Choosing a range
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|Sat, 03-29-2008 - 7:41am|
For those of us in the market for new cookery appliances, we have a thread on choosing ovens:
and one on choosing cooktops:
But maybe your remodeling plans call for an all-in-one range.
Check out this article:
The first thing to consider when buying a range is whether or not you want the gas or electric type. With the drastic increase in natural gas prices recently, many people are changing to electric appliances. If you are simply replacing your existing range, this is no problem. If, however, you wish to convert from gas to electric or vice-versa, you might have to do additional work in your kitchen by adding wiring or gas inlets. Discuss this with your appliance dealer before purchasing.
When you visit the your dealer, take information on measurements and venting requirements for your existing stove. Ask about any other adjustments you will need if you want to purchase a different model from the one you have. If you choose a gas range, consider the pilotless electronic ignition type. This type range usually costs no more than the traditional pilot gas range but is much more energy efficient by as much as 25% over those with pilot lights.
Another money-saving feature for ranges is the oven window that allows you to watch your food cook. Be sure to add this feature since it will decrease the number of times you need to open the door to check food. This saves by eliminating the need for the oven to adjust itself to keep a constant temperature. These windows sometimes cost as much as $40 to $50 more but soon pay for themselves in saved energy costs. However, some of the newer radiant electric ranges suggest cooking certain foods with the door ajar and have even installed devices to hold oven doors open while cooking.
If possible, hold off buying your range until October, National Kitchen and Bath month. You can save about 25% off regular prices. Finally, when operating your new range, be sure to keep it as clean as possible. Burned-on food and grease deposits will make your range work harder and use much more energy than is required. Even with self-cleaning ovens, check often to make sure that there is not a build-up of ash deposits from the self-cleaning operation.
To make sure you get the cooking performance you need, you'll want to pay careful attention to several features when buy a kitchen range.
Select a Range Style
Three styles of ranges are available. To select a range style best for your kitchen will depend on the kitchen's design:
- Freestanding ranges have finished sides and controls on the backsplash.
- Slide-In ranges have a seamless built-in look with controls on the front of the range.
- Drop-In ranges have unfinished sides and may require cabinet modification for a tight fit. Controls are on the front of the range.
Choose a Range Top: Electric or Gas?
If you are replacing a range, you will more than likely replace it with same type of range. If you are choosing a range in new construction, here is some additional information to consider when choosing between electric and gas.
Electric ranges are available in coil element and smoothtop designs. Sizes range from 20" to 36".
Coil Element Ranges:
- Have radiant elements that plug-in and are easily removed for cleaning.
- Have drip pans that lift out for cleaning.
- Offer even heat distribution when cooking.
Smoothtop (Radiant Surface) Ranges:
- The radiant elements on a smoothtop cooktop heat quickly and some are adjustable in size.
- An adjustable element can accommodate either large or small pans.
- A triple element can heat a large 9" x 19" griddle or casserole dish.
- The durable ceramic smoothtop is sealed to the range so spills cannot drip down under the burner.
Gas ranges are available in open burner and sealed burner. Sizes range from 20" to 40". You must have access to natural gas.
Open Burner Ranges:
- Large openings in the cooktop for burner.
- The cooktop lifts up to be able to clean spills that drain into opening in the cooktop.
- Drip pans can be lifted off and cleaned easily in the sink.
Sealed Surface Burner Ranges:
Many cooktops are designed with the sealed burners recessed below the surface of the countertop.
- Sealed burners are attached directly to the cooktop.
- Spills and spatters are contained on the cooktop where they can easily be wiped up.
With a gas range, you can cook during power outages.
Bonus Features on ranges make cooking more convenient:
Some allow you to program the oven to start and stop the cooking process in your absence.
Electronic clocks and controls on ovens are easier to read and give you greater control over the temperature.
Hot surface indicator lights are available, as well as safety knobs that must be pushed in to turn on.
A convection oven offers many cooking benefits:
- In addition to the standard bake and broil elements in the oven, there is a third oven heating element around the fan in the rear of the oven.
- Meats cook up to 30% faster.
- Convection ovens allow you to choose between conventional baking and roasting or convection baking and roasting.
In gas ranges, make sure the bottom of the oven cavity deflects heat equally.
In electric ranges, look for a model that uses both the top and bottom elements while cooking.
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Stitchery WIPs: "Bath 5¢", "Walking to Town", a selection of 8 San Man snowman charts, 2 sets of curtain tie-backs using a DMC freebie chart and the DMC linen threads, a Kooler Design Studio chart form JanLynn called "Needlework Shop", "Tsunami Charity Sampler" from the fall 2007 Sampler & Needlework Quarterly, and "Autumn Leaves" from the December 2006 New Stitches