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Expensive range cooker fails to impress in Which? tests

It costs more than £2,000 but is outclassed by cheaper rivals

Picture of Rangemaster Professional + 90 Induction

If you pay more than £2,000 for a new range cooker, you would rightly expect it to be a cut above the rest when it comes to cooking. But our latest tests show that a premium price tag is no guarantee of good results.

We tested seven top-end range cookers costing between £2,000 and £4,000. One model scored a disappointing 52%, putting it in the bottom five of all our current range cooker reviews.

One of its ovens took more than 15 minutes to heat up to 180°C, which could delay dinner long enough for a table full of hungry children to start up a chorus of ‘Why are we waiting?’. What’s more, it has one of the worst grills we’ve seen, browning less than half of the food placed under it.

Overall, 18 range cookers were put to the test, including models from leading brands such as Belling, Britannia, Leisure, Rangemaster, Smeg and Stoves, plus Italian brand Ilve. Five impressed us enough to become Best Buys, including gas, dual-fuel and induction models.

Find out which range cookers we recommend for 2017 – and the pricey cooker to avoid – by checking our range cooker reviews.

Cheap vs expensive range cookers

Range cooker prices start from around £500 and can go beyond £10,000. We usually test models costing less than £2,000 in order to cover the most popular and affordable models but, this time, we put seven premium cookers to the test to see how they measure up.

Our independent lab tests show that you don’t need to pay top-end prices to get a top-notch range cooker. One of our new Best Buys is less than half the price of the lowest-scoring premium model – and it turns out more evenly cooked food.

Paying more will usually get you additional features and extra cooking space. The inclusion of a quick-heating electric induction hob can bump up the price, too. The cheapest induction model we’ve tested, the Belling Farmhouse 90EI, costs just under £1,000.

Find out which cheaper cookers made it on to our list of recommendations for 2017 by reading our round-up of the best range cookers.

Which? range cooker tests

We’ve updated our test programme for 2017, running tests on the accuracy and speed of secondary ovens in each range cooker, in addition to the main oven. This gives a fuller picture of the results you can expect during everyday cooking.

The humble baked bean now has a starring role in our cooking tests, as we found that the results from simmering a pan of beans better highlights the differences in performance between products.

We’ve also added a temperature-overshoot test for hobs. This measures how long the hob stays hot for, and at what temperature, once you’ve turned it off. That extra heat could turn your al dente pasta into starchy soup.

Find out more about how we test range cookers.

Latest range cooker reviews for 2017

Below is the full list of range cookers we’ve just tested. Click on the links to get straight to the full individual reviews.

90cm range cookers:

100cm range cookers:

110cm range cookers:

Prices correct as of 23 March 2017.

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