The $1,549 US-only Electrolux 30-inch Gas Freestanding Range with IQ-Touch Controls (model number EI30GF35JS) shares some features and design elements with. That's where the similarities end. This gas version is slightly more refined, mainly due to its less-chaotic display-panel layout and the resulting improvements to usability.
When comparing this range to other gas models in the same price range, though, the EI30GF35JS doesn't hold up quite as well. Specifically, it has a smaller oven capacity, fewer features and slower cooking times than Samsung's $1,699 Gas Range with True Convection (model NX58F5700) as well as other models. This Electrolux range can handle the basics with grace, but that's kind of the point -- its relatively bland looks and sluggish performance don't quite line up with its price. Keep looking if you're in the market for a midlevel gas range with the functionality to match.
Turning up the heat
This gas range looks a lot like. It has the same inoffensive stainless steel-and-black finish, handle hardware and window for peeking at your latest culinary creation. But, you'll notice that this version has knobs for adjusting the gas output of the burners. Thankfully, this moves all of the cooktop controls away from the IQ-Touch display, which was overly crowded and very tough to navigate on the all-electric version.
In addition to the pared-down IQ display and burner control-knobs, you'll also notice that the cooktop features cast-iron grates and a fifth oval burner with enough BTUs (10,000 to be exact) to cook pancakes, bacon and other delicious griddle treats.
The other four burners come in handy too, with 5,000; 9,500; 12,000 and 18,000 BTUs so you can tackle anything from simmering sauce to rapidly boiling water.
|Oven size (in cu. ft.)||5||5.8||5.4||5.6||5.8||5.8|
|Cooktop output, in BTUs||5,000 to 18,000||5,000 to 18,000||5,000 to 17,000||5,000 to 19,000||5,000 to 17,000||5,000 to 17,000|
The EI30GF35JS is competitive with comparably priced gas ranges in terms of cooktop energy output, but it has a significantly smaller oven capacity than all of the other models in the chart above. That doesn't necessarily mean that you won't be able to fit your Thanksgiving turkey inside, but it may limit some of your cooking capabilities.
This gas range looks nice enough, but that's mainly because it's unobtrusive and blend-in-able. It reminds me of old-school thermostats that feature a rectangular slab of plastic, or many of today's. They don't look bad exactly, but that's only because we're used to the design status quo. Ranges like this one really need a -style intervention.
Still, this model is simple to use. The burner knobs adjust quickly with minimal effort, the cast-iron grates are on the heavy side but can be removed for cleaning, and the display includes a full number pad for entering specific temperature and timer instructions. My only complaint is that the IQ-Touch display could be more responsive.
Biscuits, burgers and beyond
I baked biscuits to test the Electrolux's traditional and convection bake modes. A lot of biscuits. Over 200 biscuits. Aside from the extended periods of taste-testing that necessarily took place, this gave me a great opportunity to compare the two bake modes.
Traditional-bake mode relies solely on the heat elements inside the oven to cook, whereas. The added air circulation from the fan is supposed to cook food more evenly.