Range cooker Buying Guide
This range cooker buying guide is designed to help you make an informed decision when buying a range cooker. Range cookers are designed to look like traditional cooking ranges found in older style kitchens and they have numerous features and, although free-standing, can also be planned into fitted or semi-fitted kitchens. They come in widths of 80–150cm, with most models having twin ovens arranged side by side. The hob can have both gas and electric burners, and specialist burners or hot plates. There are many colours and finishes available to suit all tastes and needs. Our buying guide is here to help you find out which choices are right for your needs.
You can either read the full range cookers guide, or click one of the links to find the answers to the most common questions about range cookers.
- What Size Does My Range cooker Need To Be To Fit Into My Kitchen?
- What Capacity Oven Will I Need From My Range cooker?
- What Fuel Type Do I Need For My Range cooker?
- What Types Of Food Do I Cook And Eat Most Often?
- How Will My Range cooker Save Me Time?
- How Much Does A Range cooker Cost To Run?
- What Price Do I Need To Pay For My Range cooker?
What Size Does My Range cooker Need To Be To Fit Into My Kitchen?
Range cookers are freestanding appliances which mean that they are designed to be placed on their own or between cabinets.
Range cookers are a lot larger than regular freestanding cookers. They can be anywhere between 70-150 cm wide, which is larger than the width of a standard unit (60 cm). When placing any appliance you should always double check that the space is deep enough for it to fit because although most appliances come in a set width and height the depth can vary.
When choosing where to put your new cooker you need to make sure that it is within reach of its fuel source. There are two kinds of fuel source and three kinds of cooker; gas, electric and dual fuel. Gas and dual fuel models need to be connected by a Gas Safe registered (CORGI) engineer, so you must make sure they are within reach of a gas supply. You can contact a Gas Safe Registered engineer by logging onto http://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/ and by entering your postcode can access the contact details of several engineers working in your area who will be happy to quote you for the required services. All three kinds of cooker need access to electricity which can be in the form of a plug socket but if it needs hardwiring it will need to be installed by a qualified electrician. If you would like mychoice to connect your appliance, please check our connection services for the model you are interested in.
What Capacity Oven Will I Need From My Range cooker?
The capacity is the size of cavity of your oven. It is measured in litres. It gives a good indication of how much food it can cook but you should also consider the shape of the oven and the number of shelves. The larger the oven capacity, the more food that can be cooked at any one time.
Not all range cookers are laid out the same. Many range cookers have 1,2 or sometimes 3 ovens! Some range cookers come with separate grills and warming compartments while others have ovens that are programmed for grilling and warming. There are several different styles:
**Single Oven Range cookers have just one oven which can include a built in grill function. The capacity can be anywhere from 60 to 110 litres.
**Side By Side Range cookers have an oven that is much larger than the secondary one, capacities can vary, and one or both of them usually have a grill built in. Normally there are two or three shelves in both ovens.
**Farmhouse Range cookers have two ovens and normally these have two or three shelves and a capacity between 40 and 60 litres. As well as the ovens there is a separate grill and a warming compartment.
What Fuel Type Do I Need For My Range cooker?
Your choice of range cooker will be determined by your fuel supply. If you have gas, you might also like to consider dual fuel, which combines the speed of an electric oven with gas hob.
**Dual Fuel Cookers give instant heat and control from the gas hob and faster cooking pre-heat times of an electric oven. The most popular Range cooker models are dual fuel, as they give the best performance in the oven and on the hob.
**Gas Cookers use gas for the oven, grill and hob. It gives instant heat, maximum control. Gas cookers are perfect if you use the hob a lot. Because gas is burnt directly below the pan, reducing the flow of gas reduces the temperature of the flame, which means you can go from boiling to simmering in seconds. If you are planning to buy a gas cooker then you need to know which type of gas you are using; it could either be natural gas or LPG. Most cookers use natural gas as a default, so check that your model comes with an LPG conversion kit if that is your house’s gas source. If you have any questions about installing a gas appliance you should contact a Gas Safe (CORGI) registered engineer.
**Electric Cookers have an electric oven, grill and hob. Fan assisted ovens are found in most ovens nowadays as they do not need to be pre-heated. Electric ovens also cook quicker and more evenly than the gas alternative.
Electric Hobs – There are three types of electric hob: sealed plate, ceramic and induction. See the hobs buying guide for more information.
A note on where you should you place your range cooker:
When choosing where to put your new cooker you need to make sure that it is within reach of its fuel source. There are two kinds of fuel source and three kinds of cooker; gas, electric and dual fuel. Gas and dual fuel models need to be connected by a Gas Safe registered (CORGI) engineer, so you must make sure they are within reach of a gas supply. You can contact a Gas Safe Registered engineer by logging onto http://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/ and by entering your postcode can access the contact details of several engineers working in your area who will be happy to quote you for the required services. All three kinds of cooker need access to electricity If you would like mychoice to connect your appliance, please check our connection/installation services for the model you are interested in.
What Types Of Food Do I Cook And Eat Most Often?
Depending on what you cook and eat most often, you might find that your range cooker comes with many features on the hob, under the grill and in the oven, which may well influence your selection. Some of the key features to look out for are:
**Multifunction Ovens allow you to choose between different cooking methods. These include conventional cooking and fan cooking, for fast, even heating. Conventional cooking is ideal for baking or you may choose fan or CircoTherm cooking, which is ideal for roasting.
**Fan Assisted Ovens speed up the cooking process and lower the temperature required to cook your food.
**Electronic Controls provide greater accuracy and maintain a constant temperature, which is perfect for baking delicate foods. Temperatures have been pre-selected for each function, which saves time for some ovens.
**Wok Burners have an extra-large gas burner that gives off much higher heat. This is much better for cooking stir-fries than a standard hob.
**Rapid Burners are a more powerful type of burner or heat zone; good for large flat bottomed pans like frying pans.
**Economy Burner/Heat Zones are a less powerful type of burner. They are great for smaller saucepans where they do not need as much gas. This saves a lot of energy. Always ensure you are using the appropriate burner for the size of your pan.
**Fan Assisted Grilling is great for meat and poultry as it allows the meat to fully cook and get a crispy skin.
**Pizza Function: This emits heat only from the bottom of the oven upwards. This gives pizzas a crisper base and replicates the conditions in a traditional pizza oven.
**Solarglo: This is a common type of ceramic electric hob that heats up extremely quickly. Much better than conventional ceramic hobs.
**Defrost feature: these speed up defrosting foods without damaging them. Good for meats, as it defrosts them without cooking.
** Rotisserie Function: This function is perfect for the true roasting connoisseur. A spinning, rotisserie function allows you to cook as evenly as possible and the constant rotation keeps more of the flavourful juices inside the meat – leaving it more moist and tasty than conventional roasting methods.
How Will My Range cooker Save Me Time?
Many range cookers today have programmes/features, that can directly reduce the amount of time it takes you to cook a meal or clean your cooker/oven. Some of the most common features/programmes are:
**Minute Minder/Timer: this counts down how long is left until your food is ready and gives an alarm when it is cooked.
**Programme Timer: this allows you to set a start and stop time for your cooker/oven.
**Glass Door: The ability to check your food without opening your door keeps the heat in, allowing for faster cooking.
**Pyrolytic Ovens clean better by heating the oven to an extremely high temperature, which burns away food and grease on the oven’s sides. At the end, all that is left is a small pile of residue that can be wiped away.
**Catalytic Oven Liners absorb grease and help break it down when the oven is turned on, saving time on cleaning the oven. When the liners are done they can be easily replaced.
**Multifunction Ovens allow you to choose between different cooking methods. These include conventional cooking and fan cooking.
How Much Does A Range cooker Cost To Run?
Energy efficiency grading's for electric ovens are the responsibility of the appliance manufacturers and their work is monitored by Trading Standards. Standard tests are carried out and efficiency grading's of A-G applied, with A being the most efficient. Gas ovens and cookers are excluded from this testing, as are grill compartments or ovens that include a microwave.
If you are upgrading your old appliance remember mychoice offer a recycling service, whereby we collect and recycle your old appliance when we deliver your new one.
What Price Do I Need To Pay For My Range cooker?
Range cookers can now cost as little as £500 for an entry level model. Top end and Premium models cost closer to £2500+. Price really depends on your own specific needs and requirements:
**For £500 to £1000 you can find a good dual fuel or gas range cooker with most of the required features, such as conventional/fan/gas oven and a variety of different sized cooking zones. Models are available in different colours and finishes.
**For between £1000 and £2000 models are available in a selection of different colours and finishes with advanced features, such as between 1 and 3 oven cavities, multifunctional cooking options and wok burners. The majority are rated A for energy efficiency. Models in this price range are mainly designed for those consumers who really enjoy cooking and require the specific features and performance, which will allow them to produce the best results possible.
**At £2000+ you can expect to get a choice of the most stylish range cookers available, perfect for all your culinary needs and creating an elegant focal point in any modern kitchen. Design is at a premium and you can expect all the latest features/programmes, to get the best cooking experience and performance from your range cooker
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