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Best ranges for baking produce great results

Best Ranges for Baking

With the ranges from CR's tests that excel at baking, you can say so long to underdone cakes and burnt cookies

Baking requires much more than measuring and mixing, and if you enjoy it, you know how much goes into making delicious cakes and cookies.

Consumer Reports buys and tests dozens of ranges, baking thousands of cookies and upwards of 2,400 cakes each year to find the best models for baking. 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.

An Excellent score in baking means that you won't have to turn or move pans to get great results. Of the 100-plus models in CR's current range ratings, only a dozen excelled in baking, and not all were impressive enough in other tests to make our list of top picks.

“The ranges that were excellent at baking turned out evenly browned cookies when baked on two racks simultaneously, and the same for cakes,” 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.” If you love to bake, you’ll still be pleased with ranges that scored a Very Good or better in baking.

In addition to the baking tests, we evaluate how well ranges simmer, how quickly they bring water to a near-boil, and whether they’re great at broiling and self-cleaning; we also measure the oven’s usable capacity. The appliances featured below are the best ranges for baking and scored an Excellent or a Very Good overall. 

More choices: Other models in our range ratings earned a Very Good or better score at baking. Use the filters on our ratings chart and the brand-reliability tab to narrow your selection. Or, check our range buying guide beore you shop.

Visit Consumer Reports' 2017 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.

1
Electric Smoothtops
LG LRE3083SW

LG LRE3083SW

The LG LRE3083SW electric smoothtop range, $800, delivered fast heat in our tests. Baking and self-cleaning were impressive; broiling was superb. The oven has convection and a steam-clean feature for light cleaning. There are four rangetop cooking elements, including two high-powered elements. 
 

Other electric smoothops worth a look:
Samsung NE58F9710WS, $1,800 (double-oven)
Kenmore 95052, $1,300 (single-oven)
GE Café CS980STSS, $2,550 (single-oven)
GE JB655SKSS, $720 (single-oven)

    2
    Electric Coil-Tops
    Kenmore 94142

    Kenmore 94142

    A CR Best Buy, the Kenmore 94142 30-inch electric coil-top model, $560, is a basic range that delivered excellent performance. There are four surface elements, including two high-powered that briskly brought water to a boil, while simmering was superb. The oven was impressive at baking and has a large capacity, though it was mediocre when it came to broiling. The Kenmore even excelled in our tough self-cleaning tests.
     

    Other electric coil-tops worth a look:
    GE JB250DFWW, $470
    Frigidaire FFEF3015LS, $600 

      4
      Gas Ranges
      GE PGS920SEFSS

      GE PGS920SEFSS

      The GE PGS920SEFSS, $2,550, is a slide-in range—so it costs a lot more than the other top picks. A slide-in model gives a custom-built look since it fits between cabinets and the controls are up front—there's no back panel. The model's five burners proved superb at simmering and delivered fast heat. The oven is large and excellent at baking but mediocre at broiling. The oven has a convection option, and there's a warming drawer, too.
       

      Other gas ranges worth a look:
      LG LDG4315ST, $1,740 (double-oven)
      Samsung NX58F5700WS
      , $1,600 (single-oven)
      Samsung NX58H9500WS, $2,000 (single-oven)
      Kenmore 74132, $700 (single-oven)

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        Paul Hope

        As a classically trained chef and an enthusiast DIYer, I've always valued having the best tool for a job—whether the task at hand is dicing onions for mirepoix or hanging drywall. When I'm not writing about home products, I can be found putting them to the test in the 1850s farmhouse my wife and I are restoring while raising our two young children.