Range cookers: a buyer’s guide
Whether you’re planning a kitchen renovation or are simply in the market for a new oven, there’s a lot to be said for a range cooker. Wider than a standard oven, they offer more space to tackle the Sunday roast, different ways of cooking and can help warm your kitchen. The best range cookers even offer induction hobs and self-cleaning functions.
Think of a range cooker and you’ll probably think of the classic Aga, a hefty cast-iron lasts-forever piece of kit that you light in the morning and keep running all day for a toasty kitchen full of fresh bakes. Traditionally they were fuelled by wood or oil, but modern models offer more options. Many are dual fuel, with electric ovens and gas hobs, but you can get all-electric models these days that even include induction hobs. With electric models you can either leave them on all day to heat your kitchen, or just turn them on and off as needed.
Whether you’re after electric or dual fuel, these models offer looks and performance…
1. Best value: Belling’s Farmhouse 90E
Choose from electric, induction, gas and dual fuel options with Belling’s Farmhouse 90E electric range cooker (£1,178 from John Lewis), which has a tall, 91-litre oven, five-zone ceramic hob and a second fanned oven with 10 settings, including slow cook and defrost, plus variable grill. Shown in classic cream, it also comes in silver or black. Available in all fuel types to suit every kitchen.
2. Best for even cooking: Fisher & Paykel OR90SCG4B1
Cook several dishes at the same time with this spacious 90cm dual fuel cooker from Fisher & Paykel (£3,345). The OR90SCG4B1 has nine oven functions from pastry bake to pizza mode and a finely tuned five-burner hob control that allows you to sear, stir fry or simmer delicate sauces to perfection. It also has AeroTech to evenly circulate air for perfect results on every oven shelf.
3. Best for multi-function: Rangemaster Elise
Rangemaster’s Elise 90cm dual fuel cooker (£2,875) in Mineral Green has a chic French look with a multifunction oven that offers seven functions designed for every dish including crisping pizza bases and browning pasta bakes. There’s also a second fanned oven, five-burner gas hob with sturdy cast iron pan supports, multi-ring burner and wok cradle.
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4. Best for batch cooking: Leisure Cuisinemaster Pro PR100F530
The Leisure 100cm Cuisinemaster Pro PR100F530 (£1,099) is ideal for entertaining with its large 75-litre oven capacity. It also has a tall fan oven for batch cooking, five-burner gas hob with wok burner and an extended ceramic zone with cast iron griddle plan as a healthy alternative to frying. Added features include premium metal knobs, touch control, catalytic liners and telescopic shelf.
5. Best for self-cleaning: Smeg Portofino CPF9GPOR
Add a burst of colour to the kitchen with Smeg’s Portofino CPF9GPOR 90cm induction range cooker in orange (£3,619). The induction hob is safe for families with young children as it’s the pan that heats up rather than the hob. Plus, it has three fans for more efficient heat distribution, uniformed cooking and shorter pre-heating time. It also has a self-cleaning pyrolytic function.
6. Best for techies: Stoves Precision Deluxe S1000DF
Stoves’ Precision Deluxe S1000DF 100cm dual fuel cooker (£2,335 from rangecookers.co.uk) comes with plenty of benefits for keen cooks. There’s a Proflex converter to split one of the ovens into two, creating four ovens when you need them, a six-burner gas-through-glass hob with PowerWok burners, app-controlled timer and Umbra black glass doors that become transparent when cooking so you can keep a close eye on your cooking.
7. Best for energy efficiency: Everhot 100+
Want to warm your whole kitchen this winter? The Everhot 100+ (£9,920) has hand-built electric heat storage that uses half the energy of comparable models. It has a roasting oven, another for baking/casseroles and a third plate-warming oven. The fourth door reveals the controls. Under the easy-lift lids are cast iron hot and simmer plates, and the top oven also has a grill. Plus, it comes in 21 colours. There’s also the Everhot 100i, equipped with a two-zone induction hob (£10,210).
8. Best for the indecisive: Aga Masterchef Deluxe 110
Love the look of an Aga but not ready to commit to installing a heat-storing range in your home? The iconic brand also offers more contemporary ovens, including the Aga Masterchef Deluxe 110 (£6,000). Not only does this electric model have four compartments, including two ovens, a glide-out grill and a slow cooker, it features a smart induction hob for super safe cooking.