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Gourmet entertainer or hot plate homey?

Fuelish considerations

Again, if you are renovating your kitchen and a gas line is available, you might opt for a gas range with instant heat control. You are able to see the flame height and can instantly turn off the heat source. However, the gas burners grills are set higher than the electric coil elements and heat at a slower rate due to absorption. The burners are measured in BTU’s (British Thermal Units) and come in varying powers: low, medium and high. Get sealed burners to make cleaning up less of a chore. Be aware, those wonderful pro-style gas ranges generally do not come with sealed burners. Anytime there are crevices, cleaning becomes more difficult.

Electric ranges come in the traditional coil elements your mama had, and the newer ceramic glass tops (pay $200 more) that provide a smooth surface. Although the coil burners are more difficult to clean, they are cheap and easily replaced. The ceramic option is easier to clean, but require special cleaners and replacement in case of dropped pots can be expensive. Either way, the heat is quick and able to be fine tuned for the cooking application, low or high. With a smooth top, the range may offer dual burners, very hot or lower heat in one element or the option to cook over two burners for large or differently shaped pots. Note where the controls are, and if their location will make cooking more or less difficult, keeping in mind little children are not always capable of refraining from playing with knobs and buttons. And speaking of safety, look for a small light that is on when the element is still hot, even though it is technically “off”. Some models come with touchpads instead of knobs for a sleek look.

There are even combination ranges that use gas for high heat and electricity for warming areas and ovens, but these are pricey options.

Popular Products
Manufacturer/Model
1. Frigidaire Gallery Series GLGFZ376FC 30" Freestanding Sealed Gas Range
2. Frigidaire FEF336EC 30" Freestanding Electric Range
3. Avanti Elite Series DG241BS 24" Freestanding Gas Range
4. Avanti ER20AW1 20" Freestanding Electric Range
5. Matag MER6741BAW 30" Electric Double Oven Free Standing Range
6. Frigidaire FED300ES
7. GE JDP39CKCC
8. Maytag MEP5775BA
9. Whirlpool WDE350LVB
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