Frigidaire smoothtop Electric Range cooks well
Written: Apr 29, 2012
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
My former electric range with conventional coil burners still worked, but I wanted one with a smoothtop for easier cleaning. Nothing can fall under the burners with the Frigidaire FFEF3020LW.
Burners and oven
The Frigidaire Electric Range has four burners and one large oven. Two burners at the back of the range are 6-inch-diameter, one in front is 9 1/2 inches, and the other front burner can accommodate two sizes of pans, 8 1/2 inches and 12 inches. The controls are on a panel at the top back of the range. In addition to four knobs labeled high to low with numbers in between for the burners, there is an electronic panel with pressure buttons to control the clock, oven and broiler temperatures, and clock. A single knob controls the dual sized burner with icons to show which size is being turned on.
When you turn on a burner, if you look below the pot, you will see red electric coils illuminated under the glass top. The burners heat quickly. The heat cycles on and off during cooking unlike above the surface burners which remain on constantly. It took me some time to figure out the right temperatures for things like scrambled eggs and pancakes.
To turn on the oven, you press the bake or broil button and then push the up or down buttons to set the temperature. To set the timer, press timer and then press up or down to set the minutes desired. There are also buttons for setting the clock and setting the time for either time baking or oven cleaning. When you're done baking or broiling, press clear to turn off the oven.
On the back panel, there is one window with a number. What the number will indicate is the time of day, the oven or broiler temperature you have set, or the minutes counting down for the timer. I did not realize when I bought the oven that only one type of information would be available at a time. Since I wear a watch, it's OK if the range does not tell me the time. There is a red light to indicate when the set temperature has been reached and a bell sounds to let you know the oven is preheated. There are beeps when the timer reaches zero (and they won't stop until you press timer off). Still, I'm not completely adjusted to having only one kind of information available.
At the left top of the back panel there is a button to turn on the oven light. The glass window in the oven door makes it easy to see inside without opening the door. There are two metal oven racks which can be placed in six different positions.
When you turn on a burner, a red light comes on at the right side of the control panel. As soon as it becomes hot, a second red light appears on the left side of the panel. That second light will remain on until the burner cools off to a touchable temperature.
There is a pan storage drawer under the oven. It is smaller than the one in my old range, in fact, so small, I can't put a conventional sized broiler pan in it. You may want to measure the drawer when shopping if this storage is important to you.
This Frigidaire Electric Range has a self-cleaning oven. It is easy to set and use. Another reason I selected this model is that the bottom baking coil in the oven is hidden beneath a metal plate. This means it is easy to wipe up the oven floor without a coil getting in the way. Cleaning usually leaves an ash residue that was hard to removed completely from my old range. Not so with this one.
The stovetop must be cleaned with special products designed for use on ceramic or glass top ranges. They are readily available at supermarkets. If something gets baked onto the stovetop, use a single edged blade scraper first to remove it before using the special cleaner. I try to wipe up any spills as they occur using a wet paper towel. This is usually effective. Other people have told me they found smoothtop ranges hard to clean but I've found it quite easy.
Mixed feelings about dual burner
Although the two-sized burner was an extra feature I thought I wanted, after using the range for a while I realized I do more cooking with small pots than large pans. Other similar ranges had 3 6-inch burners and only one large one. It is not desirable to use a burner larger than the size of the pan. I use the small burners much more than either of the larger ones and sometimes want to cook on 3 small burners at once which isn't possible. Think about what you cook and the pot sizes you use when you select a range.
People with physical challenges might prefer a range with the controls in the front rather than the back as with this range. That way there is no need to reach over hot burners to turn things on and off.
Range works for me
Although I'm still figuring out the right settings for certain foods and a bit confused by the single info number window, I like the Frigidaire FFEF3020LW Electric Range. The cooktop definitely stays cleaner and is easy to clean when necessary. I recommend it.
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Amount Paid (US$): 485