Whirlpool Corporation wants to help make your shopping easier. To save time and confusion, ask yourself these questions before you shop...
Do I need a gas or electric range?
If you are buying a replacement range, you'll probably need a model with the same size and energy source. If you do have a choice, many cooks prefer the greater control and visual evidence of heat levels which gas burners offer. Gas also provides the convenience of instant on and off; and it's very economical. Other cooks feel electric cooking is cleaner and easier. Compare the benefits of both, and decide which heat source best fits your family's needs.
Which type of elements or burners do I want?
If you choose gas, the traditional burner design can be easily removed for cleaning in a sink or dishwasher. Sealed gas burners prevent spills from seeping beneath them, and can be easily cleaned. On electric ranges, coil elements accommodate the widest variety of cookware and are preferred by users who do home canning or cook in large quantities. Glass-ceramic electric cooktops have radiant electric elements sealed beneath the surface, and are easy to clean as well as visually appealing.
Which oven cooking system do I prefer?
Convection cooking is now available on both gas and electric ranges as an option to traditional thermal (radiant) cooking. Thermal ovens use heat elements to roast, bake and broil; while convection ovens use fans to circulate heated air over, under and around food for faster, more even cooking. Convection cooking produces crustier breads, juicier roasts, flakier pastries and even three racks of cookies at one time. Some models offer a temperature management system which cycles the elements for consistent temperature and results.
What size do I need?
Range dimensions do vary slightly; so, for a proper fit, it is important to measure the space you've designated for your new range. The standard freestanding range is 30 inches wide. Remember your new range can last 10 to 15 years, so plan for expansion or contraction of your family.
What features are important to me?
Use catalogues, flyers and the Internet to identify your favorite two or three features. Popular features generally fall within five benefit categories:
- Easy-cleaning Features
Self-cleaning ovens use a high temperature cycle to burn food stains into a powder for easy wiping. Continuous-cleaning ovens have textured walls to absorb and burn spatters. Both methods save lots of time. Cooktops are available in a variety of smooth surfaces for quick and easy cleaning. Electronic controls have a flat surface with no knobs to clean around. You'll discover many other features, like lift-up or removable cooktops, and oven doors which save cleaning time and effort.
- Safety Features
Safety is a primary concern in the kitchen. Child-proof control locks and hot surface indicators are but a few of the ways you can prevent mishaps.
- Ease-of-use Features
Ranges have become more advanced; and new tools make them easier to use. Intuitive electronic controls are logical and have easy-to-read graphics. Some ranges have one touch controls which are preset to common cooking temperatures. Delay and time-bake cycles allow you to start and stop the cooking process even when you're out.
- Performance Features
Every recipe is different; and ranges have many features to help you get great results every time. Variable temperature broiling gives you the option to select the ideal temperature for steaks or fish. Cooktops are flexible, too, with power burners and simmer capabilities.
- Dependability Features
Ranges take a lot of wear and tear, so look for components and warranties that endure. Heavy duty oven racks have wider wires and cross bars, so they last longer and support larger dishes, like casseroles and turkeys. Porcelain broiler pans and grids are dishwasher safe, easy to maintain and durable. Warranties differ between manufacturers and vary on different range components.
Good luck and enjoy your new range!