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What's the Difference Between a Slide-in and Drop-in Cooking Range?

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Whirlpool Drop In Range

Whirlpool Drop In Range

Photo Courtesy PriceGrabber
Question: What's the Difference Between a Slide-in and Drop-in Cooking Range?
When choosing a cooking range, slide-in and drop-in are two models which may appear to be similar, but each style has very unique design features with different installation requirements.
Answer: A freestanding range is the most popular with consumers, but for those who prefer a custom kitchen look, a slide-in range or drop-in model is a nice alternative.

A slide-in cooking range has contoured sides with a slightly-protruding cooktop, which allows the installer to slide it in between the cabinets, so that the cooktop actually rests on top of the countertop on each side. There must be cabinets on each side of this range model, since the side panels are not finished as found on a freestanding stove, but have alignment grooves.

Slide-in models usually have a bottom drawer below the oven for storing cookware. This model looks customized with the cabinetry when compared to a freestanding range.

Drop-in ranges require customized cabinetry and are dropped into the prepared space with a cabinet front panel at the bottom. This offers a very nice customized look to the kitchen. However, the drop-in range has no cookware storage drawer, requiring an additional cabinet or drawer to house your pots and pans. Drop-in models are not as easily found in retail outlets and may require special ordering. Market availability is limited.

Generally, both of these range models have no top dash and controls are conveniently placed at the front edge of the cooktop. These models may not appeal to young families since controls are within reach of small children.

Standard width is 30", with limited models available in wider drop-in or slide-in ranges. Always confirm physical measurements with the dealer or manufacturer, and provide these to the installer, along with the type of range you are planning on buying.

Other cooking range options include freestanding models or installing a cooktop in the countertop with a wall oven located in a cabinet. This kind of installation usually requires professional installation for the electrical and to ensure a good fit for the wall oven within the cabinetry. Sizes vary for cooktops but there is a wide range of element configuration available. Wall ovens vary in size so always ensure your kitchen area meets installation measurements and requirements before buying.

As for price, a freestanding range is more economical than a slide-in model and the drop-in is the most expensive, without considering range features. A drop-in range is usually installed during a kitchen renovation and requires preplanning along with cabinet purchases and installation. There is more brand variety for electric models, but some gas units may also be available.

The slide-in range featured is an Electrolux EW30ES65GS Slide-in 30" Range. Also featured is a Whirlpool RY160LXTS 30-in. Electric Drop-In Range.

Compare prices of drop-in ranges
Compare prices of slide-in ranges

Read More About Cooking Appliances:

Before You Buy a Range
What is Convection Cooking?
Appliance Set-Up Costs You Can Expect
What is Induction Cooking?
Cookware Resources
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