Freestanding electric ranges are commonplace in home kitchens. They are generally the most affordable type of kitchen range and testing shows the latest models do an excellent job of cooking all types of dishes. While the sky is the limit on pricing and features, you don't have to break the bank to get a reliable, sleek-looking range, some of the best-performing models are also among the most affordable.
Without a doubt the best sub-$1,000 range we found is the single-oven LG LRE3083SW (Est. $950). It's a Recommended choice at ConsumerReports.org, which gives it a score of 86 out of 100. Owners agree, giving it close to perfect scores in hundreds of reviews.
Cooking performance is where a range needs to shine, and the LG LRE3083SW doesn't disappoint. Professionals and users say the smoothtop cooktop heats up fast and does an excellent job in all areas, from maintaining a steady simmer to quickly bringing ingredients to a rolling boil. Owners specifically give the oven kudos for its even broiling -- an area where even expensive ranges can struggle. In particular, they say, steaks turn out evenly done and juicy, not mushy. Testing backs that up, the LRE3083SW earns a rating of Excellent in that category. But baking and roasting are just as good, users note, and those who have tested the oven's temperature using an oven thermometer say it's right on the mark.
The LG LRE3083SW features five cooktop elements, including a dual-power 6-inch/9-inch one that can deliver up to 3,200 watts of power. The spacious, 6.3-cubic-foot oven offers modes for convection as well as conventional cooking -- and the convection setting is reported as excellent by those who bought it specifically for that feature. There's no warming drawer, but a 7-inch 100-watt warming element on the cooktop serves the same purpose. The IntuiTouch control panel operates the burners as well as the oven and is well organized. A numeric keypad that offers precise control over oven times and temperatures is considered a plus. A steam-clean feature that reduces oven-cleaning time to just 20 minutes works well, though it's best used for light cleaning. The LRE3083SW is white; it also comes in black stainless steel as the LG LRE3083BD (Est. $1,100), stainless steel as the LG LRE3083ST (Est. $1,000) and black as the LG LRE3083SB (Est. $950).
As noted, there's a lot of owner feedback for the LG LRE3083SW smoothtop electric range and, while we found no performance complaints, there are a handful of reports of ranges that failed prematurely. As with most large appliance manufacturers, LG's customer service is not always helpful. There's no real expert consensus on this point, either; in one owner survey the LG brand is called out as more prone to needing repairs than some brands, but LG also finishes at the top of the latest J.D. Power and Associates survey regarding owner satisfaction with their ranges. The good news is that, from the reviews we saw, it's unlikely you'll ever need to bother customer service about this range.
The reason the LG LRE3083SW was chosen by us as our Best Reviewed pick is because it's not just a terrific range, it's also a very affordable one. However, if you're looking for an upgrade, we found a few very well-reviewed higher-end models that may have more features, although they do require a bigger budget. Also, keep in mind that prices on ranges will vary quite a bit -- retailers often offer significant markdowns when they put the appliances on sale, so, if you have your eye on one, it may pay to keep an eye on the price. We use the price that the range was at when we reviewed it, that price may not be the one you see.
The top pick at ConsumerReports.org in the single-oven electric range category is the Kenmore 95052 (Est. $1,000), which earns Excellent scores for both low and high cooktop temperatures, baking, and self-cleaning; Very Good for broiling and oven capacity. The 95052 has all of the features found on the LG, plus a warming drawer.
What keeps the Kenmore 95052 out of our top spot is the price, for one, and the relative dearth of user reviews. We spotted fewer than 80 across all three of this range's color options and, while they're mostly positive, they're not quite up to the high ratings that the LG LRE3083SW gets. Still, most say they love the look of this white, smoothtop range, which doesn't show smudges at much as black cooktops do, and that it's a top performer in all tasks. A few of the lower ratings we saw are from those who are displeased that it comes with a warming drawer instead of a storage drawer, but even more say they love being able to keep their food warm while they finish prepping the rest of the meal or while waiting for family members to show up. This range also comes in stainless steel as the Kenmore 95053 (Est. $1,100) and black as the Kenmore 95059 (Est. $1,000); both of those colors have a black cooktop.
If you want a pro-style range at a price much lower than most professional-grade ovens, look no further than the Frigidaire Professional FPEH3077RF (Est. $1,700). It's an Editors' Choice and Product of the Year winner at Reviewed.com, with an overall score of 9.6 out of 10, and is named the top electric range after testing at Good Housekeeping. The FPEH3077RF has the look of a slide-in but will fit into the space of a freestanding model. "It's a handsome range, covered in a flat expanse of smudge-proof stainless steel and topped with a black electric rangetop," says Reviewed.com's Kori Perten. "Handles are shiny and set into pro-style brackets—a look that stands on its own without mimicking pricier models."
But the Frigidaire FPEH3077RF's beauty is more than skin deep. "The oven and stovetop heat evenly, so you can bake perfectly browned cakes and steadily simmer a Bolognese without scorching," the editors at Good Housekeeping say. The stovetop has four cooking elements plus a keep warm element. The cooking elements range up to 12 inches and 3,000 watts, and two can be bridged to accommodate long cookware, such as a griddle. The 6.1-cubic foot oven has a convection cooking mode. Other features include a built-in temperature probe and a storage drawer. Owners appreciate the versatility that all of those features give the FPEH3077RF, with many saying it's particularly handy if you frequently cook for a lot of people.
We did see a few complaints about the Frigidaire FPEH3077RF, although only one that appears over and over: the timer is too quiet and sounds only briefly. Quite a few owners say they've had to purchase a separate timer or use their phone. In spite of that, most love the range, and say it works wonderfully. And, of course, all agree that it's very attractive.
While the Frigidaire Professional FPEH3077RF gives you the look of a built-in, it lacks the full seamlessness of a true slide-in, which has a slightly wider stovetop that sits on top of a kitchen counter. This styling makes kitchen clean up easier because it eliminates the gap between the stovetop and counter that typically winds up being a trap for crumbs and spills.
If your kitchen is designed to accommodate a slide-in electric range, the 5.8-cubic-foot Samsung NE58F9500SS (Est. $1,500) is worth a look. It costs more than a freestanding single oven range like the LG LRE3083SW, but is relatively inexpensive compared to many slide-in models. It's the top-rated slide-in electric smoothtop range at ConsumerReports.org, where it earns a Recommended nod, and is an Editors' Choice selection at Reviewed.com, where James Aitchison says the extra features and ease of use "more than justifies its hefty price tag."
This Samsung range is loaded with features, including a convection oven with a broiler, food temperature probe and LED display. There are five burners, including a warming burner, and a storage drawer. This slide-in range has been available for a couple of years now, enough time for it to build a good number of reviews to show that owners like it just as well as the experts do. In the hundreds of comments we evaluated, the vast majority say they are very happy with this range, adding that it's easy to clean and use and that they love the way it looks in their kitchen. More importantly, they praise its great performance in all aspects of cooking. The only real complaint we saw was that the black cooktop shows every smudge -- a not uncommon complaint about all black smoothtop cooktops.
The GE Profile series is usually at or near the top of most experts lists in every appliance category, and the 5.3 cubic foot GE Profile PS920SFSS (Est. $1,900) is no exception. It's a top slide-in range in professional testing, including at ConsumerReports.org, where it's the second highest-rated electric slide-in, although not by much -- it gets the same overall score as their top pick, but its distribution of Excellent and Very Good ratings are in different categories.
This GE Profile gets more praise for its attractive appearance than the Samsung, with Kori Perten at Reviewed.com saying, "With its straight edges, smooth ceramic glass cooking surface, and seven burner sizes; the stove is seriously streamlined." Owners agree, saying they love the way it looks, and that it's clean, sleek and modern.
It gets just as high praise for performance, though, with Excellent scores in testing for cooktop performance and broiling, Very Good for baking. The GE Profile PS920SFSS aces Reviewed.com's tests as well, reaching maximum burner temperatures of 774 degrees Fahrenheit quickly, yet also having the ability to stay at a steady low of 85 degrees for simmering. The oven was a bit fiddlier, but only when following the recipes on cake and cookie boxes, a bit of a practice curve that Perten says is easily overcome. Otherwise, she notes, "The PS920's oven baked every cookie and cake uniformly, with no hot or cool spots."
The GE Profile PS920SFSS is just as feature-rich as the Samsung, with five burners, a warming drawer, meat temperature probe and convection. Owners love the mix of burner sizes and types, but, as we see with all warming drawers, reviewers have mixed feelings; some love it, others would prefer a storage drawer where they can stash cookie sheets and other large cookware items.
If you want the ultimate in flexibility out of your range, we highly recommend taking a look at the LG LDE4415ST. It gets excellent feedback from owners and experts, earning a score of 85 out of 100 at ConsumerReports.org, with Excellent scores for cooktop performance and oven capacity; Very Good for broiling, baking and self-cleaning. It also earns raves at Good Housekeeping, earning an overall 4-star rating, with editors saying, "When it comes to flexibility and convenience, it doesn't get much better than the feature-rich LG 7.3 cu. ft. Electric Double Oven Range."
CNET is a little less impressed, though its 3.5-star rating still puts this LG model toward the top of the ranges the site has tested. Ashlee Clark Thompson complains that the range's specialized cooking modes over-promise and under-deliver, but adds that "Once you strip away the bells and whistles, the LG LDE4415ST is a solid range that covers basic cooking well. Opt for this model if you prioritize the flexibility that double-oven cooking brings or find yourself needing to cook chicken in a hurry (hey, it happens)."
Owners are equally pleased, saying the LG LDE4415ST is a beautiful range inside and out, heats quickly and performs excellently in all cooking tasks. They really appreciated the double oven, although most use the top oven, which is a bit smaller at 3 cubic feet than the 4.3 cubic feet lower oven, but they like having the flexibility when they have bigger crowds or are baking or cooking for an occasion. Even the editors at Good Housekeeping are impressed with this oven's suitability for families, saying you can cook chicken nuggets for the kids in one oven, while broiling salmon or baking in the other.
The LG LDE4415ST has more features than just a double oven, though. The stovetop has four burner elements, two low power and two variable power ones; the latter ones can accommodate pot sizes of up to 12-inches and offer power output as high as 3,200 watts. There's no warming drawer (nor a storage one because of the dual oven configuration) but there is a 7-inch warming element that serves the same purpose. The upper, larger oven has a convection feature, but the lower oven is a conventional one. The oven has a number of specialized modes, and many, like the Speed Roast setting, work well, while others, such as a Pizza mode, were a disappointment in CNET's testing -- Thompson suggests following the directions on the pizza box instead.
The LG LDE4415ST is also compatible with LGs SmartOven Android app, which lets you change oven settings using a smartphone or tablet; however, you have to have your phone right next to the range to connect, and its usefulness is very limited. This version is stainless steel, but it's also available in black as the LG LDE4415BD (Est. $1,700).
It's pricier, but the Samsung NE58F9710WS (Est. $2,000) is also the most versatile oven in this category. It's boasts a "Flex Duo" design that means you can use it as a single oven, or insert a divider to make it a double oven. That increases total capacity (it's 5.8 cu. ft.) if you have a very large item to cook, or a number of items that will cook at the same setting or temperature, while giving you the flexibility of a double oven if you want to cook different foods at different temperatures or settings. It's also a slide-in, and reviewers praise its sleek, professional styling, saying it's an upgrade that has added a lot of class to their kitchen.
The Samsung NE58F9710WS is the double oven version of our recommended single slide-in range, the Samsung NE58F9500SS (Est. $1,500), and has the same array of features. It's a top pick among double smoothtop ranges at ConsumerReports.org, gets a very positive look at Reviewed.com, and, CNET gives it an overall rating of 4 stars out of 5 -- a high rating from those picky reviewers.
Owners love this Samsung double oven too, particularly praising its custom looks and extreme flexibility. But performance is what's most important, and the NE58F9500SS doesn't disappoint. Expert and user reviewers give it high marks in basically all of the cooking tests it was tasked with, both on the cooktop and in the oven itself. Although it's been around for a few years, or maybe because it's been around for a few years, the NE58F9500SS looks to be a great choice if you want a really versatile, double oven upgrade.