Best electric coil range

These days, the coil burner is wound four to five times on most American brands and occasionally a three wind burner can be spotted on select older ranges. So, what’s the difference? Most coil-top ranges will have both 6″ and 8″ elements. The tighter spacing between each coil wind will heat cookware more quickly and more evenly, which helps reduce the chances of uneven cooking due to cool spots. So which brand of electric range is best? today, re review the best type of electric stove and most reliable electric ranges.

Traditionally, a 6″ element will have four winds and an 8″ will have five. These ranges are perfect for any consumer that may tend to be tough on appliances. Here’s a scenario – you’re a property owner and you rent a unit that happens to have a glass-top electric range. The tenant calls in a panic mentioning that the main top just broke. Chances are that something was dropped on the glass. This is a potential $400 mishap! Compare that to the price of the average coil element of $40 to $110, plus the easy replacement process, and a coil top electric range is suddenly a very attractive appliance!

This style of range can be purchased as a manual clean or self-cleaning unit and prices typically range from $399 to $699, depending on color and other options. In this best electric coil range review, we’ll compare the model lineups from two of the most well known manufacturers.

Best electric coil range

The Frigidaire Coil Top Range Lineup

Frigidaire began building electric ranges in 1918 while based in Charlotte, NC, ensuring quality ranges for consumers demanding performance and styling at competitive prices. 

As of this writing, Frigidaire offers four types of coil top electric range in the Frigidaire Value line:

  • The ultra-basic FCRC3005AW (the previous lineup, the FFEF3010 models, is being discontinued)
  • The FCRC3012 models (black and white, replacing the FFEF3012 models)
  • The FFEF3016 models (black, white, and stainless steel)
  • The FFEH2422 models, 24″ wide without backguards (white and stainless steel)

All models have two 6″ 1,500W elements and two 8″ 2,400W elements.

The model FCRC3005AW retails for around $469 and is available in white only. It features a Hi/Lo broil option and a digital clock and kitchen timer. The oven is manual clean and has an exposed bake element. There is no oven window. 

The Frigidaire FCRC3012AW, available in white or black, prices at around $529. Compared to its predecessor, the FFEF3012UW and FFEF3012UB models, it has a larger oven window and a larger overall oven thanks to a reduced storage drawer size – 5.3 cubic feet compared to the old lineup capacity of 4.8 cubic feet. The oven has an interior light. It has a control panel with a timer and clock. The oven is manual clean and has an exposed bake element.

The Frigidaire FFEF3016VW comes in black, white, or stainless steel, starting at around $549. It has a self-cleaning 5.3 cubic foot oven with electronic controls that include a delay clean cycle. It comes with a safety feature that will automatically shut off the oven after 12 hours. It has an exposed bake element.

Frigidaire FFEF3016VW – $549

Frigidaire FFEF3016VW Coil Top Electric Range

If you’re looking for an apartment sized range, a 24″ coil top range might be perfect! The Frigidaire FFEH2422US, available in stainless steel starting at $769 and white starting at $669, has the knobs and control panel placed on the front of the range, eliminating the backguard. It has a hidden bake element for easier cleanup but does not offer a self clean cycle. It’s ADA compliant as well. The compact 1.9 cubic foot oven is still large enough to hold a 10-pound turkey!

Frigidaire FFEH2422US – $769

Frigidaire FFEH2422US Coil Top Electric Range 24 Inch

The GE Coil Top Range Lineup

Now we turn to another very well-known manufacturer: GE. General Electric started producing ranges in 1910. Over 100 years later, the quality still remains. As they did back then, GE manufactures their ranges in the United States, keeping quality and customer satisfaction a priority.

What places them in another league is the “Calrod” coil top element. This is the most durable, dependable, and accurate coil element on the market. This element is found on all of General Electric’s coil ranges.

As of this writing, GE is offering three “levels” of coil top range:

  • The ultra-basic JBS160
  • The mid-level JBS360
  • The higher-level JB256/JB258

We’ll start with the bare bones model. The GE JBS160DMWW comes in black, bisque, silver, and white and prices around $449. At this price you’ll find ultra-basic backguard dial controls for the oven and burners with indicator lights for when the oven is heating and when a burner is on. The manual clean oven offers 5.0 cubic feet of capacity and features dual elements on the top and bottom of the oven for even heating. The stove features two 6″ 1,250W coils and two 8″ 2,400W coils.

Next up, the JBS360 models. This option prices at around $479 in black or white and $529 in stainless steel. This is a “mid-tier” model despite having a higher number in the model name… A reminder that it’s important to pay attention to the features! The GE JBS360DMWW offers a standard clean oven but comes with electronic touch panel oven controls with options like Hi/Low Broil, a control lock, and an electronic clock and kitchen timer. 

Last but not least: the JB256/258 models. We’ll focus on the 256 models. The 258 models are slightly more expensive and have larger oven windows – they’re an aesthetic upgrade but are otherwise the same as the 256 models. The GE JB256DMBB has a self clean oven and electronic touchpad oven controls with options like Delay Bake, Delay Clean, Hi/Low Broil, and control lock. It is available in black, white, or bisque for around $529 or in stainless steel for $629. It’s nicely featured without breaking the bank!

GE JB256DMBB – $529

GE Appliances JB256DMBB Coil Top Range

Whichever brand you choose will offer fantastic quality, good basic features and great pricing! These tough little ranges are ideal for making kitchen upgrades on a budget and for people who want to avoid potentially costly maintenance. The GE models offer more color options and GE offers a larger oven for the base model, but overall both brands offer very similar features and styles.

Power options for stoves and ovens

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The Kenmore 41313 range has a smooth electric cooktop and an electric oven.Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Electric

The heat output from electric cooktops is measured in watts. Output varies from stove to stove and burner to burner, but the output generally falls somewhere between 1,200 watts for low heat on a small burner and 3,800 BTUs for high heat on a large burner, though we’ve seen outliers at both ends of the spectrum. There are different types of electric cooktops from which you can select:

Smoothtop (glass-ceramic cooktop)

These cooktops are made of smooth glass-ceramic with heating units under the surface. A built-in sensor lets you know when a burner is still hot. This is important with smooth electric cooking surfaces, because the burner doesn’t always turn red if the heat is low.

Keep in mind that this type of cooktop is prone to scratches, and not all cookware is safe to use on the surface (the appliance’s manual will give you those specifics).

Electric coil

These burners convert the electricity that runs into the coil into heat. These cooktops contain thermostat sensors that notify you when a burner is on, but not necessarily whether it is still hot. Electric coil stoves are notorious for uneven cooking because of uneven distribution of the coil.

In short, it is hard to keep the coil perfectly level, which can make all of the food in the pan slide to one side. In addition, electric coil stoves are slow to heat and slow to cool. But ranges with this type of cooktop are cheaper than comparable models.

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The Kenmore 95073 range has an induction cooktop and an electric oven.Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Induction cooktops

Induction burners use the heat created from electromagnetic energy to cook your food. An element just below the surface of an induction cooktop creates a magnetic field. When you put a piece of cookware containing iron on top of that magnetic element, it causes a vibration of sorts that converts to heat through a series of magnetic interactions with iron (you can read more about the science behind induction here).

These cooktops are safer than gas or electric burners because they don’t use flames or direct heat — induction burners won’t start to heat if you put something on them that doesn’t contain magnetic material. Induction cooktops are also more efficient and heat things quicker than other types of burners (the ones we’ve tested have boiled a large pot of water in an average of 6 minutes).

There are a few downsides to induction cooktops. You have to make sure you have cookware that will work with the cooking surface, and ranges with induction burners tend to cost more money than comparable electric or gas ranges.

Electric ovens: This type of oven uses a heating element that is either visible on the top or bottom of the oven, or hidden. Our baking tests show that they often cook more evenly than their gas counterparts.

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The SMEG C30GGRU is a gas range, so it has a gas cooktop and oven.Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Gas

Gas cooktops

Both home and professional cooks have valued gas stovetops because of the how uniform the heat output is. An open flame surrounds the bottom of your cookware, which evenly distributes the heat around it. This heat output is measured in BTUs (British thermal units). Like electric models, the power range varies from model to model, but the output generally falls somewhere between 5,000 BTUs for low heat on a small burner and 18,000 BTUs for high heat on a large burner. We’ve seen burners on high-end ranges get as low as 800 BTUs and as high as 20,000 BTUs. If you’re a speedy cook, be aware that our cooking tests show gas cooktops tend to take longer to boil large pots of water than electric or induction cooktops.

Gas ovens

When it comes to gas ovens, we’ve seen in our cook tests that they have a harder time producing even baking results than electric ovens.

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The Dacor ER30DSCH has a gas cooktop and an electric oven.Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Dual-fuel

Some ranges use two types of power: gas for the cooktop, and electric in the oven. These dual-fuel ranges are a good compromise for folks who want the direct heat of a gas burner but the even cooking of an electric oven. However, these hybrids cost more than traditional one-power-source ranges.

Design styles

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The Kenmore 97723 is an example of a freestanding range.Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Freestanding

Freestanding ranges are designed to fit anywhere in a kitchen. Oven controls are often located on a back panel that raises up above the cooktop. These are less expensive than slide-in models.

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The Samsung NE58K9850WG is a slide-in range, so it doesn’t have a back panel and sits flush with surrounding countertops.Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Slide-in

These ranges don’t have a back panel and are meant to fit in flush with the surrounding countertops. Slide-in ranges are often more expensive than freestanding models because of the mechanics that go into putting all the controls up front.

Drop-in

Drop-in ranges are similar to slide-in models — they sit flush with the surrounding countertops and all the controls are located at the front of the unit. But this type of range looks like you dropped it between two cabinets because of a strip of cabinetry you place beneath the appliance.

Bonus features

The search for an oven or range can resemble a visit to a car dealership — there are always opportunities to upgrade. Assess your needs and decide if these bonus features are worth throwing down more money for an appliance.

Wireless connectivity

Companies have become more proactive in including wireless capabilities such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and near-field communication (NFC) in their ovens and stoves so you can control your appliance from your smartphone. For example, you could begin to preheat your Wi-Fi-enabled oven on your way home from the grocery store, so it’s ready for your frozen pizza by the time you get home.

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The GE PHB920SJSS induction range has built-in Wi-Fi and works with Alexa, Amazon’s voice-activated virtual assistant. You can give voice commands to this Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker to control the range.Chris Monroe/CNET

Manufacturers have also started to connect appliances with smart-home products to add some automation and voice control in the kitchen. For example, GE’s Wi-Fi-connected ranges work with Alex and Google Assistant, so you can give voice commands to control your appliance. And Jenn-Air wall ovens work with Nest Learning Thermostats ($269 at Amazon) so you can automatically lower your home’s temperature when the ovens get hot. 

Convection fans

Convection fans are built into the back of oven walls. They circulate the heat in the oven so hot air is more evenly dispersed, which means your food will bake more evenly. You’d want convection fans if you’re baking food like cookies on more than one oven rack at the same time. Midprice ovens will have at least one convection fan. Some ovens have what’s called “true” or “European” convection, which means there’s a heating element that surrounds the fan that warms the air as the fan blows. Read more about the science of convection here.

Special cooking modes

Your basic oven can bake and broil. But as the price for ovens increases, you’ll see that there are more cooking options. For example, ovens with convection fans will have modes for convection baking and convection roasting, which will enable the fans and heating elements. Some ovens also come with cook settings for specific foods, such as pizza or turkey, or food preparation methods, like dehydration or bread proofing.

Bottom drawers (baking/warming/broiling)

Some ranges come with a bottom drawer that can serve one of many purposes depending on the model. Some range ovens offer a baking drawer, which enables a person to use the main oven to roast or broil, and the baking drawer for smaller dishes, so you can cook more than one thing at the same time using different temperatures. A warming drawer will keep food warm, but it won’t cook the food. Some ovens have a broiler drawer, which functions like a traditional broiler and must be watched just as closely to ensure that food does not burn.

Temperature probes

Temperature probes plug into the wall of your oven, and you use them to monitor the internal temperature of meat as it cooks. The temperature displays on the control panel of your oven, so you don’t have to open the door to see if your dish is done.

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The KitchenAid KFDD500ESS range has two oven cavities, so you can bake two dishes on different temperatures at the same time.Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Double ovens in conventional space

The ovens on some ranges have dual baking chambers, which give you the flexibility of double wall ovens without the need for more space. These ovens allow the convenience of simultaneous cooking at different temperatures. Some ovens come with a divider that allows you to split your single oven into two unique temperature zones that will remain separate as long as the divider is in place.

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