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Selecting a Kitchen Range

What you need to know about purchasing a kitchen range.

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With burners on the top and an oven below, the range is the most common cooking appliance.

New bargain-priced basic ranges are 30-inch white or almond freestanding or drop-in models, which include either electric coil or standard 9,000-Btu gas burners with an oven.

Better-quality ranges are marketed with ceramic-top electric burners, self-cleaning ovens, dual-fuel options, and convection ovens.

Top-of-the-line residential models have professional styling with stainless-steel or anodized finishes, widths from 30 to 60 inches, downdraft or restaurant-style hood venting, high-performance Btu burners, and continuous grates, along with built-in grill or griddle and double-convection oven options.

Do your homework. Browse Web sites and magazines that compare current models and features. Consumer Reports is an excellent source for unbiased information and recommendations. Visit: www.consumerreports.org/

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Types of Ranges

  • Freestanding ranges rest on the floor as self-contained units and are normally 30 inches wide. Models that are 24 and 36 inches wide are also available. Wider models usually have a fifth burner and an extra-wide oven.
  • High-low ranges include built-in microwave ovens near eye level as well as conventional ovens and burners.
  • Slide-in ranges are freestanding ranges without side panels. Slide-in ranges fit into 30-inch openings between base cabinets. For exposed sides, cabinet side panels can be installed.
  • Drop-in ranges are similar to slide-in ranges, but they must be permanently fastened to base cabinets. They usually rest on built-up wood bases. Broilers are located in the oven.
  • Some drop-in and slide-in units are well-suited for island or peninsula installation, because controls are on the top or at the front. No raised control back panel interrupts the counter.


Make Cooking Easier with the Best Range for You

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