One of the semi-permanent fixtures in your kitchen would be what you use for (clearly) cooking. Whether you’re building a new home, or thinking of replacing your good old cooking equipment, you might be mostly thinking about cooktops versus ranges, and which should best fit your kitchen.
I was once in the same spot, checking out which would best fit my home. The possibilities in size, system configuration, functionalities, styles, and even ovens that come along with the unit, are fairly numerous. Of course, these factors open up for better flexibility in terms of your culinary needs, and the limits placed on your kitchen space.
However, it adds a new layer of complexity to the selection itself. Find out which cooking setup works best for you by going through some of my notes below, as these considerations helped me select the best one for my kitchen, too!
How Can I Tell If It’s A RANGE?
A range is an inclusive cooking equipment that has a cooktop, as well as an oven right beneath the stove area. In terms of size, it is larger compared to cooktops, and is meant to seamlessly slide into your dedicated kitchen space.
Ranges are quite versatile and small, which makes them a wonderful option when limited space is at a premium. When scouting for ranges, you will come across a lot of sizes. 20-inch ranges are best for smaller homes, while there are those measuring up to 60 inches that are commonly used for restaurants and commercial locations.
On the other hand, if you encounter the term “range top”, it basically means, a range without the oven. A range top is also a type of cooktop, which you will see more of in this blog. In case you are curious, why not check out my post on the best induction cooktops.
When it comes to ranges, there are two different kinds: slide-in range, and freestanding range. Although both contain a range top above and an oven underneath, the two models have very different specifications. A freestanding range comes with an attached control panel on the back guard, and side panels that extend several inches up the back of the range.
What, Then, Is A COOKTOP?
A cooktop is characterized by a cooking surface with burners, but it does not necessarily always have an oven below it. Cooktops can be easily installed in countertops and center islands. Cooktops are good when purchased with their corresponding ovens, especially if your kitchen is large and allows this kind of layout.
Cooktops come in a wide variety of configurations, similar to ranges. Some of these cooktops contain knobs on the top surface, while others incorporate them into the cooking surface itself, resulting in a consistent cooking surface that doesn’t have any knobs.
For ventilation, you have a choice between a hood that lowers from the ceiling to give a dramatic appearance, or a downdraft design where the exhaust fan raises from the countertop and directs steam to a duct beneath the countertop by a button press.
Consider burner configuration, too, especially if extra functions like “simmer” or “melt” are vital to you.
How Are Cooktops And Ranges Different?
In addition to the descriptions of cooktops and ranges, you might want to think about the details below, which can also help you in your decision.
- Range easily slides or fits into its dedicated space in your kitchen.
- Range units are durable and can be subjected to heavy usage.
- You can choose between an electric or gas range.
- The knobs and controls are placed at the front panel of the range, which is very convenient especially if you are using multiple burners at once.
- Ranges also offer more space to cook on.
- In terms of design, ranges are very classy and stylish.
- Sized to suit tiny kitchens, with as little floor area as possible.
- The hood can be installed into a top cabinet or attached to an adjacent wall
- It is very easy to position in the kitchen, as it is freestanding or slide-in
- Ranges are sold as standard, convection, and even double-oven types, which offers you so much flexibility
- Cooktops are available for different cooking methods such as gas, electric, and induction.
- Cooktops are usually smaller than range or range tops, taking up a much smaller space.
- Cooktops have knobs or control buttons that are located either on top of the unit or right beside the cooking surface. This makes the controls difficult for kids to reach, giving you more security. Induction cooktops, for example, are a step ahead in offering extra safety features.
- They are, for most cases, a lot easier to clean than ranges.
- Aesthetically, cooktops are sleek and stylish.
- It is very ergonomic because you can easily access your cooktop. There is no bending required, thus it is easier for persons with back or knee difficulties to use this.
- Enjoy flexibility when buying and having your ovens installed, which you can also purchase as single or double-mounted. This will be very helpful when you prepare huge batches of meals.
- Additionally, it gives you precious under-the-cooktop cabinet space that you can dedicate for storage; this is particularly useful in limited-space situations.
Here Comes The Big Decision: Cooktop, Or Range?
So what have we learned? Range tops, which need more room, are excellent for people who cook frequently and prefer the typical grates and stove-top experience. Conversely, if you’re seeking space, efficiency, and simplicity, a cooktop may be a great choice.
The following may help you figure out which option is suitable for your kitchen:
Your choice will be greatly influenced by the area of your kitchen. In order to assess the accessible space and how much of it you are willing to compromise, you must first determine the available space and how much of it you are willing to sacrifice.
Would you like gas, electric, or induction cooking? Will you make use of the extensive professional capabilities available in a range top? You can either have something simple, or something more involved, depending on your preferences.
Find out how much cooking you do on a daily basis. Consider the fact that, for example, you cook for so many people in your family, or you have a lot of dinner parties and therefore need something sturdy, weighty, and large.
There is never a shortage of excitement when you get a new kitchen appliance. Though it is critical to have in mind that these items are not something that you acquire on an impulse, one should yet keep in mind that such an object must be seen as a long-term investment.
Additionally, they need to be installed and have a dedicated place.
While it is important to compare cooktops and ranges, reading through this short comparison will allow you to learn more about both of them and make an informed decision on which type to purchase.
You might like to read: 5 Best Double Oven Induction Ranges in 2022
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Cooktops Better Than Ranges?
I would like to say that these are apples and oranges. One will only be better than the other based on how they will fit your kitchen needs. Consider the points I’ve raised previously, as these might help you decide on which one to purchase.
What Is The Difference Between Cooktop And Stove?
A stove is a piece of kitchen equipment that’s used to cook food by supplying cookware with direct heat. Technically, a stove can be considered a cooktop.
While traditional stoves were fueled by firewood and coal, new stoves are powered by gas or electricity. There are also portable stoves available currently.
Can You Replace A Range With A Cooktop?
Yes, definitely! Are you planning a new configuration for your kitchen?
Are you taking some space back, which your range currently occupies? Whatever the reason, make a checklist based on the points I’ve listed above, and you can easily determine what fits your requirements.
Which Is Better, Cooking Range, Or Hob?
A hob or cooktop can be better than a range, or vice versa. The key is studying your considerations carefully, and based on those, make that switch.
A cooktop or range might require a bit of construction work, plus the equipment will be with you for years to come. It might be a hassle to switch one more time, so I hope this post somehow helps you decide what is best!
Are You Ready To Make That Purchase?
There are so many great models of cooktops and ranges alike. It is a thriving market in terms of quality and service. You might get dizzy with all the options available, but I hope that some of the considerations I presented will help you narrow your options down.
In the end, it all comes down to what suits your needs best. When you do make that purchase, you are most welcome to use your mind and heart. After all, your cooktop or range will be your best partner-in-crime, especially if it is something that will help you create the best meals to come out of your kitchen!