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KitchenAid KSGB900ESS review: Good looks don't come cheap with this KitchenAid range

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The Good The KitchenAid KSGB900ESS 30-inch 5 Burner Gas Convection Slide-In Range with Baking Drawer is a good-looking range loaded with useful features that customize your cooking. The oven is a stellar performer with its even baking and roasting.

The Bad The asking price is steep, especially when you can find comparable models from the same manufacturer for $1,000 less.

The Bottom Line This range is a solid choice if the appearance of your appliance is important in your buying decisions. But there are plenty of gas ranges that provide similar features at a better value.

7.3 Overall
  • Design 9
  • Features 8
  • Usability 8
  • Performance 6

There is a lot to like about the KitchenAid KSGB900ESS 30-inch 5-Burner Gas Convection Slide-In Range with Baking Drawer -- just check out the features in that mouthful of a name. KitchenAid gives the KSGB900ESS a wealth of settings and bonus features that makes it easy to add versatility to your cooking, whether you want to add steam when you're baking a cake or slow-cook a roast in the baking drawer. And this stainless-steel beauty is a solid performer when it comes to baking, broiling and roasting.

These attractive features add up to an MSRP of $2,649 for the KitchenAid KSGB900ESS, a sizable price tag for a gas range. If you have the money and want a sleek, modern oven, purchasing the KitchenAid KSGB900ES is a better deal than the luxury ranges it emulates. But there are plenty of less expensive options that will give you more value from your investment, such as the Kenmore 74343 or KitchenAid's own KGRS306BSS freestanding gas range .

Stylish, functional features stand out

The KitchenAid KSGB900ESS is a slide-in gas oven designed to blend in seamlessly with surrounding countertops. This design choice streamlines the unit by placing the control panel and burner knobs on the front of the model rather than on a back panel. But slide-in models are more expensive than freestanding models, even if the features are nearly identical, because of the engineering it takes to move all of the controls to the front of the unit.

The KitchenAid KSGB900ESS has a 6.5 cubic foot oven capacity, the largest we've seen from gas ovens. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

That said, the KitchenAid KSGB900ESS is indeed a good looking piece of kitchen equipment. The oven's straight lines, stainless steel finish and simple profile resemble the industrial design of luxury-brand ranges such as Jenn-Air and Dacor. The handles are straight rather than curved, which gives the range a more utilitarian look. The continuous cast-iron grates on the cooktop also enhance the range's streamlined look. The grates cover five burners that range from 5,000 BTUs on the smallest burner to 19,000 BTUs on the large burner. This is an average scope of power for a gas stovetop and provides enough versatility to tackle tasks such as boiling, melting and simmering simultaneously.

The KitchenAid KSGB900ESS's simple, industrial design is similar to that of luxury-brand ranges. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The oven cavity is a robust 6.5 cubic feet, the largest capacity gas oven we've seen in the test kitchen. Beneath the main oven is a baking drawer, a relative of the warming drawer feature we've seen on ranges such as the GE PGS920SEFSS and the Samsung NX58F5700 . But KSGB900ESS elevates the functionality of this narrow slice of real estate. You can bake, slow cook or keep food warm in the KSGB900ESS's drawer while you cook a dish in the main cavity. KitchenAid recommends using the drawer for frozen foods, so I popped a TV dinner in there for lunch. The meal was heated through, though the fish was a bit soggy. The oven actually did a better job toasting another CNET editor's sandwich. I'd put the drawer in the "nice to have" category, but it's not essential. The baking drawer is too small to be as versatile as a true double oven, so the addition of this feature doesn't help justify the KSGB900ESS's price.

You can bake, slow cook and keep food warm in the KitchenAid KSGB900ESS's baking drawer. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The KitchenAid KSGB900ESS's design elements are as intuitive as they are attractive. The lightly textured edges of the five burner knobs make it easy to get a good grip on the knobs and adjust the burners. And the little pictures that tell you which burner each knob controls are located on the top of the control panel rather than next to the knobs. This small but thoughtful design choice alleviates the inconvenience of having to bend over to figure out which knob to use. The digital touchpad control panel is very responsive, but it can get a little tricky to navigate because of all the settings it controls. There are 11 cooking mode options along with the controls for the main oven and baking drawer. In the throes of cooking, it can be a little confusing when it's time to turn off the unit because there are two cancel buttons -- one for the main oven (called the "upper" on the touchpad) and the baking drawer (referred to as "lower").

There are 11 cooking modes on the KitchenAid KSGB900ESS, so pay close attention to the control pad. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Similar to the LG LSRG309ST , the KitchenAid KSGB900ESS comes with plenty of accessories that work well with the unit and fit into many cooking scenarios. The oven includes with three racks -- a gliding rack, a max-capacity rack for roasting large items and a standard rack with brackets to hold KitchenAid's steam tray. You fill the the tray with water and pop it under the rack before you bake something in the main oven. The water adds steam, therefore additional moisture, to the item that you're cooking. We liked the steam feature in the countertop Cuisinart CSO-300 Combo Steam + Convection Oven , and it's a great option to have on a full-size range. A batch of muffins I cooked with steam in the KSGB900ESS was slightly less brown but more moist and robust than a batch I cooked in the traditional bake mode.

I baked the muffins on the left in traditional baking mode. I used the steam tray for the muffins on the right. The steam-tray muffins were a little lighter in color and more moist. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

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