When people think of a range cooker a lot of people may conjure up an image of a huge cast iron AGA that you need a degree to use, but a range cooker does not have to be like that at all. There a huge range of designs on the market from traditional styles in cream and olive green to statement modern pieces in practically any colour you can imagine.
One Easy To Slot In Piece
As well as flexibility in design, probably the most obvious advantage over a standard built in oven is that you are simply buying one piece which slots neatly into the space between your units. There is no need for extra cabinets or worktops to be built to house the appliance so it can be a real space saver in a small kitchen. Plus if you’re moving house, there’s nothing stopping you taking the cooker with you!
If you have a big family or enjoy cooking for a crowd it is also worth pointing out that the oven cavities in a range cooker are typically 20% bigger than a standard 60cm built in oven. Inside these ovens, you’ll find the same technology you’d find in any built in oven including fanned ovens, top and bottom browning, conventional heat and more all with simple to use controls.
Multiple Oven Cavaities
Many range cookers come complete with multiple oven cavities. A standard range cooker configuration comprises of a main oven, a secondary oven and a separate grill. Most people opt for a multifunction main oven, and a conventional smaller oven. This allows them to cook food at two different temperatures or to keep other foods warm while the rest is cooking. If you’re a keen cook you could opt for 2 ovens with additional warming drawer or even a slow cooker. But if you’re after something really special, you have a range cooker with a separate oven just for pizzas and a built in rotisserie.
Deciding on what configuration you need is very much dependent on your style of cooking. Think about the type of meals you would like to prepare what would you would need to make it as easy as possible. Pick the largest meal you’re ever likely to prepare, for example Christmas dinner, and make sure you think about the oven functions you would need and how big the ovens would need to be for your meal.
A Variety Of Fuel Options
Fuel options include all gas, ceramic, induction and dual fuel. Gas range cookers can often be used with LPG if you live in a rural area and don’t have access to mains gas. Normally a few LPG jets is all that is required but make sure to double check with your manufacturer. Ceramic, induction and dual fuel range cooker come with electric ovens, but the dual fuel model will include a gas hob.
There are a few simple checks to ensure that a range cooker can be installed in your kitchen:
- Check the fuel source
- Check that your have the correct clearances
- Check your kitchen is well ventilated
Electric and dual fuel range cookers will need their own accessible electricity supply, situated near the rear of the cooker. Gas and dual fuel range cookers must only ever be installed by a Gas Safe Registered engineer. You can find a registered engineer near you by visiting the Gas Safe Register’s website. Cookers with gas ovens will only require a 13amp socket, but ceramic and induction models need to be connected to a suitable 6mm cable with a 32-amp breaker or a 10mm cable with a 45 amp breaker (providing the isolator switch, which turns the power on and off to the cooker, does not incorporate a 13 amp socket).
There should also be an easily accessible isolation switch no more than 2m away from the cooker but not directly above it. The area above the range cooker must be kept clear to a height of at least 65cm. This means that combustible material (including wallpaper), electrical sockets, switches and cooker hoods all need to be moved outside of this clearance.
Lastly, you need to make sure that your kitchen is properly ventilated with a door or window to the outside, or a suitable alternative venting system.
They’re Not More Expensive To Run
Modern range cookers that are used for cooking only (not heat or hot water) are usually not more expensive to run than a standard built in oven and you can find many range cookers with A rated energy efficiency. In fact, if you’re only cooking for a small number of people you may find that you actually save money as you only heat up the small oven cavity or the separate grill rather than having to heat up the whole oven as you would with a built in appliance. The most energy efficient fuel type you can get is definitely induction. This will cost you more when you initially buy the appliance, but the energy saving and performance will more than make up for it.
The Latest Technology
At CookersAndOvens we love induction. It’s fast, saves energy and is safer to use as it heats the pan not the surface of the hob – plus on top of that it’s easy to clean! If like me, you hate cleaning your oven (who doesn’t?) make sure you go for a range cooker with catalytic or pyrolytic cleaning features. Catalytic oven liners absorb the grease and fat from foods to keep your oven looking clean. Pyrolytic on the other hand, heats the oven to extreme temperatures to completely burn off any food residues. All you need to do then is just sweep out the ash!
If you’re a fan of the Great British Bake Off then going for a range cooker with a warming drawer is a must as it doubles up as a fantastic warming drawer for all those breads and pastries. If you have children in the house it is also worth looking for a range cooker which comes complete with a child safety lock. This feature locks the controls to stop small hands from turning the appliance on.