Cooktop or Range: Which is Better for Cooking?


    While a range combines both an oven and a cooktop in one simple-to-install unit and suits many kitchens well, choosing a separate cooktop and wall oven can add versatility and help distribute kitchen tasks more effectively. If you’re building a new home, remodeling, or simply upgrading your kitchen appliances, it’s important to carefully consider all your options. Use our cooktop vs. range guide to understand the differences between these kitchen appliances and to choose the best appliances for your cooking needs.

    What’s the difference between a range and a cooktop?

    A range, found in most American kitchens, is a combination of a stovetop and an oven. A cooktop, on the other hand, is just a flat surface used for cooking that fits into countertops without an oven underneath. Sometimes people call the top part of a range a cooktop, but it can also be referred to as a stovetop.

    Both ranges and cooktops are available in gas and electric models and come in various sizes. If you choose a cooktop over a range, you’ll likely need a separate wall oven for baking and roasting. To understand more about these options, you might want to read up on the different types of ranges and ovens available.

    What are some cooktop vs. range differences?

    Cooktops and rangetops are alike in many ways, but they have some differences. Cooktops fit snugly into countertops, while rangetops look more like part of a range. Cooktops are surrounded by countertops on all sides, while rangetops have countertops only on the sides, similar to a slide-in range.

    Controls: Cooktops have their controls on the cooking surface, while rangetops have them in front, facing the user.
    Looks: Cooktops have a neat, built-in appearance, while rangetops often have a more professional look.
    Installation: Cooktops are placed into a cutout in the countertop from the top, while rangetops slide in from the front. Some rangetops have trim to cover gaps between the appliance and the countertop.

    Cooktop vs. Range: Benefits and Disadvantages

    If you’re deciding between getting a range or a cooktop with a wall oven, here are some advantages and disadvantages to think about:

    Range Pros:

    Ranges are kitchen appliances that have both a stove and an oven built in, making it convenient to cook various dishes. They can fit snugly against walls and countertops, making your kitchen look neater.

    Explore the advantages of using a range:

    • It comes with a built-in oven for baking, roasting, and other cooking needs.
    • Saves kitchen space by eliminating the need for a separate oven.
    • Cost-effective since it combines an oven and cooktop into a single appliance.
    • Offers the option of using two different types of fuel.
    • Simpler to install compared to several separate appliances.

    Range Cons:

    • You have to bend down to use the oven.
    • It’s tough for two people to work close to the range together.

    Cooktop Pros:

    While ranges are great for doing many cooking tasks, such as making sauces or frying, cooktops offer the flexibility to be installed in almost any countertop or kitchen island. You can also choose any type of cooktop, whether it uses gas, electric, or induction, to go along with wall ovens that use different types of fuel.

    Here are the key benefits of cooktops:

    • They can be installed on almost any countertop or kitchen island.
    • You can choose from gas, electric, or induction heat sources.
    • They work with many different kitchen designs.
    • You can add extra burners by installing them alongside a range.
    • They can be installed separately from a wall oven.

    Cooktop Cons:

    • Usually costs more due to the need for two appliances and two installation processes.
    • Might use up more room in the kitchen overall.

    Which is more energy efficient?

    If you care about saving energy with a cooktop or range, think about buying ones that are ENERGY STAR® certified. This means they have been checked and proven to use less energy than regular appliances.

    Questions to Ask When Deciding Between a Cooktop and a Range

    Do you have a small kitchen?

    A range combines a stove and oven in one area to save space.

    Do you often cook with someone else?

    With a separate cooktop and oven, one person can cook on the stove while another uses the oven.

    Are you watching your budget?

    Ranges come in various prices and styles, so you might find one that fits your budget.

    Do you need a lot of oven space?

    The biggest double wall ovens usually offer more space than the biggest double oven ranges. You could also consider having both a range and a wall oven.

    Is a Cooktop or a Range the Best Choice for Your Kitchen?

    Ranges are useful in your kitchen because they let you use both the oven and stovetop together in one spot. You can even group your range, vent hood, and microwave in one section, which is great for small kitchens.

    Cooktops, on the other hand, help you make the most of your countertops and let you interact with your family in open areas like a kitchen island while you cook. Having a cooktop and a separate wall oven also means you can set up different cooking areas, which is perfect if more than one person is cooking.

    However, cooktops come with their own set of challenges. They have specific setup requirements unlike other appliances like slide-in ranges, and you might need a separate wall oven if you don’t already have one.

    Choose the Best Ally for Your Kitchen

    For a kitchen that fits your cooking style and space, consider the setup that best meets your needs. Whether it’s the all-in-one convenience of a range or the flexible layout of a cooktop with a wall oven, choosing the right appliances can make your kitchen more functional and enjoyable. Let’s find the perfect fit for your home and lifestyle.