ranges buying guideFew appliances are as heavily relied upon as the trusty kitchen stove—particularly if you really love to cook! What you need is a reliable kitchen stove or  that meets your everyday cooking & baking needs while simultaneously meeting size & capacity requirements, complementing the overall kitchen decor, conforming to the hookup requirements of your home (gas or electric), and fulfilling every other wish or expectation that you may have in the ideal kitchen companion.

The information that follows is provided as a guide to help walk you through the process of selecting kitchen ranges, cooktops, and ovens that are versatile enough to meet all of your cooking needs. It’s time to release your inner chef!

Key Tips to Consider when Preparing to Buy Your Oven

range smooth top

When preparing to buy an oven, you must first consider where the electrical (or gas) hookup will be. If you’re buying a preexisting home—particularly something like a condo, you may have very little choice in the matter. If you’re building a house from scratch, you’ll be able to choose your ideal location during the blueprint phase and make sure the hookup goes where you want (and is of the type you want).

Secondly, always make sure you get your measurements just right for the location where the range will go. Knowing how much space you have will allow you to choose a model that will fit the location perfectly. If you don’t get the measurements exactly right, you could end up with an oven that’s either way too big or way too small for the place where it must go.

Freestanding Ranges

freestanding ranges If your kitchen is equipped with a gas hookup, a wide variety of gas based options are available to meet your needs. You may choose among the most basic units for a stove that simply offers straightforward heating & cooking of your food, or from more advanced models with features such as high-heat & simmer burners. More advanced units will naturally have added versatility, allowing you to cook a variety of dishes all at the same time, via a single unit, and all with the greatest of ease.

High-heat and simmer burners

Prep like a Pro, with multiple dishes cooking simultaneously—from entrées to sauces to deserts

Precise heating

Easily control the heat beneath your pot simply by adjusting the flame to your desired level

Sealed burners and upswept cooktops

Handy cleaning features that quicken the cleanup process by reducing your labour to mere wiping

Interlocking grates

Easily slide heavy & awkward pots & pans between burners without ever lifting a finger or spilling a drop

Pilotless ignition

Enjoy hassle-free start-ups with pilotless ignition. Some models even offer automatic reignition, to eliminate cooking interruptions, if your flame should happen to go out

Electric vs Gas Ranges

gas rangeSome kitchens offer the built-in convenience of an electric range hookup. If yours is such a kitchen, a world of selection awaits in both the coil and radiant burner configurations. Either way, there are plenty of models to pick from, and the choice is yours to make!

Coil Cooktops

Coil cooktops feature a basic and straightforward heating method. They simply employ a coil element that converts electricity into heat. This heat is then transferred directly to your pot or pan for cooking.

Consistent, high-quality heat

Consistent heating makes for even cooking, and coil cooktops are known for their consistency. If you do a lot of stovetop cooking, a coil cooktop may be ideal for you.

Economical and rugged

Coils are easy to find, cheap to purchase, and a breeze to replace yourself. In the event that one of your coils burns out, you’ll be able to install a replacement in about 2 seconds.

Fast heating

Because the heat comes directly from the coil, coil cooktops heat up very quickly. They’re generally faster than smoothtop elements.

Smoothtop Cooktops

smooth cooktopSmooth cooktops feature an innovative design that works due to the presence of a coil sitting under a “smooth” sheet of ceramic glass. As the coil begins to heat, an ultra-hot infrared radiation is produced. This radiation then flows through the glass and ultimately makes contact with the pots or pans on your cooktop, turning to heat as it does so. This generated heat then begins to cook your food.

Easy to clean

Due entirely to their super smooth surface (as their elements are hidden safely away underneath), smoothtop cooktops are generally very easy to clean. With no burners or rings to mess with or remove, it’s mostly just a matter of wiping them down thoroughly until all the mess is gone.

Dual elements

Some models have the benefit of featuring two elements in a single spot, meaning you are free to choose the burner size that best fits the pot or pan you are using. This is not merely convenient for achieving even heating on the bottom of your chosen cookware, but it also helps to reduce energy waste as you never have to use a large burner to heat a small pot.

Bridge elements

Bridge elements are ideal for oddly shaped cookware. For instance, if you have either oblong or oversized pots and pans, bridge elements ensure proper heating of the entire cooking surface and therefore even cooking of the food inside. This will ensure a higher probability of success for any meal you’re preparing.

Safety indicator light

Prevent incidents & accidents and avoid nasty burns with the invaluable safety feature that warns you that the surface is still hot, which may often be the case even well after you’ve turned the stove off.

Convection ovens

ovens Convection ovens are valued for their ability to cook food faster and more evenly than most other ovens. They do so by circulating the heated air inside the oven via a series of strategically placed fans, though some convection ovens may have just a single fan to drive the air. By moving the air evenly throughout the oven, convection ovens reduce, if not eliminate, hot spots within the oven that might otherwise cook food unevenly or potentially even burn some portions of the food. This leads to better overall cooking performances and exceptional results for all of your baking and roasting.

Induction cooktops

inductionInduction cooktops are noted for combining the gas cooktop’s ability to instantly heat-up, with the precision heating quality of standard electric cooktops. This magic is achieved through the power of magnetism. A copper coil underneath the cooktop’s surface generates an electromagnetic field that heats the pan as energy is transferred to it from the cooktop’s surface. Once the pan makes contact, energy is transferred to the pan and heats it up.

Induction cooking is popular for its speed of heating, its precise temperature control, and for being highly energy efficient. Moreover, as the only part of the stove that ever heats up is where your pan makes direct contact with the cooktop, food spills don’t end up getting cooked onto your stove’s surface. This makes cleanup both quick and easy, and it also reduces your risk of getting burned or having a kitchen fire.

One very important consideration with induction cooking, however, is that you must have special magnetic cookware for use with your stove or you won’t be able to cook. Only induction cookware is capable of turning the cooktop’s electromagnetic energy into heat, rendering regular cookware absolutely useless with this type of oven.

Self Cleaning

One of the great conveniences of many of today’s ovens is their self-cleaning capacity. Cleaning your own oven is never fun, always time-consuming, and typically involves oven cleaners that are chock full of smelly chemicals. Who needs that? Consider instead a range with the power of steam. Such ovens can thoroughly clean themselves using steam, and you’ll never have to deal with harsh chemicals or weird cleaning odours.

Free-standing, Slide-in, and Built-in range

freestanding rangeOnce you’ve determined which general type of oven you desire, your next choice may be to decide whether to get a free-standing unit, a slide-in, or a built-in model. Each of these options has its own pros and cons, though ultimately much of the decision may just come down to your personal sense of style and taste.

Free-standing

This type of range has fully finished sides and a backsplash whereupon its controls are located. The best aspect of the free-standing oven is that it may be placed virtually anywhere you like, provided the necessary hookup is available in your desired location. A very traditional style of oven, this type is well suited to practically anyone—particularly those with old-fashioned sensibilities.

Slide-in

Slide-in ovens are notable for having unfinished sides, making them the ideal choice to install between cabinets. They also typically have no backsplash for the controls. Instead, the controls are usually positioned on the front of the stove. While the slide-in style is both modern and attractive in design, these ovens are limited with respect to their placement—you can’t just put them anywhere.

Built-in

Built-in ovens are one of the most attractive and unobtrusive oven designs currently available. They are specifically designed to sit within your wall where they won’t be in the way when they’re not in use. Though similar to slide-in ovens, built-ins require their own built-in cabinet to be dropped in to. This way they sit perfectly flush with your wall and avoid taking up floor space. Also with this type of oven, a separate cooktop is usually built into your kitchen counter, meaning that if you have two chefs sharing dinner duty at once, one won’t be in the other’s way when one is using the cooktop and the other is using the oven.

High-end Features you’ll find on ranges

high capcity ovenIf your primary cooking objective is to provide your family with simple, healthy meals on a daily basis, then either a basic gas range or an electric oven may be all you need. However, if you’d like to get fancy sometimes and flex your gourmet muscles with slightly more complex meals, you’ll probably need to get an oven with a few useful extras built in. If this is the case for you, consider looking at stoves with one or more of the following high-end features:

Massive Capacity

Large capacity ovens are certainly popular today. If you happen to have a large family to cook for, many of today’s top ranges offer as much as 6 cubic feet of internal cooking space, and up to three separate racks. In fact, some really high-end models feature even more than 6 cubic feet of oven space, which is great for those times when you have to cook an especially large meal. Whether you have a large family to feed, or you simply enjoy hosting big parties, one of these large capacity ovens may be in order.

Warming Drawers and Zones

When preparing large, multi-course, or multi-dish, meals, some elements of the feast are sure to be ready ahead of others. When this occurs, it’s nice to have a warming drawer or warming zone to keep everything hot and ready to go. This way you’ll never have to worry about your earlier prepared dishes cooling down, and everything can be served hot and fresh together.

Wall Ovens and Cooktops

If you desire a kitchen with the sophistication and elegance that only a premium built-in oven affords, there’s no shortage of wall ovens and cooktops available for you to choose from. These ranges are noted not only as great space-savers, but they also provide a modern and stylish design that elevates and enhances any kitchen, regardless of size or layout.

Dual-oven

Ovens featuring dual-cavity designs give you the freedom to simultaneously cook multiple parts of a meal at two completely different temperatures. For example, you may wish to cook a roast in one chamber while baking a cake in the other. At busy periods, such as during the holidays, this can be a major time saver. If you’ve got space for a large capacity oven and are a very busy cook that puts lots of mileage on your range, a dual-oven may be a considerable asset. When preparing smaller or less complex meals, you can always use the smaller cavity. It will heat up faster and use less energy than the larger chamber.

Take the Next Step

gas cooktop

Choosing the ideal range for your kitchen is a very personal, and very important, decision. It’s something you’ll have to live with, work with, enjoy, and be happy with for many years to come. All you truly need to make the best possible decision is a little bit of knowledge and access to a great selection of products.

Regarding the former, we hope and trust that the above information will help you to make a decision you’ll be 100% satisfied with. As for the latter, Best Buy has an enormous and varied selection of ovens and ranges from which to choose. Simply arm yourself with the knowledge above, a complete understanding of what you need and want, and take the time to do thorough and effective search.

You can most certainly rest assured that Best Buy has the perfect range for every home, every kitchen, every chef, and every taste, so shop with confidence today and you’ll cook with ease tomorrow as we help you take the next step toward finding your perfect kitchen companion.

 

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