Like other long-term products, shopping for a range can be overwhelming if you don’t know what different elements to look at. Aside from overall appearance, there are several different configuration variables that you must take into an account to make sure you truly end up taking home the right kitchen range for you.
What is your budget?
Before all else, it’s smart to plan a clear and concise budget. You may take one look at a professional series range and completely fall in love, only to have your heart broken by realizing your budget may not allow it.
It’s important to note that high-end ranges are worth the price, and your investment in a luxury range will bring you many dependable years of hassle-free cooking. When shopping for a range, you can expect price to range anywhere between $2,000 to $10,000 depending on many different factors. There will be range options below and above this range as well.
Brands in the lower price range (under $2,000) are GE, Blomberg, KitchenAid, and Frigidaire. In the medium price range (under $6,000), you can find different variations of Bertazzoni, Verona, Fisher & Paykel, ILVE, and DCS.
In the higher price range, you can find certain brands such as Capital, Viking, Miele, AGA, ILVE Majestic Series, and Bertazzoni Professional and Master Series. Models priced over $10,000 are usually larger in size and carry more features than other base models.
Once you’ve determined what your budget is, you need to find what size range will be right for you.
What size range do you need?
Different sizes will vary greatly in price and features, so it’s important to know how much space you have available in your kitchen and how your cooking habits may affect the size you need. If you know where you would like your range to sit in your kitchen, then measure the surrounding areas to make sure there will be no problems with installation.
Measurements to record include countertop height, space between counters (if slide-in range or a freestanding range you wish to place in the middle), depth, and the space available for the oven doors to open fully.
Range sizes typically begin as low as 24 inches and can go as high as 82 inches. The standard residential range sizes are 30 to 60 inches. If you have flexible space in your kitchen, also consider how much space you need based on your cooking habits.
If your habits are pretty standard, a 30” range will fully suit your needs, but if you prefer features such as double ovens, or more than 4 burners, then you may want to consider a larger size.
Does your kitchen already have a gas line in place? Would you prefer all-electric? Can you provide both sources for a dual fuel range? These are questions you need to ask yourself when finding the right range. Many shoppers prefer dual fuel ranges because of the power in a gas cooktop, and the even cooking abilities in an electric oven.
If you do not have a gas line available, consider if installing one would better suit your needs. Running a new gas line can be an unforeseeable price in many shopper’s budgets.
Slide-in Vs Freestanding
Simply put, a freestanding range has finished side panels while a slide-in range does not. If you plan to place your range between countertops, then deciding between the two different types of ranges may become more difficult. A slide-in range will have a lip over the sides for a more integrated look with your countertops, while a freestanding range will leave a gap.
Freestanding ranges are more common and versatile when it comes to placement, but there are a few more variables to take into account when it comes to choosing between the two.
BTU means British Thermal Units, and is the unit of measurement for energy needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water. Burners can range greatly when it comes to BTU power, and different brands offer a different amount of power.
The average range burners hit about 7,000 BTUs, but the more power you want to achieve, the higher BTU power you need. Viking offers a consistent 15,000 BTUs in all burners except for select models that feature a TruPower Plus burner, which can go up to 18,500 BTUs. Other brands can go as high as 21,000 BTUs. There a number of brands that, instead of featuring the same BTU power in all burners, can offer a variety of different powers burners all on the same rangetop.
Open vs. Sealed Burners
Along with deciding on the amount of power you need, another decision to ponder is whether you’d prefer open or sealed burners. Sealed burners are more common, and they make cleanup easier since there is a burner cap covering the burner, stopping spills from leaking inside the range itself. Sealed burners also typically have more power than open burners.
Open burners are more traditional to the commercial-style ranges found in restaurants and are perceived as more efficient. With no burner caps, the flame comes into direct contact with cooking vessels and is exposed to more oxygen for a more even heat distribution.
We’re almost to the fun part of how your range will look, but there’s just one more technical aspect to consider. The configuration of your burners and optional griddle or char grill is entirely up to your own needs. The number of burners on top of a range depends usually on range size, but once you have over 4, you can begin to customize your range for your own cooking needs.
Do you plan to use a 12” commercial-grade griddle often? They’re extremely useful for everything from breakfast, flatbreads, and searing, but they typically take up the space of 2 burners. Char grills can offer optimum in-door grilling opportunities, but they will also take up burner space if you opt for them.
Depending on your own tastes, you can decide to keep all the burners available or opt for other features instead.
Structure and Style
Now we’ve gotten to the fun part! Range appearance depends entirely on your own desires. For a seamless kitchen design, figure out what kind of kitchen style you have and find a range that compliments it.
If you’re looking for something with a commercial feel with rigid lines and gleaming burners, look no further than Bertazzoni’s Master and Professional Series, or Viking’s Professional Series. To feel like you’re vacationing in Italy, Viking’s Tuscany Series and Bertazzoni’s Heritage Series deliver that exact feeling.
For a regal and glamorous look, ILVE’s Majestic Series can make you feel like royalty. For a retro and classic England feel, AGA’s Legacy Series will leave you dying for a spot of tea. Miele ranges are smart and sleek, and for a truly magnificent French range, look no further than La Cornue.
For that final touch, it’s time to consider the finish on your new range. Stainless Steel is wildly popular and will continue to be a classic for many more years to come. However, if you want a little pop of personality, there are many different finishes and colors to choose from, ranging from the darkest Matte Black to the brightest pink.
Different brands offer different finishes, but you are guaranteed to find the right look for your needs.
Need more help?
We know this was a lot of information to take in, and we’re happy to be of help if you have any more questions or need more help finding the perfect range for you.