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Home > Projects & DIY Toolkit > Buying Guides > Choosing a Range

Choosing a Range

To make sure you get the cooking performance you need, you'll want to pay careful attention to several features when buy a kitchen range. Lowe's is happy to provide this range information as a service to you.

Another benefit: vegetables cooked by microwave oven retain vitamins and minerals as well as vegetables cooked by steaming. Also, microwave ovens are very efficient in their use of electricity—because they heat only the food and nothing else. Lowe's is happy to provide this microwave guide as a service to you.

What Size Do I Need?

Size of Family

Oven Cavity Size

1-2 people

2-3 cubic feet

3-4 people (small family)

3-4 cubic feet

4 or more people (large family)

4+ cubic feet

Select a Range Style

Three styles of ranges are available. To select a range style best for your kitchen will depend on the kitchen's design:

  •   • Freestanding ranges have finished sides and controls on the backsplash.

  •   • Slide-In ranges have a seamless built-in look with controls on the front of the range.

  •   • Drop-In ranges have unfinished sides and may require cabinet modification for a tight fit. Controls are on the front of the range.

Choose a Rang Top: Electric or Gas?

    If you are replacing a range, you will more than likely replace it with same type of range. If you are choosing a range in new construction, here is some additional information to consider when choosing between electric and gas.

    Electric Ranges

    Electric ranges are available in coil element and smoothtop designs. Sizes range from 20" to 36".

    Coil Element Ranges:

  •   • Have radiant elements that plug-in and are easily removed for cleaning.

  •   • Have drip pans that lift out for cleaning.

  •   • Offer even heat distribution when cooking.
  • Smoothtop (Radiant Surface) Ranges:

  •   • The radiant elements on a smoothtop cooktop heat quickly and some are adjustable in size.

    •   • An adjustable element can accommodate either large or small pans.

    •   • A triple element can heat a large 9" x 19" griddle or casserole dish.

  •   • The durable ceramic smoothtop is sealed to the range so spills cannot drip down under the burner.

Gas Ranges

Gas ranges are available in open burner and sealed burner. Sizes range from 20" to 40". You must have access to natural gas.

Open Burner Ranges:

  •   • Large openings in the cooktop for burner.

  •   • The cooktop lifts up to be able to clean spills that drain into opening in the cooktop.

  •   • Drip pans can be lifted off and cleaned easily in the sink.
  • Sealed Surface Burner Ranges:

  •   • Many cooktops are designed with the sealed burners recessed below the surface of the countertop.

  •   • Sealed burners are attached directly to the cooktop.

  •   • Spills and spatters are contained on the cooktop where they can easily be wiped up.

With a gas range, you can cook during power outages.

Bonus Features

Other features on ranges make cooking more convenient:

  •   • Some allow you to program the oven to start and stop the cooking process in your absence.

  •   • Electronic clocks and controls on ovens are easier to read and give you greater control over the temperature.

  •   • Hot surface indicator lights are available, as well as safety knobs that must be pushed in to turn on.

Convection Oven


Cook faster and more evenly with a convection oven.


Cook faster and more evenly with a convection oven.

A convection oven offers many cooking benefits:

  •   • In addition to the standard bake and broil elements in the oven, there is a third oven heating element around the fan in the rear of the oven.

  •   • Meats cook up to 30% faster.

  •   • Convection ovens allow you to choose between conventional baking and roasting or convection baking and roasting.

In gas ranges, make sure the bottom of the oven cavity deflects heat equally.

In electric ranges, look for a model that uses both the top and bottom elements while cooking.


Tools, products, materials, techniques, building codes and local regulations change; therefore, Lowe's assumes no liability for omissions, errors or the outcome of any project. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. Please visit our terms of use.

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