Outfit Your Kitchen Efficiently With Ranges and Cooking Appliances

Cooking appliances are probably the most important items you will have in your kitchen. They can range widely in style, shape, and cost. Luckily, though, you can find any type of affordable used cooking appliance online on eBay.

What is the difference between an oven, a stovetop, and a range?

There are different types of cooking appliances, and the terms can seem similar at times. Most kitchens will contain one or more of these types of major cooking appliances:

  • Oven - An oven is an enclosed box that cooks food by heating it. An oven can be made of many different materials, and it can be freestanding or attached to the inside or outside of some type of surface.
  • Range - A range or stove is a combination cooking appliance with an oven and a rangetop or stovetop. The oven cooks food inside the oven enclosure, and the stovetop cooks items on top of heating elements or griddles by radiant heat from the surface.
  • Cooktop - A cooktop is the top portion of the stove or range that is separated from the oven. When there are separate ovens and cooktops, then the cooktops are usually inserted in the countertops and are paired with wall ovens.

Types of ranges

Ranges or stoves can be different types according to their configuration. There are three main configurations for ranges:

  • Slide-in - A slide-in range is placed in a cutout space in the cabinets and counters. It sits flush with the counter and has the controls in the front of the appliance for easy access.
  • Drop-in - A drop-in range has the same configuration as a slide-in range, but it has a strip of cabinetry beneath it.
  • Free standing - A free-standing range can fit anywhere in the kitchen and has the controls at the top rear of the stovetop.

Characteristics of gas and electric ranges, ovens, and cooktops

Electric cooktops come in different types. Smooth-top cooktops are made of smooth glass-ceramic with heating units under the surface. Electric coils are burners that convert the electricity that runs into the coil into heat. Induction cooktops use heat created from electromagnetic energy to cook your food. The element below the glass cooktop creates a magnetic field when an object containing iron is placed on top. Electric ovens use heating elements inside the oven to heat the enclosure.

A gas cooktop, range, or oven uses gas to cook the food on the stovetop and inside the oven. Gas stovetops tend to cook more evenly than electric, but gas ovens often do not cook as evenly as electric ovens. A dual-fuel range solves this problem by combining a gas stovetop with an electric oven.