Best Range Cookers • FAQ

How to buy a range cooker to enhance your dream kitchen?

If you need help with buying a cooker from the best range cookers available, you're in the right place

  • Sizes

    Range cookers are larger than normal cookers.  What size would suit your kitchen design the best?

  • Fuels

    Do you want dual-fuel, all electric, all gas, electric induction or you might need LPG gas?

  • Volumes

    How much genuinely usable space is there?

  • Energy Use

    Energy ratings tell you efficiency but what is the actual cost of running your cooker?

  • Features

    What are the features you are getting?

Best range cookers and their sizes

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Range cookers are usually larger than freestanding 60cm cookers.  They are mostly 90cm, 100cm or 110cm wide and come with between 5 to 8 hob burners, 1 or 2 ovens, a grill.  The best range range cookers often come with a warming or storage drawer.

Large range cookers may have up to four separate compartments; two ovens, a grill and a warming drawer and/or a storage drawer for pots and pans. They generally have at least 5 burners.

Standard range cookers still have many of the larger range cooker features but they obviously need to fit them into a smaller space.  They generally have one very large oven, a smaller grill but no extra storage for pots and pans.  The best range cookers of this type can have 2 ovens and a maximum of 6 burners.

Small range style cookers are range cookers that are the same size as a standard 60cm freestanding cooker.  They have the looks of a range cooker but do not offer the same range-cooking experience.

Best range cookers and fuel options

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  • Dual-fuel cookers: dual-fuel range cookers use both gas and electricity.  The most popular and normal combination is a gas hob and an electric oven.  Gas hobs are quick to heat and easy to control allowing for meat-searing heat or gentle simmering.  Modern electric ovens with the best range cookers tend to be fan-assisted to get an evenly heated oven.
  • Electric range cookers: most electric range cookers have one or more fan-assisted ovens. Fan assisted ovens spread the heat around the oven evenly.  Fan-assisted ovens also heat up more quickly.  This means you save energy cost because you can reduce the cooking temperature and cooking times.
  • Electric induction range cookers: electric range cookers with an induction hob heat quickly and efficiently because the induction energy is only used to heat the iron-based (stainless steel) pan.  It doesn't heat up anything else.  This means when you cook with induction, the hobs don’t get hot unless you put something that is iron-based onto the induction hob.
  • Gas range cookers: gas range cookers are the cheapest to cook with.  Gas cookers are easy to control and give instant heat.  The best range cookers of this type can be very low cost to run.  Gas range cookers and dual-fuel range cookers need to be installed by a Gas Safe registered engineer - find a qualified engineer in your area on Which? Local.

Usable volumes of the best range cookers

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When you visit an electrical appliances retailer, see how much space there is inside a cooker by taking a good look inside.  Manufacturers often include the space underneath the lowest shelf, which can't be used to cook with in reality.  So stated oven volumes can be deceptive as the usable volume can be less.

It goes without saying that the best range cookers have the highest volume of usable space for that all important family Sunday roast dinner.

How the best range cookers use energy

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According to the Consumers' Association Which? - gas is cheaper to cook with than electricity with the cheapest gas range cooker costing about £14 per year to run.  The most expensive range cooker is dual fuel which costs about £58 per year to run.

Most people are prepared to pay the extra cost of dual fuel range cookers for the extra convenience and controllability of an electric oven over a gas oven.

Features offered by the best range cookers

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You can expect to find the following functions with the best range cookers.

  • Multi-function ovens: most range cookers come with multi-function ovens, which allow you to cook using different heat sources independently or in combination, such as the grill and fan together.
  • Fan ovens: most electric or dual-fuel range cookers come with a fan to circulate the heat evenly around the oven for a better cooking experience. On cookers with two electric ovens, one usually has a fan and the other is conventionally heated by heating elements (this is normally the grill too).
  • Wok burner and supports: Most range cookers tend to have a wok burner in the middle of the hob.  This is a large hob burner designed for stir fry cooking with a wok or rapid boiling.  Wok supports provide a larger than normal cradle to hold a wok and keep it stable. The higher heat output from the wok burner is also ideal for searing meat to seal in the flavour.