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GE PGB911SEJSS review: Need a gas oven? Consider this no-nonsense GE range

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The Good The $1,200 GE PGB911SEJSS is a good gas oven that does well with basic cooking tasks, such as boiling water and broiling burgers. It also has a useful reversible griddle on its cooktop.

The Bad The oven has trouble when it comes to evenly browning two racks of biscuits at the same time, even when you use the convection fan. The Bluetooth connectivity is limited at best.

The Bottom Line The GE PGB911SEJSS is a good pick if you're in the market for a gas range.

7.6 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 8
  • Usability 8
  • Performance 7
Chris Monroe/CNET

GE Appliances has found its sweet spot in lower-priced ovens. In the $1,200-and-less category, the manufacturer has produced ovens with simple, thoughtful designs and consistent cooking performance. Take the GE JB750SJSS electric range, which cooked up a mean chicken and costs $1,000 (and you can probably find it cheaper), or the intuitive GE PB911SJSS electric range for $1,100.

We see much of the same reliability with the $1,200 GE PGB911SEJSS gas range. The appliance delivers decent cook times and comes with a reversible cooktop griddle that makes indoor grilling fun. The range includes a Bluetooth connection, but it only controls the light and vent system with GE's corresponding over-the-range microwave. And the oven did have trouble evenly browning multiple racks of biscuits, and none of its cook times will set the world on fire.

The GE PGB911SEJSS gas range is $200 more than a similar gas range from GE, the JGB700SEJSS. That extra money gets you a few more cooking modes, along with the aforementioned Bluetooth feature and reversible griddle. If those things are important to you, you'd be safe bringing the GE PGB911SEJSS home. But you'd also be OK with the equally solid GE JGB700SEJSS and spending your $200 on the first few meals you'll prepare on it.

On this GE oven, two bonus features stand out

The GE PGB911SEJSS looks similar to the other lower-cost GE ranges that we've reviewed. This boxy, freestanding gas range is a standard 30 inches wide with stainless steel on the oven door and control panel. The GE PGB911SEJSS comes with a 5.6 cubic foot oven that has a convection fan built into the back wall for more even distribution of hot air during baking. Cast-iron grates cover four round burners on the cooktop and a fifth, oval burner lies in the center of the surface.

GE includes a reversible griddle for the center burner; you can grill items like hot dogs or burgers on the side with the raised edges and grilled cheese sandwiches, pancakes and the like on the flat side. We've seen a lot of ranges that include griddles for center, oblong burners, including the LG LRG4115ST and the Samsung NX58H9500WS, but I really enjoyed cooking with the reversible option that comes with this GE range. Though it's not a high-tech feature, it's a wise addition that gives home cooks a few more options.

One side of the griddle works well for grilling meats like hamburgers and hot dogs.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Another noteworthy feature on this GE range is the Chef Connect button, which activates the oven's Bluetooth connectivity. The range syncs with GE's Bluetooth-enabled over-the-range microwave ovens so that the light beneath the microwave and exhaust fan will automatically turn on if you turn on a burner. The connection is functional but useless if you don't have the corresponding microwave, a drawback I noted on the Bluetooth-enabled GE PB911SJSS.

Performance is on par with competition

When it comes to cook tests, the GE PGB911SEJSS held its own against similar gas ranges. None of the cook times were extremely fast or slow, but the range proved that it can complete the basic functions of an oven.

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