For those looking for stylish electric ranges these days, options are dwindling. Kitchenaid is one of the few brands on the market still making an electric slide-in range with some style. The knurled stainless knobs and integrated downdraft vent are very attractive to those looking for a range that is modern and forward thinking.
Unfortunately, our recent test of this unit was less than enticing.
Kitchenaid Electric Range Review – KSEG950ESS
This range platform is shared across multiple brands currently. Whirlpool, who likely manufacturers this appliance, has their version, the Whirlpool WEE745H0FS, which is rather dull looking and lacks the downdraft function.
Kitchenaid and Jenn-air (both subsidiaries of Whirlpool) have their own versions which are far more modern in exterior design, but are essentially the same machines as far as we can tell. The Jenn-air JES1750FS is identical in every way, with the exception of the knob placement, which they just moved to the top of the machine. So this review is just as good for that machine as well.
An Electric Range Without Much “Range”
I came by testing this appliance on our summer vacation this year in the mountain house we rented in North Carolina. The unit was obviously pretty new and while I had seen this model with the built-in downdraft and it’s Jenn-air cousin before, I had always wondered how they function in real life.
Our first real test of the machine came the very next morning, when we decided to make blueberry pancakes.
It was here that I learned that this unit has one very big, glaring flaw: very little heat control on the radiant burners. Due to what I can only assume is some kind of design flaw, the radiant elements on this range have only two settings: on or off.
For example, for pancakes we set the temperature on “Medium”. The burner turns on bright red, it’s maximum power output, and then after a 10 or 15 seconds, goes dark (no radiant power output), rinse, repeat. This alternating cycle of full heat / no heat wreaked havoc on our poor pancakes. Our first few pancakes burned, the next few were undercooked. We eventually settled for moving the pan on and off the burner on our own terms to regulate the heat as the appliance could not seem to alternate the power in any kind of coherent way.
Customer Reviews Line Up With My Experiences
Now my first though was, “perhaps this unit is malfunctioning”. So I did a little research online — and found scattered throughout the reviews antidotes such as:
Getting to the point, it has to do with lack of heat control. Electric stove tops have never been that great at this function, but this unit is the worst I have ever had the misfortune to own.
The cooktop is extremely difficult to regulate temperature, it’s either boiling or lukewarm.
You would think when you pay almost $3k for a higher end range they could put the kitchenaid logo on straight, mine is crooked. The cooktop is very challenging to control the temperature. It’s either low or boiling, medium heat is impossible to find/maintain.
…and that’s just the reviews on Kitchenaid’s own website.
Needless to say, the way the burners function to regulate heat makes this range almost unusable for me. But then, there is the oven.
Pre-heating the oven to 425F took a whopping 28 minutes, easily winning our medal for longest pre-heat time ever for an oven. The exterior door is thin and gets extremely hot to the touch during baking, which is worrying for safety reasons alone. Perhaps the reason the oven takes so long to pre-heat is due to the poorly insulated door leaking much of the heat back out into the kitchen.
Your guess is as good as mine at this point.
Our unit did not brown the food much on the bottom side, leading me to believe the bottom element is under-powered. This is also a common complaint I see in customer reviews online.
The Flush Downdraft – Almost Like Having No Ventilation at All
Think about it – when you start cooking, all the grease, steam, and smells rise out of the pan.
A typical hood located above the cooktop is in the ideal placement to extract and trap these particulates. But take that same hood and mount it below the pan and it doesn’t take long to see the problem. The airborne grease gets away before it can ever be captured.
The downdraft motor included on the Kitchenaid Electric Range is actually quite powerful but from its position beneath the pots and pans it has little chance of sucking anything but steam. Should you decide to sear or fry food on this cooktop, expect a mess – the downdraft will be of little help.
The unit can be vented by either running to a vent directly underneath the unit or in the back.
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The Kitchenaid Electric Downdraft Range looks every bit the part with its beautiful knurled knobs and handle. But after getting a lot closer and digging a little deeper, we were left incredibly disappointed. The radiant burner technology in this range is inherently flawed. You can boil or fry, but attempting to use medium or low heat with any kind of consistency is near impossible.
At just under $3,000. these units are one of the most expensive electric ranges on the market today. For that kind of money, this review should have been glowing.
Our advice: Steer clear.
- Looks like an expensive range.
- Identical to the more expensive Jenn-air unit.
- Burners are useless, heat control non-existent
- Oven takes forever to pre-heat
- Oven door gets too hot to touch when cooking