Kenmore 95103 Freestanding Induction Range Review
Induction for everyone.
As if rapid boiling, precise temperature control, and easy cleaning weren't enough, the low price of the Kenmore 95103 freestanding range (MSRP $1,699) is yet another compelling reason to switch to induction.
Like the nearly identical Frigidaire Gallery FGIF3061NF, this Kenmore offers an induction cooktop at an affordable price. It sells for $1,329 on sale—about the same as a traditional radiant electric range—and offers the new cooking technology that professional chefs love.
In our tests, we found the rangetop to be nearly perfect. The oven had a few minor flaws, but it also had one of the fastest preheat speeds we have ever recorded, and it displayed above-average evenness in our bake tests.
Design & Usability
Nothing to see here, move along.
Aside from unique, x-shaped burner indicators, nothing about the Kenmore 95103's aesthetic design stands out—and that's not necessarily a bad thing. The unit will fit into most kitchens thanks to its restrained transitional look, and is designed to match existing Kenmore products. It also looks a lot like the Frigidaire FGIF3061NF, on which it's based.
Unsurprising for its consumer-friendly price, the 95103 doesn't have many bells and whistles. The only additional features include true convection (which puts a heating element inside the fan) and a variable time Self-Clean mode that can be set to take 2, 4, or 6 hours.
One word: Wow
At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, using an induction rangetop for the first time can feel like a paradigm shift—all your long-held beliefs about how long water takes to boil, how quickly you can adjust temperature, and even how you clean up after making a meal are shattered. In case it wasn't obvious by this point, we are huge fans of induction cooking technology, and the 95103 just cements our opinion even more strongly.
Along with the ability to detect the size of the cookware you're using—fairly standard for induction ranges—the Kenmore 95103 has a Power Boost feature. Each burner can be set to deliver a short blast of heat. The boosts last for about five minutes and, on average, add an additional 100°F to the burner's maximum temperature for up to five minutes. This allows you to add a sear to a steak, melt cheese, or boil water in less time than normal.
It's a fool's errand to compare induction burners with their electric and gas counterparts. Induction combines the responsiveness of gas with the temperature range of electric—and has none of the drawbacks of either. Even cleaning is easier: Since the burner surface itself doesn't heat up, messes don't get baked on to the glass rangetop like they would on a traditional radiant model.
The only thing missing is visual feedback, although companies like Samsung are looking to remedy that with the Active Flame feature.
As predicted, the 95103 offers a wide range of temperatures. We recorded an average high of 609°F, and an average low of 100°F, a wide enough temperature range that let's you cook pretty much anything. Furthermore, as it's induction, the minimum temperatures are steady enough to melt chocolate without the use of a bain-marie.
The 95103 is also no slouch when it comes to boiling water. The front right burner took only 2 minutes to boil six cups of water. The front left, rear right, and rear left took 3 minutes, 4 minutes, and 8 minutes, respectively, to boil the same amount.
Oven, Broiler, & Convection
Fast, but some issues of evenness
It's always difficult to talk about the oven on an induction range. Compared to the perfection up top, the oven can help but disappoint. So it's a positive sign that, while the 95103's 5.4-cubic-foot oven was nowhere near as impressive as its rangetop, it still did quite well in our tests.
The six-pass broiler was extremely fast: it took only three minutes to reach 606°F. Additionally, the oven's overall preheat was one of the fastest we have ever seen. Ten minutes seems to be the norm for most competent ranges, but the 95103 blew that out of the water with a seven-minute preheat time. The convection setting shaved a further 20 seconds off that.
Sadly, the oven's baking evenness proved fairly inconsistent. Overall, the range proved effective at baking cookies and cakes, although the left portion of the test cookies baked using the standard Bake setting were considerably darker than the right, for instance, and we noticed a large difference in darkness when comparing the tops and the bottoms. The Convection setting, however, remedied all these issues.
In the case of our test cakes, the results were almost completely reversed. The cakes baked using the standard Bake setting were extremely even, while the Convection setting resulted in evidence of some hot and cold spots.
The Kenmore 95103 is covered by a one-year warranty from date of purchase. This warranty covers repairs on all aspects of the product with the exception of damage due to wear and tear and owner misuse.
Why We Love It
You won't find a better induction range for less.
In fact, it's highly unlikely you'll find any induction range for less.
Even at its MSRP of $1,699, the Kenmore 95103 freestanding induction range is an incredible bargain. At the current sale of price of $1,329.99, however, it's the least expensive way to put induction in your home. That's great news if you want fast, responsive, and powerful burners that are safe to use and easy to clean.
True, the oven may not be the best we've tested, but the 95103's other aspects make up for it in spades. Combine the amazing rangetop with a convenient self-clean cycle and blisteringly fast broiler and preheat speeds, and you're left with a range that's easy for us to recommend.
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