Pros: Many handy features, easy to use, attractive appearance
Cons: Black grates collect dust
My husband and I moved into a new town home a month ago and the only appliance we were able to choose ourselves was the refrigerator. The range, microwave and dishwasher are all made by Frigidaire, in their Professional Series line.
I've baked, cooked and had company over and so far I've been very happy with this 5 cubic foot capacity freestanding range, model FPGF3081KF. It has a real stainless steel finish but the top is black so other appliances that were either black or stainless would blend with it nicely.
This range has several features that I have never had on a range before and I am getting spoiled. Here are some that are "new to me":
* PowerPlus Preheat preheats the oven in less than 6 minutes
* PowerPlus Boil features boils water fast
* PowerPlus FullRange Burner goes from 500-BTU simmer to 17000-BTU boil quickly
* True Convection oven has multi-level baking racks
* Keep Warm Drawer with SpaceWise Half Rack
* Delay Start
* Center Oval Burner
* Rapid Clean Option
This oven has so many features I've never seen before that it's a bit overwhelming to explain them all. I love the versatility of the burners. The back right burner is a smaller simmer burner and heats at only 5000 BTU's. Until now I've never had a range that actually simmered my spaghetti sauce at such a low heat!
The standard burners have 9,500 BTU's and the PowerPlus burner has an additional center burner that heats up to 16,000 BTU's! I don't use the large oval burner, but I do plan on ordering the cast iron griddle grate that can replace the middle grate, which will be wonderful for cooking pancakes for a crowd.
I've owned microwave ovens that display different types of food (chicken nuggets, pizza, etc), but I've never seen these options on a slide in range. This one has them! I even have the option to choose between a frozen or fresh pizza.
Last Sunday our daughter and family came over for Father's Day and we grilled New York steaks. My 20 month old granddaughter doesn't like steak, so I cooked some chicken nuggets for her. My daughter thought I was putting them in the oven too soon, but I explained that the cooking feature would actually cook them for 20 minutes then change to the "keep warm" feature, so they would be ready for her when we were ready to eat.
When pressing on the chicken nugget button the "CHI" symbol will show up and the convection icon will swirl. The oven beeps when it's time to put the food in the oven! The only downside to this feature is not all chicken nuggets are the same size and I don't know what the actual oven temperature is while using this setting. The Banquet brand I buy come out perfect and crispy.
There is also a keep warm feature that allows you to keep foods warm for three hours, and after this time the oven will automatically turn itself off.
There is a handy "add a minute" feature to allow adding a minute to the timer without erasing the existing time remaining.
My Favorite Feature
One feature that I find interesting, but useless, is the "My Favorite Feature". This allows you to record and recall one of my favorite recipe settings, and will record one recipe at a time. This can be used with baking, cooking time, preheating, roasting, pizza, chicken nuggets and keep warm features. To record this, you enter the baking time and press "start". Then you press "bake" and enter the oven temperature and press "start" again. Then you hold the my favorite pad for 3 seconds and it will be stored with a heart shaped icon showing up in the oven display.
Keep Warm Drawer
I like having a keep warm drawer and use it mainly for keeping muffins, breads, bacon and eggs warm while waiting for other foods to finish baking. There are three temperatures from which to choose, "hi - med - lo". I can also use it to warm up an empty dinner plate.
A rack fits into the drawer that can be used in an upright or downward position. When using the upright position you can actually warm a casserole under it and rolls on top.
I have the option to choose three different cleaning levels. A 2 hour cycle can be used for lightly soiled ovens, a 3 hour cycle for normal cleaning and a 4 hour cycle for burnt on soils.
The Frigidaire FPGF3081KF Gas Range is an attractive unit. Our builder purchased this at Allen & Peterson, but similar models (all silver vs. silver and black) are sold at Lowe's and Home Depot stores as well. This was expensive, according to the Allen & Peterson website it retailed for around $2500.
I've only used this for a month, but so far I find it impressive. It bakes very evenly and has all the bells and whistles for convenience.
One thing I don't care for are the black grates, they really collect dust and need to be cleaned twice a week. Also, the black paint on the front scratches easily, the installers put a couple small scratches in it before we ever moved in.
Overall, this is a solid performer. A friend of mine has had nearly the identical oven for several years and has had no issues. Should I encounter any I will be sure to revisit this review and do an update.