Freestanding Electric Range
In actuality, a range is two kitchen appliances in one. It is a stove with coils or elements on top for cooking and an oven underneath. Electric ranges have either a smooth top cooking surface or coil elements. The smooth-top cooktop is the more popular of the two designs because a ceramic glass cooktop looks nicer and is easier to clean.
Trying to find the best electric range cooker is no easy task. There are all kinds of styles and sizes of free-standing electric ranges, and choosing the right one for your home can be a daunting task. When you are deciding on the best range for your home, you should consider what your ultimate purpose is for the appliance. If you will be selling your home, you may want to consider buying a range that has features and options that you, personally, may not use but will be attractive to a prospective buyer.
In addition to free-standing ranges, you will also find slide-in ranges and drop-in ranges. These two styles may appear to be similar, but each style has its own design features requiring different installation procedures. These styles are more related to built-in ranges than freestanding ranges. They require specialized cabinetry and countertops to accommodate them. A drop-in range has no bottom drawer under the oven. Both of these range models usually have their controls placed at the front edge of the cooktop, a feature that may not be popular with young families since the controls are within easy reach of children.
To further complicate matters, free-standing dual-fuel ranges are available. The cooktop works with natural gas but it has an electric oven.
Measure the Space
When you are replacing your range, an accurate measurement of the space is important. Even in a small kitchen, many people find that after removing their old range, they have more space than they thought for the new appliance. Therefore, pull out the old appliance as far as possible before taking measurements, and be sure to measure both the height and width of the space before considering any kind of new electric range for the space. Make sure there is enough room between the cooktop and the range hood for your large pots and pans.
Today’s freestanding electric ranges are usually about 30 inches wide, 28 inches deep, and 36 to 48 inches high depending on the location of the controls. Oven capacities vary from about 3 cubic feet to over 5 cubic feet.
Compact 20-inch electric ranges are also available for apartment dwellers. Amana makes a few that have 4 burners and a 2.6 cubic foot oven capacity. These models are ADA compliant but are not suitable for families with children due to their front controls which are too easily accessible to children. Hotpoint also offers 20″ electric free-standing ranges.
Features available in free-standing electric ranges are many. If you have a large family or do a lot of dinner parties, a double oven range will let you cook two different dishes at two different temperatures at the same time. Double oven ranges provide over 6 cubic feet of oven capacity. Don’t be fooled by the manufacturer’s large capacity though. The rule of thumb is to divide it in half to get the capacity of each oven.
Self-cleaning ovens are almost essential in busy households. The self-cleaning function cleans the oven interior conveniently and automatically, eliminating the need for messy and smelly hand-cleaning.
Smooth cooktop ranges with ceramic glass surfaces are beautiful, functional and easy to clean and maintain. However. the glass cooktop has been known to break and is expensive to replace.
Many ovens now offer a Certified Sabbath Mode or are Sabbath Compliant. Developed by Whirlpool and adopted by many other manufacturers it helps the Jewish consumer avoid the unwanted surprise of not being able to use their range on Shabbos and Yom Tov.
If you are buying a new electric range, hiring a professional installer/electrician may be required. While most homes already have a separate circuit for an electric range, older homes may not. If not, it will require a licensed electrician to install a separate 220v circuit for this appliance. The installation of your range wiring should not be a DIY project. You will save time and money by hiring a professional to take care of the installation.
The type of range that you select when you are trying to increase the value of your home must include those features that a new homeowner may want. While you may not do a lot of cooking and don’t need a large oven, the new owner may want a double oven, glass stovetop, and a self-cleaning oven. Therefore, getting the best electric range to enhance the value of your home will have long term benefits for the extra investment you make now.
Styles and Colors
Kitchens always look better when all of the appliances match. Therefore, decide before making major investments, what colors you want in your kitchen. It is important to consider that some styles and colors that are popular today, will not be popular in the future. Do not select fad colors, or manufacturing materials that cannot be easily cleaned and maintained by people who have children.
Stainless steel electric ranges may look nice, but keeping them looking nice is an impossible task, especially if you have small children who love to put finger marks on everything.
Whether or not you have small children or are going to be reselling your home in the future, keep in mind that having knobs that children can reach on a freestanding range is unsafe. The appliance you select should have knobs out of the way of small children. As well as other safety features to protect children when the range is on.
Some of the leading brands of free standing electric ranges are GE and their GE Profile™ line of ranges. Electrolux, once regarded as a just a vacuum cleaner maker, has a complete line of ranges and ovens. In addition to their self cleaning freestanding gas convection range, LG Appliances offers a large selection of electric ranges. Kitchenaid, Sears’ Kenmore, and Maytag are also players. Jenn-Air has more than 20 gas ranges and electric ranges in its line including a 36″ electric range. Expect to pay a lot for the brand.
Pricing an electric range is almost as confusing as pricing a new car. There so many brands, features, and variations that it’s nearly impossible to estimate. You can get a basic range for about $400. Or you can pay up to $4000 for one with all the bells and whistles. You can expect to pay about $900 for a model that will have the most useful and desirable features.
Finding a place that sells ranges is not a problem. Online vendors abound, and stores such as Home Depot, Lowe’s and Best Buy are convenient to most people.
Talking to people who have knowledge of the different options available in free-standing electric ranges will be very helpful. They will be able to give you information and details about warranties, safety ratings, and energy ratings. As well as other information that will be helpful when you are deciding on the best electric range for your home. Consumer’s Reports provides unbiased reviews.