A kitchen stove, often simply called a stove or cooker, is a kitchen appliance designed to cook food. Kitchen stoves rely on the application of direct heat for the cooking process and may also contain an oven, used for baking. Kitchen stoves (also called wood stoves) are heated by burning wood or coal; gas stoves are heated with gas and electric stoves with electricity. A stove with a built-in hob is also called a stove.
During the pandemic, many of us have refocused our lives at home and, specifically, in the kitchen. If you've been honing your skills as a home chef, your cooktop and stove may have worn out a little more in the past few months. Maybe something broke down or maybe you're just looking forward to a new or more powerful range. So where do you start? The choice between gas and electric stoves depends to a large extent on your current configuration.
Gas stoves require you to have natural gas or propane service in your home, while an electric stove will work in any home, as long as you have a 220 volt power line in your kitchen. An electrician can install one if you don't. If you are replacing an existing range, purchasing a new model of the same type and size ensures that the new range will fit. Sliding ranges, where the top will slightly overlap existing countertops, are definitely in fashion.
However, if you buy one to replace an old freestanding stove, you may want to add a splash guard if the wall behind your old stove is not finished. If you plan to switch from gas to electric, or vice versa, you'll likely need an electrician or plumber to get new lines. The same goes for the upgrade to a professional dual-fuel range, which combines gas burners with an electric oven and requires standard electrical and gas connections. How about “switching to a professional style range”? Well, you might be surprised at how little you get for the money.
If you are replacing an older radiant electric stove, consider an induction stove. These appliances operate on the same standard power line as a normal electric range, but their burners use electromagnetic pulses to transfer energy directly to the cookware, causing pots and pans, but not the burners, to heat up. The ovens of induction stoves work the same as those of normal electric stoves. Induction stoves cost a little more than radiant electric cookers, but they tend to boil water faster and simmer more consistently.
As a group, induction ranges outperform all other types of ranges in our rankings. The Independent Type ranges are the best sellers and the easiest to install. Usually, the oven control panel is located on the back of the stove, above the surface. Slide-out ranges give a personalized, integrated look and slide easily between surrounding cabinets.
Oven controls are on the front of the stove and there is no back panel, so the splash guard can be displayed. They are designed to fit between countertops, and some have no finish on the sides, so they cannot be used independently as a typical range. Capacity A spacious oven is useful for baking or entertaining. We measure the oven space you can actually use, some manufacturers include the space below the lowest grill position, so check the capacity scores in our ratings.
The smallest ovens in our tests measure just over 2 cubic feet; the largest are almost 4 cubic feet. An oven or two? Many ranges now come in single and double oven configurations. Double oven stoves usually have a smaller oven above and a larger one below. They're great if you want to bake or grill two different foods at different temperatures.
If you are reheating, for example, pizza or chicken nuggets, you can turn on only the top oven and save some time on preheating. Just know that when you cook a large roast in the lower oven, it may be more difficult to remove because the door is close to the floor, so you will need to lean further down. And there are several other factors to think about, so we've created a guide on what to consider before buying a double oven. The stoves are electric, gas or dual fuel, combining a gas hob with an electric oven.
Both gas and electricity have their advantages. Ranges with smooth electric radiant surfaces are the popular choice. All models in our tests have at least one high-power burner. Most have expandable double or triple elements that allow you to change from a large, high power element to a small, lower power element inside.
Some ranges have a heating element in the center to keep garnishes warm. Electric stoves with induction hobs use magnetic coils below the surface of the ceramic glass to send pulses directly to cookware. They boil faster and simmer more consistently, and any adjustments you make to a burner happen immediately because the items themselves don't heat up. Magnetic cookware needed for induction to work.
If a magnet sticks strongly to the bottom of a pot, the cookware will work with an induction hob. Some stainless steel cookware is suitable for induction, and others are not, and anyone in the market for an induction cooker should read our summary of pros and cons. The response time is particularly fast, especially compared to a smooth, radiant surface. When you turn the knob from high to medium on a gas stove, the pot and the food in it change almost immediately.
And with most gas burners, you can light a match to ignite them when you don't have power. But you should know that gas burners tend to be slower to bring water to a boil. The pro-style ranges in our ratings are gas or dual fuel, which means they combine gas burners with an electric oven. They tend to have beautiful construction, with heavy-gauge stainless steel, well-insulated ovens, and cast-iron continuous cooking grates.
Allows you to turn off oven controls. We recommend it if the electronic control panel of the oven is at the front of the kitchen, rather than on the back panel, especially if there are small children in the house. Two separate cavities allow you to grill a turkey in one while baking pies in another at a different temperature. Some stoves combine a smaller top oven with a larger oven underneath; others have two ovens of the same size.
Note that there is no storage drawer and that the convection function is usually in the lower oven, although some have convection in both ovens. On gas stoves, oval burners support elongated irons and pans. Some electric hobs have an elongated bridge element that spans two burners to fit a griddle or other oddly shaped cookware. Most electric radiant and smooth induction hobs have an expandable burner that allows you to choose the size that best fits the diameter of the pot.
This light warns when an element is still hot and is especially useful on smooth electrical radiant surfaces. Some stoves have a warning light for each burner, and others have only one. Many mid-price and high-price ranges use one or more fans to circulate hot air in the oven. Some ovens, usually electric models, have an additional convection heating element.
Convection generally reduces cooking time, especially for large roasts. See these tips for cooking in convection ovens to learn how to use this feature. Most WiFi-connected ranges work with an application on your smartphone. The application will allow you to check the oven temperature, set a timer or even check the internal temperature of what you are cooking, if your kitchen comes with a temperature probe.
On electric stoves, you can also use the app to see if you accidentally left a burner on. And if you're away from home, you can even use the app to turn off the oven or burners. Nearly every major brand in the range now has at least one model with an air fry configuration. This configuration generally activates several fans to circulate the hot air much like a countertop air fryer.
Some also include (or sell) wire mesh kitchen baskets to maximize circulation. Oh, and yes, you can cut some fat by frying at home. Flat grills are also being installed on countertops and kitchen islands, which serve a dual function as a direct cooking surface, as well as a platform for heating pots and pans. This technique also caused a change in the cookware used for cooking, as it required flat-bottomed pots instead of kettles.
To find the right type for you, consider the design of your kitchen and what you want from your experience. Beginning in 1841, he converted his kitchen to consume piped gas, arguing that gas was cheaper in general because the supply could be turned off when the stove was not in use. Following this success, Thompson designed a kitchen range made of brick, with a cylindrical oven and holes in the top for the insertion of pots. That said, the best pro-style models are a work of art and a tool that can make you feel empowered in the kitchen.
With precise burner temperature control, useful additional features, and sleek finishes, gas stoves are on everyone's dream kitchen wish list for a reason. In addition to stainless steel, Frigidaire is available in both black and white stainless steel, making it a good choice if you are looking for a range that matches existing appliances in your kitchen. Available to buy in five finishes, including stainless steel, this range is easy to match your kitchen decor and style. A built-in stove is a combined stove-oven unit that installs in the lower kitchen cabinets flush with the countertop.
The right stovetop, stovetop, or cooktop is essential for any kitchen, regardless of the level of your cooking skills. To help you understand your options, the Good Housekeeping Institute Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab put some of the best gas stoves to the test. As an active scientist and prolific inventor, he put the study of heat on a scientific basis and developed improvements for industrial fireplaces, fireplaces and ovens, which led to his invention of the range of cookers. .