Breaking the Confusion: The Difference Between Cooktop, Oven, Stove, and Range

Breaking the Confusion- The Difference Between Cooktop, Oven, Stove, and Range

Meal preparation is one of the main reasons why every home must have a well-designed and functioning kitchen. Before serving the food for everyone to enjoy, it typically requires some hours worth of cooking, with the use of specific types of kitchen appliances – either a cooktop, oven, stove or range.

People throughout the years have started to use the four terms interchangeably to describe a particular device utilized for cooking meals. However, this misconception eventually became a popular belief, resulting in many household owners getting confused once they tried to purchase kitchen appliances or avail of a kitchen remodeling project.

Despite similar in terms of purpose, cooktop, oven, stove, and range have their own subtle differences. This article will provide each of the terms of a distinctive definition to enlighten everyone.


A cooktop is a type of cooking unit equipped with hot burners or plates and is usually used for boiling water and frying eggs on a pan. Also known as stove tops or range tops, a cooktop can be mounted on top of a cabinet or oven. Many homeowners today prefer a specific design of counter surface installed with this device.


Oven refers to a closed compartment, a box-shaped cooking unit designed for cooking, as well as heating foods. The oldest ovens are known to be owned by the people of Central Europe, dating back to as early as 29,000 BC. There are different variations of ovens such as the traditional earth oven (an oven that’s built by digging a hole in the ground) and its contemporaries like the countertop toaster oven and industrial oven.


Stove is often synonymous with oven, and it is because they basically serve the same purpose, which is to provide heat. But with a growing list of stove designs, it is safe to say that all ovens can be considered as stoves, but not all stoves can be regarded as ovens. For example, there are specific types of stoves such as coal stoves, wood-burning stoves, and pellet stoves that can only be used for heating certain items and not for cooking food.


Range is a modern form of cooking device that is powered by fuel. Range is commonly described as a cross between a cooktop and an oven. It is also a term that can be used universally because of its multipurpose features. As long as you have a stove, oven, or cooktop in one device, it can generally be considered as a range. The versatility of a range makes it a preferable cooking unit for smaller kitchens because of its space-saving capabilities.

The next time your kitchen remodeling contractor or home improvement designer asks which type of cooking unit you want, always refer to all of the basic definitions of these four so that you can identify the one that you really need and will suit your budget.

Are you in need of a kitchen remodeling contractor? Then you should check out Mr. Cabinet Care! Our company has been voted “Best Kitchen Remodeling Company” 13 Times. If you’re interested in upgrading the look and functionality of your kitchen to the next level, contact us today at (714) 961-1900 or visit our website



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