Whirlpool GGG390LXS Review
Yes, this model simmers, but so does enthusiasm with such mediocre test results. Pass this one by, folks.
The most important thing to know about the Whirlpool GGG390LXS is that its MSRP is $1,999. Two thousand dollars is not a small amount of money for most Americans, and unless performance is top-notch, this Whirlpool will be one more to pass over.
We've tested ovens around that price point that pan sear, quick fry, simmer, broil, and bake in ways that would make any amateur chef tear up... onion-chopping aside. Well, someone might tear up over this one too, but perhaps from frustration more than anything else.
Design & Usability
This straightforward design is marred by a spill-prone range and a convoluted control set.
In terms of its overall design, this dual-oven Whirlpool is a bit of an odd duck. Sure, its got the controls in all the usual spots for a gas range, the five burners are laid out in a traditional way, and the stainless steel trim isn’t going to stand out like a sore thumb in your kitchen. Its continuous grates—normally found on high-end ranges—make it easier to find a place for pots and pans, but anything that drips or spills is going to plop through and require more work to clean. It uses a pyrolytic self-cleaning system, where the oven runs at a high temperature for several hours to burn off interior stains. It's worth mentioning that only one oven can be cleaned at a time.
The range top burners are controlled by five large dials located on the front just above the ovens. They are large and easy to turn, but also well latched; you have to exert a fair amount of inward pressure before you can turn them, so they are unlikely to be accidentally engaged. The ovens and broiler, on the other hand, use a control panel located in the center of the top panel. These are a little confusing to use, as the buttons aren't divided in the most logical way. The ones used to program the ovens are on one side, while the start and stop buttons are on the other. The labeling and lack of direct correlation leads to a sharp learning curve.
Low-heat cooking is a piece of cake for this appliance, but don't expect much else.
There are five burners available on this particular model. They have different power levels, though the uniform appearance of the burners makes it difficult to differentiate them until you've really taken some time to familiarize yourself with the landscape. The central burner is elongated, following the design of a typical oval or fish burner, so named because it's perfect for cooking fish in a long pan.
This Whirlpool excelled when it came to cooler temperatures; every burner, particularly the left rear one, was capable of maintaining a steady, low-intensity heat. If you enjoy making stews or sauces from scratch, this range definitely provides a nice simmer.
When you get to the upper end of the thermostat, however, things slip. Even the most powerful burner on this range peaked out at a temperature significantly lower than what we like to see—we're talking hundreds of degrees cooler. Unless you're attempting a recipe that requires really intense heats, you should be okay, but don't expect things to cook quickly: The strongest burners took over 16 minutes to boil even a small amount of water, and some failed to bring water to a boil at all.
Oven Broiler & Convection
The two mediocre ovens barely get by with acceptable temperature consistency and little else. The broiler is just a waste of time.
Fairly consistent temperatures in the ovens will provide even, effective heats for quality cooking. On the downside, the highs weren't that high. The "Keep Warm" setting landed within an acceptable range, though, and as long as the majority of your cooking involves standard fare that won't push this oven to the limit, you should be okay. At the end of the day, we expected a lot more in an oven that costs an average American more than 2.5 week's gross salary.
After a range that didn't handle high heats well and an oven that followed suit, it shouldn't be a surprise that the broiler—the purpose of which is to provide intense levels of heat quickly—disappointed as well. It took far too long to heat up, and even at its highest temperature was significantly cooler than other, better machines. This broiler is lackluster, to say the least, and therefore essentially useless.
If the only positive thing about an oven is its low heat output, don't buy it.
There's simply nothing about the Whirlpool that can salvage our opinion of it. Sure, the convection fan, the large-capacity ovens, and the number of burners on the range are nice to have. Trouble is, those features don't amount to a whole heck of a lot if the cooking quality of the machine is subpar—which is the case here.
Things like frozen pizzas may survive this Whirlpool's lackluster temperature output, and water will boil eventually, but for $1999, consumers can do far better. Sale prices of $1750 don't bring the price tag even close to what this particular machine is really worth.
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