GE JB655SKSS Freestanding Electric Convection Range Review
This popular GE electric range has convection—but how does it bake?
In the market for a new electric range? This GE JB655SKSS (MSRP $799) has a smooth ceramic top, a convection mode, and a self-clean setting. Bonus: It comes in a sleek stainless steel finish and has a warming zone on the cooktop to ensure your dishes all hit the table at the same temperature.
We tested it to see how it stacks up against other electric ranges and were pretty impressed with the results—most of them, at least.
The GE JB655SKSS is sharp-looking electric range that features a ceramic glass cooktop with four burners, plus a fifth element for warming. It has an average-sized 5.3 cubic-foot oven with fan convection, self cleaning, and two moveable racks that fit in six cooking positions. Below, it has a full-width storage drawer.
The spacious cooktop has not one, but two dual-ring burners to fit different sized pans. The front left burner also has a “melt” setting for delicate food.
The control knobs are attractive and aren't difficult to turn but, unfortunately, have a lot of give. The plastic they're made from feels surprisingly cheap, too. Plus, they are mounted on the back of the range. That's par for the course in this price range, but it means you may have to reach over a hot burner or simmering pots to adjust cooking temperature.
But when we turned those knobs and fired the burners up, it only took the JB655SKSS a tad over nine minutes to boil six cups of water—pretty speedy!
First off, be sure to keep a good hold on the oven door when opening and closing, since it slams pretty easily. To preheat the oven, you’ll have to use the plus and minus buttons on the touchpad in increments of five degrees.
We put the JB655SKSS through a cooking Olympics of sorts to see how it performed in action. But first, we had to preheat it. We found that the oven took a hair over nine minutes for it to reach 350°F in both convection and regular bake modes, which isn’t anything to write home about.
The good news is that it roasts and broils like a dream: We use a pan covered in bread as a sort of heat map to test how even a broiler is, and this oven gave us perfectly browned toast with no burned or underdone spots. It also produced an extremely even pork roast on convection—almost perfect by our standards.
It didn’t perform as well in the baking department, though: We made cookies and they came out slightly uneven—mostly between opposite corners of the pan. That's a common problem, and can be remedied somewhat by turning the cookie sheet during baking. But our poor cakes were super uneven, particularly on the bottom—an issue that was only somewhat remedied by turning on convection. Convection heating generally ensures even baking without the need to turn the pan, but we found it’s just not true for this GE.
Should you buy it?
There’s a reason why GE is the most popular brand for cooking appliances in the U.S.: It makes a solid product. The JB655SKSS is no exception. It does an excellent job at roasting and broiling, though it may not be the best bet for serious bakers.
But if you're looking for a sleek stainless finish and a convection mode at the right price, this GE is a solid pick.
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