Trying to find the best electric range for your needs can be a bit overwhelming, but if you just think about it in terms of design, features, and what you can afford, the task becomes a bit easier.
The most basic design is the freestanding range, which houses its controls on the backguard of the machine. For a more modern and stylish look, think about slide-in ranges with front controls. If it’s versatility and energy savings you’re after, you may prefer a double oven range.
The 3 Range Designs
There are three types of designs you can choose from: freestanding, slide-in and drop-in. Freestanding ranges are generally the most affordable, while slide-ins and drop-ins are a bit pricier and have more of a built-in look.
Freestanding ranges have finished sides and can either slide into a space in your cabinetry or stand alone anywhere in your kitchen—hence the term ‘freestanding.’
Most freestanding ranges have a backguard that houses the controls. This allows for a more affordable design, but it can be annoying if you’re used to cooking on a slide-in, which has its controls in front of the cooktop.
Some freestanding ranges have front controls with a very similar look and feel to slide-in ranges. Front control freestanding ranges can easily replace an existing freestanding range, whereas with true slide-in ranges, the unfinished sides mean they need to be installed between cabinets.
Slide-in ranges do not have finished sides and are meant to slide into a dedicated space. They have no backguard, and the controls are always in the front. Slide-in ranges have a tighter fit and often come with a trim filler that lays between the range and your counters, giving everything a more built-in look.
The advantage of slide-ins is that they look nicer and are easier to clean. Front controls also make for a safer cooking experience because you don’t have to reach over the stove to get at the controls. They are more expensive, and are often a good choicefor a new home, a kitchen remodel, or a center island. Slide-in ranges generally start at around $900.
Drop-in ranges fit snugly into existing cabinetryand typically do not have an extra warming or storage drawer beneath the oven. They require a more customized, cut-out fit. Because of that they are far less common than freestanding or slide-in models.
The 3 Cooktops
Among cooktops, there are three different types: open coil, smoothtop radiant electric, and smoothtop induction.
1. The Coil
Spiral coil plates are older technology and their only advantage is that they’re cheaper and easier to repair and replace. The heating element is completely exposed, so they are not thesafest option, and they aren’t as energy efficient as ceramic glass surfaces. It’s also more difficult to clean around the coils. Open coil cooktops are mostly found on cheaper freestanding ranges, but there are a few front-control models with open coils.
2. Smoothtop Radiant Electric
Smoothtop radiant electric cooktops havea different type of coiled element placed below a tempered, ceramic glass top. This gives them a sleek, smooth surface. They are much easier to clean and often have flexible-width elements. That means it has two or three independent elements in the place of one, allowing you to adjust the size of the cooking surface to match the size of your cookware.The downside to smoothtops is that the glass surface can scratch easily.
Induction cooktops use a completely different kind of tech than coil or smoothtop radiant electric cooktops. While they have the same glass-ceramic surface as radiant cooktops, they heat cookware through the use of powerful magnets installed beneath the glass.
The magnets generate a magnetic field with the iron in your cookware, heating the pan directly. This is different from radiant cooktops, which indirectly heat the cooktop surface, which in turn heats the cookware, and then, ultimately, the food.
With induction, no heat is generated if there is no magnetic connection, so it’s safer and more efficient. More expensive models use virtual flame technology, which provides a visual cue to let you know how hot the surface is.
Induction cooktops are more expensive, but they have a number of advantages. They respond extremely quickly to changes in heat settings, making the cooking experience about as responsive as gas. They’re also much faster, safer, and energy efficient. According to studies, induction cooktops transfer 90% of the energy produced directly to the food. Compare that with 74% for radiant electric, and just 40% for gas.
The only drawback is that you might have to invest in some new cookware. Induction cooktops work better with flat-bottomed pots and pans, but do not work at all with with copper, aluminium, and some types of stainless steel—basically any material that doesn’t have iron to generate a magnetic field. You can test your existing cookware with a magnet– if it sticks to the pan, it will work. New cookware will usually tell you on the label if it’s induction compatible or not.
Most popular ranges have oven capacities between 5 and 6 cubic feet. That’s enough space to fit a 26-pound turkey, which is as large as any Thanksgiving bird you’re likely to find. For double ovens, the larger oven will be anywhere from 4 to 5 cubic feet, capable of fitting a turkey up to 20 pounds in weight. If you don’t intend to use your oven that much, it might be better to go with a lower capacity, because they tend to cost less.
The vast majority of ranges are 30 inches wide. Always check the height of your cabinetry if you are getting a slide-in range with an overlap. Most local regulations comply with ICC codes which require a 30 inch (76cm) open space above the range to protect combustible surfaces.
Common Features and Functions
Ranges come with standard features that you can expect to find in any range, and additional features that cost more. There are two things, however, that will add significantly to the cost as well as the performance of your oven. One is a convection heating fan, and the other is the choice between a single or double oven.
In a convection oven, a fan is located at the back of the oven. This helps spread heat throughout the interior, cooking food faster and more evenly. It’s also helpful for multi-rack baking because you don’t have to worry about “hot zones” forming in certain areas of the oven.Convection itself comes in three different grades:
- Fan convection: This is the simplest convection tech, found in ranges that start at around $600.
- True convection: True convection, also known as European convection, adds an additional heating element in front of the fan. This helps to speed up cooking times and makes for even more consistent temperatures. It usually adds at least another $100 to the price tag.
- Dual convection: This is a deluxe feature which you only really find among high-end ranges. You can choose to use one fan or two for better cooking results, especially with more delicate pasties.
If you’re keen on baking or use your oven a lot, then convection is a no-brainer. It cooks food faster and more evenly, and it can even reduce your oven’s energy costs by up to 20% per month.
Single Oven or Double Oven
Double ovens are great in that you can cook with two different temperature zones at the same time—so you can do a roast in one oven while broiling vegetables in the other. Using the smaller oven for smaller meals will also save on energy costs.
The larger of the two ovens will always be smaller than a standard single oven, and the bigger oven will still only be able to fit a 20-pound turkey. That’s a decent-sized bird, but not huge. Double ovens, in the freestanding category,start at around the $1,000.
- Even with the most basic range design you will have a delay start, delay bake or timed cook function, which all mean the same thing—that you preset the time you want your oven to start cooking.
- A lot of affordable ranges, even below $500, often include a high-heat self-cleaning function. Self-cleaning ovens have better insulation and therefore better energy cost performance.
- If you have young children, then you may want to choose a model with oven and cooktop lock controls. Even some of the more affordable ranges have these features.
- More mid-range models may have additional steam-cleaning. With this function you can do simple, non-chemical clean-and-wipe operations between cooking sessions, or use it to save time on big cleanups.
- If time is a factor,then think about an oven with fast preheating, which is something you’ll find on more mid-ranged models.
- Temperature or meat probes are often fancy add-ons on premium or high-end ranges. They’re nice extras, but you can always buy your own probe separately.
- Smart controls, which allow you to control your range with your phone, are increasingly common. They’ll put you into the $1,000 price range and can’t do anything a traditional range can’t already do manually.
Health and Safety
An anti-tipping bracket is needed to keep the range in place. Check the online manual before making your purchase and make sure an anti-tipping bracket is included. Accidents do happen every year, and this issue is clearly laid out by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Range hoods are often not a regulated requirement either, but for health concerns, even with an electric range, a quality range hood is recommended.
Reviews of the Best Electric Ranges To Buy In 2021
We’ve picked out 7 great electric ranges that offer the best in terms of thoughtful design, high-quality performance, low environmental impact, affordability, and value for money.
- LG Smart Induction Slide In Electric Range – Best To Buy In 2021
- Frigidaire Gallery Slide In Electric Range – Best Slide In Range
- Whirlpool Double Electric Range – Best Freestanding Double Range
- Whirlpool Freestanding Electric Range – Best Freestanding Range
- LG Slide In Double Electric Range – Best Slide In Double Range
- GE Drop In Electric Range – Best Drop In Electric Range
- Frigidaire Freestanding Electric Range – Best Bargain Electric Range
Here are our picks for the Best Electric Ranges 2021:
1. LG Smart Induction Slide In Electric Range — Best To Buy In 2021
This LG LSE4616ST is the best deal for a slide-in range because it includes some key design and performance features you often only find in more deluxe ranges.
It has a dual-speed convection fan combined with a rear bake element. This is in addition to the high-intensity, infra-red broiling feature, as well as an induction cooktop.
- Dual speed convection
- 6.3 cu.ft. oven
- Infrared 4 200 watt broiler
- Speed roast
- Warm and proof modes
- Keep warm element
- 10 min steam-clean
- Smart controls
- Induction cookware needed
Advanced Convection And Grilling
This LG convection system has one fan, but it can operate on two speeds. You can use high speed for more intense convection roasting and an extra crispy finish, or you can choose low speed so for delicate baking like sponge cakes.
Although this is not a true convection system, which adds an extra heating element in front of the fan, the hidden bake element has been moved to the rear of the oven. This makes for better heat distribution at a lower cost than true convection. Preheating takes about 15 minutes and a large chicken can roast in 48 minutes.
Another key design feature is the upper broiling grill, which uses infra-red grilling. The element is made from high-grade carbon fiber, which is also used in outdoor grills. This gives you superior results faster, as well as longer product durability.
Extra Large Oven Capacity
Most single ovens can only manage up to 5.7 cubic feet, but this LG gives you 6.3 with no extra cost to regular dimensions. It’s perfect for large families or for cooking big roasts on festive occasions. The extra space also allows for better air and heat circulation, and plenty of room for baking.
Super Fast Water Boiling With Induction Booster
Why does boiling water on a cooktop take so long? It doesn’t, if you have induction. This tech allows you to boil 0.75 liters of water in less than four minutes—three minutes faster than radiant electric and four minutes faster than gas. This induction cooktop has 5 elements— the two front elements are dual rings which can be adjusted according to pot size, the back two are single 1200W rings, and in the middle is the keep warm element. For this affordable price point there is no melt or speed boil element.
Fast 10-min Steam-clean and More
This LG gives you two self-cleaning options. There is a special EasyClean or steam-only function that cleans in 10-minutes, including hand-wiping. You can use this mode for light spills or to clean up between different types of cooking. It can also be used as a pre-cleaning option for tougher cleaning jobs. Other self-clean options include 3, 4, and 5 hour durations.
Controls And Remote Operation
All high-end LG ranges have six knob controls on their ranges.Four are for the burners, one is for the warming plate and the other is for oven controls. This is very handy and eliminates the need to scroll through various functions on the LCD screen.
LG devices connect to the proprietary LG SmartThinQ Technology. This Wi-FI tech works seamlessly with Alexa, Google Assistant, and other services.
Through the app, you can adjust settings, monitor energy efficiency, trigger self-cleaning and cooking operations remotely, and get oven status updates. You can also use the app to troubleshoot problems, send data to the LG service center, and receive remote assistance. The app also lets you store and export recipe data to the oven.
- The induction heat booster was particularly appreciated as well as the instant heating property of induction, which is similar to gas.
- People with children also found induction particularly safe and easy for older children to use.
- Other positive experiences were the big control knobs and how they easily come off for cleaning, and the usefulness of Alexa voice commands when hands are dirty or full.
- The only negative issue was that a few people had to invest in new cookware suitable for an induction cooktop.
2. Frigidaire Gallery Slide In Convection Range — Best Slide In Range
For a slide-in range that looks great and is easily affordable for most people, we thought Frididaire was the best choice.It doesn’t have any high tech frills or a superhero induction cooktop, but it’s a great back-to-basics range with good design, true convection, and a unique air fry function.
- True convection
- Convection air fryer
- Frozen bake
- One touch oven controls
- Rapid boiling element
- No temperature probes
Convection and An Air Fryer
This Frigidaire has true convection with a heat element attached to the fan, which is what you should expect for the price point. There’s no dual speed or dual fan technology, but it has an air fry system that no other oven on the market offers. Air fry is a healthier way to get a nice, crispy, ‘fried’ texture to your food without having to use oil.
Other key oven features include quick preheat for single-rack baking and frozen foods—also known as FrozenBake. The bake elements (3500W) are hidden for easier cleaning, and the powerful broil element is 3900W. It’s an all-around great performer for baking, roasting, air frying and broiling.
No Fancy Cooktop Frills
The cooktop is a glass-ceramic smoothtop with underlying coils. There are two single coil plates (1200W), a double (3200W) and a triple (3000W), giving you plenty of flexibility for power and different cookware sizes.
Double and triple plates mean that you can choose to operate one or more coils according to the size of your cookware. There is no fancy low-heat melt function, but there is a rapid boil element and a hot surface indicator.
Everything Is Just A Touch Away
Another thing Frigidaire has done well with this model is the controls. Basically, almost all the functions can be accessed through a dedicated one-touch button. Air Fry, Quick Preheat, Keep Warm, Delay Start, Lock, Timer, Warm Zone, Self Clean, Steam Clean—it’s all one touch away, rather than 10 layers deep into an LCD menu.
3. Whirlpool 30” Freestanding Double Range — Best Freestanding Double Oven
Apart from the convenience of a double oven, this Whirlpool will make your time in the kitchen even easier with its true convection system, temperature sensing, rapid preheating as well as its quality cooktop—high performing features at a very affordable price for a double oven.
- True convection
- 4.2 cu.ft. lower oven
- Oven temperature sensors
- Frozen bake technology
- Rapid preheating
- Rapid boil and melt plates
- Cramped control panel
The total capacity (6.7 cu.ft) is quite reasonable for the price point. The larger oven is 4.2 cubic feet, which is enough for a standard sized roast; the smaller oven has 2.5 cubic feet of space. A split rack can be purchased separately for more versatile use of space when you are using two racks for baking or roasting.
Most ovens in this class are going to give you convection and hidden bake elements, but what else does Whirlpool have to offer? For one, it has internal temperature sensors and automatic temperature adjustment to ensure consistent heating. Standard preheating to 350℉ takes up to 15 minutes, and rapid preheat mode (only in the lower oven) is slightly faster, but it’s recommended for one-rack baking only.
Furthermore, the small upper oven, while not convection, has a special FrozenBake option with easy presets for frozen dinners, pies, and pizzas. The upper oven can do conventional bake (not convection), broil, and it can double as a warming drawer.
The special features of this smoothtop are a rapid-heating element for boiling water, adjustable dual elements to match your cookware sizes, and a low-heat melt element for sauces and confectionary. This gives you the best of all worlds from high heat to low heat, with better energy management and efficiency. The keep-warm element is controlled from the LCD screen.
Room for Improvement
One thing that could be better is the control panel. It’s not that it’s difficult to use, it’s that the design and layout are not well thought out. The buttons are too small and the upper and lower oven controls could have been set further apart. For some people, this could be a turn-off.
Every champion deserves a good adversary. After the Whirlpool WGE745C0FS, we think the GE JB860SJS is a good option. It retails for about $70 more, has a slightly smaller oven, and no steam-cleaning. However, it has two low-heat melt elements, whereas most models only have one, and the controls are very well designed. The cooktop has two unique mergeable elements to accommodate extra large cookware, which could be a key factor for some people.
4. Whirlpool Convection Freestanding Range — Best Freestanding Range
Even though its usual price tag is well below $1,000, this 5.3 cubic feet range gives you all the features of a typical high-end range, including convection, temperature sensors, FrozenBake with preset options, flexible cooktop rings and a special low-heat melt element for keeping sauces or melting chocolate.
- Internal temperature probes
- Frozen bake
- Melt element
- Small buttons on LCD screen
For this price point, Whirlpool has made the convection oven easily affordable. Whirlpool likes to cater to the modern day, busy family and most of their models include features like rapid preheating and FrozenBake modes with programmed settings for frozen dinners and pizzas.
This Whirlpool includes two features that makes it an excellent choice for baking: a specialized internal temperature sensor and a hidden bake element for hassle-free cleaning. On top of that, it’s self-cleaning.
Two of the elements on this smoothtop are flexible elements which allow you to adjust the cooking area. Not all models have the melt plate function, so check which one you’re getting. The knobs of this oven can be removed and cleaned in the dishwasher, which is a feature Whirlpool includes in most of their ovens.
What’s nice about the high-temperature self-clean function is that it can be set to a fixed cycle—so you don’t have to add more tasks to your to-do list. Also, chemical cleaners are not required. A nice safety feature is that the heating elements shut off if the door is left open for too long.
While the Whirlpool makes convection affordable, this Frigidaire Gallery FGIF3036TF does the same for induction. It also has convection and self-cleaning, but there’s no delay bake timer or temperature sensors for improved convection.
And, while there isn’t a keep-warm plate, there is a melt function on the cooktop. The back panel controls are completely digital, so there are no knobs. This may be irritating to people who are used to the ease of turning a dial to control the burners.
5. LG 30” Slide In Double Convection Oven — Best Slide In Double Oven
One thing that sets this oven apart is its total capacity (7.3 cu.ft.), which is quite big for a double oven. The larger oven is 4.3 cu.ft., but the extra capacity is given to the upper oven with 3 cu.ft. It has all the top-performing features you can expect for a double oven, including convection with a rear heating element.
- Convection fan with rear element
- 3.0 cu.ft. upper oven
- Knob control for oven functions
- Smart controls
- Flexi elements
- No temperature probe
Do More in Half the Time
The larger, lower oven (4.3 cu.ft.) gives you enough space to do a 20-pound turkey roast, while the smaller upper oven (3 cu.ft.) can simultaneously bake a large casserole, broil meats, grill vegetables, bake cakes or bread, or warm up leftovers. Not many double ovens have a 3 cu.ft. upper oven, and this size arrangement allows you to do a bit more in the upper oven than the typical setup.
Only the lower oven has convection with a hidden bake element. The even temperature of convection makes it ideal for roasting meats, or making a crispy exterior for things like pizza. Convection heat tends to dry out the interior, so the upper oven can be used simultaneously to make things like breads, cakes, soufflés and flans, which need to retain more moisture.
As an additional key feature, the upper oven grill and broil element is 3,200 watts, which matches outdoor grill standards.
Detailed Knob Controls
Most cooktops use knob controls only for the burners, but LG models often have two extra knobs—one to control the warm zone and the other to control the different oven functions. It’s very handy having most oven functions just a turn away, and for knob controls with the flex elements, you can easily select how many coils you want to activate according to the size of your pot.
LG’s SmartThinQ connects through Wi-Fi and is controlled via an app. You can use it to preheat your oven before you get home, or remote start self-cleaningif you forgot to do it the night before. You can monitor your oven status, start or end cooking sessions, and get push notifications to wherever you are.
If you have an extra $800 or so for an upgrade, then we recommend the GE Cafe CES750P3MD1. This oven, compared to the LG double range, ranks higher in terms of customer satisfaction and reliability. It doesn’t beat the LG when it comes to capacity, but it has true convection and the more powerful broiler reaches up to 4,000 watts.It’s fully WiFi-enabled with Alexa or Google Assistant, and has additional Bluetooth functionality through GE’s Chef Connect technology.
6. GE 30” Drop In Range — Best Drop In Electric Range
There’s not a lot to choose from in this unique category of ovens. Even for what you get, they are pretty expensive, and if you custom order a unit it will cost even more. However, GE has a great little 30 inch drop-in range with a couple nice of features that make it a winner.
- Two bake elements
- Extra powerful broil
- Safety locks
- No convection available
- Small oven capacity
A Lot More Than Meets the Eye
This is quite a pretty drop-in range. The oven capacity is just 4.4 cubic feet, but that’s decent for a drop-in. To get the job done faster, this oven uses two bake elements—one lower and one upper.They aren’t hidden, but the oven does have a self-cleaning function, which is always a nice add-on. Additionally, it has a high-power 3,600-watt broiler, which is great for crisping vegetables, bacon, other thin cuts of meat.
Many people who bought this oven really appreciated the power and quality of the cooktop burners, as well as the simple controls. The burner output ranges from 1,200 to 3,000 watts, and include flexible dual elements, which can be adjusted to cookware size . Some models have a triple element burner and a low-heat melt element for melting chocolate or cheese sauces.
This model also includes standard functions like a delay timer, a safety shutdown after 12-hours, and also safety locks to keep children or guests from opening the oven when you’re not around.
7. Frigidaire 30” Freestanding Range — Best Bargain Electric Range
If you want a simple oven that looks good and performs well enough, we recommend this freestanding Frigidaire. It has a traditional coil top, but gives a little extra with its EvenBake technology and self-cleaning function, which is rare for a range this cheap.
- Upper and lower bake element
- One touch pre-heating
- Digital oven controls
- Racks not self-cleaning
This model uses an upper and a lower bake element for slightly better results. As for the rest of the internals, there are two racks with seven positions, but the racks must come out during self-cleaning.
This range looks a little old-fashioned, but there is some solid tech under the hood. The knobs control the plates, while the digital display controls the oven—a simple enough design. There is a digital clock, a timer, a delay start and an easy one-touch preheating mode.
For extra peace of mind, you get an auto shut-off function, and some models (A & C) come with door and control safety locks. The drawer at the bottom is only for storage instead of warming, which is one reason for the lower price tag.
Top-rated Best Electric Ranges Comparison Chart
|LG Slide In||YES||Induction 5-plate||Dual speed convection fans and super induction.|
|Frigidaire Gallery||YES||Smooth top 5-plate||One touch controls for all functions.|
|Whirlpool Double||YES||Smooth top 5-plate||Internal temperature sensor.|
|Whirlpool Freestanding||YES||Smooth top 5-plate||Affordable convection.|
|LG Slide In Double||YES||Smooth top 5-plate||3 cu.ft. upper oven / Knob controls for oven modes|
|GE Drop In||NO||Smooth top 4-plate||Two bake elements.|
|Frigidaire Freestanding||NO||Coil 4-plate||Two bake elements.|
That’s our selection of the best electric ranges in 2021. If you feel we have missed something, or you’d like to ask a question or make a point regarding our recommendations, feel free to use the comment section below. We’re always here.