GE JGAS02SENSS 24-Inch Compact Gas Range Review
If size is your main criteria, this may be as good as it gets.
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When you live in a city where real estate is so expensive your kitchen doubles as your bedroom, you've gotta make some compromises when it comes to buying a stove. The 24-inch is one of those ranges that fits, if only physically.
Remember those compromises? Well, with this GE's small size comes a pretty unimpressive performance, though you shouldn't be too hard on it. Ranges in its class aren't known for being great performers, and if you're clever enough with recipes it should get the job done. Besides, if your place is that small, you'll probably use your oven for storage and the local takeout joint for dinner.
Design & Usability
Good looking? Not good looking? Depends who's looking.
In the US, compact ovens aren't usually at the forefront of design. After all, they're usually bought by landlords who want to spend as little money as possible. This GE is clearly aimed at homeowners, however, since it's got at least a modicum of style. Stainless panels and rounded corners make the window-less façade look a bit retro, and it'll at least give a real estate agent the ability to brag about having stainless appliances in the kitchen.
There aren't many features on this simple range. Due to the small size, the four burners are a bit cramped, though the controls are pleasantly canted up toward the user. The 3.0 cubic foot oven has two racks and lacks a self-cleaning option, but at least this oven is small if you do make a mess. Even the oven and broiler share a heating element, relegating the broiler to the drawer below like in the old days. Like we said, this design seems retro.
Retro looks, retro performance.
Testing did not go that well. All of the burners made us really wait for the boil and struggled to simmer, though the rangetop eventually hit decent searing temperatures for a gas range. Among 24-inch compact ranges, this isn't so bad. But maybe get yourself an electric kettle.
Oven, Broiler, & Convection
It's not great, but it's certainly usable.
As you might expect, this oven is not for the master chef, but it could be a lot worse. Unlike most of the other ovens that come through our labs, the temperature range is narrower than the industry standard. It couldn't hit the 170ºF we use to test the Keep Warm setting, and the broiler never got hot enough, so it lost some points on both those tests. The oven misses its 350°F mark and varies more than we'd like, but if you keep your eye on your food, you should be okay unless you're making something truly delicate.
It's not great, but it might be enough for your pool-table sized kitchen.
The is not a particularly good range, but most people don't expect great things from a 24-inch range. However, they do expect competence. In this regard, we can say it is mostly functional—with the exception of the broiler—though it doesn't really do anything well. The price might seem a bit high for the results we got, but that's the way it goes with compact appliances. If you like the stainless exterior and need something small, go for it. But if you can shoehorn a larger range into your kitchen in any way, it will undoubtedly be a better choice.
From the Lab
Like we said, our test results were disappointing all around. But we can confirm that everything is functional—perhaps the only standard for a tiny stove—even though the broiler is incredibly weak.
Oven & Broiler Performance
As this oven gets hotter, it performs better.
The oven's lowest temperature setting on the dial is 200°F, which is higher than the industry standard of 170°F. If it had only it 200°F that would have probably been acceptable, but the oven broke 300°F during the Keep Warm test. 'Nuff said.
The 350°F setting averaged a commendable 363°F, considering the other performance results. During the test, the oven operated within a 58°F temperature window, which seems relatively controlled considering the other test results' quality. The maximum temperature setting of 525°F actually did quite well, hitting its mark right on the money and staying quite close to it. Its high temperature success makes it decent for pizza.
Sadly, the broiler timed out after sixteen minutes. It had only reached 562°F. Since it almost hit the 600°F preheat mark, it will work to toast, but it's not a great boiler.
Four identical burners?
All the burners on the rangetop essentially put out the same performance numbers. Ten or 11 minutes to the boil (for every six cups of water), a poor minimum temperature of around 204°F to 229°F, and a maximum temperature of 400°F to 415°F.
It's not usual that we see four identical burners, but in this case, they all are mediocre at everything. They won't be able to simmer small amounts of liquid, so you might finding yourself turning the burner on and off every few minutes to attain some soup equilibrium. On the other end of the thermometer, the rangetop showed it could hit some decent searing numbers for a gas range.
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