Pros: Good looks, versatile burners, great convection oven.
Cons: Spotty build quality, some design flaws and some weak points in cooking.
When my wife and I purchased our new house, we decided to get a nice gas range to replace the smooth top electric that came with the house.
Ideally, we were looking for a dual-fuel model; however we found this model and based on our past experience with KitchenAid we decided to give it a shot.
First, the price: Excellent. This is a tough price point in ranges, most are either much cheaper (and look and perform like it) or suddenly jump up to the 5000.00 level. Please note that we converted this range from Natural Gas to LP use. There will be a small drop is heat when doing this conversion with ANY gas range.
Looks: Everyone loves the look of this range. I really liked the grates, they are easy to deal with and give you a level continuous surface to move pots and pans around on. This was the only model I found in this price range that offered this feature.
Fit/Finish: Either really good or really bad. Upon delivery the left most burner knobs & shaft were seen to be mis-aligned. The came out the front at an angle and did not line up with the openings on the front panel at all. The storage drawer was very tight and did not like to open. The front vertical edges were marked up as well. The Wok ring has never sat flat, but this is a design flaw since it makes contact at 4 points, and this will never be capable of not rocking, darn physics.. The plastic control panel for the oven adds a touch of cheapness to it and likes to pull away from the front a bit.
A call to KitchenAid was all that was needed, they arranged for a service tech to come out and fix the problems. He came out and fixed everything promptly. Too bad the way to fix the burner knob shafts was by grabbing them and bending them into position. A shame since this was clearly an assembly or production goof up. He also lubed up the guides on the drawer and it is better now, but still feels a little cheap.
Performance: OK so far. Since I have spent many years away from gas I knew it would take some adjusting to get used to it again. However I am still not totally thrilled yet.
First the Oven: I love this a lot, but only when in convection mode. Convection Roasting meats and veggies is GREAT! Chicken is never dry, the skin is crispy and the loaded with flavor. However, in regular (non convection) modes it is really spotty. Despite checking the temperature with an oven thermometer to verify the correct temperature, a turkey we did one night never got hot, this has happened to several items so far. It appears to have several hot spots and un-even cooking. But as I said, if you use it in convection mode, it works very well, but the lack of good conventional cooking marks the score down a lot.
Cook Top: Mixed again. Pots of water DO take a long time to reach a boil, significantly longer than I have ever experienced before. It looks as if the grates place the pots and pans a bit too far above the flame so that a lot of heat escapes around the edges of the pans. The walls and sides of all the pans get quite hot so watch your fingers when moving your cookware. DO NOT use cookware with plastic or burnable handles on this range.
The 3 tier power burner can work well; again, I think the flame is too far below the grates. Using my wok, it never reached a good high temp, but on saut?? pans it works well. The ignition of the first stage of this burner is spotty; it can take several attempts to get it to ignite properly a trait none of the other burners show. The remaining three light like a champ on the first try.
Overall, I do still like this range. I am a bit disappointed that a near 2000.00 range should have any of these issues; however KitchenAde has been great to deal with. Cleaning is easy since the two grates lift right off the top, but you must wait a bit till they cool down. The paint on the top of the range is starting to show pits and some small bubbles after 4 months of use. Baking is poor unless using convection mode, but I rarely use it that way. My mother-In-Law absolutely hates this range since it is radically different than she is used to, so bear this in mind when looking for a gas range if all you have ever used is electric. The only thing I will be doing soon is adding a better vent hood that moves more air and is quieter.
Compared to the competition I still have yet to find a model that offers the features at this price point from anyone else. Despite my negative comments, I am very glad I got this range as opposed to the Jenn Air model I was looking at, and it is better than any other I found below the 2000.00 range.