Stove Oven Range

Stoves, ovens, and ranges. Some people use the names interchangeable, some people talk as if they are different appliances. Most often, the average kitchen appliance includes both a stove and an oven – so it’s understandable that they can be called the same thing to refer to different appliances.

An oven is a container that traps heat to cook food. These may be freestanding, mounted in a wall or cabinet, or part of a combination unit. This definition also includes a microwave (or a microwave oven), toaster oven, solar oven, a brick pizza oven, and a Dutch oven.

A stove top or cook top is the burners upon which we put skillets, pots, pans, griddles, and woks. Whether the heat source is spiral elements, glass/ceramic top stoves with infrared heat, or gas – it is an open heat source that is not enclosed and used for cooking.

In a commercial kitchen or for specialty home kitchens, these may be separate appliances. But in most homes, a single unit can serve both purposes quite well. A stove top and oven combination is most commonly referred to simply as a ‘stove’, however the best description is “range” which definitively includes both the internal oven and the exposed stove top. Most people will picture the singular appliance regardless of whether you call it a stove, oven, or range – so there is no need to worry about terminology unless you are talking with a professional chef or other connoisseur of kitchen appliances.

Too Long, Didn't Read Version: Stove is the top burners, oven is the contained baking/broiling/cooking unit, and range is the combination of both.

-Marshall Tramp, CPI, RMP


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Marshall Tramp, CPI, RMP
Author: Marshall Tramp, CPI, RMP
Top Notch Inspection Services llc
Serving Eastern Washington & Northern Idaho