Amana AGR5630BDW Gas Range Review
Low on features, low in price
Sometimes a range is just a range, and sometimes it’s so much more. In the case of the Amana AGR5630BDW (MSRP $699), what you see is what you get from this gas range, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Plain to look at and simple to use, the AGR5630BDW is a good choice for those who want something that can cook food, plain and simple, minus any fussiness or extra buttons. Its performance in our testing was far from great, but with a retail price that dips below $500, we’d say you could do a lot worse.
In fact, we might even say you’re looking at a bargain.
Design & Usability
A plain white slate for your culinary creations
This is not a range you buy for its looks. Is it ugly? No. But it is boring. A plain white body and black grates make the AGR630BDW an unassuming addition to most kitchens, but it’s not going to stand out unless the rest of your appliances are stainless steel.
Four gas burners sit atop the range, above the control knobs that can be found on the front of the oven. Digital oven controls can be found on the backsplash and include only the most basic functions. No convection to be found here, although the 5 cubic-foot oven does feature a Self Clean option that can be adjusted depending on how badly the cavity is soiled.
A storage drawer below the oven provides extra storage space, and the range comes with a convenient LP gas conversion kit, common in gas ranges but potentially handy nonetheless.
The AGR630BDW has four burners to its name, and while none of them stood out during our testing, none of them will let you down.
Our water boiling test went well for all but the right rear simmer burner. The remaining three burners boiled six cups of water in 6-8 minutes, which is solid, if not lightning-fast. Skip that right rear simmer burner if you’re boiling, though. It’s no huge loss—who boils four pots at once?
Maximum temperatures fell short of “great,” but we expect as much from gas rangetops, which typically don’t get as hot as electric or induction. In the case of the AGR630BDW, every burner but the simmer burner peaked in the range of 468°F to 485°F. The simmer burner barely broke 400°F, but we don’t expect a dedicated simmer burner to hit a very high maximum temp.
The simmer burner did come in at the head of the pack when it came to low temperature cooking, as it should have. However, the AGR630BDW’s rangetop didn’t drop as low as we would’ve like. Minimum temperatures stayed between 138°F and 182°F, which is a lot warmer than the 100ºF temperatures we got on more expensive ranges. This could make delicate low-heat tasks like melting chocolate a bit more challenging.
Oven, Broiler, & Convection
An impressive preheat
This oven started strong with an incredibly fast preheat, requiring less than five minutes to reach the 350°F set temperature. Unfortunately, the broiler did not follow suit—a ten-minute heating process had us impatiently tapping our feet by the time it finally passed 600°F.
Cakes and cookies that we baked in the oven weren’t at all even, but were at least consistent in their unevenness from cookie to cookie or cake to cake. Cookies in particular had very dark bottoms and much lighter tops.
Because each individual cake and cookie had the same variation in doneness as their neighbors, the problem shouldn't be too difficult to address. Using parchment paper or glass pans may help. It’s times like these when we wished the AGR630BDW had a convection fan to improve airflow.
It can cook, albeit not perfectly
This is a basic, inexpensive range. Did it ace all of our tests? Not even close. But for a range you can scoop up for less than $500, it’s pretty darn good.
The rangetop didn’t get as high or low as models that cost twice as much, but it boiled water quickly enough. Cakes and cookies showed a difference in doneness between the bottoms and tops, but the issue was consistent enough that some experimentation should allow the user to compensate. Both the rangetop and oven will absolutely be able to cook your food.
After all, that’s really the point of the range, isn’t it?
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