Range Buying Guide
Ranges at NFM
A cooking range powers your kitchen and is the cornerstone for warm healthy meals for you and your family. With a single kitchen appliance, you have the combined power of a cooktop and oven to bake, broil, roast, simmer, fry, and boil your food! This guide will help you to determine which range is best for your personal needs.
Buying a New Range?
Ask yourself these questions before buying a new range.
- Do you want a freestanding, slide-in, or professional range?
- Do you want a gas or an electric range?
- What type of oven do you want?
- What type of burner do you want?
This type of range can be slid in between surrounding kitchen cabinetry or placed next to it. This is a cleaner and more customised alternative than a freestanding range. This unit slides in so that the cooktop surface rests on top of the countertops on each side. The control dials on slide-in ranges are upfront and easily accessible. These also come with a single or double oven option. Similar to freestanding ranges, the slide-in ranges also have either a storage compartment or a heating drawer below the oven.
This type of range can be slid in between surrounding kitchen cabinetry or placed next to it. This is a cleaner and more customised alternative than a freestanding range. This unit slides in so that the cooktop surface rests on top of the countertops on each side. The control dials on slide-in ranges are upfront and easily accessible. These also come with a single or double oven option. Similar to freestanding ranges, the slide-in ranges also have either a storage compartment or a heating drawer below the oven. Slide-ins and drop-ins usually do not have finished sides as they are intended to be placed between cabinets where the sides will not be exposed.
Pro-style or commercial-style ranges offer a restaurant-inspired cooking experience at home. They combine premium features like high-BTU burners and built-in griddles with high-end design elements such as large knobs and heavy-duty grates. Plus, enjoy expanded size and configuration options.
Surface Types and Number of Burners
All ranges come in four cooking surfaces types coil, smoothtop, induction, or professional grates. Generally speaking, the surface type correspondes with the fuel type. Most gas ranges are a burner or grated surface. Electronic ranges have the option of induction, smoothtop (glass) or coil.
While four burners seem the gold standard, there are many variations such as five or six burners, and some with a bridge burner. Bridge burners are those that bridge two burners which is a nice feature fit a griddle or for cooking with oversized pans.
Available on Electric Ranges. Top is composed of ceramic glass and is generally glossy with a smooth surface. Smooth-top ranges are extremely easy to clean and provide a modern and sleek appearance. The number of heating elements can range between 4 to 5. They provide even cooking and are scratch resistant.
Similar to Smooth-top, Induction surface is available on Electric Ranges. The top is composed of ceramic glass and is generally glossy with a smooth surface. Induction ranges are extremely easy to clean and provide a modern and sleek appearance. The number of heating elements can range between 4 to 5. They provide even cooking and are scratch resistant. Induction ranges are very safe and would be a good option in a household with small children. The surface remains cool, and the heat is generated when the bottom of the cookware comes in contact with the Induction surface. You will need Induction compatible cookware in order for this to function.
Grates are available on Gas ranges. For the most part they are composed of cast-iron with a porcelain coated finish. They can be removed for ease of cleaning. A flame produced from either Propane or Natural Gas provides the heat. A dedicated gas line will be necessary for this type of range. The number of burners can vary between 4 to 8 or more on some professional industrial gas ranges.
Lastly, Coil surface is only available on Electric ranges. Coil surface ranges predate both Smooth-top and Induction surfaces. The heat is produced via a metal tube coil. They are not as easy to clean as Induction and Smooth-top, however, the coil is removeable for ease. They are also a more affordable option. The number of coil burners is usually 4.
In many instances the way your house was constructed will determine if an electric or gas range is needed. To know for certain you'll need to look behind the range currently in place to see if it has a dedicated gas line or an electric cable connected. If it is indeed gas, you'll need a certified professional to install for safety.
- Uses natural gas for power or Liquid Propane (LP Conversion Kit Required)
- Cooks food via flame both in the cooktop and oven
- Easily adjustable temperature via knobs
- Oven has a fan-only conventional heat option
- Uses electricity for power
- Includes induction cooktops and convection ovens
- Offers a variety of cooktop options including electric coil, electric radiant, and induction
- Offers both oven options: convection oven and fan-only convection
- Includes gas burners with well-insulated electric oven
- Have cast-iron continuous cooking grates
- Built with heavy-gauge stainless steel
Manual or Self-Cleaning Ovens?
Pause for a moment to think about this: would you invest the time and energy to clean your range ovens after use, or would you instead prefer to cook, eat, and move on to something more interesting while the oven takes care of itself? Needless to say, the self-cleaning feature makes it super convenient for you to maintain your cooking range. Some newer ranges even offer steam technology to help get rid of those hard to reach areas. Water is placed in a basin within the oven and the heat causes the water to steam.
Convection or Regular Ovens?
Another major decision for buyers is whether or not to spend more money on a convection cooking oven. One advantage of convection ovens is even and consistent baking. So, if you are a passionate baker, the price of perfection is a higher-end model with a convection oven. Convection allows for heated air movement via an internal fan. This is a good option for those who love to bake and need consistent even heating.
Power cords are not included as part of your brand-new range because the manufacturers don’t know which one you will need. To buy an appropriate power cord, you need to identify if you need a three-prong or four-prong cord. Check the amperage and decide if you need to buy a new cord, or re-use a cord you currently own.