KitchenAid KSDB900ESS Dual Fuel Slide-In Range Review
KitchenAid's clever features and professional style make for a baker's delight
This review was updated on July 19, 2016 to include data from a new multi-rack convection test.
When you’ve tested and cooked on hundreds of ranges, the endless parade of stainless steel cooking contraptions can start to blend together. It takes a special range to draw real praise, and we think the KitchenAid KSDB900ESS dual fuel slide-in range (MSRP $2,949) is worth gushing about.
This new KitchenAid has that sleek, sturdy, pro-style look—all knobs and shiny stainless steel. It bakes and boils well too. But more impressive is its clever array of features, including a steam rack, a wireless temperature probe, and a dedicated baking drawer. None of those extras get in the way of cooking. On the contrary, they should help you make more delicious meals.
Although sale prices dip around $2,600, the KSDB900ESS is still no budget range. But if you’re willing to shell out for some sweet extras and you love to bake, we doubt you'll regret the purchase.
Which burner should I use?
As a whole, the rangetop is quite versatile, able to reach high and low temperatures alike and boil water reasonably fast. But no single burner is the complete package. For example, the two left burners are the only ones that can simmer, but the two front burners are the only ones that can quickly boil water. If you're stir-frying or searing, stick with the center or rear right burners.
It's a lot to remember, and we wished for at least one burner that could do it all. That said, it's nice to be spoiled for choice, and the included griddle is a nice touch. Looks-wise, sturdy control knobs combine with continuous cast iron grates to give the rangetop a professional aesthetic.
Slow preheat, quick broiler, & effective convection
Performance aside, KitchenAid packed in a ton of extra features, which include a steam rack, baking drawer, and AquaLift self-clean. There’s also a wireless temperature probe, which allows you to set temperature alerts to keep track of a roast, even when you step away from the kitchen.
Combined with the baking drawer down below the oven, the KSDB900ESS offers a whopping 7.1 cubic feet of baking space.
But, how does it bake (and roast)? As it turns out, pretty unevenly. Some of the food we cooked turned out absolutely perfect, while other results were just fine.
Bake tests showed the KSDB900ESS does its most even baking with its true convection enabled, although you can give standard bake a try without too many adverse effects. Controls are straightforward and set in front of the rangetop.
We were a bit confused by the results of our standard and multi-rack convection cookie bake tests. Unlike the good results we got from nearly all other tests, all cookies we baked turned out unevenly browned.
We did test after test and still got the same result—brown in the left-rear corner, underdone towards the front. Even on multi-rack convection, both racks of cookies showed the same issues. Cakes, on the other hand, were just about perfect.
Harness the power of steam cooking
Cooking with steam has been gaining popularity over the past few years for its efficiency and ability to keep food moist. It's great for baking bread with a fluffy interior and crispy crust. But if you’d like to try steam without springing for a specialized steam oven, the KSDB900ESS counts a steam rack among its 3 oven racks. Pour water into a reservoir attached to the underside of the rack and join the revolution.
Sure, you won't have the same level of control as a dedicated steam oven would offer, but you will get the chance to experiment with your baked goods.
More space & flexibility
If you want to perform multiple baking functions at once, or if you’re just looking to use a smaller cavity, there’s also a baking drawer that can bake, slow cook, and keep warm. Sometimes that extra space just comes in handy, whether you’re keeping dinner warm or baking a pie while your Thanksgiving turkey occupies the oven.
AquaLift technology for a quick steam clean
With the KSDB900ESS, KitchenAid does away with the smelly, time-consuming, and prevalent pyrolytic self clean cycle in favor of AquaLift technology. It’s not as rigorous as a traditional pyrolytic self-clean, but it does mean you’ll be able to run a self clean cycle in under an hour without stinking up your kitchen.
For one year from the date of purchase, KitchenAid will pay for repair work and replacement parts to address any defects in material or workmanship. This is a fairly standard home appliance warranty. For more information, please see the manual.
Why We Like It
Best for baking
KitchenAid clearly put a lot of thought into the features that come with the KSDB900ESS, and it shows.
A pro-style slide-in range should be sturdy and straightforward—and at a glance, the KSDB900ESS is both of these things. It’s only when you look more closely that you notice neat extras like the steam rack and baking drawer. Useful extras like these make the $2,600 sale price more palatable, and won't get in the way of your cooking.
The combination of gas burners and an electric oven make for a versatile range that we recommend for those who love to bake—but also sauté and sear. In other words, this KitchenAid has it all.
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