All the range – How consumers are embracing statement range cookers

KitchensFeatures Mon 18th Dec 2023 by Nicola Hanley

All the range – How consumers are embracing statement range cookers

All the range – How consumers are embracing statement range cookers

Feature by Nicola Hanley | Mon 18th Dec 2023

Nicola is an award-winning journalist who has been writing about interiors for 15 years. A former editor of Essential Kitchen & Bathroom Business magazine, she has also worked in PR and is now a freelance writer specialising in kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms. More

Technology-rich range cookers with stunning good looks are increasingly sought-after – Nicola Hanley looks at the latest launches and gets the low-down on the state of the market.

“Range cookers are still seen as the iconic piece in a kitchen. For those who love entertaining, there’s nothing quite like the culinary theatre of a luxury range,” says Jenny Hyatt, sales and marketing director at Middleby Residential, which is the parent company of La Cornue. “Homeowners are looking for handcrafted pieces that offer a combination of superb design and build quality alongside functionality that would be at home in a chef’s kitchen.”

Available with solid, pictured, or glass doors, Ilve’s Majestic range cooker features a multifunction oven with 15 functions and temperature ranges between 30°C and 320°C. This 120cm model with Fry-top is A+ rated for energy efficiency and has a full-width, soft-close storage drawer

Tom Harris, sales director of KitchenEX, the UK supplier of Italian brand Ilve, says there has been an increase in demand for multifunctional range cookers with smart features and that more buyers are investing in premium models since the pandemic. “Many consumers are opting for a luxury range cooker and use this as the inspiration for their whole kitchen colour scheme.”

Finished in Smeg’s new Full Black finish, the contemporary 90cm C9IMN2 single cavity range cooker boasts a large 115L oven with five cooking levels. Its Circulaire function prevents flavour transfer when cooking multiple dishes. It also has a Vapour Clean function and a five-zone induction hob

Lucy Dunstan, Smeg’s product manager, agrees. “We are seeing a trend towards investments in higher-quality appliances with multi-purpose features.” She also notes the consumer preference for matching appliances to create a coherent kitchen design.

Featuring black glass-fronted oven doors and ergonomically designed handles, Aga’s new Era range cooker is ideal for contemporary kitchens. It has an induction hob and a cast-iron hotplate as well as a fan oven and two cast-iron ovens, which use radiant heat to cook food

“When it comes to style, consumers are looking for designs that complement their kitchen’s aesthetic,” says Kathryn Lowe, marketing manager at Aga. “This might be a sleek, minimalist look – such as the new glass Aga Era – or a more traditional cast-iron model.”

The 140L oven within Fisher & Paykel’s 90cm OR90SCI6B1 Freestanding Range Cooker with Induction cooktop has 10 functions, including Rotisserie, Pizza, Bake and Fan Grill. The five cooking zones on the induction hob can be combined to form SmartZones to suit a variety of pan sizes

Tom Harris says that KitchenEX is currently seeing a surge in popularity of more classical designs: “For the first time since Ilve UK launched 11 years ago, traditionally-styled range cookers are significantly out-selling their contemporary counterparts.”

Rangemaster’s Mineral Green finish is seen here on the Classic FX 90 dual fuel range cooker, which features traditional styling and a five-burner gas hob. The multifunction oven has a 114-litre capacity and consumers can choose from chrome or brass handles and controls

As the trend for personalisation in the kitchen continues to grow, homeowners are also increasingly embracing colour, which has resulted in manufacturers offering range cookers in a plethora of shades and luxury finishes. “Range cookers serve as the perfect canvas to add that splash of colour and allow for individual expression,” says Robert Stein, product manager for appliances at Rangemaster. “Our Earth Collection palette, especially Mineral Green, continues to resonate with homeowners for its calming ‘bringing the outdoors inside’ feel.”

Dark earthy tones are proving popular at Smeg, which has recently launched its Matte Black finish for an elegant aesthetic.

Currently one of Stoves’ most popular models, the Sterling Deluxe 1100Ei ZLS has a fully zoneless induction hob, which the company says was a world first on a range cooker, with space for up to 6 pans. It also has a conventional oven and grill, multifunction main oven with TrueTemp digital thermostat, fanned second oven and dedicated slow cook oven

Across the board manufacturers agree that in terms of technology, induction has become big news. “Induction range cookers are the only fuel sector still growing in value,” says Steve Dickson, head of marketing at Glen Dimplex Home Appliances. “When consumers reinvest in this category, they are looking for technology that is safer, smarter, faster and greener.”

The Castel 60 is La Cornue’s smallest ever model and the first to be fitted with a four-zone touch control induction hob. The latest addition to the Château range, it comes in 40 colours, including Graphite, pictured, and 16 trim options. The electric vaulted oven has a 58-litre capacity and is A-rated for energy efficiency

Rangemaster is also seeing sales of electric range cookers with induction hobs grow ‘significantly’ year-on-year. It’s a similar story for KitchenEx’s Tom Harris although, he says, induction is still not as popular as gas: “Gas is still favoured in the UK with 70% of range cookers featuring these hobs.”

Designed to bring warmth and style to the kitchen, Everhot’s 160i features four full ovens with two top grills. The hob includes traditional double simmer and hot plates either side of the two-zone induction hob and provides space for up to 10 pots. It comes in 20 colours, including this Marine Blue

This could change over the coming year suggests Rangemaster’s Robert Stein. “Over the next year or so, the shift towards induction hobs will be much greater as consumers become more educated on the practical and efficiency benefits that the fuel type can offer.”

One of Leisure’s top sellers, the black CK90F32K is a 90cm dual fuel model featuring two large fan ovens (63L and 79L)  and a top grill. The gas hob’s five burners includes a wok burner

Glen Dimplex Home Appliances’ Steve Dickson agrees. “Induction technology will continue to improve and also reduce in cost based on scale and more efficient manufacturing methods so it is a market that will continue to grow.”

Combining retro styling with modern technology, the Rayburn Ranger is ideal for contemporary or classic kitchens. It comes in a choice of colours, including Tomato, pictured, and has two large-capacity radiant ovens, a warming oven and a grill, all of which operate independently. It also has a cast iron hotplate as well as a two-zone induction hob

It’s an exciting time for the range cooker market, which is “poised for further innovation” according to Aga’s Kathryn Lowe. “We can expect to see advances in eco-friendly design and functionality, as well as options to create a more bespoke feel,” she says.

Tags: kitchens, features, range cookers, rayburn, smeg

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