Kenmore Elite 97723 Double Oven Electric Range Review
Capable and stylish, but this modern Kenmore will cost you.
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Oven & Broiler Performance
We test oven evenness by baking a batch of cookies and then measuring the difference in brownness among cookies, as well as the overall difference in browning between the tops and bottoms of all cookies. We do the same with our test cakes. However, we measure the difference in browning between set sections (left, right, front, and back) of the cakes.
Baking evenness was good in both oven cavities, although the lower cavity had a slight edge.
We noticed a few burnt edges on the cookies baked using the upper oven's standard bake setting, but the bottoms were extremely even. The tops of the cookies baked in the lower cavity using the convection setting had less top evenness, but the bottoms were considerably more even and we saw little to no difference between the tops and bottoms.
Both cavities did extremely well in cake tests regardless of the setting. We noticed little difference in doneness when comparing sections of the cakes, and—overall—top and bottom evenness was almost flawless.
The Kenmore 97723's broilers are quick to heat, and our tests revealed that they took only five minutes to reach 606°F. Sadly this speed was not matched by the oven preheats. Both cavities took 12 minutes to reach 350°F.
If you're looking for a versatile cooking appliance the Kenmore Elite 97723 (MSRP $2,599.99) freestanding electric range with a double oven is a pretty good place to start.
Of course, the high MSRP—and $2,089 sale price—may be enough to convince you to keep shopping. But the 97723 does come equipped with a number of features that go some way to justifying the cost. Split into two identical 3.6-cubic-foot capacity ovens, the range has true convection in each cavity, a temperature probe, a tri-ring burner, and a warming zone.
The Frigidaire-built 97723 looks decidedly modern, but there is a lot of substance under that stainless steel and glass surface. Along with some impressively fast boiling speeds and a wide range of burner temperatures, both ovens offer even baking.
Design & Usability
Sleek and stylish
The Kenmore Elite 97723 features a modern design that we really like the looks of, although we have to admit it may not be for everyone. That's something to consider if you're concerned with the resale value of your home after a kitchen renovation. The exterior is comprised of a mix of black glass, ceramic, and stainless steel, and each door has a sturdy and elegant handle.
Unfortunately, all the controls are located on the backsplash of the unit, forcing users to reach over boiling and bubbling pots and pans. At this price point, rear-mounted controls are a surprising choice, kind of like putting cloth seats in a luxury car.
And you'll be reaching over hot surfaces frequently to control the burners. See, instead of physical dials, the 97723 uses touch controls. They do the job, but we think they overcomplicate the panel and we miss the tactical nature of physical dials—especially when they require a reach to adjust. Oven controls are located in the center of the backsplash, and offer traditional functions in addition to one-touch recipe controls that automatically adjust the timer and temperature.
One interesting design touch is the cool blue accent light that stretches across the bottom of the control panel. As far as we can tell, it performs no actual useful function—but it looks pretty cool and can be turned off if you find it aesthetically offensive.
Electric burners tend to excel in our boiling and temperature range tests, however it is worth mentioning that we do not test for responsiveness, an area in which electric burners fall short.
If you need to boil anything you should stick to the front two burners. The front left burner took four minutes to boil six cups of water while the front right took five minutes. The two rear burners (not including the simmer burner) took ten minutes a piece.
Predictably, the 097723's burners are also capable of an extremely wide range of temperatures. The front right burner reached temperatures as high as 768°F and as low as 78°F. The remaining three burners offered almost identical ranges of temperatures.
Versatile and robust
The 97723 has a total of five burners, all of which are designed for different purposes: a front-left 3,200 watt burner, a rear-center 100 watt warming zone, a right-rear 1,200 watt burner, a rear-left 1,800 watt burner, and a front-right 3,000 watt triple-ring burner.
Overall, the 97723's variety of burners offered fast boiling speeds and a wide range of temperatures. The front left Flex Boil burner was the fastest, taking just four minutes to bring six cups of water to a rapid boil. The front right burner took about a minute more, though the remaining burners took 10 minutes a piece. Having one burner able to boil water quickly is already pretty useful, but having two adds a great deal of convenience to dinner time—particularly if your tastes go beyond pasta.
The 97723 is also capable of both impressive high heats and low minimum temperatures. The front right burner got as high as 768°F while the remaining burners averaged 753°F. The front right burner also got as low as 78°F while the remaining burners averaged 80°F.
Oven, Broiler, & Convection
Slow and steady
The 97723 has two 3.6-cubic-foot capacity ovens that are, for the most part, identical. Both ovens have a true convection cooking option which combines a rear-mounted heating element and fan for improved heat circulation. While it can be useful to have two identically sized ovens, they preclude a warming drawer and could prove too small for particularly large dishes.
Surprisingly—considering their relatively small size—both oven cavities took quite a while to heat up. Each cavity took 12 minutes to reach 350°F regardless of whether we were using convection or not. So be prepared to wait a while before bunging your food in the oven. At least the broiler heated up in no time, taking only five minutes to reach 606°F.
One area were the 97723 had little trouble was baking evenness. While it wasn't perfect, it gave us presentable cookies and cakes, and should prove sufficient for all but the most delicate of dishes.
The cookies we baked in the top cavity using the standard bake setting offered the best overall evenness as far as smaller baked goods are concerned, although we did notice a few dark edges on the cookies in the top right corner. The bottoms were also considerably darker than the tops—although that can be remedied with a lighter pan or lower temperature.
Cakes tend to require longer cooking times than cookies and, overall, emerged considerably more evenly baked than the cookies in both the upper and lower cavities. Darkness across the cakes was uniform and we noticed little to no difference when comparing test cakes side by side.
The true convection mode proved equally adept at cake evenness, although it had tendency to burn the edges of our test cookies. Still, there were no issues with hot spots from back to front or side to side.
The Kenmore Elite 97723 is covered by a 1-year limited warranty. For one year from the time of purchase, Kenmore will offer repairs or replacements to this range if it’s found to be defective in material or workmanship.
Before You Buy
It's not for everyone
Make no mistake the Kenmore Elite 97723 is an extremely capable appliance. The rangetop offers rapid boiling speeds and a wide range of temperatures, while both ovens feature excellent baking evenness and fast broilers.
However, despite all of this, even at a sale price just north of $2,000, we still think it's a little overpriced. We've tested a number of double ovens that perform as well—if not better—for considerably less. Products like the Frigidaire FGEF306TMF, Whirlpool WGE755C0BS, and the LG LDE3037ST may lack dual true convection, but they offer excellent cooking performance for about $1,000 less than the 97723.
What's more, no competitors feature the polarizing exterior design of this Kenmore. We're fans of the 97723's unique lighting and contemporary look, but it might not match your tastes—or your kitchen.
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