Range cookers: How to buy a range cooker
This guide will help you work out exactly which type of range cooker you need and which one will be best for you.
There are hundreds of range cookers to choose from including gas, electric and dual-fuel cookers and some with fast-heating induction hobs.
Cooker video buying guide
This video buying guide will help you find out exactly which type of cooker will be best for your home.
Types of range cooker
Range cooker sizes - Range cookers are bigger than freestanding cookers, with most being between 90cm and 110cm wide and coming with between six and eight hob rings or burners, two ovens, a grill and a warming or storage drawer.
90cm-wide range cookers have fewer burners or hob rings and tend to come with two ovens and a grill. Larger range cookers have more hob options and also come with a warming or storage drawer.
Mini range cookers - Mini range cookers are range cookers by name but not in size – they’re actually just the same size as a standard freestanding model, but have the look and feel of a larger range cooker.
Use our range cooker comparison tool to find the type of range cooker you need at the right price.
Range cooker fuels
Electric range cookers – Most electric range cookers have the advantage of oven fans, which help to spread the heat around the oven. If your cooker has an oven fan it’s going to heat up more quickly - this means you can reduce the cooking temperature and cooking times.
Electric induction range cookers - Electric range cookers with an induction hob heat quickly and efficiently. When you cook with induction, the hob zones themselves don’t get hot. But you’ll need iron-based pans, such as stainless steel, if you’re cooking on an induction hob.
Gas range cookers - Gas range cookers will be the cheapest to cook with. The hobs on gas cookers are easy to control and provide instant heat when you need it.
Dual-fuel cookers – Range cookers with a gas hob and an electric oven provide the best of both worlds for some people, with an easy-to-control and quick-to-heat gas hob and an evenly heating electric oven.
Range cooker installation - Gas range cookers and dual-fuel cookers will need to be installed by a Gas Safe registered engineer – find a qualified engineer in your area on Which? Local.
Range cooker volumes
When you’re in the shop, take a look inside the cooker to see how much space there is. Oven space can be deceptive and the usable volume figures provided by manufacturers include the space beneath the lowest shelf, which you can’t use to cook with.
Volume measurements in Which? cooker reviews are only for the space you can actually use. And in our tests we use a plastic turkey and a tray of roast potatoes inside the oven to see what you can actually fit in.
Range cooker energy use
Gas is cheaper to cook with than electricity and the cheapest gas cooker we’ve tested costs around £12 to run for a year. The most expensive is all electric and costs around £37.
Range cooker features
Range cookers with pyrolytic self-cleaning – Range cookers with a pyrolytic self-cleaning program heat to around 400°C and incinerate oven waste. All you need to do afterwards is sweep away the ash. If a cooker comes with pyrolytic self-cleaning, this will be shown on the dial or the control panel.
Range cookers with catalytic self-cleaning - Catalytic self-cleaning linings absorb oven spills and splashes, break them down and burn them off during cooking.
Multi-function ovens – Many range cookers come with multi-function ovens, which allow you to cook with a variety of heat sources independently or in combination, such as the grill and fan together.
Fan ovens - Most electric cookers come with a fan to distribute the heat evenly around the oven. On cookers with two electric ovens, one usually has a fan and the other is conventionally heated by upper and lower heating elements.
Range cooker accessories
Door-mounted roasting tray – Roasting trays mounted to range cooker oven doors are helpful because you don’t have to remove the roasting tray from the oven to baste your meat.
Range cooker fish burner – This is a longer-than-average burner designed for use with a fish kettle. Fish burners can also be used for casseroles and griddles.
Rotisserie – Rotisseries inside range cooker ovens turn large pieces of meat slowly as it cooks under a grill.
Wok burner and supports – A wok burner is a large hob burner designed for wok cooking or rapid boiling. Wok supports, or rings, provide a cradle to hold a wok and keep it stable. They also move the bottom closer to direct heat, which is great for searing meat.