In the past 6 months we have seen the introduction of some striking new kitchen ranges, an appealing evolution of established ranges, and powerful innovations in stove design and cooking ability. So how do you choose the right range for you among dozens of brands and hundreds of models?
At Designer Appliances, we’ve got you covered. We live and breathe appliances, and we’re particularly experienced in core kitchen appliances that have a huge impact on the quality of your home cooking setup.
The range is the central feature of your cooking setup, allowing you to bake, broil, sear, boil, and everything in-between—that is, assuming you have a quality range. The difference between a great range and a poor one can be the difference between a reliable, enjoyable cooking experience and one that’s frustrating. That’s why we’ve put together this roundup of the best ranges of 2021, designed to highlight a range of brands and models, not to mention a range of fuel types, design styles, and prices.
We’ve included seven of the absolute best products on the market in this guide, but first we want to take a look at what makes a range great so that you can make your own decision.
Picking the Right Range for You
Here are the top 5 factors to consider when picking your next cooking range. Meanwhile, the terminology surrounding ranges is confusing to most people. As an example, most of our customers use the word “stove” when describing their cooking appliance. Below is a visual guide that depicts the common terms.
Cooking Power & Features
Cooking performance is the number one most important factor when choosing a range. You need both your oven and cooktop to be able to deliver the kind of cooking power you need to handle a wide range of tasks.
Kitchen stoves can offer a wide range of features on top of their standard cooking ability. Whether it’s easy-control knobs, touch controls, automatic on-off controls for low-heat simmering, or WiFi controls you can manage from your phone, don’t underestimate the power of extra features to make your cooking experience more enjoyable.
For the oven – We typically look for the following features when evaluating an oven. Ability to provide even cooking results i.e. temperature/moisture distribution in the cavity. Preheating is necessary for almost all recipes. Fast preheat therefore, becomes critical when you are running a busy schedule. These days most stoves come with a convection oven (a fan that circulates the air inside oven for even cooking). However, not all have true-convection with additional heating elements.
Some manufacturers such as Bertazzoni now make infrared broilers that span the full width of the oven cavity. Such conveniences add up and save home-chefs time and eliminate the need to move dishes to get ‘even’ results.
Finally, the ovens in especially dual fuel ranges which feature an electric oven are getting smarter. Miele range is a prime example of advanced programming (called MasterChef) in its dual fuel selection. Miele stoves come with 100s of pre-made recipes to guide you for consistent results.
If you want to enjoy powerful bake, broil, and even convection cooking capabilities to ensure that you never meet a task you can’t handle.
For the cooktop, it’s important to have a range of cooking powers across the individual cooking elements. You should be able to reach impressively high heats for that perfect sear while also reaching low temperatures for careful simmering and melting.
We recommend that you pay close attention to grates. In our opinion, the quality of the grate plays a big role in cooking process.
Stoves Come With Different Fuel Types
Choosing the right fuel type is essential, and there’s really no ‘right’ answer. It all depends on your needs, budget, and cooking style. Electric stoves offer convenience, induction ranges offer high-tech cooking capabilities, and gas ranges provide the flexibility and classic cooking abilities of an open flame. Dual fuel ranges combine gas cooktops with electric ovens, which is a combination most of us love. See our article on fuel types for more on gas vs dual fuel stoves.
We’ve made sure to highlight different fuel types in our roundup of the best ranges.
Size – Measure Your Space
Make sure you choose the right size for your range. This might be simple—if you’re installing the range in an existing kitchen, it just has to fit the space that’s available for it. Make sure to measure your previous range to make sure that you pick the right size.
Don’t forget about depth and height! Your range should be roughly the same depth and height as your kitchen cabinets so that it doesn’t stick out in any direction (or sit too low or far back).
Ventilation is important when it comes to enjoying your kitchen. Keep in mind that a typical range hood will need to have at least the same width of your stove.
Being able to depend on your range is no small consideration. Plenty of customers have bought ranges that have worked great on day 1 but haven’t brought the same quality performance and reliability for years to come. Many great brands offer extensive warranties to cover their ranges in the event of malfunctions or other issues. This kind of warranty often suggests a brand that believes in the quality of their products.
Speaking of design, you should choose a range that you actually like to look at. It should be visually attractive in its own right while also adding to the overall look of your kitchen. If you have existing appliances, make sure that the finish matches your refrigerator and dishwasher. This will give your kitchen a unified, high-end look that’s tough to beat.
Our 7 Best Range Picks
1) Best w/Double Ovens: Cafe C2S950P2MS1
Topping our list is this dual fuel, slide-in model from Cafe, high-end appliance manufacturer with an eye for style.
Slide-in ranges have the advantage of creating a seamless transition from cabinet to stovetop, not to mention the positioning of controls along the front panel that makes for easier reachability and removes the need for a back panel.
This particular model C2S950P2MS1 features a gorgeous stainless steel finish, expansive six-burner cooktop with a built-in cast-iron griddle. You’ll also love the WiFi connect capability that lets you use your smart device to control your range from anywhere. The sleek LED panel is also designed to visually disappear when not in use, creating a sleek look that you’ll love. And let’s not forget the double-oven design that gives you enhanced flexibility when cooking.
Overall, it’s a world-class entry from Cafe that earns it a spot atop our listing of the best ranges.
2) Best Slide In: Samsung NX60T8711SS
30-inch Slide In True Convection Gas Range
Samsung range has long been a feature on our best-of lists. This Samsung NX60T8711SS 30-inch slide-in gas stove is no exception. The 6.0 cubic feet of oven capacity is a huge bonus that allows you to cook multiple large dishes at once. Air Fry is the new capability that the manufacturer added to this capable stove.
Meanwhile, the flexible gas cooktop features 5 specialized burners with a True Dual Power Burner with two independent heating elements, giving a total power range of 700 BTU to 18,000 BTU to handle any task you can throw at it.
True convection capabilities in the oven, a reversible cast iron griddle, and even a custom wok grate and warming drawer round out some of the most impressive features of this Samsung model. And, of course, it’s all connected so that you can control the range from your smart device.
3) Most Reliable: GE Profile PGS960YPFS
GE’s Profile series features a range of high-end products, and this PGS960YPFS 30-inch all gas, slide-in range is no exception. The large, beautiful stainless steel knobs along the front panel are paired with a large LED display, and this range features an impressively powerful 21,000 BTU tri-ring burner for intense heat that’s perfect for searing and frying. Air fry is also part of the GE Profile package.
Meanwhile, the extra-large integrated reversible cast iron grill and griddle setup gives you flexibility and reliability in your cooking surface. The Chef Connect functionality gives you three cooking options with a single touch, offering the ability to sync the range elements with your microwave’s surface light and vent. And with true convection capabilities, you have everything you need to handle a range of cooking tasks.
4) Best Overall: Bosch HGI8056UC, 800 Series
Bosch has been creating high-end ranges for years, and this model is no exception. It replaces the model HGI8054UC which had a strange angular finish on the corners. Apart from the visual inconsistency the triangular flange made the older version hard to install. The new HGI8056UC improves the design while keeping the superb cooking features consistent with the 800 Series tradition.
This full-depth gas slide-in range features an 18,000 BTU center burner, a 4.8 cubic foot oven capacity, and heavy-duty metal knobs for a premium look and feel. The included warming drawer keeps food warm and ready to serve, and it’s all packaged in a gorgeous stainless steel package. You can also count on the Bosch reputation for reliability and customer support throughout the life of your range.
5) Best Tech: Miele HR19342DFG, w/MasterChef
A major competitor to Bosch, Miele has been on the scene for years as well. The HR19342DFG dual fuel range combines powerful gas cooktop capability with an electric oven.
The Miele range is truely remarkable. Unlike its competitors Miele packed in all features of it highly rated wall-oven technology in the dual-fuel range. Master Chef programming is amazing. In combination with the wireless probe you can now cook an entire meal with one touch or in a guided format.
Angled M-touch screen is easy to use and modern. The oven can connect to a waterline to provide burst of steam for your receipes (tip – you can make bakery quality bread in your Miele stove). This slide-in model removes the back panel for a clean, integrated look, and is available in 30″, 36″, and 48″ widths depending on your space and needs.
With six cooking zones, a whopping 3 of them capable of 19,000 BTU of output, you’ll be able to manage any cooktop needs you can imagine. A high-capacity oven space and stylish design make this a highly desirable option from Miele.
Miele range comes with a significant price tag. However, the company runs occasional promotions to help make it more affordable.
6) Best Dual Fuel: Wolf DF30450SP
30-inch Dual Fuel Range – Wolf range is often known for its distinctive red knobs and one-of-a-kind style, but they’re a lot more than just flash. This DF30450SP 30-inch 4-burner option might seem compact, but there’s nothing small about its cooking abilities. You’ll enjoy four dual-stacked burners with a range of BTU output capabilities—20K, 18K, 15K, and 9.2K for the full range of cooking ability. And with 10 preprogrammed cooking modes available in the oven, cooking dinner has never been easier or more convenient.
You’ll also love the powerful self-clean ability and included temperature probe to monitor your meals for the perfect done-ness.
7) Best Fit: Thermador PRD366WHU
36-inch Counter Depth Pro Harmony Dual Fuel Range – Rounding out our list is the 36-inch Thermador PRD366WHU, Pro Harmony dual fuel range, complete with six burners designed in Thermador’s signature star shape—designed to maximize burner-to-pan contact and even cooking. You’ll also love the inclusion of two ExtraLow burners with a simmer temperature as low as 100F for holding food or delicately melting ingredients like chocolate or butter.
The Pro Harmony series Thermador stove blends well with cabinets due to its counter depth design.
This Thermador model also boasts the fastest self-clean function in the industry, completing its powerful self-clean cycle in just 2.5 hours. The oven boasts third element convection for cooking on multiple levels, so you’ll be covered for any cooking task you throw at this powerhouse.
The range you choose will depend on you. What are you looking for in a range? What kind of fuel do you prefer? What’s your kitchen style? Do you like slide-in ranges or standalone units that can be more flexible and less expensive? Wherever your search leads, the list of models above is an excellent place to start. And if you have more questions about picking the right range, feel free to reach out to a Designer Appliances expert today!
What are the most common sizes for ranges?
The most common range size is 30″ in width, 36″ in height and 25″ in depth. However, there are stoves that are 36″ wide, 48″ wide, and a range of other specifications. However, there are manufacturers such as La Cornue that have custom sizes. Always make sure that your range will fit your space before purchasing.
Which range fuel type is the best?
There’s really no ‘best’ fuel type. They each carry their own advantages and disadvantages. For example, gas cooktops with open flames allow for more flexibility when cooking, induction ranges offer high-speed, concise heating, and electric ranges offer convenience and ease of use. As for ovens, both electric and gas-powered styles carry their own advantages. Choosing the right one for you is all about selecting the style that works for your needs and preferences.
We covered gas vs dual fuel ranges in our in-depth review.
What are BTUs and what do they mean?
BTU stands for “British Thermal Unit,” and in basic terms it’s a unit for measuring how much heat a burner or heating element can produce. The best cooktops are capable of approaching 20,000 BTU for powerfully hot searing.
What’s the difference between a range and a cooktop?
A range is the name for a combination appliance that features both an oven and a cooktop. A cooktop is a standalone appliance that features only the stovetop feature.
What’s the difference between a drop-in, slide-in and freestanding range?
Drop-in ranges are dropped into a specific cabinet cut out with a cabinet/wood panel at the bottom instead of a storage or warming drawer. Slide-in ranges blend in seamlessly with your surrounding countertops. A freestanding range can sit anywhere in your kitchen as the sides are finished and it doesn’t require cabinet work. The debate between slide in vs freestanding ranges is so deep-rooted that we decided to cover it under its own revew article.
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SIDENOTE. This post was last modified on July 30, 2021. However, we regularly update our content as we test more products and new models are released. We also listen to the feedback of our customers and make changes to our product recommendations based on their experiences. So don’t be surprised if you see some old comments below! Since reader comments contribute to the topic, we have decided not to delete them.