Ovens

Frigidaire FGGF305MKF Review

Frigidaire sticks a high price tag on the FGGF305MKF, but don't be fooled: paying a lot doesn't make it a good product.

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Introduction

It's said that a wine merchant can increase sales just by raising the price on a bottle, since a consumer who doesn't know any better might choose the more expensive one assuming it actually tastes better. Frigidaire appears to be trying that tactic with the FGGF305MKF, a halfway decent range that would be a bargain for $1,299.

The problem? Frigidaire suggests a price of $1,799, and retailers' sale prices hover around $1550. If it aced all our performance tests, we'd consider paying that much. But that's too much to ask for an oven that has some issues and a rangetop that falls short of perfection.

Design & Usability

An interesting lower oven might work for some.

The Frigidaire FGGF305MKF has a classic design, with continuous grates that look tough as nails and a sleek stainless exterior. Controls for the range are on the front, and the oven is run off a touchpad on the backsplash.

At first glance, it appears to be a single-oven range with a warming drawer. But that pull-out drawer beneath is actually a 0.5 cubic foot "SpaceWise" oven, for cooking a side dish while the giant roast is in the upper oven. It's an intriguing idea: a second oven that doesn't intrude on the space of a first oven.

A note: Lowe's sells the exact same oven as the LGGF305MKF. The design and price are about the same -- but the leading letter is different.

Rangetop

Quick boiling and superb simmering, though high temperatures fizzle out.

The FGGF305MKF has one burner that can bring six cups of water to a boil in four minutes, which is absolutely fantastic. The front burners could simmer at around 100ºF, keeping soups and sauces warm without boiling them over. Our only complaint was when it came to high temperature cooking. The Frigidaire didn't have a single burner that could get hotter than 400ºF. That means frying in some oils might not work out very well.

Oven Broiler & Convection

A good rangetop and oven, but not $1,799 good.

This Frigidaire didn't take very long to preheat -- just seven minutes to reach 350ºF. Well, it actually didn't reach 350. Instead, it kept on climbing until it reached 364. When we set the dial to 550, it hit 539ºF instead. The differences aren't that great, but you should keep in mind that this oven runs hot and cold if you're an exacting chef.

Luckily, it didn't have too much trouble staying at whatever temperature it reached. Fluctuation was almost nil at lower temperatures. While it bounced around a bit when we cranked the heat, that's not very unusual and it shouldn't really wreck your recipes.

Conclusion

Good performance doesn't always mean good value.

Were we able to find it on sale for $1,299, the Frigidaire FGGF305MKF would be a great deal. For $300 more than that, however, its small faults begin to show. Competition is crowded in this price segment, and price sensitivity is high.

The only differentiating factor on this oven is its 0.5 cubic foot secondary oven. It's a bit of a cool feature, but a toaster oven serves the same purpose. Without that benefit, this Frigidaire is seriously overpriced.

Science Introduction

We put the FGGF305MKF through a full battery of tests to examine how well it performs. We used specially designed test pans with thermocouples built in, and measured real-time temperatures over time.

Range Performance

Great boiling, good simmering, lousy high-heat

The three non-simmering burners are extremely fast, boiling six cups of water in four, seven, and eleven minutes. This is an absolutely fantastic average.

The lowest temperature that this range was capable of producing was just over 100°F, from the front left ring. The others produced higher temperatures, which make them less suited for producing light sources and other dishes that require gentle cooking. Still, for a gas rangetop, this is not bad at all.

For frying or searing a dish, you need high temperatures. This range wasn’t capable of producing temperatures as high as some, maxing out at 397°F. Not ideal.

Oven Performance

Little fluctuation, but some accuracy issues.

The trip to 350°F is reasonably fast, hitting the target in just over seven minutes.

The oven’s ability to hit its target temperatures wasn’t quite amazing. While the keep-warm temperature was fine at 180°F (though we prefer 170°F), the 350°F setting averaged 364°F. On 550°F, it averaged 539°F, which was off, but not too bad.

Temperature fluctuation was kept fairly low at the 350°F and 550°F settings, something bakers will appreciate, as no one likes unevenly cooked food. Temperature fluctuation was rather high at the keep-warm setting, but that’s generally not a big deal because the temperatures aren’t so high.

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