The $1,649 KitchenAid Freestanding Gas Range Architect Series II, model number KGRS306BSS, is a very long name for a very understated appliance.
While it doesn't have the same eye-catching design elements as Samsung's $1,699 NX58F5700 or Whirlpool's $1,749 WEG730H0DS , it's the fastest burger-broiler of the pack and also managed to make particularly tasty biscuits. Delicious food aside, its responsive display panel was a pleasure to use, and the included griddle pan and three assorted oven racks will help you tackle many a cooking quandary.
I recommend this midprice KitchenAid gas range for its simplicity and solid performance; keep searching if you prioritize premium-looking design.
Unlike the Samsung NX58F5700 or the Whirlpool WEG730H0DS -- two midprice gas models with standout style -- this KitchenAid range doesn't make much of a first impression. It's actually pretty similar to the utilitarian-looking Electrolux EI30GF35JS in terms of design. Forget about sleek display paneling, professional-looking burner knobs or other noticeable nods to above-average aesthetics; you won't find any of that here.
It also doesn't have quite as many features as the NX58F5700, which boasted a griddle, a fifth oval burner and a wok insert. The KitchenAid also comes with a griddle, although you'll have to position it over the two left or two right burners -- the center round burner is useless if you want to evenly distribute heat across the griddle for a multi-pancake breakfast.
|Electrolux EI30GF35JS||Samsung NX58F5700||LG LRG3085ST||GE PGB920SEFSS||Whirlpool WEG730H0DS||KitchenAid KGRS306BSS|
|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|
But, it does have a competitive cooktop BTU range of 5,000 to 17,000 and a large 5.8-cubic-foot oven capacity with an AquaLift steam clean mode. The Whirlpool WEG730H0DS and Samsung NX58F5700 also boast 5.8-cubic-foot capacities, but the Electrolux EI30GF35JS only has 5 cubic feet of space.
This range is especially easy to use. So many models rely on stubborn touchpad controls that are annoyingly unresponsive. Fortunately, KitchenAid's oven display is very sensitive and rarely takes more than one attempt. You do have to treat it like a phone touchscreen, though, meaning that you'll have to get rid of the oven mitt before interacting with the display.
Given the copious amounts of biscuits that we've baked -- and eaten -- since our earliest oven reviews, we thought that we had a pretty solid understanding of how they taste after 9 minutes at 450 degrees (for traditional mode) and 9 minutes at 425 degrees (for convection mode). We even use the same brand and style of biscuit to standardize from one test run and oven model to the next.
KitchenAid's biscuits tasted slightly different, though. They were crispier on the outside, while retaining the same softness inside. This made for particularly tasty biscuits.
Not only did they taste a tiny bit better, they were also very uniform. You can see a double rack of biscuits baked using traditional mode on the top row of the photo above and a double rack of convection-baked biscuits on the bottom row.
The traditional mode was particularly impressive, performing more like the Electrolux EI30GF35JS than Samsung's NX58F5700 (which baked a very uneven top and bottom rack of biscuits in traditional mode). Overall, Electrolux's biscuits still did the best in terms of traditional and convection-mode uniformity, but I think the KitchenAid wins on taste.
If you've never used your oven's broil function, it applies close-range heat to quickly cook meat, vegetables and more. Since "quickly" is an operative word for broiling, we decided to run a few timed tests.
I tossed six burgers on a broil pan, stuck thermometer probes in each one and let them go until the last burger reached 145 degrees (that's medium-rare/medium).
The chart above says it all. This range broiled all six burger to temperature in 14 minutes and 37 seconds. That's fast -- really fast. Especially when you consider that none of the other gas models we've reviewed so far came close.
Samsung's NX58F5700 fell behind the KitchenAid at 16 minutes and 15 seconds, with the Electrolux EI30GF35JS taking over 19 minutes and the Whirlpool WEG730H0DS failing outright at 24 minutes and 5 seconds.
The KitchenAid's burgers also happened to taste very good, too -- although all of the ranges have returned solid burgers.
I also tried out Ina Garten's "perfect roast chicken" recipe in the KitchenAid oven. The simple instructions call for butter, salt, pepper, lemon, garlic and thyme, but it can be surprisingly difficult to whole-roast a chicken without overcooking it.
As with the Samsung NX58F5700, this recipe turned out very well, but the skin on the KitchenAid chicken was particularly crispy and delicious.
Moving from the oven to the cooktop, I also boiled a lot of water in 5- and 3-quart pots. KitchenAid's large 17,000-BTU burner took 13 minutes and 33 seconds to boil 5 quarts of water. The Whirlpool took the longest at 14 minutes and 51 seconds, while both the Samsung and Electrolux took less than 12 minutes to reach a rolling boil.
The KitchenAid range did a little better using on our small burner test -- the 3-quart pot took less than 13 minutes to boil. The Samsung cooktop did marginally better, while the Whirlpool performed marginally worse. This time, the Electrolux range took the longest to boil, clocking in at over 15 minutes.
The $1,649 KitchenAid KGRS306BSS is a solid cooking companion that's capable of serving up evenly baked biscuits, rapidly broiled burgers, juicy roasted chickens with crispy skin and more. It also comes with a griddle pan accessory and three adjustable oven racks. And, its display is a pleasure to use compared to the occasionally unresponsive touch pads found on both the Electrolux EI30GF35JS and the Samsung NX58F5700.
I do wish this KitchenAid had some standout design elements, but there are much worse offenses when it comes to ranges, such as the Whirlpool WEG730H0DS's limited features, confusing display interface and disappointing performance. If you're looking for a straightforward gas range with lots of value, KitchenAid's KGRS306BSS is worth a look.