Types of Kitchen Stoves
Compare all of the options and weigh prices before selecting a stove for your home
By Sylvia Cochran
Homeowners have plenty of options when deciding on the types of kitchen stoves they want to place in their kitchens. When choosing among the available models, consider size and fuel requirements, as well as features that add convenience to cooking.
Appliance sellers stock freestanding ranges, cook-top-and-wall-oven combinations, and slide-in models. Freestanding types feature visually attractive paneling on either side of the appliances, so they are aesthetically pleasing when not in a narrow storage space. Homeowners looking for placement flexibility may find that the combination ranges offer the best options, because installers do not have to connect the stove-tops and oven portions in the same locations; in fact, you can choose to place them on opposite sides of the kitchen.
The most common fuel choices for kitchen stoves are natural gas and electricity. Gas stoves have the advantage of working even during power outages -- a big advantage in neighborhoods affected by storm outages or summer blackouts. Electric ovens offer more even heating for baking or broiling foods, and frequent users prefer the electric ovens for this reason. Some types of kitchen stoves also burn wood, while others fall under the heading of dual-fuel ranges. The latter's cook-top uses gas while the oven requires gas to work.
Convenience features are available on most models of kitchen stoves. Some features are germane to the particular type of fuel a stove uses. For example, the self-cleaning option is available in gas and electric stoves, but trivection technology is available only in electric models. Wood stoves have the most limitations with respect to convenience features. Even so, homeowners in search of the old-fashioned kitchen look may buy replicas of antique wood stoves. Forward-looking consumers appreciate the engineering feats that make wood stoves available in smaller sizes with either a ceramic or steel cook-top. Because of the flames, oven use is limited.
Advantages of a Wood Stove
Modern wood stoves rely on wood, an abundant natural resource, for fuel and offer heating as well as cooking benefits. Homeowners who enjoy a retro look and feel in their kitchens may also price the cast-iron and enamel look of a hearth. The downside of a wood stove is the inability to regulate baking and cooking temperatures as closely as with a gas- or electric-powered appliance.
No matter which type of kitchen stove you decide to buy, be aware of potential dangers. For example, the wood kitchen stove is excellent for heating the home while cooking; even so, the use of fire requires direct supervision and also conscientious cleanup to prevent the buildup of creosote, which is a byproduct of wood burning and can ignite suddenly. Gas or electric stoves should never be used to heat a home, because doing so presents a fire danger and can result in dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
About the Author
Sylvia Cochran is a regular contributor to DexKnows, specializing in home and garden.
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