A kitchen range, also called a stove, is the classic cooking appliance you see in most American kitchens. It combines an oven for baking, roasting and broiling with a stovetop, also called a cooktop, for boiling, searing and sauteing. Ranges bring the heat with gas or electric fuel. Dual fuel ranges feature gas cooktops and electric ovens for the best of both. Explore Maytag® ranges to learn more about what this kitchen workhorse can do.

Lasagna sheets boiling on an electric range

Why is a stove called a range?

How the term “range” became the word for the cooking appliance is largely unknown, though it likely dates back to the 15th century. Range, when used as a noun, originally meant a row or line of things. It’s been speculated that the word started being used to refer to a row of ovens in the large kitchens of wealthy homes.

 

When it comes to cooking appliances, the terms stove and range can be used interchangeably to describe that familiar appliance where all the action happens. Strictly speaking though, stoves existed before the modern kitchen range to heat homes and weren't always used for food preparation. Learn more about cooking appliance terminology.

Double electric range in a white kitchen

What is a range oven?

If you’ve heard the term “range oven,” it likely refers to a standard range. Appliance manufacturers don’t use this term because it conflates two unique things: a range and an oven. A range combines an oven and a cooktop, while an oven is either a part of a range or a completely separate appliance called a wall oven. Learn more about ranges vs. cooktops

Hand selecting option on a range's glass console

What should I look for when purchasing a range?

Convection cooking

Convection ovens include a fan that circulates hot air throughout the entire oven for optimal heating when you’re cooking on multiple racks at once. Some convection ovens also include a third heating element to enable fast cooking, like True Convection by Maytag.

Gas burner BTUs or electric element wattage 

Gas burner heat is measured by a BTU rating (British Thermal Units) and electric element heat is measured in wattage. Most ranges have burners or elements with different heat capabilities. Look for at least one burner with high numbers that indicate high heat, such as the Power Burner by Maytag which puts out from 15,000 up to 18,000 BTUs of heat energy, or the Power Element which can reach up to 3,000 watts.

Burner or element size and shape

Some ranges feature burners or elements designed for unusually shaped or extra large cookware. Look for ranges with dual or triple elements that you can adjust according to the width of the pot, like the Maytag® Dual Choice Element. Long burners and elements for oblong cookware are also common, like the Bridge Element or Oval Burner by Maytag.

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