Sunday, June 12, 2011

How to choose the right range for you.

            With so many choices for appliances in today's market place how do you decide? I find this subject gets confusing with so many choices. So, I tell clients to make a list of what's important to them and how they work in the kitchen. Are you a gourmet cook or do cook from a box or a jar or are you a professional chef? When I tell clients I'm the latter they think this is funny since I design kitchens for a living.

           Recently I have been expanding my culinary talents and I'm enjoying learning new ways to cook. And this has given me new insight on how to choose the right range. I have been working on my sauce cooking as I have always enjoyed them in the restaurants. With this practice I have learned more about how the functions of the range and how they are more important to certain types of cooks and not to others.

Cooking - when we think of this we think of the range. So let's expore your options.
  • Professional styles ranges - such as Wolf, Viking, Dacor, Bertazzoni
  • Semi- professional ranges - such as Jenn-Air, Electrolux, Kitchen- Aid
  • Standard Ranges- such as LG, GE, Maytag
  • Other -  English Aga, French  LaCorne

            There other brands to explore but these I feel are the major players in the full range options. What are the differences? Well lets start with looks it's the first thing most of us think about when deciding on a range. then move on to the other features.

    • Stainless steel or a color?
      • Stainless has the professional look whether you buy the standard or professional style
      • Colors- usually black or white- Viking, Bertazzoni are a few professional ranges that has more colors options.
    • Options - Models types:
      • Professional ranges come in larger sizes and have more features available as you increase the size of the range. 30",36, 48,60
      • Standard range usually only comes in one size-  30" is the standard.
      • Gas or electric?
      • Slide in/ drop in or free standing (slide in/ drop in- standard range vendors only)
      • Others like the Europeans vendors come is odd sizes and gas or electric styles
                Second we look at functions available on the models, here is where things get complicated. There so many choices and features available. And these are a few things to think about.
    • All gas - all vendors make a model
    • All electric - Standard ranges mostly
    • Dual fuel - gas/electric combination - professional ranges and some standard range vendors

    Other options are in the oven section of the range:
    • Self cleaning
    • Meat probe
    • Dehydrating
    • Convection
    • 1 or 2 ovens - depends on size of range
    Options for the top section of the range:
    • Gas or electric
    • Grill or griddle
    • French top- only available on the professional ranges - even then only a few vendors.
    • Simmer features
    • Wok options
    So you need to ask yourself what type of cook are you?
    • Professional chef
    • Gourmet - includes sauce cooking
    • Scratch
    • Baker
    • Box/jar
            This should help you decide on which model and features you want in a range. Looks do play are part in the choice so make a note on which vendors you prefer Then compare the type of options that the range offers and finally compare the pricing of the ranges your interested in. Each price point offers something for every type of cook. We did not get into the oven and cook top options in this post, but the same principals apply. Good luck in your search for the right range. I hope this was helpful.

    Sincerely Yours
    Angie Keyes CKD