Ranges

Kitchen Range Buying Guide
Kitchen Range Buying Guide
The Best Range for Your Budget

The range is the workhorse of the kitchen, and if it's stylish, then it's probably the centerpiece too. Electric radiant smooothtop ranges remain the big sellers, but you have more options than ever, including double-oven ranges for the multi-tasker in all of us. And while a cooktop and wall oven combo has its appeal, the two appliances often cost more than one range.

At Consumer Reports we buy every range we test. So we know what it's like to pay big money for pro-style ranges. We don't rate them on style—that's your call—but we do test and score them on how quickly they deliver cooktop heat, simmering, baking, broiling, and self-cleaning, just as with we do with all ranges we test.  

1

What to Consider

Type
Freestanding ranges are the most popular and easiest to install. Typically the oven control panel is on the back panel, above the cooktop surface. Slide-in ranges give a custom built-in look and easily slide in between surrounding cabinets. The oven controls are on the range front and there's no back panel, which showcases your backsplash.

Size
Most electric and gas ranges are 30-inches wide, and what we buy and test. Pro-style ranges usually span 36 inches or more. We test both 30-inch and 36-inch pro-style ranges. They're big on style, but aren't the best performing ranges we've tested. Even regular ranges now have beefy knobs, rugged grates, style, and stainless trim for a lot less money.

Capacity
A roomy oven comes in handy when baking or entertaining. We measure oven space you can actually use, so check the capacity scores in our range Ratings. The smallest ovens in our tests are a little more than 2 cubic feet; the largest are nearly 4 cubic feet.

2

Which Type Is Right For You?

There are three types of ranges based on fuel: electric, gas, and dual-fuel, which pairs a gas cooktop with an electric oven. Both gas and electric have their advantages.

 

Electric Smoothtop

Ranges with electric radiant smoothtops are the popular pick. All of the models in our tests have at least one high-power burner. Most have expandable dual or triple elements that let you switch from a large, high-power element to a small, lower-power element within it. Some ranges have a warming element in the center to keep side dishes warm.

There is a lot of residual heat so when reducing the temperature it can take a few minutes to really settle at the lower setting. 

Smoothtop Ratings

Electric Induction

Electric ranges with an induction cooktop use magnetic coils below the ceramic glass surface to quickly generate heat directly to the pan, offering precise simmering and control. You'll find these models in our Ratings of electric ranges.

Magnetic cookware is needed for induction to work. If a magnet strongly sticks to the bottom of a pot, it will work with an induction cooktop. Some stainless-steel cookware is induction-capable, and some isn’t.

Induction Ratings

Gas

If you prefer cooking with gas, we get it. The flame makes it easier to judge the heat, to get a feel for it, and to quickly move from a high setting to a lower one.

The capacity of a burner is measured in British thermal units (Btu) per hour. Most ranges have four surface burners in three sizes: one or two medium-power burners (about 9,000 Btu), a small burner (about 5,000 Btu.) and one or two large ones (about 12,000 Btu or more). Some have a fifth burner instead of a center section.

Response time is particularly quick, especially when compared to a radiant smoothtop. When you turn the knob from high to medium on a gas cooktop, the pot and the food in it experience that change almost immediately. And with most gas burners you can strike a match to light them when your power is out. 

Gas Range Ratings
3

Interactive Video Guide

For more, watch our interactive video below. You can skip to chapters on fuel type, oven size and performance, features, and more.

4

Need a General Contractor?

You may need to hire someone to help get rid of your old kitchen range and install the new one. You can find one at Porch.com. What's Porch? The site connects you with local contractors to help with maintenance or remodeling projects, making home improvement that much easier. 

5

Features to Focus On

Some features save time and boost convenience. Typically, the more features the higher the range price. Here are some features to consider. 

6

Brands to Consider

This midlevel, mass-market brand sells appliances priced between $500 and $1,500. The Frigidaire cooking line includes gas and electric ranges with time-saving and high-performance features and a classic design.
This midlevel, mass-market brand sells appliances priced between $500 and $1,500. The line includes gas and electric ranges with a timeless look and up-to-date features that offer performance and value. GE Profile This midlevel, mass-market brand sells gas, electric, and dual-fuel ranges priced from $1,000 to $2,000. The line includes a wide variety of prices and features, possibly the most in the industry. The appliances are sold in matching kitchen suites. GE Café This upper-midlevel, mass-market brand sells gas and dual-fuel freestanding ranges priced above $2,000. The latest brand from GE, the Café line is characterized by stainless-steel exteriors and updated styling. Think modern restaurant kitchen. GE Monogram This high-end line offers pro-style ranges priced from $5,000 to $7,000 for gas, electric, and dual fuel. Monogram appliances are made to be top performing, and positioned for high-end consumers. The appliances are sold in matching kitchen suites and are sold through independent appliance retailers.
This high-end line offers appliances priced between $1,500 and $6,000. Jenn-Air makes high-performance cooking appliances in a choice of stylish collections that include stainless steel and other finishes.
This midlevel, mass-market brand sells appliances priced between $500 and $1,500. Introduced in 1927, Kenmore has earned a solid reputation with consumers. The appliances are sold through Sears stores. Kenmore Elite This midlevel, mass-market brand sells appliances priced between $500 and $1,500. Kenmore Elite offers more innovative features than the Kenmore line. The appliances are also sold through Sears stores. Kenmore Pro This high-end line sells cooking appliances priced between $1,500 and $6,000. Taking inspiration from professional kitchens, Kenmore Pro offers pro-look gear with styling and features such as stainless-steel construction, heavy-duty knobs, and other premium features. The appliances are sold through Sears stores.
This high-end brand sells a broad range of cooking appliances priced between $1,500 and $6,000. Its Architect Series II collection includes electric, gas, and dual-fuel ranges; built-in wall ovens; induction, gas, and electric cooktops, and microwave-hood combinations. Its pro-style ranges have convection and steam-assist technology.
This midlevel brand sells cooking appliances priced between $1,000 and $2,500. New to cooking appliances, LG is known for high-tech design and technology and its freestanding ranges have a large capacity. LG's Dual Convection System claims a 30 percent faster preheat time for ovens.
This midlevel brands sells cooking appliances priced between $1,000 and $2,500. Newer to the market, Samsung continues to innovate and has introduced some high-end features to the mid-priced market.
This high-end brand sells cooking appliances priced between $1,500 and $6,000. Thermador is known for its innovation and aims to combine state-of-the-art cooking with style. The ranges are sold through independent appliance retailers.
This high-end brand sells cooking appliances priced between $4,500 and $6,000, including gas, electric, and dual-fuel ranges. Viking ushered in the pro-style look more than a decade ago, and is considered the benchmark for gourmets. The company adds premium features to its ranges, including high-output burners. Viking offers the Professional and the Designer series, both sold through independent appliance retailers.
This midlevel, mass-market brand sells appliances priced between $500 and $1,500. Whirlpool’s freestanding ranges offer features such as hidden bake elements, power burners, and convection technology. Whirlpool offers a range designed specifically for the Hispanic consumer that features both English and Spanish controls.