What Is A Dual Fuel Cooker? – Everything Explained
If you’re shopping around for a new cooker or range cooker for your kitchen you may have come across the term dual fuel. But what exactly is it, and is it the best choice for you?
In this post, I’ll explain what a dual fuel cooker is, its pros and cons as well as answer some popular questions about the topic.
Let’s get into it!
What Is A Dual Fuel Cooker?
A dual fuel cooker uses both gas and electricity to power/fuel the cooker. In most instances, it will use gas to fuel the hob or cooktop on top and electricity to power the oven below.
It is called dual-fuel as it uses two types of fuel/power rather than a single type, such as an all-electric powered cooker. In this instance, the hob/cooktop would be an electric ceramic or induction top as well as an electric powered oven underneath.
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How does a dual fuel cooker work?
The gas hob is connected to the natural gas pipeline. Turn one of the knobs and listen to it click until the flame catches. Your pans get instant heat, so you can quickly sear or fry without waiting for the pan to warm up. When the dish is done, turn off the flame. There is no need to move the pan to a cold burner as the open grate design does not store the heat like an electric hob.
The ovens are located directly under the hob/cooktop. Most dual fuel cookers have two ovens, giving a good oven capacity and allowing you to cook a roast and a separate dessert at different temperatures and times. Some upscale versions include a warming drawer, able to hold food at temperature while you serve starters.
The oven is hardwired into your home’s electric power supply. An electric convection oven is less likely to have a cold spot anywhere in the oven cavity. There is no need to turn your cake or cookies halfway to ensure an even bake. They also offer a more consistent bake even during the humid summer months. Many dual fuel cookers also include a grill for fast searing of steaks.
Most professional kitchens feature this dual-fuel combination, either as an all-in-one cooker/range or with the hob separate from the ovens.
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- One Appliance for All Your Cooking Needs: A dual fuel cooker means there is no need to walk from your hob to the oven to check on the roast. Most models feature dual ovens, fans, programmable timers, and a grill.
- More Predictable Results: Instant heat on the hob and consistent temperatures inside the oven mean that you are more likely to get the same result each time you cook a particular dish. There is no waiting game to warm up water and no guessing game for whether the bread is done yet.
- Preferred Cooking Methods: It’s often cited that chefs across the world prefer gas hobs and electric ovens to produce their award-winning dishes. You can finally duplicate their efforts with the right tools in your kitchen. (although induction hobs are definitely becoming more popular).
- Slightly Higher Price: You will pay a little more for a new dual fuel cooker compared to a single-fuel cooker or separate hob and oven. However, prices continue to drop as these cookers gain in popularity.
- Installation is More Complicated: The cooker will need both a plumber and electrician to install the connections for electric and gas. This may double the labour costs.
- Uses More Floor Space: While there are a few built-in dual fuel designs, most of these cookers are freestanding. You will need a spot at least 60 cm and up to 120 cm wide to fit it in your kitchen. A built-in hob and oven fit right into your existing worktop design.
- Harder to Clean: A gas hob does not have a sealed surface like the electric versions. Food will drip down through the grate and cook onto the hob surface. Cleaning a gas hob takes some serious elbow grease, no matter how careful you may be.
How much do dual fuel cookers cost?
You will pay a little extra for a dual fuel cooker compared to a regular gas or electric range, but not that much more.
You can find a basic freestanding dual fuel cooker for about £500. If you want a few extra bells and whistles or a designer colour, you can spend up to £1,200. An all-electric or all-gas range cooker costs from around £350 and similarly can go up to £1000 or more.
Remember that you will need both a gas and electric connection for installation. That may add an extra few hundred pounds to your order if you need to hire two contractors.
Are dual fuel cookers any good?
Home chefs and bakers love dual fuel cookers as it gives you the best of both worlds. The gas hob provides quick and accurate flame control. You can sear, fry, and simmer with ease.
The electric oven gives you more consistent heat and humidity for precise baking results. No new technology is featured on a dual fuel cooker, so you can expect it to last as long as your old single-fuel cooker.
Alternatives To Dual Fuel Cooker
If you don’t have room or the best layout for a freestanding dual fuel cooker, you can still opt for a gas hob/cooktop and built-in electric oven(s). Rather than being together in one appliance, you can separate them across your kitchen.
It’s very popular at the moment to have your hob/cooktop on an island and then have your ovens in a tall cabinet as part of a run of kitchen cabinets. You still get both fuel types but with more flexibility of where you locate them within your kitchen design.
If your home does not have access to a gas supply and you still want instant heat for cooking, consider looking at an induction cooktop.
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What Is A Dual Fuel Range?
A dual fuel range is a range cooker that features both a gas cooktop (or hob) and electric ovens. Combining both fuel types into an all-in-one freestanding appliance.
The term ‘dual fuel range’ is also used to describe dual fuel cookers as well as dual fuel stoves. Although very similar, a cooker or stove is typically a smaller cooktop and oven combination appliance around 60cm wide. Whereas a range cooker is usually wider, typically 90-120cm in width.
What is the difference between a dual fuel range and a gas range?
A dual fuel range will use both gas and electricity power sources to heat and cook your food. It will use electricity to power the ovens and gas to fuel the burners on top.
You will need both gas and a larger 230 V electrical supply to run the appliance. As the electric ovens will require more power than a standard 13 amp plug socket (UK). Typically they require between 32 – 50 amps.
Whereas a gas range will rely solely on gas to cook your food in the oven and fuel the gas burners on the gas cooktop above. You will still need both gas and electricity supplied. However, the electrical supply will most likely only require a regular 13amp power supply, for the igniter.
Is there a Discount for Using Dual Fuels?
Many electric and gas providers throughout the UK offer a discount for customers that use both electricity and gas in their homes. The discount may help to offset the extra costs associated with buying a dual fuel cooker and its more expensive installation.
Do some comparison shopping to find the best deal for your home. And while gas heating is being phased out as a new home heating fuel by 2025, it is still an approved fuel for gas hobs.
There you have it! Everything you need to know about dual fuel cookers.
For many, a dual fuel cooker is the best of both cooking worlds combined into one stand-alone appliance. However, you’ll likely be paying a premium to have both fuel sources. Not only in the appliance cost but in the preparation and installation of the appliance too.
With a rise in the popularity of induction, many homeowners and home cooks alike are now considering the switch to all-electric cookers. Consider the pros and cons of each to decide which fuel type (or types) is the right choice for you!
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Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for around 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.