Now that we’re nearing to the end of lockdown, cooking and baking no longer feels like a chore. Instead of making meals at home, because we have to, we can spend time in the kitchen because we want to – whiling away hours inventing different creations or perfecting old classics.
Of course, the right cooker makes this job easier, whether you are frying, boiling or roasting. A range cooker is a freestanding oven and hob in one – and are normally bigger than most conventional ovens - so perfect if you have a large family or those looking to flex their cooking prowess.
How are range cookers different to normal ovens?
With their traditional authentic styling, range cookers tend to have up to 50 per cent more space than normal ovens. Most have multiple cavities, which mean you can cook different meals or foods at the same time but at different temperatures, without cross contaminating their flavours. Some cookers don’t come with hobs as standard, but all range cookers do, while most use both electric and gas to power them. Hob space is also larger – with between five to eight hobs, meaning you can boil, steam and fry multiple foods without it feeling cluttered.
Is a self-cleaning range cooker vital?
Some of the more expensive range cookers have self-cleaning systems, which are activated by a button and take around 40 minutes. Pyrolytic self-cleaning is the most common, which is when high temperatures are used to burn off any food debris. Other self-cleaning techniques include vapour cleaning, which uses steam at a high temperature to quickly clean the oven. Smeg’s vapour clean function is activated by a push of a button and finished in just 10 minutes. If you hate cleaning your oven it could be worth investing in as if you range cooker is kept regularly cleaned it can last for years.
How much should I pay?
Prices for basic range cookers start at around the £600 mark and can go up to £10,000 – especially for a well-known brand in the market. The more expensive models have extras including self-cleaning, sleek looking colours and multiple functions, including baking and even a pizza mode. Capacity and multiple ovens also hike up the price. Extras on the hob including those which have both induction and gas burners, will also impact the final price.
Bertazzoni Professional series P90 cm 6-burner electric double oven
This is one of the most stand out cookers for both design and performance with an electric choice of colours. We particularly love the orange shade – Arancio. The double electric oven is perfect for cooking two meals while it also has 11 functions including baking and grilling – meaning you can bake a cake, while whipping up your dinner at the same time.
The cooker’s digital display, on the left side, gives it a modern feel, while the burner knobs give the overall rustic feel that is heightened by the design of the brass-coloured gas burners – of which there are six in total. The gas burners, including a dual ring, have a sealed high performance, while we loved the larger distance between burners, meaning multiple pans could be used without getting cluttered.
The digital programmer also displays the oven functions selected, manages time during cooking and gives feedback on the temperature. Little extras, such as an anti-slam system for the doors and a storage compartment drawer at the bottom of the oven, sets it apart from other models.
Beko KDVF90X 90cm Dual Fuel Range Cooker
At such a reasonable price, the cheapest we reviewed, you don’t expect as great quality as some of the more expensive ones on the market, but this cooker has a good capacity, quick cooking times and some unique selling points. With three cavities, which include two ovens and a grill, it allows you to multitask while making meals. The glass fronted doors, with lights, also give you a good indication of when your food is ready to take out of the oven.
The main electric fan oven has a 58-litre capacity. The gas hob has five burners - with one specifically made for cooking with a wok. They are powered by round knobs situated on the front of the cooker. Perfect for a smaller family or couple, the only thing that the cooker lacks is a self-clean function – however, if wiped down regularly, it’s easy to maintain its cleanliness. It comes in stainless steel with black finishings.
Fisher & Paykel freestanding dual fuel range cooker
A wide shelved range cooker with five gas burners, this is perfect for a big family, who all like something different meals, or whipping up hearty dinners. The capacity of the electrically controlled oven is a very generous 140L – meaning you won’t struggle to cook a Sunday roast. Nine functions also give you more control over how your creation turns out – with a pastry bake and a pizza mode.
The sleek black cooker has silver trimmings and uses the companies AeroTech™ system, which means it circulates air evenly throughout the entire oven. If you’re used to moving different parts of your dinner around the oven to make sure it cooks evenly, you’ll appreciate this technology.
The hob space is much larger than most cookers, meaning you can fry as well as cook sauces, without feeling overwhelmed with a full hob. The chromed cast zinc dials make it look and feel very premium. Not a fan of cleaning the oven? The oven comes fitted with pyrolytic self-cleaning – which means you simply press a button, and it breaks down left over food, at a high temperature. It leaves a light ash residue, but this can be wiped away.
Also available at Appliance City
Everhot Goose 120i Goose Grey range cooker
One of the most energy-efficient heat storage range cookers on the market, Everhot’s models use less than half the energy of other range cookers. With a sleek design, like a wood stove, the cookers do, however, come with one of the most expensive price tags – at just under £10,000. The Everhot 120i, comes in range of nineteen colours and six sizes, including its new goose grey colour. There are three ovens, all of which have different purposes. The left ones are perfect for roasting and baking, while the right oven is great if you want to slow cook a casserole while at work.
One of the most environmentally-friendly range cooker companies - in its 40-year history, all their cookers have been made at Everhot’s carbon negative factory in Gloucestershire and assembled from parts that are almost exclusively supplied from the UK – so you know you’re in good hands. The cookers fourth door on the oven, which hides the cookers controls – giving it a neat and tidy look. On top you’ll also find classic cast iron hot and simmer plates, as well as a three-zone induction hob. One other function we would love to see as an extra, especially for this price, is self-cleaning.
Smeg Portofino Dual fuel range cooker
This range cooker from Smeg has a premium design with the bright colours you’d expect from the brand – we love the model in red and bright blue. Like many of the designs, it has two oven cavities with a combined width of 120cm, which between them have five levels of cooking. This gives you the option to slow cook meals or, if you’re in a rush, cook them a little faster. We love the idea of the multifunction oven, which also has Direct Steam technology – meaning that you can cook food quicker and it will also keep the foods flavour and vitamins intact. While the other is a pyrolytic oven with a self-cleaning feature that burns off any grub left behind.
One highlight was the trio of hob types - one induction, three gas burners and an electric teppanyaki plate that certainly brings the wow-factor. An extra at the bottom of the cooker means you can store shelves and trays, while its A+ energy rating means it’s environmentally friendly and will help you save money.
Belling Farmhouse90G 90cm Gas Range Cooker with Electric Fan Oven
At just under £1000, this range cooker, in an attractive stainless-steel colour, is another affordable model that doesn’t compromise on space. With three cavities and five burner gas hobs, there’s plenty of room to roast, bake and boil at the same time.
The main cavity is a conventional gas oven, and we found the top half of the oven best to brown foods, while the bottom half allowed for slower cooking. If you run out of room, there is also a second electric oven. The bottom left oven is the only one with a window, so not ideal if you like to keep an eye on its progress. On the top you’ll find sturdy cast iron pan supports over the burners, however the ignition and cooker knobs, which have a cut off safety feature, take a while to get used to when using them for the first time.
There’s no self-clean on this one, but we found that the grease-proof enamel coating stops food sticking inside, and if wiped down regularly isn’t hard to clean. Large enough to fit in multiple dishes, its perfect for cooking for up to eight people, and all at a great price.
Rangemaster Professional + 90 FX induction range cooker
This model from Rangemaster is one of the smartest ovens on the list - with clean lines and sleek décor. Available in five finishes (Black, Cranberry, Cream, Slate and Stainless Steel), you can match it with your colour style or allow it to stand out if your kitchen is neutral colour.
The main oven, with a single cavity, has a large 114-litre capacity which can fit 24 cupcakes and three trays of brownies at the same time – perfect if you’re an avid baker. If you’re making a smaller meal and don’t need the whole oven, it can also be divided with an energy saving panel, which is easy to fix into place - it takes just a minute.
Seven functions also mean its versatile – allowing you to defrost meat before you cook it, or even brown off dishes in their final stages of cooking. The cooker top has a five-zone induction hob, giving you enough space to cook multiple meals. Cheaper than some of the other models, it’s a great price for its many functions and capacity.
Smeg Symphony range
This new Italian designed range cooker from Smeg has three or four different cavities for oven cooking your food, so if you’re cooking different meals, they’ll be no cross transference of smells or flavours. The 90cm version has three oven cavities and five burners and for those after something a little bigger, the 110cm model comes with four spacious cavities and an impressive seven burners.
Designed by Italian architect, Guido Canal, the oven includes contemporary eclipse black glass doors at the front and cast-iron pan supports on the top of the cooker - which we think gives it a classic Smeg look, with a rustic twist. Finishings include manual dials and a LCD timer.
One of its highlights is its circulaire fan function – which means then oven temperature reaches its maximum in a record time of just six minutes. The fan function is also great for even cooking and browning. Smeg ovens all have a vapour clean function, which use steam to leave the oven clean in just 20 minutes. Induction models will also be available in July.
If you have a bigger budget and are really looking for an investment piece then the Bertazzoni Professional series P90 cm 6-burner electric double oven really is a statement piece for your kitchen, especially in orange. With 11 functions, a digital display to give it a modern feel and two large capacity ovens, you can cook at the same time as baking.
If you don’t have as much cash to splash, but still want some of the same benefits the Beko KDVF90X 90cm Dual Fuel Range Cooker is perfect if you have a busy hob, with five burners and a 58-litre capacity oven – and at a fraction of the cost.