Electric Range Buying Guide - 11 Key Considerations to know
An electric range is basically a combination of oven and stove that uses electric power instead of gas power to heat and cook food. However, not every electric range is created equal. For example, different electric ranges utilize different heating methods and contain different elements – this can impact cooking.
Choosing Electric Over Gas
Generally speaking, the range is the kitchen’s workhorse. And if it is stylish, it is most likely the centerpiece, as well. The choice between electric and gas ranges is mainly determined by what you have.
An electric range can work in any home, as long as you got a 120 /220V (3-wire) or 120/208V (3-wire) and 40A or 50A electric line in your kitchen. On the other hand, gas ranges need you to have either propane or natural gas service at your house. An electrician can set one up if you don’t.
In case you want to replace an existing range, purchasing a new model of the same size and type guarantees that the new range will be a fit. If you’re looking to switch from the gas option to electric (or even vice versa) you will need a plumber or an electrician to run new lines. The same applies if you choose to upgrade to a dual-fuel pro-style range. It partners gas burners and an electric oven and needs both the electric connections and standard gas.
If you want to replace an older radiant electric range, go for an induction range. Generally, these appliances run on a similar standard electric line as a usual electric range. However, their burners utilize electromagnetic pulses to supply energy directly to the cookware, making the pans and pots – but not burners – become hot.
Typically, the ovens in induction ranges function much like those in usual electric ranges. In comparison, induction ranges come at a slightly higher cost than radiant electric ranges. However, they tend to simmer more steadily and boil water faster. As a group, these induction ranges outdo all the other types of ranges.
Here are several things to consider when choosing the best electric range you need.
There are certain essential considerations when it comes to purchasing any range. Size is one of the most key factors. Before making the purchase, you’ll need to measure the height and width of the space where your particular range will go. In general, ranges might vary in width from 20-40 inches. The cost might also differ from approximately $200 – more than $1,000 – based on the features. Therefore, consider your budget before purchasing.
As aforementioned, most gas and electric ranges are averagely 30 inches wide. Although most pro-style ranges begin at 30 inches wide, they could even climb to 48 inches when you custom-configure them with additional burners and ovens, woks, griddles, or add-ons like integrated grills. In today’s market, even regular ranges usually consist of a dedicated simmer burner, a convection oven, and at least one high-power burner.
In general, there are three primary types of ranges. Firstly, free-standing models contain a backlash and can sit anywhere in the kitchen since they are usually finished on the sides. Secondly, we have the slide-in models. And as the name suggests, they slide into a space between your countertops and kitchen cabinets, allowing you a custom appearance for less than a built-in version. Lastly, built-ins are uniquely made to be physically installed into a cavity, kitchen, or any other area.
In today’s market, freestanding ranges are undoubtedly the most widely sold and the simplest to install as well. The oven control panel is typically found on the back panel, on top of the cooktop surface. Generally, slide-in ranges allow a custom and build-in appearance and much easily slide in between the surrounding cabinets. Since the oven controls are located on the range front – and there is no back panel – your backsplash may be showcased.
If you want to choose an electronic range, you may realize those different models have different cleaning options. It is entirely your choice when it comes to whether you go for a standard cleaning option, self-cleaning, or continuous cleaning. For standard cleaning, you get to clean the oven yourself. Although this is more work, it could save you more cash. With continuous cleaning options, moderate soil amounts are naturally burned away when it comes to baking. Lastly, self-cleaning ranges eliminate the hassle that comes with cleaning, by burning away the soil with an extremely high-temperature cycle.
Undoubtedly, not all electric ranges utilize the same kind of heat source. As a result, when considering your purchase, check out the type of heat. Conventional electric ranges utilize radiant heat elements – they supply heat energy straight to the burner. However, some newly introduced electric ranges utilize halogen heat elements – they use 50% conducted energy and 50% radiant energy. Since halogen elements have significantly greater heat distribution to allow more even cooking, a halogen range is undoubtedly worth considering.
A spacey oven is much useful when it comes to baking or entertaining. The smallest ovens you can find in the market are a bit more than 2 cubic feet. On the other hand, the largest is often almost 4 cubic feet. Choosing the right capacity entirely depends on your preference and needs.
Typically, a smooth top range comprises a suitably flat surface without the traditional burners. The burners are instead built straight into the stovetop surface – although this could make cleanup much easier, it could warp some cookware. Although a conventional coil range is more challenging to clean, it can safely cope with more cookware types. Alternatively, you could choose a solid disk element – it has to be easy to clean but functions perfectly with flat cookware. Choose what type of range suits you best, and if you opt for a smooth top, think of investing in metal cookware
Do you have access to a natural gas line in your neighborhood? Or are you prepared to install a propane tank in the yard? If so, you could consider purchasing a duel-fuel range consisting of gas burners on top of an electric oven. You will get a faster response once you turn on the burners and adjust the heat level. However, electric elements tend to bring water to a boil faster. Furthermore, you could miss their speed if you’re used to electric then switch to gas. You’ll also realize that there are more cleaning parts in a gas stovetop. That leads us to the next question.
In today’s market, most ranges come either as single-or double-oven configurations. Typically, double-oven ranges consist of a smaller oven up top and a relatively bigger oven below. They are ideal if you are looking to roast or bake two different meals at different temperatures. In case you are reheating, for example, chicken nuggets or pizza, you could activate only the upper oven and save more time on preheating. You should only know that if you cook a big roast in the lower oven, it might be more challenging to remove since the door is near the floor.
They give you the immediate response of gas, fast boil times, and much easier cleanup, since nothing burns onto the surface of that range. With an electromagnetic field, they tend to heat magnetic pans and pots without heating the cooktop’s surface. Nonetheless, you might need to purchase new cookware since induction burners only function with pans designed of stainless steel or cast iron. In case a magnet sticks to the pan’s bottom, it is induction compatible.
Electric ranges come in a vast range of styles. Therefore, don’t rush your decision. It’s prudent to shop around and research numerous models to find one that would ideally complement your kitchen layout.