Wall double oven versus 48 inch range

lniaFebruary 5, 2012


We are in the design phase of our home and am currently debating 42, 48 range versus 36 range with wall double ovens. Any pros and cons you can share and.or what to consider as I choose between the two? Many thanks!

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Is there such a thing as the 42" range you mentioned? Anyway, the topic of range vs. rangetop/separate wall ovens has come up quite often on the forum. I personally favor a 36" rangetop (note, I did not say "cooktop", I said "rangetop", i.e. with the controls on the front) with separate wall ovens. You do not mention what kind of cooking you do, or for how many. It would be helpful if you would provide that information. If you are cooking for a lot of people many nights a week, you might want a larger rangetop than 36" wide, but most people find they use 4 burners at most, and have the two extra burners either for extra landing real estate, or on those occasions like holidays when they are cooking for a lot. I like wall ovens because it means less bending, simple as that.

Remember that when you are purchasing a 48" range, you will need an exhaust fan at least that wide if not wider. So you will have to forego upper cabinet space to fit the wide exhaust hood. Also large exhaust hoods are quite expensive. You also better make sure you have the appropriate ductwork for a 48"-54" hood.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 11:47PM
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Hi Linia,
It must be very exciting to plan a new home from the ground up! My opinion is that a range is always the best space saving answer. It depends on what your lifestyle is... how many do you cook for and how often, how much space are you working with? 48" takes up a lot of realestate. Are you young and find bending down to an oven Ok, or is the bending becoming an issue? Do you have young children? So much depends on what your cooking and famuly needs are. Please tell us a little bit more about your lifestyle and cooking style.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 12:04AM
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Hey Linia,

I was where you were about a year ago, so here's a couple of things I found. We ended up with a pair of 30" ovens and a separate cook-top.

My first piece of advice may be counter-intuitve, but don't loose too much sleep comparing the price differences between the appliances too hard. While the double ovens and cook top are often significantly cheaper than a 48" 'pro-sumer' range (especially a viking or wolf dual-fuel, but even Blue Star and Capital), and as noted below the hood savings can bee significant, keep in mind that the ovens will require a separate cabinet, and the cook-top will require a cabinet as well. As you know or will find out, those are two rather expensive pieces of furniture (although you will gain a bit of storage space with them).

The separates get you ergonomic benefits, as you don't have to bend down to get access to the ovens. You also have flexibility in selecting different brands of ovens and cooktop, so you can get induction or special wok rings or whatever you like (I think only Viking makes a 42" induction range), or if you cook on the stove a lot more than use ovens, you can splurge on that element or vice versa. It also allows some more possibilities with traffic in the kitchen.

As my fellow Chicagoan noted above, you can use a smaller hood. Finally 2 30" ovens, or even 2 27" ovens will give you more oven capacity than a 48" (where you typically end up with a 30" oven and a 16" oven). Safety factors if you have youngsters (or plan to get them)also tend to separates.

The plus's for the range is the fact that you have an instant centerpiece for the kitchen, because its a big honkin piece of (in my opinion) good looking metal (if you don't like the look-then go with the double ovens). It puts all your cooking activities in a single location. While you may need a bigger hood (and some of the things associated with it, look up the phrase "make up air" or MUA around here, make the hood prices in and of themselves look cheap), the hood also ducts any smoke or fumes from the ovens, so if you tend to create smoke or fumes when using your oven, that's a plus.

Good luck and have fun choosing.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 12:43AM
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I agree with BLF2011 - separates, as s/he calls them, give you much more flexibility, not only in your design options but also with your cooking - you can do elec wall ovens and gas or induction cooktop.

Also, think about the energy savings when you don't have to heat up a large oven for a single pie.

I also found those range doors surprisingly heavy (okay, the Wolf), and didn't love having to bend down - I know I sound either lazy or old, but actually I'm neither. Just wall ovens are more efficient, even in how you use your own energy!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 7:51AM
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I agree about the range doors - and I am not lazy or old either ;). Another thing to consider, which concerned me, is heat up time. I have heard negatives about the 48" range large oven heat up time - taking forever. Most people seem to use the small oven most of the time, but I was afraid it wouldn't work with the way I cook (sheet pans of roasted veggies, for example), and I would be stuck waiting on an oven to preheat.

I have a very old coil, exposed element range now which heats up in minutes and I didn't want to have to turn on the oven 30 minutes before I cook.

I opted for the Wolf rangetop and an Electrolux oven and speed oven, and Miele warming drawer (although apparently the Electrolux oven also has a warming function which I didn't realize til after I pulled the trigger on the appliances).

None are installed yet - we are probably moving in April, so can't report on the functionality but I do know it was a tough decision!!!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 8:08AM
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Just to add to my previous post, BLF2011's comment that "the cook-top will require a cabinet as well" made me think of another point for you to consider. I had mentioned that I prefer a "rangetop" to "cooktop". One difference between a cooktop and a rangetop is that a rangetop just drops down on top of your cabinetry in the 36" space (or 30" or 48" whichever you choose) between your countertops. On the other hand, a cooktop will require the top of the counter be cut out specifically to the shape of that cooktop. Should you decide to replace the cooktop in the future, you may have trouble finding another with that exact fit to the counter cut-out of the previous one. Meanwhile a rangetop is a set size, and can be pulled out and replaced with another without concern of a cutout.

36-inch Gas Rangetop

36-inch Gas Cooktop

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 8:37AM
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I just went through the same debate. There is one major factor that made it mandatory for me to get the full range. I use the infrared broiler constantly, an electric broiler element would not do the job. Also- if you cook things that get smokey then you will be unable to use the wall oven broiler without getting the room smokey- unless you are able/willing to get a seperate vent system.

As an example I had lamb chops under the broiler last week. The smoke that came out of the oven when I opened the door was significant but the fan caught nearly all of it (the chops came out awesome!). I simply could not cook those in a wall oven.

The other thing that played into our decision was the microwave. If I went with a double oven I would have to put the MW in a lower cabinet, which was a dealbreaker for me.

The downside to the range is bending over to use it (I have a bad back). If I need to move things around in there (as in I need to spend more than a few seconds) I often kneel or sit down. I also would have loved to has two large drawers under the rangetop to store pots/pans.

In a perfect world I would have loved a third (2 in the range/one wall) oven but that was not in the budget/space.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 11:01AM
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There are some excellent posts with various considerations so as you can see the answer depends on how you cook. I have a 36 inch range with a single 30 inch wall oven. I use the wall oven most of the time as it heats quickly and is waist high. I use the bigger oven when I cook for a lot of people and generally for items that cook for awhile. Another configuration I would consider would be a range top(not cook top) and two single wall ovens. You could mix and match each component that way. Double ovens also seem to have more problems and if one goes bad you might lose the function of the other one. If you decide on the 48" range make sure the little oven will hold your 9x13 pans. Some will not.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 11:22AM
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Thank you for all the wonderful advice! Based on your feedback I think it is best that I go with wall double oven and 36 range top. I like the idea of gas for range top and electric for the oven. Plus, it does seem the 48 would be more expensive and take up more space in the kitchen! We entertain about 2x's per month and cook dinners at home most evenings. Double ovens would be helpful for the times we entertain!
Again, thanks. One less decision to ponder.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 8:28PM
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