How do you decide which stove to buy? Our budget is modest, but cooking is the family hobby. Our teens love it, too.
Chris in Boston
A modest-priced stove can work beautifully. Here's what to look for:
The wider the stove, the better, and the wider apart the burners are the better. These two factors give your pots some “play” room. A sealed top makes cleaning easier. Also wider ranges have bigger ovens.
Avoid bells and whistles which run up costs. You don't want a glass top (hard to keep clean and scratches easily), a convection oven (dries out most foods), or an induction range (special pots are often needed for it).
Gas is preferable to electric because it heats up and cools down faster.
If electric is your only option, go for coils, never solid metal plaques, which are the least responsive heat source available.
You want control knobs on the face of the stove, not on the top (hands get burned this way) and a well-insulated oven. I've not found a major difference between gas and electric ovens. Go with the more economical of the two, and enjoy the new family “toy.”