Stove vs. Oven vs. Range: Is There Really a Difference?
What do you call the kitchen appliance you use to cook dinner: a stove, an oven, or a range? Maybe you use them all interchangeably. But did you know that they’re different appliances? Keep reading, and we’ll break down the differences, what each one does best, and where to buy them.
Defining Stove, Oven, and Range
What is a stove?
Also called a cooktop, a stove is a kitchen appliance with a heated surface that you cook directly on top of. Stoves can have coil or smooth-top surfaces powered by gas or electricity. Some even use electromagnetic induction!
When you cook on a stove, you set your pots and pans directly onto the heating element to do things like boil water, sautee vegetables, simmer sauces, and fry eggs. Stoves are not meant for cooking tasks like baking and roasting – keep reading to learn about that! Cooktops can be freestanding units on your countertop or part of a larger appliance.
What is an oven?
An oven is a kitchen appliance with a heated, enclosed compartment that you put food into for baking, roasting, or broiling. Ovens are powered by electricity or gas and often have several different cooking modes, including convection, conventional, and broil.
Convection ovens use a fan to circulate hot air, while conventional ovens have heating elements on the top and bottom of the compartment. On the other hand, broilers simply have one intense heating element on the top. Ovens can be large appliances that sit on the floor, medium-sized appliances that go into a specially-built cabinet, or even sit on the countertop like a toaster oven.
What is a range?
What is a range kitchen appliance? A range, or stove range, combines an oven and stove. Ranges use gas, electricity, or even a combination of the two, such as a gas cooktop with an electric oven. With a range, like a high-quality Whirlpool or Amana from Rent-A-Center, you can bake a cake in the oven while sauteeing vegetables for dinner on top of the stove!
Oven vs. Range vs. Stove: Key Differences
What is the difference between a stove and a range?
While the name “stove” refers to the cooktop on a range, it can also refer to a standalone unit. Stoves are not always attached to a range and may simply be a freestanding electric, gas, or induction burner on your counter.
What’s the difference between a range and an oven?
“Oven” can refer to the enclosed heating compartment on a range, or it can be a freestanding unit that doesn’t have a cooktop. Small ovens, such as toaster ovens, do not have a stove, which makes them just that – ovens, not ranges! Toaster ovens, however, may offer other features; this Café Smart Toaster Oven has a built-in air fryer and can be controlled with a smart device!
What’s the difference between a stove and an oven?
A stove is a cooktop for things like simmering soup in a pot and frying chicken in a pan, while an oven is an enclosed compartment you use for tasks like baking a pie or roasting vegetables on a sheet pan.
When and why is an oven called a range?
An oven is usually called a kitchen range when it has a stovetop and an enclosed compartment in one combined appliance. Ranges save space over having both devices separately and come in different configurations:
- Freestanding ranges: These are standalone units with finished sides, meaning they don’t need to sit between two countertop sections.
- Slide-In ranges: These ranges are made to fit between cabinets and have unfinished sides. Slide-in ranges have the benefit of looking built into the countertop.
- Drop-In ranges: These ranges are similar to slide-in and have unfinished sides, but they don’t have a bottom drawer, which can be used for storage or to keep food items warm.
Get Cooking With Rent-A-Center!
Whether you’re shopping for a range, cooktop, or standalone oven, Rent-A-Center has the options you need to make your kitchen as efficient as possible. Browse our wide collection of small cooking appliances and more online or in-store today!