Lower-Priced Pro-Style Ranges

Wishing you could whip up dinner for guests on a new pro-style range this Thanksgiving? Consumer Reports puts pro-style kitchen ranges to the test — including some from Costco that cost thousands less.

Lots of people have a big appetite for pro-style ranges. They can give you plenty of cooking capability, but they can cost 5-thousand dollars or more.

There are less expensive options. Consumer Reports took a look at two N-X-R ranges available online from Costco. This 30-inch for
2-thousand dollars and this 36-inch for 3-thousand dollars.

Consumer Reports pitted the N-X-R ranges against big names in pro-style — like Wolf, Thermador, and Viking.

Celia Lehrman of Consumer Reports says, “We do all sorts of things, from boiling pots of water to simmering sauces. We bake cookies. We even broil burgers.”

Testers also assessed the look and feel of the ranges — from the stainless-steel finish, the iconic chunky red knobs on the Wolf, and the continuous grates over the burners.

The Costco N-X-R ranges skimp on some of the finer features. The 30-inch range lacks continuous grates. And the 36-inch one has metal strips that will likely catch lots of food and be difficult to clean.

And both N-X-R ranges are only mediocre when it comes to overall performance.

“But even the big names like Wolf, Thermador, and Viking didn’t perform well enough in our tests for Consumer Reports to recommend them, either.” Lehrman said.

Consumer Reports did find a few pro-style ranges to recommend, including this 36-inch KitchenAid. But top-performing pro-styles are expensive. This one goes for about 6-thousand dollars.

You can save a substantial amount by getting a regular gas or electric range. Consumer Reports tests have found many perform better than the pro-style ranges and come with lots of those features you might have your eye on. Consumer Reports recommends the KitchenAid KDRS505XSS, starting at about 2-thousand dollars. It’s a gas range with continuous cast-iron grates, five burners, and a double oven.

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