Anyone who’s shopped for a kitchen range knows the choices can be overwhelming. Gas or electric? What about induction? And do I need my range to connect to WiFi? Though there are definite plusses for each type and feature, the best place to start decision-making is by asking how you like to cook, and how the range will fit into your space. Read on for a handy buying guide that will help cut through the choices and find the range that best suits your needs.
First things first: consider how the range needs to work in your kitchen design. How large is the space? Does it need to fit into existing cabinetry or work with new ones? For many design-oriented homeowners, the range can be a focal point of the kitchen. The Café 36” Commercial Style Range and Café 48” Commercial Style Range are chef-inspired appliances that are not only functional (catering-size oven, versatile cooktops with multiple burners, WiFi-enabled smart cooking technology) but make a powerful impact stylistically.
Next, consider the type of power and cooking style you want: gas, electric, induction or dual fuel. What’s the difference? Much comes down to the chef’s preference, but there are pros and cons to each.
Gas ranges have long been favored for their fast heating and excellent temperature control. You can boil, fry and flambé quickly and with ease on a gas range. If you're interested in a commercial-style range, gas is the way to go. Café offers 36" and 48" commercial style ranges in multiple finishes.
Other features of gas ranges include:
- Ideal temperature control
- Instant heating
- Sturdy metal burner grates
For adventurous cooks who enjoy trying a wide range of cooking styles, a gas range might be the perfect choice. But there are variables to keep in mind when choosing:
- Does your kitchen have a working gas line? Many newer homes do not. If yours is one of those, you’ll need a licensed plumber to install a line.
- Gas ovens are known to heat less evenly, and the air can be too moist for some types of dishes.
- Food can “bake” onto the grates or under the burners and can be hard to remove.
Electric ranges are popular and for good reason – their smooth, glass cooktops are easy to clean, offer more usable cooking space and lend a sleek aesthetic to any space. Other basic features include:
- WiFi connection
- Radiant, induction and convection cooking options
- Plug-in electrical outlet convenience
Proponents also swear by the functional prowess, saying electric ranges:
- Electric ovens heat more consistently than gas
- Offer true European convection cooking that is precise in temperature and has heated air circulation so that foods bake evenly
- Provides drier air circulation that is ideal for roasting and broiling
Why wouldn’t you want an electric range?
- It can be trickier to control exact temperatures or get instant heat , though most get used to their cooktop over time and achieve great results.
An induction range provides the clean, smooth cooktop appearance of the electric range with the fast, easy-to-control temperatures of a gas stove. And they’re a bit of an amazing technology, using electromagnetism to heat your pans and cook your food with coils of metal that lie beneath each “burner.” When the power is turned on and an magnetic pan is on the cooking zone, a current runs through the coils creating a magnetic field, causing the metal to heat up by transferring the electrical currents to the pan. Bonus? Induction cooking can be more energy efficient, reducing your carbon footprint.
Key features of induction ranges include:
- Smooth, sleek cooktop
- Ideal temperature control
- Cool-to-the-touch burner area for quick and clean up
- Efficient cooking and fast pan heating
- Induction requires cookware with ferromagnetic materials, such as cast iron and certain types of stainless steel. Aluminum, copper, and glass cookware will not work unless the manufacturer has added a magnetic layer.
- To check if a pot or pan is compatible, hold a magnet to the bottom - if it clings to the metal, it will work on your cooktop.
- Café is currently offering a free 10-piece induction-ready cookware set with the purchase of select induction ranges.
A popular option that provides the ease and control of gas cooktop with the perfect baking of an electric oven are dual-fuel ranges. They offer the precise control of gas on top with the consistent, even heating of an electric convection oven to make sure all your meals are cooked to perfection.
Café offers dual fuel options in both standard slide-in models and commercial-style models.
Remember: like the gas-only options, these ranges will require a gas line in the kitchen as well as an electrical outlet.
Which range is right for you?
Now that you’re schooled in all types of ranges and their pros and cons, the choice comes down to how you plan to cook. Will you be entertaining on the regular, needing quick meals before kids’ practices, whipping up scrambled eggs or aspiring to chef-like cuisine? Your cooking style (or aspiring style!) can be your guide:
- If you like to be challenged with new and exotic recipes, a gas or induction range might be for you.
- For more basic meal preps, an electric range is an ideal choice.
- For those who want a bit of both, or maybe dream of dabbling in with more advanced fare at some point, a dual-fuel range could be the way to go.
Café provides ranges in each style, so there’s something to fit every personal kitchen and cooking style. Good luck and bon appétit!