Now is a good time to shop for a range. As the season of holiday shopping (and cooking and baking) nears, you'll find more markdowns and sales. And while price might remain an important factor, don't let it drive your purchase decision entirely.

Look for range features that save time and make cooking easier—these are especially handy for marathon baking sessions and when hosting holiday gatherings. The cooking appliance experts at Consumer Reports put these five range features on their list of favorites.

When you're shopping for a range, start with our range buying guide. Then check our range ratings, including the Features & Specs, and our exclusive brand reliability findings.

How We Test Ranges

We perform our range tests using a combination of calibrated temperature probes, timers, and of course, plenty of food. Our test engineers bake 2,600 cakes per year—and even more cookies—in our quest to find top-performing ovens. We also size up broilers, favoring those that are powerful enough to produce grill-like results. On top of the stove, we look to see which models heat water quickly and simmer steadily. 

In our ratings, we test gas, radiant electric, and induction ranges from brands including LG, Samsung, GE, Whirlpool, Frigidaire, Kenmore, Maytag, Amana, and Electrolux. 

We also look at pro-style models from Viking, Wolf, Miele, Thor, DCS, KitchenAid, and Smeg. 

Double Ovens

Why you'll like them: Roast a lemon-garlic turkey in one oven while apple pies bake in the other—different foods, different temperatures, and no crossover of aromas. Or use one oven for daily dinner but both when hosting holiday guests.

"Many double-oven ranges pair a smaller top oven with a larger oven below," says Tara Casaregola, who heads up CR's testing of ranges. "That configuration means you'll need strong knees to lift a large turkey out of the lower cavity—or, opt for a model with the larger oven up top or one that pairs two ovens that are the same size."

More About Ranges

Ranges to consider: The Samsung NE59J7850WS, $1,300, an electric smoothtop, is superb overall. Among gas ranges, the $1,740 LG LDG4315ST is impressive. Both ranges are freestanding models. The top-rated Samsung NY58J9850WS is a dual-fuel range, pairing a gas cooktop with an electric oven. It's a slide-in range, so the controls are located up front—but at $3,300, it's pricey.

Induction

Why you’ll like it: Every induction range we've tested delivers fast cooktop heat and superb simmering. The electromagnetic field below the glass cooktop surface quickly generates heat directly to the pan, offering you precise simmering and control. Remove the pot from the element and heating stops, and the surface stays cooler than a radiant electric smoothtop, which should make clean-up easier. For more, read The Pros and Cons of Induction.

Ranges to consider: The induction ranges we tested generally performed well overall, including the highly rated Kenmore 95073, $1,700; Kenmore 95103, $1,400; and Frigidaire Gallery FGlF3061NF, $1,540. All are freestanding models. The Samsung NE58H9970WS, $3,400, is a slide-in range.


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.
 

Convection

Why you'll like it: Convection can cut cooking time and result in more uniform heating, since one or more fans circulate hot air around food as it cooks. Convection also improves browning and crisping.

Ranges to consider: Convection used to be featured just on higher-priced ranges, but now it comes on ranges that are less than $800, including the $720 GE JB655SKSS electric smoothtop. All of the ranges mentioned above feature convection as well. Click the Features & Specs tab in our range ratings to compare ranges with convection.  

Warming Drawer

Why you'll like it: Timing a meal so that the main course and side dishes come to the table at the same time is tricky. A warming drawer can help. Warm the sweet potato casserole and roasted vegetables in the drawer while the chicken cooks on high heat to give it that crispy, nicely browned finish.

Ranges to consider: The high-scoring electric smoothtop Kenmore 95052 is $1,300, or if you're set on induction, take a look at the Kenmore 95073, $1,700. Samsung's NX58F5700WS gas range is $1,600. Note that double-oven ranges do not have warming drawers or storage drawers—something had to go.

High-Power Burners

Why you'll like them: Great for bringing a large pot of water to a fast boil—pasta, presto—high-powered burners provide the high heat needed for stir-frying, too. Every range in our range ratings has at least one high-power burner, including electric coil ranges, and some have two, even three. You'll see this called out in the Features & Specs tab in the range ratings.

Ranges to consider: Any we've tested that fit your budget and meet your needs. Love to bake? Zero in on the baking scores in our range ratings. Never broil? Skip over those test results, but do be sure to check the oven capacity scores and cooktop performance.