Smaller ranges?

cecilia_md7aSeptember 6, 2006

The thread about small refrigerators inspired me to ask about smaller ranges. DH and I need to replace our freestanding gas range, and if we downsize from the standard 30" model to, say, 24", we would gain enough room for a space-saving wastebasket in our kitchen. That way, DH wouldn't have to move the existing wastebasket every time he wants to sit down at the kitchen table.

Does anybody have experience with narrower stoves? I know that you can get 20" and even 18" models, too, but those seem like it might be too narrow to be practical.

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It depends on how you cook.

We cooked for quite a while on a 20" apartment gas range, and it did not feel particularly limiting. Then we moved to an apartment with a 24" gas range and found we had room for full size (14" x 16") cookie sheets. The next time we moved DW said she didn't want to go back to using a 20" range. Finally we bought our house and had room for a 30" range and found we had room for standard size (13" x 18") half sheet pans with enough surrounding space so we didn't have to rotate the pans halfway through the cooking time for even baking. When the time came to replace the range, and we didn't have room in the new kitchen for a 30" range, DW said she didn't want an oven too small for a half sheet pan. We found just one 24" range (Bluestar) with an oven that was marginally big enough. We ended up with a 27" wide Lacanche.

As far as the cooktop is concerned, as long as you keep the pot handles turned to the side, which you should do anyway, I don't think larger ranges have any particular advantage over a 24" range. The 20" ranges can be a little tight.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2006 at 2:31PM
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Because I really needed to use space as efficiently as possible in my oddly laid out kitchen, I looked for small appliances. Even though I moved the location of the range so that it wouldn't half block a door (!), the bulk of even the 30" ranges overwhelmed the space (all that backsplash and depth), plus the dumb stuff that I never use, like timers and clocks that never seem to work for long anyway.

So began looking at 24 inchers. Some were kinda shoddy, but I found a sweet little European range on sale that easily outcooks all but the most expensive larger ranges, is compact in appearance, and made to last. The oven is plenty large enough for a medium size turkey, and accommodates two staggered half-sheets or two medium pies. And the burners are sealed; the top is the easiest stove to clean I've ever had. I often have a soup pot, a skillet, a small pot, and a kettle going at the same time without undue crowding. It's good for a family get-together.

Even on sale, it was still fairly expensive, but I have never regretted getting it. I love it.

LOL-- I still don't even have real cabinets yet! In the works...

Dayle Ann

    Bookmark   September 6, 2006 at 8:15PM
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My mom's kitchen is too small for a 30" range. A 24" would fit, but there aren't many of them and those which exist aren't cheap. So she got a 20" range. She got a nice one: stainless steel, window for the oven, sealed burners,... She really has had to adjust to it, though: the oven does not heat evenly, the controls feel flimsy, and, worse, in her kitchen, there's no good place to put a hot pot once it's off the burner, which makes the lack of range real estate even worse. I think if you're prepared for the changes from a 30" range and really need the extra space, it would work out OK. But if my mom ever remodels the kitchen, that 20" will be a distant memory.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 9:30AM
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Just a thought, but I've found this to be very helpful as I remodel my pocket-sized kitchen. I've moved the standard-sized range into the basement, where it's actually never been used, but is available for the rare turkey that I've never made. :-) In its place I have a standard cooktop atop gloriously spacious drawers (IKEA). I also have a nice little countertop convection oven that's big enough for a standard pizza and does standard roasts and small cookie pans marvelously. I find I use it more since I don't have to justify firing up the capacious oven. Perhaps you don't have a basement or you bake lots of cookies all the time, but I love having that oven space as storage instead of a seldom-used oven! Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 12:18PM
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Dayle Ann, what brand stove did you buy?

I know that the usual big-box stores carry 24" Hotpoint and Premier gas ranges. I think there's a Kenmore model, too, although it may have been discontinued.

Consumer Reports has rated standard-size Hotpoints highly, but I don't know how well the smaller ones work. I've never heard of Premier - does anyone have any info on them?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 2:59PM
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FWIW, it may be worth looking for an older 24-incher to have restored. In 1992-3 I rented an apartment in a 1920s oh-so-Deco building and the kitchen with its skinny li'l apartment stove dated from the 1950s. That thing was ROCK solid, heated evenly, and responded beautifully. I do prefer having more "real estate" to work on, but if you need additional space for rare occasions like Thanksgiving you can supplement with a couple of hot plates or electric skillets.

Viking also makes a 24" range, but it's downright obscenely priced. Other brands I found on a quick search include Avanti, American Range, DeLonghi, Summit, Imperial, GE, APW, Bosch, and Capital. It might be worth asking over on both Kitchens and Appliances forums; you'll probably get a bias to the high end in Kitchens but it's still worth asking.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 6:18PM
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Premiere, according to Appliance Advisor builds "Basic no frills electric and gas ranges for people stepping up from coal." They're obviously not fans of the brand.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 9:04AM
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There are many more narrow range choices available in the US than there was even a few years ago. Aga, Capital, Viking, Five Star, DCS, Delonghi, Verona and Vulcan all offer 24" models. The narrowest Lacanche (mentioned above) is about 27" wide (and I WISH I had one!) and I've heard that Avanti is now bringing in its series of Elba ranges which come in narrower widths. Also check out the link below. The problem w/ the narrower ranges is that there's very little middle ground. You have a choice between pretty cheap or pretty expensive.

Here is a link that might be useful: Compact Appliances

    Bookmark   September 9, 2006 at 12:37AM
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My range (or cooker, as it is known in Europe) was made by Amica, a Polish company with a reputation for high quality. I don't know if they are still available in the USA, thought I'll put the link to the company's English language pages below. The equivalent of my model (basic) looks a lot different. Mine is a beautiful black with stainless steel accents.

When I bought mine, the value of the Euro was so much higher than the US$ that the higher end imports couldn't compete price-wise, and in our area there isn't much market for smaller units (I'm in Vermont). So the dealer was closing it out, and had it on sale.

As for quality, the oven heats quickly, and cooks very evenly (my test is that every cookie is done at the same time!). Also, the outside of the stove never gets too hot to touch, even when the oven has been on for hours. My daughter has a top-of-the-line GE, and it gets very hot on the edges by the oven door.

Like I said, this was really my one big slurge (except for having gas installed and a gas hot water heater installed, too). It was worth it.

Dayle Ann

Here is a link that might be useful: Amica free-standing cookers

    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 11:44AM
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The Appliance Advisor website that steve o linked to above says that Amica no longer imports to the US.

Thanks for the info, everybody!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 12:40PM
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I have a Bluestar 24" oven. The inside width is 20 inches, or 2 inches wider than the Viking. It's also deeper, but you can't tell by the specs, because Viking doesn't account for the convection fan. The Bluestar oven is almost as large as the Lacanche Cormatin mentioned above with a width of 51.5. cm, while the Lacanche is 53 cm. Or 20" vs. 20.75 ". The Lacanche outside width is more that 27 1/2 " and is deeper than a conventional 30" range. Not small but very pretty and cool.

IMO the Bluestar and the Capital are the best 24" gas ranges. The 24" Viking's oven is shallow because the oven door is inset, or flush to the sides, so the oven is tiny. The Bluestar is expensive, but about $400.oo less than Viking.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 11:52PM
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Dayle Ann...Would you happen to have a picture of your cooker.

Thanks you,


    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 8:39PM
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Almost all the appliances in Europe are smaller in most homes, and I have cooked very nice meals indeed in what would be a tiny stove in America. However, I cook a lot! Especially, I need oven space. My mother did get me a nice, large roaster to use for things like holiday meals. If space is an issue, built-ins are so great. I know you trade off cabinet and counter space for them, but it does take advantage of the vertical area and give storage space above and below.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2007 at 4:42PM
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Anyone have a cormatin? Would appreciate any feedback. About ready to put in order on classique 4 with electric oven. Any problems I should be aware of. thank you

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 9:42PM
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I have a 30" range, but my oven is smaller than a modern 30". I can fit a standard cookie sheet though, so I imagine it's more like a 26 or 24" wide oven. I wouldn't want much smaller, even though there's just two of use, I like to bake a full lasagna, etc and have left overs to freeze. I am a huge proponant of vintage ranges, mine has no bells or whistles and no extras to break! It is easy enough to use, although I will say that the vintage gas ovens are match light, so that can be a big deciding factor (as well as the pilot for the burners). However, I'd rather deal with that than electronics in my stove. Mine has seen probably 60 or so years of service and hopefully has that many more left. I can't imagine saying that about a modern range!! I believe the vintage ones CAN be converted to electronic ignition if one was so inclined.

My range (this was the craigslsit photo from the seller when I got it last year, where it lives in my kitchen I can't get as good of a front photo to show the smaller oven/storage area on the left):

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 11:59AM
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Summit has some compact models, including glass top electric and gas with sealed burners.

Here is a link that might be useful: compact ranges

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 10:04PM
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