One of the most common situations we see when it comes to range purchases is customers looking to upgrade to a larger model, and the resulting sticker shock. It’s no secret that there’s a big jump in price from 30” wide ranges (which can be anywhere from $500 to $3000) to 36” wide ranges (which tend to start around $6000). After all, you’re only getting six more inches of range, so what’s with the big cost difference?
Professional Features Worth the Price
The biggest price influencer when it comes to ranges is that anything over 30” wide is usually only available in mid-to-high end brands. This creates an economy of scale – the most common size is 30” wide, and it’s used in bulk by builders for a large majority of first time homes and apartments. Since manufacturers build 30” models in much larger quantities, this helps to bring the pricing down.
Because of this, manufacturers make a point of including nicer features on 36” wide models and these usually entail things like higher BTU output on the burners. A good example of this is the Thermador brand, which comes standard with their high powered 18,000 BTU star burners, extra low simmer settings, and soft close oven doors. They also come with telescopic racks which are great for cooking larger roasts or turkeys. These racks fully extend out of the oven so that you don’t have to reach or lean in to pull out heavy items. Many of the premium brands like Thermador are also starting to add WiFi connectivity, like the Thermador Connected Experience App.
All Gas vs Dual Fuel – A Choice, not a Concession
There’s always a big argument around which is the better type of oven – gas or electric. In most ranges, the dual fuel option with an electric oven is going to be higher priced because of the technology difference, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s what works best for you. Generally speaking, electric ovens maintain a constant temperature a bit better, which makes them great for baking where you don’t want to see a lot of temperature changes. Gas ovens, on the other hand, fluctuate a little bit more but are superb for roasting meats due to a higher moisture content in the air from gas combustion. Both types of ovens can handle baking or roasting though, so unless you’re a master baker or chef, you’re unlikely to see a huge difference in outcomes.
We usually recommend sticking with what you like or what you’re used to, as neither will have a clear-cut advantage on usability or pre-heat times. All-gas models are usually a good way to save some money, but if you’ve only ever experienced electric ovens, it may take you some adjustment to get used to the different cooking style. If you’re coming from a wall oven, then 99% of the time these are going to be an electric model. Just make sure that you have the proper connections in place for whichever style you choose to install, as there will be a difference in electrical requirements between all-gas and dual fuel. For anyone unsure which way to go, feel free to stop in to one of our showrooms and test out some live models.
Griddle’s and Grills – Indoor Cooking like the Pros
One of the biggest differences between 30” ranges and 36” ranges, regardless of whether it’s dual fuel or all gas, is that you can get a true dedicated griddle or indoor grill. While many 30” ranges have “griddle plates” that can be used on top of a burner, or elongated griddle burners, these options tend to be more of a jack of all trades situation and are much more limited on space. 36” ranges on the other hand have options – instead of the standard six burners, many brands offer configurations like four burners and a grill or griddle, with griddles being the most common. We don’t frequently see the grill options purchased, since in Texas you can grill outside year-round, but the griddle adds a nice alternative for those that don’t see themselves ever using all six burners at once. And griddles aren’t just for breakfast – they’re great for philly cheesesteaks, vegetables, stir fries, and hamburgers too!
Lesser Known Brands Provide some Value
While many 36” ranges are going to be considered your professional style premium products, there are a few brands options that will get you the size and style without breaking the bank. One of our most highly recommended options is Bertazzoni, an Italian brand that offers sleek looks and quality design. They’ll have a wide range of units in all-gas or dual fuel, as well as some differing burner options (many units available with five burners or six burners). One of the biggest differences in Bertazzoni is that they offer many models with color options – Ferrari colors in fact! Bertazzoni utilizes many of the same paints as the sports car manufacturer and even has them painted in the same factories to give their ranges a bit of pizazz. These are custom ordered and take a bit longer to get, so be sure to ask your salesperson how long you need to plan ahead!
Another brand worth looking at is Superiore. Because of their Panorama series, this brand stands out on its huge oven windows alone. Superiore is another Italian brand, and they’ve been around for over 60 years, but they were previously known as Technogas. Superiore makes it’s mark with quality ranges and a unique design that’s easy to clean, and we’re starting to see them as a rising star in the market. Like Bertazzoni, Superiore also offers some customizability – their Deco line offers different color options and even bronze, gold or chrome handles and knobs.
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