Ovens, Stoves, & Cooktops

A cooktop with built in grill.

Kitchen Remodeling For Dummies has released a list of the top oven and cooktop manufacturers. After analyzing available research from various investigative organizations this list was compiled. The following top oven and cooktop manufacturers have been given high marks for self-cleaning ability, oven and cooktop settings, and energy efficience.

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An oven range hood

Sizing up your range hood

Simply opening a door or window to provide ventilation in the kitchen doesn’t cut it these days. With the amount of smoke, grease, and especially moisture released into the air while cooking, you must remove as much as possible to reduce possible damage to your home. Also, as you peruse your options, keep in mind the fact that the range hood should be considered as a key element in the look of your kitchen, because it’s a fairly large appliance that is prominently positioned over a very busy area — the cooking area.

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A self cleaning oven

No-hassle cleanup options

One oven option that makes life in the kitchen easier is a self-cleaning feature. Most ovens, except for the least expensive models, are self-cleaning. The continuous-cleaning feature, however, is even nicer because the oven does what the name implies: it continually cleans the oven box whenever spills and splatters occur so you can say good-bye to spray-on oven cleaners, scrub brushes, rubber gloves, and nasty fumes from the cleaner.

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A convection oven

Ogling your oven options

I remember learning how to bake from my mother. We’d turn on the gas to preheat the oven. While it was heating up, we’d mix up the batter for whatever we were making, pour it into pans, and put them in the oven. Oh, how times have changed. It’s no longer gas or electric, there’s convection, microwaves, or combination units. And lots more.

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Downdraft Cooktops

February 15, 2012
Downdraft cooktop

Ain’t nothing like a grilled steak in the wintertime: Downdraft cooktops

The real joy of owning one of these babies is when the weather’s bitterly cold and you’re dying for a grilled steak. With a downdraft cooktop or range, you can have your steak and eat it, too, regardless of the weather. Downdraft units are engineered to pull the smoke and fumes down into the range as you’re cooking and then vent them outside. The ductwork is an additional installation and can substantially drive up the cost of having a downdraft range. Make sure that the ductwork is vented to the outside, too, and not into a crawlspace or interior area. One of the most popular brands, and the originator of the design concept, is Jenn-Air, although many of the major range and oven manufacturers now offer downdraft units.

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A cement cooking surface

Getting creative with additional cooking surfaces

Many new kitchen designs are set up for using a cooking surface unit that has separate burners or heating elements (depending on the fuel source) and are not part of an oven combination. These units are commonly called “cooktops”. Why? Because they’re so versatile. Today’s cooktops have options such as griddles, down-drafting grills (described in the “Ain’t nothing like a grilled steak in the wintertime: Down-draft cooktops” article), rotisseries, and woks. Don’t be surprised to see a cooktop used in an island, either, as a second cooking surface. Another neat feature when using a cooktop is that the space that normally is occupied below the unit by the oven is open for storage drawers, making it a very convenient spot to store your pots and pans.

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A cooktop and oven

Warming Up to Cooktops, Ranges, and Ovens

Cooktops with built-in woks, ovens built into the wall- you have more options today than ever before. If you want to keep things simple, you can stick with an all-in-one cooking top and oven appliance (called a range). But if you want to spice up the look and flow of your kitchen, consider some of the modern advances. When incorporated properly into the kitchen layout, they make the kitchen much easier to use and work in.

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