Product Reviews

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Best and Worst Pro-Style Ranges

The top models let you cook like a celebrity chef

The stakes are high when shopping for a pro-style range, not only because of their prices—some cost upward of $7,000—but also because they’re often purchased and installed at the conclusion of a major kitchen remodel.

It’s a bummer to spend $50,000 or more remodeling only to find that your shiny new pro-style range looks the part but takes forever to boil a pot of water. Of the 32 pro-style ranges in our ratings, overall scores span from a high of 74 all the way down to a 23.

“We see conventional ranges under $1,000 near the very top of our performance ratings,” says Tara Casaregola, the CR test engineer who leads our testing of ranges, cooktops, and wall ovens. And just as often she sees pro-style ranges that cost five times as much fall flat. But while our tests routinely confirm that shelling out big bucks for a pro-style range won’t guarantee top performance, it’s also fair to say that nothing matches the look or feel of one.


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How We Test Ranges

Our testing procedures call for a healthy mix of carefully calibrated tests and hands-on baking to get a feel for what a consumer would experience at home. We measure how fast the biggest burners heat water and how steadily they simmer. And we measure and track temperatures throughout the oven cavity and confirm the results by baking cookies and cakes. (We average 2,400 cakes per year.)

More on Ranges

The market for pro-style ranges has been dominated for years by brands including Viking, Wolf, Thermador, KitchenAid, Dacor, GE Monogram, Kenmore Pro, Jenn-Air, Miele, and American Range. But in recent years we’ve seen a new subclass of pro-style range emerge, with brands competing to make them at a more reasonable price, often with 30-inch models under $3,000. We test those as well, looking at ranges from Smeg, NXR, Bertazzoni, Thor Kitchen, Kucht Pro, Haier, and Verona.

If you’re wondering whether a pro-style range is for you, start with our range buying guide, and read below for two models to skip and why. CR.org subscribers can read on for four of the best 30- and 26-inch pro-style ranges from our tests.

Two Pro-Style Ranges to Skip

American Range ARR304 (30-inch)
Price: $4,600
Overall score: 32
Ranking: 16 of 16 30-inch pro-style ranges
CR’s take: This model from American Range is priced on par with some of the most expensive pro-style models but doesn't have the name recognition of, say, Wolf or Viking. And it doesn't perform as well as models from more mass-market brands like Samsung or LG. Three of its four burners are high-powered, and they heat water quickly. But they struggle to melt chocolate and simmer tomato sauce without scorching. The broiler is underpowered, and the range lacks helpful features like a self-cleaning oven and digital touchpads for setting temperatures.

Smeg C36GGXU (36-inch)
Price: $3,200
Overall score: 23
Ranking: 16 of 16 36-inch pro-style ranges
CR’s take: This Smeg would be well-priced if it came close to matching some of the better 36-inch pro-style models. Only one of its six burners is high-powered, while many pro-style ranges this size have five or six. And while the largest burner heats water relatively quickly, the range struggles with nearly everything else. It doesn’t simmer steadily, bake evenly, or deliver strong enough broiler performance to adequately sear burgers. And it’s quirky, lacking markings for common oven temperatures, a preheat indicator, and touchpad controls. If you need this size, you're better off paying a little more for a top-performing model.

Best 30-Inch Pro-Style Ranges

These top-performing options are the standard width of a conventional range.

KitchenAid KDRS407VSS
Price: $4,140
Overall score: 72
Ranking: 1 of 16 30-inch pro-style ranges
CR’s take: This beautifully styled range is one of the few pro-style models that cooks as good as it looks. Three of its four burners are high-powered, and all of them heat water quickly and simmer steadily. The oven is electric, so this model requires both a gas hookup and a 240-volt electrical line to run, but the oven bakes beautifully, even if it’s smaller than those from more mass-market brands. At just over $4,000, it’s priced well compared with the competition. KitchenAid offers matching refrigerators and ranges if a matching suite is important to you.

Wolf DF304
Price: $6,400
Overall score: 68
Ranking: 2 of 16 30-inch pro-style ranges
CR’s take: The Wolf is a polished and refined appliance, with detailed touches on full display. Digital controls are hidden in a panel that can be concealed for a modern look when the oven isn't in use. Three of the four burners are high-powered (15,000 Btu each), enough to heat water in respectable time and simmer tomato sauce and melt chocolate admirably. The electric oven bakes beautifully, and the broiler is among the best of any we’ve found on a pro-style range. This model offers a self-cleaning oven, which some pro-style models don’t, but it’s not as effective as others we’ve tested.

28
Pro-style ranges in Our Ratings.
Current Pro-style range Ratings

Recently Tested Ranges

See our full list of Range Ratings