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Can one really cool feature make a nearly $4,000 oven worth buying? In the case of the Electrolux EW30IS80RS, it depends on how important Thanksgiving is to you. Electrolux filled this induction range with a host of special features, but the standout is the "Perfect Turkey" cooking mode that can cook a holiday-meal worthy, 13-pound turkey in just two hours.
Slashing the cook time of an intimidating piece of poultry is just one of the many noteworthy features included in the $3,749 Electrolux EW30IS80RS. The range's induction cooktop boils water at breakneck speeds. And the oven's two convection fans excel at moving air more evenly during baking, which results in biscuits that brown evenly across two racks.
The range has its drawbacks. The broiler chars hamburger patties before they're completely cooked. Though the oven circulates heat well, it left my evenly browned biscuits about one minute away from being burnt. And controlling this range's intricate touchpad controls can feel a bit like steering a stubborn spaceship.
Overall, the Electrolux EW30IS80RS is a formidable match to similar slide-in induction ranges such as GE PHS920SFSS and the Samsung NE58H9970WS. Though the Electrolux is more expensive, this impressive range is a good investment if you value quick cooking -- especially on Thanksgiving.
The Electrolux EW30IS80RS is a 30-inch-wide, slide-in range with an imposing profile. Much of its heft comes from the touch-control panel, which juts out from the body of the range.
The smooth cooktop includes four induction burners. Induction cooktops use heat created from electromagnetism between your pot or pan and the burner to cook food (read more about the science behind induction here). Like the Kenmore 95073 induction range, the Electrolux doesn't use circles to show you where the burners are located. Instead, there are four crosses that show you where you're supposed to put your cookware. Each burner has its own set of touchpad controls that let you adjust heat levels with plus and minus buttons. Unfortunately, the controls don't clearly indicate which burner they belong to, which will make your initial cooktop experience confusing if you don't read the oven's manual first.
The gigantic control pad also holds a labyrinth of oven controls, including 11 different cook settings. It can get overwhelming trying to access special features such as temperature probe settings or the convection converter (which lowers the temperature when you're using a convection cooking mode), which require multiple button pushes and adjustment. And you have to press hard on the control pad's buttons to get them to respond.
The Electrolux has two oven cavities: a traditional 4.6-cubic-foot capacity oven and a 1.4-cubic-foot capacity oven drawer at the bottom of the range. You can use the oven drawer to keep food warm, bake or slow cook, which is handy if you're cooking a lot of dishes at once or if you want to heat up a frozen meal. But I'd rather get rid of the oven drawer in exchange for a larger main cavity, especially since it's difficult to get food in and out of the drawer since it's so low to the ground.
It takes a lot of gumption for a manufacturer to include a special cook setting on an oven that's designed for one specific dish, such as pizza or chicken. You expect such a feature to be flawless since it only has one job.
Electrolux went all in when it included the Perfect Turkey cooking mode on the EW30IS80RS. If you grew up like me, turkey only came at Thanksgiving, mainly because it was a day-long cooking endeavor for the poor soul in charge of it. Electrolux claims in its user manual that the Perfect Turkey system "gently browns the turkey's exterior and seals in the juice" in a shorter amount of time than normal ovens. For example, a 16-pound turkey will take an average of three hours and 12 minutes to cook in the Electrolux, while the USDA estimates that it takes 3 hours and 45 minutes to 4 hours and 15 minutes for the same-size turkey in a traditional oven. I was skeptical when I placed a defrosted, 13-pound turkey into the oven and pressed the Perfect Turkey button. But the oven completely cooked the turkey in just 2 hours.
Here's how the Perfect Turkey made a two-hour cook time possible: First, you put the raw turkey on the grill rack and griddle pan that Electrolux includes with the oven, which elevates the turkey so hot air hits it from all sides. You insert the included temperature probe into the turkey and connect it to the oven. The oven heats to the default 325 degrees Fahrenheit, and the heating elements in the top and bottom of the oven begin to alternate on and off. Meanwhile, the two convection fans in the oven's back wall circulate air throughout the space. These conditions create a rotisserie-like environment (a faux-tisserie, if you will) that cooks the turkey faster than traditional bake or roast settings. The oven stops cooking when the turkey reaches the desired internal temperature.
Not only did the Perfect Turkey setting speed up cooking, it also produced a turkey that was worth of being a holiday meal centerpiece. The skin was crisp and golden-brown. The dark meat was succulent. The only downside was the dry white meat. However, this is a problem that you can fix by adjusting the internal temperature to which you want to cook the turkey (I used the default 180 degrees Fahrenheit; the minimum temperature is 170 degrees Fahrenheit). The Perfect Turkey setting is worthy of your use on Thanksgiving, but it might also inspire you to cook turkey year-round because of how easy it is to prepare.
Fortunately, this Electrolux doesn't rely solely on its impressive turkey cooking. Overall, the range performed well in our standard cook tests.
Like other induction cooktops we've seen, the Electrolux can boil large pots of water quickly and efficiently. It boiled 112 ounces of water in an average of 5.68 minutes, which makes the Electrolux the second-faster boiler we've tested. The range is in good company -- the other three fastest boilers are also induction ranges.
When it comes to keeping a steady temperature over low heat, the behavior of the Electrolux is similar to an electric smooth-top range. The chart to the right shows how the temperature of soup that's on low heat steadily decreases on the Electrolux over 20 minutes. This isn't a deal-breaker; it just shows that you'll need to increase the temperature of a burner if you plan on letting food simmer for an extended period of time.
Down in the oven, the Electrolux's convection fans work well at circulating air evenly when food was on more than one oven rack. Depending on how brown you like your baked goods, you could say that the fans are a bit too efficient in multirack baking. The biscuits I tested were even in terms of brownness, but they were all nearly burnt, so you should reduce your recipes' cook times to be on the safe side.
The oven's broiler is also a bit much. Compared with the performance of other electric ovens, the Electrolux broils burgers in an average amount of time. But the burgers' exteriors were always too charged by the time the inside reached the appropriate temperature.
The Electrolux EW30IS80RS could have easily been a one-trick pony after nailing its impressive Perfect Turkey feature. Yet, this induction range performs well all-around, from fast boiling to even baking. At $3,749, buying this range will lighten up your wallet quite a bit. But with its thoughtful special features and command of basic cooking make this range a good addition to your kitchen.