Why Buy a Gas Range?
The top performers in our review are the LG 6.3 with ProBake Convection, the Gold Award Winner; the Samsung 5.8 True Convection, the Silver Award Winner; and the GE Profile, the Bronze Award Winner. Here’s more on choosing a gas range to meet your needs, along with detail on how we arrived at our ranking of 9 products.
A range is a workhorse appliance in any cook’s kitchen, and a well-designed range complements the kitchen’s design, cooks a wide range of foods and cleans up easily. Gas stove brands and models vary greatly; for example, oven size, the number of racks and rack positions, and how easily messes clean up differ from one range to the next. Each gas range stove is different as well. Our favorite models have one or more big burners that can quickly boil water in large stockpots, as well as precision burners for delicate simmering or melting foods that can easily scorch.
Gas vs. Electric vs. Induction Ranges
Ranges come in three varieties: gas, electric and induction. Each type has its benefits and drawbacks; however, your kitchen’s power source may restrict your choice. For example, if you previously owned an electric range, significant construction may be needed to run gas lines to a gas range. Unless you’re performing renovations, it may prove difficult and expensive to change from one type to another. If you’re starting from scratch, renovating your kitchen or shopping for another house, you can have your choice of range.
Gas ranges create blistering heat, and the flames reach and heat almost any shape of pan, including woks and those with rounded or beveled bottoms. You can also drag extremely heavy or abrasive material, such as cast iron, across the grates without damaging the surface. The flames usually form a ring shape, and there’s a gap in the center that produces less heat. Many cooks prefer a visual indicator of what’s happening below the pan, and the best gas stoves provide that.
Electric ranges with glass tops are easily scratched by cast iron skillets, but the smooth surface can serve as extra counter space in a pinch. Unless you really scorch food on the burner ring, most spills easily wipe up. The elements evenly heat the bottoms of your pans, and you can use low heat to prevent scorching. Electric ovens heat very accurately, and it is easy to make small adjustments to the temperature.
Induction ranges are generally more expensive but look similar to electric ranges. Induction heat is generally safer, particularly if you have young and beginner cooks in your house. Spills are generally even easier to clean up than those on electric ranges, as food doesn’t bake on an empty element. Once you remove the pan from the surface, it is cool to the touch. You’re limited on which cookware you can use, since induction ranges require magnetic pots and pans.
It’s been said that serious cooks buy gas ranges. You can roast peppers and other foods directly over the flame. When you take a pot off the burner, there isn’t as much residual heat; electric coils radiate heat much longer once the burner is off. You also have quick access to a flame for other uses, and you can use gas ranges if your electricity is out. To learn more about your options read our articles on Gas Ranges.
Gas Ranges: What We Evaluated, What We Found
When selecting top-rated gas ranges, we looked for a combination of cooktop and oven capabilities, as well as extra features. We evaluated common size models that fit in most kitchens and are versatile enough to meet a wide variety of demands. Below are some of the takeaways we found in our research of the best-rated gas ranges.
Cooktop: The Best Configurations Add Ease and Efficiency
The best cooktops include a continuous cast-iron grate. You should be able to easily move a heavy pot across the surface without awkwardly lifting it. We also looked for ranges that have a variety of burners and make good use of the cooktop space. It is important that the stove top has dedicated burners for the most demanding tasks: quickly boiling a pot of water and delivering high heat for searing and frying. It is also useful to have a delicate burner for melting and lightly simmering scorch-prone foods.
Cleanup is also important to consider; sealed burners easily wipe clean, and a recessed pan catches liquid spills and keeps them in place. If you cook hot breakfasts or use roasting pans on the cooktop surface, elongated burners and integrated griddles are great considerations.
Oven: Size and Modes Increase Versatility
For the oven, size matters. If you cook for a crowd, ovens with 6 cubic feet or more can fit multiple pans. Large ovens also give you greater flexibility in where you place your food relative to the elements. Some slide-in gas ranges sport double ovens to cook more at once. Broilers with high heat can quickly brown and roast food. Ovens with high maximum temperatures are also good for making items like homemade pizza crusts that need to bake fast, and convection ovens distribute hot air evenly, which results in evenly cooked food. Models with gliding racks that pull out without resistance can be lifesavers when you are baking in extremely heavy pots on the bottom rack position. These gas ovens often come in 24-inch, 30-inch and 36-inch sizes.
Some ovens have unique cooking modes to assist your baking. Proofing modes produce temperatures low enough to help dough rise. A timed-bake shutoff automatically turns the oven off when the timer elapses, which is particularly helpful when roasting big cuts of meat all day. Sabbath mode is helpful if you have religious restrictions for when the oven can be used.
Cleaning an oven can be quite the hassle, so we looked for ovens with self-cleaning cycles. Some models include an additional steam cleaning option, which uses a reservoir of water to help steam debris off the oven surface. Ranges that make good use of the space either have warming drawers or a storage compartment for pots and pans underneath.
Gas Ranges: Our Verdict and Recommendations
The LG 6.3 cubic foot with ProBake’s (LRG4115ST) burners and a broiler have the highest heat output of the ranges we evaluated. The stovetop has a gentle 5,000 Btu simmering burner and a central elongated burner for heating up the griddle. The continuous grates remove easily for quick cleanup, and the burners are sealed to prevent spills from dropping below the cooktop surface. The LRG4115ST has the best oven capacity in our review, providing enough space for seven rack positions, including a gliding rack. The oven includes a steam self-cleaner, timed bake shutoff and a control lock for safety. It also has a warming drawer to keep your side dishes warm while you finish up your main course. LG offers a one-year warranty on this appliance. For these and other reasons, it is the best gas range available.
Samsung’s 5.8 cubic foot with True Convection, our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award winner, features a dual-element burner that reaches 18,000 Btu and drops to 1,000 Btu, allowing it to perform heating tasks from rapid boiling to gentle simmering. You also get an elongated burner for bridge cooking with oversized pots and griddles. A grate is included that accommodates woks, and an integrated griddle allows you to make grilled sandwiches or hot breakfasts. A convection fan circulates hot air for even cooking, and the lower drawer keeps food warm before serving.
The GE Profile earns our Bronze Award. It has two high-output burners, an integrated griddle that rests over an elongated burner and a maximized cooking surface. It comes in four finishes, so you can get it as a black, white, slate or stainless steel gas range. You can read about our top three and the rest of our lineup in our slide-in gas range reviews.