We review 6 dual-fuel ranges priced from $1999 to $3699.
These huge ranges look impressive and might suit a serious cook who loves to entertain, but they don't give as much flexibility in kitchen design or product choice as a separate cooktop and oven.
If you're looking into replacing an existing dual fuel range, or if you are renovating and want maximum capacity for maximum output here are some things to consider about the duel-fuel ranges we tested:
- Their overall performance is relatively good, but you can get better performance with separate units, and possibly at a lower cost.
- Contrary to what many people think, a large temperature fluctuation, say a variation of 30°C at a set temperature does not correlate to poor cooking performance. In fact, the two ranges with excellent oven performance scores also had the highest temperature fluctuations (33°C & 36°C respectively) when set to 170°C.
- Good oven performance is much more than stable temperatures settings, it’s a balancing act of many factors including insulation, control responsiveness, appropriately placed and accurate temperature sensors, to say the least.
- While these freestanding ranges appear larger inside than built-in ovens, you can’t place dishes on the oven floor (as you can with some built-ins), so the maximum height is from the lowest shelf position. The internal volume of the recommended model from this test is 82L compared to 81L for the recommended 90cm built-in oven from our last ovens test
Please note: this information was current as of October 2011 but is still a useful guide to today's market.
- # Blanco FD9085FX
- # Bosch HSB745256A
- Fisher & Paykel OR 90SDBGFX1
- # Omega OF 901XA
- Smeg C9 GMXA
- # Westinghouse DSP965S
How we test
CHOICE’s home economist, Fiona Mair, cooks a range of delicious meals to test the ability of the ovens to perform over a range of temperatures, times and functions.
Multi-shelf cooking - scones are baked over two shelves to test how evenly the ovens perform at a high temperature over a short time.
Turn-down ability - custard tarts are for assessing how the oven responds to a change from a high temperature, fan forced or fan assist function, to a classic bake at moderate temperature.
Low temperature - Meringues are baked to assess cooking ability at a low temperature for a long period.
Roasting – Fiona roasts a whole chicken to assess baking a non-uniform food at moderate to high temperature over a long period, whilst retaining moisture and crisping the skin.
Base cooking - she also cooks a freshly prepared pizza at a very high temperature for a short period to assess the ability to crisp and brown the base and evenly cook the toppings.
Grill - Fiona toasts bread to assess the speed, evenness and heating area of each grill in a short time.
Fan grilling – She fan grills sausages to assess speed and evenness, and ideally no smoking or flare-ups created by this high fat food. The basic grill function is used if no fan grill is available.
Turn-down ability – Fiona cooks rice using the absorption method to assess the ability and speed of the medium burner to boil rice, maintain a desired level of heat at the lowest-temperature setting and the cooker’s turn-down capacity (control response).
Simmering - White sauce is cooked to assess the performance of the simmer burner at low temperatures for a prolonged time.
Very low heat – Fiona melts chocolate directly over the simmer flame to determine if the simmer burner is capable of gently cooking foods that are very sensitive to high temperatures.
High fast heat – Fiona cooks a beef and vegetable stir-fry on the wok or largest burner to assess the wok burner’s ability to deliver continuous high heat.
EASE OF USE
Each oven is assessed by comparing the ease of use of the controls, clarity of the labels, using and cleaning the grill and the oven. For the cooktop, she assesses the stability of the trivets, layout of burners, whether the pots fit comfortably and the stability of pan support. She also looks at how easy the controls are to use in relation to their size and shape, labelling and position. She assesses ease of cleaning all interior and exterior surfaces, including shelves, trivets and burners, and whether there are appropriate spill-catchment areas on the hob.