Get Smart: How to Choose View All

Ranges

  • Style is Key. Ranges are like a stage for performing and have become the status symbol of the kitchen. There are free-standing or slide-in models, or built-in. Usually you select the same type of replacement range to avoid renovations, The larger professional type ranges add glamour as well as heat. They need better ventilating system and may need fireboards next to adjoining cabinets.
  • Color is Style. These days, most ranges come in white, black and stainless steel or metallic finish resembling stainless. Ask if the metal is really stainless steel. The rule is that range should match the dishwasher and refrigerator if they do not have a custom cover. Custom colors are available on premium brands.
  • The Fuel Question. Electric or gas? Both types are reliable and offer a consistent heat source. Electric gives you very low heat, which is not always possible with gas, but it heats up and cools down slowly. Gas allows you to select different levels of heat and when burners are off, cooking stops almost immediately. If you are changing to gad, you will need a gas hookup as well as 120 volt circuit for clocks and electronic ignition.
  • The Performance Test There are many programmable options such as delay and time-bake capabilities. Ask about even baking and custom broiling options. You may want to check out convection baking for superior baking results, low simmer and high heat options on cooktop.
  • The Maintenance Check If you hate to clean the oven, select self-clean options. Continuous clean never really gets the oven immaculate. Smooth glass or ceramic cooktops need specific cleaners and care to maintain their good looks. Burners on professional ranges require more care, especially with drips pans.
  • Measure It Before you make your final decision, be sure that the one you choose will fit into your existing or renovated kitchen. Most freestanding ranges are 30-inches wide, but can vary from 24 to 48-inches. Professional models measure from 36-inches to 60.

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