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If you’re looking for the right stove, range, or cooktop for your kitchen, it helps to understand the difference between the three. The terms "range" and "stove" can be used interchangeably to describe an appliance that includes an oven, topped with cooking elements such as burners and a griddle. On the other hand, a cooktop is a flat surface equipped with cooking elements and the necessary controls. It’s often installed inside a countertop or cooking island, and used in spaces with an existing wall or counter oven.
Whether you pick out a stove, range, or cooktop, you'll have to choose how you'd like your elements to be powered. Your options are gas—including natural gas or propane—electricity, or induction technology. Depending on your home's current setup, this choice may be made for you.
Here, the best ranges, stoves, and cooktops on the market for new kitchens and existing kitchens alike.
Best Gas Range: Samsung 30 in. 5.8 cu. ft. Gas Range with Self-Cleaning and Fan Convection Oven
Fuel Type: Gas | Cooking Process: Convection | Range Type: Freestanding | Capacity: 5.8 cubic feet | Dimensions: 46.6 x 29.9 x 28.31 inches | Cleaning Type: Self-cleaning | Number of Burners: 5
Includes a griddle
No temperature probe
Controls knobs aren't stylish
Whether you are a casual cook or an aspiring chef, gas ranges are appreciated for their quick and precise temperature control. Designed with a roomy 5.8-cubic-foot oven, this Samsung model is one of the best gas ranges on the market. It's equipped with desired features, style, and value.
The range features a useful set-up of five burners, as well as a continuous grate system—meaning you can slide pots and pans from one burner to another easily. The burners include a supercharged 17,000 BTU burner for rapid boiling, along with a 9,500 BTU center oval burner to heat oversized pots and pans, and even fire up an included non-stick griddle to make pancakes, bacon, or eggs.
There's a top broiler with a storage drawer underneath for storing baking sheets, racks, and more. In addition, this self-cleaning model will also save you time and effort in keeping the oven clean and odor-free.
Best Electric Range: GE JB645RKSS 30 in. 5.3 cu. ft. Electric Range with Self-Cleaning Oven
Fuel Type: Electric | Cooking Process: Standard | Range Type: Freestanding | Capacity: 5.3 cubic feet | Dimensions: 47 x 29.88 x 28 inches | Cleaning Type: Self-cleaning | Number of Burners: 4
Comes in five finishes
Average-sized oven cavity
No smart features
An electric range offers easy installation and operation, and this pick from GE has over 5.3 cubic feet of oven space and four elements to suit your cooking needs. Available to shop in five finishes, including stainless steel, it’s easy to match this range to your kitchen’s decor and style. You'll love the streamlined look of the smooth, black top. However, the real standout feature is that two of the burners are adjustable in size, and can be stretched from 6 to 9 inches for larger pans and increased heating power.
This freestanding range includes a self-cleaning oven for easy cleaning, along with a dual bake element for more even and consistent cooking results. There’s no convection cooking functionality in this model, unfortunately, but the oven has even and consistent performance.
Best Induction Range: LG Electronics LSE4616ST 6.3 cu. ft. Smart Slide-In Induction Range with ProBake Convection
Fuel Type: Induction | Cooking Process: Convection | Range Type: Slide-in | Capacity: 6.3 cubic feet | Dimensions: 37.88 x 29.88 x 28.94 inches | Cleaning Type: Self-cleaning | Number of Burners: 5
Spacious oven cavity
Has a storage drawer
Smart home compatible
Controls can be difficult to see
Pair induction cooking technology with a generous 6.3-cubic-foot oven in this all-in-one package from LG Electronics. This slide-in range combines practical features, like LG's EasyClean technology that can rid your oven of light messes and grime in 10 minutes, with high-end range amenities. The five induction burners make meal preparation easy, and a storage drawer comfortably holds sheet pans when you're all done.
If you haven't used induction heat before, prepare to be delighted at how quickly you can boil water and sear meat. In addition, this particular range has convection cooking technology that speeds up cooking times. The upfront controls make the piece easy to operate and give the entire piece a gourmet feel.
Best Gas Cooktop: GE JGP5030SLSS 30 in. Gas Cooktop with 5 Burners Including Power Burners
Fuel Type: Gas | Dimensions: 5.5 x 30 x 21 inches | Max Power Level: 15,000 BTU | Number of Burners: 5
Has five burners
Hard to remove grates for cleaning
Knobs aren't durable
This sleek gas cooktop from GE manages to accommodate five burners within a 30-inch footprint, letting you manage multiple pieces of cookware with ease and control the temperature for each burner with upfront knobs. The largest burner in the center of the cooktop offers 15,000 BTU for rapid boiling. A continuous grate system accommodates oversized cookware, and also assists in sliding a heavy pot from one burner to another.
The stainless steel finish of the cooktop is durable and the sealed burners make it easy to clean up any spills or splatters. However, the grates can be heavy and fit snuggly, so use care when removing them for cleaning to avoid scratching the stylish finish.
Best Induction Cooktop: GE Profile 36 in. Electric Induction Cooktop with 5 Elements
Fuel Type: Induction | Dimensions: 5 x 36.12 x 20.5 inches | Max Power Level: 3,700 Watts | Number of Burners: 5
Controls can be locked
Has five burners
Requires induction-compatible cookware
Can scratch easily
This 36-inch induction cooktop is a great option for anyone looking for a flush-mounted cooktop that offers precise temperature control and includes versatile burner options. With five burners of varying sizes, and 3,700 Watts of power in the largest element, this cooktop shines at diverse tasks like simmering sauces and searing meats.
Some of the most popular features found on this GE induction cooktop include pan size sensors, along with a digital control pad which can incrementally adjust the temperature for each burner individually. Now, the smooth glass top appears sleek. But, keep in mind that you will need to use induction-compatible cookware and refrain from sliding pans around the surface to avoid scratching the glass.
Best Budget Stove: GE JB258RMSS 30 in. 5.3 cu. ft. Electric Range with Self-Cleaning Oven
Fuel Type: Electric | Cooking Process: Standard | Range Type: Freestanding | Capacity: 5.3 cubic feet | Dimensions: 47 x 30 x 28 inches | Cleaning Type: Self-cleaning | Number of Burners: 4
Comes in four finishes
Average-sized oven cavity
No temperature probe
For efficient, affordable cooking, look no further than this 30-inch electric range from GE. This model doesn't have many frills, but does include one of the most sought-after features for home cooks: a self-cleaning oven. While other budget models sometimes skip this feature and a top-mounted broiler, this affordable model includes both.
The oven has 5.3 cubic feet of space and a dual bake element. The stovetop is equipped with four electric coil elements: two with 1,250 Watts of power and two with 2,450 Watts of power, which you'll find accommodates most of your cooking needs. It’s available in four different finishes, including white, black, and bisque—or upgrade to stainless steel for a slight increase in price.
Best High-End: Thor Kitchen LRG3001U 30 in. 4.5 cu. ft. Professional Gas Range in Stainless Steel
Fuel Type: Gas | Cooking Process: Convection | Range Type: Slide-in | Capacity: 4.55 cubic feet | Dimensions: 37.3 x 30 x 28.3 inches | Cleaning Type: Manual | Number of Burners: 5
Stainless steel exterior
Doesn't overheat the kitchen
Small oven cavity
If you’re outfitting your gourmet kitchen with a new range, opt for this high-end model from Thor Kitchen. It has a sleek stainless steel exterior and five sealed burners, paired with a 4.5-cubic-foot oven, and will certainly exceed your hopes and expectations when it comes to performance and appearance. The model is 30 inches wide and easily fits into existing kitchen configurations.
Despite having features that gourmets will appreciate—like a sturdy, continuous grate system and a maximum burner output of 18,000 BTU—the lack of frills or extra features is one of the things that home cooks will appreciate the most. The controls are simple and hassle-free, and the oven is well-insulated, so baking a dish won't heat up your whole home. While this high-end range is expensive, it's well worth the price tag if you’re interested in investing in a professional-looking appliance with plenty of power and finesse.
Best Double Oven: LG Electronics LDE4413ST 7.3 cu. ft. Double Oven Electric Range with ProBake Convection
Fuel Type: Electric | Cooking Process: Convection | Upper Oven Capacity: 3.0 cubic feet | Lower Oven Capacity: 4.3 cubic feet | Dimensions: 47.3 x 29.94 x 28.9 inches | Cleaning Type: Self-cleaning | Number of Burners: 5
No temperature probe
No smart features
A double oven gives home cooks and baking aficionados alike the option to cook multiple dishes in two, separate oven compartments. It features independent and precise temperature and timing controls. This model from LG is among the most spacious double ovens, with 7.3 cubic feet of total oven space—divided between a 4.3-cubic-foot lower oven and smaller 3.0-cubic-foot upper oven.
While it’s an obvious choice to cook larger items, like a whole turkey, in the lower oven, even the smaller oven is large enough for roasting a ham, baking biscuits, or keeping many side dishes warm. This double oven is paired with a smooth-top surface that has five electric elements: four for cooking, and one for warming. The most powerful and largest element has 1,400 Watts of power for fast boiling, while the smallest element has 100 Watts to offer gentle heat.
If you're in the market for a new stove or cooktop, there's a lot you need to consider, such as whether you prefer gas, electric, or induction heating. When it comes to a gas range, our top pick is the Samsung NX58R5601SS (view at Home Depot), because it's self-cleaning, has a continuous grate for cooking pancakes or bacon, and features a storage drawer. If you prefer an electric model, the GE JB645RKSS (view at Lowe's) is a sleek choice, as it has adjustable burners and a stainless steel finish that'll upgrade any kitchen space.
What to Look for in a Stove, Range, and Cooktop
Your new kitchen appliance can either be a range, which is also called a "stove," or a cooktop. To find the right type for you, consider the layout of your kitchen, and what you want out of your experience. A range is a two-in-one appliance that includes a cooktop and oven, and eliminates the need for any separate purchases. It can include helpful amenities like a temperature probe and compatible griddle, in addition to a space for baking, roasting, and warming dishes. In comparison, a cooktop is a perfect fit for homes with an existing wall oven and RVs. It serves a single purpose, is typically less expensive, and can even be portable.
Whether you purchase a range or cooktop, you need to decide on a fuel source that'll power your new appliance. Your options are gas, electricity, and induction technology, and your decision will be based on the layout of your home, your budget, and your personal preferences. Gas models are typically the least expensive, and have very precise controls. Electric models are more expensive upfront, but can be cheaper to operate, easier to install, and a great pick for bakers, as their oven cavities heat evenly and consistently. A range or cooktop powered by induction technology is the most expensive choice. The cooking surface looks sleek and is precise like a gas-powered model, but also requires compatible cookware that'll pair with its magnets.
When it comes to the burners of your range or cooktop, you'll want to consider how many there are, as well as the features they have. Most models will have either four or five elements—the latter giving you more space to prep large meals and multiple side dishes at a time. If they're powered by gas, they may have a continuous grate design to expand your cooking surface even more, flip to accommodate large cookware like a wok, or include a griddle. If they're powered by electricity or induction technology, the burners may stretch or sync to accommodate larger cookware. One burner may also be dedicated as a "warming" burner, which will help keep your dishes ready-to-eat while others finish up.
A self-cleaning mode in any gas, electric, or induction range uses high-heat to rid your oven cavity of grease, oil, and grime. Now, this feature can generate a lot of heat, so your space should be spacious and well-ventilated to use it. However, it will eliminate the need to scrub grime and apply oven cleaner yourself, and is more effective than a steam clean which can only tackle light messes.
Virtual flame technology
If you're cooking on an induction range or cooktop, you may have a hard time knowing when a burner is turned on and hot. Virtual flame technology tackles this issue by giving any active burner a glow, so you know where to move your pan and where you shouldn't place your hand or utensil. Any household with children can benefit from this feature that ultimately makes cooking safer and more streamlined.
A griddle can primarily be found in gas ranges, and either sits over a central burner or is integrated in between two sets of burners. This feature eliminates the need for a separate appliance, so it's a good add-on for households who don't have much storage space. It also allows you to prepare breakfast or lunch food, like hot sandwiches and pancakes, using the consistent heat from your stovetop. If you're always cooking this type of food, you can also benefit from this feature.
How do you clean a stove or cooktop?
To clean a stove, first make sure the appliance is off and cooled down. From there, you can clean the oven cavity by using a self-cleaning mode, if your appliance has one and there isn't a ton of grime on the inner surfaces. You can also scrub the grime away yourself. For the latter, remove your racks and anything else you may store inside, and spray the cavity with oven cleaner. Avoid sensitive areas like gas vents when doing so. You can also use baking soda and vinegar, which is more natural.
To clean a cooktop, first figure out what cleaning method is best for the type of cooktop you have. If you have a gas cooktop, you might need to lift or remove the grates before wiping down the surface. Any household with an induction cooktop should apply cleaning solution and gently wipe it away, as it's very easy to scratch this type of appliance.
Do you need a range hood above a stove or cooktop?
While your living space may not require it, it's always a good idea to install a range hood over a stove or cooktop. Range hoods collect toxic fumes, odors, and smoke in your air that are a result of the cooking process, and filter them out. When removed, the air is safer for you and your household to breathe. For more, see our guide on the best range hoods.
Do you need a professional to install a stove or cooktop?
It's highly recommended that you have a professional install a stove or cooktop in your home. You can follow the steps and safety guidelines in your manual. However, a professional knows how to work and handle the wires, gas lines, and tools that may be involved. Most retailers will connect you to someone locally who offers appliance installation services, or offer a delivery and installation package at time of purchase.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was edited and updated by Marisa Casciano, who is the large appliance expert for The Spruce. Throughout her career, she's researched the ins and outs of air purifiers, dishwashers, cooktops, and more in the home and lifestyle space. She's an avid cook, who has experience with gas, electric, and smooth-top stoves.