Updated: June 8, 2015
Kitchen Range Reviews:With the recent windfall of home equity to many homeowners across America, the top home improvement projects have included remodeling kitchens. Kitchens and bathrooms seem to lose their style/function pretty fast and getting new appliances in a kitchen will definitely spruce things up. Buying a new range oven for your kitchen can be a daunting task with all the options and brand names on the market. A range is really 2 appliances in one - burners that sit on top of the unit and an integrated oven down below. Start with the basic measurements of what size you will need - determine the heigh, width and depth of the space your range will be going into. Electric ranges are generally less expensive than their gas counterparts Performance levels are consistent and you can use them for a variety of cooking purposes. Electric ranges are excellent when you want ver low heat (not always possible on gas ranges). Standard coil burners and smooth-top electric ranges are the 2 electric range options. Coil burners are more suspectible to spills (drip pans can eliminate cleaning hassles) and generally less expensive than smooth-top models. In smooth-top electric ranges the radiant elements are installed below a glass surface that is relatively seemless which makes cleaning these units easy. The radiant elements heat up fast and evenly.
Buying Guide - Gas ranges give you more precise temperature control, are more expensive than electric models to buy, but are cheaper to run. Gas range burners let you heat things up in minutes while top quality gas ranges have special burners offering higher, faster heat production for quick searing and boiling. Many gas ranges also have burners specially designed to hold a low heat that will simmer liquids/sauces. Look for a gas range that has sealed gas burners because they are much easier when it comes to cleaning up. Dual fuel gas and electric ranges are the best since you get the immediate response of gas burners and the even heat of an electric oven. Commercial style home ranges are starting to pop up in households as well with home cooks looking for the best equipment. You will need to think about capacity in a range too. Think about the # of people in your family: 1 to 2 people would equate to a 2-3 cubic feet oven capacity size, 3-4 people is 3-4 cubic feet, and 4+ people (large family) should have a 4+ cubic feet of capacity. Range styles are freestanding, drop-in ranges, and slide-in ranges. A freestanding range has finished sides and controls on the backsplash. Slide-in ranges have controls on the front section of the range and look just a built-in with a seamless finish. A drop-in range will have unfinished sides and may need to have some modifications done to it so it fits flush with your cabinets. Buying a range with a convection oven is mandatory these days. Convection ovens have lots of benefits over traditional ovens such as cooking meats up to 30% faster, having a 3rd heating element around the rear fan and you can do convection baking or roasting. Top kitchen range brands are Viking, Wolf, DCS, GE, Jenn-Air, Thermador, Frigidaire, Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana, Bosch, Dacor, Kenmore, KitchenAid and Hotpoint. Prices range from $350 all the way up to $5000+. Choose carefully and read our reviews below on the best ranges in each category. You can view most of these kitchen ranges and ovens in stores like Sears or HomeDepot. You can view a list of the top selling ranges online here.
Best Gas Range:GE consistently rates near the top of all consumer reviews with it's profile ranges. The GE Profile PGB910SEMSS Stainless Steel Gas Kitchen Range($1500) is our pick for best gas range. You get a self cleaning oven, large oven capacity (5 cubic feet), a deep recessed cooktop, a central oval burner, non-stick griddle, and PowerBoil 17,000 BTU burner. Users praise the warming draw and say the GE cooks evenly and consistently. The power burner works wonders in boiling water quickly. The GE JGB400SEPSS ($850) is another top seller from GE with precise temperature control, no hassle cleaning, and excellent heating speed. After reading reviews on Epinions.com we are happy to say that the Hotpoint RGB745 is the best budget range under $600. Produced in England, the Hotpoint has 1 high output burner and 1 simmer burner along with 2 9500 BTU burners. It doesn't have all the top end features on found on higher priced models, but baking, broiling, or simmering on the Hotpoint is easy. The best double oven gas range with convection is the GE Profile JGB918SELSS ($1950) - home chefs like the convection oven for its ability to circulate air throughout the oven cavity giving baking and roasting results unlike other models. You get one large convection oven and the lower oven offers "an additional 1.0 cu. ft. of capacity for convenient baking from 150 degrees to 450 degrees". The cooktop has 5 elements including the central oval burner great for large cookware. See a list of top rated gas ranges here.
Best Electric Ranges:We had heard that Kenmore models were rated very high in this category, and reviews from leading consumer magazines came back pretty positive on pre-heating ability and durability. The best smoothtop electric range is the GE Cafe CS980SN Stainless Steel Electric Kitchen Range ($2800) with a stylish design, even heating, auto cleaning, and a recessed cooktop to contain spills. Owners say the digital controls work great and several say it's the best range they have ever bought. Since model #'s change regularly with updates from GE, we recommend checking the GE website for the newest kitchen ranges. For an electric coil range again Hotpoint has the best budget model - the Hotpoint RB757 for under $350. In researching range ovens we realized that coil top electric ovens are a dying breed but the Hotpoint gets great reviews. Consumers say it's not only reliable, but works as efficiently as higher priced models they've owned before. Some drawbacks do include a small oven door window, a hard to reach control panel, and a rather plain design and color option.
The top dual-fuel range is the Jenn-Air Double Oven Free-Standing Dual-Fuel Range (Model JDR8895AAS). After reading reviews from Epinions.com and checking home appliance forums for the top rated ranges, this Jenn-Air won out. With a price tag over $2000 for the stainless steel option, consumers say it's worth it. You get a gas cooktop with 5 burners, dual-fuel electric ovens, the bottom oven is a convection oven while the top one is a touch smaller and better for heating food. Owners say the bottom convection oven is great for large turkeys and the ovens pre-heat in a few minutes. One consumer said the knobs rust easily and the cooktop is not even, although that was one isolated reviewer.