KitchenAid KIRS608BSS 30-Inch Induction Range Review
A so-so oven sandbags this otherwise impressive, inexpensive induction range.
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Okay, so you may have noticed our enthusiasm at the spectacular rangetop and are probably thinking, are they exaggerating? Well, find out for yourself and read below.
The is different from most other ranges out there, in that it has an induction cooktop. If you have no idea what that means, you're not alone: Induction isn't as popular in the US as it is in Europe, despite its many benefits. For a primer, read this).
With an MSRP of $2,049, the KIRS608BSS is one of the more affordable ways of getting induction into your home. Its rangetop proved to be quite impressive, but performance took a slight nosedive when we tested the enormous 6.2 cubic foot oven.
Design & Usability
The standard mid-level KitchenAid look and features you're used to.
Looking at this range, you'd never know it's any different than a conventional electric model. Yes, it's stainless, but the design looks like any other KitchenAid. It is packed with features, from an array of convection options to the bonus slow-cook feature in the keep-warm drawer. It also comes with Whirlpool's AquaLift water-based self-cleaning system that runs cooler and shorter than a pyrolitic self-clean cycle, and the enormous oven gives the user a choice of racks.
The performance wasn't so hot.
If the only problems were the feverish keep-warm setting (averaging 215°F when it was supposed to be 170°F) and the maximum setting jumping around, we'd be fine with this. But both in both 350°F tests—convection and conventional—the oven went above 400°F, averaging 368°F and 362°F respectively. Too bad.
Okay breathe. Cause this is good. Yes, we've already talked about the amazing boiling ability, with the larger burners boiling six cups of water in 2.5 minutes and the smaller ones boiling in just five, but it's really worth repeating. This kind of power even blows the lofty Thermador PRG304GH gas giant out of the water.
We've said the simmering is spectacular, cool enough for melting chocolate and butter without burning them, but these burners can also put pots to high searing temperatures. In fact, some of the temperatures were a bit too hot: over 800°F. Fortunately the induction rangetop's sensors realized this and cooled off to a safe temperature.
This rangetop does everything right.
Like the teacher who says "I have nothing left to teach you," induction closes the book on rangetop performance. In lieu of constructive criticism, we only have plenty of praise: The larger burners were able to boil six cups of water in just 2.5 minutes and the "weaker" burners did it in five minutes. So this rangetop's slowest burner can outperform most rangetops' so-called "power" burners.
When it's time to cool off, the induction magnets handled brilliantly. On this range, every burner is a simmer burner as they all could hit and maintain temperatures as low as 100°F. Adding to this control is the unbelievable ability induction ranges have to turn on a dime. Unlike electric ranges, induction can go from a rolling boil to a standstill in a few seconds, even better than gas. Just make sure all your pots are magnetic.
The broiler heated up to 600°F in just under six minutes. Besides the excellent preheat, this is an eight pass broiler—the heating element bends eight times—which delivers more even heat.
Oven, Broiler, & Convection
All good things must come to an end.
Our emotions were running high from the rangetop euphoria, so the contrast between the rangetop and oven certainly brought us down a bit. Unlike the KitchenAid electric range that received honors last year, the didn't impress us with much at all. The oven had difficulty averaging the proper temperatures, overheating on many of our tests. In addition to temperature accuracy problems, we found that the cavity's temperature fluctuated significantly as well, making this an unwelcome place for food. On the bright side, the broiler is excellent.
We love the rangetop, but we'd like it to be paired with a better oven.
Despite an astounding induction rangetop and a relatively low MSRP of $1,999, we can't recommend this range. The oven just didn't cut it, and a few induction ranges in the same price range do a much better job.
Obviously this range will outperform nearly any gas or electric competitor, but we have to evaluate this range within its peer group. Let's hope KitchenAid ups the quality of this oven, because it would otherwise be an exceptional bargain.
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