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alexander_timofeyev

30" range died, overwhelmed and need help finding replacement

We have an old 30" coil-top free-standing electric range - that we hate - who's oven just died completely, and I am overwhelmed with trying to find a replacement.

We cook on the range several times a week, use the oven for roasting / broiling weekly, and my wife bakes brownies / cookies / cakes / cheesecake twice a month.

I was thinking of switching to gas -- we could have a gas line put in for ~$300 -- but I read that gas ovens don't hold their temperature well, and my wife would be annoyed if her baked goods came out wrong.

Then I was thinking dual-fuel, but CR said that they found no benefit to dual-fuel? Even more confusing.

So now I don't know if we should go with gas, or dual-fuel, or induction.

We don't have a fixed budget. We were initially looking at free-standing ranges in the ~$1k range, but we could do ~$2k+. We prefer to be frugal, and we are considering moving to a bigger house, but we'd rather pay more to get a better range that we'll be happy with than save money and regret it.

Our range is on an interior wall, so our "vent" hood is a recirculating forehead-greaser that we never use - I don't know if that would be a limiting factor.

Thanks for helping me out.

Comments (65)

  • Alexander Timofeyev
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    JWVideo -

    Could you tell me what CR thought of the Frigidaire FGIF3061NF and the Samsung NE595N0PBSR?

    And, if you don't mind, could you give me a rough summary of what they thought about the previous year's induction models? Just so I could get a gist of how the different brands stack up?

    Thanks.

    Jebrooks -

    I saw a glowing review of that Samsung range at ovens.reviewed.com - the only professional review I could find of the new crop of induction ranges. I understand that there could be poor service when the range brakes, as I heard that Samsung parts can be hard to find, etc, but ideally the range doesn't brake. Right? I'm not sure what the problem rate is for ranges, but it sounds like it's lowest for GE / Electrolux, highest for Whirlpool, and Samsung falls in the middle. At least that's what I was lead to believe.

    I understand the height issue - my wife is 5' 2". I guess we need to see the ranges in person. I do like the idea of the knobs, I'm merely concerned at how they work to regulate the temp. I understand that the better induction ranges have ~19 discrete power steppings. I'm not sure how well that's reproduced on a knob, if at all. Slide-ins certainly fix that problem, at a 50% price premium and possibly requiring cabinet work.

  • carolmka
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    My mom lives in the country so gas is not a practical option. She has a glass top maytag electric range with a double oven which she loves. When she wants to do other styles of cooking they pull out their charcoal grill, gas grill, or their cook stove.

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  • jebrooks
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Timobkg: The Frigidaire induction range with the knobs goes from 1.5 to 9.5 in 0.5 increments, plus Lo, Hi and Boost. If I did the math right that's twenty levels.

    I think the only range I've looked at with fewer than 12 heat settings is the Whirlpool. I'm not certain of that though, it might have been Kitchenaid.

  • jwvideo
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Timobkg

    CR gave highest marks to the GE PHB925 until it was discontinued. Actually, CR gave the PHB925 the highest marks it has ever given any stove of any kind.

    For reasons I cannot fathom, CR continues to list the older Samsung FTQ307 as a very highly rated stove even though that model was discontinued two years ago. CR acknowledges that there were a fair number of complaints about this model's reliability and burner layout. When jebrooks percceived as an "overwhelming number" of negative reviews, I'm guessing that most of those reviews were about the fan problems that the bediviled owners of the earlier versions of the FTQ model. According to posters here who bought the later models, Samsung had fixed the "endlessly running cooling fan" propblem in the later FTQs and it does not seem to be a problem with NE59X models. Also, a pretty fair number of folks f I have not seen very many negative reviews of its NE59X replacements -- although there certainly have been some disappointed customers.

    The Frigidaire is currently CR's #2 rated induction range with "excellent" performance test results for high and low stovetop heat (as expected for all induction), "very good" for baking, good for broiling, and "very good" for oven capacity and oven self-cleaning. CR gives it a "recommended buy" rating but acknowledges that the range has only one burner greater than 7" in diameter for larger pots.

    The #3 induction range on CR's list is the Samsung NE595NOPBSR. It garnered "excellent" performance ratings for cooktop heating and oven size, and "Very good" ratings for baking, broiling and oven self-cleaning. I think you might want to go one model up to the NE597NOPBSR in order to get the bridging element. CR has not tested that model. . Sometimes people confuse the NE595 with the NE597 and vice versa, but the NE597 has more capabilities including the bridgeable/linkable left set of burners. If you live in Canada, you also could check out the NE599 which has the same cooktop as the NE597 plus the "flex oven (you can inster a panel divider to make it perform as two separately controllable ovens when you want that functionaility). Not available on this side of the border.

    The No. 4 stove on CR's induction range testing was the Elux Slide-in which apparently did not do so well in CR's oven testing. (There has been discussion of this seeming anomaly in several threads here about the Elux.) CR's testing gave not-so-great ratings to the Maytag which also is sold as the Whirlpool. CR conlcuded that the so-called "acqualift" self cleaning is just plain abysmal. (There is a long running thread of Maytag/Whirlpool/Kitchenaid owners who strongly agree and are very upset the company for foisting the acqialift on them.)

    For anybody interested in the Samsung induction ranges, you might want to check out the discussions on Chowhound as there are several Samsung induction owners there.

  • northcarolina
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I think induction is a great choice for you, given what you said about your type of cooking and the lack of outside venting in your kitchen. How convenient that your old range is a freestanding one of a standard size, so you can replace it easily without changing your countertop!

    I went from coil to induction and love it. Cleanup is super easy. I just laugh at boil-overs now: I can pick up the pot, wipe the spill with a paper towel without turning off the hob, and replace the pot on the clean hob. Boil-overs are much less common for me now, though, because of the fast and accurate temp control.

    My freestanding induction range has a touch pad at the front. There is no problem changing the heat level quickly. I can use the +/- button to adjust it incrementally or I can just touch directly on the level I want if I need to make a big change fast (i.e. pot about to boil over). Cleanup is no problem with the touch pad. The oven controls and the timer are on the riser at the back.

    Mine is a discontinued Samsung that I got at an enormous discount as a floor model. I can't remember the model number now, but it might be one that was mentioned in an earlier post. It did have a number of poor reviews online, but I have had no trouble with it. I will be honest: if this one had not been at such a steep discount that I didn't think I could pass it up, I don't think I would have had the guts to buy something with this level of technology as a floor sample.

    I have posted about my cookware before, but I'll repeat it quickly: in case you need new cookware but don't want to spend much, think about Farberware Classic stainless steel and Lodge cast iron. I use both and they work very well for me. (Farberware nonstick is not induction compatible, so avoid buying a boxed set that includes a nonstick pan.)

    Good luck and have fun with your new stove!

  • jebrooks
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Thanks for the pointer to Chowhound.. I'll check it out.

    I just went to Amazon and re-read the reviews on the NE597. People either like the range or hate the customer service. I did notice one thing I found "interesting". I researched this range and removed it from consideration in late 2013. When I was reading reviews just now I saw two highly negative reviews from March and April, 2014 that I could swear I read last year. Is it possible to refresh a review on Amazon to keep it looking fresh?

  • Alexander Timofeyev
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Hey JWVideo,

    Thanks so much for that info. I'm guessing most of that should carry over to the new models, so based on that, I'm going to rule out of the Whirlpool manufactured ovens and focus on Electrolux, GE, Samsung.

    I guess I need to pour over their manuals to figure out what different features they offer. For example, the Samsung NE597 has Boil Alert, which at first I thought was just a beep - helpful, but not great, and potentially annoying, but reading through the manual I just learned that it automatically reduces power so it doesn't over boil. Now that's smart and helpful. Why don't they put that on the feature list, instead of just saying that a beep goes off?

    The Samsung NE599 sounds very nice, since a double oven would be great on occasion, and is what drew me to the Whirlpool / Maytag ranges, but unfortunately I'm pretty far from Canada.

    Northcarolina,

    What do you mean you can touch directly on the level you want to make quick adjustments? All the ranges I looked at just have the +/- buttons, and Simmer / High.

    Thanks for the info about the cookware. We'll definitely need to replace all of ours, the only magnetic things we have is a single Calphalon cast iron pan and a tiny sauce pan. It'll be an adjustment, certainly, since I've used non-stick 90% of the time for the past 10 years.

  • jebrooks
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Induction-capable non-stick pans are available. TJ Maxx is a great place to find induction pots and pans at reasonable prices.

    Through dumb luck I already owned a 12" T-Fal skillet that is induction ready. When I decided to buy an induction range I started shopping for cookware to replace my old aluminum pans. I found a very nice 8" skillet and an OK 10" skillet, both non-stick at TJ Maxx. They appear to be overstocked European brands. The prevalence of induction cooktops in Europe creates the demand for manufacturing and TJ Maxx gets their overproduction.

    Over the months I have also found Le Crueset cast iron, All-Clad stainless and a very nice Calphalon stock pot.

    Of course my cabinets look like they were stocked by a college student, but the food can't tell the difference.

    All I need now is a pressure cooker and a roasting pan... and an induction range. I'll be watching the Memorial Day sales.

  • northcarolina
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Northcarolina,
    What do you mean you can touch directly on the level you want to make quick adjustments? All the ranges I looked at just have the +/- buttons, and Simmer / High.

    I can't say if the controls on the new Samsung induction stoves work the same way as mine (I looked -- it's the FTQ307), but here is a screenshot of my controls. You first touch the indicator for the hob you want (number 3), then you can touch anywhere within the slider thing (number 4) to set the power where you need it. The power levels aren't printed on the slider, but you figure out pretty fast where to touch to get each level. (Those little vertical lines are just there for looks -- you don't have to aim for any specific one or try to count them; you just figure Low and 1 are at one end, 9 and High are at the other, and 5 is right in the middle.) You can move the power up or down fast by pressing and holding the + or - symbol, by sliding your finger up or down the slider, or by just touching a different place within the slider. The last way is how I do it. The only thing that is not really intuitive for us coil-top people is that you have to touch the controls twice: once to select the hob and again to select the power level. (Three times if you count touching the power button when you first start cooking.) You might want to see if you can get hold of the instruction manual for the stove you're looking at to see if the controls work the same way.

    This post was edited by northcarolina on Tue, May 13, 14 at 21:36

  • Alexander Timofeyev
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    So, this may be a silly question, but seeing that the induction range requires 40 Amps, is that something that I need to worry about? Or are we fine given that we have an electric coil top range already?

    Jebrooks,
    Thanks for the head's up about TJ Maxx. I'll have to swing by there and see if the ones here have any compatible cookware.

    Northcarolina,
    It looks like your control panel is different than all the current ones. They probably simplified them to save money and lower the cost of the range.

    I noticed that some ranges have a 5th warming element, while some don't. Can anyone that has one tell me if that's a useful thing to have? Or could you achieve the same by just using the lowest setting of the induction burner?

  • northcarolina
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Mine doesn't have a warming element, but I can't imagine how it would be any different than the lowest setting on a regular induction burner. Those go low enough to safely melt chocolate without burning it. Maybe there is something different about its programming, but maybe not. Are you sure the ranges with warming elements are full induction, not combo radiant/induction? I wouldn't mind having a 5th element IF there were room for it (and still have room to fit my biggest pots), but I wouldn't see any need for a dedicated warming element that didn't do anything else.

  • jwvideo
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    So, this may be a silly question, but seeing that the induction range requires 40 Amps, is that something that I need to worry about? Or are we fine given that we have an electric coil top range already?

    How old is your house and how old is that old coil-burner range?

    Well, the chances are that it is on a 40 amp circuit because standard sized ranges have required 40 amp circuits for deacdes. But, you indicated that you have an old house, so don't trust that. (I've workd in more than one old house where somebody remodeled and hooked an electric range plugged into a 30 Amp circuit for a clothes dryer. Heck, I saw one house in which somebody who "knew the right way to do things and don't need no stinking codes" had wired a modern electrical smooth-top jury rigged into an old fuse box!)

    So, find the electrical panel and check the circuit breaker for the range. It will have a number embossed into the switch arm. If that number is 40 (or greater) you should be good to go. Would not be a bad idea to check (or have somebody check) the cable gauge, as well. It should be 8 guage for a 40 amp circuit and 6 guage for a 50 amp.

    Finally, check the stove outlet as you having an old stove in an old house makes me suspect your outlet will be the older style 3-connector plug (three slots) rather than the newer 4-connector. That determines which connector cable you buy for your new stove. The new stove can be wired for either. (You can get it from the vendor or just go to a hardware stores.) You just need to know which one to get.

  • Alexander Timofeyev
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Our house was built in 1977, and the range could be original for all I know. Circuit breaker says 40, though, so I guess we should be set. Thanks!

  • jebrooks
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    The warming element is a low power (100-150 Watt) radiant element. I guess it could be used to keep a casserole or something in a serving dish that isn't magnetic warm.

    My house was built in 1968 and is wired right. I'm sure if yours was built in 1977 by even a semi-reputable builder you will be fine.

  • jwvideo
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    That's not what I think of as an "old" house. :-)

    One suggestion though,Timbokg. With that stove having been in place since the 70's, I would flip the breaker, pull the cover off the outlet, and check to be sure there is nothing obviously loose or burned in there. Around here, some home inspectors check this but most do not, Chances are very good that nothing will be wrong. But, if you need to swap in a new outlet, you might as well get it taken care of when you already have the stove out of the way. Once the new stove goes in, the back becomes part of the land that time forgets.

  • Alexander Timofeyev
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Heh, that's very true. Thanks, I'll do that when it comes time to pull the old one out and put the new one in. Hoping to buy one next week or weekend, take advantage of any possible Memorial Day sale.

    I noticed that the Frigidaire FGIF3061NF has a bridge element listed on its specifications, I assume for the two left burners, but I couldn't find any info in the manual about it for how to turn it on or how it works. Any idea on how that would work?

  • a2gemini
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Verify with an electrician that your power will support your choice. I am betting it will support a 30 inch range/cooktop but not a 36 inch without a new breaker.
    Our 36 inch required a 50 amp breaker but as I recall all of the 30s only required 40 amps.

  • jwvideo
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    AFAIK, the only induction ranges currently that spec a 50 amp circuit are the Viking ($$$$), the Dacor ($$$) and Electrolux Wave Touch slide-in with two ovens ($$). Everything else (at least everything I've seen) specs a 40 amp circuit including the Frigidaire freestanding induction .

    As for bridgeable elements, the site is wrong if it says that the Frigidaire FGIF3061NF has the linking bridge. In the Elux/Frigidaire induction lineup, it is the freestanding Electrolux IQ-Touch Series EI30IF40LS that has the twin 7" elements with the linkable/bridging control.

    FYI, memorial day pricing might actually might be available this weekend. You can get an inkling at some sites by adding the item to your cart. Did a quick check at AJ Madison and Lowe's to see what was up. Looks like AJM will be pricing that Frigidaire at $1339 and the Elux at about $1700 but Lowe's didn't seem to have their Memorial day prices linked in yet.

  • jebrooks
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    The GE PHB/PHS 920 ranges have two same-size elements on the left side. They don't have a bridge function, but GE says it is OK to span them with a griddle and just set both burners to the same power to get the bridging effect.

    The elements on the GE ranges are one inch larger than the Electrolux elements. That seems to crowd the cook top a little, and in the photos on GE's product page the rear elements appear be partially obscured by the control panel. I finally found a range on display in a town about three hours from my home. I will go there this Saturday with some pans and check it out, then choose a range and try to get a good Memorial Day sale price.

  • Alexander Timofeyev
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Ok, that makes sense. I was surprised that they listed a bridge element on the spec sheet, when it wasn't mentioned in the manual.

    And I thought I saw some pricing shenanigans going on when I checked today. Sears has the Samsung NE597 for $1440, while the lesser NE595 jumped up to $1550. Sadly we have a family event this weekend, but hopefully we can take a look at something this week to be able to buy by next weekend.

  • jwvideo
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Timobkg: those prices will likely hold through the Memorial day weekend. $1440 is a very nice price for the Samsung NE597.

    jebrooks: Good that you are taking some pans with you. I did that when I checked out the previous "925" model after seeing a similar image of that stove's top. Turned out the image was a bit off kilter. There was standard burner spacing that was no more constrictive than any other standard freestanding range.

    My sympathies on having to drive three hours to see an actual unit. I hope there's some other reason to go.

  • JDE24
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    The original post by Timobkg, could nearly read word for word to our situation.

    I've been reading for the past two days and am officially overwhelmed!!!!

    I don't want to hijack this thread, but seeing as how it's related, it shouldn't hurt. :)

    Firstly, the one difference is, we can't go induction. We have a fantastic set of All Clad Mc2 which I understand doesn't work with induction...

    We could go as high price wise as 3k, but would like to stay under that. I'd like to go gas, but this will require a gas line being installed. (not a problem)

    Originally, I was thinking higher end, because we both love to cook, even though we'd been limping along for quite some time with an old coil Whirlpool.

    There is a nice deal on a Viking nearby(under 3k), but after reading the reviews around here, it has me scared to even consider them!

    We like the "pro style" appearance, and we wouldn't mind an infrared broiler, but in all honesty, we'd rather have something reliable. :)

    We have a nice wok we haven't used since we moved in here, so if there is a range that accomodates that, that would be an added bonus. I also have been drawn to the center griddle models (5 burner) but it's not necessary. I do have a 16" pan that I use on occasion, which would need to fit on any choice we make.

    Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!

  • jwvideo
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    The first thing is this: slow down. It's just a stove. We all get the information overload and analysis paralyisis. Take a little time. You'll find numbers of recent threads discussing stove choices with preferences similar to yours.

    Second, can't go induction because of having A/C MC2? Well, let me give you a devil's advocate view. Seems to me that from a strictly economic perspective, there may be a different way to look at your dilemmas. You could, for example, sell the MC2 on Craigslist, buy A/c stainless/induction capable replacements, buy a freestanding induction range for under $1700 and be ahead of what it would cost you to buy a pro-style stove and pay for a gas line. So, you aren't locked in to the A/C MC2.

    Now it is an entirely different matter if you've decided you really prefer a particular gas stove, or at least gas burners for stovetop cooking. As I pointed out above, you have to choose a real stove from among several other real stoves that meet your preferences. That may lead you to a gas or dual fuel range or something else. There may be perfectly good reasons for you (as opposed to somebody else) to find yourself preferring a gas or dual fuel range to the induction ones in your price range.

    Third, with a $3k range budget (and I'm assuming that the budget for the gas line is separate), and assuming that you've got usable exterior venting, you might want to look at the GE Cafe ranges and research them here and on other forums. They have wider cooktop area than most major brand ranges, some people like their looks, and so you get some the advantages of pro-style ranges plus a larger self-cleaning oven and, if you care, a warming drawer.

    Every once in a while, some of the "pro-style" ranges turn up on sale or promotional pricing at under $3k, but they mostly start at around $3400. The only less-expensive pro-style range is the 30" NXR which you can get from Costco.com (and several other vendors) for $1799 to $1999, Your comment about "we'd rather have something reliable" leads me to suspect that that your tolerence for risk is pretty low. Youve read some complaints about particular stoves (e.g., Wolf, Blue Star, etc.) and concluded that they are all completely unreliable? That is not the case for most brands, at least statistically. Every maker will produce some lemons and most of the "pro-style" ranges are no more unreliable than major brand ranges. But it is about your tolerance for risk -- not mine --- and that is personal. The biggest difference between the pro-style boutique brands and the major brands is that the warranty service for boutique brands can be hit or miss. That does not make the stoves unreliable but it does make the 5% to 10% of folks with problems a lot more angry when service fails to come through. Especially when they've paid so much for a range

    That's an inherent risk that has to be considered by anybody shopping for brands like Blue Star, American Range, and NXR. If you don't feel competent to work working on your own stove --- and many people do not --- and you really have to depend on "certified" servicers, it will be no comfort to you that you had a statistically small chance of winding up with a defective, unreliable range. Statistics don't matter when you are one of the 5% to 10% who do find themselves with a problem range.

    If you don't like those risks -- and many do not --- that is a perfectly good reason to stay away from premium priced and pro-style ranges.

    But breathe deep and look for some of the recent threads here discussing major brand ranges, including discussions of ranges in the sub $1500 and sub-$1k price ranges if that's where you wind up focusing.

  • JDE24
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Hah. Thank you for the response! Selling the pans isn't something we're likely to do but I didn't even know what induction was until yesterday. ;)

    Gas has been our thought for years, if and when ours kicked the bucket. On the other side, we've gotten quite used to electric so we're not entirely opposed to it. In any case, I don't intend to make a rash decision. The stove top still works reliably...

    Our venting, it's recirculating. :( We just replaced it last year with an over the range GE profile (with convection)

    In regards to the lack of exterior venting, are there certain types or levels of ranges to steer clear of?

    Originally we thought we would just tack on a GE profile range to have it match, but we don't care for the matching gas version. (mainly due to the design of the grates Model: P2S975SEPSS) The electric version doesn't bother us.

    Appearance is key to us, so unfortunately the cafe series and it's rounded corners doesn't work. We like models with front knobs (Bertazzoni, Viking, Kitchen Aid Architect, Bosch 800 series, Electrolux Icon)

    We're also looking into changing countertops / backsplash / sink, but would prefer to do that next year due to cost. I assume it's recommended to retain our current back splash?

  • JDE24
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Here is the space in question. :)

  • jwvideo
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    If you are okay with electric, go with it.

    Backsplash: I can't quite tell from the picture if you have a drop-in or slide-in range although the range model you mentioned, the GE P2S975SEPSS, is a dual fuel slide-in . Drop-ins can come in odd sizes, so measure it to find out if replacing it will require immediate cabinet modifications.

    For either a slide-in or drop-in, you you will need a non-flammable backsplash behind a slide-i or drop-in range. You might want to consider a temporary fix with a sheet metal plate on the wall pending your remodel. (Hardware stores and big-box vendors sell these as range hood accessories.

    For help with design and finishes, try the kitchens forum. This forum tends to be for appliance geeks. Some have excellent design sense, to be sure, but the kitchens forum is where design mavens hang out.

    Venting: From the photo, it looks as though like you could vent up out the top of the OTR into the cabinet, install a 90-degree elbow and then have a short, straight run of ducting (either round or rectangular) through the cabinet to the right hand wall. You lose some shelf space but it is easy and relatively inexpensive and will be a noticeable improvement over recirculating. If there is space above the cabinets, even better. It is easy to built a little soffti or chase up there to cover the ducting and you lose less shelf space in the cabinets. If you've already thought that through, then, never mind..

    This post was edited by JWVideo on Sat, May 17, 14 at 21:59

  • jebrooks
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I just got back from my journey of discovery. I actually found a store with the Elux, GE, and Samsung NE597 side by side. In another store I also found a GE PHS920 slide-in range. It is pretty but the cooking surface is actually smaller than the freestanding range.

    The Samsung was on sale for $1,395. Although the price is very attractive, the nearest service tech is in another state and I am too chicken to take the chance of needing service.

    The GE and Elux both look good, and would work with my most demanding cookware configuration. The local store also has certified techs for both brands.

    I am attracted by the larger elements and the oven temp probe in the GE. I am going to the store for a last look at the Frigidaire range tomorrow. Then it's a matter of features vs price for a purchase decision.

  • speedlever
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    This is a timely thread inasmuch as our 30" gas range is on its last legs. I've been nursing it along for a couple of years knowing its time was limited. (Circuit board issues on a 15+ year old range).

    I was leaning gas... to replace the existing gas range. But am now strongly considering induction (we need new cookware too).

    When the house was built in 1993, it had an electric range. At some point, one of the previous owners (we are the 3rd) replaced the electric range with a gas range.

    And so the research process begins....

  • ctbert
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Hi everyone
    It looks like CR recently updated their reviews of induction ranges as follows:
    Recommended:
    1. Samsung FTQ307NWGX (89)
    2. Kenmore 95073 (89)
    3. GE PHB920SFSS (86)
    4. Frigidaire Gallery FGIF3061NF (81)
    Not recommended:
    5. Electrolux EI30IF40LS (79)
    6. Samsung NE595N0PBSR (77)
    7. Electrolux EW30IS65JS (73)
    8. Maytag MIR8890AS (67)

    We are in the throes of decision making and any feedback (pro or con) is welcome!

  • ctbert
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Hi everyone
    It looks like CR recently updated their reviews of induction ranges as follows:
    Recommended:
    1. Samsung FTQ307NWGX (89)
    2. Kenmore 95073 (89)
    3. GE PHB920SFSS (86)
    4. Frigidaire Gallery FGIF3061NF (81)
    Not recommended:
    5. Electrolux EI30IF40LS (79)
    6. Samsung NE595N0PBSR (77)
    7. Electrolux EW30IS65JS (73)
    8. Maytag MIR8890AS (67)

    We are in the throes of decision making and any feedback (pro or con) is welcome!

  • Alexander Timofeyev
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    ctbert, thanks for the info!

    Those rankings would have been a lot more useful had they reviewed the new Samsung NE597N0PBSR, and not the discontinued FTQ307. Oh well.

    Right now, I think our top options are:

    Kenmore 95073 (knobs, seems better than the Frigidaire at the same price)

    Samsung NE597 (least expensive, looks great on paper with the large burners, boil alert, great oven, etc, but reliability seems suspect)

    GE PHB920 (large burners, reliable, but 43% more expensive than the other two)

    If someone with access to CR could give me the details about what they liked / disliked about those models (I guess subbing in the Samsung NE595 for the NE597), I would really appreciate it.

    This post was edited by Timobkg on Thu, May 22, 14 at 20:12

  • jebrooks
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Timobkg - I was in a similar situation trying to choose between the Elux and GE. Everywhere I looked the price for the GE was $2199 while the Elux is on sale several places.

    Then I went to one of our locally owned appliance stores and they offered it to me for a little over $1900. I didn't prefer the GE $450 worth, but a $150 difference is another story entirely.

    Don't get too fixated on shopping at a big box. A well established local store might give you a better deal.

  • ctbert
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Kenmore 95073 ratings:
    Cooktop high E
    Cooktop low E
    Bake VG
    Broil VH
    Oven capacity VG
    Self clean E
    Other than that, they liked large main oven window, covered bake element, numeric keypad for entering oven temp and times

  • ctbert
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    GE PHB920SFSS Rating:
    Cooktop high E
    Cooktop low E
    Bake VG
    Broil G
    Oven capacity E
    Self clean E
    Other than that, they liked large main oven window, covered bake element, numeric keypad for entering oven temp and times, and temperature probe
    (By the way , Broil on Kenmore above should be "VG")

  • ctbert
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Samsung NE595N0PBSR Ratings:
    Cooktop high E
    Cooktop low E
    Bake VG
    Broil VG
    Oven capacity E
    Self clean VG
    Other than that, they liked large main oven window, covered bake element, numeric keypad for entering oven temp and times

  • jebrooks
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Timobkg,

    Did you choose a range? What did you wind up going with?

  • Alexander Timofeyev
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I did. I went with the Kenmore Elite 95073.

    I really liked the bigger elements of the Samsung NE597N, but I was put off by the seemingly questionable reliability and the difficulties people seemed to be having getting them serviced. And the GE PHB920 was 40% more expensive.

    It was delivered 3 days ago, but I only got a chance to turn it on for the first time today because the Sears Home Delivery people were terrible.

    Since I can't write a review of the range yet, let me rant for a bit about Sears Home Delivery being awful.

    We purchased over $5,000 worth of appliances from Sears - the Kenmore Elite 95073 range, Bosch SHP65T55UC dishwasher, and Samsung RF32FMQDBSR fridge. We had installation included for the range and the fridge. Appliances were supposed to be delivered Thursday, and we got a call Wednesday night giving us the delivery window. And when they arrived on Thursday, that's when the trouble began.

    First, the range. They started pulling the old range out, and I had to ask them to try to lift and be gentle rather than drag it out across our floor.

    The old range outlet was mounted vertically on the wall, but for the new range the outlet had to be oriented horizontally along the bottom for it to sit flush against the wall. So the delivery team left our new range sitting 8" out from the wall, saying that's the best they could do and we'd just have to live with it. They didn't even try to level it, and they didn't leave the anti-tip bracket that's supposed to be installed with the range.

    And now the fridge. They said they couldn't install the fridge because our water shutoff was in the utility closet behind the kitchen, and not directly behind the fridge. Whatever, I can hook up the water myself. They had to use my cell phone to call in and report that they couldn't do the install, and since they had to write stuff while they talked, I had to watch my cell phone slide around on the clipboard above our driveway before I finally had to hold it for the delivery team. I assumed they would at least put the fridge in the kitchen as I had asked, but no, they dumped the fridge in our living room and left.

    We called the delivery team, and they said they could send someone back out to us in two days, meaning that we could go ahead and just throw out all our food.

    So I had to have my neighbor come over, help me remove the doors off the fridge, help me move the 400 lb fridge from our living room to our kitchen - gauging part of our hardwood floor in the process - and then hook it up and put the doors back on so that we could throw our food back in the fridge and freezer.

    With the fridge in place we couldn't pull the range all the way out, so yesterday I had to climb over our counters to get behind the range so that I could move the outlet and cord down to the bottom so that the range could sit flush against the wall. Then climb out, push the range back in, test for level, pull it out again, climb behind it again, level it, climb out, push it back in, test again...

    That's when I discovered that they kept the anti-tip bracket that's supposed to be installed to keep the range from killing our toddler. Now I need to wait a week to receive it, and hope that it comes with the installation template.

    I'm just glad I decided not to pay the $180 to install the dishwasher. It was an easy, if lengthy, install, and I'd hate to think how the Sears Home Delivery team would have botched that. I'd probably have a flooded kitchen too.

  • emma
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I could walk in to a store and buy a range with no trouble at all. Unless you are a chef most will do the job. It's the washer and dryer I am frustrated about. I disliked my last set and never in my younger years did I have a problem with reliability. My last two Sears items have needed a service call within a couple of months.

  • ctbert
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Timobkg,
    How are you liking your Kenmore elite induction range?
    We are looking for any feedback.
    Thanks

  • Alexander Timofeyev
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Here's my review of the Kenmore Elite 95073 Induction Range after having owned it a month.

    Overall, we really like it, and would completely recommend it to those looking for an induction range. It's one of only two induction ranges with knobs, and the better of the two. It's not perfect, but we think it's very good, and we're happy with it.

    Pros:

    Induction is every bit as good as people say it is, and this range is no exception. Instant on, instant off, and all the modulation of gas (and then some), but giving off no ambient heat - perfect for us without a vented range hood. Being able to line the range with newspaper when cooking something that splatters is great. Water boils very quickly, etc...

    The knobs on this induction range are great. Quick, easy, instant. I have never used an induction range with buttons, but I will gladly take knobs over having to push buttons repeatedly to change the heat.

    Size wise, we can fit a 12" pan or stockpot and a narrow 2-quart saucepan on one side, and a 10" pan and wide 2 or 4-quart saucepan on the other.

    The oven is huge. We've only used the oven a couple times, given that it's summer, and we haven't made any baked goods to really test it, but so far, it's worked well. It heats up very quickly, much faster than our old oven. The oven controls work well and are very easy to use. The temperature range is rather nice - our old oven only started at 250, while this one starts at 170 which is great for keeping stuff warm.

    The range looks pretty good, mostly black with stainless steel accents. Having used the provided Kenmore cream to wax and clean the range top, it still looks brand new after a month.

    Cons:

    Due to exhaust vents on the back of the range, the back has to sit 1.5" out from the wall instead of being flush against the wall. No store in my area has induction ranges on the show floor, and all the other ranges were arranged to only show the front, so I don't know if this is specific to my range or is common for all convection oven ranges. But if you're replacing an old range, as we were, be aware that the new range may extend a couple inches out from the counter.

    The oven's convection fan is rather loud, particularly when it's heating up. It's about as loud as a microwave, so not something you'll hear outside the kitchen, but definitely noticeable. The fan runs on heat-up regardless of if you're using convection or not, and causes the whole range to vibrate.

    Your cookware makes a huge difference in how noisy induction cooking is.

    When we first got the range, we used our existing, cheap, no-name pans. Pre-heating our cheap stainless steel pan and a cast iron pan at the same time set to ~6 caused an ear-splitting high-pitched wine. Either pan was fine on its own, and setting one element to =7 silenced them, but under those settings it was rather painful.

    We've since replaced our cookware with All-Clad's d5 brushes stainless steel line, and that made a huge difference. Heating up the All-Clad pan at the same time as the cast iron pan with both set to ~6 still may still make a noise, but it's bearable now and much quieter than before.

    Otherwise, we hear it click when using low-heat settings, and hear a hum when using the power-boost setting, but it's not something that bothers us.

    Keeping the range top looking pristine takes some work. Splatters show up easily on the glossy black surface, and the Kenmore provided cream acts as a wax, so every time you cook some of the wax may melt and leave an outline of the edge of the pot. Clean up is easy - use a piece of paper towel to rub on a bit more of the cream, then use another piece to buff it out - but it does take some work to keep it looking pristine.

    The smallest hob could stand to be a bit larger.

    Finally, the warming tray is smaller than I expected. For example, I couldn't fit a large pizza in there without taking it out of the box.

    Summary:

    Overall, we're rather happy with the range. It's not perfect, but the pros far outweigh the mostly insignificant cons. It's the knobs that really put it above all the other induction ranges. Touch panel controls look cool, but for actual use I'd take knobs any day. The only other induction range with knobs is the Frigidaire, which is strictly inferior to this Kenmore.

  • jwvideo
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Congratulations on getting the new stove and thanks for the review. AFAIK, this is the first report we have had on this particular stove.

    One thing, though, I'm thinking you got some garbled instructions about the oven venting out the back. (Wouldn't be the first time an owner's manual has said something misleading!) On freestanding ranges, the oven vent is "at the back of the cooktop" but it comes out the front of the backguard in the space where the control panel is overhanging the stovetop. Put your fingers up in the overhang below and behind the Kenmore badge. There's open space there, right?. That's your oven vent. (Obviously, don't try this while the oven is running!).

    I think you can push your stove to the wall.

  • Alexander Timofeyev
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    You are correct in that the oven vents out the left side of the control panel according to the manual. However, there are three black plastic hoods on the back of the range which are open at the top. They extend 1.5" out from the back of the range, so that pushed flush against the wall there is a 1.5" gap between the wall and the range.

    Are they just protective covers for shipping that can be safely removed? I kind of assumed they were needed for some kind of venting. I hear fans spin up when using a hearing element at 6 or higher, so maybe they're for some cooktop venting?

    I've got to pull the range out to install the anti-tip bracket, so I'll take a photo to show what I mean.

  • jwvideo
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    >>> there are three black plastic hoods on the back of the range which are open at the top. They extend 1.5" out from the back of the range, so that pushed flush against the wall there is a 1.5" gap between the wall and the range. Interesting. Are they maybe vents for the fans for cooling the control panel electronics? I checked the parts diagrams on Sears Parts Direct (link below) but couldn't find any such parts shown or listed. So, maybe the plastic things are just shipping protectors or maybe they are a new vent cover that has not hit the parts info yet.

    When you hear the fans running, can you feel any air coming out of those covers?

    Maybe it will be faster to try customer support?

    Here is a link that might be useful: Sears Parts direct page for range

    This post was edited by JWVideo on Fri, Jul 18, 14 at 13:22

  • Alexander Timofeyev
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I found the parts on the diagram.

    They're the covers on the back of the Body, parts 50 and 51. I wish I could remove them and slide it back, as it currently sits almost 1.5" out from the wall, and actually prevents us from opening a nearby perpendicular drawer.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Sears Parts Direct

  • jdoenumber2
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    For anyone who uses consumer reports as a primary means for shopping do us all a favor and toss it in the garbage. A range will only preform as well as the person using it. Induction is the best electric option and most if not all will preform similar. Again it's the cook not the range that makes the meal. The oven on the other hand is where it can make or break the product. Only a few options out there so I would be more inclined to ask about the brands that have the best parts availability.

    Skip the Korean brands if possible, although they make a good product their support after the product is in your house is subpar. You will not know what is the right product for you until you have owned it for a while.

    So if you can up the budget to a more realistic range get dual fuel for about 2500 or a decent gas for less. Far better control with gas over induction.

    Good luck!!!!

  • sjhockeyfan325
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Far better control with gas over induction.

    Please restate. Are you saying gas is better than induction for control? (If you are, I'd have to disagree, but I'm not sure that's what you're saying)

  • jdoenumber2
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I Agree to disagree. It's really subjective. Having owned both I prefer dual fuel personally over induction. I am not a pro chef just enjoy cooking. I just like fire underneth a pan. I also like the risidual heat that goes up the sides of the pan on a gas cooking surface.

  • aniawin
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Keep in mind some people are driven crazy by the sound of the fan cooling the electric oven after use..... I went with an all gas Wolf for this reason.

  • Alexander Timofeyev
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Having grown up with gas and always hating electric, I love our inexpensive induction range and I'm never going to go back to gas.

    Induction gives me far better control than gas - after all it can provide temperatures both lower and higher, in discreet steps, and while there's a learning curve (as with most things), once you know the setting you want you can hit it each and every time.

    We're redoing our kitchen in our new house, and the first appliance we knew we wanted was an induction cooktop. For us, induction is the clear choice. We're both lifelong gas advocates that have been completely converted over to induction.

  • Alexander Timofeyev
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    AniaWin,

    That's why I love GW. You can talk to people that actually have an use the appliances you're considering. I'm personally pretty sensitive to noise.

    For example, our Kenmore induction range has no fan to cool the oven after use. The induction cooktop fan only turns on when using high heat, and is quiet / unobtrusive enough that I only notice it when it turns on and quickly forget about it. You'd never hear it over a range hood (and if you do, tell me who made your range hood).

    The convection fan in the oven, on the other hand, is relatively loud and annoying. It turns on when pre-heating the oven and when using any convection settings, and is one of my main dislikes about our range. It doesn't keep me from using the convection settings, but I will turn the oven on using regular Bake so that I don't have to hear the fan once the oven's pre-heated while I finish my prep work, and switch the oven over to Convection Bake once everything's done and ready to go in.

    I am, admittedly, sensitive to noise. For example, I switched all our bathroom fans out for the quietest I could find, and while they no longer bother me they're still not quiet enough for my tastes.