
Luxury – $6000+. Top brands with the latest cooking technology and premium materials.
Remember to factor in professional installation costs as well, which can add $200 to $500+ for gas line modifications, electrical work, etc.
Setting an appropriate budget prevents “feature creep” from pushing you out of your ideal price range. Focus on the must-have features and quality construction.
Best Practices for Installing the New Range
Once you’ve selected the right range model for your kitchen, proper installation is critical. Follow these best practices:
- Review the product manual thoroughly and ensure you have the necessary equipment, tools, and materials for safe and correct installation.
- For gas ranges, hire a licensed professional to install or modify any gas lines. Make sure all fittings and connections are up to code.
- Electrical ranges should be properly grounded with a 3-prong outlet. Upgrade wiring as needed to support the required wattage.
- Install an appropriate surge protector device to avoid electrical damage to modern electronic ranges.
- Adjust the anti-tip floor bracket securely to prevent the range from tipping forward if weight is applied to an open door.
- Allow ample clearance between the range and overhead cabinets or walls – at least 30 inches for standard models.
- Break-in the range gently per the product guidelines to allow materials to cure properly.
Careful installation prevents accidents, damage, and operational problems that could otherwise cut your brand new range’s lifespan short.
FAQs About Selecting a New Range
What are the main differences between gas and electric ranges?
The main differences come down to the responsiveness and precision of temperature control. Gas allows you to adjust the flame instantly, while electric ranges rely on heating elements that are slower to respond. Gas also reaches much higher maximum temperatures. Electric ovens tend to cook more evenly, however.
How much space do I need for a range?
Allow for 30 to 36 inches of width for the range itself. Make sure to leave a minimum of 30-36 inches of clearance between the range top and overhead cabinets for ventilation purposes.
What should I look for in a convection oven?
Seeking out an oven with convection fans allows for faster, more even baking by circulating hot air throughout the cavity. Look for a model with at least two convection fan speeds.
Do professional ranges require special installation?
Most pro-style ranges over 48 inches wide require special installation, wiring, and clearance to operate safely. Hire a certified appliance specialist for installing commercial equipment.
Are there common problems I should watch out for?
Avoid ranges with heavily negative reviews mentioning issues like tricky controls, unreliable ignition, loud internal fans, slow heating, and significant temperature variances. Focus on proven quality models.
What safety tips should I know for my new range?
- Keep flammable materials away from the cooktop
- Turn pot handles inward to avoid accidental bumps
- Ensure overhead ventilation hood works properly
- Install an ABC-type fire extinguisher near the range
- Keep children away while cooking and use back burners if possible
How can I make sure I’m getting the right size range?
Carefully measure the existing opening or available space for your range. Be sure to account for needed clearances like 30-36 inches up to the overhead cabinets. Also consider your daily cooking needs – don’t overbuy or underbuy burners.
Finding your perfect kitchen range involves careful planning and comparison shopping. Determine your must-have features, kitchen layout, cooking habits, and budget. Weigh the pros and cons of fuel types and compute the right size. Thoroughly compare models and brands using detailed criteria. Aim for the “just right” range that meets your family’s needs without breaking the budget. Applying these tips helps ensure many years of cooking enjoyment with your new high-performance kitchen range.
How to Find the Right Range for Your Kitchen
Finding the ideal range for your kitchen is an important decision that requires some careful consideration. The range is the heart of any kitchen, so you’ll want to make sure you select the right fuel type, size, number of burners, and extra features to match your cooking style and space. Follow this comprehensive guide to determine the perfect range for your needs.
Outline How You Cook
First, outline how you currently use your range and what’s most important to you:
- Do you cook large meals frequently that require multiple pans and burners? Opt for a wider range with more cooktop space.
- Are you an avid baker? Look for a more powerful oven with convection baking modes.
- Do you regularly cook over high heat for searing or frying? Pick a cooktop that can reach very high BTUs.
- Does your range get a lot of use and need to be durable? Seek out commercial-grade stainless steel models.
- Are precise temperatures and even heating a must? Consider an induction cooktop for digital precision.
Consider which range features would best complement your cooking process and the types of meals you regularly prepare.
Measure Your Space
Next, carefully measure the space you have available for your new range. Make sure to note:
- Width of existing range or range cut-out
- Height from floor to bottom of overhead cabinets
- Distance to cabinets on either side of the range
- Traffic areas behind and around the range location
- Electrical or gas hookups – do they need to be adapted for a new range?
Pay attention to clearance, making sure there’s adequate room for ventilation and opening oven doors. You don’t want a massive commercial range overwhelming a tiny kitchen.
Choose Fuel and Cooktop Type
The fuel type you choose – gas, electric, or induction – impacts the cooktop performance and features. Consider:
Electric: Affordable, smooth cooktop surface, radiant heating from below
Gas: Maximum high-heat capability, precision control, grates over burners
Induction: Magnetic technology, ultra-responsive, cool-to-touch surface
If baking is important, dual-fuel ranges with gas cooktops and electric ovens give you the flexibility of both fuel types.
Determine Burner Number and Size
Evaluate how many burners your cooking requires:
- 4 burners – Good for smaller kitchens and light cooking needs
- 6 burners – Accommodates most home cooks
- 8+ burners – Ideal for frequent large meals and multitasking
Make sure the range accommodates your largest pots and pans on the burners. Having one high-powered quick-boiling burner is handy.
Compare Oven Capacity
Check the oven capacity in cubic feet and whether it offers convection baking. Larger, more powerful ovens allow cooking multiple dishes at once.
Extra Features to Look For
- Convection cooking – Circulates hot air for fast, even baking
- Warming drawer – Keeps food hot after cooking
- Griddle – Opens up more cooking options
- Speed / specialty modes – Self-cleaning, proofing, air fry, etc.
- Smart connectivity – Controls and monitors oven remotely
Budget and Reviews
Finally, set a realistic budget and read reviews. High-end pro-style ranges run $5,000 to $15,000. Quality budget options are available under $2,000. Read reviews to spot any common problems with particular models.
Selecting the right range requires measuring your space, identifying must-have features, and comparing different models. But the investment will be well worth many years of cooking enjoyment.
FAQs About Finding the Right Range
What size range is typically best for the average home kitchen?
For most home kitchens, a high-quality 30-36 inch range with 4 to 6 burners provides the best balance of spaciousness and usability. Make sure to measure your existing cut-out or available space first.
**What should I look for if I want to