Range, refrigerator, dishwasher advice

TriopsMay 24, 2013

I need to buy an entire kitchen's worth of appliances, and this forum was recommended to me as one where I could get great advice about what to buy.

For a stove, I'd like a stove with:
double oven
five burners, including a power burner of 16,000+ BTU and a center oval burner of 10,000 BTU (I've only seen 10,000 or 6,000 BTU)
If I could, I'd like a bread proofing mode, but it seems that almost no double ovens have that

For a fridge, I'd like a french door fridge with:
large capacity
the shelves that can slide the front part in to make room for taller items

There's a scratch and dent store around here. Is there any brand of fridge that I could comfortably go with any of their products that fit those criteria? I saw a large Samsung there, but it doesn't say which specific model it is for me to look it up.

For a dishwasher, I'd like:
something that cleans the dishes (What I have currently is not so much a dishwasher as it is a dish degreaser.) I'm not looking to put crusty old oatmeal dishes in there, but I don't want to have to entirely handwash the dishes before I put them in the dishwasher.
adjustable tines on the bottom is a nice feature, although not absolutely necessary
I have the same question about dishwashers as about fridges in terms of the scratch and dent store.

I'd like to get the best price for whatever I get, so if anyone has any advice on how to do that, I'd love to hear it.

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Wow. Lots to think about. And good luck. You don't say anything about budget, style, gas vs. electric, finish, etc. how important is matching badges, handles, size?

There are tons of opinions from people here, and they are all good. But there will be haters and lovers for everything, so read with filters on.

We just remodeled, went with best appliances in each category that we could afford. Found a dealer that we learned to trust, and started to accumulate appliances before remodeling. That way we were not pressured to buy. Our configuration is different. We have a 30" GE Monogram dual fuel range, GE Advantium 240V wall oven, Proline hood, Bosch DW, and kept our old Kenmore Elite fridge. That will be replaced next year with a Sub Zero, if all goes to plan.

At least for dishwasher, we bought an integrated Bosch 800 plus. We were going to buy a 300 series, but dealer have us a break after 2weeks of coming in and out because they needed to move the higher end models that were not selling. This was in March, and the new Bosch models were coming out in less than 60 days.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 6:08AM
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Thanks! We're buying a condo that currently has no appliances, thus the need to buy everything.

I didn't realize how much I was leaving out. The range needs to be a gas stove with gas ovens, because that's what the place is set up to take. It has to be one piece, not a cooktop and wall ovens. Everything else should be electric.

I'm not sure what you mean by style. As for finish, I'd probably prefer black to stainless steel, because I'm under the impression that it's easier to clean, and I'd like the fridge to be magnetic, but I'm okay with SS if I can get a better deal on an appliance with it. I don't care about matching. The sizes of the spaces are as follows:
Stove, 30"
Fridge: 36.5"
Dishwasher: 24"

As for budget, it looks like a range is 1K-2K, a fridge is 1.5K-2.5K, and I can't tell whether it's worth going for the 1K dishwashers or if something in the 500-700 range will work well.

The real problem I have is how to tell what's good and what's not. If I go to Home Depot or Sears, how can I tell which is the better of two ranges that have the same general specs (BTUs on burners and such)?

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 9:45AM
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>>>"how can I tell which is the better of two ranges that have the same general specs (BTUs on burners and such)?"The simple answer is that you can't. The only way to know directly is to actually cook on the stove.

If you narrow your choices down to specific models, you can try posting a thread about each of those to see if anybody here has one and can report on it. (Putting the model number in the title of the post helps attract attention.)

You also can try buyer reviews at vendor sites like AJ Madsion, Sears, Plessers, and etc. Those may or may not be helpful to you.

Beyond that, there is Consumer Reports' performance testing and ratings. Their testing of double oven gas ranges gave highest ratings to:

(a) KitchenAid KDRS505XSS (a dual fuel model for about $2k; there is an all gas version that can be had in black, KGRS505XBL, which runs about $1800), But note that KA gas stoves have had a very high (16%) defect rate in the last few years. (Some of that elevated rate may be due to problems with self-cleaning modes frying electronics in the pre-2012 models). Also note that all of the Whirlpool brands of double oven stoves require electric power to operate so you cannot light the burners in a power outage.

(b) LG LDG3016ST: a five burner stove, rated almost as high as the KA for performance but CR has, as yet, no reliability data from its membership on LG stoves. The reports at ConsumerAffairs.com indicates that warranty service from LG is variable and sometimes problemmatic.

(c) GE JGB870SETSS ($1600). Has a central griddle burner as well as a a knob controlled oven (though with a digital display on the backsplash). GE/Hotpoint gas stoves have been the most reliable in CR's membership surveys.

AFAIK, none of the stoves in your price range have a central griddle burner with the higher power you want. The designers all seem to think their multi-ring power burners are what should be used for boiling large amounts of water or searing in a big pan. Those oval central burners are for non-stick pancake griddles (and maybe fish poachers) where you really don't need or want very high heat, anyway..

For a fridge, the space seems able to fit just about any 22 to 31 cu. ft. capacity FD fridge as long as one side is not butting up against a side-wall. (Same consideration applies to with counter-depth fridges, btw.) With standard depth fridges, the larger the capacity, the deeper the fridge will be (and the more it will project out past adjoining countertops). Generally, products from Whirlpool and Samsung have recently been showing the lowest defect rates according to CR's membership surveys. (CR is tallying the latest surveys and we should have new reports sometime next month.) GE has reverted to making its fridges here, again, and those units are supposed to be a lot more reliable than the outsourced ones from prior years.

For counter depth FD fridges, I think there was a recent posting here about Electrolux having a 22 cu. ft. capacity unit for under $1800. Don't hink it has the slide-back shelving you were looking for though.

FInding a fridge with the slide-back shelf is going to require plowing through specs. Lowe's and AJ Madison's web site can be good places to look.

The dishwashers thing is something else to research. Just about anything you buy these days will do a good job of cleaning when used with a proper detergent and rinse aid. Some do it in less time than others, and paying more for a dishwasher may get you shorter cycle times, quieter operation and more conveniences. I recall (but cannot find) a recent thread discussing and comparing the various Bosch dw lines from the base Ascenta on up. Sorry I can't find it because I think it probably answered your questions.

EDITED TO ADD: okay, I found a couple of threads that might be useful for you on Bosch models.



The search engine here at Gardenweb seems to work better when you use the one at the bottom of the page. Lately, I've had better luck going out to google or bing or ask and using a search string which includes the name "gardenweb." For example, "gardenweb + bosch + 300 + dishwasher."

This post was edited by JWVideo on Sat, May 25, 13 at 13:51

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 1:22PM
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Oh, you asked about bread proofing modes. You are pretty much limited to turning on the oven light and maybe putting a baking pan or big pyrex baking dish of hot water in the bottom of the oven. I do not know of any double oven gas stoves range that have an actual proofing mode.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 1:42PM
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Thank you for the detailed reply. It was quite helpful.

About the ranges, I read a review that said that the central oval burners that are 6K could not grill meat, whereas the 10K burners can. Is this not a realistic function for the central burner? Many of them come with a cast-iron griddle/grill pan, so it sounded like a valid concern.

Also, is it better to look for something that comes with the grill/griddle pan, or is buying something like http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/lodge-reversible-grill-griddle/?cm_src=AutoRel just as good. (And does anyone have any idea why the Lodge grill pan is good for fish, poultry and hamburgers while the Le Creuset is also good for steak?)

I saw the KitchenAid range previously, and while it has a lot of nice features, I read many complaints about problems with it, so I had already crossed it off of my list. It does have a bread proofing mode, but that's no good to me if it is otherwise nonfunctional in some way.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 12:31AM
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I've had my Bosch DW for 3 plus years and going strong.

I bake enough bread, but I just use my oven light to proof in my current electric oven.

I was all set to order my appliances on line for our up coming renno, but stopped in at our local dealer, and got great prices even with tax and delivery. One thing with our local place is that they install some appliances for a very reasonable fee, like $100 for the DW, and others for free. Make sure you online source will deliver to your unit, not just curbside.

Careful on what is scratched and dented. If it was a DW door, I would be worried about any of the electronics being damaged. Not something you can easily test. But the side of of stove wouldn't worry me.'

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 9:07AM
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