Close-up of kitchen range burner knobs

What is a kitchen range appliance?

When you picture the common cooking appliance where you can both bake and saute, you are probably picturing a range. A kitchen range, also called a stove, brings together an oven and a stovetop/cooktop to keep up with all your cooking tasks. Ranges come in a variety of styles, sizes and fuel types to complement different cooking routines and kitchen aesthetics. Use this guide to learn more about kitchen range types and features, then explore Whirlpool® ranges to find the right match for your family.

Slide-in gas range between cabinets

Why is a kitchen stove called a range?

Over time, different terminology arose to refer to this classic cooking appliance, but a range and a stove are essentially the same thing and these words can be used interchangeably when talking about modern kitchen appliances. The term “stove” has a broader definition as well, also referring to home heating devices like wood-burning stoves. The term “range,” on the other hand, is specific to the more modern cooking appliance. While both terms are acceptable, appliance makers use “range” more often, so you might want to use this term when shopping.

Kitchen range appliances types

Within the kitchen range category, you have some choices regarding style, fuel type and features.

Freestanding range next to a slide-in range

Style: freestanding and slide-in kitchen ranges

Freestanding ranges are designed to either stand alone or install between cabinets, while slide-in ranges are built to slide between cabinets for a more built-in look. The most noticeable difference between the two is the presence of a backguard on freestanding ranges where the oven controls are located. Slide-in ranges don’t have a backguard and instead place the controls on the front of the range. Learn more about these distinct styles in the slide-in vs freestanding range guide.

Gas, electric and induction burners side-by-side

Fuel type: gas, electric, induction and dual fuel ranges

Gas ranges have gas heat on the stovetop and inside the oven. They cook food with an open flame and require a dedicated natural gas or propane line. Gas heat is known for its responsiveness: the flame can be adjusted instantly, allowing you to quickly move between heat levels. An open flame can also be used to flame-grill, char and flambé right on the stovetop.

Electric ranges feature electric heat on the stovetop and inside the oven. On the stovetop, heat is typically generated through metal coils, often housed in an easy-to-clean, flat glass surface. Inside the oven, heating elements are generally known to provide dry, consistent heat excellent for roasting and broiling. Learn more about electric vs. gas ranges

Induction ranges are technically electric ranges since they use electric power, but the stovetop heats differently. Induction stovetops generate electromagnetic energy that interacts directly with compatible cookware, turning pots and pans into their own heat source. These ranges are known for exceptional temperature control and ease of cleaning. Learn more about induction cooking

Dual fuel ranges bring together a gas stovetop and electric oven, capitalizing on the benefits of both. Dual fuel ranges are designed for those who want the responsive, hands-on experience of an open flame on the stovetop, but also prefer the dry, even heat of an electric oven. Learn more about dual fuel ranges.

Convection oven fan, range dimensions and a double oven

Additional kitchen range features and options

Convection cooking is available in all range types. A convection oven has a fan that circulates hot air around the cavity so you can cook foods fast and don’t have to move dishes around as you cook. Learn more about convection vs. regular ovens.

Various sizing options help you find a range that's right for your family and your kitchen layout. A standard range is usually 30 inches wide and features 4 or 5 burners or elements on the stovetop. A 36-inch wide range is also widely available and is more likely to have 5 burners or elements. Compact models for small spaces and large, commercial-style ranges are also available. Learn more about range sizing

Double oven ranges can give you more capacity and flexibility to cook all your family's favorites. A double oven has two separate cooking compartments that can be set to different temperatures, times and other settings like convection cooking. The lower oven is usually larger than the upper oven to ensure you still have space to cook large dishes. Learn more about the pros and cons of double ovens.

Shop Whirlpool® kitchen ranges

Shop select models below or learn even more about ranges by browsing Whirlpool brand's full selection of models, features and options.

Learn more about kitchen ranges

Appliance IQ

Want more answers to your kitchen and laundry questions?

Was this article helpful? Pass it on