Return to the Appliances Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

Posted by DCJersey (My Page) on
Sun, Oct 7, 12 at 16:41

I am in the process of selecting appliances for my kitchen remodel. I have already chosen my dishwasher (miele class or crystal depending on pricing) and MW (Sharp Insight Pro KB6524P). I need help selecting a counterdept french door fridge and an induction range.

Given the limited number of options for an induction range, I have had an easier time doing my research. My wife does not like the looks of slide in models (though I prefer them) so it looks like we are going to go with a freestanding model. I was leaning toward the GE PHB925STSS but the power of the burners seems underwhelming. The Maytag and Whirlpool models seem to have better specs, but how reliable are these brands when it comes to making ranges? I am particularly intrigued by the new Kitchenaid range. Overall we are looking to spend under $2500 but could go up to $3000 if necessary.

When it comes to fridges I am absolutely lost. We are looking for a french door counter depth fridge with extermal ice/water. We prefer models with 1 freezer drawer over two. Our main focus is on the fridge portion rather than the freezer as we have a large chest freezer in the garage. We would like to spend not more than $3000. How do LG's rate? What brands have the best reputation?

Thanks in advance for advice!


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

I can only help with the fridge. I did an LG on my last remodel a few years ago. Ice and water in the door. It has worked flawlessly and nearly silent. LGs are also sold EVERYWHERE so you can get a great deal on one. Home Depot and Lowes are always doing 10% off plus you can get another 5% with a Lowes card. Local appliance stores may be even more competitive.


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

Here are some things to consider about the ranges:

I know very little about the Maytag, Frigidaire, or Whirlpool induction range models, which were not available when we bought the E'lux slide-in a little over two years ago, so won't comment on them. The Viking is over your budget.

The KA induction range is still new, and may be a gamble unless you can wait a bit (for reviews) before buying. I see that its hobs have more power (compared to the E'lux), but the E'lux's power seems fine to me. Try cooking, or even just boiling water, with some of these brands at a local appliance store, to learn better how their differences work for you. Things like noise, features, and how you select or change heat settings may make the choice among these more clear.

The link below compares features of the KA, E'lux, and GE induction ranges. Note that the GE has four induction hobs plus one warming (non-induction) hob, but its oven can't proof (?), while KA has the largest oven, but lacks a probe and removable door. Some who bought the E'lux expecting two ovens were disappointed; the lower one does a little more than a warming drawer, but not much. How and what you bake (etc.) may determine how you feel about the various trade-offs among these brands.

Fer sure, whatever you decide, post a review and tell us how it works out for you.

Here is a link that might be useful: KA, E'lux, & GE induction range comparison


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

Thanks for the replies. I have been using ajmadison.com to do most of my research as it seems they have the best specs for each appliance. When it comes to the range, my main problem is I am not exactly sure how to balance all of the qualities of the appliances. The Kitchenaid seems to offer the best combination of what I am looking for at a good price, but no one seems to know anything about it because it is so new. The GE seems underpowered, but the powerlisted on the link provided is not the power of each hob when it is on boost mode.

I hope not to be buying any appliances for a long time so I want something that is reliable and has features that wont leave me longing for something newer with bells and whistles in the near future.


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

Boost is temporary, running for just a few minutes, and normally limited to one of two hobs on a given circuit at a time. I'm guessing that the power listed should be the normal power that can be maintained on all hobs for hours, not the boost amount; hopefully this is true for all brands.

Saying that the KA seems to offer the best combination of features contradicts wanting to get something reliable -- not that the KA isn't, but its so new there isn't much information on its reliability. Can you wait a few months so others buy the KA and you can read their reviews?


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

I have been using the AJ Madison website a lot for research, but I just can't come to a conclusion as to which range to purchase. The KitchenAid looks great except for the fact that no one seems to know anything about it, not even the kitchenaid website! Which brands in general are viewed the most favorably? Do most people here with electric ranges have the E'lux?


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

I think the only two (well, three) predominate units for the last few years have been the Elux and the GE (and the Kenmore). Both LG and Samsung were late to the party.

This Whirlpool variant is something new. The wattages given by the comparison above are misleading for the KA. They are giving boosted power, not 'regular' power. If you go to the KA site and look at their 30" induction cooktop, you can see what the 'regular' power settings are. This looks like an LG unit in that the left two elements can be 'bridged'.


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

If the KA wattages are the same as the wattages for teh cooktop then that definitely knocks the KA down a peg in my estimation. Seems like it would be best for me to go with the GE or Elux then I guess.


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

I just took a look at the kenmore ranges on the sears.com site and kenmore.com site. Unfortunately they dont list the power of each hob. Does anyone know?


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

Do not know the answer to DCJersey's questions, but going back to the KA induction stove, I just noticed that it is being listed for sale in more stores including the website for the Albert Lee Appliance chain in Seattle. The stove still has not appeared on the US webstie for Kitchenaid. Albert Lee links to a specification sheet but has no links for an owner's manual and details remain skimpy. For example, the fine print on the spec sheet says that the image shown is not the actual product. (It seems to be one of the regular radiant electric stoves.) The specs say that there is an 11 inch, a 9 inch and two six inch burners but the wattage ratings (should be watt-hours) for the larger burners on seems only to list e the boost power, per the complains above.

The sizes and apparent layout of the burners seem rather similar to the new Samsung NE595 induction range with the ovens seeming to be similar to those on Samsung's NE597 induction range (although the KA oven is said to be .3 cu. ft. larger). Makes me wonder if Whirlpool/Kitchenaid has out-sourced production.


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

Going back to DCJersey's question about CD fridges, there have been several recent discussions here which would be helpful. A search will turn them up. Beyond that, I offer the following suggestions.

First, actual reliability data is pretty skimpy. The only readily accessible info I know of is the Consumer Reports annual membership surveys. The most recent survey results were released a couple of weeks back. For FD fridges, they show Whirlpool/Kitchenaid with an 11% defect rate in the first five years (up from 8% in years past). Samsung comes in at 14% and LG at 16%. GE has had a terrible reputation from when it outsourced its fridge production. However, in July it started fridge production at a new factory in Louisville, KY. Those models should be reaching dealers about now and may be worth a look. (For unexplained reasons, CR did not rate Electrolux/Frigidaire in the latest survey. Maybe too few CR members bought that brand of CD/FD units?)

Second, you probably know that external dispensers are the most trouble-prone components. If you compare LG's FD fridges in the CR survey, those with external dispensers generated a 16% problem rate but those without them showed only a 10% rate.

For me, external dispensers on CD fridges are also undesireable because they eat up the already skimpy space in the fridge compartment. Large CD fridges in your price range are rarely over 22 cu. ft. capacity. Door-mounted dispenser/freezer units take out the door shelving and push into the interior shelving. On the other had, I have friends for whom the fridge is merely a nice add-on to the ice wand water dispensers.

Third, Whirlpool's Kitchenaid brand is the only line of fridges that were within your budget that come with a ten-year warranty on sealed-system components (compressor, and etc.) Everybody else only goes five years and some go less. Basically, they want you to buy an extended warranty. Apparently, Whirlpool builds that cost into the somewhat higher prices they charge for their Kitchenaid fridges.

I mention this point because pretty much everybody (including GE) has now outsourced their warranty service. The quality of service varies from area to area and from adequate to abysmal. (The contract-servicers in my area have such a bad reputation that I refused to even consider an extended warranty when I bought a FD fridge earlier this month). Besides the usual problems with contract warranty service, both LG and Samsung have had difficulties with parts availablity which has further compounded the ire of customers who needed service. Check out consumeraffairs.com for tales for horror and woe with warranty service on many brands.

Fourth, CD fridges tend to be less fridge for more money. How extensive is your kitchen remodel? If the budget allows and it is feasible, you might condsider having a refrigerator nook recessed into a wall. This would allow you to choose a standard depth fridge but have the doors set as they would be with a counterdepth unit. This would give you the chance to pick fridges with capacity and flexibility at less expense.

Fifth, something to consider is crisper performance, and specifically, how well the crispers maintain humidity. This plays a big role in keeping greens fresh. Samsung has a separate evaporators for the fridge and freezer compartments, which should help with freshness but I have not seen much confirmation of that. You might check www.refrigeratorinfo.com where they actually test that function. (Unfortunately, they have actually tested only a few fridges. IIRC, they did test a Samsung and also tested a Kenmore that was made for Sears by LG). If you have access to Consumer Reports, you may find some mention of crisper performance in the individual model discussions (you have to go into the ratings and doubleclick on the model you are interested in). According to both CR and refrigeratorinfo.com, all three makes have pretty good to excellent temperature performance.

Sixth, what kind of fridge capacity are you looking for? Most large CDs are about 22 cu. ft. For that size range with TTTDs, you might want to consider KitchenAid Architect Series II KFIS20XV (about $2800), Frigidaire Gallery Series FGHF2344MF (about $2500), Samsung RFG237AA (about $3k). My recollection from my recent research is that only smaller LGs were within your budget. I believe I saw an Electrolux model, possibly at AJ Madison, which was reduced to about $2400 or so.

Finally, there is no substitute for actually seeing some of these units in person. Take some boxes and containers with you to get an idea of how things will fit. Check out the lighting. Some of these units will have LED lighting which is fine for some folks and repellant to others.


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

Also, check out the link below for GW discussion of Samsung FD/CD fridges.

Here is a link that might be useful: Samsung Fridges


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

I love my elux CD french door fridge - I wanted ice/water through the door but after looking at the chunk out of the fridge, I decided I could live without this feature. I do have ice in the freezer and really hasn't been bad without the water through the door.
Everything stays fresh and items fit well inside of it.

Love my Miele DW. When I shopped for the DW and the fridge, I brought my kitchen with me - pots, plates, glasses, trays etc - the appliance folks all came to watch and loved it!

I have a Wolf induction - still a learning curve - not sure if I am a fan or not - and I was geeked for induction and practiced with a small burner for a year.


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

i have the full size samsung french 4 door with water and ice maker in the door ...I love it , it quiet , its beautiful and has plenty of room ...I bought last December and have had zero issues ...I highly recommend it ...I also have a induction range ..Ive cooked on gas and regular electric , I will never go back to either again ..The range of control is amazing ...just my 2 cents worth ...


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

I've been meaning to respond for a few days, but have been a bit busy. Thanks for all the information regarding fridges! I'll address your points in the order you present them.

1) Reliability- I agree that reliability information is skimpy. It seems like you either have to rely on CR stats or anecdotal info from online reviews and this site. I don't know how much weight I put on the different results of the CR survey as they state that differences of less than 4 points aren't meaningful, so it would seem that whirlpool/kitchenaid and samsung are equally reliable while LG is marginally worse.

2) External Dispenser- I am aware that having an external dispenser increases the likelihood of something breaking. Unfortunately, this is non-negotiable according to my wife. I am not concerned about the loss of fridge space as we barely fill our current full size fridge, but I guess that could change as we have kids. Nevertheless, the fridge we buy will have ice and water in the door.

3) Warranty- So kitchenaid offers a longer warranty, which seems like a selling point, but really isn't because the warranty service providers are horrible? How counter-intuitive. I've never been one for buying an extended warranty. Do you think they are worth it for the fridge, especially given the fact that it will have water/ice in the door?

4)Value- Unfortunately, recessing the fridge in the wall is not a possibility as the wall the fridge will be on backs into the garage. I know CD fridges are more expensive, but I think it is worth the cost for the look I want.

5) Crisper Performance- I have not given a lot of thought to this, though it is something I will be considering going forward. According to CR, the LG has good crisper performance.

6) Price- The LG model I have been considering (LG LFX25991ST) is on sale at AJ Madison for almost $3500, but I have found it for sale for $3150 from HH Gregg, and during the Columbus day sales a few weeks ago it was below $2900. This fridge also has 24.6 cu. ft. of space so it is a good size.

Overall I think I have settled on the LG, but I will definitely be giving the Samsungs a closer look. Now if only I could figure out with induction range I want!!!


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

I have the electrolux slide in induction and couldn't be happier. It is so quick
to boil water. I put up 4 cups of water on power boil and it was boiling before I
finished measuring 2 cups of rice! The oven bakes perfectly. I love the slide out
racks. And the self clean works like a dream. I also have a GE gas range - profile and the electrolux boils faster, adjusts flame better, and bakes much better. Its temperatures are accurate. The simmer on the electrolux is excellent. In fact I was planning to buy either a blue star or capital range and now feel I no longer need to do so. (The only thing the electrolux is missing is the grill, but I am finding the broiler is excellent - although not the same.)


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

1) Yup.

2) As I said, the external dispenser is crucial for some folks and not others. Having one does increase your range of choices in fridges.

3) >>>"Do you think they are worth it for the fridge, especially given the fact that it will have water/ice in the door?"<<<

No. I just bought a 22 cu. ft. KA with internal ice and water (which I may or may not use). I checked on the cost of the parts for what I figured might go wrong (other than sealed system components). I figured that the failure of a circuit board or door gasket or fan would cost me less to fix than the cost of an extended warranty. It all looks like work I can do myself. But, even if I have to pay somebody, I would rather pay the very competent, highly experienced local appliance repairman (whom I know) rather than put up with abusive idiocy of service from the Sears subsidiary which seems to hold most of the warranty service contracts. (See the long-running thread on A&E which has just had some recent additions to the tales of woe.) What I want from the longer term KA warranty is the parts for the sealed-system components, which can be expensive. If a compressor dies in the first five years, I'll negotiate to get the repair and replacement done by the local guy. After five years, the warranty only covers parts, anyway.

4) You have recognized the trade-offs. Additional reasons to consider a CD fridge can be use of kitchen space and "traffic flow." Soemtimes I think choosing between appliances comes down to choosing trade-offs.

5) LG crisper performance: FWIW, Refrigeratorinfo.com's highest rated fridge is a Kenmore that is a rebadged LG. Refrigeratorinfo.com rated it excellent on crisper performance. CR testing apparently showed a little less humidty control on the CD and gave this model a "good" rating. Near as I can tell, the difference between "good" and "excellent" is that good means being able to keep lettuce unwilted for 2-3 weeks while "excellent" may mean 3-4 weeks.

6) Price: holiday sales are the best times to buy. And, for no reason apparent to me, the discounts can be surprisingly good on particular models. I wound up with my KA/FD because the Columbus Day price for that model was less than the price on the other fridges I had been considering.


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

>>>"Now if only I could figure out with induction range I want!!!"<<<

Because of what you said about a CD fridge, I am assuming that you have somewhat limited space in your kitchen and that is why you are looking at a range. (If you had a large enough space and the available electrical capacity, I would suggest considering a separate oven and cooktop. But, it is hard enough sorting out ranges, let alone adding even more choices.)

I recently went through the mill of selecting a new stove. My old stove, a ten-year old GE dual fuel had to be replaced when it controller board died. From my research, I can offer the following info for you.

KENMORE:

The more expensive Kenmore induction ranges are rebadged Electrolux units. The not-quite-so-expensive ones are made by Samsung. The least expensive Kenmore induction range was a rebadged Samsung FTQ707NW, a model that Samsung has discontinued in its own product line. The Kenmore version was still on offer at my local Sears when I was last in there during Labor Day weekend. It may have been discontinued since then. Reviews are mixed and some early adopters ran into circuit board and other component failures. There are some postings here on the Kenmore models, but I do not recall many of them.

WHIRLPOOL (INCLUDING MAYTAG AND KITCHENAID)

The Maytag and Whirlpool models have their larger burners at the rear of the cooktop with a cooktop control panel in front between the two smaller burners. I find this inconvenient but somebody with small children might see this as a safety feature. Because the burners are in the back near the thick backsplash, there will be limits on pan sizes. (I don't think you could could fit a canning kettle or similar large stockpot, if you do that kind of thing.) I have a personal prejudice against control surfaces being on induction cooktops because of experience with with the previous generation of induction stoves (from a couple of decades ago). They had problems with spills on the cooktops. A lot of folks now seem to prefer cooktop surface controls, however, and the old problems may have been rectified.

Both the Maytag and WP models have convection ovens and offer a lower-temp self-cleaning feature as well as a standard self-clean cycle. Basically, you pour 16 oz. of water on the bottom of the oven (you can do this because of the hidden baking element). You close the door and run a self clean cycle for 40 minutes. Then you wipe out the oven. So far, reviewers were not impressed with the lower temp self-cleaning feature.

I see that the Maytag and Whirlpool induction ranges are now being sold through Costco. Becuase of Costco's longstanding "satisfaction guaranteed" and "no questions return" policies, this can be a good thing if you get lemon.

THe WP and MAytag models claim to have 6.2 cu. ft. ovens. I am not sure how they actually measure that capcity and cannot say if those ovens's usable capacities are actually any larger than the 5.9 cu. ft. that Samsung claims or the 5.2 cu. ft. that GE claims.

Whirlpool also markets a different induction stove under the Kitchenaid brand. The dearth of information on this new model has been discussed in earlier posts here.

SAMSUNG

Samsung used to offer the FTQ307 which was the least expensive (in the US) induction stove and which had (to me) a peculiar burner layout with controls on the cooktop. Early models had problems with a noisy cooling fan but that apparently was fixed on later production. There is a relatively recent thread on this model, started by somebody who got an amazing deal on a close-out floor model. (Northcarolina is the screen name that I recall for that thread.)

The FTQ307 has been superceded by two new models, the NE595 and NE 597. These have been available in Canada for about a year but were only released in the US a couple of months ago.

These have more conventional burner and control layouts than the FTQ. The NE595 is a basic model with a more conventional burner layout and all controls on the backsplash. During holiday sales, at least, it can be the least expensive induction range in the US. It was down around $1250 at Best Buy over Labor Day weekend. The front right burner is a 12-inch diameter burner which seems as though it could handle very large stockpots and canning kettles but which (I've read) may not work with pans smaller than 8-inches in diameter. It has a a third element "true" convection system with multiple fans.

The Samsung NE697 adds more features (such as warming drawer) and an interesting burner layout with more power. The right side burners are an 11-inch diameter burner in front with 6-inch diameter burner burner in the back, in front of the usual free-standing stove's backsplash. On the left are two square burners, each nine-inches on a side. They can be operated together as one very large burner (for griddles and and stockpots) or as two separate nine-inch burners. When operated together, both of the square burners can provide boost power.

The Samsung stoves have some oddities, such as an oven preset for chicken nuggets. The also have a 120v electrical outlet on the top panel, which is something that used to be common on electric stoves but is not seen so much any more.

Because of my budget and because it was readily available (important because my old stove had died), I looked pretty hard at the Samsung NE597. The things I found particularly attractive were the oven features and that the cooktop layout seemed to offer a lot of flexibility.

I have read, but have no first hand knowledge, that Samsung induction burners can be fussy about centering pans and pan coverage of the induction burners. I started a thread on the question but nobody had enough first hand experience to say how fussy the new units' burners are.

Both Samsung models have hidden bake elements and offer a "steam clean" self-cleaning function. It works like the Whirlpool steam cleaning described above except that it calls for less water (10 oz. instead of 16) and less time (20 minutes versus 40).

When I was looking a couple of months ago, I had to go to Samsung's Canadian website to find the manuals for these stoves, but that may have changed now. Also, back then, the stoves were only carried in the US by Best Buy, but they now seem on offer from others such as PC Richards.

One of the nice touches in the manuals for the Samsung stoves is that they have explicit and clear tables explaining how burners are linked and how power settings on on one burner affect the other linked burner. (Basically, the only time one burner's setting affects the other is when you want to run the other in boost mode.)

ELECTROLUX (& FRIGIDAIRE)

For several years, Electrolux has offered a freestanding and a slide-in range. I have not seen the free-standing on offer recently but the slide-in has received considerable and mostly favorable discussion here. Both Avidchef and Chac-mool, who posted above, have the slide-in. Both have posted in many of those threads with useful information.

The slide-in seems to be available for around for $3200 although I have seen sites that advertise it at as much as $3600. If you need or want side-panels or a vent-riser/backsplash (basically converting the slide-in to a freestanding version), stainless-steel side panels cost about $130 each and the backguard is about $100.

My recollection is that both Electrolux stoves claimed to have 4.2 cu. ft. oven capacity. It seemed fully as large as the 5 cut. ft. capacity of my old stove and plenty large enough for even a 20# turkey. Other makers claim larger capacities which may matter to some people.

The slide in has a good burner and control layout, very good convection functions in the oven, and a second oven in what would otherwise be a warming drawer. I am not sure if the the bottom oven runs on 240v or 120v current. (A 120v oven would be like a countertop appliance, useful but not quite a full-fledged second oven.) Chac_mool or Avidchef can answer that for you.

The E-lux slide in seems to be one of the induction models favored here at GW.

What used to be the Electrolux free-standing is still on offer from Sears as a Kenmore (for roughly $2400-$2600) and a somewhat revamped version now seems to be offered by Electrolux's Frigidaire division (in the "Frigidaire Professional" line) for roughly $2k at AJ Madison and others. Near as I can tell, the main difference in the current Frigidaire free-standing induction stove is that the oven capacity is now claimed to be 6 cu. ft. rather than 4.5 cu. feet claimed previously. I guess they made the warming drawer smaller.

User reviews on the Kenmore and old Electrolux freestanding have been mixed due to some cricuit-board and controller problems with some of the early production.

Frigidaire also offers a slide-in "hybrid" meaning that it has two 1.8 kwh induction burners and three standard radiant burners. I recall that GW had a thread discussing hybrids which should turn up in a search. This unit seems to go for around $2500.

CR's reliability surveys do not have a report for Electrolux electric stoves and put Fridgidaire at about mid-range with a 10% defect rate. There is no separate listing for the induction stoves. Several people, mostly early adopters, have reported failures of controller boards and Electrolux has apparently bought back a couple of slide-ins with multiple board failures. CR downrated the Electrolux slide-in apparently on the basis of the relatively high price and middling baking performance. As far as I can tell, CR does not use convection features when measuring baking performance. One of the tests evenness while baking (multiple racks of sugar cookies) seems to be the very kind of thing at which convection excels. Reports here indicate that the convection function works very well. So, I would discount CR's rating on the baking functions.

GENERAL ELECTRIC

GE offers two induction models in its "Profile" line: a slide-in (price ranges from $2450 to $2850) and a free-standing induction stove (price ranging from $2150 to $2500).

Both models have swoopy styling that some people like and others do not. Both models have black side panels, much as is the case with the Samsungs, the Kenmores, the Maytag (and I believe the Whirlpool and KA models.) This means that the GE slide-in can function as a freestanding model. GE does not specifically offer a back-guard/vent for the slide ind. I've been told that the $200 backguard/vent-riser for the GE Cafe stoves will fit but have no confirmation of that.

Pretty much everybody --- at least everybody who likes induction stoves --- agrees that the GE stoves are excellent products.

The free-standing model is CR's highest rated stove. The slide is is very similar except for the relocation of the control panel to the front and the elimination of the rear vent-riser backsplash. GE told me that you can bridge burners with griddles and grill pans. They also told me that the cooktop will work with large stockpots and canning kettles. They volunteered that they recommend against deep-fat frying in very large pots because of the weight and heat. (I don't know about you, but it had not occurred to me that, in my home kitchen, I might want to fry chicken in 20 quarts of oil. Apparently, somebody before me asked about that.)

Again, there are numbers of threads here about the GE induction ranges which can give you fairly detailed information so there is no need for me to repeat it here.

As with all of the current models, long-term durability is an unknown. CR does not break out reliability data specifically on GE induction stoves. FWIW, the CR surveys show GE and its Hotpoint sub-brand have the smallest problem rate with electric stoves, about 5%.

The only problems reported by GW users so far indicate that several folks had problems with the large burner malfunctioning on slide-in models purchased in April and May of this year. You will see discussion of this in the long thread on the GE slide in. GE apparently is covering those problems under warranty.

The other problem that I am aware of with the GEs is that the user manual is a generic one for smoothtop electric stoves. It barely even mentions that GE sells induction stoves. In contrast, Samsung and Electrolux have model specific manuals which seemed pretty useful to me when I downloaded them.

VIKING

The Viking is the only other induction stove that is readily available in the US. There is a long thread on this model. It was started by luv2putt last spring when his Viking was delivered. Search for "racing red induction" to find the thread.

The Viking apparently works very well. It has a good burner layout with spacing wide enough to be able to run 4 large pots at once (something I find useful, but YMMV). It is the only domestically available model with knob controls. It also is the only domestically available induction stove that can be had in colors. (For example, as name of his thread says, Luv2putt got his stove in a bright, flaming red.) Luv2utt and several others report that their stoves have been excellent and reliable. This indicates that that Viking may have -- at least for this product --- turned the corer on its quality control problems which put it par with reputations of the makers of high-end Italian sports cars.

I looked at the stove and immediately thought, I want one! However, the stove weighs nearly 500 pounds. It costs nearly $7k. (The price is even higher if you want a finish other than stainless, white or black). Viking's manual is pretty good but contains a number of idiotic weasely statements and warnings inserted by folks who obviously knew nothing about induction. Those things raise flags about the efficacy of service and support should they be needed. In short, those concerns and the absurd, budget-busting, trophy-stove price put the Viking induction stove out of the question for me. YMMV.

SUMMARY:

My personal take on all of this is that the stove I would pick depends on the budget but, once I decided on budget, I would be looking at a variety of stoves, some induction and some not. I would pick the stove which was within my budget and which had the mix of features and trade-offs that I liked the best. (In my case, my old stove died and I had to get something right away. A gas stove just barely nosed out the Samsung NE597 on the day I had to choose. YMWV.)

Hope this helps with sorting through your choices on induction ranges.


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

Wow, JWVideo! I came over to this forum to learn about induction ranges, and I just have to say that I feel like you gave an excellent seminar on the subject. What a great and generous contribution you made. Thank you for all the time and effort to type out something so thorough and truly helpful! Wow again!


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

I agree, this is incredibly helpful. Thanks!


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

JW posted a very complete and excellent review of induction ranges. One thing he noted is that the electrolux was down rated because of its baking. I own the electrolux and am an avid baker. The electrolux is the fourth range I have owned and I have owned many top rated ranges. THE ELECTROLUX BAKES BETTER THAN ANY OTHER RANGE I HAVE OWNED. Every recipe is finished in the recommended time. Each recipe is perfectly cooked. I honestly cannot say enough good things about the range. I paid the extra money for this range and feel it is worth it over the long term. The slide out racks work beautiful. The oven is well lit. I enjoy the second oven - or warming drawer. I generally use it for
warming but it works well for casseroles.
The self cleaning works better than any other range I have owned. I believe the models made for other companies like sears do not have the porcelain blue interiors and easy slide racks. I don't know if this has changed since I looked at those ranges. The ranges made by electrolux for the other companies when I was purchasing electrolux branded name looked and felt cheap. I don't know if that has changed. I would say this, a range is a long term purchase and if one assumes one will own a range for 15-20 years then the extra expense over the long term, IMHO is well worth it. BTW, if it is of interest, electrolux has shabbos mode which I know GE did not have at the time of my purchase. Shabbat mode allows one to over ride an automatic 12 hour oven shut off if one needs to keep the oven on for a longer period.
The burners are extraordinarily responsive. Boiling is quick. The simmer
equals a blue star.
Good luck in your purchase. I hope users of other ranges will chime in. I want to emphasize that I am very critical of most of my appliances and I have no complaints about the electrolux slide in induction.


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

I have narrowed my selections down to the GE and Electrolux freestanding models. The electrolux is about $400 more than the GE. I believe the differences between these two ranges are that the Electrolux is generally more powerful (disregarding boost mode 2 hobs at 2400 watts or more vs. 1 hob at 2400 watts on the GE), has an over drawer (vs. warming drawer on GE), slightly larger oven (5.7 cu ft vs. 5.3), and sliding racks (vs. regular racks on the GE). Are there any other differences I should be aware of? Are the better features on the Electrolux worth paying and extra $400 for?


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

That bottom drawer has 'issues'. It's not that great an oven, and IMHO should not be considered as one. It is a drawer with delusions of grandeur.


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

How much value to place on the differences between the E'lux and the GE really depends on how and what you expect to cook (bake, etc.) in your new range. Because you haven't said anything about that, its a difficult question to answer...


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

Good to know that the bottom drawer is not something that should be taken into consideration in my decision.

As for how I would use the appliance, the stovetop portion of the range is more important than the oven for us. The Elux seems to offer hobs with more power (2500, 2400, 1900, and 1500 watts) vs. the GE (2400, 1850, 1850, and 1300 watts). I dont have a lot of cooking experience on induction so I am not sure whether this is a big difference.

The oven will be used, but we are not avid bakers and do the majority of our cooking on the stovetop rather than the oven. We do some sort of baking about 5-6x a year, roast a whole chicken or turkey maybe 4x a year, and do general cooking using the oven about 4-5x a month. That being said, if the oven of the Elux is vastly superior to the GE, I would take that into consideration. The rollout shelves also intrigue me as they might make it easier to baste a chicken or turkey, but I dont cook a large bird all that often.


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

Whether or not to consider the E'lux's lower oven depends on what you want to use it for. The lower oven can be useful for a frozen pizza, as long as you use a pizza stone -- it certainly pre-heats more quickly than the larger oven. Its less useful for anything over a few inches high, or that rises higher than that, or anything sensitive to heat variations in its lower element. And its close to the floor; that may be (or become) awkward, for some people.

I don't see a big difference between the two brands' power levels (or ovens), but don't actually know because the GE isn't available here -- or it wasn't, last I looked.

It may help to actually feel the gliding oven racks -- or have your wife examine them, if she'll be cooking a turkey in there. Especially with heavier loads (not game hens), that feature could make a difference for someone that becomes increasingly worth-it over time.

A difference you didn't mention is the oven controls; E'lux has a perfect turkey button that greatly simplifies cooking a turkey. Perhaps GE has this, or may offer other control options more useful for the baking/roasting (etc.) you'll be doing.

Its possible that, in the end, these models are pretty much the same. Weigh the difference in price against any benefit(s) you see in the more expensive model, prorating that benefit over however many years you expect to have your range.

Or maybe one of them will go on sale, or you realize one fits better with your kitchen decor, and your decision suddenly becomes much easier.


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

Avidchef has provided some useful additional information.

Apparently, I guessed right about discounting the CR rating for the E-lux slide-in's oven.

On Shabbat/Sabbath modes, I can confirm that the GE induction stoves do have a Shabbat/Sabbath mode. I suspect that every stove with a controller board and touchpanel controls will have a Shabbat/Sabbath mode.

On self-cleaning, it is good to have confirmation that the E-lux self-clean function works well. (Some brands, such as Kitchenaid, have had a bad couple of years with reports of self-cleaning frying the oven electronics or tripping over-temp protection and making the oven lock-up.)

On baking drawers, I'm still not clear if the Elux has a full 240v circuit or just a 120v circuit. I know that GE's Cafe stoves (freestanding stoves that look like slide-ins because they do not have a backsplash) also have lower drawers that act as baking ovens. Those are operated on 120v circuits, so they act more like countertop ovens. Except that you cannot make toast with those drawers. That's because the heating elements are on the bottom beneath the drawer. I suspect that the Elux's drawers work the same way. Useful for things like casseroles, as noted by Avidchef, but somewhat limited.

When Weed says that these lower drawer ovens "have issues" that means there were numbers of postings here about problems with the lower oven overheating the floor and being pretty short and cooking unevenly. These discussions will turn up with a search.

For adamdoc, I would say not to get hung-up on burner power ratings and sizes. It is more important to look at what and how you will be cooking.

The practical cooking difference between the GE's 2.4 kwh induction burner and the Elux's 2500 kwh induction burner struck me as a negligible power difference.

For some people, the power ceiling might matter less than the differences in size. The GE big burner is 11-inches in diameter where the Elux's is "only" 10 inches in diameter. My experience with induction (and coil stoves, too, for that matter) is that heat tends to concentrate in the pan area immediately above the burner and the effect is more pronounced as the power is turned up. Pans vary in their ability to even spread high heat from a small burner. For some people, it might be better to have the burner that heats more of the bottom of a 13 inch canning kettle than having an extra .1 kwh of burner power. Likewise, if you like using a large stove-top griddle --- say, for example, one of the 14x23 carbon-steel ChefKing units than some folks here favor --- you might find it easier span the GE's two, equal sized, 8-inch 1.85 kwh burners than you would by spanning the Elux's 8 and 7 inch burners.

On yet another hand (are we starting to look like Shiva?) if you wanted to run two large frypans at very similar high heat settings for searing large quantities of stuff, you might indeed find it useful to have the E-lux's 2.5 kwh 10-inch and 2.4 kwh 8-inch burner. Bear in mind what was said about heat maybe concentrating: you might have a fine time with an 11-ich fry pan on the Elux's 10-inch burner but maybe have some cooler out edges of an 11-inch pan on the smaller 8-inch 2.4 kwh burner. Most manufactuers suggest a rule of thumb for even heating that your large pan diameter be no more than one-inch larger in diameter than the diameter of the burner.

But again, very few people will be running frypans on full-power 2.5 kwh induction burners because, at that power, it is a very quick trip from caramelized to cabonized.

And, for somethings, it will not make any difference if you pan is much larger than the burner diamter. An example is boiling water in a large stock-pot. Uneven heating won't make any difference because there is nothing to burn.

I recall some discussion of this a couple of months back. Here's the link if you want to check it out:

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/appl/msg0612233530792.html


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

Made my last post before seeing chac_mool's posting. Excellent advice.


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

Oooops. I referred to admadoc rather than DCJersey. Sorry.


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

As he said, power is not really the issue. The sizes and placement of the hobs is more important.


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

Hey JWVideo , You never cease to amaze me with the amount of info you post ...You do a valuble service for those that dont have the time to surf the many websites to gather info ... And you bring up valid questions ..
So DC , i will only add that I highly recommend playing with working stoves and their controls..They are different ...Its what finally swayed me to pay more for a range than I did for my New Honda Accord in the 70's... And I cant tell you how wonderful the roller bearing sliding racks are ...My late wife would have loved these for all the baking she did ...it took me months to make final decisions on my appliances ...Did I spend more than originally thought , yes ...Do I regret any of it , no .. because it brings me pleasure ..And i guarantee you will love induction, no matter what brand you settle on ...Even the external water and ice maker that i swore i didnt want on a new fridge , that I ultimately bought because the sale was to good to pass up ... cant believe how much I use it ...again just my opinion ...Enjoy the frustration of the process, you wont regret the fulfillment of your decisions ...Brad


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

Extremely helpful info here. Thank you!

So CR criticism of Electrolux (score 73) was because of the smaller lower oven issues. That would be a non isssue for me. What do you make of CR ranking the Samsung FTQ307(89) on par with the GE Profile PHB9255P(90) and Kenmore Elite 97203(89)?

That Samsung model is the discontinued Samsung that northcarolina scored on clearance. The newer Samsungs supposedly have a more 'normal' burner layout - but the left side has square burners and that isn't seeming too normal to me...


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

CR seems to have downrated the Elux slide-in on the non-convection baking test of the main oven and because of the high price of the stove. The lower oven did not figure in the testing.

Note that CR gave a much higher rating to the Kenmore which is the Elux freestanding version with a Kenmore label. Theoretically, it is the same main oven as the slide-in, so it is unclear why the freestanding gets an excellent rating for non-convection baking but the slide-in did not.

In your thread on replacing a Viking DF with an induction stove, I've given you more info on the Samsung NE597's square "Flex-zone" burners. Basically, they can work together as one very large 3.6 kwh burner or separately as two individual 1.8 KwH burners both of which can be power boosted at the same time. IOW, the arrangement allows the NE597 to simultaneously run three burners on power boost if you are so inclined. AFAIK, all of the other induction ranges in the US only allow power boost on one right side and one left side burner at a time.


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

What about the Jenn-Air induction cooktops? I just bought a 36" unit with two bridge elements (JIC4536XB) - I believe it is a very good model, but haven't used it yet (kitchen reno not even started yet, but I started buying appliances!). Does anyone have thoughts on this line or model?


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

Updating the above, I ran across the manual for the KA induction mentioned in the oP. Lowe's is now offering the stove and has a link to the manual. The KA website still has no info on the stove.

Here is a link that might be useful: KA Induction Range Manual


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

Strangely, the GE appliances website no longer lists the less expensive version of the free standing inductions range (model no. GE PHB915SDSS) What the heck is going on here?!?


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

Not sure what GE has done with their website, but when I just checked it listed only the slide in and the older freestanding PHB925 (with a list price boosted to $3k) and has no mention of the newly released PHB915. Apparently, they have released the new stove to vendors like AJ Madison but, like Kithcenaid, have not updated their own website.

The original model, the PHB925, is now being priced by AJ Madison at $2600 (used to be $2250 a couple of months ago) and Lowe's is now asking $2800 for it (up from $2550 a couple of months ago).

The new model, the PHB915, has a similar layout and mostly similar specs (except that AJ Madison is listing the standard KwH ratings for the "925" burners and the "boost" ratings for the "915" burners.) The 915 seems to have a bit more black on the chassis and bit less brushed metal (but still has the neo-Jetson "cat-eye" styling on the oven). There does not seem to be a "proofing" function for the oven but GE added an additional "steam-clean" function so that there are two modes for oven self-cleaning. Somebody here reported that the new model is slightly shallower in depth than the old one. AS Madison has it listed for under $2k. AJ Madison has a link to the manual for the new stove.


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

THe PHB915 was originally listed on the GE website, but seems to have been removed. Thats whats confusing me. I wonder what they are up to.


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

I'm considering purchasing the new KitchenAid induction range and I was wondering if anyone has any information good or bad about it. There don't seem to be too many reviews yet. I like the burner layout better than the Whirlpool.


 o
RE: Help with Appliance Selection- Induction Range/CD Fridge

Let me suggest you start a new thread because I'm afraid your question is so deep in this older thread that your question may get overlooked buy anyone here who actually has bought one these stoves, Putting the model number in the title of post may help; "KitchenAid Architect Series II KIRS608BSS induction range."

In the meantime, a couple of other observations.

1. This stove's self-cleaning oven function is what Whirlpool corp. calls "Aqua-Lift." (Used on various KA, Whirlpool Gold and Maytag ranges.) There have been a couple of threads here from disappointed owners. Something to research further.

2. KA/Whirlpool induction cooktops have been getting write-ups for problems with producing annoying noises when in use (clicks, buzzing, squealing). Another thing to research further.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Appliances Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here