Enhance your kitchen with a range cooker

One of the key focal points when developing a house is the kitchen. This stands to reason, as the kitchen provides a hub for daily activities – meals, congregating, talking and just general family life – and is often used more than the lounge. The kitchen therefore needs to exude an air of warmth and friendliness, whether it be contemporary or traditional in feel, and what better way to do this than with a range cooker?

Range cookers are available in a seemingly infinite number of styles, sizes and fuel types, and prices vary from entry-level models at around £700 up to high end cookers in the  £12000 region. Styles range from the homely, country-cottage look with thick enamel and bevelled doors – think AGA-esque – through to minimal, sleek cookers finished in stainless and chrome. Colours vary from the trusty favourites of black, cream and stainless steel to the more esoteric shades including bright orange, cyan and even patterned finishes. Generally, the more traditional cooker tends to suit the sedate end of the colour spectrum, whereas contemporary models can wear bolder, brighter colours well.

Nominal sizes for range cookers are 90cm, 100cm or 110cm, although larger models are available (the Lacanche Vezelay measures up at 220cm). It’s worth noting that the nominal size is generally the width of the gap that the cooker will slot into – the cooker itself is usually narrower, if only by a couple of millimetres, to facilitate ease of fitting. The vast majority of range cookers are 90cm high although they do have a small amount of adjustment for fine-tuning. Depth is the standard kitchen worktop depth of 60cm.

As mentioned above, range cookers are available in a choice of fuel types. All gas models, as the name suggests, combine gas hobs with gas ovens. Dual fuel cookers offer gas hobs with electric ovens, and are the most popular choice due to the versatility offered by the fuel combination. All electric cookers utilise electric ovens with either ceramic or, in the case of newer models, induction hobs. Personal preference plays a large part in choosing fuel type – do you prefer the natural temperature gradient of a gas oven, or the even heat of an electric oven? The power and responsiveness of a gas hob, or the speed and efficiency of an induction hob? Another factor to consider is the availability of the fuel in your kitchen – some properties don’t benefit from mains gas, and other properties won’t necessarily have the required electrical supply to power an induction cooker.

Choosing a brand of cooker can seem quite daunting, but this choice is simplified when you decide on a budget. Entry-level cookers can be bought around the £1000 mark and brands like Belling and Leisure offer good looking, value for money cookers at this price point. Go up a notch in budget and you reach brands such as Rangemaster and Stoves –these cookers are built to a high standard in the UK and offer excellent cooking features such as multifunction ovens, roll out grills, double glazed doors etc. At the upper end of the spectrum you’ll find brands such as Britannia, Falcon and Lacanche. These brands manufacture semi-commercial cookers, with the build quality and features that you would expect to see in a professional kitchen. These features and high quality come at an extra price though, although they can be – and usually are – a worthwhile investment.

A range cooker can make the difference between your kitchen being just another room or the focal point of the property and as such it is worth spending time considering your choice. Online cooker showrooms such as rangecookers.co.uk provide an excellent place to start your search, and will allow you to view and investigate a large collection of range cooker models from a wide variety of brands.