For those who cook often, a range is easily the most important “tool” in your kitchen.
Known more commonly as an “oven” or “stove” by most people, the correct term for the appliance that combines an oven and cooktop is actually “range.”
There has long been bad blood between fans of electric ranges and fans of gas ranges.
Historically, gas ranges were lauded as the ideal cooking appliance. This was mainly due to the claim that they offer greater temperature control.
Those days are gone.
Technological advancements in electric cooking appliances have brought these ranges up to and even past the level of gas performance.
For example, a recent comparison study conducted by Consumer Reports found that electric ranges outperformed their gas counterparts in three out of four categories.
They ranked significantly better at high heat functions, such as boiling water quickly.
For low heat functions, such as simmering, they performed moderately better. For broiling, they beat the pants off of their gas competitors.
Have we got your attention now?
Now that you know that electric ranges are good, you are probably wondering, “What are the best electric ranges?”
We have extensively investigated the best options currently on the market to bring you this review of the best electric ranges.
Whether you are looking for the best slide in electric range, the best free-standing electric range, or simply want to know what the best electric range brands are, we’ve got the answer for you.
Electric Range Types
Let’s categorize the formats (or types) that electric ranges are sold and installed in residential and commercial kitchens.
This is the most common type of range and what most people think of when they think of an “oven.” It includes both an oven and a cooktop.
The sides of this type of model are finished, so you can slide it in between your cabinetry or place it anywhere else you like without worrying about aesthetics.
This style is designed to slide in between two pieces of cabinetry. Its sides are contoured and unfinished, and they usually include alignment grooves to assist with installation.
This cooktop protrudes slightly from the rest of the cabinetry and also extends onto the adjoining cabinets. This feature prevents flood and debris from falling into the space between the range and the cabinets.
Slide-ins offer a more customizable look for your range than free-standing models and also usually offer a convenient drawer below the oven chamber for storage.
Drop-in electric ranges are the most customizable, least common, and most expensive of the three installation types.
They are a common choice for custom-designed kitchen islands and are dropped into a prepared base that includes a cabinet panel at the bottom. They usually do not offer a bottom storage drawer.
Number of Ovens
Single ovens are the historical and industry standard. With these, you have a single cavity in which to cook all of your food.
The double oven is a much newer development. This design offers two separate cooking spaces that you can customize to cook different foods at the same time.
Benefits of a double oven include:
- More overall space
- The ability to customize temperature, cook time, rack height, etc. for multiple foods
- Save time by being able to cook your main dish and side dishes all at once
- No cross-contamination
- Energy savings because you can choose to use only one oven, which is typically smaller than a standard single oven
- No need to have a countertop oven, an additional appliance in your kitchen
A range hood is the inverted Y or T that you almost always see hanging above traditional cooktops.
It contains a fan and usually a duct as well to capture and process the rising gases and odors that the cooktops emit.
Downdraft ventilation systems provide the same type of service as a range hood but are more commonly seen paired with ranges located in kitchen islands.
They work by sucking the fumes and smoke down through a pipe in the floor, as opposed to up and away with a range hood.
This system can either be built-in directly to the cooking surface or telescope up and down as needed for a more streamlined look.
Type of Cooktop Surface
Each burner is comprised of a circular metal coil that connects to an electrical receptacle hidden beneath the stovetop.
Most coil tops have removable drip pans underneath the heating element to protect the electrical wiring from spills.
Before flat-tops came around, this was how all-electric burners were designed. Now, this is your most inexpensive option and a style that most mainstream appliance manufacturers are moving away from.
Coils take a long time to heat up, allow for less precise heat control and are difficult to clean.
This style of cooktop can be made out of glass or ceramic and is currently the most popular style on the market.
Here, the electric elements are recessed underneath the smooth surface to give a clean, modern look. They usually come with digital screens, a warming center, and at least one adjustable-size burner.
While they are technically easier to clean than traditional coil styles, they are more prone to damage and staining.
Induction tops are the most advanced and expensive option currently on the market.
These models use electromagnetism in place of heat to cook your food directly. With induction, the surface of your cooktop does not actually heat up.
Induction is incredibly safe, precise, and energy-efficient.
It also requires no time to warm up and cooks food faster than both gas and other electric options. Plus, there is no chance of burns with induction because there is no heated surface to risk touching.
Another benefit of induction is that it does not release heat into the room when you are cooking. This makes it an excellent option for small homes and hot climates, where a hot range can quickly make things miserable inside.
Of course, all of this fanciness comes at a price. Induction ranges are significantly more expensive than other options.
Due to the different way that it cooks food, it is quite likely that you will need to purchase all new, induction-compatible cookware if you go this route for your next range.
Best Electric Range Brands
There are many appliance brands making high-quality electric ranges. In fact, electric ranges are considered some of the most reliable and durable kitchen appliances these days.
Best Free-Standing Brands
GE, Samsung, and Whirlpool all make high-quality free-standing electric ranges in a variety of models.
GE, though, stands out as the most popular brand. The company has been around since 1892 and traces its origins back to Thomas Edison, himself.
Nowadays, their subsidiary, GE Appliances, is owned by Chinese company Haier.
They make a wide range of kitchen appliances, and their electric ranges are known for their quality and their long history of cooking innovation. In fact, GE pioneered the self-cleaning oven in 1963.
The GE 30 in. 5.3 cu. ft. Electric Range is one of the best electric ranges on the market today. It offers a great bang for your buck and has several extremely useful features to make your life easier.
Best Slide-In Brands
KitchenAid dominates the market for slide-in electric ranges. Samsung and GE also make popular models, but KitchenAid is the easy stand-out in this category.
For slide-in models, we highly recommend the KitchenAid 30-Inch Electric Slide-In Convection Range. It has all the right features in a gorgeous package that you’ll be as pleased to look at on a daily basis as to cook on.
Best Drop-In Brands
GE also has the largest presence for drop-in ranges. These models are significantly more expensive than the other types, so not as many manufacturers produce them.
If you are in the market for a drop-in range, we suggest the GE 4.4 cu. ft. Drop-In Electric Range with Self-Cleaning Oven.
Frigidaire is another long-time American company that has been in operation since 1916.
As its name suggests, the company was initially known for its refrigeration appliances but has since diversified its offerings. It also manufactures appliances under the “Electrolux” name.
It claims to be the first company to have developed and sold the 30” electric range. Nowadays, they offer many different types of electric ranges in a wide price range and with many different features.
Best Freestanding Electric Ranges
|1.||GE JB645RKSS||30 in. 5.3 cu. ft. Electric Range||
|4.8 cu. ft. Electric Range||
|3.||Frigidaire FGEF3036TF||30 in. 5.4 cu. ft. Electric Range||
||6.3 cu. ft. Electric Range||
||30 in. 5.9 cu. ft. Electric Range||
Factors to Consider
Location can make a big difference in what type of range you select. Traditionally-designed kitchens are most likely to be set up to accommodate free-standing models.
More modern kitchens, on the other hand, are more likely to be designed with an island, which tends to favor slide-in or drop-in designs.
Then again, if you happen to live in a very old apartment or house, it is possible that you have no pre-assigned space for such an appliance and may have to squeeze in a range wherever you have space and a power outlet.
Number of Ovens
Up until a few years ago, this wasn’t even a factor that regular homeowners could consider.
Now, though, if you are a dedicated cook or committed to reducing your energy costs, you might want to consider a double oven.
Otherwise, most people will probably be fine with a regular, single oven.
Vents are important because they remove the fumes, smells, and steam from the cooking area.
The vast majority of people will probably feel most comfortable opting for a traditional range hood that is installed above a free-standing range. Range hoods are also generally the more powerful option.
For those of you who either have an island range or just want a different style, downdraft exhaust systems are the other option.
They are not usually as powerful as ranges, but they are better than nothing.
Variation in the size and number of burners is one of the most visible differences between electric ranges.
Many people wonder how many burners they really need. These days, four is considered the standard number, with five burners generally signifying an “upgraded” model.
Individuals, small families, and people who don’t cook much will be fine with four burners.
If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen or have many mouths to feed, you would probably benefit from that extra burner.
As for size, having dual-sized burners – burners that allow you to choose between heating the entire circumference or only the inner section – gives you more flexibility with what you can cook, regardless of your family size or frequency in the kitchen.
Convection or Not?
For those of you who have grown up using a traditional oven and had positive results, you may wonder if opting for a convection oven during your next appliance purchase is really worth the extra money.
While there are strong opinions on both sides, we feel that, if your budget allows for it, you might as well spring for the convection feature.
While it is true that operating the convection feature requires a bit of a learning curve, your food will generally come out faster and better than with a traditional oven.
There are of course pros and cons of choosing the convection feature, and you may be just fine without it if you’ve never had it.
Safety is always something good to consider, especially if you have children or elderly relatives in the home.
Electric ranges are considered safer than gas in general because their heating elements change color when on to indicate that they are in use. They can still cause burns, though, if touched.
Induction, on the other hand, does not use heat for cooking and is therefore considered the safest electrical option.
If you have the money and space for an induction range, this is a great way to ensure the safest possible kitchen experience for everyone in your family.
The variety of electric ranges is such these days that you can choose from a standard model or one with special features.
While it never hurts to have some fancy add-ons that add convenience and functionality to your cooking experience, they do come at a price.
A common feature, especially with smooth cooktops, is the warming zone.
Here you can place your cooked food to keep it warm while you prepare the rest of your meal. This area is specially designed to prevent burning or over-cooking.
Another popular feature is the power boil burners. This is for all of you who hate waiting forever for liquids to boil.
The power boil burner supercharges your pot of water to get you cooking more quickly.
Of course, we have to mention price. Even if you opt for the cheapest option, an electric range is going to cost you at least several hundred dollars.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you can easily spend several thousand dollars for a fancy, drop-in model.
Therefore, it is important for you to consider what you want and what your budget will allow.
It will be no fun if you have to spend the next several years cooking noodles on your fancy new range because that’s the only way that you can afford the payments.
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There are two kinds of self-cleaning functions: pyrolytic and steam. Both clean your oven at the touch of a button, but they use different methods.
The pyrolytic function heats your oven cavity above normal cooking temperatures until the food residue turns to ash.
These cycles typically take 2-4 hours to complete. Once finished, you need to remove the ash from the oven.
Steam cleaning also uses heat but adds water to the equation. This combination helps stuck-on food release more easily. Thus, this function takes less time to complete than the pyrolytic version.
While steam cleaning takes less time and uses less heat, it is also less effective than pyrolytic.
This feature specifically responds to the religious restrictions present in some sects of the Jewish faith regarding the use of appliances in accordance with Jewish law.
While each manufacturer has the ability to determine what “Sabbath Mode” means for them, in general, this feature overrides the auto shut-off function and does not show time, temperature, or selected oven function.
These changes allow observant Jews to cook food without turning any part of their appliance on or off.
For anyone who has been stuck with an old-school range until recently, expandable elements are probably one of the coolest technological upgrades to electric stovetops.
Instead of being stuck with four or five burners of a predetermined size, many electric ranges now offer you the ability to choose to only heat the smaller inner section of some burners or the entire burner.
This feature is particularly handy when you want to use smaller cookware or less heat for a certain item.
Almost all manufacturers now offer some sort of safety feature that locks all or some functionality of their electric ranges.
The design differs significantly between models and brands.
Some ranges will offer only the ability to lock the on/off button to prevent children or other unauthorized users from turning the appliance on.
Others take things a few steps farther and allow you to restrict certain functionalities or even prevent you from opening the oven door when enabled.
Just about every electric range these days comes with a built-in storage drawer beneath the oven area.
The idea is for you to store some of your larger cookware and bakeware down there for easy access.
As it turns out, not all storage drawers are created equal.
Whether due to differences in size, material quality, or construction, some models receive positive comments about their drawers, and others get a lot of complaints.
So, if you plan to make use of this storage potential, be sure to check out the drawers for the models you are considering to ensure that they are constructed sturdily and are large enough to hold what you plan to store there.
Background and Helpful Tips for Your Electric Range
First of all, we’d like to share some more kitchen appliance trivia.
Do you know what the difference between and oven and stove is? (Hint: they are not synonyms.)
An oven is an enclosed space where you heat or cook food. A stove is an enclosed space that uses fuel to provide heat.
While this may sound super similar, there is an important difference.
All ovens are stoves, but not all stoves are ovens.
To refresh your memory from the introduction, a range combines an oven and a cooktop into a single appliance.
This “combo” is by far the most common type of cooking appliance sold in the U.S.
Individual ovens and cooktops do exist, but they are much less popular than the range option, at least in the United States.
How to Get the Most from Your Electric Range
Every appliance brand is different, and every range is unique. Therefore, as with any new relationship, you need to get to know your particular range.
The first step is also the most obvious; read your instruction manual. That won’t illuminate the particular quirks of your appliance.
To get to know your oven, you should buy an oven thermometer. This will help you understand how accurate the internal thermostat is.
You should also perform the White Bread Test to identify hotspots. This is an inexpensive test bake using a simple loaf of sliced white bread.
You’ll be shocked at how much insight those slices can give you into where your oven heats unevenly.
If you have convection functionality, learn how to use it. It’s faster and better than traditional cooking, and there is no reason to allow the learning curve to intimidate you.
Additionally, make sure to keep your range clean. Everything works better when it’s clean, and your range is no different.
How to Clean Your Range
Cleaning your range is a two-step process because the oven and cooktop have different requirements.
For the common smooth cooktops, wiping up spills as soon as possible is step number one and will save you so much hassle later. Once those foods get dried or baked on, you will have to scrape and scrub to get them off.
For dried and stubborn stains, you will need to use special smooth cooktop cleaners and tools. Many should be fine with the products used in this cleaning video, but check your manual to make sure.
For the oven, you have the choice to use your appliance’s auto-clean function (if it has one) or to clean it manually. If you haven’t cleaned the oven in a while, you may need to do both.
There are many heavy-duty cleaners on the market that claim to work better than natural products, but they are usually full of harsh, toxic chemicals.
If you’d like to go the more natural route, you can follow these instructions on how to clean your oven with just ammonia and water.
How to Use Convection
Many people find convection cooking intimidating, and that’s unfortunate because it can significantly improve the speed and quality of your meals.
As we’ve already stated, the manual should be your first stop for information on how to operate your particular appliance.
That being said, there are several best practices and tips that will help you get comfortable with that magical fan in the back of your oven.
Q: Is the self-cleaning function safe?
A: While this oven function is generally considered safe, there are some potential concerns to be aware of.
First, carbon monoxide can build up during the self-cleaning process.
The amount that your oven produces is directly related to the quantity of stuck-on food in your oven.
This is because the food is what produces carbon monoxide as it burns.
Therefore, more frequent cleaning of spills when they occur will reduce the amount of potentially toxic gas that your oven produces when you do decide to use the self-clean function.
Also, keep in mind that this function heats your oven to extreme temperatures in order to burn off the stuck-on food.
So, frequent use of the self-clean function could theoretically damage sensitive parts of your oven, such as sensors or elements.
Q: Are induction ranges difficult to use?
A: No. More than anything, induction seems to suffer from poor PR and Americans’ slow adoption of new cooking technology.
If you don’t believe us, take a look at this video of chefs praising the virtues of induction technology and tell us that you aren’t convinced.
Q: How long can I expect my new range to last?
A: Electric ranges are more sturdily-designed than ever these days. Nevertheless, they have more computer technology than older models.
This means that some of the delicate pieces may breakdown and require maintenance before the entire appliance kicks the bucket.
Durability depends somewhat on brand and model, but you can expect your new range to last around 13 years.
Q: How do I know where to place my oven racks?
A: This is a pretty important question because placement does affect the outcome of your food.
If you are looking to brown something, you’ll want to place the food on the top rack because that is where there is more heat.
The middle section of the oven is your “safe zone.” Place your food here if you’re not sure about placement or if you will need to rotate or rearrange what your cooking at some point.
The lowest rack is where you’ll want to place items that need a good browning on the bottom. Think of pizza and bread here.
For those of you blessed with an oven large enough to offer additional rack placement options, the upper and lower sections will be most useful to you when you are cooking multiple dishes and need to make room.
Just keep in mind that you may need to rotate the dishes’ placements to avoid over or under-cooking.
There are many different types of electric ranges on the market today. We have scoured the inventory of the best electric range brands to discern which models are the best.
No matter your budget or your wildest cooking desires, we are confident that at least one of these ranges that we have reviewed will fit your needs.
So, take a look at our advice and information. Then think about what you really want and need out of this new appliance.
Finally, take a swing by your favorite appliance store if you can in order to see them in person and take the plunge.