A Consumer Reports' employee testing ranges.
Photo: Brian Finke

If you love the look of stainless steel but hesitate to fork over $5,000 to $6,000 for a pro-style range from brands like Wolf, Viking, and Thermador, now's the perfect time to shop. Mainstream appliance manufacturers including GE, Whirlpool, Maytag, and Kenmore are selling gas and electric ranges with stainless steel finishes for as little as $500 to $600.

There's a caveat, though. In exchange for the using the shiny, higher-cost metal, some manufacturers have stripped away features such as high-powered burners or self-cleaning ovens to save on manufacturing costs. And it’s rare that you’ll find convection ovens, warming drawers, or griddle burners on these less expensive stainless ranges. 

More on Ranges

But the burning question is this: Do these cheaper ranges perform well enough on essential cooking tasks like simmering and baking? To find out, CR put 11 stainless steel ranges priced at $600 or less to the test, and the verdict is in:

“We often find price is no predictor of performance,” says Tara Casaregola, CR’s test engineer who oversees ranges, cooktops, and wall ovens. “There are some in the mix for as little as $600 that outperform models costing ten times as much.”

For our ratings, we buy and test nearly 200 ranges from over 20 brands, including those from major manufacturers like Amana, Electrolux, Kenmore, Frigidaire, GE, LG, Samsung, and Whirlpool. We also buy and test models from pro-style brands like Jenn-Air, KitchenAid, Thermador, Viking, and Wolf to find out how the priciest ranges fare. Here, we've highlighted five great-performing stainless steel ranges for $600 or less, plus two models to avoid. 

Gas Ranges for $600 or Less

Top Picks

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Cooktop high
Baking
Broiling

2

Cooktop high
Baking
Broiling
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Electric Ranges for $600 or Less

Top Picks

1

Cooktop high
Baking
Broiling

2

Cooktop high
Baking
Broiling
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Cheap Ranges to Avoid

Quick Take

Amana AER6303MF

Price: $440

Cooktop high
Baking
Broiling
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Amana AGR5330BAS

Price: $460

Cooktop high
Baking
Broiling
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