Please critique my kitchen appliance choices!

foodfiend_gardenerMarch 6, 2013

After days of review and thought, I have come up with this list to give our builder for him to "price". Thanks so much to those forum members who have not only helped when I asked questions, but to those who posted questions and answers in many different threads over the past year or so.

I settled on a rangetop and wall oven/ convection microwave based on looking at a lot of kitchen designs to determine what kind of "look" I want (and I wanted a unit with at least 5 burners and a griddle, which I use often). I have back problems and lifting heavy pans out of a range oven is sometimes painful; using a wall oven would be so much easier. For the fridge, I know that it's "cool" to have a French door refrigerator,but I used one for 2 weeks on vacation and I really missed my side-by-side. The dishwasher choice is based on ratings because I really have no strong opinions, one way or another except that I want it to be quiet.

Wolf 48" Gas Rangetop SRT486G w/ 6 burners and griddle

Bosch HBL8450UC 30" single wall oven
Bosch HMB8050 30" built-in microwave

Samsung side-by-side refrigerator RSG307AARS

Bosch SHX55RL5UC dishwasher

Now, these aren't absolutely final decisions. It's too early in the process for me to be absolutely "set" on any of these choices, so if anyone out there has any suggestions or possible alternates, please don't hesitate to let me know! :)

This post was edited by foodfiend_gardener on Thu, Mar 7, 13 at 8:03

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I'm in the same dilemma. After much research, it appears that the open burners are the preferred choice, so I am considering the Capital 36" range-top. Today, I am leaning towards the Wolf double oven, Wolf microwave drawer, Miele dishwasher, and the sub zero ref. Having a hard time deciding between the 36" sub zero ref. with a single or french doors and the one or two drawer freezer.

Would love to hear opinions on these appliances.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 12:07AM
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I have the SZ French door and really like it. I have always had SZ fridges so I am a partisan. My view is that if you need the door swing clearance to be smaller, get the French door. I you don't, then get the regular over under model because the door storage is better. When they divided the door storage between the two doors, it did reduce the total storage space in the doors. I believe that the two drawer freezer model is part of the 700 series which some people I have spoken with regard as the runt of the SZ litter. Not sure of this though. And it does reduce the fridge space in favor of freezer space, which I would find unacceptable.

I have the Miele Diamond. Again, I have always had Miele dishwashers and am a huge fan of those too.

Can't help with the others because I have a range and a speed oven.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 7:07AM
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Your wall oven,refrigerator and dishwasher choice are arguably best in class. There are definitely better wall ovens(Wolf and Gaggenau), refrigerator(Liebherr,Subzero) and dishwashers(Miele) but at a much higher price.

Sharp makes built-it microwaves that are just as good for a cheaper price. Sharp also makes microwave drawers. You can find them on Ebay for about the price of that Bosch built-it and IMO ergonomically superior. If you want to pay a premium for the MW to match oven that is a reasonable decision but it is good to know that you are paying a premium.

You listed a 48" rangetop with 6 burners and griddle but say it is 36". On a 36" rangetop I would definitely skip the griddle but would consider on a 48".

I would skip Wolf and look closely at Capital Culinarian and Bluestar RNB. Plenty to read about currently on the forum and if you google "gardenweb Bluestar Culinarian"

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 7:37AM
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nycbluedevil,thanks for your input-- you really are a SZ fan! I used a French door w/ bottom freezer for 2 weeks on vacation last year and couldn't wait to get back to my side-by-side. I guess that it's a matter of being used to and comfortable with something!

deeageaux, thanks for catching my typo. :) I was surprised that a JD Power report listed Samsung as better overall customer satisfaction and I liked their side-by-side, so I went with it. And,as you said, I could get better wall ovens but I went with "affordable luxury", as Bosch was called in one article from the Yale Appliance blog.

I do appreciate your info on the built in microwave. That was the item I was hesitant about, and perhaps one from a different manufacturer could be installed in another area of the kitchen if installing it above the single oven doesn't look right. I actually didn't know that Sharp made built-ins (I do want the microwave convection, which is why I chose what I did). I would prefer a Sharp. More research!!

I'll also look into Capital and Blue Star, but I am not familiar with them and I have cooked on Wolf ranges before.

This is great-- just the kind of response I wanted. More,please!?!? :D

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 8:18AM
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On the Samsung fridge, please consider skipping the water-in-the-door model. Those are the first things to break, and they take up a lot of room in the fridge. If you really like the water-in-the-door, of course get the model you listed; just be aware of that issue.

Can you clarify - is your rangetop 36" or 48"? What hood is on your list of appliances? For the gas rangetop, keep in mind you will need a 48" hood over a 48" rangetop. Also, since you want a griddle, a good hood is even more essential. If it's a 48" hood, consider whether you may be foregoing needed upper cabinets for it (depending on the size of your kitchen). If you are, then perhaps the 36" rangetop would fit your needs. You can buy an accessory Chef King griddle for it, which many on this forum prefer. Whatever hood you choose, it will require proper ductwork; most hoods need an exhaust duct that is 8" or 10" diameter.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 8:51AM
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For what it's worth, my last SZ was the 42" side by side. The new 36" FD has about the same fridge space as the old one. The freezer is a bit smaller but is the same size as the over under model. The difference between my old fridge and my new one took a couple of weeks to get used to, but I have to say that I love the width of the new one. I can see everything so much better, no bending required to get my produce which is now at waist level and I can put wide platters in there for parties. The freezer is also wider. I found the narrow width of the side by side to be annoying sometimes. I would really keep a open mind. I know that there are diehard side by side partisans out there and I used to be one. But I am an over under convert now.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 9:19AM
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While Chef King griddles give you more flexibility, they are heavy and awkward for somebody with a bad back. The built in griddle will be a better choice for you if you will use it frequently.

Depending on what you use them for, griddles may or may not require extra hood cfm capacity. They won't be like a built-in grill, but if you use the griddle for searing lots of burgers, steaks, etc., they can put out a fair amount of smoke. For that 48" gas rangetop/cooktop, you definitely want a range hood. Also, do talk to your builder about whether you will need make-up air because 48" hoods can really move a lot of air. (Threads here often use the abbreviation "MUA" if you want to research the subject.)

I would not put much stock in ratings by JD Power. They tell you virtually nothing about long term reliability and durability. Kind of like asking somebody if they are happy with product X because it looks good and didn't break on the way home. That said, the Consumer Reports annual membership survey got 82,000 responses on refrigerators purchased since 2007 and showed Samsung SxS with best in class reliability, tied with Whirlpools which have been the most reliable. That may not be saying much because the defect/problem rate is 14% (one in seven). This is significantly higher than for other types of fridges but is probably a reflection of the very high proportion of SxS fridges with through-the-door ice and water dispensers. As akchicago says, these things are statistically trouble-prone. OTOH, I have friends who view the ice and water dispensers as absolutely essential and think of cold storage as a nice extra. FWIW, everybody I know who has a Samsung SxS or FD (five families) has been very pleased with them.

One other consideration with large SxS fridges -- all of them, not just Samsung --- is that their compartments are deep and narrow. Reaching back into the rear depths might (or might not) be a consideration with your back problems. If it is a problem, you might want to consider shallower "counter depth" models.

A couple of suggestions about the Bosch SHX55 which I think is an excellent choice for a dishwasher. (I have a very similar SHE55 model). First, if at all possible, I suggest seeing one in person and making sure it won't be a problem for you and your dishes. The loading pattern is a little different than you may have been used to. I have no problem with it, but there have been some complaints here. Second --- and this applies to any dishwasher, not just those by Bosch -- if reaching down into dishwashers might be a problem for your back, consider a custom mounting where it sits higher off the floor. (Maybe have a coffee-making station above it, or have it built in a shelving stack where it can sit higher.)

This post was edited by JWVideo on Thu, Mar 7, 13 at 12:05

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 12:02PM
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I really, really appreciate all of your input,everyone! Unfortunately I can't reply to you all now because my stupid dialup internet is acting up tonight and my first two attempts at responding have "timed out". Grrrrr. I'll try again another day.

JWVideo, you hit the nail right on the head w/ a few of your observations! More later bef

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 9:55PM
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I would not put much stock in the CR ratings. It is a self selected sample of CR readers/worshipers. It is a nerd echo chamber that values made-up lab test than many times have little to do with real world usage.

JD Powers is a scientifically valid sample of people that have owned the appliances 1-4 years. Random samples almost always lead to more valid results than self selected samples.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 1:32AM
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That would be great choices you got there. You may not always have to purchase a new one when something breaks in your home. In reality, most things are protected by some type of warranty still. For instance, it can be protected by a home warranty, or maybe Sears promised to cover a lot of the things in your home. Even though you will still have to pay a service fee with a payday loan, it will be less expensive than buying it new.

Here is a link that might be useful: You may not have to fix it yourself

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 1:29AM
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