Electrolux EI30GS55JS 30-Inch Slide-In Gas Range Review
Does the Electrolux EI30GS55JS perform as well as it looks?
Based on appearances and features alone, the Electrolux EI30GS55JS (MSRP $2,649.00) natural gas slide-in range looks like a sure thing. Put simply, this is beautiful appliance, and one that doesn't skimp on features and ease-of-use. While it may look great on the showroom floor, however, our lab tests showed a more complex picture.
Design & Usability
Old tech, new skin
The Electrolux EI30GS55JS combines the old-world charm of gas with a sleek transitional design. The slide-in range with its stainless steel exterior should look good in any kitchen, regardless of the the decor. The rangetop is particularly attractive, thanks to a continuous cast iron grate and sturdy burner dials. An oven that's hidden by a pitch-black glass front and features an intense cobalt blue interior looks great open and closed.
The EI30GS55JS also packs many of the modern conveniences and features found in pricier Electrolux ranges, albeit in a slightly stripped down form. Along with Luxury-Design lighting that gently ramps up as you open the oven door, the range features one Luxury-Glide rack, which really does glide out effortlessly. The appliance also features the mystifyingly-named IQ-Touch control panel. As far as we can tell, the primary selling point of this feature is the fact that it displays all of the cooking options at all times. How this differs from a regular control panel is beyond us.
The less-than-stellar rangetop didn't do the EI30GS55JS any favors.
Ask any chef, and most will tell you that when it comes to responsive control, gas is the only choice. As a tradeoff however, consumer gas rangetops tend to have slower boil times and a narrower range of temperatures when compared to electric and induction models. Sadly, the EI30GS55JS is not the exception that proves the rule, but rather a prime example of the inherent shortcomings of gas rangetops.
The EI30GS55JS had a decidedly average showing in out performance tests. The front right Power Burner was perfectly respectable: it boiled six cups of water in a fairly speedy five minutes. While having one fast burner is great, what about those situations that require two pots of boiling water? Well, in the case of this rangetop you may want to avoid such scenarios, or at the very least time them carefully. The remaining burners failed to keep up with the Power Burner, with boil times between 10 and 39 minutes for the same amount of water. The boil speeds were positively pleasant when compared with the ridiculously narrow temperature range. We recorded a maximum temperature of 434ºF and a minimum of 169ºF, only a 265ºF difference.
Oven, Broiler, & Convection
The EI30GS55JS's effective oven brings the heat.
The EI30GS55JS's oven was a huge improvement over the mediocre rangetop. First, it preheated in just eight minutes, regardless of whether we put it on the regular 350ºF setting or and convection. The range's 350ºF setting also proved extremely accurate and precise: It averaged an impressive 358ºF and barely strayed from the 350ºF temperature. Meanwhile, the convection setting was similarly accurate but swerved across the temperature gamut like an out of control NASCAR driver. Unfortunately, the keep-warm setting was far less impressive, and turned out to be more of a "Keep Hot" setting. It overshot our 170ºF test by a large amount and never dropped down to the target temperature.
In the case of ovens, the proof is in our cake and cookies tests. Based on the results of cooking real food, regardless of any accuracy and precision issues, the oven offered good temperature regulation and airflow. Both cakes as well as the cookies in the center of the oven emerged from the oven perfectly uniform. Additionally, the bottoms of the cakes and cookies were not overdone. However, we discovered that the cookies at the front corners were slightly underdone. So make sure you use the center of the oven, and your baked goods should emerge unscathed.
Before You Buy
A solid, albeit costly range
The EI30GS55JS is a good range. Its combination of stylish transitional design and above average oven performance is a potent mix. It would be even more potent were the appliance around $1,000 cheaper. Sadly, at its current price of $2,649 ($2,449 for the black version) this Electrolux a tough sell, especially when compared with other, better performing gas ranges. If you are set on a slide-in, appreciate its undeniable attractive looks, and can look past the one-trick pony rangetop, the EI30GS55JS is an excellent choice. However, those unwilling to compromise performance for the sake of looks should keep searching.
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