Buyer's Guide \ Ranges \ A Comprehensive Guide to Buying a Range for Your Kitchen

A Comprehensive Guide to Buying a Range for Your Kitchen

Need help deciding which range to buy? Use this guide to understand what to consider so you can make an informed decision.

A range plays a distinct role in any kitchen. It is where many people learn to cook or where friends and family gather to make recipes that have been passed down for generations.
We want to help you make the right decision about which range to buy. The first step is to decide which fuel type you need for your range. You can choose between gas, electric, or dual-fuel.

Ready for your new range? Check out the Range Finder tool from Whirlpool first.

Table of contents

Fuel Type (Gas, electric, or dual)

1
Fuel type can impact cooking time and cooking results. Make sure you understand what to consider when making your decision.

Gas

  • Gas-powered ranges are usually more energy efficient and less costly to power than electric ranges. This is because it takes less energy to provide gas to your range than electricity (instant heat when the range is turned on).
  • Installation is generally more challenging as a professional is required to connect it to the natural gas line.
  • Temperature is more controllable due to the flame on the gas top, allowing for immediate heat.
  • Certain ranges have liquid propane conversion kits for purchase if there is no option for a gas hookup.

Electric

  • Usually less energy efficient than gas-powered ranges. Can be more expensive to operate as electricity takes longer to reach the range.
  • Quicker installation with a standard 240V plug into an outlet.
  • Oven usually heats at a drier temperature, providing a more even and reliable result throughout the food.
  • Certain electric ranges are designed with a smooth glass top, making the appliance easier to clean than gas-powered ranges.

Dual Fuel

  • These ranges have both gas and electric components to create the optimal variations for cooking and baking.
  • The cooktop uses gas so the flame can be utilized for precise cooking. The oven is electric, providing even and reliable temperature throughout the cavity.
  • Often highly sought after by professional or experienced cooks.
  • Can sometimes be costly.

Fuel facts to know when designing your kitchen

Your range choice depends on the fuel sources in your kitchen. Explore the possibilities of gas, electric or dual fuel ranges from KitchenAid brand.

Control Placement (Front control or rear control)

2
Would you prefer a front control range or a rear control range?

Front Control

  • Controls are located at the front of the range.
  • The unit integrates with countertops, providing a seamless built-in look.
  • Backsplash won’t be covered by a backguard with controls.

Rear Control

  • Controls are located on the backguard of the range.
  • Considered a freestanding range which can be placed anywhere in your kitchen.
  • All rear-control ranges offer finished side panels so they can be placed anywhere in the kitchen.
Each control placement offers a variety of designs with the goal of matching more easily with other kitchen appliances even if they are different brands.

Size

3
Select a range size that makes sense for your kitchen and meets the needs of your household.

Smaller Ranges

  • Smaller ranges, 20″ to 24″ (51 cm to 61 cm) wide, work well in apartments or condos. Generally, they work just like bigger ranges. The only difference is that they have the capacity to cook less at one time.
  • Usually with 4 burners that are separated by limited space.
  • Either gas or electric.

Larger Ranges

  • Sizes can range from 30″ up to 60″ (76 cm to 152 cm) wide.
  • The typical range is 30″ (76 cm) wide with 4 – 5 burners and can be powered by either gas or electric. The next size up is 36″ (91 cm) wide. Remember to ensure that the size and functionality of your kitchen can accommodate this appliance size.

Professional-style ranges

4
Consider a professional-style range if you want greater power and intriguing features.

Power

  • Can run up to 15,000 – 20,000 BTUs/burner (British Thermal Unit) vs. an average of 5,000 – 7,000 BTUs in a non-professional style range.
  • Powerful gas burners allow for quick speed and precise cooking so you can fry, sauté, boil and more like a professional cook.
  • Range can reach the desired temperature quicker.
  • Can have dual-fuel, allowing for a professional cook/bake, while achieving the evenness of an electric range. This will ensure that a cake is baked through with no uneven spots. Furthermore, dual-fuel has a self-clean option.

Design

  • Same modern design but can reach 60″ (152 cm) wide. Professional-style ranges come in smaller sizes, allowing smaller kitchens to enjoy a powerful range.
  • Kitchens should be equipped to handle a large appliance in addition to having a proper ventilation system.
    • Review and follow your appliance use and care instructions. This is your primary source of information.
  • Different burner options like a griddle, grill (or both), sealed, open, or an induction top.

Price

  • Since options include a smaller 24″ (61 cm) wide professional range, prices can vary from around $2,000 up to $20,000.
After deciding which look you would prefer for your kitchen, the next step is to decide the power option that is best for your cooking and baking needs.
If you do not have natural gas available as a hookup, some ranges have liquid propane conversion kits. If you choose natural gas, make sure that you factor purchasing a conversion kit into your budget as it will require professional help, which can be costly.
 

You take cooking seriously – your range should, too

Explore these commercial-style ranges from KitchenAid and JennAir brand that’s up for any culinary challenge you can imagine.

Types of Heat Options (Cooktop)

5
Cooktops use different types of heat. Consider your options to get closer to making your decision.
 

Radiant (Can be used for Gas or Electric)

  • Indirect heat is used to heat up the cookware and then cook the food.
  • Electric can be the cheaper option out of the two.
  • Unlike induction, you can use any cookware.

Coil (electric)

  • Takes longer to heat up/cool down than induction.
  • Usually the less costly option and you can use any cookware.
  • Easier to clean.

Induction (electric)

  • Proper cookware must be used to maximize efficiency, including faster boiling. Cookware needs to be high in iron or steel with a flat bottom to be compatible. Remember, if it is not flat then the heat will not be properly transmitted.
  • Burners do not stay hot for long after they are turned off because the magnets directly produce heat.
 

Which cooktop heat source is best for you?

Radiant heat or induction? Compare these cooktops from Whirlpool brand and make the right choice for your kitchen.
After deciding on a power source, the next step is to review all the features to determine which are important to you. You may be surprised to hear about all the new and exciting features that are now available on ranges. You can go for something classic like convection bake or buy a model that offers more impressive features like voice control.
Modern ranges cover it all. Keep your budget top of mind, though, and try to gauge value with respect to what appeals to you.

Features

6
Now is the time to consider if you want conventional and useful features or ones that provide more convenience and functionality.

Convection bake

  • Allows for faster and more thorough roasting than regular bake (available in gas and electric ranges).
  • Equipped with a fan that circulates air and distributes the heat evenly resulting in faster and extremely precise baking. For instance, your cake will avoid getting crispy around the edges, and you will not have to rotate cookies to achieve an even bake.
  • Convection also heats up quickly meaning less preheat time.

Need to know more about convection? Explore this easy guide covering the pros and cons of convection vs. conventional ovens.

Warming Drawer

  • Keeps a dish at a low steady temperature so that it stays warm until the rest of the meal is ready to be served.

Smartphone Compatible

  • Start preheating from anywhere with Wi-Fi connectivity.

Finishes

7
Have fun choosing the finishes you want for your range.

Colour Schemes

  • You can still choose the same popular finishes that many have enjoyed over the years, or go with an accent colour to make your kitchen pop.
  • Bright colours like light blue, yellow and red can inject more vibrancy and sophistication into your beloved space.
  • If you want your kitchen to match with more classical colours, then white, black, stainless steel, and black stainless steel are available.

Looking to brighten up your kitchen?

The array of coloured ranges from KitchenAid could provide the distinctive splash of colour you’ve been looking for. Explore a range of statement colours.
We hope you are now more prepared to choose a range that will exceed your expectations and your kitchen needs. While design is always important, remember to review all the new features to find exactly what you need.
Ready to start looking for a new range? Our Buying Guide tool can help narrow your search so you can find the one that meets your needs. Click here to find a range that’s right for you.
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