Electric smoothtop ranges have spent decades as an incredibly popular choice for homeowners around the country. Their ease of use and cleaning, relatively inexpensive price points and streamlined appearance combine a great mix of value and functionality.
But choosing the right electric smoothtop range for your kitchen isn’t easy—there are dozens of brands, hundreds of models, and prices ranging from bargain-basement to top-of-the-line. So how do you know which features (and price tags) are worthwhile? What makes one electric range better than the other?
At Designer Appliances, we’ve been selling and servicing electric ranges for years. And because 2020 has been an exciting year for new products from established brands, we decided to create this round-up of the best electric ranges currently on the market.
But first, it’s important to know what goes into the process of picking the right smoothtop range for you.
Here are our picks for the Best Electric Ranges 2020:
1. LG Smart Induction Slide In Electric Range — Best To Buy In 2020
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.
- 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.Pros
- 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.Check Latest Price on Amazon
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.Pros
- 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.Check Latest Price on Amazon
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.Check Latest Price on Appliances Connection
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.Pros
- 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-cleaning if 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.