A stove, range, or as it's sometimes called, a stove range, is a stove top kitchen appliance used to cook food either with gas or electricity. Stove ranges rely upon direct heat to cook food. In electric stove ranges, the heat comes from coils; in gas ranges the heat comes from an open flame. Many stoves and ranges feature an oven attached to them, but increasingly people have been purchasing ranges and ovens separately to create two different workstations to prepare foods in the kitchen.
Kitchen stoves first appeared throughout Asia around 200 BC while Europeans cooked food over open fires up until the 18^th century. As stove ranges have evolved, they've switched from being heated by wood, by charcoal, by gas, by electricity and now, some are heated through the process of induction. Gas stove ranges started becoming a commercial success in the late 19^th century as more households began to gain access to gas lines. In the early 20^th century as more people gained access to electricity, electric stoves started competing with their gas counterparts.
Natural gas and electric stoves are the most common stoves in the Western world, but induction stoves that that use electromagnetic heat are becoming more popular. The choice between gas and electric stove ranges is largely based upon personal preference. Some people prefer gas stoves because the heat can be controlled more easily while others prefer electric because they claim that food is heated more evenly. Choosing a stove range for a house is dependent upon the type of energy available as both gas and electric stove ranges have very specific requirements. Newer electric and induction stove ranges feature smooth tops that are much easier to clean and subjectively more attractive than their predecessors.
Stove ranges can come in many different styles, shapes and sizes, and the correct stove range for each house is dependent upon the space available, the amount of food cooked and the money that can be spent on the stove range.