Range Cooker Guide
What Is A Range Cooker?
A range cooker combines an oven and hob into one freestanding appliance, but unlike standard cookers, they’re much bigger with a much larger capacity and several individual cavities.
They are great for anyone who wants an impactful, yet traditional, kitchen design. Most commonly found in country kitchens over the years, there is now a huge variation is sizes and styles so you can find one for your kitchen.
Range Cooker Fuel Types
Range cookers are available as single fuel types or multiple, using a different power supply for different functions.
Electric Range Cookers
These range cookers are perhaps not the most popular choice, but are the most modern feel. Electric Range Cookers feature both electric ovens and hobs, with the hob type usually being either ceramic or induction.
While they may not have the most traditional look, they’re great for anyone who wants the convenience of more space or a bold statement without having to let go of the electric they’re comfortable with.
- Uses the most modern and user-friendly fuel
- More likely to be easy to fit in newer kitchens as some don’t have gas
- A more modern look
- Because they look more modern, you may miss the traditional look
- Some functions may not be available, such as the ability to heat your room with the remaining heat
- Fewer accessories available for electric-topped ranges
Gas Range Cookers
These use gas for both the oven heating and the hob. Gas Range Cookers are technically the original form of range cooker, found in older houses as they’d still work without any electricity supply or during a power cut.
You either love working with a gas cooker or hate it. They have their cons, such as difficulty getting an even heat or the risk of it going out, but they benefit from the lowest overall running costs.
- The most traditional option
- Many can be left on low heats when not in use, to warm the kitchen or dry clothes/plates
- Gas is cheaper than electricity so it may be more budget-friendly to run
- More accessories available for gas-top ranges than electric
- Can be tricky to work
- Gas often doesn’t heat as evenly in a chamber than electricity, so there could be issues with food results
Dual Fuel Range Cookers
As the name suggests, Dual Fuel Range Cookers use both forms of fuel above to get the job done. This often means a gas hob and electric ovens.
They’re currently the most common range cooker type on the market, so you will have more choice. You can benefit from instant gas hob cooking and uniform, reliable oven cooking in one unit.
- Best fuel for both tasks
- More gas-friendly hob accessories around
- Still benefits from traditional look
- Requires two forms of power supply which may not be appropriate for some kitchens
Range Cooker Sizes
Range cookers are generally available in three widths – 90cm, 100cm and 110cm. There are some around which are a bit shorter than this, and some a bit larger, so always have a good look around and ensure you make the most of the space available in your kitchen.
Another issue you have to consider is how many cooking chambers the range has. This can vary from one or two up to four, so think about how you manage your current mealtimes with what you have. If another chamber would come in handy, or you’d like a separate grill, look for more cavities and ensure they’re all still good sizes.
Some range cooker models are height adjustable too, so can be lifted further off the ground if you’d prefer. This can be for cleaning purposes, or if you have an old stone flooring which is a bit uneven.
Range Cooker Extras
Range cookers come with a whole host of benefits and extra functions in comparison to ordinary cookers or ovens.
Here are some things you may want to look out for:
- Warming Drawer – If a range cooker has four cavities, there is a good chance one is a storage or warming drawer. This will be the perfect place to keep all of your baking sheets and trays when not in use, or to keep plates and pre-cooked food warm before serving
- Covers – Also known as lids, these are fold down covers for your hob area, which protect the hob when not in use but also keep your family safe and can prevent accidental switch on
- Splashback – Not an ‘extra’ found on the range cooker as such, but something you may want to consider as an additional purchase. We have reviewed many range cooker-suitable splashbacks here.
- Accessories – From a HandyRack which clips onto the door for easy accessibility, to Chef Top’s and Griddle Pans, to bread proving drawers and even clothes drying racks, there are a host of added extras available for range cookers. Check what is available before you buy