Best ranges for baking produce great results

Best Ranges for Baking

Say so long to half-baked cakes and burnt cookies with a range that excels in CR's baking tests

Great baking is often what differentiates the average ranges in our ratings from those that are truly exceptional. For a serious baker, the rating a range earns in our baking test should be your first consideration when shopping. 

Consumer Reports continually buys and tests ranges, and pushes them to extremes both on top of the stove and in the oven, boiling water, simmering pasta sauce, and broiling burgers. But the toughest tests in our repertoire might be those we use to assess baking. We bake thousands of cookies and upwards of 2,400 cakes each year to identify the best models. The test is tough by design: Our experts don’t rotate the pans or move them to different racks, as recipes sometimes recommend, during the baking process. They let the oven do what it’s going to do.

“The ranges that earn an Excellent score at baking in our tests turn out evenly browned cookies and cakes when those foods are baked on two racks, simultaneously,” says Tara Casaregola, who runs our tests of cooking appliances. “We insist that the cakes and cookies are cooked properly—the centers have to be done.”

In other words, an Excellent rating in baking means that you won’t have to turn or move pans to get great results, while a rating of Very Good means that perfect pies and lofty cakes are within reach; you might just need to occasionally rotate the foods you’re baking to ensure even browning. 

We test ranges of all types: gas, induction, and pro-style models, as well as smoothtop and coil-top electric. If you’re not sure which type is right for you, see our range buying guide.

Regardless of type, only a handful of the nearly 150 models in CR’s range ratings excel in baking, and even fewer pair that even oven with equally impressive broiler and burner performance. Here, we’ve curated a list of those that do. CR members can read on for ratings and reviews of the best ranges for baking—one model from each of the five types we test. They’re all recommended models and tops for baking for their type. 

Visit Consumer Reports’ 2018 Holiday Gift Guide for updates on deals, expert product reviews, insider tips on shopping, and much more. And be sure to check our Daily Gift Guide.