Whirlpool WFE515S0ES Electric Range Review
A basic range that really delivers
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We’ve tested hundreds of ranges, so when we say it’s tough to find the right one at a reasonable price, we’re speaking from experience. Sure we want something that sails through our extensive testing processes with flying colors, but to get that kind of performance at a moderate price often comes at a different kind of cost: the cost of good looks and necessary features.
Luckily, the Whirlpool WFE515S0ES electric range (MSRP $749) doesn’t have this problem. The range retails for under $700, and offers high quality cooking capabilities, an attractive exterior, and a basic array of features that cover all bases in the kitchen.
To be clear, the WFE515S0ES keeps things simple—so if you want a slew of fancy settings or floor-to-ceiling stainless, this range isn't for you. But what it offers is a careful arrangement of the essentials that lend themselves to daily use.
Stainless steel panels set onto a black exterior keep this Whirlpool looking sleek. The 5.3 cubic-foot oven bakes food evenly, and the 30-inch electric rangetop can reach the high and low temperatures necessary for melting, simmering, searing, boiling, and stir-frying. There’s no convection in the oven, but standard bake was so effective that we didn’t miss it.
From the Lab
We spent hours in our lab with the Whirlpool WFE515S0ES, measuring everything from baking evenness to rangetop temperature variance. This model has burners that can hit high and low temperatures alike, an oven that browns uniformly across the cavity during baking, and a somewhat sluggish oven and broiler preheat.
The verdict? The WFE515S0ES scores well where it counts, especially considering how reasonably it's priced.
Design & Usability
Keeping it simple
From afar, the WFE515S0ES appears more thoroughly coated in stainless steel than it actually is. It’s a black range with some stainless panels stuck to the front—but the effect is sleek. It’s an aesthetic that will blend in with your kitchen, rather than calling attention to itself.
The spacious 5.3 cubic-foot oven cavity, set atop a handy storage drawer, comes with two standard racks. Corresponding electronic controls are located on a stainless panel on the backsplash, with buttons for simple modes like Bake, Broil, and Keep Warm. Convection isn’t an option, but the oven does come with two self clean cycles: pyrolytic and steam clean.
Metal control knobs on the backsplash can be used to adjust the four electric elements you’ll find on the ceramic rangetop. The left front burner is a flex element, with larger and smaller rings that can be used independently, while the three remaining burners are single-ring. All glow red when hot.
A vent beneath the lower left edge of the stainless backsplash panel is sharp to the touch—so be careful not to cut your fingers when you’re cleaning. That said, if you’d like to forgo those stainless panels for a different look, the range is also available in Black, White, Silver, and Biscuit at assorted price points.
Oven & Broiler Performance
In our oven testing, we bake a sheet of cookies and then two cakes side by side. When the food is ready, we use a photospectrometer to measure any variation in doneness that may indicate temperature regulation issues.
Cookie doneness varied across the cavity, but was still better than average. Cakes were particularly even, with very little variation in doneness. This indicates good airflow—vital without the aid of a convection setting.
The oven did not preheat quickly, taking 12 minutes 38 seconds to preheat to 350°F. The broiler was also slow, heating the area beneath it to 607°F in 9 minutes 17 seconds.
The rangetop is excellent. The outer ring of the left front burner proved especially well-suited to high heat tasks, maxing out at 770°F and boiling 6 cups of water in just over 6 minutes. The other heating elements get hotter than 615°F—high enough for most cooking—but the left front element is the only one that can climb above 700°F.
The left rear burner was even quicker to boil, bringing 6 cups of water to a boil in 4 minutes 38 seconds, and also offered a balmy minimum temperature of 81°F. The only element that can reach a lower minimum heat is the right rear burner, which dipped to 77°F. The right front burner isn’t bad either, with a minimum temp of 102°F.
As for boiling on the right side of the rangetop—don’t bother. The slower right burners will keep you waiting.
All you need. Nothing more, nothing less.
The WFE515S0ES’s 30-inch rangetop should deliver exactly what you need and little else. If you’re seeking extra features, this rangetop doesn’t have them. What it does have are all the basics. The left front burner can hit the high temps you’ll want for searing steak or sizzling your stir-fry. The remaining burners reach acceptably high temps as well, so you’ll really be good to go anywhere on this rangetop.
Still, while the left front burner is a dual-ring FlexHeat element, we’d recommend you stick to the 9-inch outer ring. It gets hotter and heats faster than the 6-inch inner ring—and even when it comes to low-heat cooking, the inner ring can barely manage to dip lower than the outer one.
The rear burners, on the other hand, dip to exceptionally low temps when you turn them down, which means you can melt butter or chocolate without too much worry of scorching.
As far as boiling goes, use either of the front burners on the rangetop and you’ll be able to cook pasta in no time. Both burners brought 6 cups of water to a boil in under 7 minutes.
Oven & Broiler
Cooks well, even without convection
This is a solid oven that’s not bogged down by unnecessary extras. While convection is absent, it doesn’t feel like much of a loss with the WFE515S0ES. The oven isn’t perfect, but it can cook your food more evenly than plenty of pricier ovens, including those with convection.
We baked a batch of cookies and two single-layer cakes, and results indicated heat was distributed evenly across the cavity. Just be sure to keep an eye on your food to make sure the heating element doesn’t burn the bottom.
Admittedly, the oven preheat is on the slower side, but then, it’s a fairly large cavity. The broiler too required a bit of a wait before it reached the scorching high temp we were looking for.
Need the Manual?
For one year from the date of purchase, Whirlpool will cover parts and labor for defects of material or workmanship of this range.
For more information, see the manual.
Why We Like It
Good quality, moderate price
The WFE515S0ES is nothing special—and yet, somehow its ordinary, plainly useful nature is what makes the range noteworthy. This Whirlpool is sleek enough to look good in your kitchen, priced low enough for a moderate budget, and effective at all the basic tasks required for home cooking. You’ll sacrifice convection, but the regular bake setting works quite well, and unlike the similar Frigidaire FFEF3043LS (which costs about $100 less), it has self-cleaning features.
One of our own writers even purchased this model for his home. So when we call this range a bargain, you know we really mean it.
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