Range Buying Guide
Depending on your region, the range may be known by many names. Ranges are commonly referred to as stoves, ovens, or some combination (such as "range ovens"). Ranges offer a wide variety of features, functions, and other options. Please use this handy buyer's guide from Goedeker's to better educate yourself about all the different choices there are to consider when purchasing a new range.
Range Fuel Sources
A gas range is available in open burner and closed burner models. A gas hookup - either natural gas or liquid propane - must be available in order to use a gas range. These are ideal for quick cooking; cooking surfaces can be heated up in an instant for fast results. The oven portion also uses gas flames to create heat.
An electric range uses electricity as its power source and usually has a less expensive purchase price. Electric ranges offer two cooktop surfaces: coil elements, which use coiled metal to heat the surface, and a smooth glass surface, which is great for cleaning and offers a modern look. The oven portion also uses electricity to create heat.
Induction technology is commonly misinterpreted as a unique fuel source. However, induction technology is actually a feature available on some electric ranges. Induction ranges require cookware specifically designed for compatibility with induction cooking. Induction works not by heating the cooktop surface but instead using magnets within the cooktop to induce heat in the cookware. For this reason, if you remove a pot or pan from an induction cooking surface, it will cool more rapidly than any other available option. This is a significant safety asset to any family with pets or children that may inadvertently activate the range.
Dual fuel ranges make use of both fuel options when cooking. The cooktop surface uses gas, while the oven uses electricity.
Ranges by Installation Type
These models can be placed in the middle or at the end of the countertop.
These models are designed to be flush with the countertop and cabinets with no backsplash. All controls are on the front.
These are similar to the slide-in models but rest on top of a toe kick for a built-in look.
Ranges by Cooktop Type
Smoothtop cooktops are available for electric ranges. They have a smooth glass heating area, are easy to clean, and have a modern look.
Most electric range models use a coiled metal element to provide heat. These elements glow red when hot and take time to reach the desired temperature.
Open burners generally require a removable drip tray or drain pan to be placed under the grate for each burner. The lid of the range must be lifted occasionally in order to clean out residue and food debris that may fall between the cooktop and the burner.
Sealed burners are available for some gas ranges. A sealed burner means that the cooktop surface runs right up to the burner, which leaves no room between the edge of the cooktop and the burner source for food to fall. Sealed burner ranges are easier to clean and maintain than open burner ranges.
Other Features to Consider When Shopping
Number of Burners – Ranges can have anywhere from 1 to 10 burners. The most common amounts you will see on the market are 2, 4, 5, and 6 burners.
Types of Burners – There are several different types of burners that may be included on a range. Tri-ring burners are like three burners in one and offer three different heating levels, from a low simmer up to boiling. Simmer burners provide less heat than standard burners to avoid overcooking food. Boil burners are specialized for fast, powerful heating and cooking of food. Warm zones help keep food warm after it’s been cooked. Griddle burners are perfect for making pancakes or grilling sandwiches. Oval burners are often placed in the center of the cooktop of the range and are meant to accommodate odd-sized pots or pans.
Convection Cooking - The ovens of some ranges also have convection heating elements for baking, broiling, browning, and roasting food.
Number of Ovens – Ranges may come with single or double ovens. Double ovens offer higher cooking efficiency, giving you the ability to prepare different types of food in each oven.
Oven Settings – The ovens of some ranges may come with any number of preset options. Preheat, reheat, and add-a-minute settings are very common. Other popular features include slow cook, proof, delay bake, my favorite, chicken nuggets, and pizza.
Grates - On gas ranges, this refers to the metal coverings on which a pot or pan is placed. Grates are either continuous or individual. Continuous grates allow a pot or pan to slide easily around the surface to a different burner. Individual grates mean that the pot or pan must be lifted and placed on the grate for each separate burner. Some ranges feature bridge elements, which can connect two burners and increase the cooking surface for when you use larger pots or pans.
Oven Racks – These are metal grates that give the ability to place food at different positions in the oven. Some brands or models offer half-racks so you can cook multiple dishes at once for optimal time management.
Drawers – Some models include different types of drawers, such as a broiler drawer, a warming drawer, an additional oven drawer, or simply more storage space. Storage drawers are ideal for items such as cookie sheets and long pans.
Color – Ranges come in nearly any color you could imagine. Some basic color choices are stainless steel, white, and black. Other popular color choices include green, gray, purple, blue, red, bisque, cream, and burgundy. Slate, orange, yellow, and silver are less common choices but they are also available.
Temperature Management – Advanced range models have precise temperature management systems which offer more control of the heat produced by your cooktop or oven.
Self-Clean - These range models have a setting where they clean themselves automatically after cooking. This is accomplished through extreme heating, reducing any food remnants to ash. For safety, the oven portion of the range will lock during the cleaning process.
Timer – Many ranges feature a timer which can be used for the oven or for your other kitchen needs.
Child Lock – These models have a child lock or control lock safety feature. This may include keeping children from changing the cooktop settings, changing the oven settings, or opening the oven door.
Auto Shut-Off – This safety feature automatically shuts off the oven after a certain period of time. For most models, the automatic shut-off time is after 12 hours. That way you are offered peace of mind and security, but you are not prevented from overnight cooking.
Hot Surface Indicator – This safety feature is a light that lets you know when the surface of the cooktop is still hot to the touch.
Drip Bowls – Removable, no-drip bowls come with many types of coil cooktops. These collect food drippings from the cooking surface and burners to make cleaning easier.
Hidden Bake Element - The bake element is covered in the oven to make cleaning easier.
Removable Elements – Dishwasher-safe grates and knobs that can be removed from the cooktop of your range make for easy cleaning.
Touchpad Controls – These replace the dial controls on cooktops for a fresh, modern look.
Oven Window – A majority of oven models feature a clear glass section of the oven door that gives you the ability to view your food cooking without having to open the door and release any heat.
Recessed Oven Door – These doors are specially designed to reduce heat exposure to surrounding cabinets to avoid discoloration.
Downdraft Venting – This type of venting for your range allows ventilation to go down through the oven instead of through a range hood.
Interior Lighting – Lights inside the oven help you more easily see your food cooking.
Sabbath Mode - This feature is available on select models and is in keeping with kosher practices during the Sabbath.