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Searching for a new Range Cooker can be a daunting task. The seemingly endless choice of options in colour, size, manufacturer and fuel type (to name but a few of the choices you'll be faced with) can make it seem like you'll never be able to find that perfect Range for your kitchen. With this guide we'll be able to offer some advice and insight in to the vast world of Range Cookers.
Before diving in to rest of the article, we feel it necessary to list some of the keywords which will be used or you may come across when looking at the specifications of the machines and what they mean.
Chances are if your reading this article you've already asked yourself this question and have made your decision, but nonetheless, it's the first questions that you'll come across should you start thinking you may want to buy a range cooker.
There's a few advantages that a range cooker can provide over a traditional oven the main ones being capacity, design, durability and the traditional feel of cooking.
Capacity - Depending on which model you choose will dictate just how large the oven in your range cooker is, but as a whole range cookers are able to offer a larger capacity that a built-in oven with plenty of room for both every day cooking and also large occasions such as your Christmas dinner.
Design – The visual benefits of a range cooker over a traditional oven are huge. As they are fairly large appliances they will tend to be the focal point of your kitchen and the range of design available reflects this. Whereas normal oven's usually usually have a similar design and limited colour choice a range cookers is the total opposite. You can find traditional looking cookers, modern looking cookers and everything in between.
Durability – Range cookers are solidly built machines. That's not to say that a normal cooker is built poorly but every care is taken to make sure range cookers are built to last with both the internal components and the outer shell being of the highest quality.
Traditional Feel – Cooking on most modern day ovens is a very automated process with not much user input. Part of the joy of a range cooker is that it brings a more traditional hands on cooking feel back to the kitchen, making it a perfect choice for someone who just loves cooking.
One of the first decisions you will be making to narrow down your available choice is what fuel type you want the range cooker to be. There are 4 types available, duel fuel, electric ceramic, electric induction and all gas. Your choice may be affected by both personal preference and also by what fuel connections you have available in the kitchen.
If your home isn't equipped with a mains gas line then you would either have to go for an electric cooker or alternatively narrow your search down to a cooker which can be converted to LPG.
One factor that you may not have any control over depending on your kitchen design is how much space you have available to accommodate the range cooker. In general range cookers come in 3 sizes, 90cm, 100cm and 110cm. It is possible to find larger ranges than these if required such as the 4-Oven Aga or Lacanche models which you can custom build with sizes going up to just over 220cm wide. These extra large cookers are generally not going to be needed for the domestic kitchen but should it be required the option is always available.
When your checking for the space you have available to fit the range cooker it is vital to remember that as well as the space needed for the appliance, you will also need to leave additional space either side of the appliance. This can very from manufacturer to manufacturer so will always be best to check with them directly once you have chosen a manufacturer and they will be able to confirm the space required. For example, Britannia recommend a gap of 2.5mm either side.
Another key factor in the size to be sure about is the depth. The majority of range cookers are 60cm deep but there are models available which are shallower or deeper. As this is the case it's vital for you to check not only the depth which you have available in your kitchen but also the depth of the appliance being considered.
Once you've thought about both the fuel type which you want to use and the size available you'll want to start looking around and narrowing down your options. The best way to further narrow down your choices is to look in to the design of various models and see what type of layout you want to proceed with.
2 easy ways to do this are to first decide if you would prefer a more modern or traditional style and also what oven layout you would prefer. An example of more modern range cookers are the Britannia Delphi range and a more classic design can be seen in the Britannia Fleet range. Depending on the manufacturer and range the oven layout can vary hugely from one model to the next. Generally with a range cooker you will find it will have 2 ovens (sometimes with an additional storage drawer or grill and sometimes just the 2 ovens alone) but it is also possible to find some models, such as the Bertazzoni A905MFEXE, which just has one massive oven cavity.
If you have looked around and you can't find a model that jumps out to you as the perfect cooker for your kitchen, then a good place to look would be Lacanche. With a Lacanche cooker you are able to custom build your range cooker specifying the size, over layout, hob layout, fuel type, colour and trim. This will let you build exactly what you need and want, but as the cookers are all custom built to your specifications, they can be quite costly.
In addition to doing research online, there's quite a few additional resources that are available to help you make your choice in cooker:
Once all of the above have been considered and looked in to you should be left with a fairly small and specific list of range cookers that can fit your requirements. At the end of the day though, no matter which one you choose chances are you'll satisfied with your choice and will have a range cooker to last many years to come.