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Get The Best Of Both Worlds: Dual Fuel Ranges (And A Few Other Options)

When it comes to kitchen ranges, the question I hear far and away the most often is: is it possible to get a range with a gas cook top and an electric oven. The answer is a resounding yes – you absolutely can, and more are available every day. But whether or not they’re out there isn’t really the important question. What you should be asking is, are dual fuel ranges worth it – and unfortunately the answer to that question is a little more complicated. Simply put, it depends – on your kitchen, your budget, your cooking style, and more. So if dual fuel range sounds like a dream come true, here are a few things to consider before you take the plunge.

Why Dual Fuel?

Pro Style Dual Fuel Range With 6 Sealed Burners And Colorful Finish From Bertazzoni
Pro Style Dual Fuel Range With 6 Sealed Burners And Colorful Finish From Bertazzoni

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If you’re reading this, I’m willing to bet it’s because you’re in love with your gas cooktop, but not so much with your gas oven. Gas stoves are the go-to for professional chefs, prized for their high heat and rapid response time. But gas ovens – especially older ones – are notorious for heating slowly, cooking unevenly, and as I know from one unfortunate evening with a faulty igniter, occasionally a little dangerous and more than a little terrifying. Dual fuel ranges offer the best of both worlds, combining a culinary style gas range with a more consistent, more reliable electric oven.

The Catch

Pro Style Dual Fuel Range With Four Sealed Burners, Convection Oven, And Self Clean From Bertazzoni
Pro Style Dual Fuel Range With Four Sealed Burners, Convection Oven, And Self Clean From Bertazzoni

So why don’t we all have one in our kitchen? The simple answer is, because they can be a whole heck of a lot more expensive. Think about it: dual fuel ranges do twice the work, converting two different kinds of fuel into heat, and they have to do it in roughly the same amount of space as a standard kitchen range. The technology isn’t particularly new or exciting, but fitting it into a small space can be pricy – to the tune of as much as a couple thousand dollars added on to the price tag.

Why Bother?

Pro Style Dual Fuel Range With 6 Sealed Burners, Convection Oven, Self Clean, Electric Griddle, and Temperature Probe From Bertazzoni
Pro Style Dual Fuel Range With 6 Sealed Burners, Convection Oven, Self Clean, Electric Griddle, and Temperature Probe From Bertazzoni

If the thought of a three-to-six thousand dollar or more kitchen range makes you gag, spit, and do a double take: you’re welcome – you probably just gained a new-found affection for your gas oven.  But if the price isn’t totally off-putting, it’s worth noting that it includes more than just “a less finicky oven.” In fact, many of the priciest dual fuel ranges are Italian imports outfitted with all the bells and whistles you’d find in a professional kitchen: dual-ring burners that offer more precise control, convection ovens that cook faster and more evenly while using less energy, fast preheating, self-cleaning functions, warming drawers, double ovens, built in range hoods, and a whole host of other luxury accessories and add ons.

Consider Your Connections

Classic 48" Dual Fuel Range 5210 from Heartland
Classic 48″ Dual Fuel Range 5210 from Heartland

Something else to keep in mind is that while a dual fuel range might seem like a dream solution, it’s important to make sure your kitchen can even support one before investing too heavily in the idea. Not all gas ranges are positioned near electric hook ups and vice versa. Even if your house has both electric and gas power, depending on where they’re located it can be prohibitively expensive to run them to the location of your range. This won’t apply in some situations, and less of a problem if you’re replacing your range as part of a larger kitchen remodel,  but is definitely something you should factor into the total cost of your range.

All Gas Alternatives

Pro Style Gas Range With 5 Sealed Burners And Gas Convection Oven From Bertazzoni
Pro Style Gas Range With 5 Sealed Burners And Gas Convection Oven From Bertazzoni

If a dual fuel range is just too far outside your price range, you aren’t necessarily out of luck. In fact, modern gas ranges are much more reliable than they used to be – to the point that many consumer researchers insist the difference is negligible. So if you’re having serious trouble with a gas oven, simply replacing it with a newer model might solve the problem. If you’re very concerned about even heating, consider opting for a gas convection oven, which uses fans to circulate the heat inside, cooking food faster and more evenly. These are a little pricier than your standard range, but much less expensive than most dual fuel ranges while offering similar cooking quality.

All Electric Alternatives

Professional Series 30" Electric Range with Induction Cooktop from Bertazzoni
Professional Series 30″ Electric Range with Induction Cooktop from Bertazzoni

Dead set on having an electric oven, but reluctant to give up the power of a gas cooktop? An induction cooktop might be the answer you’re looking for. In fact, many pro chefs are switching from gas to induction. How does it work? Well, induction ranges are powered entirely by electricity and look like ceramic-topped electric stoves, but instead of using electric heating coils, the electric current creates a magnetic field that heats your pots and pans (and the food in them) while the cooktop itself remains cool to the touch. These use less energy and produce much less heat than conventional ranges, but have the same high heat and precise control of gas. As with any setup, this isn’t without its drawbacks – induction ranges are more expensive than conventional ones (though again usually less so than dual fuel) and only work with flat-bottomed magnetic cookware, so you may need to replace your pots and pans if go this route.

What type of range do you think is the best fit for your kitchen? Are you more concerned about cooking power and quality, or sticking to a strict budget? If you have any more questions about different types of kitchen ranges, let me know in the comments below!

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