Your kitchen gets more use than any room in the house. No wonder kitchens tend to be the most remodeled room. Kitchen appliances figure largely in these projects. Getting the right appliance comes down to one simple trick: asking the right questions.
For now, let’s focus on the hot appliances: ovens, cooktops, and ranges.
Kitchen appliances: Ranges
Ranges today are a kitchen applliance that features style and top-chef capabilities. State-of-the-art ranges vary widely in terms of functionality, finishes, size, and oven capacity.
Unlike your grandmother’s range, you can get this kitchen appliance with pro-grade technology at every price point. That’s why you should think about the functionality, finishes, size, and oven capacity. Consider your cooking and baking needs, available floor space, and decorating preferences.
For instance, do you prefer gas or electricity? Gas ranges allow for precisely controlled temperatures, cost slightly less to run than electric ranges, but need venting to the outdoors. Electric ranges, either with exposed coil elements or smooth-top surfaces, are still popular. You should also consider induction-style ranges. These highly efficient stovetops employ an electro-magnet below a ceramic surface that transfers heat to pots and pans. meanwhile, Dual-fuel ranges combine a gas stovetop with an electric oven.
Ranges vary in width from 24 to 60 inches, with professional-type stoves in the 36- to 60-inch range being the most expensive. Finishes are a matter of personal taste: stainless-steel and anodized finishes create an industrial feel; black finishes recede to further contemporary character; custom-color ranges suit retro- and Euro-style kitchens; and bisque and white are all-time traditional favorites.
Buying your range
Ranges come in three price brackets: Standard runs $400-$1,000. Midpriced ranges run $1,000-$4,000 and carry more features, including dual-fuel configurations. Chef-style ranges kick up the build quality and features, but weigh in at $4,000 and up.
Kitchen Appliances: Cooktops
Cooktops are one part of a duo of kitchen appliances and are paired with built-in ovens. Choosing a cooktop allows you to locate cooking in a countertop, island, or peninsula (with storage space below) and position a wall oven elsewhere to maximize efficiency.
Cooktops range from 30 to 48 inches in width. Inset into a countertop, a cooktop doesn’t intrude, no matter its finish. Much like ranges, cooktops supply ample utility at every price point but deliver more flexibility and features as costs rise. Here’s an overview of what your money will buy.
Cooktop price levels
Standard cooktops run from $350 to $750. For that you get 30 or 36 inches wide with four to five burners or heating elements. Lower-end electric cooktops sport traditional coil elements. At the $500 and above tier, you’ll find smooth-top ceramic-glass surfaces with ribbon heating elements. Gas cooktops might have standard burners or burners set within a continuous grate. Midrange cooktops run $750 to $1,500 and have the features mentioned above but offer more high-tech features. Top-of-the-line cooktops, running between $1,500 and $5,000, come in 30-inch, 36-inch, 42-inch, and 48-inch widths with four to eight burners or heating elements. Modular and induction models appear in this range, as do professional chef versions .
Kitchen Appliances: Built-in Ovens
Wall ovens allow flexible kitchen appliance placement, maximize space in smaller kitchens, and boast a built-in contemporary appearance. Positioned at waist- or eye-level height, wall ovens let chefs quickly see what’s cooking and easily retrieve heavy roasts without bending.
Available in widths of 24, 27, 30, and 36 inches, wall ovens are sold as double or single units. They are equipped with a broiler element and fueled by electricity or gas. Double ovens can be stacked or placed side by side, permitting cooking different dishes at different temperatures. Some of the combos feature one or two convection ovens which circulates heat with fans cutting cooking times by around 25 percent.
Oven buying price tiers
Standard single-oven built-ins run from $750 to $1,250 and measure 24, 27, or 30 inches in width with interior capacities ranging from 3.1 to 5 cubic feet. Midrange wall ovens will run you between $1,250 and $2,500. At this level double-oven and microwave combinations start to appear. Top tier wall ovens, priced between $2,500 and $8,000, bring professional convenience; larger interiors, more racks, more precise control.
Remember the simple buying trick:
Asking the right questions of someone you can trust will help you get the right kitchen appliances for the most popular room in your house.