Electrolux EI30EF45QS Electric Freestanding Range Review
Superb features and good looks, but watch for a sale.
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At a glance, the Electrolux EI30EF45QS (MSRP $2,499) electric freestanding range has a lot going for it: The design is clean and transitional, mimicking a slide-in look, and the electric rangetop has an array of great burners with a broad range of temperatures.
True, the oven wasn't as consistent as we'd like. But neat features—like multiple self-clean modes and a meat probe—make it very easy to use.
What really worried us was the price: a little over $2,000 on sale. By comparison, the Kenmore 41313 is based on this Electrolux and even made in the same factory—but is just $1,699 on sale. There's a slew of competitors making freestanding ranges with a slide-in look, including the $1,799 Samsung NE58F9710WS, which lets users divide a single oven category into two.
Shop around before you buy. But if you like its looks and can find a decent sale, however, the EI30EF45QS is worthy of your consideration.
From the Lab
Each range we review undergoes a series of rigorous lab tests, and the Electrolux EI30EF45QS is no exception. We measured preheat speed, rangetop temperature variance, and even baked and roasted real food in its oven. Our results were positive overall, with a few issues turning up with regard to oven temperature regulation.
Oven & Broiler Performance
First things first: The oven and broiler both preheated very quickly. The broiler took about 4 and a half minutes to heat up the area directly below the heating element. The oven took 9 minutes and 43 seconds to bring the entire cavity to 350°F using the standard bake setting. Convection will take longer—about 11 minutes—to preheat to 350°F.
When it came time to cook real food in the oven, things got a little less straightforward. When we used the standard bake setting, cookies were dark on the bottom but lighter on top. Cakes experienced some of this variation in browning, but were much more even overall. Both cakes and cookies, however, showed marked differences in doneness between the individual cakes and cookies depending on location in the oven cavity. The standard bake setting of this oven seems to have some basic issues with temperature regulation.
We hoped convection would fix this issue but, unfortunately, only cookies benefited from increased air circulation. Cookies still varied in browning depending on location on the cookie sheet, but thankfully didn’t display much of a difference between the tops and bottoms in each individual cookie. Cakes, however, were a hot mess. Patchy browning that showed no real pattern from one cake to the next made it hard to compensate for this setting's shortcomings. Ultimately, it seems that convection may be a quick fix for poor temperature regulation with food that is only spending a short time baking, but items with longer bake times are likely safer with the standard bake settings.
Interestingly, these shortcomings translated into the results turned out by our roasting tests. A pork roast cooked with the standard bake setting had more even browning, cooked through in just over 33 minutes per pound, and lost only 0.74 pounds of moisture in the oven. The convection setting was a tad less effective, decreasing the evenness of browning we saw in the finished roast, but only removing 0.7 pounds of moisture and cooking each pound of meat in just under 24 minutes.
Whatever issues we may have found with this oven, it’s unlikely to dry out your food.
Design & Usability
Sleek slide-in style
The EI30EF45QS is one sleek 30-inch range. It follows a new trend of front-control freestanding ranges that look like slide-in models, but have none of the installation complications inherent to most slide-ins. A traditional slide-in requires an additional length of countertop behind the range, but—at 25-inches deep—this Electrolux can replace any freestanding model without any modifications.
The body is stainless steel, with sharp lines and black trim. Thin, curved handles look modern but still feel sturdy. The black glass electric rangetop has four main burners and a 100-watt warming zone. There's a front right tri-ring burner, plus a powerful 3200-watt burner at the left front.
All the controls—knobs for the rangetop and a console for the oven—are located on an angled panel at the front of the range. If you want ‘em, there are oven features aplenty, allowing you to select between Bake, Broil, Convection Bake, Convection Roast, Preheat, Slow Cook, Keep Warm, and Cakes & Breads. There’s also a Convection Convert mode to help you utilize the oven’s dual convection system, while a Probe setting makes use of the included meat probe.
The 4.6 cubic-foot oven has a large window and cobalt blue interior. Inside, you’ll find a smooth-gliding rack, a rack with a handle for easy carrying, and even a neat offset rack that lets you bake something else above a tall item.
Below the oven, a handy warming drawer will keep food ready until the whole family has had time to wash up for dinner.
Three of the EI30EF45QS’s four heating elements gave standout performances during testing, but all were pretty effective. The left front 9-inch burner’s 3,200 watts of power allowed it to reach the rangetop’s hottest temperature of 770°F. Still, it managed to dip to the rangetop’s lowest temperature as well—just 82°F. Factor in a 6-minute boil time for 6 cups of water and you have yourself a winner.
The right front tri-ring burner was ironically less versatile, but still pretty great. Despite having 6-inch / 1,200 watt, 9-inch / 2,000 watt, and 12-inch / 3,000 watt rings, the 9-inch ring actually reached the highest temperature within a 5 minute testing period: 648°F. This burner’s lowest temperature can be found on its outer ring and is a commendable 135°F. That said, the real standout here is the outer ring’s boiling speed, which is the fastest on the rangetop. We measured a time of 5 minutes 39 seconds to bring 6 cups of water to a boil.
The 6-inch 1,200 watt left rear burner really excelled when it came to its minimum temperature, just 110°F. Maximum temperature was a hot 682°F, but boiling speed was a bit sluggish at 11 minutes 49 seconds.
The 6-inch 1,200 watt right rear burner didn’t completely mimic the left rear burner’s scores. It reached a respectable max temp of 691°F and a reasonably low minimum temp of 127°F. Boiling was pretty darn slow at 13 minutes 19 seconds.
We’ve tested a lot of great appliances, but it's still satisfying to see a rangetop hit it out of the park. The EI30EF45QS does everything an electric rangetop should.
Burner temperature range is excellent, with the 3200-watt left front burner hitting both the highest and lowest temperatures recorded for this unit. Its maximum temp of 770°F is hotter than necessary, so feel free to fry on the other burners as well, which have highs ranging from 598°F to 691°F.
The left front burner’s low temperature of 82°F is actually too low to do much of anything with, so we’d recommend turning it up. The left rear burner—with its ability to dip down to 110°F—is also a option for gentle cooking. The right rear burner’s 127°F minimum isn’t too shabby either.
As far as boiling goes, this rangetop has two burners that can do it quickly. The outer ring of the right front burner boiled 6 cups of water in under 6 minutes, while the left front burner was once again a star, accomplishing the same task in 6 minutes flat. Unfortunately, the rear burners take about twice as long, but it’s a rare recipe indeed that calls for more than two pots of boiled water at once.
Oven, Broiler, & Convection
A bit unpredictable, but not terrible
The EI30EF45QS’s cobalt blue oven cavity, dual convection fans, and fancy gliding rack may look impressive, but when we used the oven to bake real food, the results were merely okay.
We baked both cakes and cookies in the oven using the standard bake setting. Cookies had light tops and darker bottoms, but the degree of browning varied from cookie to cookie across the sheet. There was less browning variation in each individual cake, but one cake compared to another showed significant differences.
We put our faith in the promise of dual convection and tried again. This time, both the tops and bottoms of the cookies were a near-matching pale golden brown, but we still noticed differences from one cookie to another. Cakes, on the other hand, were drastically worse, emerging with patchy browning that didn’t seem to follow any sort of pattern. That means there's no easy fix to prevent uneven heating on future recipes.
The one thing this oven did well was roasting. The standard bake setting that so harmed our cookies and cakes treated a pork loin almost perfectly. Moist, nicely browned, and quick to cook through, the pork roast was a revelation. Convection sped up the roasting process and turned out juicier meat, but actually decreased the evenness of the browning significantly.
This Electrolux range has the company's Platinum Star warranty. That means a one year limited warranty on both parts and labor, and a three year warranty on parts. The EI30EF45QS's rangetop is also covered by an extended limited warranty. For up to five years from the date of purchase, Electrolux will replace a defective cooktop or radiant element.
Good looks, good rangetop, tricky oven
The Electrolux EI30EF45QS has a fantastic rangetop, tons of features, and an appealingly sleek look. The oven won't ruin a meal, but it did display a few consistency issues.
Performance aside, you should be sure to check out the competition. Our favorite slide-in style freestanding range is Samsung's NE58F9710WS, which sells for less than this Electrolux but offers the option to switch from one oven to two. And even though it has a different look and a lower price, the Kenmore Elite 41313 is actually based on this Electrolux.
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