Cooktop or stove?

Cooking lies at the heart of the kitchen. All other functions orbit as satellites around that one. Probably the earliest decision you will make when designing a new kitchen is whether to choose a stove or a cooktop. Each offers advantages.

The stove or range comes as an efficient, compact, cost-saving package. These units combine cooking and baking and costs less than a comparable stovetop with separate oven. Also, if space is at a premium, this is a sensible option.

The 30″ wide Dacor range shown above in one of our remodels comes with 4 burners. Most brands now offer a dual fuel model that allows for gas cooking on the top and electric baking below. Many come with burners for varying speeds and temperatures. Some brands have models that include a warming oven as well as one for roasting. Larger models come with a big oven at 36″ or two ovens in the 48″ or wider cookers.

Whether at 30″ or larger, you will not need a specialized cabinet, saving you more money. These models slide into place in a space between cupboards. Different models are designed to fit against a wall or in an island.

So why would you choose a cooktop or rangetop with separate oven instead? There are several reasons.

If you have the space to spare, you might choose to separate the functions. Some cooks like the features of one brand of cooktop and the advantages of a different brand of oven. You may also choose a larger top with a medium-sized oven.

The 36″ Wolf rangetop shown on the left in one of our remodels sports six burners that operate at different temperatures.This homeowner opted for the convenience of storing pots and pans in deep drawers directly below the cooking area. When baking, the cook can stand comfortably at the stove without the heat of the oven close by.

In a multi-cook kitchen, helpers can check on pies and roasts without getting in the way of the saucier. This kitchen’s 30″ oven is stacked with a microwave in a separate wall cabinet (seen beyond the refrigerator). Many people find the height of the separate appliance to be more accessible than one closer to the floor.

Keep in mind that a rangetop with separate oven will cost more than a combination unit. Also, you will have two utility connections and two cabinets to pay for and locate. But for many people, the comfort and convenience are worth the added costs.