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Kenmore 95073 review: Simple Kenmore range packs induction firepower

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The Good At an MSRP of $1,700, the Kenmore 95073 is the most affordable induction range we've reviewed. The stovetop boiled a large pot of water faster than other electric model we've tested, and the oven roasted one of the tastiest chickens that's ever come out of the CNET test kitchen.

The Bad The Kenmore 95073 doesn't offer much in the way of extra features. The smallest burner boils water at a glacial pace. The muffins and biscuits baked in the over came out on the brown side.

The Bottom Line The Kenmore 95073 is a worthwhile investment if you want an induction cooktop without spending $3,000 on comparable models.

8.1 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 9
  • Usability 8
  • Performance 8

Induction ranges use a technology that makes stovetop cooking safer, more efficient and, unfortunately, more expensive. Many induction models start at $2,000 and increase from there, so it's significant that Kenmore has brought a model to the market for $1,700.

Don't let the price fool you: Kenmore didn't skimp on 95073's performance features. The range trumps more expensive competitors when it comes to boiling a large pot of water in a flash and roasting delicious chicken. The 95073's drawbacks, which include the slow performance of the model's small burner or the oven's tendency to slightly over-bake biscuits, can't undermine the fact that this range's overall performance is on par with the two other induction models we've tested (the $3,700 Samsung Slide-In Induction Chef Collection Range and the $3,200 GE PHS920SFSS Induction Range ) and is more than $1,000 cheaper. The Kenmore Elite 95073 still sits in a pretty high price category for the average consumer, but the range is a good value for the home cook who wants to try induction cooking.

Appearance and features

The Kenmore Elite 95073 is pretty bare-bones when it comes to style. Kenmore is a Sears brand that modifies basic appliance templates from other manufacturers (in the case of the Kenmore 95073, Electrolux). This model is a 30-inch freestanding electric range with its burner knobs and oven controls located on a back panel. In comparison, the Samsung and GE induction ranges we reviewed are both slide-in models, a design choice that puts all the oven controls in the front and makes an appliance more expensive. The trim around the Kenmore's door handles and the back panel are stainless steel, and the rest of the oven is finished in black. Five knobs control the four burners and the warming zone on the cooktop. In the looks department, nothing sets this Kenmore apart from other stainless steel ranges.

Instead of circles, Kenmore uses light gray Xs to mark the location of each of the four burners on the cooktop. It gets tricky when you're trying to line up the pot so it is centered over the middle of the X, which the oven's use and care guide recommends for optimal cooking. I'd much prefer circles to mark my burners when it comes to a stovetop.

The Kenmore 95073 has four burners marked with Xs and a warming zone. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Along with a traditional label around each burner knob, the Kenmore 95073 has the small digital displays above each burner knob that shows the numerical cooking level of each burner. The digital displays also show helpful indicators like "HE" (hot element) that appears when the ceramic glass surface is still warm after you've turned the burner off. I've used a smooth-top electric oven for the past three years, and I've nearly burned myself because my lone hot-element indicator doesn't tell me exactly which burner is indeed hot. With the Kenmore, anyone can come into the kitchen and know exactly which burner they need to stay away from.

Each burner is equipped with a Power Boost feature that provides a little extra oomph when you need a lot of heat, such as when it's time to boil some water for pasta. This Power Boost only works for 10 minutes, and you can only turn it on at the beginning of your cooking, which limits the usability of this feature.

The Kenmore 95073's oven is an impressive 6.1 cubic feet, which provides plenty of space for multiple-rack baking or roasting large cuts of meat. However, the cooking modes on the Kenmore are slim compared to models like the KitchenAid KSGB900ESS . In the 95073's oven, you can convection roast, convection bake and slow cook, along with the standard bake and broil settings. You can also enable the oven to automatically convert the cooking temperature to a lower temperature that is often recommended for convection cooking. The range also has a warming drawer beneath the oven cavity.

Performance

As we've detailed in our Appliance Science column, the induction cooktop uses electromagnetism to cook food: "If you put certain materials into a rapidly alternating magnetic field, the material absorbs the energy and heats up. That's because the field creates electrical currents inside the material, and the resistance of the material converts this electrical energy into heat, which is transferred to the food inside the pan." With the Kenmore 95073, this technology is put to good use in the largest burner but fizzles on the cooktop's smallest burner.

The large burner on the Kenmore 95073 is a powerhouse. The burner can put out as much as 4,100 watts when you use the Power Boost, which is more powerful than the Samsung and GE induction ranges, which max out at 3,300 and 3,700 watts, respectively. The Kenmore 95073's large burner boiled 112 ounces of water in a 5-quart pot in an average time of 5.33 minutes. The only oven that has come close to this time is the GE PHS920SFSS Induction Range , which boiled the same amount of water in an average time of 5.96 minutes.

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