A great gas range can cost as much $3,000 or more. But a really good gas range is absolutely worth it. If you enjoy cooking, spending a good chunk of cash on a great gas range will change the way you cook forever.
Ninety-eight percent of professional chefs prefer gas ranges. That’s because they were trained on a gas range and gas gives chefs better control of the temperature. If you want to cook like a pro, you need a gas range in your home.
Your pancakes will be perfect. Your lasagna will look like it came from a restaurant. And you won’t stand around waiting for the water to boil.
Here’s a definitive guide to what makes a great gas range. Read on, order a new gas range, and start cooking like a chef.
Freestanding or Built-In?
A freestanding gas range combines both the cooktop and oven in one piece. They can be slotted into your kitchen wherever makes the most sense for the layout.
A built-in gas range often comes in two parts. You can put the cooktop on the counter surface and have the oven placed in a wall higher up than a freestanding version.
No matter which kind of gas range you prefer some are far better than others.
Superior models will have finished sides as well as the front. That way, if your range sits at the end of a wall it will look better.
Heat Things Up
The best gas range models come with significant heating power.
Look for models with (British Thermal Units (BTUs) of 18,000 or more. That kind of heat will give you the power to cook quickly. You’ll also have a wider range of heat to make sure you cook at the temperature the recipe needs.
To find out if a gas range has the BTUs you need, read some best gas range reviews.
Burners on a Gas Range
Premium gas ranges will have more burners on the cooktop. Standard ranges come with 4 burners. But the better models have 5 or 6 burners.
Having more burners means you have a wider variety of burner sizes. This variety gives you more control when cooking. The different burner sizes will fit different pots and pans better.
A great gas range will also have a central burner, also known as a bridge burner. This burner is good for griddles. With better gas ranges you can make perfect pancakes!
You should also look for ranges with dual-element burners, simmer burners, and sealed burners.
Dual-element burners have inner and outer elements. You can use the inner, smaller, one for small pans or low heat. You can use the larger, outer, one for large pans and higher heat. The best models will allow you to turn on both elements at once so that you can really fire up the heat.
Features to Look For
When you’re looking for a great gas range you need to pay attention to the features each range has. Superior ranges include cleaning options, multiple oven racks, and bigger ovens. They will also have large LCD screens and sturdy knobs.
A great gas range will come with some cleaning options. Almost all ovens in ranges now have a self-cleaning mode. However, the best models also feature a steam cleaning mode. Steam cleaning is a lower-heat version. It’s great for small spills.
Most ranges have 1 or 2 oven racks. But the best models can have 3 or even 4 racks. Of course, the number of racks does depend on how big the oven is. Regardless of oven size, if you want a great gas range make sure it at least has a good number of levels for racks.
The best ranges also have ceramic or enamel coating in the oven. These coatings are superior to the standard metal interior. They are easier to clean and they provide more even heat throughout the oven.
Some ovens have a hidden bake element. Rather than the traditional exposed heating element at the top or bottom of the oven, they are hidden below the bottom of the oven. If you have a spill in the oven this makes it much easier to clean.
Heating drawers are also a feature you find on the best gas ranges. They are located below the main oven. They’re great for keeping dishes warm while you prepare and cook the other parts of the meal.
A built-in temperature probe is another feature to keep an eye out for. With this feature, you can set the oven to cook your meat to the perfect temperature automatically.
There are two main types of range hoods. You can either get one that is above the oven or one that is at the same height as the cooktop.
Hoods either vent directly outside or recycle air through a filter. The best hoods vent to the outside so that cooking smells don’t get stuck in the house.
A cooktop-level vent is a sign of a superior gas range. These vents are better because they suck the smells away right at the top of the pan. There is no chance for the smells and smoke to escape into the kitchen.
Get a Great Gas Range and Cook Happy
To get the best gas range for your kitchen and family make sure you pick one that has most or all of the features we’ve outlined here.
Look for one that has a variety of burners. Make sure at least one of the burners has a BTU rating of more than 18,000.
Pick the best hood for your kitchen so that smells and smoke get vented outside quickly. Look for gas ranges with a heating drawer, multiple rack levels, and different self-cleaning options.
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