The best electric and gas ranges

By Tyler Wells Lynch

This post was done in partnership with The Sweethome, a buyer’s guide to the best things for your home. Read the full article here.

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.

How we picked

After 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 super-important 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.

In terms of capacity, we think an oven should have at least 5 cubic feet of space, enough room to roast a large turkey. 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 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, Consumer 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

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, 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 that of most other models and has a true-convection cooking mode. This range is also one of the few 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.

If you need a less expensive electric range, the Amana AER5630BAS is simple, effective, and affordable, with an elegant stainless steel design. The smooth cooktop includes one of the strongest power burners at a budget-friendly price (though it’s not as nuanced as that of our main electric pick).

Our pick for a gas range

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.

If you need a more affordable gas range, we like the Whirlpool WFG505M0BS. It’s 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.

The best freestanding induction range

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, and test labs and owners alike have given it great reviews. Ranges with induction cooktops cost more but offer performance, safety, and efficiency advantages over both gas and radiant electric models. Overall, we think the Electrolux EI30IF40LS is the best value for an induction range, thanks to its powerful and versatile cooktop, huge oven, and relatively reasonable price.

This guide may have been updated by The Sweethome. To see the current recommendation, please go here.

via Engadget
The best electric and gas ranges