Modern appliances offer convenient features that help streamline cooking tasks. Here’s what to look for when you shop for ranges, ovens, cooktops, range hoods, and microwave ovens
Whether you opt for an all-in-one range or seek more design flexibility with built-in wall ovens, new models on the market can help you prepare food faster and customize your cooking experience.
Most traditional ranges—with four burners and an oven below—are 30 inches wide, but 24- and 36-inch models are also available. Commercial-style models 48 or 60 inches wide accommodate six burners or a combination of burners and a griddle or grill. Some models boast two ovens or a built-in warming drawer. Bakers often prefer the even heat of electricity, which has led to the introduction of dual-fuel models that pair an electric oven with gas burners. Ranges can be freestanding (with finished side panels) or made to slide between cabinets. Typically, purchasing a range will be less expensive than buying a separate cooktop and oven; a range with multiple features, such as a convection oven and a cooktop with a griddle, also help maximize space in small kitchens.
Built into a wall or under a counter, 30- or 36-inch-wide ovens offer thermal or convection (or combination) cooking in single or double cavities. When installed at waist or eye level, a wall oven can eliminate bending and ensure comfort for all cooks. Convection models use a fan to circulate air for more even baking and shorter cooking times. Built-in speed-cook ovens typically combine thermal, convection, and microwave functions for added convenience—but usually come with a higher price tag. Some ovens combine steam and convection; steam helps food stay moist and preserves valuable nutrients. If you often cook meals for large gatherings, choose an oven with a large capacity, or opt for two ovens.