Know Your Range: Continued
6. Infrared broiler
A rectangular heating element at the top of the oven radiates energy waves through the entire cavity, heating food faster and more evenly than a conventional broiler does, with no pre-heating. Available only in gas models.
7. Steam option
In some dual-fuel ranges with two ovens, one can be powered by steam or have a "steam assist," either instead of or in addition to the electric coil. This produces moist heat ideal for roasting lean meats. Requires a water line.
Hefty dials, a signature feature of these ranges, should turn smoothly and afford pinpoint control of the burners.
One or more fans circulate heat within the oven cavity for even cooking. Standard in at least one oven.
10. Glide racks
Ball-bearing tracks, standard on most high-end ranges, let stainless-steel oven racks slide out smoothly—even when holding a 25-pound turkey. Not all racks are created equal, of course, so test them.