A range is essentially two appliances in one. A set of burners sits on top of the unit with an oven integrated below.
The coil sits above the range top surface or into a recessed cavity. The coils are more vulnerable to spills, but drip pans capture spills and are generally easy to access, remove, and clean. These units are usually less expensive.
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The radiant elements are installed beneath a glass surface presenting a sleek integrated appearance. These cooktops are easy to clean. The radiant elements heat quickly and evenly.
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Induction cooktops work by using an electromagnetic field to heat the cookware. It only heats the area that comes into contact with the cookware, and allows for very fast, even heating with precise control at all temperature readings. Requires special cookware.
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Dual fuel ranges combine the instant response of gas burners and the even heat of an electric oven.
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Commercial style ranges are becoming increasingly popular and offer a variety of options catering to the needs of even the most demanding cooks. These pro-style ranges usually offer higher output burners.
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Available in both electric and gas versions, the double oven range allows you to simultaneously cook two different dishes at two different temperatures.
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Consider the number of people that you typically cook for. If you cook frequently or for large numbers, a large capacity range and oven may be your best choice. Ranges are available in multiple sizes for just about any cooking requirement.
Heat Output - Gas: Most gas ranges have four or more burners whose output measured in BTU/hr (British Thermal Units). A range with at least one high output burner is recommended (approx 15,000 BTU or more per hour). Medium and Low output burner options are also available to cover a variety of cooking needs.
Heat Output - Electric: The output of electric burners is typically measured in watts. The higher the number, the faster your food will cook.
Ranges come in a variety of sizes. 30" ranges are standard, although larger commercial-style ranges come in larger widths up to 60".
This type of range doesn't need to be fitted into cabinetry and has finished sides.
These types of ranges fit into the space between cabinets and do not have finished sides. Drop-ins usually rest on top of a toe kick plate matching the rest of the cabinetry.
Measure the space that you have available for your range. Know the height, width and depth of the area you want the new model to fit into. If selecting a gas range, you will need a gas hook-up to a natural gas source, or to an LP (liquid propane supply tank). You will need an electrical hook-up for both type of ranges.
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