Heat of the moment: how to choose the best range cooker for your home

The latest range cookers offer everything the modern cook needs, as well as acting as a feature and focal-point in the kitchen

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.

Heat of the moment: the best range cookers
HOME HEATER The oil-powered Rayburn Heatranger 680KCD, pictured in Dartmouth Blue, includes a condensing boiler, so it not only cooks your food, but heats your home and hot water, too. The cast-iron hotplate has space for eight pans, while the main oven has four heat zones. PRICE £10,735

Consider size

‘Space is crucial, as range cookers tend to be larger than other cookers, and there are benefits to going bigger.

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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.

Heat of the moment: the best range cookers
OVEN READY AGA has launched an eR7 cooker – the first AGA model that allows a choice of oven heat settings as previously they were pre-set to one temperature. With a touch-screen control that operates the roasting, baking and simmering ovens independently, it’s ideal for everyday meals as well as entertaining. It comes in 100cm and 150cm widths and 16 colours. PRICE From £12,695

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.

Heat of the moment: the best range cookers
WOOD WORKS The Esse 990 Hybrid is a new dual-fuel range cooker with a difference: it’s a combined wood-fired stove and electric cooker. Use the wood-fired oven for a rustic pizza and sear steaks on the hob. As well as the two ovens, there’s a full-width grill function and a large hotplate, and all it needs is a 13 amp plug socket and a six-inch flue. It comes in 20 colours. PRICE £7,600

‘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.

Heat of the moment: the best range cookers
APP CONTROL Stoves’ dual-fuel Richmond Deluxe S900DF boasts a Zeus Bluetooth-connected timer that lets you control and adjust cooking times from an app on your smartphone. It has five burners including a 4kW powerwok, 11 oven functions, including defrost and pizza settings, and comes in nine colours, including high-impact Hot Jalapeno (pictured). PRICE From £1,899

‘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.

Heat of the moment: the best range cookers

STEAM CUISINE The new Rangemaster Nexus Steam retains the food’s nutrients for healthy cooking. It can steam, roast and griddle at the same time, while the bread-proving drawer can also be used for warming plates. It’s 110cm and comes in four colours plus dual- fuel or induction options. PRICE From £3,999

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.

Heat of the moment: the best range cookers
EASY CLEAN Available as dual fuel or induction and in eight colours, the Falcon 1092 Deluxe comes with two ovens, an energy-efficient, dual-circuit grill, heavy-duty control knobs and a wok cradle on the gas hob. Catalytic liners make cleaning easier. PRICE £4,139

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.

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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.

Heat of the moment: the best range cookers
FAMILY FRIENDLY Belling’s dual-fuel Cookcentre 90DFT range cooker is 90cm across with five burners including a 4kW PowerWok, plus defrost and slow-cook modes and a tall fan oven. Choose from three finishes: stainless steel as shown, professional stainless steel or black. Larger sizes and gas-only options are also available. PRICE From £1,099
Heat of the moment: the best range cookers
COUNTRY CHIC Perfect for a classic kitchen design, the 110cm Victoria TR4110AZ dual fuel from Smeg is a spacious four-cavity design with gas hob. It comes in a variety of colours, including Pastel Blue. Added benefits include an air-cooling system, closed-door grilling, triple-glazed oven door and easy-clean enamel interior. PRICE £2,299

Expert tips 

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.’