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No wallflower, new Whirlpool wall oven stands out in our tests

Consumer Reports News: July 25, 2012 01:38 PM

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When Consumer Reports names a product a Best Buy it gives the designation to models that performed impressively in our tests and also offer good value. Some product categories have more Best Buys than others and some, like wall ovens, haven't had any in recent years. Until now. A $1,300 Whirlpool electric wall oven has just earned this distinction.

In our wall oven tests, the Whirlpool WOS51EC0AS was very good at turning out evenly browned cakes and cookies and excellent at browning broiled burgers evenly. The oven capacity is large and the self-clean feature aced our tough tests, removing our baked-on mixture of eggs, cheese, pie filling and more. This 30-inch single wall oven has an extra large window that offers a great view and touchpad controls, giving it a sleek and modern look. And at that price for the stainless steel model, it's half what you'd spend on the top-rated Thermador ME301E[S], $2,600, and has more usable space. We also recommend the Bosch HBL54[50]UC, $1,900.

A wall oven's companion, naturally, is the cooktop. While ranges are more popular, cooktop-wall oven combos are perfect for homeowners who want to customize their kitchens. Consumer Reports recommends 19 electric cooktops including Best Buys from Whirlpool, Frigidaire and Kenmore. In our tests of gas cooktops, 10 models made the list of picks but there were no Best Buys.

Our latest cooking appliance tests also included five new Whirlpool electric and gas ranges. Most offer an appealing price, but performance wasn't impressive so none are high-scoring recommended models or CR Best Buys. There are plenty of other top range picks to consider including 15 smoothtop, induction and coil electric ranges and 18 conventional and pro-style gas ranges.

Kimberly Janeway

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