Gas may be the pros' choice, and induction may be the (magnetic) wave of the future, but there's still plenty to be said for cooking with radiant electric heat. You can expect burners with an impressively wide temperature range, consistently excellent convection, and even heating across the board—great things to have if you enjoy spending time in your kitchen.
While the decision of which fuel to cook with might be out of your hands thanks to your choice of home, you still have some tough choices to make. There are dozens of electric ranges to choose from, but lucky for you, we've put enough of these cookers through their paces to make some strong recommendations, including our best range, the Frigidaire Professional FPEH3077RF(available at Abt for $1,959.00).
Here are the best electric ranges we tested:
Frigidaire Professional FPEH3077RF
Frigidaire Professional FPEF3077QF
Kenmore Elite 95223
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This free-standing Frigidaire Professional has the look of a slide-in and the performance of a much pricier range. The 30-inch rangetop can get both screaming-hot yet can be mild enough to melt chocolate, while the 5.1-cu.-ft. oven bakes absolutely evenly. We also appreciated extras like a storage drawer, bridge burner, griddle, and temperature probe. Visually, the stainless-steel finish is beautiful and smudge-proof. Read full review.
Because cooking appliances are versatile products that can help you to prepare your food in a number of ways, we have multiple tests that that help us to determine how well-rounded any given range, cooktop, or oven is when it comes to getting dinner (or dessert) on the table.
• Cookies/cakes — How even is the heating in the oven when it comes to baking? This is our favorite part of oven testing. We bake a roll of pre-made sugar cookies and two white cakes in the oven so that we can give our readers who love to bake an idea of how evenly the oven can bake food, both within a single rack and between the upper and lower rack of the oven.
• Maximum/minimum temperature — What is the maximum and minimum temperature of each cooktop burner? Cooktop burners need to be relatively flexible, temperature-wise; the best burners can both provide a nice sear (high temperature) on a steak and gently simmer (low temperature) a pasta sauce.
• Pork — How even is the heating in the oven when it comes to cooking? Never fear, cooking aficionados, we do the same kind of testing that we do on cookies and cakes for a pork loin. After the internal temperature of the pork has reached 160°F (the minimum safe temperature for consuming certain types of meat), we cut into the pork to make sure that the inside of the pork loin is evenly and completely cooked.
• Cornbread — How even is the heating on the most powerful cooktop burner? By measuring the temperatures across a cast iron pot full of cornbread mix, we can determine how evenly the heat is applied across the most powerful burner. Burner evenness is important because it means that you don't have to worry about hot spots in a burner that may overcook one pancake while the others are still puddles of batter.
• Toast — How even is the heating in the broiler? By toasting six slices of white bread on a broiler pan for a certain amount of time, we can assess how even the heat distribution is across the broiler. This test helps us to identify any hot or cold spots in the broiler that may overcook or undercook your food.
• Water boil — How long does it take for the cooktop's burners to bring a pot of water to a boil? We put appropriately-sized pots of water on every cooktop burner and see how fast each burner heats up the water in the pot to a gentle boil. Cooktops are rewarded for having more fast, hot burners.
While little things like interior oven lighting and cooktop knobs/buttons might not affect your meal's edibility, it definitely affects your overall cooking experience. We look at things like knobs and dials, temperature adjustability, cleaning features in both the cooktop and the oven (interior lighting, door close, specialty racks, cooking options, etc.), and try to identify any features that would really enhance or complicate the food preparation process. We love ranges that have features that are especially useful, or that solve common cooking problems.
A range's primary purpose is to help you prepare your food in a safe and timely manner; as such, the results of the performance tests are given the most weight when it comes time to decide whether we should recommend a particular range or not. For example, a range may have a beautiful finish and lots of neat accessories, but if it can't cook a pork loin evenly, or if the cake bottoms are burned while the cake tops are still undercooked, we will not recommend that product to our readers. Features and usability are definitely incorporated into a product's final score (as mentioned above), but the performance testing is what really makes or breaks a range, in our opinion.
Things to Consider When Buying a Range
Whether you're tired of long boiling times or if you pilot light won't ignite, here are a few things you should keep in mind when deciding which style range to purchase:
We realize you probably have made up your mind to purchase an electric stove, but just in case you're still deciding which fuel type, here's a short primer on the philosophical differences between fuel types on ranges.
• Gas — Lower cooktop temperatures, faster water boiling, potential for uneven cooking/baking because of central flame location.
• Electric — Higher cooktop temperatures, slower water boiling, more even cooking/baking because of heat distribution over coil.
• Dual-fuel — Faster water boiling, more even cooking/baking because of heat distribution over coil.
Depending on your cooking and baking priorities, as well as the way you learned to cook, one of these fuel types might be more appealing than the rest. One more thing to consider: dual-fuel and induction ranges are typically more expensive than gas and electric stoves.
Convection vs. True Convection
True Convection is an oven setting that includes installing an extra heating element and a fan in the oven. By adding an additional heating unit and fan that circulates the hot air, True Convection is great for ensuring that cookies or cakes baked on different racks will bake through at the same rate, rather than the cookies closest to the bottom heat source cooking faster than those on the rack higher up. If you don't see mention of "True Convection" or "European Convection", but do see the word "convection" in a range's specs, it means that the unit lacks an additional heating element, but does have a fan to circulate the hot air. While you don't get the full baking and cooking effect that you would with True Convection, the added heat circulation can cook or bake food more evenly than it would without a fan.
There are also ranges out there that do not offer convection options at all; these ovens aren't bad, it will just take more time to cook and bake food all the way through. If you're a frequent baker or cook, convection can be a great time saver, but your dinners won't suffer unduly without it.
Slide-in vs. Free-standing
While slide-in ranges are meant to sit flush with your countertops, free-standing ranges can stand alone in your kitchen. While the difference may seem trivial, it has ramifications for two aspects of using the range: finish and ease of cleaning. Because free-standing ranges are visible from all slides, they have a more finished look on the sides of the range; slide-in ranges are meant to have their sides hidden by the cabinetry, so the finish typically isn't as pretty on the sides.
Additionally, because slide-in ranges sit flush with your countertop, they're a bit easier to clean because they do not have a large lip around the edge. Free-standing ranges often have larger lips around the edge of the cooktop to cut down on crumbs decorating your floor. Free-standing ranges also typically have a back-mounted control panel for the same reason. While slide-in ranges will do fine in a free-standing arrangement, the reverse is less true. If your current cooking setup has the range sitting in a cabinet or countertop cutout, we recommend replacing that range with another slide-in range. Conversely, if your range stands alone in your kitchen, we'd recommend replacing it with another free-standing range to cut down on food debris spilling everywhere.
Front-mounted Control Panel vs. Back-mounted Control Panel
As we mentioned earlier, most free-standing ranges have back-mounted controls, but some slide-in ranges do as well. Both arrangements have pros and cons; on the one hand, having back-mounted controls means you may have to reach over hot food to adjust the oven temperature, the controls are also far enough away that you would have difficulty hitting something on the control panel by accident. On the other hand, front-mounted controls are easier to reach, but that convenience can turn against you if you brush up against a knob accidentally. Consider the ergonomics of using the range when it comes to picking a front- or back-mounted control panel.
If you need a slide-in range, be sure to double check both the dimensions of your cutout and the listed height/width/depth dimensions listed on the range's spec sheet. There are three dimensions listed for each range:
• Depth — The depth is the distance from the front of the range to the back of the range; this number typically varies from 26 inches to 30 inches because it's trying to sit flush with your cabinetry.
• Height — The height is the distance from the bottom of the range to the top of the range; this number typically varies from 36 inches to 38 inches because it's trying to get the cooking surface level with your countertops (Note: if you see product heights on the order of 46-48 inches, that number is measuring to the top of the back-mounted controls, rather than the top of the cooking surface.).
• Width — The width is the distance from the left side of the range to the right side of the range; this number can vary widely, but the typical value is 30 inches (often, this is the dimension number you'll see when you first look at the range). Additional sizes include 36 inches, 48 inches, and 60 inches. While larger range widths are nice because it can translate into more burners and/or more space for your cookware, wider ranges always come with a higher price tag.
If you're getting a free-standing range, it's still worth it to check the product dimensions to ensure that the range will fit in your allotted range space in the kitchen, as well as that you can fit the range in through any narrow doorways on the way to the kitchen.
Additional Cooktop Options
Depending on how much time you spend in the kitchen, it might be worth it to investigate in some extra options for your range. When it comes to the cooktop, anything above the standard four-burner setup is a bonus. Some ranges can have five, or even six burners; however, the more burners a rangetop has, the more difficult it becomes to fit large pieces of cookware, such as a spaghetti pot and a frying pan, on their respective burners at the same time. Sometimes, those extra burners are specialty burners are designed to accommodate special cookware such as a griddle or a wok; other burners are bridge burners that are meant to keep food warm without continuing to cook it. Another possibility is to have a dual-ring burner, or a burner that includes a stronger heat source wrapped around a weaker heat source. That way, on a single burner, you can choose to use just the smaller heat source for lower temperatures, but you can add the stronger heat source if you need higher temperatures.
Additional Oven Options
As for extra oven features, they can include everything from accessories like special oven racks or a temperature probe to special cooking features like the aforementioned convection settings, fast preheat (which expedites the preheating process), bread proofing (where the oven settings are customized to activate yeast and make bread rise), steam cooking (where you pour water into a reservoir and gently cook something with the resulting steam), air fry mode (where you can expeditiously fry frozen and fresh foods, similar to an air fryer) and many, many more options. With some of the higher-end ranges, you can even choose to cook your food in one smaller oven or a larger oven, as needed. Lastly, it is possible to get a double-oven range, if you need the flexibility of two ovens, but still want a cooktop included in the same unit.
Fit and Finish
While black and white ranges finishes are still available, most ranges these days come in some variation of stainless steel options. You should be able to find a range that matches your kitchen setup and your other appliances, but be ready to pay more money for any finish more sophisticated than black, white, or basic stainless steel.
Don't worry: Whether you're on a budget or have a blank check, you can find a range that will cook, bake, and boil. Mostly, the price difference between high-end ranges and more affordable ranges is usually down to the number of cooktop burners, available features, storage options, and finishes.
Other Electric Ranges We Tested
This 30-inch, all stainless range from Bosch feels sturdy and looks great, and we also enjoyed cooking on it. A $1,799 sale price may be high, but you're getting a lot of range. Since it looks like an upscale slide-in model but fits in the same cutout as a free-standing range, it's a great way to get more value out of a kitchen renovation. Read full review.
At a glance, the Electrolux EI30EF45QS electric free-standing range has a lot going for it: The design is clean and transitional, mimicking a slide-in look, and the electric rangetop has an array of great burners with a broad range of temperatures. Read full review.
The FPEF3077QF Professional electric range has the genuine and classic look of a high-end oven at a substantially lower price. But it's quite capable in the cooking department too: The 6.1-cu.-ft. oven offers rapid preheat speeds and excellent overall cooking evenness. Whatever it may lack in ability, it makes up for in versatility. Read full review.
This Samsung range not only has a triple burner, but it has a bridge burner for larger stockpots and griddles, too. Couple that with a warming center, and this is a cooktop that gives you options! The choices don’t stop with the cooktop, though, as this convection oven also has easy cook settings (including dehydrate and bread proof settings).
When it comes to performance, the Samsung runs middle of the pack in all of our tests. There’s nothing that stands out one way or the other. If we consider the design and aesthetics alongside its performance, we really can’t find anything to complain about this model.
This Kenmore 95053 electric range (MSRP $1,599) can be found on sale for $990, which is a little expensive for this middle-of-the-road performer—even though it has true, dual-fan convection. Its burners are impressive, reaching both high and low temperatures with ease and boiling water in as little as four and a half minutes. The oven isn’t stellar, churning out mediocre baked goods, poorly roasted pork, with a truly terrible broiler. Read full review.
We love the Samsung NE59M6850SS/AA electric range with convection. Its Flex Duo divider means it's three ovens in one package: It can function as a large, single oven, or you can simply slide in the divider to convert it into two smaller ovens for baking two things at once. This model also offers WiFi for remote preheat, two powerful burners, great low-heat simmering, and some of the best roasting we've ever tested. Read full review.
Unlike a typical dual-oven range, the Samsung NE59J7850WS allows you to divide the 5.9-cu.-ft. oven cavity in two on demand, offering a new level of adaptability. You can also bisect the door, but only when and if you choose. Along with the oven(s), the rangetop easily reaches searing heats or simmering lows. Whether you want to cook a Thanksgiving turkey or cook multiple meals at once, this range can fit your needs. Read full review.
There’s a reason why GE is the most popular brand for cooking appliances in the U.S.: It makes a solid product. The JB655SKSS is no exception. It does an excellent job at roasting and broiling, but may not be the best bet for serious bakers: Our cakes came out pretty uneven. On average, it takes the burners about 9-10 minutes to boil 6 cups of water, but the right front burner was able to boil that amount of water in under 4 minutes, which is pretty speedy. Overall, this range is a good deal for what it does and consumers agree. Read full review.
The LG LDE4415ST is a fairly expensive double oven range with a great performing cooktop and two lackluster ovens. Each one turns out burnt and unevenly cooked baked goods (even on convection mode), but its rangetop can reach high and low temperatures with ease and boil water in a snap. Read full review.
This upgraded Kenmore model really doesn’t disappoint. It has a ton of value-added features, like a triple burner, a warming drawer with 5 different heat settings, and a luxury-glide oven rack. Add that to the ability to bake on convection and steam baking settings and you really have a great package.
It might be a little slow to preheat, but once it gets up to temperature it bakes and roasts really nicely, scoring on the top end of our baking tests. The burners not only heat up to high temperatures but they can also simmer at nice low ones. Overall, you could do much worse than this Kenmore model.
Kori began her journalism career as a teenage fashion blogger and has enjoyed covering a wide variety of topics ever since. In her spare time, she’s an amateur poet, avid reader, and gluten-free cake baker extraordinaire.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.