What every best Ranges has:
- Reliable cooktop performance.
- A variety of burner sizes.
- Consistent oven temperatures.
Solid overall. Thorough testing at CNET concludes that the KitchenAid KFDD500ESS is a solid performer overall. It does have some bobbles -- in the biscuit test the KFDD500ESS baked the biscuits evenly across two baking sheets, but those on the bottom rack appeared under-baked. However, when it came to the chicken roasting test that was a different story. "The KitchenAid KFDD500ESS roasts a beautiful chicken," Ashlee Clark Thompson says. Broiling is a little on the slow side, but steady, producing burgers that "stayed juicy." Cooktop performance is squarely in line with what you can expect with most gas models. Ultimately, Thompson gives the oven an overall score of 7.4 out of 10, with a 7 for performance; which still qualifies it for a rating of Very Good. Her conclusion is that, "the versatility that the KFDD500ESS offers makes the range a worthwhile investment, especially if you do a lot of heavy baking. Owners agree, saying it does a good job across the board. It's particularly popular with those who describe themselves as heavy or frequent cooks and bakers.
Flexibility plus. While cooking performance is solid, the real reason that most will want to opt for the KitchenAid KFDD500ESS is the flexibility it offers. The twin ovens -- one with convection -- are both large enough to be useful, and together add up to 6.7-feet of capacity. In the oven cavities you'll find nice touches like a hidden bake element that results in an easy-to-clean flat oven floor. A glide rack makes moving hefty roasts in and out much easier. A steam rack lets you add moisture to your cooking -- useful when baking. The twin ovens, independently controlled, means that you can simultaneously prepare a variety of dishes, baking in one oven while roasting or broiling in the other. The gas cooktop is a five burner affair, with an oval center burner that's ideal for using under a griddle, and one is included. However, some user reviews dislike that it can't be manually lit during a power outage. Thompson also notes that the "Easy Convect" setting is anything but easy, requiring several confusing steps to activate
Limited track record. As a brand, KitchenAid freestanding ranges don't score very well in the latest J.D. Power and Associates survey of user satisfaction, finishing below the industry average of 822 with a score of 813. Another large survey of brand reliability puts KitchenAid gas ranges and electric ranges among those needing repair more often, but shares no data on dual-fuel models. As a rule, dual-fuel ranges get very little user feedback, however, the complaints that we saw (mostly originating from the KitchenAid site) are usually addressed personally by KitchenAid asking for the consumer to contact them directly, which indicates a responsive customer service experience. Like most ranges, this KitchenAid dual-fuel range is covered by a one-year warranty.
CNET is one tough critic when it comes to ranges, but finds quite a bit to like with the KitchenAid KFDD500ESS. Lackluster results when baking biscuits in the "easy convect" mode and slow times when broiling burgers are offset by strong performance in other tests, such as when roasting a chicken.
Dual-fuel ranges don't get as many user reviews as single-fuel ranges, but including feedback originally posted at the KitchenAid site, the KFDD500ESS gets an overall rating of 4.4 stars out of 5 from nearly 100 owners. Ninety-one percent would recommend this range. A couple of reviewers say that the gas stovetop can't be lit in the event of a power outage -- disappointing as that's not documented by KitchenAid.
We found only a handful of reviews for the KitchenAid KFDD500ESS at BestBuy.com, but owners there are even more pleased; it earns a 4.8-star rating. They say the oven is beautiful and they love the versatility.
While J.D. Power and Associates doesn't address specific models, the KitchenAid brand is included in its most recent survey with user satisfaction with their freestanding range. It ranks below the industry average of 822, with a score of 813.