Electrolux EI30GF35JS 30-Inch Freestanding Gas Range Review
Hot burners, cool design
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From the Lab
In our tests, the Electrolux EI30GF35JS was an average student, acing a few exams but coasting through others. Despite some good boiling performance and an amazingly fast preheat, the burners' temperature range and general oven performance wouldn't make the honor roll.
The Electrolux EI30GF35JS (MSRP $1,549) is a freestanding range from the Swedish appliance giant. Priced above entry-level, the EI30GF35JS is meant for a slightly more discerning consumer, and this oven seems to justify what you'll spend on it—especially if you get it on sale. We found the burner performance to be pretty consistent with most gas ranges, the preheat was blisteringly fast, and general oven performance more than made up for some less than ideal accuracy and precision scores.
Oven & Broiler Performance
If there is one thing consumers expect from a modern oven it's speed. And fortunately the Electrolux EI30GF35JS delivers in that department: the oven took eight minutes to reach the target temperature of 350°F. The broiler was less impressive, taking a total of nine minutes to pass the target temperature of 600°F, but it did get there.
Using thermocouples, we check for temperature accuracy and precision in all the ovens we test, and unfortunately—excluding the Keep Warm setting—the Electrolux EI30GF35JS did not impress. The aforementioned Keep Warm setting was top of the class, averaging 173°F—only three degrees from the target of 170°F. The 350°F did not acquit itself well only averaging 327°F, falling as low as 314ºF and rising only as high as 344ºF. However, the convection setting was the true dunce. This setting averaged only 324°F, varying widely from 312ºF to 354ºF.
We also test ovens using real food. Though this Electrolux had no problems baking cakes and cookies evenly throughout, there was something odd going on with the left side of the oven. The closer an item was to the edge, the more likely it would be over or underdone. That's a sign of airflow issues.
Design & Usability
Contemporary design for those who want a dash of technology
The Electrolux EI30GF35JS is definitely designed for a particular kind of consumer. While the stainless trim and attractive blue interior are certainly classic, the myriad of buttons and unique grates are a clear departure from a utilitarian, restaurant-inspired range.
Now, there are many apocryphal reasons given for benefits of a blue oven interior, ranging from improved cooking performance to blue being the favorite color of a designer at an oven manufacturer. Ultimately, the justification is simply that a deep blue looks quite good.
Electrolux has clearly put a lot of thought into the user experience if the EI30GF35JS is any indication. From the sturdy rangetop controls, to the exhaustive oven and broiler settings, to the Luxury-Glide oven rack, this is an oven designed to make the process of cooking as painless as possible. The ease-of-use factor is enhanced by the welcome addition of Electrolux's IQ touch controls, which highlight only available options depending on the cooking modes selected. It's a minor addition, but it makes the world of difference.
Pretty much what we hope for from a gas range.
The Electrolux EI30GF35JS offers excellent boiling performance: The primary burner took a staggering four minutes to boil 48oz of water. That's amazing. If you didn't read the owner's manual and decided to make pasta on the simmer burner, it would take a whopping 34 minutes to boil water.
Gas offers a great deal of control but it cannot match the range of temperatures offered by electric and induction cooktops. This is evident when looking at the average high and low temperatures of the EI30GF35JS. We recorded an average high of 458°F with the primary burner reaching 489°F, and an average low of 133°F with a lowest recorded temperature of 112°F.
No surprises here…
As is so often the case with gas, the EI30GF35JS's good boiling performance and responsiveness is offset by a limited range of temperatures. Boiling was for the most part excellent, though you may want to stick to the primary burner for your pasta cooking needs as it was fastest.
It’s pretty much an accepted truth at this point that gas rangetops offer a high level of control exceeded only by induction cooktops. As a trade-off, unlike induction and electric cooktops, gas provides a comparatively narrow temperature range, and the EI30GF35JS is no exception. While the maximum high temperature of 489ºF is above average, we were a little disappointed with the minimum temperature of 122ºF. You'll still be bringing out the double boiler if you're making chocolate or delicate sauces.
Oven, Broiler, & Convection
Preheat aside, the EI30GF35JS’s oven performance wasn't remarkable.
The EI30GF35JS is no slouch in the preheating department. The oven only took eight minutes to reach temperature; unfortunately the broiler was less impressive. But we never expect much from oven broilers in the first place.
Of the three oven settings we tested, the Keep Warm setting provided the best mix of accuracy and precision. Our thermocouples showed that the 350ºF setting, while precise, had a great deal of difficulty maintaining a consistent temperature. Meanwhile the convection setting—often a boon to oven precision—didn't do this Electrolux any favors.
With real food in the oven, we noticed some minor inconsistencies in heat distribution, specifically around the left portion of the oven. So assuming you don't pack your oven to full capacity, you shouldn't have any issues with the EI30GF35JS.
It may not be the best, but you could do far worse.
Whether you should purchase the EI30GF35JS really depends on your cooking habits. Is convenience paramount? Do you value speed over accuracy? If so, you may want to give this oven range some serious consideration. However, if you find yourself experimenting with new recipes and you've got a well thumbed copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, you may do better with something simpler.
Though it's not for every kitchen, the Electrolux EI30GF35JS is by no means a bad range. In fact, we'd be willing to bet that its fast preheat, quick boil, and informative controls are just what many Americans want. Most people could overlook some occasionally spotty oven performance, but those looking for the absolute best should look elsewhere. And those looking for the likes of the EI30GF35JS should search for a sale price.
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