Our guide to buying the best range cooker
Range cooker buyers guide
If the kitchen is the heart of the home, then what makes it beat for many people is having a range oven as the centrepiece.
Range cookers not only bring a touch of tradition and style to a kitchen, but they also make life much easier thanks to their large capacity ovens, spacious hobs and renowned cooking efficiency. They’re ideal if you have a large family or you enjoy entertaining.
Things to consider when buying a range cooker
Unlike the old-fashioned ranges, modern range ovens are equipped with the latest technology, which makes them fully programmable, easy to clean, and A-rated for the best energy efficiency. Depending on the model, range cookers can include features like a slow cooking oven, a removable grill, and a wok burner. Some models have a ceramic glass surface hob which many prefer because they make for easy cleaning.
Range ovens typically come in 90cm, 100cm and 110cm (although 60cm, 120cm and 150cm are available). The wider you go the more cooking space you have both on top and underneath. A 110cm range is an impressive size that will function as the focal point of your kitchen and will usually give you six or seven gas burners or induction rings. At this size, two ovens and a separate grill would be the norm. Often one oven is a fan oven and the other a multifunction. If you enjoy cooking, have a large family (and kitchen) and love entertaining, thinking big maybe your best option.
However, if you are unsure whether you will use all that cooking space, it might be better to go for a more modest size. A 90cm range will still give you five burners and two ovens of a respectable size. Plus, there can be quite a difference in price for that extra 20cm.
Please also bear in mind access to your property as range cookers are incredibly heavy, bulky products that require room to be put in place and connected.
The main choice is between an electric induction or dual fuel. Many people feel safer with the latter – it combines the responsiveness and familiarity of a gas hob with the speed and efficiency of an electric oven.
However, induction cooking is also becoming a popular choice. It’s incredibly fast and highly controllable, making it energy efficient and giving you precise control over your cooking. What’s more, the smooth surface of the hob looks fabulous and is incredibly easy to clean – a quick wipe will do it, no need to scrub heavy pan supports. Options for electric ovens include conventional, fan and multifunction, depending on the specific brand and model.
With dual fuel or gas range cookers, it’s worth thinking about what type of gas you have in your property. Is it mains natural or Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)? You will need a qualified installer for either but bear in mind that specialist LPG companies can be harder to find.
For more detailed buyers guide on gas types follow the links below:
Once the sole preserve of the country farmhouse kitchen, range ovens can now be found in the most modern of homes and come in a whole array of styles and colours, from traditional cream to china blue.
The curvy lines and softer colours of the Rangemaster Classic will look right at home in a period house or country cottage, whereas the sleeker lines of the Stoves Richmond in Jalapeno red will give a more contemporary style kitchen the wow factor.
Buying a range oven is a major investment and there can be a wide range of prices, which reflects the different levels of technology involved and the added extras and features.
Few will fail to appreciate a self-cleaning function and telescopic shelves but do you really need some of the less common functions? Our knowledgeable and experienced staff can help you understand exactly what you are getting for your money. And make sure you keep an eye out for our promotions and offers.
Common range cooker features
Most electric or dual-fuel range cookers have at least one oven with a rotating fan in it to help distribute the temperature evenly. If you are an avid baker you may want more space for the fan oven section.
Some higher-end range cookers may offer pyrolytic self-cleaning programmes to help keep your oven clean. The oven has a function which heats it to 400 degrees to help burn off any spillages. This won’t clean the oven completely but it will make it a lot easier for you.
Some range cookers have a rack in the door of the oven so that when you open the door the tray swings out with it. This means you don’t have to reach into the oven when basting meat or remove the whole tray.
Slide out grills & shelves
Slide-out grills and shelves are a useful extra that can help to make life easier and safer. You can find out more about Rangemaster’s telescopic glide-out grill feature here.
Wok burner support
Some range cookers have a section allocated for high-temperature cooking, which is perfect for cooking a stir-fry or quickly boiling a pan of water.
Shop for range cookers at Knees Home & Electrical
We stock a wide variety of range cookers from top brands including Belling, Rangemaster, Smeg, Stoves, Fisher & Paykel, Falcon, and Ilve. Whether you’re looking for a classic farmhouse style range cooker or a contemporary stainless steel range cooker, we have something to suit your needs.
We have two stores in Wiltshire; one in Trowbridge and one in Malmesbury, so you can take a look before you buy. But you don’t have to live locally to buy your range cooker from us. We deliver across mainland UK using our delivery partner, and you can see and buy our entire range online. Visit our delivery information page for full details.
If you need any help or advice, our helpful customer service team will be happy to assist you.