GE JGB282SETSS Review
This $899 model actually gives you a decent return as far as performance per dollar.
One of the cheapest ovens we've tested to date—and we mean that in the financial sense—is the GE JGB282SETSS. With five gas burners, straightforward design, and fairly reliable temperature control, this $899 model actually gives you a decent return as far as performance per dollar. Things get wobbly, though, when you get into unusual cooking techniques. High heats, low heats, broiler performance: all were shaky at best, and downright bad at worst. It's a great model for a young person looking to furnish his or her first studio apartment, where the majority of the cooking mainly involves frozen pizzas and the like.
Design & Usability
A straightforward and competent design is hampered only by a control screen that's just a little too small.
The advantage of the GE's traditional design is that it's almost guaranteed to fit into many different kitchen aesthetics. Stainless steel is the dominant feature, with some black enamel trim to break up the visual monotony.
As is the usual case with gas ranges, all five knobs—one for each burner—are located on the front, just above the oven door. The plastic knobs, which are somewhat smaller than what we usually see on models of this kind, are quite sturdy. Their resistance to turning is just enough that they're easy to use without running the risk of powering on accidentally.
The oven's controls, located in the center of the back panel, have a solid level of responsiveness, but are a bit difficult to read. Worse, the small LCD panel is rather dim, especially in bright light. The screen is small, and since it also tends to display large amounts of information, the text scrolls by rather too quickly.
Soup aficionados will love the low heat performance on this range, but others may feel disappointed.
The GE boasts an impressive five burners—more than what most models in this price range offer. That said, they're all the same size; there's no special extra-wide burner or any other common variation here. Also, despite the number of burners, the range cover is broken up into just two parts. It's a somewhat limiting factor for adapting to differently sized cookware, but if you're only planning to use the oven in a regular manner, it shouldn't hinder your time in the kitchen.
As far as actual temperature output, the range is definitely a mixed bag. Only one of the five burners was able to boil six cups of water in less than 10 minutes—our cut-off point as to what constitutes a reasonable amount of time—and it was equally hard to maintain very high temperatures. Low temperature performance was great, however. If you're less about searing meat and more about making chicken soup and homemade pasta sauce, this oven will take very good care of you.
Oven Broiler & Convection
Don't purchase this GE if you plan on using the broiler frequently.
Generally speaking, this oven did a fine job keeping temperatures within an acceptable range of degrees. We found that the temperature remained fairly consistent during our tests, though it did suffer from a few not-insubstantial issues. Its "keep warm" setting was more like a "keep less hot," so if you're keeping a plate of food warm until your kid stops playing World of Warcraft, be careful that it doesn't continue to cook.
At peak temperatures, the mercury begins to fluctuate too far for our tastes. Too many dips can lead to uneven cooking, but most consumers shouldn't have any issues (unless they're baking a souffle). It's worth mentioning that this model lacks a convection mode, which uses a fan to blow warmed air around the oven for a more even temperature.
While we've been able to praise this oven's performance while making certain caveats, the gas broiler on the GE flat out stinks. After 16 minutes, the broiler didn't even hit 575 degrees. That's just poor performance, and you should definitely consider how often you plan on using a broiler before choosing this model. To add insult to injury, this oven doesn't even come with a boiler tray, though you can go out and buy one separately.
Good looking, but only OK performance
Let's face it: you're not going to get a restaurant quality oven for $899, and that happens to be the MSRP attached to the GE JGB282SETSS. For so little money, however, you are getting fairly reliable performance for basic cooking. Water takes a little longer to boil than we would like, and temperatures tend to shift a bit at the highest and lowest heats, too. However, simple tasks like cooking frozen pizza or baking chicken are easy and straightforward.
This is a range that will get the job done, but only at its most basic level. If you're looking for a gas oven on a budget—keep in mind that sale prices can get as low as $650, a fairly incomparable bargain—this may be a fine choice. If you plan on opening the next incarnation of elBulli, keep shopping.
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