If you pay more than £2,000 for a new range cooker, you would rightly expect it to be a cut above the rest when it comes to cooking. But our latest tests show that a premium price tag is no guarantee of good results.
We tested seven top-end range cookers costing between £2,000 and £4,000. One model scored a disappointing 52%, putting it in the bottom five of all our current range cooker reviews.
One of its ovens took more than 15 minutes to heat up to 180°C, which could delay dinner long enough for a table full of hungry children to start up a chorus of ‘Why are we waiting?’. What’s more, it has one of the worst grills we’ve seen, browning less than half of the food placed under it.
Overall, 18 range cookers were put to the test, including models from leading brands such as Belling, Britannia, Leisure, Rangemaster, Smeg and Stoves, plus Italian brand Ilve. Five impressed us enough to become Best Buys, including gas, dual-fuel and induction models.
Find out which range cookers we recommend for 2017 – and the pricey cooker to avoid – by checking our range cooker reviews.
Cheap vs expensive range cookers
Range cooker prices start from around £500 and can go beyond £10,000. We usually test models costing less than £2,000 in order to cover the most popular and affordable models but, this time, we put seven premium cookers to the test to see how they measure up.
Our independent lab tests show that you don’t need to pay top-end prices to get a top-notch range cooker. One of our new Best Buys is less than half the price of the lowest-scoring premium model – and it turns out more evenly cooked food.
Paying more will usually get you additional features and extra cooking space. The inclusion of a quick-heating electric induction hob can bump up the price, too. The cheapest induction model we’ve tested, the Belling Farmhouse 90EI, costs just under £1,000.
Find out which cheaper cookers made it on to our list of recommendations for 2017 by reading our round-up of the best range cookers.
Which? range cooker tests
We’ve updated our test programme for 2017, running tests on the accuracy and speed of secondary ovens in each range cooker, in addition to the main oven. This gives a fuller picture of the results you can expect during everyday cooking.
The humble baked bean now has a starring role in our cooking tests, as we found that the results from simmering a pan of beans better highlights the differences in performance between products.
We’ve also added a temperature-overshoot test for hobs. This measures how long the hob stays hot for, and at what temperature, once you’ve turned it off. That extra heat could turn your al dente pasta into starchy soup.
Find out more about how we test range cookers.
Latest range cooker reviews for 2017
Below is the full list of range cookers we’ve just tested. Click on the links to get straight to the full individual reviews.
90cm range cookers:
- Belling Farmhouse 90EI (electric induction) – £999
- Britannia Q-line RC-9TG-QL-K (dual fuel) – £2,099
- Rangemaster Professional + 90 DF (dual fuel) – £1,449
- Smeg Blenheim 90cm Dual Fuel BM93P (dual fuel) – £1,300
- Zanussi ZCK98307XA (dual fuel) – £1,199
- Rangemaster Professional + 90 Induction (electric induction) – £2,084
- Rangemaster Classic Deluxe 90 Ceramic (electric ceramic) – £1,589
100cm range cookers:
- Belling Cookcentre 100G (all gas) – £1,099
- Ilve Roma 100 Twin PDW1006E3 (dual fuel) – £3,495
- Leisure CK100D210K (electric induction) – £1,289
- Leisure Cookmaster CK100F232K (dual fuel) – £989
- Teknix TKRC100W (dual fuel) – £500
110cm range cookers:
- Rangemaster EXCEL 110 (electric induction) – £2,370
- Rangemaster Nexus NEX110DFFSSC (dual fuel) – £2,069
- Rangemaster Professional Deluxe 110 Dual Fuel – £1,717
- Rangemaster Professional + 110 (all gas) – £1,549
- Smeg TR4110IP (electric induction) – £2,629
- Stoves Richmond 1100 DFT (dual fuel) – £1,299
Prices correct as of 23 March 2017.