An oven, a range and a stove are three different things which can be confused as one item. An oven is a chamber in the kitchen used for baking, roasting or some other type of cooking. A stove, or cook-top, has four to six electric or gas burners. A range is a stove sold on top of an oven. There are benefits to owning both and one is not necessarily better than the other, but certain kitchen layouts and certain types of cooking lend themselves better to an oven than a range and vice versa. There are specific uses for a range and an oven in both home kitchens and restaurants.

Range in the Home Kitchen

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Ranges are found in many home kitchens.

Home kitchens can use a range to save space, especially those in apartment complexes, small homes or anywhere kitchen space is at a premium. A broiler function is often included to heat food from above. Though most ranges are powered by gas or electricity, induction burners, which heat a pan through a vibrating copper coil below the cooking surface, have recently come into fashion because of their energy savings and decreased risk of injury (the pan heats while the cook-top remains cool to the touch). Another benefit of owning a range is it provides additional counter space that would have otherwise been taken up by a stove.

Range in a Restaurant

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Stoves can be separate from the oven.

Restaurants usually give most of their square footage over to the dining rooms, leaving little space to work in the kitchen and having the stove on top of the oven makes sense. Also, many meat dishes require searing on the stove and cooking in the oven to heat through. Some kitchens even keep the oven off but the pilot light on to keep plates warm during service.

Non-range Oven in the Home

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Some large kitchens use wall ovens.

Homes or residences with large kitchens sometimes chose to have the stove and oven separate, usually placing the oven in the wall about chest height. This prevents cooks from having to bend down to reach into the oven to retrieve heavy pots or pans. These kitchens also have their stoves placed on the counter, normally on an island, if the kitchen has one. To replace overhead vent hoods, these stoves include a hidden rear vent that emerges when turned on. Stoves installed on kitchen islands and wall ovens also may increase the value of your home.

Non-range Oven in a Restaurant

Sometimes ranges don't suit all the needs of restaurants with special baking needs. These high-tech ovens with digital displays, proofing capabilities and time and temperature presets are helpful in bakeries where different types of doughs require specific heat and moisture conditions. Pizzerias make use of large, wide deck ovens that can be stacked on top of each other and reach temperatures higher than 600 degrees to achieve a crispy crust.

Considerations

Ultimately, whether to buy an oven or a range depends on the space inside your kitchen and what you intend to use it for. If you have a smaller kitchen and do only some light baking and roasting, a range would be a better idea to save space and increase your work area. If space is not an issue in your home, a non-range oven and stove could increase the aesthetic and monetary value of your kitchen.