Whether you use your cooker for everyday family meals, large-scale entertaining on a regular basis or you just like trying new recipes and techniques, a range cooker will cope easily with all manner of culinary tasks.
‘Space is crucial, as range cookers tend to be larger than other cookers, and there are benefits to going bigger.
You’ll get more oven capacity and burners, perfect for those who are serious about cooking,’ says Maurizio Severgnini, managing director at Bertazzoni UK and Ireland.
Next, choose the fuel type
Take your pick from all-gas, all-electric, dual-fuel and induction options, as well as cookers that can run off LPG or oil where there’s no mains gas supply, and designs that incorporate a wood-fired oven or come with a condensing boiler to heat your radiators and hot water.
‘Electric or dual-fuel range cookers tend to offer a smaller carbon footprint than gas cookers, but always check the energy ratings,’ advises Lucy Dunstan, product manager for Smeg UK.
Find cooking-enhancing features
Look for features that will enhance your cooking, such as separate ovens that can be independently controlled at different temperatures and an easy-clean oven interior with pyrolytic cleaning or catalytic liners.
‘Some models also come with extra options such as a dedicated grill, storage drawers for accessories or a warming drawer for plates,’ says Maurizio. ‘Some also have much more hob space, with five or six rings and griddles.’
Many traditional brands are evolving to keep up with consumer demand. AGA’s latest model, for instance, allows you to choose your own oven heat settings (previously AGAs only had a pre-set temperature) and Esse’s new Hybrid range cooker comes with a wood-burning firebox, perfect for wood-fired pizzas.
Check energy efficiency
Look for an efficient A or A+ energy rating and consider models with an eco mode, such as Rayburn’s 600 Series, which ensures the boiler runs at its optimum efficiency to keep running costs low.
Customising your cooker
These days there are a variety of styles, sizes and colours of range cookers to suit your space and style. A bold, colourful finish can complement or contrast with your kitchen décor, while stainless steel or black designs create a professional look. Some companies even offer a bespoke colour service where you can have any shade you like.
As for functionality, you don’t have to stick to traditional gas burners with a range cooker. Many brands now offer a mixture of fuel types on the hob top, so you could have a teppan yaki hotplate, induction zone, gas burners and a griddle for truly varied cooking.
Emma Cowley is the Brand and Digital Marketing Manager at Rangemaster
‘A range cooker not only adds a focal point to a kitchen, but also allows home cooks more space to cook for friends and family with the opportunity to be creative with their cooking. The extra cavities and hob space help to take the stress out of cooking for a crowd, while the bonus of proving drawers, teppan yaki griddles and wok cradles on many range cookers means that world cuisines are more accessible to the average family.
‘When deciding which range cooker might suit your home, it’s important to consider the fuel type you’d like and which functions you need for your lifestyle. Induction cookers are a great option for families, thanks to a host of safety options including a pan-detection feature, which means that when the hob is on but no pan is detected, it will automatically switch off, eliminating panicked ‘have I left the hob on?’ moments. You can also activate a child-lock feature when the hob isn’t in use.
‘There is a huge a variety of styles, sizes and colours to choose from when looking at range cookers, so don’t be put off if you think you don’t have space for one or are looking for a more modern style. Rangemaster, for example, has been manufacturing range cookers from its UK factory for the last 189 years, but it’s also at the cutting edge of technology and design. From the traditional-looking Classic Deluxe and Kitchener cookers to the stylish Elise and Elan Deluxe models and the modern Professional and NEXUS cookers, there really is a range cooker for everybody and every home.’