Cooktop vs Range: Which One Is Best For You?
Table of Contents
Do you know the difference between a range and cooktop?
While they both accomplish the same task, there are some stark differences between a range and cooktop. If you’re currently looking to buy one of these appliances for your home, or perhaps a commercial property, then it would be wise to consider the differences between the two so you have a better idea of what to expect.
To help you figure out which one would be best for your specific needs and your lifestyle, we have dived a little deeper into explaining what each of them are, as well as how they differ from each other.
As with any new appliance, especially one with such a high initial cost, it is incredibly important to weigh the pros and cons of each. By doing so, you will have a better idea of which one would be the better for you and your family.
Let’s take a closer look at the differences between a range and a cooktop, as well as examine the lesser-known rangetop.
What Is A Range?
A range is an “all-included” cooking appliance that combines a cooktop with a wall oven.It is generally larger in size, includes an oven down below and is designed to slide right into your countertops, thus creating a seamless built-in look.Click Here To Shop For A Range
The size of ranges will vary quite dramatically. You can find ranges as small as 20 inches, which are ideal for tiny homes and RVs. The larger sizes can climb up to 60 inches and are a great fit for restaurants and other commercial purposes.
However, for your average homeowner the best size will be somewhere in the middle, with a 30 or 36 inch range being the most popular.If you have the space, you may want to consider a 48 inch range, as these are usually packed with innovative features that any home chef can truly appreciate.
The knobs that control the range are going to be found on the front of the unit, directly below the cooking surface and slightly sticking out from the cabinetry. This design is not always favorable for families with small children, as they can be easily accessible to toddlers.
The top of the range will vary depending on the model itself, offering a variety of cooking surfaces, grates and zones. The larger the range, the more features, zones or accessories you will have available to you. Many of these larger ranges will allow you to add on a griddle or give you a double oven.
Gas vs Electric vs Dual Fuel
Gas ranges are the most common type available, but you can also buy them in electric or dual-fuel, which allows you to utilize both gas and electricity. Below is a brief overview of the pros and cons each type of range.Everything You Need to Know When Buying a Range
Slide-In vs Freestanding
You also have the option to choose between a freestanding and slide-in range. Everything described above still applies to these two design styles, however there are a few differences worth noting, as they may appeal to you.
The Best Ranges To Start With:
Like many other kitchen appliances, there is no shortage of brands offering ranges in pretty much every color or finish you can imagine. With so many brands, models and features to consider, it can be a bit overwhelming to start your search. If you find yourself in this situation, please give this buyer’s guide a read.
To help get you started, below we have listed the best ranges based on customer reviews and reader feedback.Summit 20" Electric Range - Black and Stainless SteelVerona 36" Dual Fuel Double Oven RangeSummit 24" Electric Range - Stainless Steel
Click Here to View All Cooking Ranges
What is a Cooktop?
If a range is widely regarded as a “slide-in unit” that includes an oven down below, then a cooktop would be a “drop-in unit” that offers many of the same functions, but does not include an oven below, instead giving you more storage space. These will be similar to size as a range, with all cooking surfaces and controls located on your countertops.Click Here To Shop For A Cooktop
Due to its design, a cooktop sits entirely on top of your countertops.Since they “drop-in” and you don’t have to worry about opening the door to an oven, you have a little more flexibility as to where you can install a cooktop.
If you’re remodeling or designing a kitchen, then you can install them in areas that may seem a little unconventional, such as on a kitchen island. Assuming that specific area can meet the required gas and electrical needs to run the appliance. Simply measure the dimensions of the unit, cut a hole in your counters and drop the cooktop in.
The length, depth and width of cooktops will generally follow the same trend as ranges, with 30 and 36 inches being the most popular. However, you can find cooktops in a wide variety of sizes.
The smallest will be portable cooktops that have a 10 or 12 inch cooking surface. The larger units will be mostly 48 inches, but you can find a few commercial models available in 60 inches. However, it is important to note that commercial ranges are the preferred appliance for restaurants and other large kitchens, due to having more features and versatility.
The knobs that control the cooktop are located entirely on top of the appliance. Typically, they will be located in the front or near the sides of the grates, either located all on one side or split among both sides near the grate in which they control. Unlike a range, this design makes it harder for small children to reach the knobs and inadvertently turn on the appliance. The top of the device will vary depending on the model and brand you go with, but they all typically offer multiple cooking surfaces and grates.
Induction vs Gas vs Electric
Like ranges, you can find cooktops that utilize induction, gas or electricity, or perhaps some combination of the three methods. Gas cooktops are extremely common, perhaps even the most popular type available. However, electric cooktops still remain a viable option for many. In recent years, induction cooktops are gaining popularity. Below is a brief overview of the pros and cons each type of cooktop.
The Best Cooktops To Start With:
Following the same trend as ranges, there are dozens of brands manufacturing this type of appliance. You have hundreds of different brands, models and features to consider. To help get you started, below we have listed the best cooktops based on customer reviews and reader feedback.Kenyon 120V Caribbean Dual Burner Cooktop - BlackSummit Two Zone Built-In Induction CooktopKenyon 240V Caribbean Dual Burner Cooktop - Black
Click Here to View All Cooktops
What Is A Rangetop?
A rangetop is very much like a hybrid of a range and a cooktop. Versatile, elegant and packed with powerful features, a rangetop is built directly into your countertops with its distinguishing characteristics being the absence of an oven below and a design that extends out in front of the countertops.
The easy way to look at this type of appliance is that it’s basically the same build as a range, with the oven cut away from it. This gives you the cooking power of a range, while preserving the storage space below.
The knobs of a rangetop are located in the front of the unit, not only making them accessible to little hands, but also extending the appliance slightly out from the cabinetry. The surface of a rangetop will sit flush with the countertops, much like a cooktop, with only the grates or other cooking zones sticking up.
In regard to sizes, types and features available for you to choose from, a rangetop is going to be the same as your conventional range. Instead of going into the details here, it would probably be best for you to read over the “what is a range?” section above.