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Dacor ER30DSCH review: Powerful, high-end oven needs lots of attention

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MSRP: $6,320.00
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The Good The Dacor Renaissance ER30DSCH 30-inch range boasts a solid, stainless steel structure, easy-to-use controls and an appealing dual-fuel combination of a gas stovetop paired with an electric oven. The powerful convection oven roasts phenomenal chicken and broils burgers at an outrageous speed.

The Bad The suggested Pure Convection mode for multiple-rack baking cooks food quickly, so biscuits came out scorched in our standard tests. The broiler produced plumes of smoke thick enough to fill the average kitchen. And this range comes with a suggested price of $6,320 that puts this appliance out of reach for a lot of folks.

The Bottom Line Though the investment is substantial, the Dacor Renaissance ER30DSCH is a worthwhile purchase for the avid, patient home cook who's willing to experiment to find the right oven settings for their baking needs.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

8.4 Overall
  • Design 9
  • Features 9
  • Usability 8
  • Performance 8

Review Sections

Luxury appliance brands often point to their products' hand-crafted and long-lasting construction, efficient cooking performance and sophisticated design to justify oven prices that approach (and, in some cases, surpasses) five figures. Dacor, a member of this high-end category, makes and delivers on many of those promises with the $6,320 Dacor Renaissance ER30DSCH 30-inch Dual-Fuel range.

The Dacor Renaissanace ER30DSCH is a stainless-steel, four-burner model. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

This stainless steel model combines the precision of a gas cooktop's open flame with a powerful electric oven to make a formidable and versatile product. The controls were easy to use. The cooktop performed on par with other gas units we've reviewed. And the chicken that I roasted was nearly a religious experience, thanks in large part to the connected meat probe that reduced the oven's heat when the chicken reached the appropriate temperature. Overall, this Dacor is a better performer than its bigger, all-gas counterpart, the Dacor Renaissance RNRP36GS .

But Dacor ER30DSCH is not an oven for the occasional home chef. This is a range for the attentive cook, someone who weighs their dry ingredients and writes the expiration date on their spices. The ER30DSCH's Pure Convection baking mode requires a lot of experimentation to figure out the right temperature and cooking time for recipes. For me, this meant a lot of scorched biscuits during my double-rack bake tests. The quick-cooking broiler takes hamburger patties from medium-well to charcoal briquettes in a flash, so that feature also needs your close attention.

Like other Dacor models we've tested, the ER30DSCH is a beautiful range that looks like a smaller version of what you'd see in a commercial kitchen. This range is a good investment if you have patience and interest it will take to tweak your favorite recipes in this oven. If you're one of the consumers locked out by the $6,320 price, go for the Kenmore 74343 to meet your gas cooktop needs or the Samsung NE59J7850WS for an electric oven.

Compact, intuitive design makes for a beautiful range

Dacor continues a tradition of handsome, user-friendly design with the stout ER30DSCH. As opposed to the mammoth RNRP36GS , the ER30DSCH is compressed into 30 inches of all-stainless steel construction with a slide-in design intended to fit snugly between your countertops. There are four burners on cooktop that produce 1,000 to 18,000 BTUs of power. The range doesn't have a middle fifth burner for griddle cooking that we've seen on models like the LG LRG3085ST , but Dacor includes a griddle that fits over the two burners on the right. This provides more room for a larger griddle than other models allow.

Heavy, cast-iron grates cover the four burners on the ER30DSCH. The range also comes with a griddle. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The control panel makes it easy to select cooking modes. The panel lies flush against the front of the oven, but you can push a button to tilt the panel upward for easier viewing. The four burner knobs are large and easy to grip. Each knob also features a blue LED light that turns on when the burner is in use, a sleek feature I enjoyed on the Dacor RNRP36GS . The touchpad on the control panel is very responsive and includes a number keypad, a clock display and eight different cooking modes. Dacor makes it easy to figure out how each cooking mode works with little pictures on each button that illustrate where the heat source comes from in each mode.

It's easy to figure out how each oven mode will cook your food with these illustrations. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The ER30DSCH's oven has a 3.9 cubic foot capacity, which makes it the smallest single-oven cavity we've seen, but I didn't have any problems fitting in our normal medley of test dishes. Inside, glass plates cover the heating electric heating element on the top and the bottom of the oven, a sophisticated features that makes cleaning a lot easier than if there were exposed coils like on traditional ovens. In the back of the oven is the convection fan, which is surrounded with a third heating element that comes on when you use the pure convection mode.

Mighty oven overshadows disappointing cooktop

The gas cooktop of the Dacor ER30DSCH falls behind less-expensive gas ranges we've tested, a big disappointment from such an imposing range. I boiled 112 ounces of water in a 5-quart pot, and the results put the ER30DSCH toward the bottom of the gas cooktop pack. This range's performance showed me that it doesn't take a lot of money to get a good gas cooktop, as you can see in the chart below with the impressive $1,399 Kenmore 74343 or the $1,549 Electrolux EI30GF35JS .

Large-Burner Boil Test (Gas Models)

Note:

Time to achieve rolling boil, in minutes

I also used the stovetop to simmer cans of tomato soup. Fun fact: This Dacor performed almost identically with the gas Dacor RNRP36GS . Both gas ranges continued to slowly heat the soup after I turned the burners to low.

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