Range Cookers vs Built-In Ovens

One of the biggest decisions when designing a new kitchen is whether to opt for a built-in oven or range cooker. Both have their pros and cons, but it all depends on your preferences of style and design, the layout of your kitchen, the amount of space you have, and how much cooking you intend to do, day to day.

A range cooker can be a real statement piece in your kitchen, while a built-in oven can blend in seamlessly with your room and help you save space. There’s no winner or loser in this, as each style of oven offers something different, but range cookers do come with a lot more cooking flexibility for chefs, family cooks or keen bakers.

The range cooker is the heart of the kitchen, so choosing the right one requires careful consideration of your home and lifestyle. Here’s a detailed look at some of the most important factors to think about when deciding between built-in ovens and range cookers.

The Design Of Your Kitchen

When it comes to the look of your kitchen, a range cooker can be a real design feature. While being both a versatile and practical appliance, a range cooker can also be an aesthetic focal point, and inspiration for the design of the rest of your kitchen.

Range cookers are a popular feature in any kitchen, whether that be country style kitchens, retro kitchens or contemporary kitchens with bold contrasts in colour scheme. Over the years, they have become a major interior design trend, and are often featured in glossy home interiors magazines. If you have big design ideas for your home, a colourful range cooker could form the centrepiece of your kitchen.

But for exact positioning, built-in ovens could offer a bit more choice. A built-in oven can be placed high or low, including at eye-level for easy access.. They won’t however come with the added hob and other functionalities that come with a comprehensive, all-in-one range cooker.

Practical features

The way you cook and use your oven should be a key deciding factor when choosing between range cookers and built-in ovens. No two households are the same when it comes to mealtimes, and you’ll want your oven to accommodate the whole family. Here are the features to look at:

Oven Size

Range cookers typically have 50% more space than built-in ovens. Most of them come with a number of compartments, so cooking multiple dishes when making big family dinners, or entertaining with friends, is much easier. With a built-in oven, you would need to swap things in and out of the same oven as there aren’t other additional compartments. However, if you have a small kitchen, a built-in oven can be a great space-saving solution.

Multi-functional use

As range cookers are bigger, they usually come with more functions and settings. Some feature a separate grill compartment, so you can grill and roast simultaneously, whilst also making use of the hob. With all your cooking facilities incorporated into one place, busy cooks can juggle multiple dishes easily. Built-in ovens are still very good in terms of performance though, as they often have a whole host of features, programmes and settings. Plus, there’s the option to place your hob anywhere you like.

Oven storage

If you’re looking for integrated storage, both types of oven are great options. But a freestanding oven could offer a little extra in terms of space. By keeping oven trays, pans or stoneware inside your cooker, you’ll be able to free up shelves in your cupboards.

Cleaning and maintenance

A built-in oven is normally placed higher, which makes it handy when it comes to cleaning. But many modern range cookers now come with easy clean enamel interiors, so both styles are excellent options.

Energy efficiency

A lot of people ask about the running cost of range cookers vs. built-in ovens. But the answer depends very much on how often you cook, and how efficient you are when you cook. Generally speaking, there is no distinctive difference between the two.

Also note that range cookers have a lot more features, such as multiple compartments, grills, hobs and griddle areas. Utilising all of these when you cook will inevitably consume more energy. But comparing a complete range cooker to using a built-in oven and separate hob shouldn’t be vastly different in running costs.

The most important thing is choosing the right kind of fuel (gas, electric or dual fuel), and designing a space that works in the most efficient way for your personal needs.

Your budget

In terms of cost, a range cooker can be more expensive than a built-in oven. But this is because you are paying for the multi-functionality of a hob and other important features. All in all, it could be much cheaper than paying for parts separately and requires just one single installation.

Today, there are range cookers and built-in ovens to suit all budgets and kitchen sizes, so it just depends what you want from your appliance. Induction cookers can be more expensive to purchase but can save you a lot on your energy bills over time.

A summary of both

Both range cookers and built-in ovens make a great choice for your kitchen. To summarise, here are some quick takeaways to help you decide:

Range cooker:

  • Up to 50% bigger than built-in ovens with multiple compartments and ample storage
  • Has multi-functional features including a hob
  • Comes in a beautiful range of colours and designs
  • Can act as the centrepiece to your kitchen

Built-in oven:

  • Space-saving for smaller kitchen spaces
  • Can be installed at a convenient height for cooking
  • Will often have more technologically advanced cooking programmes
  • Can blend in seamlessly with the surroundings

For kitchen design inspiration, take a look at the various types and sizes of Leisure range cookers currently available.

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