Q. My wife and I are interested in buying a new range. We want to donate our gas range and purchase a dual fuel. We are beginning to research dual fuel. What are the advantages and disadvantages? – Pete
A. A range is a kitchen appliance with both a cooktop and an oven. In the past, homeowners could only choose between all gas or all electric. Today there more choices: gas, electric, induction, and dual fuel. Typically, dual fuel ranges offer a gas cooktop and an electric oven.
Dual fuel is preferred among professional chefs because gas cooktops allow for a quick response and heat control accruacy along with the visual confirmation of a flame. An electric oven is favored because it gives better heat distribution, particularly when combined with a convection fan which circulates the oven air evenly and reduces bake time (although a convection fan is not exclusive to electric ovens).
Dual fuel ranges come with many features depending on the model. While 30″ is a standard width, sizes range from 24″- 60″. Choose between freestanding or slide-in, natural or propane gas, single or double ovens, self-cleaning or not, high altitude or not. There are additional options such as varying sealed burner systems with simmer control, continuous cast-iron platform grates, a large capacity oven, an infrared broiler, a warming drawer, a grill or griddle, a wok ring, electronic timers, and even a sabbath mode. Different finishes and knobs are offered but stainless steel is the most popular.
If dual fuel is ideal, then why doesn’t every homeowner have one? Therein lies the disadvantage: they are much more expensive than the conventional models. A duel fuel range can cost anywhere from $2,000 to an astounding $20,000. Moreover, if a conventional model is being replaced, there is a cost to powering a dual fuel. There would need to be both a gas and electric hookup. If you already have gas, chances are you would need an electrician to position a capable outlet or vice versa.
The appliances in your kitchen must conveniently satisfy your culinary needs. If you want a stunning, high-level performing range that is precise and consistent, then dual fuel may be the right fit. There are many brands to choose from depending on your preferences and budget. Here is a list of some (but not all) manufacturers that offer dual fuel ranges: Aga, American Range, Bertazzoni, Bosch, Dacor, DCS, Electrolux, Fisher & Paykel, Frigidaire, GE, Jenn-Air, Kenmore, KitchenAid, LaCornue, Thermador, Verona, Viking, Wolf. Check out these sites and more to continue your research.
Thanks for the inquiry! – Danielle