Best Small Ranges

Updated January 2021
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
18 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
117 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best small ranges

In terms of kitchen essentials, everything revolves around the range. This appliance combines burners and an oven to handle the majority of your cooking needs. For kitchens with limited space, however — such as those found in RVs, mini houses, and compact apartments — a standard-size range may be too large.

If you find yourself in this predicament, a small range is what you need. Small ranges are designed to fit spaces that are too tight for a standard range. Some of these are stripped-down versions of standard ranges with little advanced functionality, but others offer features such as convection cooking, a ceramic cooktop, and programmable cooking modes.

When choosing a small range, look at size, price, powering options, and features such as cooktops, broiler drawers, and controls. Not sure what you want or need? This guide examines your choices and offers several suggestions for ranges that are small on size but large on quality.

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Small ranges are typically freestanding appliances rather than slide-in appliances. A freestanding range is easier to install than a slide-in, and it offers you more placement options.

Key considerations

Power options

Your choices here are essentially electric or gas/propane. While cooks typically have a heat source they prefer, the existing infrastructure in your kitchen may make your choice for you. For example, if you do not currently have gas or propane service, you will probably want to opt for an electric small range rather than spend out to install gas/propane.

Size

Small ranges vary in terms of width and cubic feet. The width reflects the physical space that the range can fit into. For small ranges, this typically lies in the 20- to 24-inch zone. Cubic feet refers to the amount of space inside the oven. For small ranges, this is usually between 2.1 cubic feet and 2.5 cubic feet, although some may be a bit larger.

Appearance

You may want to choose a range that fits your existing décor. The options here are generally pretty limited: white, black, and silver are the most typical range colors.

Installation

Installation difficulty varies with small ranges. An electric range may simply plug in and be ready to cook. Gas or propane can be a bit trickier, and you may be better off going with professional installation for maximum safety.

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Did You Know?
While an electric range will usually boil water faster than a gas one, studies suggest that gas is a better way to bake foods.
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Features

Cooktops

The cooktop is where the burners are located. In small ranges, there are usually four burners, all with similar power ratings (i.e., you will not often find “power” or “simmer” burners on a small range). Some cooktops feature burners with removable cast iron tops while others feature ceramic cooktops. Cooktops that hinge up or have enclosed burners are easier to clean, as are ceramic cooktops.

Ignition

While you may be able to find an occasional small gas range that uses pilot lights, the majority feature electric ignition, which requires a standard outlet to be nearby. Electric small ranges use electric ignition.

Broiler drawers

Standard on the small range is a broiler drawer located below the oven. However, the purpose of the drawer can vary. Some ranges use the drawer to broil foods. Others use it for storage (you actually broil within the oven). Ranges with broiler drawers that broil usually include some type of broiler pan, while ranges with drawers for storage may or may not include a broiler pan.

Oven window

Glass oven windows are standard on the majority of small ranges. The window is there for you to keep an eye on your food while it cooks. For small ranges with windows, be sure that the window is large enough to be useful.

Knobs

The knobs that control the burners and oven of a small range are usually simple and straightforward. While rare, some ranges include knobs with programmed cooking modes. Knobs and other control elements should be sturdy enough to hold up over time.

Digital clock/timer

Standard on larger ranges, digital clocks and timers also show up on some small ranges. These can help you to keep track of your food as it cooks.

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Did You Know?
Like standard ranges, small ranges usually include dual adjustable racks inside the oven to provide flexibility in the size and placement of food to be cooked.
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Small range prices

Budget: Small ranges under $750 are generally the smallest of the small, offering little in terms of features. Ranges in this price zone tend to be simple in design, offering little more than four burners and an oven/broiler. Gas ranges are more common at this price point than electric ranges.

Mid-range: Between $750 and $800, you will find larger ranges in the “small” category. More features may be included, such as a clock and timer.

High-end: Small ranges in the $900 to $1,000 range can reach up to 24 inches in width and often incorporate advanced features such as convection cooking and a ceramic cooktop.

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Did You Know?
While rare, some small ranges include a convection cooking option. A fan circulates air within a convection oven, resulting in a more even heat distribution and decreased cooking times. On the downside, it will also add to the cost of the range.
Staff
BestReviews

Tips

  • Determine whether you will be using your range with gas or propane. Make sure the range will work with what you have and that you have the proper conversion kit to install and use the range with your gas or propane. If the range does not ship with a kit for use with your fuel source, you will need to purchase your own. Note that even gas/propane range will still often require electricity for features such as the oven light and electronic ignitors.
  • If you do a fair amount of baking or other oven cooking, seek a larger cubic foot capacity. While you may only gain a few inches, this can be significant if you tend to load the oven up on a regular basis.
  • If you are buying a small range, know what the power requirements are. While gas ranges typically only need 115V to run the oven light and ignitors, full electric ranges usually need 220V. If you are not wired for the proper voltage, you will need to add extra to your budget to have an outlet professionally installed.
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Standard ranges are usually around 30 inches wide, while small ranges run closer to 20 inches wide.

FAQ

Q. Which is better in a range: gas or electric?

A. While the choice between gas and electric often comes down to personal preference or existing infrastructure (or in the case of gas, lack thereof), there are some differences between the two which may tilt the scale if you have a choice.

Installation can be much easier with an electric range, whereas gas ranges often require professional installation. Electric ranges usually boil water faster, simmer more effectively, and broil better than gas ranges. On the other hand, gas ranges heat up faster and can provide cooks with better control over the cooking heat. If you live in an area with frequent power outages, gas will also have a leg up over electric, allowing you to cook regardless of whether the lights are on or not.

Q. What do I need to know about cleaning my small range?

A. You will typically not find a self-cleaning option in a range of this size, so all cleaning will need to be done manually. Warm water, mild detergent, and a cloth or soft scrubbing pad will usually suffice for the exterior, while spray-on oven cleaner will help to keep the interior clean. Follow all manufacturer recommendations when cleaning your small range.

Features such as sealed burners or a ceramic top can be a tremendous help in terms of keeping your range clean.

Q. What is the difference between a radiant cooktop and ceramic cooktop?

A. Small electric ranges typically have either a radiant or a ceramic cooktop. Radiant elements transfer heat through the bottom of the cookware, usually via a coil. Ceramic cooktops feature a smooth ceramic glass surface with hidden heating elements. Of the two, ceramic provides more consistent heat and is easier to clean, but it can be much more difficult to repair if something goes wrong. Ranges with ceramic cooktops are also much more expensive than those that use radiant elements.

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