A cooking range is a long-term investment and should ideally last at least 10 years. Therefore, you need to think about a number of things including the size of your household, the type and volume of cooking, price, technology savvy, etc. before making a decision. Space is another factor because the gas range should fit in with the existing layout and fixtures in your kitchen. Whether you purchase a gas or an electric range, you should make sure that it fits in your budget and lifestyle. Here are some of the essential things you need to think about when considering purchasing a gas cooking range for your home.
Gas over electric?
Gas cooking ranges offer a number of benefits over electric ranges. For starters, the operating costs of a gas range are typically lower than electric ranges because domestic consumer gas rates tend to be lower than electricity rates in most places. Secondly, gas cookers are convenient for people who feel intimidated by the buttons on electric ranges. The knobs on a gas cooking range make it extremely easy to control temperature and heat intensity for different types of cooking.
Gas cooking ranges come with a variety of features that can be quite confusing even for experienced buyers. At the most basic level, you need to look at features such as the type of cooktop you need, especially the number of burners. Standard ranges come with four burners. More expensive models have additional burners as well. You also need to think about the heat output for the cooking range. A typical model starts with about 5,000 BTU while more advanced models can go up to 12,500 BTU. Higher BTUs don’t necessarily mean better cooking efficiency. You need to look at what BTU is ideal for your cooking needs. Some gas ranges also come with varying BTUs so that one burner gives a lower BTU and others give higher BTUs.
Ease of maintenance
It is important to buy a gas range that allows you to spend minimal time in cleaning and maintenance. You do not want to spend hours every weekend getting the grime and dirt out of every crevice and corner of your gas cooking range, especially if you’re remodeling your kitchen. A smart option is to buy a range that has sealed burners. This prevents spilled over food from blocking the burner vents and makes cleaning a less tedious chore. For a slightly higher price, you can even purchase a range with self-cleaning features, helping you save even more time taking care of your gas range.
How much room you have in your kitchen to accommodate the gas range is an important question to ask. A standard gas range measures about 30 inches widthwise but bigger models are also available. In addition, you also need to consider the size of the oven and other storage cabinets that come with certain models. Also consider the style that would suit your kitchen. Do you need a slide-in model or a freestanding one? Generally, a freestanding range can be placed anywhere in the kitchen whereas drop-ins and slide-ins need to be fitted in the space between cabinets.
Features and settings
Gas ranges also vary in the type of features and settings they offer to control the cooking process. For most everyday cooking, you don’t need more than a handful of basic controls. But if you’re someone who loves to experiment with different cooking methods, you might want to invest in a model that offers more extensive controls such as different settings for baking and broiling. Additional features you might be interested in include removable griddles, storage cabinets and drawer, self-cleaning features, double ovens, convection ovens, multiple racks, additional burners, and high BTU burners.
Price if the final aspect and also probably the most crucial factor in the purchase decision. Gas ranges are typically slightly more expensive than electric ranges but have a lower running cost. Let your kitchen budget guide you to the best model. Prices generally start at around $400 for a basic range but can go up to $5,000 if you go in for more advanced features. Middle-of-the-line ranges can be had for a starting price of $700 and offer features such as self-cleaning, high BTU burners, storage areas, and so on. The retail price for premium models begins at $1,000 and can go up to several thousands of dollars.