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The Amana brand tends to focus on simplicity and value, and that’s reflected in the ACR4503SFS (MSRP $529.99). We tested the company's new 30-inch electric range with old-fashioned coil burners and found that Amana has made the old, often overlooked coils great again. The range performs pretty solidly from top to bottom.
- Oven heats very evenly
- Responsive dials and handy Bake Assist pre-set temperature buttons
- Burners can maintain low temperatures, yet boil water in just 6 minutes
- Relatively uneven results when baking cookies and cake
- Burners don’t offer much of a range in high temperatures
This Amana features a 4.8 cubic foot oven, which is on the smaller side, but luckily, that means it can reach 350°F in 9 and a half minutes. It has a handy self-clean mode and full-width storage drawer to stow pots and pans for easy access.
The ACR4503SFS also debuts Amana's new Bake Assist feature, three pre-set temperature buttons that ensure you're never more than two pushes away from preheating your oven. Choose from 375°F, 400°F, or 425°F and fire up your oven in a snap. While this is a convenient idea, in reality, it only saves you a few presses per cook cycle, so it's not a huge selling point.
The oven also features a Keep Warm setting that hovers between 145-190°F, so your baked ziti can stay nice and warm while you wait for your veggies to finish on the stove.
Why coil burners?
Generally, we don’t love coil burners for the same reasons most Americans avoid them: They're tough to clean, tend to cook unevenly, and are slow to heat and slow to cool. That being said, the burners on this Amana work quite well. A huge pro to coil stoves is affordability, and at $475, this Amana is among the least expensive electric ranges you can buy. Another bonus? You can use any type of cookware on electric coil burners, whereas with induction and some smoothtop ranges, you'll need special pots and pans.
First off, the cooking surface is spacious and can easily handle two large pots and two medium pots at once. The range dials are high to low, but include a detailed range of numbers for more precise cooking than most hi-lo controls. Even though they are plastic, they move nicely and click on and off.
Electric coils have a bad rap for slow and inefficient cooking, but these four burners can easily reach both low and high temps alike. The right rear and left front burners excel in boiling, bringing 48 ounces of water to a boil in just over six minutes. The remaining two burners take over 11 minutes to boil, which isn’t wonderful—but they're meant for simmering anyway.
All of the burners can reach high max temperatures of 646-683°F, but there’s not a ton of range to be found in those numbers. On the bright side, they also can maintain impressively low temperatures of 96-104°F, which means you can step away and leave a delicate sauce simmering without fear of it burning or curdling.
This oven doesn’t have a convection bake mode, but the Temp Assure Cooking System is Amana’s non-convection answer to even cooking. It claims to distribute heat throughout the entire oven evenly, which was backed up when we popped a tray of toast under the broiler to find that it heats extremely evenly with virtually no hot spots.
The oven performed similarly well when we roasted pork, but struggled a bit with baking: Our cakes baked pretty unevenly, and our cookies were moderately uneven, but not horrible. There’s also a custom broil setting with which you can adjust the temperature in five degree-increments to melt cheese or sear meat with more precision.
Should you buy it?
This Amana not a great value for what it offers, but it’s reliable—owners seem to like it. It’s a good, basic option if you’re looking for a smaller oven and efficient coil burners, but we prefer the Whirlpool WFE515S0ES Electric Range, a smoothtop model that sometimes drops to about the same price as this Amana and performs a little better. Since Whirlpool owns Amana, you won't be sacrificing much if you opt for the WFE515S0ES over this ACR4503SFS.
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