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CNET First Look
Slowing it down with the KitchenAid rangeThis $1,349 oven will take its sweet time cooking your favorites.
Hi, I'm Megan Wollerton, and I'm here with the KitchenAid Electric Freestanding Range, Architect Series II, model number KERS303BSS. So this $1349 range is kind of in the mid-price range. It has most of the basic features, it has broil, convection, traditional modes. But it also has a few special extras. On the cooktop, I like that you can adjust the burners. It has five different burners. The four on the outside are for regular cooking. The one in the middle back is for warming. The left front burner can adjust to six, nine, or 12 inches to accommodate pretty much any style pot. And the wattage will adjust accordingly. The right front burner has an extra high wattage output. So, it can go from ultra-low to ultra-high. And the rear left burner has a melt feature. So, there's really a lot of customization built into this range. One design element I really like about this range is that it combines knobs and the display buttons. A lot of the newer ranges have just a large panel of display buttons that kind of get cluttered. I think the knobs add a little bit of that professional chef style element to this making it seem a little bit higher-end than it actually is. As far as the oven itself, it has the 6.2 cubic foot capacity, that's pretty huge. So, while all that stuff sounds good on paper, it didn't really translate to outstanding performance. So the most obvious thing we noticed during testing was how long it takes to cook stuff, especially in the oven. We roasted whole chickens in three different comparable ovens, and this one took so much longer. The other two averaged, you know, around an hour and 15 to an hour and 30 minutes. This one took almost two hours. I really think this type of appliance should be designed for convenience. You shouldn't have to sit around and wait any longer than you expect to. And this one was really unpredictable. This would be particularly annoying if you're the kind of person who likes to stick to a recipe. This just, isn't that predictable. I mean, you know it's gonna take longer, but you don't always know exactly how long. So, overall it has, you know, solid features, it looks pretty nice. But particularly the $949 Whirlpool WFE504H0AS. We tested that in a batch with this one, and it performed much faster, much more consistently, and produced great results. So it might depend on your personality, whether or not you think this is a deal breaker. But for me, I would stick with another model. For CNET, I'm Megan Wollerton. [MUSIC]