The best high-end range
Step one in being a great cook is having a love for the art of making good food. Step two is making sure you have the right equipment. A range is the centerpiece of your kitchen, incorporating an oven, and a stove-top with burners for cooking. A high-end range is imperative if you want to cook like a pro. Because a nicer range is such a large and costly appliance, you want to make sure you're choosing the right one.
To help you make the best choice, we've compiled the following buying guide, and a few reviews of our favorite high-end ranges. We even included a review of our Best of the Best pick, the LG Studio Series 30-Inch Slide-in Gas Range.
Considerations when choosing high-end ranges
High end vs. standard range
While a standard range includes a basic oven and a basic cook-top, high-end models offer another level of cooking tools. High-end ranges are often made with more expensive finishes, like brushed steel, and they have more advanced features, like convection cooking ovens and high BTU output burners.
Pay attention to the cubic feet measurement of high-end ranges. The safest way to be sure that your larger dishes (such as a turkey) will fit the range, is by using a roasting pan as a guide.
You will need to know whether the range you want will fit into the space you have dedicated for it. Furthermore, even if it fits into that space, you need to measure to be sure it will fit through your doorway to make it inside the house. Most high-end ranges are between 30 and 60 inches wide. Most standard doorways are only 32 inches wide, so this may pose a challenge for you if you want a larger range.
High-end ranges come in a multitude of finishes. The most common ones available today are copper stainless steel, designer whites, black stainless steel, and traditional brushed stainless steel. Which you prefer depends on your personal style and the aesthetics of your kitchen.
Sealed burners vs. open burners
Sealed burners are burners that have a cap over the flame. They are easier to clean and safer to use. Open burners, on the other hand, are more efficient in that they provide direct heat, but they are more difficult to clean.
Slide-in, freestanding, or front control
Slide-in ranges have the controls on the top of the appliance at the front. Freestanding ranges have a back guard housing the controls. A front control is a mixture of the two other types. The control knobs are located at the front edge of the range, and the range has finished sides.
A double oven is perfect for those who regularly cook for large groups. It gives you the ability to cook multiple dishes at once.
In addition to five burners or elements, some high-end ranges also have options for continuous cast-iron grates or a griddle.
A self-cleaning function on a high-end range makes cleanup a less frustrating task. Self-cleaning ovens will heat to roughy 900 degrees to burn off any excess food. It usually takes up to four hours to complete the process, but it leaves your oven much cleaner than if you had done it by hand.
Convection ovens work by circulating hot air throughout the oven via fans. This technique ensures that the hot air gets into every crevice of your dish, cooking it quickly and evenly.
Most high-end ranges start around $1,300 and can cost as much as $23,000. More inexpensive models are mostly single-oven models with a few extra features like convection cooking. Between $2,900 and $6,000, double oven and dual fuel models are available, and ranges come with more color choices. If you spend between $6,000 and $23,000, ranges are hand-crafted and professionally calibrated to offer the best cooking experience possible.
Q. Is there a difference between steam and a traditional self-cleaning oven?
A. Yes. There is a big difference. While steam cleaning basically just heats up any water you spray or pour into the oven, traditional self-cleaning ovens can take up to four hours to do the job. The oven heats up to 900 degrees to remove any remnants of food within.
Q. How does a convection oven work?
A. Convection ovens use a fan to move the hot air around the oven, making the food cook much faster. It also cooks food more evenly than a traditional oven is able to do.
Q. What should I look for in the stove-top of a high-end range?
A. Porcelain-coated cast iron grates are one of the best materials for maintaining a consistent temperature on your stove. Ultra-high BTU output on your stove also makes cooking quicker and gives you more control when preparing delicate dishes like sauces and creams.
High-end ranges we recommend
Best of the best: LG Studio Series 30-Inch Slide-in Gas Range
Our take: The best all-around choice if you want to cook with the best of them.
What we like: The ProBake Convection feature and 6.3 cubic foot interior means you can cook large meals, and cook them evenly.
What we dislike: It's expensive, but only because it's the best.
Best bang for your buck: Whirlpool 30-Inch Electric Freestanding Range
Our take: One of the higher quality ranges at a lower price.
What we like: The dual ovens give you much more versatility for cooking multiple dishes at once.
What we dislike: The cooktop is more difficult to clean than some of the other models.
Choice 3: Samsung 30-Inch Slide-in Gas Range
Our take: Though not our top pick, this range is dependable, and looks good.
What we like: The wide-view oven window is a nice touch, and the three different finish options give you a lot of looks from which to choose.
What we dislike: The controls are not the easiest to figure out.
Adam Reeder is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.