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Frigidaire FPGF3077QF range review: Gas cooking power confounded by quirky controls

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The Good The Frigidaire FPGF3077QF has stylish stainless steel looks and a powerful gas cooktop, plus a convection oven that bakes and roasts evenly.

The Bad A small touchpanel, dim status lights, and soft preheat chime make the Frigidaire FPGF3077QF tricky to operate.

The Bottom Line Sweet steel styling and solid performance aren't quite enough to overcome the Frigidaire FPGF3077QF's confusing oven controls.

6.6 Overall
  • Design 7.5
  • Features 6
  • Usability 6
  • Performance 7

Priced at $1,699, this Frigidaire FPGF3077QF range free-standing gas oven and cooktop sits on the higher end of the stove market. As part of the Frigidaire Professional lineup of kitchen appliances the machine is elegantly crafted from stainless steel and brushed aluminum. Also part of the deal is a powerful and versatile five-burner cooktop, a true European convection oven with its own dedicated heat element , and front-mounted metal burner knobs.

Unfortunately while the oven is a solid performer, its combination of tiny touchscreen, dim indicator lights, and barely audible alerts make it more enjoyable to admire for its looks than to actually use it. I suggest springing for the $1,649 KitchenAid KGRS306BSS gas range, which for about the same amount of money, also boasts impressive cooking abilities and a more user-friendly interface.

Design and features

Frigidaire certainly takes a minimalistic design approach with its FPGF3077QF range. The machine's blocky frame has the fewest number of lights, indicators, and buttons of any modern stove I've laid hands upon. That's not to say the appliance isn't attractive. Made from sturdy stainless steel on both sharp edges and smoothly rounded curves, the appliance possesses enough premium style to match its "Professional" line brand name.

With stainless steel construction, the FPGF3077QF boasts luxurious looks. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Continuing the range's sleek look is a wide back-mounted control panel, also made from brushed metal (aluminum and stainless steel finish), which uses physical knobs to control oven settings. It's an unusual departure from the membrane buttons or touchscreen panels gracing typical free-standing ovens.

Offloading oven controls to these dedicated dials also enables Frigidaire to cut the range's only true touch panel down in size. A tiny black square measuring 5.5 inches (diagonally) placed dead-center in the range's backsplash, this control surface only has room to display a digital clock along with readouts (and keys) for two cooking timers.

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The small touch panel is tricky to use. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

What you don't see here is the oven's preheat status in clear temperature increments. Instead, all the oven offers is a preheat light that glows a faint blue while the appliance is ramping up to the temperature you select. Not only is this light (and the oven's other lights -- oven mode, oven temp) very small, they become increasingly dim if viewed from any angle other than head on. The oven will play a soft chime when it reaches the set preheat temperature as well. Unfortunately, this alert is so quiet it can be easily lost among the din of a noisy kitchen.

Another irksome annoyance is that neither timer displays seconds until the countdown drops below the one-minute mark. In addition, if you set the timer for, say, 10 minutes, the readout almost immediately changes to "9" once the timer is started (in actuality, it's changed to 9:59 and so on, but who can tell?). This can create some confusion as to whether it's counting down the correct time or not -- at least, it did for me.

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Controlling the oven is managed with physical knobs, not flat buttons. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The range's cooktop is well appointed, however, with five gas burners of varying heat output to choose from. At the low end is a 5,000 BTU burner (right rear) best suited for melting delicate ingredients such as chocolate and butter. Other options include a 9,500 BTU burner (left front) and a 12,000 BTU burner behind it (left rear).

You get five burners including an oval center heating zone. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The appliance has a high-powered 18,000-BTU burner as well located in the front-right corner of the stovetop. Last but not least is an oval-shaped center burner (rated at 10,000 BTU) that's perfect for griddle duties. Sadly, you'll have to provide your own griddle pan, since unlike other ovens such as the LG LSRG309ST , Samsung NX58F5700 , and KitchenAid KGRS306BSS , the Frigidaire FPGF3077QF doesn't come with one included.

Underneath the cooktop is a 5.6-cubic-foot gas-powered oven which also boasts a fan and dedicated heating element for true European convection baking and roasting. Frigidaire bundles three oven racks as well, two flat and one recessed. The manufacturer also throws in a temperature probe which is designed to sense the internal temp of meats and poultry in real time.

This range abandoned the notion of having a warming drawer entirely. Sitting under the oven cavity instead is a storage drawer where Frigidaire suggests you keep unwieldy pots, pans, and baking sheets.

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