You can have one with­out blow­ing the budget

Style at Home (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Fancy the look of a range cooker, but not sure if it’s right for your kitchen – or your budget? This tra­di­tional cooker of­fers coun­try kitchen style with cut­ting-edge cook­ing power – and now it’s pos­si­ble to get this culi­nary clas­sic with­out be­ing forced to live on beans on toast just to af­ford it!

What is a range cooker?

There are two types. The first is a tra­di­tional heat-stor­age model made of cast iron with an enamel fin­ish (think Aga and Ray­burn) that can also heat your hot wa­ter sys­tem and ra­di­a­tors. The other is more con­tem­po­rary, and re­sem­bles pro­fes­sional kitchen equip­ment, with a mul­tipur­pose hob, pow­er­ful burn­ers, and add-ons like grid­dles or hot plates.

Don’t they cost a for­tune?

There’s no two ways about it – these cook­ers aren’t cheap, with top-of-therange mod­els cost­ing thou­sands. But you can pick up an en­try-level range from £600, and a mid-mar­ket model from £1,000 to £2,000, while higher-end cook­ers start at £2,500. In gen­eral, though, for a per­fectly ser­vice­able, good-qual­ity range, you shouldn’t have to spend more than £1,000.

Will I need lots of space?

Not nec­es­sar­ily – range cook­ers come in stan­dard widths, from mini ranges of 60cm, up to 150cm whop­pers, and come with be­tween four and eight hob burn­ers, two ovens, a grill, and a warm­ing drawer. Mini ranges are es­sen­tially a stan­dard 60cm free­stand­ing cooker styled to look like a range, and will gen­er­ally have two ovens, a grill, and a four-burner hob. A pop­u­lar size is 90cm, which will eas­ily cope with ev­ery­day cook­ing.

What fuel do I go for?

There are four types. Gas ranges, with gas ovens and hobs, are the cheap­est to run. Dual-fuel, with gas hobs and elec­tric ovens, is the most pop­u­lar type. Elec­tric ranges have elec­tric burn­ers and ovens and, in most cases, a fan oven. Lastly, elec­tric in­duc­tion ranges of­fer quicker, more ef­fi­cient heat­ing than ce­ramic hobs. over­all, the cheap­est op­tion is to stick to the fuel type your cur­rent cooker runs on.

Are they hard to care for?

Most ranges have a hard-wear­ing enamel fin­ish that’s easy to clean. More af­ford­able mod­els with a nor­mal fin­ish can be cleaned with a stan­dard oven cleaner. Some ranges have cat­alytic lin­ers that cause the oven to self-clean at high tem­per­a­tures, and top-of-the-mar­ket mod­els fea­ture a py­rolitic clean­ing sys­tem.

‘Buy a re-enam­elled, re­con­di­tioned sec­ond-hand range to Bag a Bar­gain’ Ruth corbett, Houses edi­tor

Bron’s range is a per­fect fit for this al­cove

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