budget fridge and range options?

wolverine2May 6, 2013

We are doing a DIY Ikea remodel of our kitchen this summer, and countertops are the area in which I'd like to splurge. I have never had high-end (or even close) appliances in my life and have never known what I was missing, so I just want basic appliances that won't break in a year so I can spend more $ on my countertop.

I need a 30" fridge- want a single door because it's close to the wall. I currently have a basic freezer-on-top model and would like to switch to freezer on the bottom. I don't need an ice maker- again, I've never had one and we don't use a lot of ice. We are going to go stainless steel (or fake stainless- but only GE makes one in 30"). A lot of people make a basic 30" fridge (GE, KitchenAid, Maytag, Amana, Whirlpool), but I can't look at any in person because no one seems to display them- I know most people are looking at bigger fridges. I'd like to stay around/under $1500.

As for a range, I don't even know what I want except that I don't want a chicken nugget button. :) The simpler the better. If I could get a convection oven it would be great. Want to stay around $1000- will be a 30" gas range.

Are there brands to recommend/avoid for each of these?

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KitchenAid Architect Series II KBRS19KTMS $1529

IMO nicest looking fridge in this class and KA has a good reputation relative to others. If you look hard enough all brands have horror stories.

In this price range their are a lot of widgets.

I would shop by reputation of brand in large part.

Here is a link that might be useful: LINK

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 9:00PM
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In the $1k range I like Frigidaire a lot.

But if you are really anti chicken nugget button I would look at Bosch. These budget Bosch are also made by Frigidaire/Electrolux.

Bosch 500 DLX Series HGS5L53UC $1075

Here is a link that might be useful: LINK

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 9:04PM
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I second what deegeaux said. Friends with Bosch stoves like them a lot and for around $1k there is Frigidaire Gallery FGGF3054MF which has, of all things, a third element convection in a gas oven. Also has five burners if you like that kind of thing.

I would be cautious with KA gas stoves. Consumer Reports membership surveys are currently reporting a 16% defect rate in the first five years of ownership which is much higher than GE and Frigidaire products.

KA fridges , on the other hand, have a much better reliability reputation as do all of the recent Whirlpool family of products. CR's membership surveys have reported the Whirlpool-family of fridges having the lowest defect rates. Besides the KitchenAid Architect Series II KBRS19KTMS, there are the mechnically similar Whirlpool Gold GB9FHDXW and the Maytag EcoConserve Series MBF1958XE both which seem to be running about $1100 for the black and white models and $1260 for the ones with stainless doors.

They're all built in the same plant in Amana, Iowa. Both the WP and Maytage units come with icemakers, but those are easy to shut off and you don't need to hook them upto water. For some reason, the icemaker is only an option on the KA. Testing at Consumer Reports and Refrigeratorinfo.com has found that WP bottom freezer fridges do a very good job at mainitaining even temperatures in the fridge sections and do an excellent job with crispers. What you get for the extra money for the KA is : (a) digital termperature read-out instead arbitrary numeric scales ;(b) slightly better quality materials in the bins and shelves; (c) a ten year warranty on the sealed system components versus having to pay for extended warranties beyond 1 year on the other WP fridges; (d) a can dispenser; and (e) your KA stainless fridges have "monochromatic" painted gray side walls where the WP and Maytag stainless models have black painted sides.

This post was edited by JWVideo on Tue, May 7, 13 at 13:50

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 2:54AM
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You may enjoy cooking in your new kitchen a lot more than in your old. Don't limit your ability to do so by choosing borderline functional equipment simply because you don't know what you're missing. Design the kitchen for improving your experience in it. And a kitchen is primarily about the functionality of the space.

Having said that, you can still get functionality on a budget. One of the smaller KA fridges as recommended above would be a good choice. And for the range, that's where I'd look at expanding the budget a bit and looking at Ikea's induction cooking. Go buy a single induction burner to get you through the demolition stage and see what you are missing!

Pretty counters never gave you a restaurant quality sear on a steak!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 7:42AM
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Thanks, everyone, this is really helpful!

live_wire_oak, I see your point- I'm just not sure what in a range I would even want to make my experience better. We get the restaurant quality sear on a steak experience frequently, actually, because my DH is a big griller, so we have a cast-iron grill outside, and he'll cook out there in the middle of winter.

What else am I missing that would improve my experience? And no, pretty counters don't improve my cooking, but I'd rather have the same food I have now and pretty counters than an improved range and formica!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 11:15AM
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Point taken about budget.

FYI Ikea induction cooktop will run around $1k --- you then have to buy a wall oven(s) --- and may not be a good choice, It is a rebadged Whirlpool and the low end Whirlpool induction units have a not-so-good reputation for reliability, service and support, and Ikea apparently hasn't improved on the latter.

Seems like you want a range. Do you have a 40-amp 240v circuit to run an induction range? If so, the least expensive induction range that I know of (for sale in the US, that is), would be the Samsung NE595NOPBSR. It runs around $1500 but holiday weekend discounts occasionally take it down to about $1300. Highly rated by Consumer Reports but Samsung is new enough to the stoves market that there is not yet data on reliability and durability. And it does have the infamous idiot buttns including the chicken nugget button.

Ikea does sell some euro-style gas ranges. I believe the model desgnation is "FRAMTID." They used to (and maybe still do) sell a 36" "pro-style" range called a Praktfull. My recollection is that the prices for the Framtid run about $1200 for the 30" gas model and that they are rebadged Whirlpools slide-in models. I recall reading about there being some issues with parts availability and service and support. (Apparently, some of them came from Whirlpool's European factories and there was a time when the parts numbers didn't match US designations.) Maybe worth researching further if there might be some kind of package deal when purchased with your IKEA cabinetry.

FWIW, just looked up something on AJ Madison for a contractor friend and saw that Frigidaire Gallery model mentioned above is on sale for $850.

This post was edited by JWVideo on Tue, May 7, 13 at 13:47

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 1:44PM
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Cabinets are already bought- we're doing a range, not a cooktop.

I am liking the KitchenAid fridge and Bosch range mentioned above. I would go for the Frigidaire range, but I don't get the whole chicken nugget button thing and think its mere presence in my kitchen would drive me bonkers.

Thanks for the suggestions, and also for keeping them in my budget... I see so many "budget" suggestions here that are much much more expensive than what I'm looking for!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 5:10PM
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>>>" I don't get the whole chicken nugget button thing and think its mere presence in my kitchen would drive me bonkers."Amen to that.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 6:35PM
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