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The Best Electric and Gas Ranges

After 35 hours of research, we think that the Samsung NE59J7630SS is the best electric freestanding cooking range for most people. It’s a sturdy, easy-to-clean machine with true, heated-fan convection to help baked goods cook more evenly. If you’re fortunate enough to have a gas line in your home, the Frigidaire Gallery Series FGGF3058RF is probably your best bet. It’s a classic-looking range with super-solid parts and an intuitive knob-and-control-panel interface. Both ranges are solidly built—without too many extra bells and whistles—and that simplicity should help them keep running reliably for 10 to 15 years.

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Last Updated: Three months ago
Our new pick for the best budget-friendly electric range is the Amana AER6603SFB. Our previous recommendation, the Amana AER5630BAS, has been discontinued. Like the AER5630BAS, the AER6603SFB is an effective, affordable electric range with one of the strongest power burners for its price.
Expand Most Recent Updates
One year ago: Due to popular demand, we’ve added a pick for an induction range to this guide. If you’re willing to pay for the performance, safety, and efficiency advantages, we think the Electrolux EI30IF40LS is the best value thanks to a versatile cooktop, a huge oven, and a relatively reasonable price.
Our pick
Samsung NE59J7630SS
A sturdy, easy-to-clean range with a large convection oven and more versatile cooktop than most. Its relative simplicity should help keep it running reliably.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $750.

Our pick
Frigidaire FGGF3058RF
A classic-looking range with one of the sturdiest builds at this price, including continuous cooktop grates and solid, smooth-turning burner knobs.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $944.

The Samsung NE59J7630SS is one of the most versatile radiant electric ranges we’ve found for its price. The cooktop has a power burner that should boil water faster than those of competing electrics, and also has one of the most sensitive warming elements for simmering sauces. The oven cavity can fit a huge turkey, and it’s one of the few electric ranges under $800 with true convection.

For its price, the Frigidaire FGGF3058RF gas range looks better and feels sturdier than competing models. All the most important features are here, including convection, continuous grates, and a strong power burner, without any frivolous extras to drive up the price or complexity. Its oven cavity is a bit smaller than those of some of the range’s competitors, but still large enough to hold a big turkey or ham for holiday dinners.

Budget pick
Amana AER6603SFB
An effective, affordable electric range with an elegant design. The smooth cooktop includes one of the strongest power burners in this price range (though it’s not as nuanced as that of our main pick).
Budget pick
Whirlpool WFG505M0BS
One of the few budget-friendly gas ranges with a five-burner cooktop and an oven larger than 5 cubic feet. The cast iron continuous grates are a nice touch, too. Unlike our main gas pick’s oven, this range’s oven doesn’t have convection or self-cleaning modes.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $450.

Cheaper ranges will still cook your food, no problem. We like the Amana AER6603SFB for radiant electric and the Whirlpool WFG505M0BS for gas. With these two models, you won’t get a convection fan, water won’t boil as quickly, and you’ll need to keep a closer eye on your sauces because the low-power burners are still pretty strong. But these ranges have strong reputations for reliability and look pretty good for their price, too.

Upgrade pick
Electrolux EI30IF40LS
The best value for an induction range. This kind of cooktop uses electromagnets to heat cookware, which cuts boil times in half and is safer and more efficient than conventional gas or electric power sources.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $2,000.

Ranges with induction cooktops cost more but offer performance, safety, and efficiency advantages over both gas and radiant electric models. We think the Electrolux EI30IF40LS is the best value for an induction range, thanks to its versatile cooktop, huge oven, and relatively reasonable price.

Table of contents

Why you should trust us

I have some background on this topic, as I spent a few years as an appliance reviewer and staff writer at Reviewed.com. We also tracked down as much sales and trends data as we could from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, Trakline, and other industry sources. Since we couldn’t do our own hands-on testing, professional reviews from the likes of Reviewed.com, Consumer Reports, and CNET helped us make sure we picked models with solid cooking performance. However, we did head to a few showrooms in the Boston metro area to get a feel for the build and sturdiness of our finalists and to see how they compared to other models. We also pored over hundreds of customer reviews and comments to identify trends for any real-world quirks or reliability problems. And most important, we interviewed some industry experts, including Chris Bellio of Expert Appliance Repair in Dexter, Maine; Jeffrey Adkins of Appliance Repair Experts in Las Vegas; Steve Sheinkopf, CEO of Yale Appliance + Lighting in Boston; a handful of other sales and repair experts, and some everyday home cooks.

How we picked

Any range will cook your food, but after 35 hours of comparing specs, reading reviews, and interviewing appliance experts, we learned that the best ranges stick to a simple set of features because they’re more reliable that way. A sturdy build, an uncluttered interface, and easy-to-clean surfaces will make a range more satisfying to live with for the 10 to 15 years that you’ll have it. The only superimportant cooking features you’ll need are a strong power burner for boiling big pots of water, a sensitive warming element for simmering sauces, and a convection fan for better baking.

The best ranges stick to a simple set of features because they’re more reliable that way.
Freestanding ranges are the most common style of range in the US, defined by a 30-inch width, large oven cavity (anywhere from 2.5 to 6 cubic feet), a cooktop, finished sides, and a backsplash that usually includes a control panel. Some people call this kind of appliance a stove, though that word can refer to a few different types of heating and cooking devices, so we’re sticking with “range” in this guide.

If you have a gas line in your kitchen, you should use it. Gas is almost always more cost-efficient, and most cooks prefer the responsiveness of a gas flame on a stovetop compared with electric burners. That said, radiant electric ranges are much more common in the US, accounting for about 63 percent of sales, and there are plenty of great options if electric is what you have to work with. (We cover induction ranges, which also run on electrical power, below.) For what it’s worth, electric ovens are usually better at maintaining consistent temperatures, which can be an advantage for baking.

An excellent range with all you need and nothing you don’t costs around $800 for electric and about $900 for gas, give or take.

When you spend less than that for a freestanding range, it usually won’t have a convection fan in the oven, the power burner will be weaker, and the cooktop will often have only four burners instead of five, which often means losing the low-powered warming burner altogether. That said, a cheaper range still works fine, and we recommend some budget-friendly electric and gas options later in this guide.

When you buy a range that’s more expensive than our main picks, you get a sturdier, better-looking machine, though we’re not sure it’ll last any longer than our picks. That’s because more-expensive ranges tend to be stuffed with tons of extra hardware, which tends to mean more reliability issues. But if you want a stylish slide-in range (no backsplash), or extra cooking features such as a double oven, you can expect to spend somewhere between $1,200 and $2,000. At around $3,000, you start to creep into the territory of professional ranges, although many home cooks with this kind of budget opt for a separate wall oven and cooktop rather than an all-in-one range. We’re not covering any of these kinds of specialized, upscale products in this guide (maybe we will do a guide about them someday), so you should talk to a dealer or even a designer if you’re interested in them.

“A lot of newer stuff has a ton of electronics in it, and in most cases that’s just more stuff that can break.”—Jeffrey Adkins, Appliance Repair Experts
The most important takeaway from our research was that you want a simple range, because extra features increase the risk that something will break and need repair. Jeffrey Adkins, a repair technician for Appliance Repair Experts in Las Vegas, specifically told us that “less is more.”

“A lot of newer stuff has a ton of electronics in it, and in most cases that’s just more stuff that can break,” Adkins said. “Unless you have a need for all the extra features that newer models have, there’s no sense in buying it.” All but the cheapest ranges have some kind of electronics in them these days, so you do take on some risk that you will need to replace your range’s control board. But you can mitigate the risk by sticking to a range with basic cooking hardware: a cooktop and an oven with a broiler and convection fans. Ranges with high-end features such as double ovens or dual fuel sources have more hardware, more electronics to control that hardware, and more complicated designs that can be harder to take apart and service. So unless you have a good reason to believe those features will be worth the potential extra visits and bills from a repairman, stick with a simpler range.

A range should last for 10 to 15 years, as long as it’s built from quality components. It’s hard to predict that from a spec sheet, but you can learn a lot by delving into user reviews. One of our tentative finalists, for example, had mostly positive ratings (as most ranges do), but a concerning number of owners complained that the plastic backsplash warped over time, just from the heat coming off the stovetop. It was common enough that it seemed to suggest a persistent manufacturing flaw, or just a poor design, so we nixed it from consideration. Another almost-finalist we considered had great user reviews and specs that went above and beyond our targets. But when we checked it out in person, it had a flimsy touchpad with loose laminate and cheaply built knobs—those are the kind of annoyances that will likely bother you throughout years of ownership.

Personal tastes vary, but certain designs usually make a range more intuitive for almost anyone. Electric ranges with sealed cooktops are much easier for you to clean than those with exposed-element cooktops. Gas ranges with continuous grates over the cooktop offer you more flexibility for positioning large pots or pans than cooktops with grates over each individual burner. Sealed gas burners, which are standard-issue these days, are easier for you to clean than open burners. Any decent range will also have an oven window. And not all control schemes are created equal, either. For the cooktop, we think physical knobs are always better than a control pad with dedicated buttons because knobs are easier to adjust quickly if you need to. But for the oven, it’s the other way around because the control panel lets you dial to a specific temperature, set a timer, and operate all sorts of other functions.

Most decent ranges have a self-cleaning mode, but the self-cleaning method itself can vary—and might even affect the longevity of your range. We’ll cover the specifics below, but the short version is that a steam-cleaning option combined with an easy-wipe coating is the safe way to go, though this method still requires some manual labor. High-heat (or pyrolytic) cleaning takes the least amount of human effort, but runs the risk of damaging the electronics in your range. None of the self-cleaning methods is perfect, so we didn’t consider any of them to be deal-makers or dealbreakers when we made our picks.

You can also reasonably expect convection cooking in mainstream ranges these days, and we think it’s a feature worth having. Convection helps keep temperatures consistent throughout the oven, which is especially helpful for bakers because it eliminates hot spots, so everything cooks evenly. Convection cooking comes in two styles: single-fan and true (aka European), but most home cooks won’t notice a difference, so we don’t have a preference for either style. All of our finalists offer some kind of convection cooking in their oven.

In terms of capacity, we think an oven should have at least 5 cubic feet of space, which is enough room to roast a large turkey, and that the best cooktops have a fifth, low-heat burner that makes it easier to simmer or warm food without accidentally scorching it. These features are standard in ranges that cost more than $600, and we considered only models with those specs.

Though all ranges essentially perform the same basic job—cooking food—certain baseline specs will make that job a little easier. The stovetop should have the chops to boil water quickly, via a power burner with at least 17,000 British thermal units (gas) or 3,000 watts (electric), and a simmer element (or “warm zone”) that dips down to 5,000 Btu or less (gas) or 100 watts (electric).

We were unable to test any range’s performance to gauge the real-world value of extra cooktop power. But we did consider performance data from review sites, including Reviewed.comConsumer Reports, and CNET. Based on their findings and what we learned from experts, we don’t think performance discrepancies will make a huge difference for most cooks. That said, an extra 1,000 Btu or 300 watts will help your water boil faster, so we slightly favored models with stronger-on-paper power burners.

Our pick for an electric range

Our pick
Samsung NE59J7630SS
A sturdy, easy-to-clean range with a large convection oven and more versatile cooktop than most. Its relative simplicity should help keep it running reliably.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $750.

The Samsung NE59J7630SS is the best freestanding radiant electric range for most people because it has all of the important cooking and cleaning features, with relatively few bells and whistles that might cause reliability problems down the line. Its cooktop is more versatile than those of other ranges at this price range, and includes a stronger power burner, a warm zone as sensitive as any other range’s, and a unique three-element burner. The oven cavity is larger than most and has a true-convection cooking mode. This range is also one of the few models that offers two self-cleaning modes. This Samsung’s build is sturdy, its design looks sharp, and its control scheme is more intuitive than that of its closest competitors.

The Samsung NE59J7630SS has a versatile cooktop, a large oven, and a set of useful features without too many unnecessary bells and whistles.

The Samsung NE59J7630SS has a versatile cooktop, a large oven, and a set of useful features without too many unnecessary bells and whistles.

When it comes to cooking, you won’t find a more versatile machine than the NE59J7630SS in this price range. It has five heating elements, or “burners,” like most of its competitors. But it’s the only range we know of with a 3,000-watt “triple burner” with three different-sized radiant subelements in one. The idea is that the burner can handle a variety of cookware sizes, or you can dial it to the proper temperature more accurately—for example, you can cook a big pot of chili or a small pot of rice on the same electric burner. This feature sounds a little gimmicky, but it doesn’t cost anything extra, and could make a difference for some people. This range also has a 3,300-watt dual power burner, whereas most power burners in this price range tend to max out at either 3,000 or 3,200 watts. That extra wattage should help boil water a bit faster. In addition to the triple burner and dual power burner, the NE59J7630SS includes two 1,200-watt burners and one 100-watt warming element, which are typical of other similar ranges.

The NE59J7630SS has a power burner that’s stronger than its competitors’ and a warming element as sensitive as anything out there.

The NE59J7630SS has a power burner that’s stronger than its competitors’ and a warming element as sensitive as anything out there.

In the oven, the NE59J7630SS offers 5.9 cubic feet of cooking space, which is more than what most ranges offer, and is more than enough room for most prime ribs and Thanksgiving turkeys. The oven features two racks that can be removed or placed in seven different positions.

Samsung packed the NE59J7630SS with true convection, also known as European-style convection. Compared with run-of-the-mill fan convection, true convection places an extra heating element directly in front of the fan. Theoretically, this is supposed to make for faster heating and even more uniform oven temperature. But most bakers probably won’t notice a difference, according to Steve Sheinkopf, CEO of Yale Appliance, and it’s not a difference that will significantly affect the outcome of your sweet-potato casserole. True convection is more of a tie-breaker than a deal-maker. Having any kind of convection in your oven is a good thing, and this Samsung has it.

We love the Samsung’s design, with its large oven window and smooth glass-ceramic surface that makes for easy cleaning.
When it comes to self-cleaning, the NE59J7630SS offers the best of both worlds: options for either high-heat cleaning or steam cleaning (Samsung calls its steam-cleaning method SteamQuick). Both technologies have downsides. But what’s important is that the NE59J7630SS gives you an option, whereas most ranges have just one cleaning method or the other.

We love the Samsung’s design, with its large oven window and smooth glass-ceramic surface that makes for easy cleaning. We’re particularly happy with the firm, die-cast burner knobs and the elegantly designed LED touchpad, both of which are built into a full stainless steel backguard. Some similar electric ranges look very plain, and others have no knobs. We think this Samsung range has the best balance of style and functionality.

The NE59J7630SS is available in four finishes. Stainless steel is the default, so to speak. Black and white each cost less than stainless. A black stainless finish costs extra. User reviews for the NE59J7630SS are impressive, with 90 percent of the 283 reviews on Best Buy recommending it currently, and an average rating of 4.5 stars (out of 5) over more than 400 reviews across multiple retailers. On the whole, the reviews seem to suggest that the NE59J7630SS is a reliable, well-manufactured cooking appliance. It’s worth noting that, for reasons we’re not really sure of, the stainless steel finish earns an average rating that’s a few tenths of a point higher than the rating of any of the other finishes.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

The NE59J7630SS’s dual- and triple-burner cooktop elements go against the idea that a range should be as simple as possible to minimize the risk of you needing to get it repaired. But we haven’t read any reports of issues with these burners yet, and the burners aren’t significantly more complicated than single-burner elements.

Since the cooktop is a flat, glass-ceramic surface, chances are, it’ll get scratched over time. The material it is made of is scratch-resistant, but not scratch-proof. You’ll have to be careful when you cook with rough, heavy cast iron pots and pans. It’s also a good idea to follow Samsung’s recommendation to use Cerama Bryte cooktop cleaner. That said, scratching is a potential issue for any sealed-surface cooktop, and any electric range over $600 has that kind of cooktop because it’s much more convenient to clean than an exposed-element cooktop.

We did find some negative reviews for the NE59J7630SS, though they seemed to center on poor customer service, which is an issue we’ve found with Samsung appliances in general, across other categories we’ve written about. The workaround to avoid Samsung’s customer service is to buy this range from a dealer with a good reputation, as the dealer may be able to resolve your issue without you having to deal directly with Samsung. And the good news is that, so far, user reviews haven’t turned up any widespread, consistent flaws in the range’s design. Some people who reported issues simply got a factory lemon, which happens, and we suspect other owners could fix their problems by calibrating the oven.

A smaller electric range without convection

Budget pick
Amana AER6603SFB
An effective, affordable electric range with an elegant design. The smooth cooktop includes one of the strongest power burners in this price range (though it’s not as nuanced as that of our main pick).
If you want (or need) an electric range that’s simple, effective, and affordable, we recommend the Amana AER6603SFB. We’re most impressed by its cooktop: It’s one of the few ranges at this price with a 3,000-watt burner, which can mean faster water-boiling times. Its design is pleasing to look at for such an affordable machine, and the controls are simple and streamlined. It also has a smooth, glass-ceramic surface (rather than exposed coils), making for easy cleaning. And the oven has a high-heat self-cleaning option. Since it’s a newer machine, the AER6603SFB doesn’t have many customer reviews yet; the ones on the Home Depot and Best Buy sites are mostly positive, though. And it carries the legacy of our previous pick, the now-discontinued Amana AER5630BAS. As far as we can tell, the differences between the two machines are merely cosmetic.

The Amana AER6603SFB has better specs and a sharper look than other budget-friendly ranges.

Like almost any range at this price, the oven does not have a convection cooking mode, and the cooktop has only four burners (it’s missing the fifth, 100-watt warming element that’s pretty much standard in cooktops over $700). The oven is also on the small side (4.8 cubic feet), though that’s probably going to be a hindrance only if you try to cook a massive turkey.

The competition

The LG NE59J7630SS is a better option for bakers.
The closest competitor to the NE59J7630SS is the LG LRE3083ST. Both machines cost around $800, and have similar feature profiles. The LG is a better option for bakers. Its standout feature is its huge 6.3-cubic-foot, three-rack, true-convection oven. It also gives you steam and high-heat self-cleaning options. The LG’s 3,200-watt power burner won’t boil water quite as fast as the Samsung’s power burner, though. And we were seriously turned off by the interface, which is cluttered and unintuitive and relies entirely on touch-based controls, even for the burners.

If you’re on a budget, but need a larger oven than the Amana we recommend, check out the 5.3-cubic-foot GE JB250RFSS. The stainless steel version costs about $550, which is not that cheap, but you can get the black or white finishes for $100 less. The main downside? It has an exposed-element cooktop, which could be difficult for you to clean.

Other electric ranges we considered but did not end up loving include:

    • Frigidaire Gallery Series FGEF3035RF: This electric range didn’t quite match the wattage and capacity specs of our top picks. It also suffered from user reviews complaining about the build quality.
    • Maytag MER8700DS: This Maytag is large and powerful, but it has only one high-powered burner. Owners don’t find its AquaLift self-cleaning system to be effective, and the range does not offer a typical high-heat self-cleaning function to compensate.
    • Samsung NE59J3420SS: A solid all-around electric range that’s a bit cheaper than our Samsung pick—but the specs are also a clear step down from our pick’s. This Samsung model is also uglier and has a smaller oven window than our pick.
    • Whirlpool WFE530C0ES: This Whirlpool has a small window, middling power ratings, and a relatively small oven capacity.

Our pick for a gas range

Our pick
Frigidaire FGGF3058RF
A classic-looking range with one of the sturdiest builds at this price, including continuous cooktop grates and solid, smooth-turning burner knobs.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $944.

If there’s one standout feature, it’s the build quality. It feels like a sturdier machine than other gas ranges at this price.
If we were buying a freestanding gas range, our choice would be the Frigidaire Gallery Series FGGF3058RF. It looks great and feels sturdier than other gas ranges at this price, and it has a simpler interface and more durable components. All of the most important specs and features you should expect from a gas range are here. The 18,000-Btu power burner is as strong as any you’ll find without moving up to a pro range. The continuous, five-burner cooktop has cast iron grates that stay in place when you slide pots and pans around. And like any good range at this price, it has a convection fan.

The standout feature on the Frigidaire Gallery FGGF3058RF is the build quality.

The standout feature on the Frigidaire Gallery FGGF3058RF is the build quality.

The FGGF3058RF hits all the marks we look for, but if there’s one standout feature, it’s the build quality. It feels like a sturdier machine than other gas ranges at this price that we checked out. Its oven door is sturdy and fixed with a braided-steel gasket for insulation. The cast iron grates are continuous, meaning you can slide pots and pans from burner to burner. The grates hold firmly in place when jostled around, but you can remove them easily for cleaning. We’ve seen corner-to-corner grates on other mid-range cooktops that jostle out of place pretty easily, so it’s a sign of quality that the Frigidaire’s are secured in place. And even though the oven is smaller than that of some competing models, it comes with three racks so you can crank through big baking projects.

Some ranges suffer from flimsy, poorly designed, or poorly laminated backguard controls. Not the FGGF3058RF. Its touchpad is firm and well built, with intuitive controls, a tight laminate, and a simple pattern. We also like how the control panel is isolated to a small area at the center of the backguard.

The FGGF3058RF has five burners, each with different power ratings—ranging from a 5,000-Btu simmer zone in the center (pretty standard at this price) to an 18,000-Btu power burner, which is as powerful as possible for the price. This variety of power ensures some serious cooking versatility: High heat for stir fries and boiling water and low heat for simmering sauces, stews, and chilis.

We like the stainless steel version the most by far, but black and white models are also available and tend to cost about $100 less. User reviews of the FGGF3058RF are consistently glowing, and suggest it is reliable and well built. It currently maintains an average rating of 4.6 stars (out of 5) on Home Depot’s website, with 96 percent of reviewers recommending the product. On AJ Madison’s website, the range has an average rating of 4.7 stars (out of 5) across 194 reviews at this time.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

The FGGF3058RF’s biggest drawback is its oven capacity. At 5.0 cubic feet, it is not as big as other ranges’ ovens. Most other gas-powered models we looked at in this category had ovens sized between 5.4 and 6.0 cubic feet. That said, 5 cubic feet is still plenty of space for an enormous 24-pound Thanksgiving turkey, and for the vast majority of baking, broiling, and roasting needs. Still, we understand space is important for some cooks, and we know of a few gas ranges with larger ovens that you might want to check out.

Like almost all gas ranges these days, the FGGF3058RF has sealed burners. They’re more likely to fail and need repairs than open burners, but they’re also much easier for you to clean. And again, most gas ranges use this style of burner now, so it’s not a weakness that’s particular to this model.

The rest of the FGGF3058RF’s shortcomings are relatively mild and idiosyncratic. The oven window, for example, is smaller than that of most of its competitors. We doubt this is a deal-breaker for many, but it might be frustrating if you like to watch your bread rise or your turkey turn golden brown. You’ll still be able to sneak a peek—just not as part of a large audience. The FGGF3058RF also lacks a warming drawer.

Finally, the FGGF3058RF’s oven does not have a steam-clean function or an easy-wipe coating. It does have a traditional high-heat self-cleaning mode, though high-heat cleaning has the potential to fry the electronics in your range, as our experts pointed out, so use this mode at your own risk. For what it’s worth, the sturdy build could mean that the range withstands the high heat better than other ranges. If you’re wary of high-heat cleaning, you’ll need to use some good old-fashioned elbow grease to clean your oven and cooktop. Sorry. But on the plus side, since the oven doesn’t have any special coating inside, it’s okay to use some of the harsher oven-cleaning products.

A good gas range without convection or self-cleaning modes

Budget pick
Whirlpool WFG505M0BS
One of the few budget-friendly gas ranges with a five-burner cooktop and an oven larger than 5 cubic feet. The cast iron continuous grates are a nice touch, too. Unlike our main gas pick’s oven, this range’s oven doesn’t have convection or self-cleaning modes.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $450.

Our favorite budget-friendly gas range is the Whirlpool WFG505M0BS. Standout specs include a five-burner cooktop (including a 15,000-Btu power burner), a 5.1-cubic-foot oven, and continuous, satin-finish cast iron grates. These are some impressive specs for the price, as many freestanding gas ranges under $600 have only four burners, less than 5 cubic feet space of oven space, and burner-localized grates. Currently, the WFG505M0BS earns an average rating of 4.7 stars (out of 5) across 288 reviews on AJ Madison’s website, and 95 percent of the range’s reviewers on Home Depot’s website recommend it.

The Whirlpool WFG505M0BS has five cooktop burners and an oven larger than 5 cubic feet, which is uncommon at its price.

The Whirlpool WFG505M0BS has five cooktop burners and an oven larger than 5 cubic feet, which is uncommon at its price.

There are no convection or self-cleaning modes here, but that’s no surprise at this price.

This range is also available in a black finish (WFG505M0BB) and a white one (WFG505M0BW). At the time of this writing, all three finishes cost the same (around $500), though we’ve seen the stainless version priced at $600, challenging the definition of a budget-friendly range. Just keep an eye on the prices.

The competition

If you want a bigger oven than the FGGF3058RF offers, the Samsung NX58H5600SS is a decent gas range with 5.8 cubic feet of oven space. This Samsung’s power burner (17,000 Btu) is a bit weaker than the Frigidaire’s. Other than that, it’s a close call between the two models, and we sided with the Frigidaire because it felt sturdier and we preferred its more traditional design.

A couple of Whirlpool models were near-misses. The Whirlpool WFG715H0ES has similar specs to the Samsung NX58H5600SS, but many owners have complained that the soft-plastic backguard is subject to warping under high heat, which is a pretty absurd flaw for a range to have. We also found that the grates slipped out of their catches easily. The Whirlpool WFG540H0ES  appears to be an older version of the Whirlpool 715, and though it doesn’t seem to have the same melty-backsplash problem, we felt that its overall build quality was a bit flimsier than that of the Whirlpool 715.

If you’re looking for a budget model, but the Whirlpool WFG505M0BS isn’t available, the Whirlpool WFG320M0BW is similar, though it only has four burners.

Other gas ranges that caught our attention at first, but didn’t quite stack up include:

  • LG LRG3081ST: This LG has a lower Btu rating than our main pick, and also suffers from some relatively lackluster user reviews.
  • Maytag MGR8700DS: This is the same machine as the Whirlpool WFG540H0ES but with a different design, including electromechanical burner controls instead of analog.
  • GE Adora JGB720SEJSS: This GE has a small oven and is a bit pricey for the specs, and there’s no switch for the oven light, which turns off when the door is closed.

About induction cooktops

We cover this topic extensively in our guide to portable induction cooktops. But in a nutshell, induction cooktops run on electric power and use electromagnets to create heat directly in your cookware, rather than on the surface of the cooktop as with gas or radiant electric cooking. (Induction ranges have standard radiant electric ovens.)

Induction boils water in about half the time of both other types of cooktops, responds to temperature changes almost instantly like gas does, and holds nearly as wide a range of temperatures as radiant electric does. It’s also the most energy-efficient cooking method. Because only the cooking vessel gets hot, it’s the method that you’re least likely to burn yourself (or other objects) with. And like radiant electric cooktops, induction cooktops all have flat, glass-ceramic surfaces, so they’re easy to clean.

One drawback is that you need magnetic (also called ferromagnetic) cookware. That means no aluminum, glass, or copper. But any pieces made with iron, such as induction-ready stainless steel1 and cast iron (including enameled cast iron), are good to go.

Also, induction cooktops are usually much more expensive than gas or radiant electric models. If you want a full range with an induction cooktop, such as the model we cover below, you’ll have a tough time finding one for less than $1,500, and that’s when it’s on sale. Induction cooktops are more complicated and expensive to design and manufacture than other kinds. Also, in North America, people have been slow to adopt induction cooking compared with other parts of the world, so there hasn’t been much competition to drive down prices.

The best freestanding induction range

Upgrade pick
Electrolux EI30IF40LS
The best value for an induction range. This kind of cooktop uses electromagnets to heat cookware, which cuts boil times in half and is safer and more efficient than conventional gas or electric power sources.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $2,000.

A great freestanding electric induction range for most people who want one is the Electrolux EI30IF40LS. We like its specs better than those of other models, test labs and owners alike have given it great reviews, and it’s a relatively affordable option if you want a full induction cooktop in your kitchen.

If you’re looking for an induction range, your highest priority is likely to be the cooktop, and the EI30IF40LS has one of the most powerful, versatile cooktops we’ve come across. It’s a five-zone cooktop that includes a 10-inch, 4,000-watt high-powered zone. In Reviewed.com tests, the EI30IF40LS boiled 6 cups of water in less than two minutes on that zone and achieved a maximum temperature of 724 degrees Fahrenheit. In the same tests, the 120-watt warming zone was sensitive enough to hit a minimum temp of just 95 degrees, which is good for simmering sauces and soups. The cooktop also has a 1,000-watt zone and two matching 7-inch, 2,540-watt zones. You can “bridge” those last two together to form a single, huge cooking surface, an ideal arrangement for huge lobster pots, brewing kettles, or griddles, and an uncommon feature on induction cooktops sold in North America. All of that adds up to one standout cooktop, even compared with other induction surfaces.

ranges-electrolux-ei30if40ls

The induction cooktop on the Electrolux EI30IF40LS has five zones, and a “bridging” feature can turn the matching 7-inch zones (left) into one extra-large cooking surface.

Down below, the EI30IF40LS features a similarly impressive electric oven (though it does not create heat through induction). The oven is slightly bigger than that of our radiant electric range pick, and much bigger than that of our gas pick. With 6 cubic feet of space and three oven racks, including one rack on ball bearings for smoother gliding, it gives you enough room for a gigantic Thanksgiving turkey or tons of baked goods. It also has a convection-cooking mode, the True style.

The EI30IF40LS has a few other useful bonus features such as a warming drawer and a Fast Preheat mode. It also has a pyrolytic self-cleaning mode (if you’re willing to use it) equipped with a Fresh Clean Technology feature that supposedly reduces odor and smoke.

User reviews are almost uniformly favorable. On Home Depot, it currently has an average rating of 4.8 out of five stars across 115 reviews, with 98 percent of reviewers recommending the product. Reviews are similarly glowing on the Lowe’s and Best Buy sites.

Professional review sites have also given the Electrolux stellar reviews. Reviewed.com gave it a 9 out of 10 and listed it as better than 84 percent of the ranges tested. The reviewers at Consumer Reports state, quite bluntly, that they could find “no performance flaws.”

What are the drawbacks? The interface on the EI30IF40LS is stuffed with tons of cooking modes and digital controls. That makes us nervous, because it means the appliance contains more logic boards and extra wiring that can wear out in the middle of the expected lifespan. The repairs for something like that are never cheap. In some of the (few) negative user reviews for the EI30IF40LS, electronic control failure is cited as the reason for premature breakdown. For what it’s worth, you can’t easily find a induction range without electronic controls. But some other induction ranges at least dress up the digital nature of the controls with an interface based on turn-knobs, which many people find to be more intuitive to use.

A few other user reviews complain about cheaply built handles, but that doesn’t seem to be a common gripe.

What are your other options? The Frigidaire Gallery FGIF3061NF induction range has a knob interface with a simplified control scheme. It’s also usually a few hundred dollars cheaper than the Electrolux, with similarly impressive reviews from the major lab-testing outlets. The Frigidaire’s heating elements aren’t quite as versatile, however, and the oven is smaller, at 5.4 cubic feet. (The two brands belong to the same parent company.)

We considered a few other freestanding induction ranges but didn’t end up loving them.

  • Kenmore Elite 95073: This Kenmore has an impressive 4,100-watt power burner and a large capacity. Reviews are okay, but as a Kenmore product, it’s available only at Sears, and we’ve found that the quality of customer service can vary significantly depending on your local store.
  • Whirlpool Gold WFI910H0AS: Although this Whirlpool has a spacious 6.2-cubic-foot oven, the specs are mediocre for the amount of money it costs. It isn’t as widely available as other models, and it has fewer user reviews than competitors, which makes spotting potential issues tougher for us.
  • GE Profile PHB920SFSS: This GE has so-so reviews, middling cooktop specs, and a relatively small oven. The Wi-Fi connectivity might seem tempting, but in general we’ve had bad experiences with Internet-connected appliances so far.

A handful of other induction ranges, including several slide-in models, are available in the US. But they’re all quite expensive, and we don’t see a functional reason to recommend them instead of our main pick. If you like the way they look and don’t mind paying, don’t let us stop you. But our pick hits the sweet spot for price value and functionality.

If you like the sound of induction cooking but don’t have the means to commit to an entire cooktop, you can buy a portable, single-burner induction element. Such products are popular with people who live in small apartments and need an extra cooking surface. But anyone with an outlet can use one, and it will always boil water faster than your gas or radiant-electric stovetop. Check out our portable induction cooktop guide for our favorite models.

Care and maintenance

Before you start using your range, some manufacturers suggest that you “burn in” your oven. Residue from the manufacturing process may create an unfamiliar, often oily smell when you heat up the oven. Your manual might have instructions for how to deal with this, but our abridged version is that you want to ventilate your kitchen and run the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit or higher for an hour or so, or until the smell disappears. When the oven has cooled, wipe down the interior with soapy water.

It’s also a good idea to calibrate your oven. Using an oven thermometer, you may find that the interior temperature is different than what the control panel (or knob) says it should be. If the temperature is off by 10 to 35 degrees, your oven is probably not defective—it likely just needs to be calibrated. Consult your range’s manual for directions on how to make the right adjustments. (Calibrating your oven should take only about 15 minutes.)

High-heat cleaning can raise temperatures north of 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to fry the control boards and wiring in today’s ranges.
Because the range you’re replacing could be decades old, your new range probably won’t respond to controls and adjustments exactly the same way, so you might need to unlearn a few habits, adjust some expectations, and maybe pick up some new tricks. For example, whenever you open an oven while it’s on, its interior temperature drops significantly. Chris Bellio, owner and repair technician at Expert Appliance Repair in Maine, explained that new ovens may not return to the target temperature as quickly as old ovens did, due to changes in the way today’s ovens are designed (or more accurately, programmed). “What I tell people to do is, whenever you open the door to peek inside, set it to preheat to [the target] temperature again.” That’ll kick-start the heating cycle again.

When it comes to cleaning burnt-on debris from your oven, you don’t have any great options. Using a high-heat (pyrolytic) self-cleaning function is risky. It’s the traditional way to clean an oven, but ranges have changed over time, and now almost always incorporate electronic components. High-heat cleaning can raise temperatures north of 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to fry the control boards and wiring in today’s ranges. Several appliance repair experts confirmed this point, with Bellio even saying he “would never auto-clean an oven after the warranty is up.” This is not a guarantee that your range will cook itself to death, and some models may be better-equipped to handle the heat than others. All we’re saying is proceed with caution, and at least consider using a different method.

Some ranges now have a steam-cleaning option, and those models also usually have an easy-wipe oven coating. You spray down the crusty stuff with water, sometimes with a mini pressure cleaner provided by the manufacturer, and then let the oven run a steaming cycle. When the cycle is over, you should be able to wipe away the burnt-on debris fairly easily. But this method requires more manual labor than a high-heat cleaning mode, and the Internet is awash (pun intended) with complaints that steam cleaning is just not effective—some owners say you’ll need to run the cycle several times to see any improvement at all, others claim it’s utterly useless. There’s another trade-off to having an oven with steam cleaning: Steam-clean cycles like Whirlpool’s AquaLift and LG’s EasyClean tend to be featured in ovens with porcelain interiors, interiors that are not built to hold up to the harsh chemicals of oven cleaners such as EASY-OFF. So if you choose to clean your oven completely by hand, an AquaLift or EasyClean oven may prove more difficult to properly maintain than an oven without a porcelain coating. There’s no perfect solution, so all we can say is good luck.

Footnotes:

1. Stainless steel cookware is commonly made with 18/8 and 18/10 stainless steel, types that are especially “stainless” but not magnetic. Induction-ready stainless steel incorporates a thin layer of 18/0 stainless steel, which is not quite as stainless but is magnetic, on the exterior of the pot or pan so that it will work on induction. If you’re in doubt about whether your cookware will work on an induction cooktop, try sticking a magnet to the outside of your pot or pan; if the magnet sticks, it will work. Jump back.

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Sources

  1. Chris Bellio, Repair technician and owner of Expert Appliance Repair, Interview
  2. Jeffrey Adkins, Repair technician for Appliance Repair Experts in Las Vegas, Interview
  3. Steve Sheinkopf, CEO of Yale Appliance + Lighting in Boston, Interview
  4. Oven Reviews, Reviewed.com
  5. Ranges, Consumer Reports
  6. Range reviews, CNET

The key's under the mat.