Appliances are getting smarter every day. The convenience and function offered by smart appliances is unparalleled, and it isn't just a matter of remote monitoring: many smart ranges today can suggest recipes, send you updates on their maintenance needs, and warn you of abnormal activity before it becomes a problem. If you think a smart cooking unit may be a good option for your home, we've compiled a list of five of the best smart ranges of 2021.
The Fisher Paykel OR30SCI6B1 is part of their Classic Series, and it’s as lovely to look at as it is to use. Its 30-in. wide black exterior repels fingerprints and coordinates well with any kitchen, while the four induction elements and 3.5 cu. ft. true convection oven will cook your food with exactly as much power as you need. Not only does the induction cooktop start heating pans immediately when turned on (with a maximum output of 3,700W), but it gives you precise control over cooking settings. The oven is spacious and versatile, with two sets of telescopic sliding shelves, nine oven functions (including a 4050W broiler and Aero™ Pastry mode), rapid pre-heating, a CoolTouch triple-glazed door, and true European convection. You can monitor it using your smartphone or high resolution screen that sits next to the chromed cast zinc dials.
Dacor's Contemporary Series mixes state-of-the-art features with a modern aesthetic while remaining durable, and the DOP36M96GPS is a fine emblem of these principles in a 36-in. package. It has six sealed liquid propane SimmerSear™ burners that heat anywhere from 750 to 22,000 BTUs, and you can easily slide heavy pots and pans around the continuous grates or use the included Wok Rings for cookware without flat bottoms. The 5.4 cu. ft. oven is illuminated by a mixture of halogen and LED BrightVue lights and even includes a ball bearing glide rack system so you can smoothly remove even the bulkiest dishes. Not only can you control it using the free Dacor iQ Kitchen app, but the full color 7-in. screen dispenses cooking advice, so your temperature and settings are always spot-on. It even has Illumina™ Burner Controls that light the controls so you can see from a distance which burners are on.
The LG LREL6323S is one of the most spacious smart ranges on this list, clocking in at 6.3 cu. ft. of capacity (particularly amazing when you consider that it's only 30 in. wide). The five electric UltraHeat™ elements sit under a smooth stainless trim cooktop, so there are no unsightly coils, and vary in output with a maximum of 3,200 W — they have enough versatility to melt chocolate without burning it or handle a giant pot of chili. The convection oven includes eight different cooking modes, including a built-in air frying function, and can be cleaned in less than 10 minutes using LG's EasyClean® technology. As we've come to expect from LG, this is also one of the most connected ranges on this list: you can connect it to your phone using the Smart ThinQ® app, control it using your voice from Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and even get proactive maintenance notifications so you can save hundreds of dollars on service calls.
The Thermador PRD366WHU (part of their PRO HARMONY Series) is a 36-in. dual fuel range that’s optimized to give you the best of the worlds of gas and electric. The six Star® natural gas burners increase the perimeter of each burner, making up to 56% more flames than a round burner of the same size, and providing an output of up to 18,000 BTUs. You aren’t locked in to high-powered cooking, though: the ExtraLow® burner can give as low as 375 BTUs of output. The 4.9 cu. ft. true European convection oven allows you to cook on up to three levels at once, while the included temperature probe lets you measure the status of your dishes without needing to open the door to check on them. Even more convenient, you can use the range’s WiFi Connect technology to control the range from anywhere in your home.
Samsung's NE63T8711SS is another extremely smart choice in the world of smart ranges, and still manages to fit in a 30-in. cutout. The smoothtop cooktop has five heating elements, including an Express Boil™ element that can output up to 3,600 W. The 6.3 cu. ft. convection oven can fit multiple main dishes at once and comes with eight cooking modes (including air frying and dehydration). The oven's heating element is even hidden under a flat surface, making it much easier and safer to clean. You can control it using the Smart Dial (which simplifies all the settings into a single touch-controlled dial), the SmartThings™ app, or your favorite smart home assistant (it works with Alexa, Google, and Bixby).
What should I look for in buying a smart range?
You want to consider all the usual factors first — gas versus electric, freestanding versus slide-in, size, and any other necessary features. Once you've decided on those, look for a smart range that works with the infrastructure you have (Alexa or Google, for instance). Most of the time, the apps that control these appliances are free to download, so you may be able to check them out before making a purchase and see whether you like them.
How long do ranges last?
With proper maintenance, most ranges can last up to 13-15 years.