Posted by Ship It Appliances Ltd on 10th Oct 2018Minute read
Range style cookers usually consist of two oven chambers, a grill, and a hob, all in one self-contained unit - but they’re not all created equal.
Range cookers get their name from the fact that they offer a range of cooking tools, all in a single unit. Units vary between brands and models, but as above, range cookers typically include two ovens, a grill, and a set of hobs.
Range ovens come in many different types – single, double, electric, gas, and dual-fuel – to name a few. Before making the investment, it’s worth taking the time to research the options available. Range cookers with induction hobs tend to be at the top end in terms of price point.
In this buying guide, we will discuss the different features of range cookers, the different fuel types for range cookers and what you need to consider before buying one.
Range Cooker Features Explained
Range cookers are designed to be all-in-one appliances for cooking and so comprised of a number of different compartments that each serve a different purpose. Almost certainly, range cookers will come with at least an oven, a grill, and the hob on top.
Some higher-end models of range cookers come with additional handy cooking features such as a second oven compartment and even proving drawers, which come in extra handy when making bread or pizza dough.
Things you should consider when buying a range cooker
Range cookers are big
Range cookers are quite hefty units that take a large amount of space in your kitchen worktop. They will often vary in size so they are able to suit different kitchens, but a range cooker will always be bigger than a built-in oven. The added size is because they’re essentially three appliances in one, which makes them great for big families, people who like to frequently entertain parties with a large number of guests or someone who has a passion for cooking in a chef like atmosphere.
Range cookers are versatile
Did we mention that most range cookers are three appliances in one? Well, some feature even more appliances than that.
The basic range cooker will have an oven, a grill and a hob but others have warming drawers, storage compartments, bread proving drawers, griddles and other fantastic add-ons and features.
Oven compartments in range cookers tend to be bigger than stand-alone ovens - as well as having two, or sometimes even three separate compartments. The grill is typically in another separate compartment. This makes simultaneously cooking foods that require different methods or temperatures really easy.
Range cookers are freestanding
This can be seen as both a pro and a con depending on how you feel about freestanding appliances.
Range cookers will always be freestanding, which means you don’t have to work them into your existing cabinetry, and they’re reasonably easy to move around (though you may need to consider where your gas connection is).
Range Cookers Have a Higher Upfront Cost But Are 3 Appliances In One
There’s no getting around the fact that range cookers will indeed set you back more than buying an oven. Even the most basic range cookers will normally cost in excess of £500. Top of the range models will easily exceed £2,000 – worth every penny for the sheer quality but for many, still a hard sum to swallow.
Don’t be disheartened, though. If you’re having trouble justifying the cost, take a look at how much it would cost to buy the all elements of a range cooker separately. That can put things into perspective.
Range cookers may need installing by a professional
Due to their size and weight, range cookers are never installed by one person. However, their encumbrance isn’t the reason you may need to hire a professional to properly install your range cooker.
If you’re purchasing a range cooker that uses a gas hob or gas oven, you will need to hook the appliance into your home’s gas supply by a qualified Gas Safe engineer.
You need to buy a cooker hood
A cooker hood is an essential appliance of every kitchen. Cooker hoods are the devices that sit above your cooker top and serve as a way to trap steam and smoke that comes from cooking.
Functionally, a cooker hood helps to prevent staining on the roof above the cooker and extracts unwanted odors from the air.
You will almost certainly already have a cooker hood in your kitchen when you come to install your range cooker. However, you should always check to see if your current cooker hood is up to the job of your new range cooker.
For more information about how to work out what cooker hood would be best for your range cooker, check out our cooker hood buying guide.
Types of Range Cooker
Range cookers are primarily classified according to their fuel type, which includes:
Gas range cookers
The hobs and ovens in these are both fuelled by gas. They’re cheap to run, plus gas hobs have fantastic response time when cooking.
LPG gas range cookers
Some range cookers are compatible with LPG Gas. LPG Gas is often found in remote areas or chosen by homeowners who want a cleaner and more efficient energy source for their home.
Dual fuel range cookers
The most popular type of range cooker is the dual fuel range cooker. This combines the best of both worlds of a fast, powerful gas hob with the consistent, even performance of fan-assisted electric ovens.
Electric range cookers
This type of range cooker features an electric oven accompanied by an electric ceramic hob. Ceramic hobs have coils that are heated with electricity. They’re not as fast or responsive as gas hobs, but their ease of cleaning makes it worth the sacrifice in cooking time alone.
Induction range cookers
Induction range cookers combine a fast, responsive and energy efficient induction hob with an electric oven. Induction hobs use electromagnetic radiation to heat food, while offering speed and cooking power to rival that of gas hobs.
The Difference Between Range Cookers and Conventional Built-in Ovens
A question that may have ben on your mind while searching for your next cooker appliances for your kitchen: should you buy a range cooker or go for a separate oven and hob?
The short answer: It depends.
There’s no set consensus on whether a range cooker or a separate oven and hob is better. It pretty much comes down to your kitchen’s design and your personal preferences - i.e. cost, space, design and personal habits.
You should consider the volume of cooking that you may be doing in your kitchen and if a range cooker will make life in your kitchen easier.
If you love to cook and need to be able to blast different dishes at different temperatures whilst grilling something and boiling vegetables simultaneously, then a range cooker would be a great investment as you develop your cooking skills into the future.
From there, it’s purely a question of cost, space, and kitchen design. Which is more cost-effective for your home? If a range cooker is more expensive to run (as it often will be), is the extra cost justified by the better appliance? Will it take up too much space? Will it fit into your kitchen’s design? These are the main questions to ask yourself.