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What to Look for When Shopping for Ranges [Range Buying Guide]

by Waverly Wilde

Whirlpool range in a kitchen

At a Glance:

What is a Range?

Choosing Your Fuel Source

Types of Ranges

Features to Look For

Why Trust Colder's?

Each appliance in your kitchen works hard to make your life better. Your dishwasher takes care of your dirty dishes, wasting less water and giving your more time to do the things you want. Your refrigerator keeps your produce fresh through climate-controlled drawers and innovative temperature features. And your range is arguably the hardest laborer of all, giving you the ability to cook on multiple burner elements all while baking a batch of delicious cookies, if you wanted to.  

The range is both the focal point and the workhorse of your cooking space, so it makes sense why this big decision could feel overwhelming. So, before getting started on your shopping journey with a tinge of intimidation, we’d rather you check out our range buying guide to find the best type of range for your lifestyle—without breaking a sweat. 

What is a Range? 

a KitchenAid range in a kitchen

If you own a stovetop and an oven combo in your home, then you just happen to own one of these wonderful range appliances. Of course, a range isn’t the only option you can go with. You can also keep the two methods of cooking separate by purchasing a cooktop and wall oven individually. But, what’s the difference?  

When you own a range, you have the luxury of keeping all of your cooking in one spot so you don’t have to run all over the place to handle your food. This is nice for smaller kitchens or households that don’t have more than one chef in the kitchen at a time. Conversely, an individual cooktop and oven can give you more placement options so you have complete control over where you want your appliances to be nestled. But, while having the flexibility to move your appliances to spots that work best for you, the dual appliances are generally much more costly than purchasing a single range. 

Fuel Source 

The first thing you should do before shopping for a range is determine which fuel source your appliance will be using in your kitchen: electric, induction, gas, or dual-fuel. Just look behind where your current range sits and check the wall for the specific hookups. If you have a copper or steel gas line, then you’re all set for a gas range. If there is an electrical socket there, then you’re all set for an electric range. And if you have both, then you can have your choice of any range you want! 

Gas Range

There’s a reason most professional chefs prefer gas over other fuel types, and if you consider yourself a perfectionist in the kitchen, a gas range may be the right choice for you.  

This style of range offers such precision on the cooktop that most smooth-top stoves just aren’t able to manage. There is a higher level of control with gas ranges because you are able to actually see the flame and change the heat immediately, unlike an electric range cooktop which takes time to heat up and cool down. 

Also, gas ranges are more energy-efficient than their electric counterparts, saving you money on your monthly energy bill. 

Shop Gas Ranges | Price range: $500-$7,000 

Electric Range

If cleanliness is close to godliness then electric ranges are the angels of the appliance world. Many people admire electric ranges for their sleek aesthetic and their easy-to-clean surface. Gas cooktops can be a beast to scrub down—having to remove grates and other pieces in order to reach those grimy nooks and crannies—while electric takes a quick wipe and you're done. 

While it’s common for chefs to go ga-ga over a gas range, bakers feel equally enamored with the power of an electric oven because of their more even heating tendencies.  

Shop Electric Ranges | Price Range: $600-$7300

Induction Range

An induction range is a type of electric stove that uses electromagnetism to create heat. This heats the pan, not the surface of the range. This is different from other types of electric stoves, which use coils of wire beneath the surface to create heat. Induction ranges are more energy-efficient than other types of electric stoves.

They also cook food more evenly and are very easy to clean.

Shop Induction Ranges | Price Range: $1000-$6500 

Dual-Fuel Range

When you want the best of both worlds, going the way of the dual-fuel range will allow you to have exactly what you want while cooking in the kitchen. If you want the precise control of a gas stovetop with the even baking power of an electric oven, the dual oven range will give you that. 

Keep in mind, when compared with gas and electric ranges, dual fuel is usually the more expensive of the four kinds. 

Shop Dual Fuel Ranges | Price Range: $2,300-$12,000 

Types of Ranges 

Cafe gas range with door ajar

There are two kinds of range designs to choose from: freestanding and slide-in. While their differences are slight, it really all comes down to the layout of your kitchen and your own personal stylistic preferences. 

Freestanding 

The freestanding range is the most common type of range you’ll find in the kitchen due to its placement flexibility. Whether you plan to set it up between cabinets or standalone, the sides are made finished which means it can be put almost anywhere. It also comes equipped with a backguard that houses all the controls while protecting the wall from messy spatters. 

Slide-In 

The biggest difference between a slide-in and a freestanding range has to do with the way they are installed. Slide-ins are made to have a seamless look and fit snugly between cabinetry, which is why their sides don’t have finished walls. They also don’t have a backguard, which means their control panel is placed on the top or front of the cooktop. 

Drop-In

 A drop-in range is one that is designed to fit into special cabinetry. Drop-in ranges are frequently found on islands.  Drop-in ranges have an integrated, sleek appearance.

Colder’s Favorite Range Features 

If you’re still not sure what kind of range is right for you, explore a few of our favorite range features to help you make up your mind. 

  • CustomConvect – Convection cooking is an essential tool to have if you’re a baker at heart. This Electrolux dual-fuel range makes sure that when you want to use the CustomConvect feature, heat will evenly distribute throughout the oven so your food comes out just right and in a shorter amount of time.  
  • Downdraft – The best place to put your range is under a vent hood, but when your range has its own built-in ventilation system, your options are now limitless. The downdraft feature on this KitchenAid electric range recirculates the smoke and odors inside so no extra vent hood is required.
  • Power Preheat – When you need your food to be ready quicker, having an option to speed up the process can be a life saver. With the help of this Maytag electric range, you can preheat your oven in less time so you and your family can start chowing down sooner. 
  • Temperature Sensor – It’s not often that a range feature works for both the cooktop and the oven, but this Whirlpool gas range begs to differ. The Temperature Sensor is a nifty control that monitors the stove elements and the oven temperatures to ensure that all the food bakes evenly. 
  • Air Fry – This range with Air Fry oven is just the cooking tool you need if you enjoy the flavor of fried foods. The best part, though? The Air Fry feature on this LG electric range requires little to no oil when cooking so you can skip the guilt. 

A range is the perfect appliance for any family, but which one is best for your lifestyle? 

Additional features to look for:

When shopping for kitchen ranges, you'll want to consider the features that are important to you. Some of the most important features include convection fans, special cooking modes, and temperature probes.

Convection fans circulate the heat in the oven more evenly, which means your food will bake more evenly. If you're baking food like cookies on more than one oven rack at the same time, you'll want an oven with convection fans.

Special cooking modes are also important to consider. Some ovens come with cook settings for specific foods, like pizza or turkey, or food preparation methods, like dehydration or bread proofing. Ovens with convection fans often have modes for convection baking and convection roasting.

Temperature probes allow you to monitor the internal temperature of meat as it cooks. The temperature displays on the control panel of your oven, so you don't have to open the door to see if your dish is done. This is a feature that is especially important if you're busy and can't constantly check on your food.

Double ovens are also a convenient feature to have in your kitchen. Some ovens come with a divider that allows you to split your single oven into two unique temperature zones. This is a great way to cook more than one dish at the same time without having to worry about the flavors of each dish mixing together.

Wireless connectivity is another important feature to consider when shopping for a new kitchen range. With wireless connectivity, you can control your oven's settings from anywhere in your home. This is a great feature if you're busy and can't always be in the kitchen. You can also use wireless connectivity to monitor the progress of your dish, so you don't have to constantly open the oven door to check on it.

When choosing a kitchen range, it's important to consider the features that are most important to you. With so many options available on the market, you're sure to find an oven that meets your needs.

We hope this range buying guide has been helpful, and our team at Colder’s is here to talk and answer any questions you may still have about ranges. Contact us at our nearest store to you to get one step closer to finding the right range for your kitchen. 

Why Trust Colder’s? 

Since 1942, we at Colder's pride ourselves on offering value, selection, and service. Serving Southeastern Wisconsin with four showrooms that stock quality name-brand furniture, appliances, and mattresses, Colder’s is sure to house exactly what you are looking for. And if you can't find it on our floors, chances are, we can order it for you. As a local, family-owned company, we are always doing our best to provide the highest value at the lowest cost to everyone who walks through our doors.

Colder’s is committed not only to continuously offering can’t-miss sales but also to working with each customer, making sure that you take advantage of every possible markdown — that’s our best price guarantee.

Shop Ranges at Colder’s

Don’t put off happiness — and shop ranges online for unbeatable prices at Colder’s. Our friendly experts are always happy to help you find the best kitchen range for your needs, whether you call us at 414-476-1574 or use our online chat feature. Better yet, stop by one our Colder’s locations in West Allis, Oak Creek, Delafield, and Grafton, Wisconsin to touch, see, feel, and experience home products that fulfill your dreams. Visit us today!

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