Jenn-Air JDRP430W Review
This striking Jenn-Air looks very expensive... and it is.
Taking after the Vikings, Thermadors, and Wolfs, the Jenn-Air JDRP430W offers that high-end stainless look of a very serious kitchen. Not surprisingly, Jenn-Air has priced it accordingly at a staggering MSRP of $4,700—although we found it on sale for $3,900. Fortunately, if you decide to pull the trigger on this hot commodity, you'll get excellent performance to match the excellent looks.
The dual-fuel hybrid identity may be the main selling point for this oven, as owners benefit from both the consistency of the electric oven as well as the precision and instant adjustment of gas burners. While the rangetop may not have those extra features expected in such an expensive range (bridge burner, griddle, warming burner, etc.), it has three excellent quick-boiling power burners instead of the usual one or two. Down below, the convection-capable oven performed quite well in our tests, delivering consistent heat with short preheating periods, and many different features as well. What we didn't like was the convoluted touch-screen menu, which looked great in the showroom, but was in fact hard to read and quick to collect greasy fingerprints during testing.
While we recognize the very diminished returns that come with spending three times more than a "people's oven," this Jenn-Air is still impressive. Just don't settle for it without checking out the very solid competition.
Design & Usability
Funky LCD controls are oddly juxtaposed with a high-end styling borrowed from products twice the price.
The Jenn-Air JDRP430W is a 30" freestanding dual-fuel range from Whirlpool's high-end appliance division. Dual-fuel ranges have a gas cooktop and an electric oven, which many professional chefs and cooking enthusiasts prefer for the best of both worlds, when it comes to even temperature control. The range itself has no built-in backsplash, so you may need to do some kitchen renovations if there's nothing behind your old range. Otherwise, it feels quite substantial, with thick stainless sides and top, knurled handles and controls, and massive cooking grates that look as if they came from off an industrial boiler. Beneath the burners is an easy-to-clean porcelain enamel surface. It's not as shiny as stainless, but it's much easier to clean when it comes to splatters.
Unlike the offerings of some of Jenn-Air's competitors, the JDRP430W apes a professional range in all ways but one: It's got a big, color LCD touchscreen on its front. Though some users may find it intuitive and easy-to-use, we're sure that others shopping in this segment would prefer a simpler control set. One thing's for sure: It gets dirty after very little use. Unless you've never made a mess while cooking, that could pose a problem.
Our two major complaints are about height. First, the oven itself is very low to the ground, since there's no tall warming drawer. Second, we're not fans of the location of the electronic control panel, which is about at waist height. That means you'll frequently find yourself bowing down awkwardly, as the LCD is perpendicular to the ground, not canted up.
Boiling results were top-notch, but the temperature range is mediocre.
This Jenn-Air's extremely quick boiling results really demonstrated the "pro" part of its namesake—the results were some of the best we've seen. But aside from that, we didn't see much of what really makes a pro range pro; the gentle simmering and powerful searing capabilities that chefs need just weren't there. Though there's a dedicated simmer burner, we weren't blown away by that performance, nor by the temperatures our test pans reached on full power.
Oven Broiler & Convection
This oven delivers fantastic conventional, convection, and broiling performances, despite an annoying control panel.
As a dual-fuel oven, the Jenn-Air JDRP430W couples a gas rangetop with a small, 4.1 cubic foot, self-cleaning electric oven. Controlled by the rather annoying front panel, this oven delivered the kind of consistency and temperature accuracy, across a range of temperatures, that an electric oven should. The oven heated up quickly, hitting 350°F after just 9.5 minutes of preheating. Additionally, the convection fan was phenomenal and the adjustable broiler element heated up very rapidly, too.
For easier loading and unloading, the oven has three telescopic racks—though we doubt you'd ever use all three in this glorified shoebox. The onboard computer (LCD control panel) has many obscure options, such as Convection Pizza, in addition to some that may actually be useful, like Bread Proofing and Rapid Proofing. There is even a temperature probe to allow users to check on roasts without letting any heat out.
This is a wallet-emptying purchase, but it's also a lot of oven for a lot of cash.
The question of whether we recommend the Jenn-Air JDRP430W is a tricky one. We want to laud it for its fantastic performance in our tests, but it's hard to endorse such an expensive product when there are others that can do the job as well for less. At $3,900 ($4,700 MSRP), we suspect that it won't be right for the market majority—even if it is a solid appliance.
If you can swing that cost, consider the facts: The boiling times on the rangetop weren't the fastest we've ever seen, but we commend the overall performance anyway, since three of the four burners are powerful options with legitimate boiling times. Additionally, this oven is a speedy preheater, and consistent.
On the downside, many of the features on this appliance aren't for general, everyday use, and its very annoying, ill-placed touchscreen dirties quite easily. Prepare to squat down to make adjustments, and to stay squatting while you figure out how to use the controls. We just hope this oven-computer doesn't freeze in an attack of sweet irony.
The bottom line for the Jenn-Air JDRP430W comes down to whether one's budget allows for this kind of conspicuous consumption. If it does, then you may want to take a peek at the similarly-priced competition.
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