On paper the $1,749 Whirlpool Front Control Gas Stove (model number WEG730H0DS) looks like a strong contender for your kitchen upgrade cash. It boasts five gas burners, and a large, 5.8-cubic-foot convection oven. Add in Whirlpool's attractive stainless-steel styling, clever front-mounted controls, plus solid build quality and buying this gas range seems like a superb idea.
Sadly the Whirlpool Front Control Gas Stove has a few significant flaws that are hard to ignore, the biggest of which is its slow cooking times. The oven's lack of a center oval burner and a mere two bundled oven racks are also a big letdown, especially for an appliance this expensive. Unless you're absolutely head-over-heels in love with the Front Control's distinctive design, this feature-packedis a better deal.
Design and features
Immediately after removing the Whirlpool Front Control Gas Stove from its crate I was struck by its distinctive appearance. What sets the stove apart, and as its name suggests, are four prominent burner knobs mounted on the front of the unit. Instead of the typical forward-facing placement, though, these dials sit on top of a flat command center that occupies the first 5 inches of the range's 28.3-inch depth.
I also like how this surface is angled downward ever so slightly. This simple detail helps the dials remain within easy reach without causing undue wrist strain. They flank a wide, recessed control panel, and within the panel are touch membrane-covered keys for commanding the oven's many functions. It also has a small LED screen and a dial to control the range's center burner.
The Whirlpool Front Control's cooktop comes with with five gas burners. The right side houses one 9,200-BTU burner in the rear and a large 15,000-BTU burner in the front. On the left and in front you'll find the stove's most powerful element, a large 17,000-BTU burner, and behind that is the range's smallest burner, rated at 5,000 BTU, to tackle low-heat cooking such as warming soups, simmering sauces and melting chocolate. The fifth burner is a small circular one that is rated to output 8,000 BTU of heat.
All these burners are tucked underneath a pair of flat cast-iron grates that are covered in porcelain-coated steel. Heavy and extremely solid, the black grates form a very handsome cooking surface. Besides simply looking expensive and feeling durable, the level cooktop makes it easy to slide pots and pans around without worrying about them snagging on or bumping into ridges and other obstacles.
There are some drawbacks to the Whirlpool Front Control Stove's cooktop. For instance, while its high-power burner offers a respectable 17,000 BTU, other competing ranges such as the Samsung NX58F5700 provide 18,000 BTU. Another letdown is the lack of a special oval-shaped center burner, which is ideal for accommodating long griddle pans. This is a feature that's also in the NX58F5700, as well the.
The main oven door sports a substantial curved polished-steel handle. Opening it reveals a spacious 5.8-cubic-foot oven cavity that Whirlpool equips with seven rack guides for manually positioning either of the two bundled oven racks -- one standard flat rack and one recessed half-rack. Unfortunately Whirlpool doesn't include a third gliding rack as does Samsung with both the NX58F5700 andovens.
At the back of the wall of the oven cavity sits a big fan that enables the Whirlpool Front Control's convection roasting and baking functions. The company says the oven's convection-style cooking uses air flow to achieve more even browning and faster cooking times compared with conventional ovens.
Standing 36 inches tall and measuring 30 inches wide by 28.3 inches deep, however, this range is certainly compact. And with no back control panel the appliance qualifies as a true slide-in unit. It's a plus for kitchen renovators who desire a more expensive built-in look, not the basic appearance associated with free-standing stoves.
For all its stylish looks and attractive stainless-steel design, the Whirlpool Front Control Gas Stove certainly underwhelmed us in the performance department. Despite the claimed 17,000 BTU might of its main large burner, the range turned in some of the slowest cooking times we've measured.