Pros: Fast-heating coils, SpillGuard cook-top, generous storage drawer
Cons: Coils get too hot, oven does not heat to specified temp
Just in time for Christmas, we moved halfway across the state, leaving our wonderful home for a sardine can I mean apartment. Were stuck in an apartment until our house sells, but at least it is rent-free the hubby is a broadcaster and made an ad trade. Another plus to make the move easier was that the manager of the complex graciously installed brand-spanking-new appliances for us.
One of the new appliances was this Whirlpool freestanding range, model RF369LXPQ, in white-on-white. Since it was Christmas-time, I used the heck out of this thing with all the baking and candy-making. . . taking full advantage of every feature.
The Whirlpool RF369LXPQ is a simple and functional freestanding range, in the middle of Whirlpools product spectrum. Features on this range:
- 4.65 cu. Ft. capacity oven with 2 full racks and 5 rack spaces (some variations of this particular model also feature a half-rack).
- AccuBake Heat Distribution System, where the oven utilizes both top and bottom oven elements at the same time for even heat distribution during baking, heating foods evenly.
- One touch Self-cleaning with automatic latch (do not use any type of oven cleaner on this model, as it will damage the surface)
- Large window/glass door
- Delay Bake
- Timed Bake with automatic shut-off
- Electric (Max KwH 2600, Min KwH 1500)
- High-speed element coils, two 6-inch and two 8-inch.
- SpillGuard cook-top with upswept edges to prevent spills from leaking off the top
- Porcelain drip bowls
- Lift-up cook-top for easy cleaning
- One-Touch Bake and Broil (not exactly one touch, must still press start). Bake is automatically set to 350°, Broil automatically set to 500°
- Digital display with 12-hour time of day clock
- Electronic controls for oven, dial for cook-top
- Timer - In addition to the timed bake feature this timer does not affect oven controls
- Storage drawer
- External oven light switch
- Level-adjusting feet
Dimensions of this particular range: 46 ¾ H X 29 7/8 W X 29 13/16 D
Color choice for this range are simple, including the white-on-white, black-on-black, and biscuit-on-biscuit. The MSRP is $529, and has a full 1-year warranty from date of purchase. No limited manufacturer warranty appears available on this model, but most retail outlets (Home Depot, Lowes, etc.) will offer extended warranty plans.
The Whirlpool RF369LXPQ comes with an informational owners manual, but beware this is a spectrum manual, covering several different models, and does not really differentiate between them! The manual does contain general warnings, troubleshooting tips, and cooking advice, which makes it worth hanging onto and actually reading. If you lose your manual or warranty information, they are available on the Whirlpool website: www.whirlpool.com. Just type in the model number on their site-search, pull up your product, and the easy-to-read tabs will lead you to the printable manual in .pdf format.
This range takes some getting used to, and with all the use Ive given it so far, Im not too awfully impressed. I have mixed emotions about the high-speed element coils. I like the fact they heat up rather quickly, but they get incredibly hot, causing a number of cooking maladies. Even with the burner turned to Lo (the lowest possible setting), foods continue to boil when they shouldnt. The coil doesnt adjust down in temperature very well. Ive even initially set a food on Lo, and it actually boiled. Granted, it took longer, but it did boil and shouldnt have.
My second, and biggest gripe about this range is the oven. I dont like this AccuBake system (at least thats what Im blaming it on). When preheating the oven, you must use the Bake control, which automatically sets to 350°, but can increase or decrease the temperature with mere button touches. The timer automatically puts 6 minutes on the clock as the time required for preheating, but this is bologna. It takes much longer to preheat, and then it never really seems to get to the temperature youve set. I have consistently had to increase the temperature at least 20 degrees higher than I normally would for my foods to bake the appropriate time and doneness. I learned this the hard way with a 1 ½ pound meatloaf. In every other oven Ive ever used, I could set the temperature to 350°, cook for approximately an hour and 15 minutes, and it is done. Not on this oven, brother. After 2 hours, the meatloaf was still not done, prompting me to raise the temperature several times, and eventually cutting the meatloaf into sections to get it done! I have had this problem with every food Ive baked, including roast and even cookies/pies. Not cool. . . The Delay Bake feature works OK, but the problem with the oven heating still remains.
After all the use, I decided to use the self-cleaning feature. Surprisingly, this feature worked fairly well, and was very easy to use. I estimate the time of self-cleaning was around 3 hours. I also like the upswept design of the edges around the cook-top. That has been a big help in controlling a couple of boil-over messes from the super-hot coil problem. The feature I like best (and this is sad) is the generous storage drawer on the bottom. There is plenty of room for lots of cookware.
The bottom line is that this range is not what it is cracked up to be. I dont like the trial-by-fire method of learning, especially when dealing with cooking, for obvious reasons. Im so glad I didnt waste my own money on the purchase of this range, and I really cant recommend it for anyone else, either.
Copyright 2005 Donna L. Standridge