Manufacturers are quick to roll out new ovens loaded with impressive bonus features that drive the price of an appliance well into four (or even five) digits -- LED lights surrounding the burner knobs, specialized baking modes to cook foods like pizza or chicken, even Wi-Fi and connected apps. It's up to you to determine if you must have these sparkly extras in your next appliance purchase. But the GE JGB700SEJSS gas range makes a strong case for minimalism.
This $1,000 stainless-steel range is consistent in its ability to cook food well. It's also easy to use and includes some simple add-ons that make cooking a little easier, such as a convection fan in the oven and an integrated griddle on the cooktop. And its price makes this appliance more affordable than units with more features.
The GE JGB700SEJSS is slim on cooking modes and lacks the sturdy physical presence of more expensive stainless-steel units, but that's no surprise for a $1,000 large appliance. It also won't break any records when it comes to cooking times. Minor faults aside, the JGB700SEJSS is no slouch in the kitchen, and a worthwhile purchase for a home cook that cares more about functionality than flash.
Basic doesn't mean boring
Unlike more expensive ranges, the GE JGB700SEJSS doesn't aspire to look like a professional-grade appliance. This unobtrusive range resembles other freestanding models with back panel controls and a row of burner knobs along the front of the unit. None of the features seem particularly strong; the knobs feel light, and the touch controls for oven temperature take a little extra "oomph" when you press them.
The most notable feature of the oven is its five-burner cooktop. Cast-iron continuous grates cover the four burner on the left and right of the cooktop, and an integrated griddle covers the center oval burner. There aren't any included grates you can replace the griddle with, so you'd have to switch out one of the grates on the side if you want to cook something over the center burner but don't want to use the griddle. This is limiting if you don't often use a griddle or need a fifth burner for a particularly active day of cooking. However, the griddle is a good size (it can hold six sandwiches at a time), so folks who often cook items like pancakes, bacon or eggs will be delighted to have it.
Just a few features, but lots of quality cooking
The GE JGB700SEJSS performed well in all of the cooking tests through which I put it. None of the results were earth-shattering, but this appliance was no slouch. The range stands up to more expensive competitors when it comes to its ability to cook food consistently well in an average amount of time, even without special features.