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Factors to Consider when Purchasing a New Oven or Stove

There are many different models and combinations available when purchasing a stove or oven. The most affordable option is typically a range that includes both an oven and a stove. Ranges may slide-in or drop-in between existing cabinetry or they can be freestanding. They can be powered by gas, electricity, or a combination of the two fuel sources. A standard range with four burners will cost only a few hundred dollars. However, professional grade, stainless steel ranges, like those found in restaurant kitchens, have become increasingly popular, but may cost several thousand dollars. A range is only one of several options though. Other configurations are possible. An oven (or double ovens) can be custom fit into a wall or between kitchen cabinets. A separate cooktop can be installed in the counter or island to accompany the oven. Buying separate appliances is typically more expensive, but may offer some design freedom.

Most standard stoves have four burners, but many professional ranges can often have six burners. Stoves may have open flame, smooth glass or coil burners. These burners can also vary in size. Some may have a larger, power burner for boiling water and other burners to accommodate smaller pans.

Ovens and stoves can be gas or electric. Typically, the choice is a matter of personal preference. Many chefs prefer gas stoves with an open flame. They tend to heat up faster and the temperature is easier to control. Bakers often prefer the precise temperature regulation of an electric oven.

The initial cost and installation of a gas oven or stove is typically greater than electric, but gas is cheaper to operate on a long-term basis. Electric ovens are the most popular and they are very easy to install. They simply need to be plugged into a wall outlet whereas gas options require a dedicated gas line. If you are planning to install a gas oven or stove, it is important to make sure that a gas line hook-up is readily available. Installing a new gas line can add hundreds of dollars to the cost of installation.

If the cleaning and maintenance of your appliance is important, there are several options to consider. Some ovens have a self clean setting that uses high temperatures to cook away grease and other stains. Other ovens will need to be cleaned by hand periodically. For stoves, ceramic and smooth glass radiant cooktops are much easier to clean than the grates of an open flame gas stove. However, special cleaners must be used in order to avoid damaging the surface of many glass and ceramic cooktops.

A range hood or ventilation system will need to be installed with your cooktop in order to eliminate excess smoke and odors while cooking. Some hoods can be mounted below kitchen cabinets, attached to the wall, or hang from the ceiling. They have a variety of different types of fans that either recirculate filtered air or push polluted air through a duct to an exterior vent.

With more components, you should expect to pay more money. You can install a warming drawer under an oven to keep prepared food hot. Convection ovens, that circulate hot air to reduce cooking time, are more expensive but may offer added convenience. Induction cooktops use an electromagnetic field to transfer heat to cookware. They can boil water in half the time as a gas cooktop while remaining relatively cool to the touch. Also, stainless and stainless steel appliances are more expensive than basic black or white models.

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About the Author

ProMatcher Staff, ProMatcher
Orlando, FL 32803

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