What every best Ranges has:
- Reliable cooktop performance.
- A variety of burner sizes.
- Consistent oven temperatures.
Best electric range
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.
If you want a top-performing range that won't break the bank, the GE JB750SJSS (Est. $950) looks to be the top choice. It's not been reviewed by Consumer Reports, but CNET has given it a thorough test and comes away very impressed. "Sneaky good performance from an unassuming oven," Ashlee Clark Thompson says. Users agree; we found a couple of hundred user reviews at sites like Best Buy, Home Depot and Lowe's, and everywhere you look, user satisfaction is similar at around 4.5 stars.
Cooking performance is where a range needs to shine, and the GE JB750SJSS 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. CNET gives the special credit for its performance in cooking a test chicken using the oven's convection roast setting -- saying it compares favorably with what's seen in ovens costing more than five times as much. "The skin was golden brown and crispy, and the meat was as juicy as could be," Clark says. Broiling performance was a little on the slow side, CNET reports, but at 16 minutes to broil six hamburgers, "this oven was still faster than some more expensive ranges we've tested."
The GE JB750SJSS features five cooktop elements, including a dual-power 6-inch/9-inch one that can deliver up to 3,100 watts of power and a 12-inch/9-inch one that can deliver 3,000 watts. The other elements include two 6-inch burners that deliver up to 1,200 watts and a 6-inch center warming element that delivers 80 watts. The 5.3-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, backing up CNETs findings. It's a little smaller than you'll find on some competing ranges, but still should be sufficient to handle the needs of a typical family
At this price you won't find too many extra features, but a steam clean feature draws some kudos. The JB750SJSS has a stainless steel finish, but you can also find the same stove in a variety of other colors, including white as the GE JB750DJWW (Est. $950), black as the GE JB750DJBB (Est. $950), slate as the GE JB750EJES (Est. $950), black slate as the GE JB750FJDS (Est. $1,100) and black stainless as the GE JB750BJTS (Est. $1,100).
The reason the GE JB750SJSS was chosen by us as our Best Reviewed pick is because it's a good performing range that is also very affordable. However, if you're looking for an upgrade, and have a bigger budget, we found a few very well-reviewed higher-end models also have upgraded features. However, 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 Consumer Reports in the single-oven electric range category is the Kenmore Elite 95052 (Est. $900), which earns Excellent scores for both low and high cooktop temperatures, baking, and self-cleaning; Very Good for broiling and oven capacity. But what keeps the Kenmore 95052 out of our top spot is that user feedback is neither as robust, nor as positive. We spotted fewer than 125 reviews across all three of this range's color options and, while they aren't terrible, they're not quite up to the high ratings that the GE JB750SJSS 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. A few also complain that the smoothtop is tough to keep clean, but that's a common complaint with this type of electric range.
If you want a pro-style range at a price that's a little lower than many professional-grade ovens, look no further than the Frigidaire Professional FPEH3077RF (Est. $2,070). It's an Editors' Choice and Product of the Year winner at Reviewed, with an overall score of a perfect 10 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'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. Among the feedback we spotted was a 4.5 star rating at Lowe's, based on more than 425 reviews (including some posted at the manufacturer's web site).
But while the overall tenor of the feedback is positive, we did see some dissenting voices. CNET, for example, is less impressed, finding "too many minor annoyances for an appliance at this price," including some convoluted controls and excessive smoke when broiling hamburgers, thought that last complaint isn't widely echoed in user comments. Negative user comments about the Frigidaire FPEH3077RF don't follow any real pattern, although one 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. $1,560) is worth a look. It costs more than a freestanding single oven range like the GE JB750SJSS, but is relatively inexpensive compared to many slide-in models. It's the top-rated single-oven slide-in electric smoothtop range at Consumer Reports, where it earns a Recommended nod, and is an Editors' Choice selection at Reviewed, 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 few 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 at sites such as Best Buy and Home Depot, 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.
If you want the ultimate in flexibility out of your range, without breaking the bank, we highly recommend taking a look at the Samsung NE59J7850WS (Est. $1,560). It gets excellent feedback from owners and experts, including Recommended status at Consumer Reports, with Excellent or Very Good scores in every measure of cooking performance. It's also an Editors' Choice selection and Best of the Year winner at Reviewed, where Kori Perten largely applauds both performance and value.
This oven uses Samsung's Flex Duo system; unlike traditional double oven ranges, it gives the cook the option of using a single 5.9 cubic foot cavity oven, or splitting that space with a removable ceramic divider to create dual, independent ovens with capacities of 2.7 cubic feet for the upper cavity and 3 cubic feet for the lower one. To aid in flexibility, the oven features a split door system that lets you open the door for just the top cavity, or for the entire oven.
However, this flexibility comes with some limitations. For example, the top oven lacks a standard bake setting, Reviewed notes, meaning you need to bake with fan convection if using the top oven; true convection cooking is available in the lower oven, or the entire oven if you remove the divider. Also, while you can bake in the lower oven while broiling in the upper one, "the lower oven can't be set below 400°F—or 325°F if you're broiling on Low."
All of that means that there's a little bit of a learning curve in mastering how to use this double oven to maximum advantage, and Perten says that spending some time with the owner's manual is a must. However, that learning curve doesn't seem to hinder owner enjoyment too much. User feedback is quite good, including a 4.6 star rating at Best Buy based on over 600 reviews.
Of course, there's more to this oven than the convertible oven cavity. The five burner stove top includes two bridgeable 1,800 watt burners (which can be used independently or together to handle large pans and casseroles), a 6-inch/9-inch/12-inch tri-element burner with a maximum output of 3,000 watts, a 6-inch 1,200 watt burner, and a low-output center element warm zone. "The NE59J7850WS's main appeal may be its flexible oven space, but if not for the unique oven design, we'd be inclined to name its electric rangetop the star of the show," Perten says. CNET, which also gives this oven largely positive feedback, notes some unique oven modes including bread proof, dehydrate and slow cook. There's also a warming drawer -- something not often found in double oven models -- that can also be used to store the divider when not in use.
If you would be more interested in a traditional double oven range, last year's top pick in this category, the LG LDE4415ST (Est. $1,620) remains available and still worth considering. It gets excellent feedback from owners and experts, including Recommended status at Consumer Reports, 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."
However, some other experts aren't quite as impressed. CNET's 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)." Reviewed also gives it only so-so feedback. Jessica Teich says that it's "a fairly expensive double oven range with a great cooktop and two lackluster ovens."
Owners break the tie among experts, however, and break it in favor of the oven. For example, it earns a solid 4.5 stars at Home Depot, with most saying that the LG LDE4415ST is a beautiful range inside and out, heats quickly and performs excellently in all cooking tasks. They really appreciate 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 stainless steel as the LG LDE4415BD (Est. $1,710).
It's pricier, but if you want a slide in double oven, feedback indicates that the Samsung NE58F9710WS (Est. $2,000) is a top choice. Though it lacks the split door found in the Samsung NE59J7850WS (profiled above), it feature's the same Flex Duo design, which means you can use it as a single oven, or insert a divider to make it a double oven.
The Flex Duo system in this Samsung oven has the same pluses -- and minuses -- discussed when we covered the NE59J7850WS. It offers cooks the option of using a single 5.8 cubic-foot oven or splitting that into two independent ovens of 2.4 cubic feet (top) and 3.3 cubic feet (bottom). However, there are also some limitations on how each cavity can be used when the oven is split, so you'll need to overcome a small learning curve to get the most out of the oven.
Doesn't matter, though; most experts and most users give the Samsung NE58F9710WS top grades anyway. It's the top-rated smoothtop double oven at Consumer Reports, and earns Recommended status there. It's also an Editors' Choice at Reviewed and earns a 4 star rating at CNET, one of the better grades awarded any oven by that site. It's been on the market for a few years now, more than enough time to build up a track record among users, including a 4.6 star rating at Best Buy based on more than 180 reviews.
The Samsung NE58F9710WS draws praise across the board for its design and overall good looks. "While the Flex Duo System is undoubtedly the star of the show, the NE58F9710WS also features a slick "transitional" design that blends hefty controls with an innovative control panel," Reviewed says. "The overall look will match any kitchen, and the slide-in format gives the appearance of being part of the original cabinetry design."
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 (which sports the same compliment of burners found on the NE59J7850WS) and in the oven itself. Although, as noted, 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, slide in double oven upgrade.