Cooktop, Range, or Wall Oven: Which is Best for Your Kitchen?
Like many major appliance purchases, the final choice comes down to a comparison between price, performance, and functionality. Many people use their kitchens in different ways, and there is no single right answer. In this article, we will take an in-depth look at the available choices, how they differ, the main benefits, and more. Hopefully, this will help you to make an informed purchasing decision when you upgrade your kitchen appliances.
Understanding the Major Differences
It’s important to understand the terminology because many people use cooking appliance terms in an interchangeable manner, and this can be confusing. A kitchen range is best defined as a combination of a cooktop with an oven. A cooktop may also be known as a stove or perhaps a stovetop depending on the manufacturer or where you live. A kitchen range is an all-in-one appliance because it is possible to purchase and install an oven and a cooktop separately.
4 Benefits of a Kitchen Range
A kitchen range has historically been one of the most popular appliances in a kitchen, and this trend is set to continue in the future. Let’s take a look at the four benefits of buying and installing a kitchen range in your home.
- A kitchen range is a more affordable option when compared to buying and installing a separate cooktop and oven.
- Installing a kitchen range is easier.
- This is a more space efficient option.
- Many modern kitchen ranges are aesthetically pleasing and form a focal point for the entire kitchen.
The main choices for a kitchen range are between a built-in or freestanding appliance. Generally speaking, a freestanding range is costs less, and it will be easier to install. But, you can find gas and electric kitchen ranges in both configurations. The kitchen range that you choose will depend on your available budget and space. Let’s take a look at gas and electric ranges in a little more detail.
The Gas Range
The gas range is a professional choice favored by top chefs in many kitchens. This is because a gas range can offer more precise cooktop control with instantaneous heat changes as needed. There is no cool down or warm up time that is required with an electric burner. A kitchen range is also a durable option, the initial purchase price may be high, but it will tend to last longer, making it a sound long term investment. Another key advantage is that gas tends to be cheaper than electricity, and the lower energy bills can really add up over time. If you enjoy creating home cooked meals regularly, a gas range or separate gas cooktop makes a lot of sense.
The Electric Range
Despite the many advantages of a gas range or cooktop, some people may prefer an electric option. Many modern electric cooktops have a glass top, which makes them very easy to clean when compared to a gas alternative. All they require is a quick wipe with a damp cloth, and you’re ready to start cooking again. Another factor is the ease of installation. If you don’t have the existing infrastructure for gas, it will be necessary to install extra pipes. You can find electric ranges in a wide range of prices, and they are a viable alternative for casual cooks. In recent years the gap between electric and gas cooktops has been narrowed thanks to the introduction of induction models. An induction cooktop provides good heat control paired with improved energy efficiency, making it a better option for lower energy bills.
3 Reasons to Choose a Separate Cooktop and Oven
Anyone in real estate already knows that a separately installed cooktop and oven is in style at the moment. If you have the budget and available space, a modern setup with a separate cooktop and oven can be a real update for a tired kitchen. Let’s take a look at three reasons why you may want to consider this option over a range.
- If you like to cook with multiple burners more than using an oven, you can go with a larger six burner cooktop and a smaller oven.
- Have a separate wall oven allows you to install your cooktop directly into a kitchen island with no need to sacrifice the under counter storage space.
- If you like to bake regularly, you can install a double oven and install a standard four burner cooktop.
As you can see, installing a separate cooktop and oven can give you a great deal of flexibility when compared to a range. Choosing to go this way doesn’t prevent you from choosing between a gas or electric cooktop. Let’s take a look at each option in more detail below.
A Gas Cooktop
This has all the advantages of a kitchen gas range that we covered earlier in this article. The best models should have a high BTU burner for searing meat and fish and a low BTU burner for slow simmering. Finding the optimal burner configuration to meet your cooking style and needs is important. Look for control knobs at the front center of your new cooktop to ensure easy control when using multiple pans. The highest powered burner should be in the center of the cooktop for efficient ventilation.
An Electric Cooktop
Because of their ease of installation, lower price, and simple cleaning electric cooktops have become more popular in recent years. Glass surfaces make a post-dinner clean up a breeze, and an induction model doesn¡t generate ambient heat. An induction cooktop uses an electromagnetic surface to heat the pots and pans. This is a safe and energy efficient way to cook without compromising on the quality of your food. An induction cooktop costs a little more than a traditional electric alternative, but the ease of use and energy efficiency are worth the extra investment.
Consider a Wall Oven Installation
Installing a cooktop on a counter will resemble a range in form and function without compromising on under counter storage space. But, if you decide to go with a separate oven, it makes good sense to wall mount it and save space. The oven should be mounted at a comfortable height, and this will be a godsend for anyone with lower back issues. When your oven is mounted on the wall, it’s easy to track the progress of your cooking, and you can install a double oven for entertaining and larger families. Consider creating a dedicated zone for the wall mounted oven(s) to avoid problems in a busier kitchen.
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