In many ways, oven ranges are the centerpiece of our kitchens; we use them nearly every day to cook a variety of different meals. As a result, it’s important to choose an oven that will fit your needs. It can be hard to determine which kind of oven will work best for you, however, so here are some facts to get you started.

Cooking Methods

You can purchase conventional, convection, steam or microwave ovens. Convection ovens are the most popular, using a fan to push the hot air around; this cooks food evenly and quickly.

Gas Ovens

The ovens in gas ranges are notorious for cooking food unevenly, making them less than ideal for an avid baker, but many homeowners prefer the gas stovetop. It heats and cools quickly, works even without power and will save you money on utilities. Before you set up your oven installation in Washington, D.C., however, you’ll have to make sure your home has a gas hookup. If not, you can spend the extra money to add one or default to an electric oven.

Electric Ovens

They cook food evenly, making them a popular choice and a good option if you use the oven a lot. For the stovetop, you can choose an electric coil, induction or glass-ceramic top; each of these has different pros and cons, but most do not heat or cool as quickly as gas will and using the range is impossible if you lose power.

Dual-Fuel Ovens

These ovens pair a gas stovetop with an electric oven, marrying the strengths of both power sources. The stovetop cooks quickly and the temperature is easily controllable while the oven cooks food evenly. While you can’t bake without power, you can certainly use the stovetop. As a result, however, dual-fuel ovens cost more than gas or electric ovens.

Each type of oven has strengths and weaknesses; your choice depends on what your home is set up for, your budget and your cooking preferences. Once installed, the right oven is a tool that can be a joy to use, forming the heart of your home.