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Best Electric Ranges
Finding the Best Electric Range for You
We have been reviewing electric ranges since 2011. We’ve spent more than 120 hours doing online research and consulting with professionals to find the best electric ranges on the market.
Electric ranges differ from each other in size, power, burner style, installation method, appearance and maintenance. The best electric ranges have a smooth glass ceramic cooktop and spacious ovens with convection cooking and many user conveniences.
Best Overall & Best Value
The Samsung NE595R0A has all of the cooking and convenience features most people need to cook for a large family. Its cooktop has a sleek ceramic glass cooktop with five burners, two of them with expandable elements. The cooktop has a power boil feature and a zone to keep food warm without overcooking. The convection oven has 5.9 cubic feet of cooking space and cooks food quickly and evenly. It also has steam and heat clean cycles to rid your oven of stubborn cooked-on food. This electric range is economically priced and one of the best values out there.
The LG LRE383 is a sleek, well designed electric range with five burners on the ceramic cooktop and a large oven with all the space you need to cook for a large family. The cooktop has an expandable burner and 3,000 watts of power, which is enough to cook food fast, even though it lacks a power boil element. The oven has the most powerful broiler element and the largest capacity at 6.3 cubic feet. Its specialized enamel surface cleans easily and the low-heat clean cycle will loosen built-on food in about 20 minutes.
Best Convection Cooking
The Kenmore 95053 is a heavy, large-capacity electric range with powerful cooking capabilities. It has some of the best broiling capabilities of any oven we reviewed as well as dual convection fans to circulate hot air throughout the oven to cook food quickly and evenly. Its 6.1-cubic-foot capacity will cook plenty of food for a large family. The stovetop has five burners, including a triple expandable burner and a power boil element. It has two cleaning cycles, a steam for regular maintenance and a heat clean cycle for baked-on food.
What to Look for in a Cooktop
The flat surface on modern electric ranges makes a huge difference when preparing food. The smooth ceramic glass keeps cookware on a flat surface. While this requires you to use only flat-bottomed cookware, the glass doesn’t warp or bend pans the way crooked coils often do.
The best electric stoves have expandable burners that fit two elements in one. The smaller inner element usually ranges from 6 to 9 inches while the larger outer element ranges from 9 to 12 inches. These elements can accommodate large pots and pans without taking up lots of space on the compact surface.
The wattage is generally higher on these models than electric coil ranges. Wattage indicates how quickly an element on the stove or oven heats up, not necessarily its temperature range. The higher the wattage, the faster the element reaches the heat level you want. Cooktops with a Power Boil element often produce over 3,000 watts to boil water, stock or sauces quickly. If you're remodeling, you can also purchase standalone electric cooktops to install directly into a counter or island.
What to Look for in an Oven
If you have a large family, you may want to consider differences in electric range ovens. These appliances can hold anywhere from 2 to over 6 cubic feet. Obviously, the more people in your family, the larger your oven needs to be. Larger ovens also require more power, especially models with a convection mode. Double ovens are also a viable option for large families and enthusiastic cooks.
The best feature in modern kitchen ranges is convection cooking. Convection is the process of heat transfer by mass motion of air or fluid. Modern ovens are often equipped with fans in the back of the oven chamber to circulate hot air and eliminate cold pockets. Convection ovens receive praise generally for producing evenly cooked food. Convection ovens tend to bake hotter than traditional models, so temperature conversion is necessary when following a recipe. This can take some getting used to, but it's worth it for tasty, evenly baked food.
Smooth cooktops are easier to clean than their coil counterparts are. This style is great for removing surface crumbs and stains. We recommend using specialized cleaner to remove smudges and add a shine to the smooth surface. When you encounter cooked-on messes, most spatulas, scrapers or even old credit cards can remove the soil from the cooktop. When it comes to keeping a modern-looking stove up to date, clean often and use proper cookware for the best results.
Properly cleaning your oven can feel like a Herculean task, but thankfully, most modern electric ranges have a self-clean feature. Most commonly, the self-clean cycle uses extremely high temperatures to reduce baked-on food stains to fine ash. These cycles usually last from two to four hours and can produce smoke, fumes and odors that can be harmful to pets or kids.
Newer models have started to incorporate a steam clean cycle on their list of features. Like the heated self-clean cycle, the steam cycle uses high temperatures to dissolve food stains. These cycles require a little water, usually under two cups and about 20 to 40 minutes to complete. This self-clean cycle doesn't require chemicals or dangerously high temperatures, and it doesn’t produce harmful fumes, making it a far safer option for families. The Maytag MER8700 has a unique coating called AquaLift that prevents food soils from attaching to the oven walls and floor, thus making self-cleanup much easier.
Gas vs. Electric
There is a lot to debate about the pros and cons of electric power. Gas and electric ranges work generally the same way. A range consists of a stovetop, oven and controls. The number of burners and ovens and the position of the controls vary depending on the style of range. Electric ranges are easier to install and typically less expensive than gas ranges. You also don't run the risk of dangerous gas leaks when you use electrical power to cook. Gas ranges are faster to heat and cool than their electric counterparts, and natural gas continues to work even after a power outage.
Electric ranges take longer to cool after you turn off the burner. This can be an advantage for any slow cooking or simmering but ineffective if you need to change heat quickly. Also, while they cost less initially, electric ranges can hike up your power bill, and they're less eco-friendly than gas powered ranges.
Cookware for Your Electric Range
Commonly used cookware like aluminum, stainless steel and cast iron are compatible with the glass ceramic surface on an electric range. However, there are measures you need to take to maintain the health of the electric stove and cookware alike.
Aluminum is an excellent conductor that heats and cooks food evenly. Aluminum cookware does well with a flat stovetop as long as the bottom is flat. An aluminum pan dragged across a glass cooktop will likely leave a skid. Thankfully, you can remove these marks easily if you catch them early.
Stainless steel heats slowly and often unevenly, but it's easy to maintain and relatively affordable. This type of material can leave skids on the cooktop. Like those left by aluminum cookware, they are easy to remove if you clean them immediately.
The biggest concern with using cast iron is avoiding cracks or scratches. You need to be careful to lift the pots or pans when handling any cast iron cookware on a flat glass stove. The flatter the bottom, the better, but the rough iron can still scratch the stove.
How We Evaluated, What We Found
To select the best electric ranges, we focused on cooktop and oven capabilities, as well as extra conveniences and features. The main function of any electric range is to cook food quickly and evenly, so we accounted for any feature that contributes to this purpose.
Our lineup consists of different brands across the board with homeowners and renovators in mind. All of these ranges are freestanding, meaning they have finished sides. This style of oven is flexible for remodeling and moving because it fits easily into cabinets and works well, even in small kitchens.
Electric ranges generally have one of two types of stovetops. When researching on top home improvement, hardware and cooking sources, we found an overwhelming preference for smooth glass stoves over coil models. This style has increased in popularity over the last few years because of their sleek looks and easy cleaning.
We found that oven capacity is the most important factor when it comes to baking or broiling in an electric range. Even if you don't cook Thanksgiving-size meals often, the larger the oven, the more space thermal or convective heat has to move away from the food. Smaller ovens will heat faster because of this, but larger ovens suit families of three or more best.
If you're remodeling, consider the type of range you need. Freestanding ranges can sit between or at the end of your cabinets. The backsplash controls also put the heat out of reach of children. Slide-in ranges look built-in but have unfinished sides, requiring them to slide between cabinets. These models house controls in the front, making them easy to operate but potentially hazardous to any small curious children. Drop-in ranges are similar to their slide-in counterparts but require cabinetry under the oven.
User conveniences improve how you measure baking time, clean and operate the range safely. Most electric ranges have familiar features like a timer or digital clock. These features may be common, but they make cooking far easier, allowing you time for prep and cleaning while the meal cooks. There are less common features like a warming drawer to keep rising dough as well as food-specific controls for easy items like pizza, chicken nuggets and even turkey.
Large kitchen appliances like electric ranges are essential to the kitchen. They're expensive and used often, which means fixing them can be a pain. Be sure to pay attention to warranty details when selecting an electric range. Look for a manufacturer that offers plenty of support methods and a warranty that lasts at least a year.
Contributing Reviewer: Noel Case