9 Best Ranges for Budget-Conscious Cooks
Most of us use a range almost every day, but it's not an everyday purchase. That puts a premium on finding a gas or electric stove with useful features and good performance for the best price. Cheapism.com combed through specifications and scores of online reviews to find the best budget ranges that satisfy these criteria. The top ranges on our list, including one with a convection oven, sell for less than $600. We also identified several mid-tier models worth considering for special features like a warming drawer, induction-heat technology, or a double oven.
Good Gas Range Under $600
Price: $498 | Buy it from Home Depot
Pros:- Two power burners (15,000 BTUs) for faster heating.
- Counter-depth design looks more expensive than it is.
- Self-clean oven with keep-warm mode.
Cons:- Some grousing about inconsistent oven temperature and a hard-to-read display.
- The area around the burners can be difficult to clean.
- Continuous grates annoy some users.
Takeaway: The Whirlpool WFG515SOE is a basic gas stove with an updated look due, in part, to the continuous grates (as opposed to individual grates for each burner). The two front power burners are a boon to some users, but others would rather have one burner in front that's less powerful. Overall, this model does not disappoint.
Good Electric Range Under $600
Price: $494 | Buy it from Lowe's
Pros:- Four cooktop elements heat evenly, and one is expandable for larger pots.
- Easy-to-clean smooth cooktop.
- High and low broil settings; true oven temperature.
- Large storage drawer.
Cons:- Manual-clean oven with exposed bake element on bottom.
- Some grousing about slow preheating and a buzzer that's hard to hear.
- Scattered reports mention cracking and scratches on the cooktop.
Takeaway: The basic, smooth-top electric Frigidaire FFEF3013L earns points for user-friendliness, appearance, and a very attractive price. Users say it's easy to clean and a good value for the money.
Best Gas Range Under $600
Price: $498 | Buy it from Home Depot
Pros:- Large oven preheats quickly and cooks evenly; good heat levels on cooktop.
- Range feels solid and well-built, with a sleek design.
- Five burners, including a high-intensity front burner (17,000 BTUs), low-intensity simmer burner, and center oval burner.
- Heavy cast iron continuous grates.
Cons:- Manual-clean oven.
- Some complaints about inaccurate oven calibration.
Takeaway: The stovetop on the Samsung NX58K3310S wins accolades for the oval-shaped fifth burner, which accommodates extra-large pots, and the easy-to-clean porcelain surface. The features, look, and performance make this freestanding gas range a solid value.
Best Electric Range Under $600
Price: $499 | Buy it from Lowe's
Pros:- Two dual-size front burners (6 inches and 9 inches) with power boil (3,100 watts).
- Self-cleaning oven with two bake elements.
- Oven heats accurately and evenly.
Cons:- Seems less sturdy than older models, according to reviews.
- Cooktop scratches easily without attentive care.
- "Hot surface" warning lights are difficult to see.
Takeaway: The ceramic glass cooktop on the GE JB645 looks good and is easy to clean. The dual-size front burners offer lots of flexibility, and the well-calibrated oven ensures successful results.
Best Cheap Gas Range with Convection Oven
Price: $598 | Buy it from Home Depot
Pros:- Convection oven maintains well-calibrated temperature; good heat control on burners.
- Integrated griddle replaces grate over middle burner (optional center grate available).
- Five burners, including one 18,000-BTU front power burner and a 10,000-BTU center burner.
- Steam cleaning feature in oven is speedy and odor-free.
Cons:- No outside oven light switch.
- Owner's manual must be downloaded.
Takeaway: Convection baking and a versatile cooktop are the hallmarks of the gas-powered GE JGB700. Although the griddle may not hold much appeal at first, many reviewers report using it more than expected. The feature package, the performance, and the price make for a winning combination.
Best Cheap Electric Range with Convection Oven
Price: $698| Buy it from Home Depot
Pros:- Huge 6.3-cubic-foot capacity.
- Convection oven with seven rack positions and blue interior for a high-end look.
- Five cooktop heating elements, including two dual-size burners (6/9 inches and 9/12 inches) and a 100-watt center warming burner.
- Elements heat quickly; light stays on until elements cool down.
- Fast, water-based system for self-cleaning oven.
- All digital controls.
Cons:- Super-shiny cooking surface is unforgiving of fingerprints.
- Some reviewers said the motherboard on the previous model was prone to burnouts.
- Expect a learning curve for controls.
Takeaway: The LG LRE3193 hits a sweet spot for frugal consumers in thrall of the digital age. Like its predecessor, the LG LRE3083, it earns raves for overall performance, although reports of limited longevity for the electronic controls on the older model leave a bit of tarnish on this LG line.
High-End Features at a Mid-Range Price
Price: $1,529 | Buy it from Home Depot
Pros:- Strong performance all around.
- Large, 5.8-cubic-foot convection oven with one rack that glides out on ball bearings.
- Multiple self-clean cycles (two, three, or four hours, plus delay start).
- Five burners, including one dual-power burner (18,000 BTUs max).
- Warming drawer and a host of other features and specialized settings, including a proofing mode to help dough rise as well as slow cook, defrost, and dehydrate presets.
- Comes with a wok grate and a griddle.
Cons:- Hard-to-understand manual.
- Stainless steel can smudge and scratch.
- Digital display can be hard to see.
Takeaway: The gas-fueled Samsung NX58F5700WS garners kudos for build quality, desirable features, even baking, and speedy cooking. Fans say it looks and performs like a premium range but sells at a mid-tier price point.
Best Cheap Induction Range
Price: $1,529 | Buy it from Home Depot
Pros:- Induction cooktop boils water and cools to a true simmer very quickly.
- Five heating elements, including one high-power burner (3,800 watts) and one center warming zone (100 watts).
- Convection oven with high and low broil settings.
- Smudge-proof stainless steel finish.
- Comes with a temperature probe.
- Easy to clean.
Cons:- Induction technology requires pots and pans with magnetic bottoms.
- Some users say the bottom drawer feels flimsy.
Takeaway: Reviewers have seen excellent results from both the convection oven and the stovetop on the electric Frigidaire Gallery FGIF3061NF induction range. Feats like near-instant heat regulation and speedy cooking commend the technology to home chefs. Users say the transition from a traditional electric stove is painless, and even some who were wedded to gas are surprised converts.
Worth a Splurge: Premium Brand with Double Oven
Price: $1,498 | Buy it from Home Depot
Pros:- Double oven with convection technology in the larger lower oven.
- Middle oven rack glides easily on ball bearings.
- Five burners; comes with griddle for oval middle burner.
- Strong gas burners cook quickly on lower settings; simmer burner does not overheat.
Cons:- Scattered reports of control panel malfunctions and oven temperature fluctuations.
- Stainless steel cooktop on some models is said to scratch and discolor easily.
Takeaway: The big draw of the KitchenAid KFGD500E -- aside from the name brand -- is the double oven, with features like convection heat and bread proofing in the larger bottom oven. However, some users find it physically challenging to lift heavy items (holiday turkey, for example) from such a low position. Still, this model offers food-prep flexibility that many consumers appreciate.
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