Ovens

Kenmore 90152 24-Inch Electric Range Review

If your choices are limited to compact, electric ranges, the Kenmore 90152 may be your best choice.

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Introduction

The Kenmore 90152 (MSRP $749.99) is a freestanding electric range designed with small kitchens in mind. At only 24 inches wide, it's tailor-made for small homes and apartments, the kinds of places where dinner means a takeout menu, not a cookbook.

Still, you shouldn't have to give up on eating in just because you live somewhere with space constraints. Compared to the very few ranges of its type on the market, the Kenmore 90152 has a decent rangetop and an alright oven. But its price and performance may make you decide to remodel your kitchen entirely to shoehorn in a cheaper, better, full-size model.

Design & Usability

Yup, that’s an oven all right!

There is nothing wrong with the 90152’s appearance, but there isn’t really anything right either. It’s a boring looking basic white range. The speckled ceramic stovetop is perhaps an attempt at individual style, but it's dated enough to look like it came straight off the set of Who's The Boss?

Broiler control is limited to On/Off, and the oven has a simple increase/decrease temperature control.

If you find the latest smartphone overwhelming, or yearn for the days when typewriters were in vogue, then you will love the Kenmore’s control setup: Broiler control is limited to On/Off, and the oven has a simple increase/decrease temperature control. If you are feeling brave you could attempt to set the oven clock but if not, don’t worry, we won’t judge.

How you feel about the 90152’s controls is really a matter of personal taste, however we did have a few concerns with the usability of this range. There is a tendency—especially with electric ranges—for manufactures to place the burner controls on the backsplash. While this keeps the dials out of reach of children, it does force the user to reach over potentially hot surfaces in order to adjust controls. We also couldn’t help but notice the tiny oven window that's an unfortunate side effect of this range's overall diminutive size.

Rangetop

Don’t be fooled by its size. This rangetop is surprisingly powerful.

The Kenmore 90152 packs a lot of power into its Lilliputian frame.

The Kenmore 90152 packs a lot of power into its Lilliputian frame, and the ceramic rangetop can get extremely hot. But it's not all high-temp hijinx: the 90152’s burners are capable of an extremely wide range of temperatures, and should suffice for all of your stove top cooking needs, with one exception. Yes—as is often the case with electric rangetops—the Kenmore 90152’s impressive temperatures were offset by a glacial boil time.

Oven, Broiler, & Convection

Here's why you may want to hire a contractor

While you may wait an eternity for your pasta water to boil, at least the oven will be ready. The Kenmore 90152 preheats incredibly quickly. This most likely has less to do with the oven's capabilities than the simple thermodynamics involved in heating up a 2.8 cubic feet oven capacity. The broiler also impressed, taking a breezy seven minutes to reach the maximum temperature.

The Kenmore 90152 preheats incredibly quickly.

After the exceptional rangetop and preheat performance, we were hoping for stellar—or at the very least acceptable—oven performance. Sadly the Kenmore 90152 could neither reach nor maintain temperatures with any consistency. While lousy temperature regulation is by no means a deal-breaker, we would advise you to keep one beady eye on your baking at all times. On the plus side, it looks like you won't need that oven timer after all.

Conclusion

If size weren't a concern, you could do a lot better.

Let's make one thing clear: we don't think the Kenmore 90152 is a bad range, as long as you're comparing it to the other 24-inch models on the market. If you can upgrade to a full-size 30-inch model, you could get better performance for under $600. Unfortunately, since demand for compact ovens is small and driven mostly by landlords, this one comes with a relatively high $749.49 MSRP. But if a compact range is all that fits, you could do a lot worse than this one.

From the Lab

Inconsistent results from this range

The Kenmore 90152 was frustratingly inconsistent. The excellent rangetop results did little to soften the blow from the mediocre, oven accuracy, and precision results

Oven & Broiler Performance

The Kenmore failed to get a bead on the target temperatures.

The Kenmore 90152's preheat was blisteringly fast with the oven reaching the target temperature of 350ºF in five minutes and 40 seconds. The broiler was almost equally impressive, reaching 604ºF in 7 minutes.

With the exception of the excellent preheat and broiler, the rest of the Kenmore’s oven performance was decidedly lackluster. The Keep Warm setting shot past the target temperature of 170ºF and reached 258ºF after only three and half minutes. The internal oven temperature never got back down to 170ºF for the remainder of the test. The 350ºF setting fared the worst: The oven averaged 365.55ºF with temperatures swinging up 41ºF and down 34.60ºF. The Max setting of 550ºF was marginally better with an average 555.97ºF. Unfortunately this setting was still imprecise with large temperature fluctuations recorded for the duration of the test.

Rangetop Performance

This impressive rangetop almost makes up for the lackluster oven... almost.

The Kenmore 90152's petite stovetop exhibited an impressive range of temperatures. Collectively the burners averaged a high temperature of 723ºF, this was matched by an average low temperature of 117ºF, with the simmer burner going as low as 105 F. Unfortunately the boiling performance was a disappointment with the primary burner taking a total of nine minutes to boil 48oz of water.

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