First, to understand what a drop-in range is, it’s best to look that all the different types of ranges. Have a look:
This is the most common style due to its versatile design and affordability. The oven controls are located on the backguard. They feature a storage drawer, warming drawer or oven. Installation is simply pushing the range in the space and connecting the gas line or electrical.
The most recognizable difference compared with the freestanding, is the lack of a backguard where the oven controls reside. Instead, all knobs and electronics are in the front. Slide-Ins traditionally have unfinished side panels so cabinets on each side are needed.
The cooktop part usually has a “lip” that overlaps your countertop to cover up the seam between the range and cabinets, so spills won't drip between the range and counter.
Slide-In vs. Freestanding Ranges
There are several new hybrid slide-in models that recently became available with finished side panels which can be installed at the end of cabinet runs.
These are great options when replacing a freestanding or slide-in range. Due to the different slide-in designs, installation is slightly different with each model.
History of the Drop-In Range
The first drop-in ranges were manufactured in the 1940's and 1950's and were supplied to one of the largest builders of the time. Campanelli Homes ordered tons of these ranges. Interestingly, they were designed to a 27" width.
Ranges are mostly 30" with the smaller ranges being 24" and 30". GE was and still is the only vendor manufacturing this product.
Drop-In ranges are simply slide-in ranges without the drawer beneath the oven.
They arem't as popular now due to the installation requirements. A bottom cabinet or shelf needs to be built along with the cabinets to accommodate the unit. Once the base cabinet is ready, the unit can be “dropped in” for a more integrated look in the kitchen.
Pictured above is an example of a Drop-In range by Frigidaire. You’ll see a cabinet base needs to built first before the range can be installed. You will need to build a storage cabinet drawer beneath or a matching toe kick.
Best Drop-In Ranges
There are not many left. There are two major companies still manufacturing them, the best would be Frigidaire and GE.
Unless you need to replace the 27" GE, you should reconsider buying a drop-in range. You cannot buy it in gas, induction or with any decent upgraded features.
Want to learn more about Electric Ranges, then get the Yale Electric Cooking Buying Guide with features, specs and detailed profiles of every electric range. Well over 130,000 people have read a Yale Guide.
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