Whirlpool vs. Amana 5.0 cu ft self cleaning gas range

Vita1234March 4, 2014

Hello all,

I'm trying to pick a gas range and I think I've narrowed it down Whirlpool (WFG510S0AW) and Amana (AGR5630BDW). They are both 5.0 cu ft, 30 inches wide, same dimensions, four burners and self cleaning. These are the basic features that I need as well as preheat indicator light and timer. I think both have these as well but I can't really see the displays in the picture to see how they look.

They seem the same in most respects but it looks like the Amana might not have a bottom broiler, which is fine with me. The Amana seems to be over $100 cheaper so I want to be sure I'm not missing something. I haven't actually seen them in store so I was wondering if the Whirlpool is better quality or if it just looks nicer. I know the latter can just be a matter of opinion, but I don't get as much detail in the Amana pictures.

Any comments would be appreciated, or if you have good experiences with a gas range of a similar type, I'd love to hear about it.


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Were you aware that Amana is a Whirlpool brand and that both stoves come out of the same factory? WP has been treating Amana as its less-expensive brand. (Kind of like GE and it's Hotpoint brand.) That is a reason the stoves look so similar.

As for features, sites such as AJ Madison, Lowes and Sears, allow you to check boxes to run a comparison of specifications. I just tried one at AJ Madison, and the differences that I see are:

(a) the WP's oven has a Star-K certified Sabbath mode and a "delay bake" timer. The Amana does not have these features.

(b) the biggest stovetop burner on the WP is rated at 13,500 btu while the Amana's is rated slightly (probably imperceptibly) smaller at 12,500 btu. My initial thought was that this seemed to be a trivial difference of the oriiface on the gas supply line but the Consumer Reports test results (to be discussed in a moment) indicate that there might be a bit of a size, design or performance difference between the two when it comes to the speed of boiling a large amount of water.

Another way to compare the ranges is to download the owner's manuals from vendor websites and compare the two. To find a manual, you can try the brand website or, on a vendor the webpage (such as AJ Madison) look for a button, link or tab with a name like "info and guides."

I agree that comparisons are hard when you cannot actually see and touch the stoves before buying them.

On broilers, the Amana does indeed have the same "in-oven" broiler as the WP. IOW, both have storage drawers rather than the old fashioned broiler-drawer.

On the "preheat indicator" -- I think they have limited usefulness except for those ovens that use both the upper and lower heating elements during pre-heating. This is more common with electric ovens but some gas ranges do have ovens with this feature. If the Amana and WP models do have "upper and lower" preheat, the preheat indicator will tell you when it is "safe" ---- you don't want to stick cookies or whatever in the oven during preheating because the upper element being on can burn the tops of what you put in to bake or roast. It won't tell you when the oven is actually fully preheated.

Almost all preheat indicators measure only oven air temperature, and that's only half the story. Ovens do some cooking with hot air (convective heating) but mostly they rely on heat radianting from the walls of the oven cavity (called, obviously, radiant heat.) There also may be some conductive heating (from steam. Mostly, though, ovens work with radiant heating.

Getting the oven walls properly heated really takes at least 20 minutes and often 30 or more minutes to fully arrive at a stable preheat regardless of what the preheat signal/indicator says.

With some items (say, roasting meat or poultry), it make not make much difference if you put them in right right when the preheat indicator goes out (or comes on or beeps or whatever it does). It can make a big difference for baked goods like breads and cookies, though.

I mentioned CR performance test results. Consumer Reports tested the WP model but not the specific Amana model you are interested in. The WP was rated good for speed of high heat and simmering ability, excellent for evenness of baking, and very good for oven self-cleaning. FWIW, CR did test an Amana model with a similar layout but more features. That Amana model got a poor rating for high heat speed on the large burner (which seems to be the same 12.5k btu burner as on the model you are looking at.) Otherwise, it got excellent ratings for simmering and baking, and a very good rating for the oven self-cleaning. The low score for stovetop high-heat suggests that the 13.5k btu burner on the WP might be designed a little differently than the 12.5k burner on the Amanas. However, CR does not release numerical test data which makes it hard to tell how much difference there actually is between the two stoves. For example, the Amana might be at the very top end of the scale for "poor performance" while the Whirlpool might be at the very bottom end of the next category up, and the difference might be so small that you couldn't detect it without a stopwatch. Or, the WP burner might be distinctly faster.

CR also does annual membership surveys on appliance reliability, Members are surveyed on appliances purchased within the last five years. The most current results show Whirlpool gas stoves lagging slightly behind GE, Frigidaire and Kenmore, although CR notes that the differences are probably not statistically significant. There is no current result for Amana because, apparently, there were not enough CR-members who bought Amana ranges in the last five years to generate what CR thinks is a statistically significant sample. One thing to note is that WP's Kitchenaid brand of gas stoves had nearly double the reported defect rate. That may reflect a higher percentage of dual-fuel models in the KA line-up as well (DF designs seem slightly more problem prone) and also may reflect that KA ranges tend to have upscale whizz-bang features, which means more that can break. Also, KA's five year average rate is still affected by the problems with the self-cleaning oven functions. As postings here reported, the self cleaning cycle on some KA and "WP Gold" ovens and ranges could toast the electronics or trip an internal breaker on the pre-2012 models. As best I can tell, those problems did not seem to occur with the less expensive WP (plain) and Amana models as they used different electronics.

Hopefully, these general comments will get a conversation started and we'll hear from some folks who have actually used one or the other of these ranges.

This post was edited by JWVideo on Thu, Mar 6, 14 at 11:35

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 6:35PM
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I had that Whirlpool in a house I was renting. I bought it myself because the stove that was in the house when I moved in was so terrible. It did a fine job, was relatively easy to clean, and didn't require service in the 2.5 years I had it. I never used the self cleaning feature, though. The oven baked more evenly than the Viking I had in a previous house, and the Kenmore wall oven I have now (that is on its way out!). I liked that the broiler had low and high settings, the oven got plenty hot for pizza and things like no-knead bread, and the stove top was large enough for canning. Not the fanciest stove on the market, but it worked out great for me.

Hope that helps!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 11:07AM
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