Since it's not in everyday use, hearing something referred to as a kitchen range might stir up some confusion. What is a kitchen range? Does your kitchen have one? Shoul d it? Remain confused no longer! We're here to clarify things for you!
A kitchen range is an appliance that:
- Has an enclosed space used to cook or bake food by surrounding it with heat
- Includes a cooktop, or hob, as part of the same appliance
Still confused? That's okay! We'll break down these terms for you, as well as clarify the difference between a range and a stove if you read on.
What is a Kitchen Range?
While all these terms are related, they are not interchangeable. So let's get some definitions straight.
- Stove – the closed chamber in which you cook food. An authentic stove is only this and nothing else. This part of the appliance might also be referred to as the oven.
- Cooktop – contains the burners used to heat pots, kettles, and the like. Hob is just another word for this implement, which can be bought and used on its own.
- Range – a kitchen range, then, is when these two things are connected as parts of the same instrument.
Most modern kitchens in the United States feature a range even though you are probably in the habit of referring to the appliance like an oven or stove. If your kitchen does not have a range, you're probably getting by just fine with either a stove, cooktop, or both, which is to say you need not rush out to the store to get a range if you don't already have it.
Does Heat Source Matter?
Chances are your kitchen appliances, either rely on electricity or gas to power them. So, does that have any bearing on what you should call the equipment?
In a word, no. No matter if you have a gas connection or an electric appliance, the components are what determine what it's called.
What is the Difference Between a Stove and a Range?
Since the modern kitchen range evolved from the wood-burning stove—you can read this history here—they have quite a bit in common. The main difference, of course, remains that a stove cooks food by surrounding it with heat, while a range must also include a cooktop by definition.
What is the Difference Between a Cooktop and a Range?
The difference between a cooktop and a range is the inverse of that between a stove and a range. The cooktop only includes burners for heating skillets and pots. The range consists of the cooktop along with the stove.
Look at this cooktop to help visualize. It's compact and portable, designed to be used on any kitchen counter.
On the other hand, this is a range. It includes four burners and the enclosed space designed for heating food.
Why is a Stovetop Called a Range?
Since ranges include both the burners and stoves, you might hear it called any number of names. Technically, it's not incorrect to refer to a range as a stove, stovetop, or a cooktop. A range does include all these things. That's not all a range is.
What is the Use of a Cooking Range?
Since it contains both stove and cooktop, the kitchen range is one of the most useful appliances in the kitchen. One can bake bread, sweets, and any number of other foods in the stove, while also doing anything from heating water to sauteing vegetables in oil using the cooktop.
For this reason, most kitchens with space and hookups for modern appliances have a range installed. The ease of use and versatility is very convenient.
What Should Be Done if I Don't Have a Range?
Since you can get separate appliances to do everything a range can, you don't necessarily have to take action if your kitchen doesn't have one. However, if you want one, you can purchase one easily. Installation might be a bit tricky, but there are usually options available, such as buying the service, discussing splitting the cost and labor with a landlord, or looking to DIY installation guides.
For more information on kitchen appliances, you can start by reading our answer to the question of whether or not they should all be the same brand.
Finding the Right Kitchen Range For You
When it comes to big purchases, it's always a good idea to be choosy, especially when you have some options to consider.
People who live in a house with a gas hookup, for example, might appreciate this kitchen range the most. It's sleek and straightforward design makes it easy to install in any space.
For those who need an electric range, this model has a similarly straightforward setup that most folks appreciate.
Finally, for people who take cooking as seriously as professionals, there's this model. The additional set of burners makes this range unique.
For further guidance on updating your kitchen, check out our guide to the cost of updating your kitchen.