What Is A Dual Fuel Range?
Everything You Need To Know about These Hybrid Ranges
Ask any hardcore cook what their preferred type of range is, and you’re bound to get just one answer: gas. And you know what? They’d be wise to say so. For the chef, there’s really no substitute for a real flame.
Fire provides visual cues as to how fast something will cook, the temperature controls are insanely articulate, and as the hob surface stays cool, spilled food doesn’t cook onto it, which can really take the sting out of a clean-down.
Then again, if you ask the consummate baker in your life what sort of range they’d prefer, they’ll scream “ELECTRIC” in your ear before telling you that the dry, even heat of an electric convection oven is what gives a bake its crisp golden hue and perfect rise.
But what if you have your finger in both pies, so to speak? Is it impossible to balance your blazing passion for both cooking and baking? Must one discipline suffer so that the other can thrive? Well, if you have a dual fuel range, you won’t have to put either culinary venture on the back burner.
Dual Fuel Ranges Explained
Simply put, a dual fuel range combines the best of both gas and electric ranges. You get the real fire up top, allowing skillful sauciers to shine, and the electric oven below: a cake maker's dream!
The cooktop of a dual fuel range is connected to a gas line, while the oven simply plugs into your mains, amounting to a unique and wholly versatile kitchen assistant, one that can help you push your culinary chops to the very limit.
What Are The Advantages Of A Dual Fuel Range?
As I’ve already touched upon, dual fuel ranges bring a whole bunch of advantages to the kitchen table, no matter what you’re in the mood to make.
The cook in you will love...
- The real flames — Fire is a much more intuitive visual guide than any knob or dial ever could be, and it’s especially important to commercial kitchens.
Chefs simply don’t have the time to bend down and check out the marking on the dial whenever they alter the heat, so they rely on the flames to guide them through a service.
- Accurate temperature controls — You can be a lot more precise with gas cooktop controls, and the more precise you can be while cooking, the better the results are going to be.
It’s not that electric cooktop controls are all that inaccurate, but they’re certainly not as articulate as those found on gas ranges. With an electric hob, there will always be a small amount of latency between turning the dial, and the “burner” hitting the desired temperature, which brings me to my next point...
- Instant heat — Granted, electric cooktops do heat up pretty quickly these days, but they still take at least a few moments to hit temperature. With gas cooktops, that’s not an issue. Simply light them up, and they’re exactly how hot you need them to be.
- Easy clean-ups — As mentioned earlier, the cooktop of a gas hob doesn’t heat up all that much, which means spilled food doesn’t burn to the surface, and you don't have to wait a lifetime to clean it. Give it a few moments, wipe the surface down, and you’re clear to sit down and enjoy your delicious food!
The baker side of your soul will love…
- Lightning-fast preheating — Any baker worth their salt understands that preheating your oven is the single most important aspect of the baking process, so if it takes eons to do so, it can be a real drag.
Fortunately, in this respect, electricity is a much quicker thermal fuel than gas, so you’ll never have to wait around to get your cakes in the oven ever again, and the sooner you get them in there, the sooner you can eat them!
- Even heat distribution — Evenly distributed heat is essential to baking, otherwise, you’re liable to end up with a half-burnt, half-raw mess of a final product.
Electric ovens contain numerous heating elements situated all around the oven cavity, ensuring the heat is never more intense in one area than it is anywhere else.
What Are The Disadvantages Of A Dual Fuel Range?
As is the case with most things in life, there are also some drawbacks to consider if you’re thinking of investing in a dual fuel range.
Dual fuel is actually the most expensive of the three range types, and when you think about it, it does kind of make sense, as you’re getting the best features of each model.
Is A Dual Fuel Range A Shoo-In for You And Your Kitchen?
A dual fuel range isn’t exactly an affordable investment. These things cost big bucks; just check out the Cosmo COS-F965NF — that’s one of the more affordable ones, too.
What I’m driving at here is that you have to be dedicated to your craft to really make the investment worthwhile. If you do have the passion (and a sizable budget), then you should absolutely get a dual fuel range; you’ll love, love, love it!
There you have it, cooks and cake-makers — a dual fuel range is a hybrid cooking creation, a veritable Frankenstein’s monster of a machine sewn together with the best parts of both gas and electric ranges.