If chosen wisely, a range cooker can be the centrepiece of your kitchen. Often larger than a conventional oven, a range cooker contains an oven (or three) and a handful of hobs.
Whether you opt for a sleek monochrome design or an Instagram-friendly pastel colour, a range cooker can drastically alter the vibe in your kitchen.
There are three main types of range cooker: gas (which combines a gas oven and hobs), electric (everything is at the flip of a switch – and induction hobs may be included) and dual fuel – gas hobs and electric ovens.
Before you choose a type of range cooker, check that there is an appropriate fuel source near the appliance. Also note that all gas appliances must be installed by an approved tradesman.
How much does a range cooker typically cost?
Gas cookers tend to be cheaper than electric and dual fuel ranges, and tend to cost around £1,000. Other range cookers typically cost between £1,000 and £2,500, but more established brands (such as Aga and Rangemaster) may cost more.
It may seem like a lot of money but they are built to last. “A range cooker is an investment purchase,” Lucy Dunstan, product manager at Smeg UK says, and they ought to last for a minimum of 10 years.
Which is the better: a dual fuel or gas range cooker?
The more traditional model, the gas range cooker, tends to be cheaper to buy upfront than an electric or dual fuel cooker. Often, it is also cheaper to run than dual fuel ranges, which use electric ovens.
Despite the difference in cost, “dual fuel is generally the preferred option,” according to Dunstan. This is because dual fuels combine the best of gas and electric cookers: gas hobs that are quick to heat up and easy to control, plus electric ovens with more accurate heat settings and multiple features. A common electric oven feature is the fan setting, which ensures even heat distribution – unlike in a gas oven, where heat tends to stay at the top.
Electric and dual fuel range cookers also have a smaller carbon footprint than gas cookers. However, Dunstan advises you check the energy ratings when buying a cooker – A is a good rating, but anything up to A+++ suggests supreme energy efficiency.
The best gas, electric and dual fuel range cookers
With so many options to consider, we have done all the thinking for you. The following are some of the best range cookers from the most established brands.
The Stoves brand has been around since 1920, but its range cookers are far from old-fashioned. The S900G runs on gas, but is fully programmable via an app, so you can adjust the cooking conditions from the comfort of your sofa.
There are five gas burners and a grill, as well as a 64-litre capacity conventional gas oven and 94-litre capacity fan oven. The larger oven can be split into two fan ovens (which you can control separately), meaning you can juggle more dishes: perfect for a big Sunday roast.
2. Aga Dual Control
Width: Between 90cm and 100cm
No, you didn’t misread the price: Agas are expensive. But that’s because an Aga is not just a range cooker: it’s the ultimate status symbol.
The range cooker is a cut above the rest because of the way it warms food. A single source of heat spreads across the three cast-iron ovens, gently heating the food to different temperatures and locking in moisture (ideal for roasts). As it warms the food, the Aga also warms your kitchen – which is why the cooker is left on throughout the day and night.
The Dual Control is a modern update of the standard Aga model, with 16 bright colours available. It contains a boiling and simmering plate that can be switched off completely as they only take 10-12 minutes to heat up. Plus, all three of the cast-iron ovens can be switched to Economy mode, which uses less energy – meaning lower heating bills. Even so, a Dual Control typically costs between £20 and £40 per month to run.
3. Everhot 60
This smaller model is ideal for slotting in between furniture, especially in more modest-sized kitchens. The price may be steep, but the electric range cooker is made from cast-iron and works similarly to an Aga.
Two large ovens (56 litres and 54 litres respectively) heat the kitchen by emitting 600W of heat – slightly less than Aga, which gives off 800W. The kitchen won’t be as toasty, but the Everhot is cheaper to run as it uses a fraction of the energy. The cooker has an ECO Control setting for lower temperatures, plus adjustable hot and simmering plates.
4. Rangemaster Classic 90 Gas range cooker
Now part of the same company as Aga, Rangemaster have been making top-quality range cookers in Warwickshire since 1830. The Classic 90 gas range cooker is a traditional model: with its bevelled door and ceramic finish, it looks like the quaint furniture you’d find in an old farmhouse.
Both the 81-litre standard gas oven and 67-litre fan oven contain catalytic liners, making them easy to clean. There are also five gas burners and a grill, giving you flexibility when you cook. If you’re concerned about the environmental impact of a gas-only cooker, you can use Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) – although this needs replacing every few months.
5. Rangemaster Elise 110 Dual Fuel range cooker
The Elise is a statement piece for any kitchen, given its size and colourful aesthetic. It contains a storage drawer, pull-out grill, six gas hobs and two electric 69-litre ovens, with catalytic lining. One oven is fanned, the other is multifunctional and has seven different settings – including a handy defrost feature (so no more panic-ordering from Deliveroo when you forget to get the sausages out).
6. Smeg CPF9I Multifunction “Portofino” cooker
If you want to add a pop of colour to your kitchen, The Portofino is the perfect choice. True, it only has one oven, so you can’t cook multiple dishes at different temperatures. However, this 115-litre capacity oven has 12 settings, including rotisserie with full grill – simplifying your cooking experience. The electric cooker also has five induction hob zones, which are more energy efficient than gas hobs (albeit take longer to warm up). This cooker is the most energy efficient in our list, with an A+ rating – perhaps due to the quadruple glazed windows that retain heat.
7. Leisure Cookmaster CK90F232R Dual Fuel range cooker
Good quality range cookers don’t have to cost the earth. This more affordable offering from popular brand Leisure contains two fan ovens – with a 63-litre and 79-litre capacity, respectively. The dual fuel range cooker also has five gas hobs, which are quick to heat up, and an emergency gas cut-off function to give you peace of mind.
8. Belling Farmhouse 100DFT Dual Fuel range cooker
It looks like furniture from a doll’s house, but its charm doesn’t stop there. Behind those double glazed windows, there are two 64-litre fan ovens, a grill and a storage compartment to keep your food toasty. Atop the cooker, there are seven gas hobs.
The electric oven can be scheduled using a touch-screen interface and there are numerous features, including a slow cook setting for the perfect casserole.
Cooker hood: do you need one for a range cooker?
Now you have invested in a state-of-the-art range cooker, you may be tempted to purchase a cooker hood. But is that necessary? “In short, no,” says Dunstan. However, she does note the benefits of a cooker hood in eradicating cooking fumes and odours.
If you do choose to buy a cooker hood, Dunstan says you should budget for £400 to £700, bearing in mind that you’ll need to put some money aside for installation.