You can have one without blowing the budget
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