The Ultimate Guide for Stove Top and Oven Shopping
Whatever size or style your kitchen may be, whether contemporary and small or traditional and enormous, what’s a kitchen without an oven and a stove top. As you narrow down your plans to remodel the kitchen, replacing one or both of these items may become a priority. Of course, stove tops and ovens can be purchased separately or as a single appliance. They can run on gas or electricity. They can be very affordable, or they can cost thousands of dollars. Learn as much as you can about stove tops and ovens to complete your kitchen remodel in the best way possible.
Ranges vs. Stove Tops and Ovens
First, you should make sure that you are familiar with all the cooking terminology you might come across when remodeling your kitchen.
A range is a single appliance that combines a stove top with an oven. This is the most affordable and most traditional choice for the kitchen, and it may also be a way to save space in small rooms.
A range can be a drop-in or slide-in, which means that they have unfinished sides and are meant to fit within kitchen cabinetry. Ranges can also be freestanding, meaning they are completely finished and can stand alone or be built into cabinetry if space permits.
If the all-in-one style of the range oven doesn't appeal to you, then you might be interested in purchasing a stove top and an oven as two separate items.
A stove top, also known as the burner top, is where you can cook, saute or fry things on a burner or cooktop.
The oven, on the other hand, is used for baking or roasting items at high temperatures.
The advantage of choosing separate ovens and stove tops is that you can mix and match styles, choose the varieties of both that best meet your needs and alter the layout of the kitchen, depending on what cooking activities you do most often.
Consider Your Baking and Cooking Needs
Before you start looking at specific ranges, ovens or stove tops, give some thought to what your baking and cooking needs truly are. This will vary from person to person, which means that there is no one perfect stove top or oven for consumers as a whole.
If you bake daily, love bringing treats to school events and often host large dinner parties, then you might require a built-in double oven to give you the maximum capacity possible.
If you rarely use more than the microwave to prepare dinner, then a standard range might be a suitable choice that keeps you well within your kitchen remodeling budget.
Be realistic about what you will and won't use most often, and don't expect your existing habits to change significantly just because you upgraded your kitchen appliances.
Types of Stove Tops to Choose From
The biggest decision you'll make when choosing a stove top is whether to invest in gas or electric cooking.
Gas stove tops are generally more affordable, and they also have lower operating costs since they require inexpensive gas rather than electricity.
However, homes without a gas line already in place will find that the cost of installing one is very expensive, and that may counteract any initial savings on the gas stove top.
Gas stove tops are often preferred by chefs because they offer a direct flame source and can reach higher heats in less time.
The alternative to gas is an electric stove top. An electric coil is the most affordable of these options, and it has no open flame to contend with. However, an electric coil can take longer to heat up and cool down completely, and it is also not a top choice for chefs who want quick, even cooking.
You might also want to consider the glass ceramic cook top, which offers heating directly underneath the flat, smooth surface. This stove top will glow red when it is on and is easy to clean.
Finally, the most expensive stove top option is induction, which promises even heat, no heat waste and very quick cooking times. Besides the cost, the downside of induction stove tops is that they require special pots and pans to operate properly.
Types of Ovens to Choose From
Once again, you'll have to choose between gas and electric for your kitchen's oven. While gas is preferred for stove tops, it is less popular among chefs for the oven itself, as it may not deliver consistent temperatures for extended baking or roasting.
Electric ovens are far more common, more popular and a lot easier to keep clean. Of these electric ovens, you can choose to buy a convection oven, which is designed to circulate hot air for faster as well as more even cooking thanks to the elimination of hot spots.
Another important part of choosing the right range, stove top or oven is size and any space limitations. In kitchens with limited space, a range might be best, or you can install an oven with a stove top directly above it.
When it comes to oven choice, interior capacity is key. Ovens tend to be measured in interior cubic feet, with a small oven coming in around three cubic feet and a large, family-style oven coming in closer to four or more cubic feet.
The stove top will generally have four burners, but you can choose to have a smaller two-burner design to save countertop space or a larger six to eight-burner style for serious home cooks.
Upgraded Features to Enhance Value and Experience
Whether you’re remodeling your kitchen to increase its value on the market or just to make it a more luxurious place to cook, a few top-of-the-line features can make all the difference.
Some upgrades you may want to consider include dehydrator settings for the oven, self-cleaning cycles, touch-screen controls, timed and delayed start settings and even ovens that can operate via a wireless app on your Smartphone.
Choosing the right stove top and oven doesn’t have to be overwhelming; it can be a very exciting endeavor. The right guidance can make all the difference as you begin buying appliances for your kitchen's remodel.
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