If money is no object and you want the best, professionals say a dual-fuel range might be for you. These high-end ranges, which easily can run $2,000 or more, combine a powerful gas cooktop with an even-heating electric convection oven. Installation costs may be higher as well, because most dual-fuel ranges require a 240-volt outlet in addition to a gas hookup. In addition, most dual-fuel ranges are wider than conventional gas and electric ranges -- by 6 inches or more -- so fitting a dual-fuel range into your kitchen may require some remodeling.
At the high end of this already high-end product range, we found good overall reviews for the GE Monogram ZDP364NDP (*Est. $7,500). This model is sold only at luxury appliance showrooms (meaning you won't find this at your local big-box retailer), this 36-inch range combines a sleek, professional stainless-steel design with a host of pro-grade features. The gas cooktop has four sealed burners, ranging in power from 140 to 18,000 Btu. There's also an aluminum-clad center griddle that delivers high heat across its entire surface. The continuous cast-iron grates are reversible, so they can accommodate both flat pans and curved-bottom woks.
The 5.7-cubic-foot electric oven has six separate heating elements, plus a convection fan, for even baking. Its five rack positions can accommodate up to three full-sized baking sheets, and it comes with three heavy-duty, full-extension racks. Other features include a self-cleaning cycle and Sabbath mode (for starting a meal up to 24 hours ahead of time). Unlike many high-end ranges, it has knobs instead of a digital control panel. The warranty covers parts and labor for two years, the gas surface burners for five and the oven racks for life.
In professional tests, the GE Monogram ZDP364NDP performs better than most dual-fuel ranges, but not as well as many all-gas or all-electric ranges costing a fraction of its price. Its simmering performance is excellent, and its baking results are very good, but it's no better than average at high-heat cooking or broiling. Because it's not sold online, user reviews for this ultra-high-end range are scarce, but we did manage to locate a couple that were highly positive. The GE Monogram range is also available in 30-inch and 48-inch widths and in other styles that replace the center griddle with a grill or with two additional burners. Versions that run on liquid propane are available as well.
For those who don't require the heavy-duty design and sleek looks of a professional range, the Bosch HDS7282U dual-fuel range (*Est. $2,500) includes most of the same features at a significantly lower cost. It has a 4.6-cubic-foot convection oven, four burners with a variety of heat levels, continuous cast-iron grates and special heat settings for simmering delicate sauces. It also includes a couple of extra features the pricey GE Monogram range doesn't have, including a warming drawer and a temperature probe for roasting meats. This stainless-steel range measures only 30 inches wide, so it doesn't offer as much cooking space as the GE Monogram, but on the plus side, it will fit into a standard-width range opening without the need for remodeling. It also has a standard one-year warranty.
Good Housekeeping recommends the Bosch HDS7282U as a budget pick. (This is a 30-inch freestanding version of the slide-in HDI7282U, which was the version tested by Good Housekeeping.) The editors describe this range as even-cooking and easy to operate. The one user review we found at Epinions.com agrees, praising the HDS7282U's large capacity and beautiful browning. However, the user, a professional chef, expresses frustration with the burner sizes, saying that the simmer burner was not useful for him, and he found himself constantly shifting pots around to take advantage of the higher-powered burners.
The only other dual-fuel range we found that gets generally positive reviews is the KitchenAid KDRU767VSS (*Est. $6,060). Its gas cooktop has six sealed burners covered with cast-iron grates, ranging in power from 5,000 to 20,000 Btu. The single oven has a capacity of 5.1 cubic feet and is equipped with a self-cleaning cycle, dual-fan convection, steam-assist technology and a bread-proofing mode. This 36-inch range comes in a stainless-steel finish only. Its warranty covers the whole appliance for one year, with the gas burners, electric heating element and touchpad controls covered for a second year.
In professional tests, the KitchenAid KDRU767VSS does better than most dual-fuel ranges, with very good or excellent performance at all cooking tasks: boiling, baking, broiling and simmering. We found only a handful of user reviews for this product at AJMadison.com and Buzzillions.com, and they are mixed.
All of the users seem happy with this range's large cooking surface, high-powered burners and stylish looks. However, we also saw more complaints than we would have expected for a range this expensive. For example, one user finds the cooktop layout, with the high-powered burners at the front, inconvenient for simmering and says that the oven bakes unevenly and the racks do not slide smoothly. Another describes the range as unreliable, saying it has required seven repairs in six months. Although the other user reviews we found are enthusiastic, two serious complaints out of six reviews seems like a high rate for a product costing more than $6,000.