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Kitchen Cooking Appliances: How to Choose the Best Range and Features

by Susanne Clemenz

Kitchen ranges were once rather standard: Porcelain exterior. Four heating elements. One oven. And wow! A built-in timer!

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Kitchen Appliance Choices Are Dazzling. Don't be Dazzled.

What if you don't shell out $10,000 or more for the Queen Mary of modern kitchen cooking appliances? Just as you can get from point A to point B in either a Smart Car or a Lexus, you can cook terrific meals on any range. Determine your budget, then write down your cooking needs and possibilities:

  • Frequency of use: Do you have frequent big parties or have a growing family? Do you cook most meals at home, purchase mostly prepared foods?
  • Number of diners: Are there one, two, three, or more people dining at home regularly?
  • Space: Can your new kitchen cooking appliance fit in a 30-inch, 40-inch, or 48-inch space?
  • Warranty: Length of warranty might be a deciding factor between equal units.

Now make yourself a chart with columns headed "Must have," "If possible," and "Frosting." Put an "X" in the column that describes your priorities. On the chart's left side write the items listed after each topic on separate lines. Mark your preferences:

  • Exterior: Stainless or porcelain enamel
  • Number of heating elements: 2, 4, 6
  • Additional elements: Griddle, grill, other
  • Heat source, top: Gas, electric, radiant heat, magnetic induction
  • Top style: Smooth, coils, grates
  • Number of ovens: One, two
  • Heat source, ovens: Gas, electric, convection
  • Self-cleaning ovens: One, two
  • Storage drawer: Yes, no
  • Built-ins: Heat probe, rotisserie, other

Take your marked list to two or three building supply stores or kitchen appliance dealers. Find a salesperson who can match your preferences to available models. Hey, now you're really cooking!


About the Author

Suzanne Clemenz designed her passive solar home and interacted with the contractors every day of the 6-month project. She started drawing floor plans and making models in the early '70s after purchasing several building lots. Recently she expanded and

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