One-Week Review of Jenn Air Pro Range (and Dishwasher)

scottacusDecember 10, 2012

Since there hasn't been too much discussion of the newer Jenn-Air pro-style ranges here, I will offer my one-week review of the 30" all-gas range (JGRP430WP). While that's not too much time, it's enough for me to get a feel for most of the features of the range and its overall performance.

I did a lot of research on this range before I bought it. First, this series of "pro-style" ranges is essentially the upgraded, Jenn-Air version of the KitchenAid "commercial style" range series. The dual-fuel ranges are very similar, with the addition of a color touchscreen and slight styling differences. The Jenn-Air ranges are also offered in all-gas, while the KitchenAid ranges are not. Importantly, the pro-style series is the only range series not still built on the old, Maytag-era Jenn-Air design -- so reliability data for this series is more likely to be similar to KitchenAid than other Jenn-Air ranges.

First, one of the main reasons I purchased this range is its value. The list price is $3899, which is not much less than similar models. However, with a 10% pre-Black Friday discount, free dishwasher, and installation rebate, the effective price is much less (as long as you need a new dishwasher). In my case the effecitve price was less than $2500, which is very good for a range in this class.

Now, onto the experience. This is a very attractive range, with a mix of Viking/Wolf style and more modern looks. The fit and finish is overall very good, with heavy-duty construction, hefty knobs that turn very smoothly, oven door that opens/closes nicely, and nice burner grates. The only gripe I have is that there is a very small ding in one edge of the stainless steel around the glass control pad. It's barely noticeable, but it is there.

The touchscreen controls are less gimmicky than I thought. They're certainly much less confusing than many other electronic control ovens, and they are generally well executed. For example, when a cook timer goes off on the oven, a button appears to allow you to put the oven in keep warm mode with one touch. The glass is very sensitive like an iPhone (maybe even more so).

The burners perform well, boiling water quickly (4 quarts in I think about 7 minutes) and the simmer burner goes pretty low. I have had no issues with the igniters continuing to click after the gas lights. I notice that like Dacor, the flames directly under the grates are smaller to protect the grate finish. The black porcelain top cleans up easily.

I have been pleased with the oven, which is far better than the non-convection Frigidaire it is replacing (a range we disliked since we moved into our current home) and seems to be at least as good as the Viking 30" in our last home. Conventional and convection baking both are quite even with good temperature control. The electric convection element and 3 lights are nice touches. The only drawback to the oven is that a cooling fan runs whenever the oven is on (convention or not), presumably to protect the circruitry from overheating. It's not too loud, but it isn't whisper-quiet either.

Overall we are very happy with this range and think is is well worth the money.

The range also came with a free dishwasher (JDB8200AWP), which is a higher-end Whirlpool/KitchenAid dishwasher. It's typical of a Whirlpool Corp dishwasher (and I've had good results with them). Quiet and cleans well. I have been using the Finish tabs without issue.

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Thanks for the review, especially the part about the cooling fan. There are some noises that can be bothering to some, and not to others, and good to know about it before you buy, since the manufacturer usually doesn't advertise there is a cooling fan.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 8:55PM
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Thanks so much! I'm looking at purchasing the Jenn Air Professional Duel Fuel Range JDRP436WP (as well as their fridge) and having been concerned about all the bad reviews out there. But it sounds like the new Jenn Airs are much better than the older models that gave the brand a bad wrap.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 9:31PM
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Very good and quite accurate review. The cooling fan doesn't bother me at all. Preheats to 450F in about 12 minutes. Stove top grates form a flat surface for easy transfer of pots and pans. This is a well built and easy to use stove. Everything seemed calibrated correctly - right out of the box. The functions and interface are straight forward and makes sense. It's easy to clean and insulated very well. I love mine.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 4:45PM
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Regarding the oven ... do you know what type of ignitor does it use, spark type or glowbar?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 12:12PM
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Another Jenn Air Pro Range customer here. Have a dual fuel model at our lakehouse and it has seen considerable use in the 5 yrs. we've had it. I really like mine.

Even when the Dacor DF I have at home was working properly, I had much better baking results with the Jenn Air. The temp is more accurate and consistent. The fan noise is nowhere near as loud as the Dacor.

I was a bit concerned when I purchased because I heard bad reports from people who owned Jenn Air from way back. Based on my experience, like the OP, I give mine a thumbs up.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 1:40PM
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Thank you for this review! I'm considering the range (the 36") plus free dishwasher deal, too. Will report back if I go for it.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 4:12PM
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Thanks for posting the review. It's good to read something positive about Jenn-Air. I'm taking a chance on a Jenn-Air wall oven and hoping I won't regret the choice. It's hard to find many reviews. Even though you're talking about a range,not wall oven, I'm hoping some of the good features will apply to the wall oven as well.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 10:33PM
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I was considering the Jenn-Air range w free dishwasher but for a variety of incentives am now considering the comparable Kitchen Aid line - dual convection ovens, 36" gas cooktop, range hood, Fridge & dishwasher. I have been searching through this forum and hear nothing about the KitchenAid line. I've poured over Consumer Rpts, and been told by sales reps to disregard their reviews. I almost feel more confused that when I started.

So my question is twofold: Is there anything bad I should know about KitchenAid? And if I need all new appliances, with no real space restrictions, should I go with everything in the same line or mix it up?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 6:38PM
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Hi Thanks to Scott for the review. I just purchased the pro style Jenn Air model JDS8860BDP in spite of all the horrible experiences people have reported for this range. I am particularly interested in the oven fan being geared to run whenever the oven is on. My departing Dacor has a horrible whiny fan noise, but it only runs on convect, not regular bake. Convect bake is the only bake mode I use, though. Some of the negative reviews out there involve roasting a large item, so I am curious to scott and the other prostyle oven users whether they have attempted this. Also, has anyone dared to try the self cleaning 'feature'? I owned a Jenn Air dual fuel downdraft that was manufactured in 2000- had it for 2 years. Probably cleaned the oven once in 3 years. Seems to mean the lighted controls were in the same location on the range, but the pad was less computery- mother boardy, and nothing bad ever happened to that stove.
Thanks in advance for any advice. Also, does the oven really preheat using the broil element on top, then switch to the bottom element?

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 4:52PM
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I have the same range you've just purchased since last summer and have been well pleased. Seems well constructed and easy to use and clean. Now to your questions:

*yes there is a very quiet cooling fan that runs after the oven reaches a certain temperature and continues until the unit has cooled down when you are through. In our kitchen it is barely noticeable and only to someone standing in front of the range. It is that quiet. The convection fan operation it very muted as well.

*There are 2 preheat functions. Normal bake is described as cycling both the bake and broil elements. The "rapid" preheat option engages the convection fan and element to quickly heat the oven. Once the oven is to temperature, the unit reverts to normal baking. This is an option to reduce the normal preheat time to 5 minutes or so and is said to be good for 1 rack baking. We use this feature often and find it has no negative effect on cakes, cookies, casseroles etc.

Regarding roasting, our large all clad roasted fits comfortably in the oven, and holiday turkey's, hams, vegetables always come out fine with the convection roast setting. The meat probe works nicely, but we don't always remember to use it. Out of habit we usually use our meat thermometer. The oven is very even heating and accurate. We have no complaints with its cooking performance.

The self clean cycle has been used twice and it works well. I hope you enjoy yours as much as we do ours.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 7:22AM
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Scott, are you still happy with your choice?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 9:15AM
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I'm not Scott but I'll answer also... I've had this range for a while now at a vacation rental property of mine. Lots of people rave about how much they like it, and I like it myself based on my experiences using it. There are a lot of Jenn-Air naysayers here, but it seems that many of them have never even used the product, or maybe had a Jenn-Air 10 years ago or earlier. Jenn-Air then was completely different from Jenn-Air now.

Back when Jenn-Air was its own company and in the early days of being owned by Maytag, they had well-built stuff. But then in the 90s Maytag began its downward spiral and brought Jenn-Air with them. By the late 90s and early 2000s they were putting out complete junk. After Whirlpool bought them they discontinued most of the existing Jenn-Air products, invested a lot of money into the brand and replaced them with their own products. Quality improved significantly.

Yeah, there are surely ranges out there with better performance cooktops than the Jenn-Air (open burners, more BTUs, etc). But the Jenn-Air cooktop is much more powerful than your typical gas range and it would be hard to beat the oven IMO. Anyhow I got it as part of a package deal so I wasn't really focused on getting the "best" appliance for each category. My favorite appliances in the package are the range and refrigerator. The dishwasher is fine but nothing to write home about.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 5:39PM
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Nice bit of "Jenn-air" history, hvtech42!

My only disagreement with it would be to "Lump all the JA products together" in the "History Lesson".

I have no experience with the JA cooking products, (cooktops, ranges, ovens~~~etc).

But I do have a lot of experience with a Jenn-air Fridge and in fact, I've done a lof of research on them.

Back in 2006, I was looking for a 48" built in fridge.
Back then, I only had 3 choices, (or at least that's all I could find in stores and on the net).

One was GE, since I had a GE S X S full sized fridge I was going to replace, (I could not get icemaker parts even during it's one year warranty)!!, & It leaked and rusted out the sides of the fridge~~sooooo~~~~GE was out of the running, (back in 2006).

The other choices were SZ and Jenn-air.

Apparently SZ was having evaporator problems back in 2006, (some say it was a copper problem, others say it was caused by copper tubing and aluminum fins on the tubing)~~~~anyway~~~SZ was rated "Dead Last" in reliability by Consumer Reports~~~~yeah I know, but I took time to research the evaporator problem and found out enough about it to scare me off!

Jenn-Air "S X S as well has built ins" have been rated the #1 fridge for reliability by readers of Consumer Reports since 2006, and today I believe it is "Tied" with another manufacturer for the #1 position, SZ is about 4 points below, (So not significant, at least to me).

The Jenn-Air of 2006 was "Way Ahead of it's Thyme".
It offered conveniences and attributes that even most fridges today don't offer.

It was one of the first to use the variable speed compressor, very quiet and efficient and great temp control.
It has digital readouts and settings for 3 different areas of the fridge, (Meat Keeper, Chrisper and main compartment).
It has a 4th digital readout and control for the freezer.
It has crank up and down shelves---luv those, so handy when encountering a tall bottle or whatever!

The fridge also has built in Diagnostics
The disgnostics will check the speed of every fan in the fridge, it will check compressor speed, check the flap operation between the fridge and freezer, all in all about 31 diagnostic test~~~~~sooooo~~~~if I ever have a problem with the fridge, I should be able to pretty well "Nail down" which part is causing the problem and make sure the appliance repair company has it, BEFORE they come out and have a "Look SEE" as they do with most fridge repairs.

So, great history lesson, but I think you have to (at the very least) split the JA Fridge from the JA cooking appliances to really see "The Whole Picture"!

Unfortunately, today, 2014, it looks like Whirlpool may have removed a lot of the things I really like about my JA Fridge, The crank up/down shelves, The 3 different temp settings for different areas of the fridge, and I would bet money they removed the "Diagnostics" Too!!


    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 7:24PM
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