Range Buying Guide Range Buying Guide Header Image

A range is essentially two appliances in one. A set of burners sits on top of the unit with an oven integrated below.


pic of electric coil range

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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pic of electric smooth top range

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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pic of electric induction range

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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pic of dual fuel gas range

Dual fuel ranges combine the instant response of gas burners and the even heat of an electric oven.

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pic of commercial style gas range

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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pic of double oven range

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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pic of vent over range

Ventilation is a key consideration when purchasing a range. The vent can be a microwave hood combination, but higher-performing ranges may require an overhead hood with internal or external blowers.

pic of women working in kitchen

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".

Style and Design
pic of freestanding range


This type of range doesn't need to be fitted into cabinetry and has finished sides.

pic of slide-in range


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.

  • Electronic temperature controls allow for more accurate cooking temperatures.
  • Self-cleaning ovens eliminate the need for strong smelling sprays and scrubbing.
  • Programmable timing options allow you to preset your oven to automatically turn on and off to cook your meals even when you are not present.
  • Convection ovens cook about 30% faster than conventional ovens. Fans in the oven circulate the heat around foods to cook them faster.
  • Simmer burners provide low, gradual heat when required for a variety of cooking needs such as preparing soups and sauces. Once a drawback when cooking with gas, better gas ranges offer precise low temperature control.
  • High-heat burners instantly provide cooking heat allowing you to quickly boil or sear foods as reqired, dramatically cutting down on cooking time. On some high-end ranges, you can find burner output exceeding an incredible 17,500 BTU/hr.
  • Warming drawers store cooked food, keeping it warm and moist until you are ready to serve. Warming features in ovens and on cooktops also serve a similar purpose.
  • Dual element burners: Some electric ranges feature an inner ring for smaller pans and a large outer ring for larger pots and pans. A flick of the switch turns on the preferred size.
  • Bridge Element: An extra element between two main elements on a smooth top cooktop that can be turned on to create a large surface for large pans such as griddles.
  • Adjustable oven racks allow you to adapt your oven to your particular cooking needs.
  • Multiple broil settings allow you to broil different types of food at optimal temperatures.
  • Seamless or continuous grates allow you to easily slide heavy pots between burners without doing any lifting.
  • Optional configurations: Some manufacturers allow you to customize their range cooktops with accessories such as grills, griddles, wok rings and more.
  • Hot surface indicator lights are available on some electric models alert you that a surface may still be hot even though it is powered off..
  • Large oven windows and lighting allow you to easily view your oven contents without opening the door.

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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Founded in 1963, we're among the largest appliance retailers nationally, and we are the largest high-end appliance retailer in Michigan. Online since 1999, we've helped tens of thousands of customers all across the country with their home appliance needs.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact one of our knowledgeable sales associates. Call toll-free: 1-877-628-9913 (Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., EST).