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Natural gas ranges

A natural gas range may carry a slightly higher purchase price than an electric range, but it’s about half the cost to operate.

 

Natural gas cooking equipment comes in many sizes and shapes. Most familiar is the traditional freestanding range, which includes a cooking surface with two to four burners, a standard oven, and a storage drawer. They come in widths of 20, 24, 30 and 36 inches (51 to 91 cm) and wider, with a standard height of 36 inches (91 cm).

Range styles

Freestanding

The standard is 30 inches wide, but 20-inch, 24-inch, 36-inch and 40-inch widths are available. Some ranges have a second oven or a microwave above the cooktop and need more vertical space for installation.

Built-in

These either slide or drop into a space between cabinets. With both a cooktop and oven, these units differ from a freestanding unit mostly in appearance. They have no back panel so they appear to be stylishly ‘built-in’. A drop-in range and drop-in oven sit on a low cabinet base with no storage drawer. A slide-in range sits on the floor much like a traditional freestanding style without the back panel. Drop-in or slide-in ranges are usually 30 inches (76 cm) wide, but may be available in other widths.

Commercial-style

These ranges have chrome or stainless steel finishes, and multiple burners and ovens. They’re specially built for homes with extra safety measures and added insulation. Real commercial ranges, which have a very high heat output, are not recommended for residential kitchens. Commercial-style ranges are available in widths from 30 to 60 inches (76 to 152 cm), with varying heights. Some ranges have a second oven or a microwave above the cooktop and need more vertical space for installation.

Features / options

Convection ovens

These ovens are equipped with a fan that provides continuous circulation of hot air around the food, thereby cooking it not only more evenly, but also up to 25 per cent faster. For most foods, the oven temperature can be reduced by 4°C (7.2°F) as well. Convection baking is possible on two or even three racks at one time. Because convection ovens heat up so fast, there's usually no need for preheating. Unlike microwaves, they don’t require special cookware or major adjustments in cooking time.

Ignition system

You can choose a continuous pilot flame on each burner, or a system with an electric spark on each burner. You’ll save energy by going with the spark ignition model, also called electronic ignition.

Exhaust

Although an exhaust system is not required for natural gas ranges, cooktops and ovens, it’s still a good idea to include an exhaust fan in the installation. You’ll eliminate the normal byproducts of cooking such as steam, smoke, grease and heat. Indoor gas grills should definitely have an exhaust system.

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