NXR DRGB3001 Gas Range Review
Low-cost luxury, high-end performance.
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From the Lab
We subject the ovens and rangetops we review to a barrage of tests, scrutinizing everything from water boiling speeds to baking performance. This was the first NXR we've put through the lab, and we can say the DRGB3001 features good, if slightly flawed, performance.
If you're shopping for a high-end range, you may think you know the names of most major players. Well, we'd like to make an introduction.
NXR is a relative unknown in the US, specializing in one thing: lower-cost, high-end gas ranges. If you want to know how they do it, you can read our piece on the company, including an interview with the CEO.
If you want to know how well NXR's products perform, read on. We tested the NXR DRGB3001 (MSRP $1,999.99), a gas range that features all of the trappings of high-end alternatives, but at half the price. As it turns out, this range did well in our cooking tests, and it'll add a dash of industrial-style stainless to your kitchen.
Design & Usability
Lets get physical
The DRGB3001 reminded us of another range that we've seen. The name escapes us, but we know it has something to do with horned helmets, mead and longships. Regardless, the range sports an aggressive professional-style aesthetic, similar to the most traditional offerings from the likes of Thermador, Jenn-Air, Wolf, and… that other one.
However, as those companies all add new looks to their lineups, NXR has done little to soften the DRGB3001's appearance in any way. As a result, the range is a study in stainless. Although it almost nails the look of those other brands, you can tell it isn't: the grates aren't continuous across the rangetop, and some of the edges are a bit sharp. But if you're the sort of person who would rather buy a Hyundai Equus than a Lexus LS460 and pocket the $20k you save, they're imperfections you'll be willing to overlook.
When it comes to user interface, NXR has taken the simple approach. You won't even find a timer here, let alone a self-clean option. Each burner is controlled by a dedicated, solid knob. The oven is also set by a physical knob, and does feature convection. The setup is a bit of a throwback, but on the plus side, it's pretty much idiot-proof.
Oven & Broiler Performance
We test our ovens for accuracy and precision. Accuracy is determined by how often the temperature in the cavity matches the setting—whether it be 170°F, 350°F, or 450°F. Precision, on the other hand, is determined by how far the temperature strays from the ideal. The DRGB3001's oven performed fairly well in both areas.
The Keep Warm setting exhibited excellent accuracy, but only average precision. It averaged 152°F, 2°F above the target temperature of 150°F. The 350°F test was still pretty good, averaging 360°F. We measured 328ºF with convection, which makes sense—most ovens "convert" for convection's better airflow by dropping the temperature 25ºF.
Oven accuracy and precision tests are one thing, but we place more emphasis on actual cooking performance when testing our ovens. When looking at the cookies we baked in the oven, we noticed that they were all a similar color regardless of where they were placed. Even the tops and bottoms weren't burned or underdone, indicating a well insulated oven with no noticeable hot or cold spots.
Our cake tests indicated that the oven has only minor issues with air circulation, as there was a very small difference in color between the tops and bottoms of our test cakes. Stay away from dark pans, which tend to overdo bottoms of baked goods, and keep an eye on your temperatures.
Meanwhile, the broiler was particularly fast. It took only 3 minutes to reach 605°F. The oven itself took only six minutes to reach 350°F.
What it lacks in variety, it makes up with performance.
The DRGB3001's rangetop features four identical 15,000 BTU burners, each of which features a simmer option for low temperature cooking. It was no surprise that each of the four burners performed extremely well in our tests. We were particularly impressed with the rapid boiling speeds on display. Each burner managed to boil six cups of water in only five minutes.
The overall temperature range was less impressive, but unsurprising for a gas range. Though gas offers better feedback, it lacks the highs and lows found on electric and induction models. That said, the DRGB3001 performed admirably with an average high temperature of 425°F and an average low temperature of 136°F—perfect for searing venison or simmering mead.
While gas rangetops lack the wide range of temperatures of their electric counterparts, they make up for it with responsiveness and visual feedback. The DRGB3001 deviated from the trend somewhat by exhibiting good boiling performance across the four identical burners. Each of the burners achieved an excellent boil time of only 5 minutes for 6 cups of water. That's not exactly induction level performance, but impressive nonetheless.
Predictably, the DRGB3001 suffers from a narrow range of temperatures. Each burner reached a perfectly respectable maximum of 425°F, and a minimum of 136°F.
Oven, Broiler, & Convection
An infrared broiler is almost restaurant-worthy.
A great rangetop is nothing without a capable oven, and fortunately the DRGB3001's 4.2-cubic-foot cavity was not a disappointment. The oven featured some lightning-fast preheat times, an exceptional infrared broiler, and some pretty impressive cooking performance. The broiler was particularly impressive, with a stellar three-minute preheat. In the time it takes to preheat this NXR's competitors, you'll already have seared and served a steak. Similarly, the oven only took only six minutes to reach 350°F.
Our cook tests also reveled that the DRGB3001 features good temperature accuracy and precision. Cookies and cakes we baked were done evenly from top to bottom and back to front, indicating good air circulation and—for the most part—uniform cooking performance.
Looks good, cooks even better.
The thing to remember about professional-style ranges is that, as much as they may look like commercial ranges used by professionals, they aren't. Commercial ranges require fire suppression systems, a tremendous amount of clearance, approval from a building inspector, gas line upgrades, and usually a commercial insurance policy. Unless you move into a restaurant, you're probably not going to get a Vulcan, Southbend, or Garland into your home.
So, if a truly professional home range is a bit of misnomer, why not spend as little as possible to get a stainless exterior, weighted knobs, an infrared broiler, and high-powered burners?
Considering that the NXR DRGB3001 performs well and costs half as much as most of the professional-style competition, it seems like a no-brainer.
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