Reviewing my own house – kitchen appliances

We’ve reviewed our Calacatta marble counters, soapstone counters, kitchen cabinets and wood flooring

next on deck…appliances.

When we were shopping for appliances I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY wanted some beefy, professional grade appliances. Professional appliances are the jewelry of the kitchen in my opinion. But, hot dang! They are pricey. It was a tough sell since cooking is at the bottom of likes on my chore list. I spend an hour in the kitchen preparing a meal then half the family loves it, the other half complains and just want macaroni and cheese, then meal time is over in 10 minutes and I’m left with a mess. It’s worth the 10 minutes of family time around the table but I’m so hiring a personal chef when I come in to money! :) Anyway, at the time they were giving a way a free dishwasher with purchase of a range so we went for it. We were able to save money in other places by purchasing the floor model hood for under $300. (normally $1500) and bought a floor model microwave for a song.

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The Jennair gas range / electric oven rocks! I don’t know a whole lot about BTU’s but this thing will singe your eyebrows right off your face and set your nachos on fire if you turn around for a second (trust me).

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My only complaint is merely a design element issue. The oven is operated by this digital computer face. The perfect height for a toddler. It does have a lock feature. To unlock it you simply slide the box up with your finger….totally not child proof at all. I mean c’mon. We live in an age where kids can operate an ipad, iphone and tv simultaneously at age 2. My toddler had this figured out at 13 months and to him it’s just a big ipad on the oven. We really have to keep an eye on him.

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The dishwasher has been wonderful too. The thing I’ve loved best about it is how quiet it is. We used to have a dishwasher that could only be run at night because it was SO noisy. You can’t even tell when this one is running. We did have to call a repair man once because it stopped draining. A small annoyance but the repair man fixed it and we’ve had no problems since.

Our KitchenAid Refrigerator has french doors for the fridge and a drawer for the freezer. It’s a little over 2 years now. It’s been okay…I mean it keeps the food cold and that’s what it’s supposed to do but we’ve had a few issues that have made it a bit of a pain.

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The major annoyance is that the fridge door doesn’t shut very easily. You’ve got to make sure to give it a good push to make sure it’s good and closed. AND, you have to make sure and shut the right side first or the left side won’t shut and lock properly. Not a good feature with kids (or adults). We once left the house and came back 10 hours later to find that the fridge had been open all day long and all the food was pretty much spoiled. It does have an alarm that beeps after 5 minutes but add two or three 5-minute intervals throughout a day and that’s leaving your fridge open for 10-15 minutes per day.
Over one week that like leaving your fridge open 70 – 105 minutes or 60 – 91 hours per year!
All the energy efficiency savings they claim, pretty much go out the window because the darn thing never shuts and you’ve wasted a lot of energy and money.

When shopping for a refrigerator I did NOT want a water dispenser on the outside of the door. Been there, done that and we were I was constantly wiping water drips off the face of the door. This time I wanted a water dispenser inside the fridge and the Kitchen Aid had just that.

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2+ years later, I’ve used that water dispenser only a handful of times. The water shoots out with such force that it shoots right in the cup then out again all over the place. Also, the water doesn’t really taste all that good even though it’s supposedly “filtered” and we’ve changed it three times since we’ve had it.

Lastly, the bottom crisping tray drawer has a lid that pops open when you open the drawer. When it’s open you can’t open the drawers above it or close the fridge for that matter.

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When my mom was visiting she broke the lid that opens when she opened the drawer above it. It was actually kind of cute how she revealed what she did. She said, “I broke this lid off for you because I knew it was just a matter of time before your kids did it and I wanted to take the heat for them so they wouldn’t have to get in trouble.”
I laughed out loud!
At any rate, its just another poor design problem. When I called to have it fixed under the expensive warranty I bought they said they don’t cover design flaw issues. So now I’ve got this crisping drawer that is useless.

A year back we had an issue where the freezer was no longer was cold. I’ll spare you the story because I’m sure I’ve beaten a dead horse at this point. The end result was it was covered under warranty. Suffice it to say, this fridge has not been my favorite to say the least.

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You also may remember I had my stainless steel appliances protected with a special chemical that is supposed to make keeping them clean a cinch with just water and a microfiber towel. I have liked the result but I still do use Citrushine every once in a while when I really want them to sparkle. It doesn’t have harsh fumes and makes your stainless steel look dazzling (and I’m not being paid to say that). :)

Verdict
I have loved my JennAir Range and Dishwasher and would buy them again in a heartbeat.
The KitchenAid Refrigerator has not impressed me at all and I would not purchase it again.

What kind of appliances do you have? Have you liked/disliked them? Would you purchase them again?

Comments

  1. Anna White says:

    Thanks for your insights on appliances! My MIL has that same fridge & I hate it. The crisper drawer (which still has the silly flap attached…only a matter of time until it breaks I’m sure) never shuts evenly. Add to that, she’s got every nook & cranny jam packed full, so food spoils because she forgets what she has.
    I love your range & dishwasher though!

  2. We have the same fridge…installed in our remodel three years ago. I’ve experienced many of the same problems. (We don’t mind the water tho…practice makes perfect and we seem to have less and less misses!) The other REALLY annoying thing is that the drain in the freezer somehow froze and water pooled up under the freezer, leaking onto our hardwood floors, which we didn’t notice for days and now the floors are warped. The repair wasn’t covered under warranty even though the repair person said it was a common occurrance in this model. GRRRRRR! (Plus, the freezer barely holds anything!) So, I agree…steer clear of the Kitchenaide french door fridge!

    • Argh! SAME EXACT THING HAPPENED TO US! Warped the wood floors and everything. I’m surprised it wasn’t covered under the warranty for you. What good is a warranty if it doesn’t cover things like that? How frustrating. Luckily for us it was covered under the store warranty we purchased. When the repair guy came out he said he sees this sort of problem all the time with that brand. Sounds like they need to recall that fridge, or at least the faulty part. Thanks for your comment Lisa.

  3. Sarah Ray says:

    Hi Michelle! I want to give you a big pat on the back for this entire series. I am really loving your honest, thorough reviews of your home. I imagine it’s probably really easy for someone who has built/remodeled a house to defend each of their decisions like a pitbull, but you have given wonderful, impartial reviews that I totally appreciate. Keep them coming!

  4. We have the exact same fridge and purchased it for many of the same reasons you did. We’ve had it less than 2 years and the freezer froze. It was an expensive repair and they didn’t cover it. Our door doesn’t easily close either. We have 3 small boys and I’ve found the same thing time and again when I walk in our kitchen. Your complaints were spot on with what we’ve experienced. I tried contacting Sears (where it was purchased) and Kitchen Aid with no help. We try to be careful with how we spend our money and make quality purchases. I will never buy a refrigerator from them again since they haven’t stood behind it.

  5. Michele – thanks for these posts. I am so grateful for all of the flaws and dislikes you are acknowledging b/c I have been feeling so terrible about the same things in my house but I thought they were just “my” issues. Your insight is so validating! As for the kitchen aid fridge – we have a similar model, almost 4 years old. Same issue with the doors not closing – we even had it “fixed” to the tune of $200 and it is no better. The door handle jiggles, our crisper drawer broke about a year in too. I have all kitchen aid appliances – oven, microwave, dishwasher – and I have had issues with each one and will never buy the brand again. Regardless of the flaws you are living with, I love your home and design choices.

  6. I love my Miele dishwasher. It cleans well, I do not have to pre-rinse dishes and has a sanitize feature. I killed a few dishwashers having a home daycare but this one keeps on working.

    I have a gas stove/electric oven by Bosch http://bit.ly/1g1pAOj which I would not recommend. The oven has distinct hot spots which is horrible when you are a baker. Very expensive stainless steel appliance, yet the control knobs are stainless coloured plastic! I have melted one set, I am working on a second and can see needing a third. Would not buy again :(

  7. I have the Jenn-Air version of your fridge. I think they come from the same manufacturer and only change the logo. I was laughing that your bottom crisping drawer lid broke. Mine did too. At first I was annoyed because I hate to break things but the drawer is much better without it anyway. I am sure we are not the only ones.

  8. I have a pricey Bosch frig– thought I would get quality this time. Well, the joke is on me. The counterdepth Frigadaire I had in the previous house ( that cost half of what I paid for the Bosch) was so much better. Everything worked, and it had the stainless steel coating that always looks nice. The Bosch has shelves that break easily, a bottom drawer in the frig that freezes everything, and the stainless always looks stained!! What a disappointment!

    I also got a Samsung induction stove and a Samsung convection/ microwave. I love the induction, but we will never buy anything Samsung again. They are impossible to deal with. Both appliances did not get fixed properly until the one year Samsung warranty had expired, and the store warranty I had purchased kicked in. After two very expensive repairs, my stove is working, but the convection/microwave was unrepairable. So they gave me another– guess what– that Samsung appliance didn’t work either! I gave up, and got a regular LG microwave. I just could not stomach any more hassle.

  9. Have you had any issues with the drawer freezer and your floor? We’ve been looking at them but it seems like they’re all wire basket drawers or plastic drawers with open slats at the bottom. I picture leaving the drawer open to put away groceries and being left with a muddle on the floor. Eek.

  10. StudioOne says:

    Michelle –

    For you and your readers – keep in mind that you can find the listings for ‘used’ professional restaurant kitchen appliances and frequently purchase ‘nearly new’ appliances for a very good deal. Just do an internet search for used professional appliances to get your results. But do keep in mind that these items generally will not have a warranty (but from my experience and clearly from the experiences voiced here, what good do they do???). I had my heart set on a glass-front refrigerator – found through this avenue for a reasonable price!

  11. Oh, my gosh…I could have written this review about the Kitchenaid fridge. I have basically the same model, except I do have the ice and water in the door. Upon delivery, the light in the door (by the ice maker) didn’t work…it was covered under warranty, but I saw the bill was over $300!! Say, what?! Then the ice maker quit…twice. The repairs were covered under the first year warranty, thank goodness. I quick grabbed an extended warranty, even tho’ I rarely purchase them…I mean, the writing is on the wall. I also have the same complaint about the doors closing…only my left door has to securely shut first, or the right one won’t. I only have adults in the house, and I swear at least once a day you’ll hear the darn alarm going off indicating the door is ajar. I would NEVER purchase this fridge again….ever, EVER! It looks like I’m in good company with my complaints…I was beginning to think it was me, I mean…it’s just a fridge, yet it causes me such grief! lol :)

  12. I went with GE oven, microwave, and cooktop in black. I like them except the cooktop is hard to keep looking clean – it streaks. I won’t choose black glass again because of that. The dishwasher is a Bosch which I love- it’s very quiet and does a good job. My frig is a Maytag with the freezer drawer on bottom. I have the same issue with the doors- you have to make sure they close. Plus my bottom crisper drawer had the same lid and it too broke off. The ice maker is tiny. Not in love with this one; I liked my side by side better.

  13. Pam Fisher says:

    A few years ago we purchased a GE refrigerator. It was quite a lemon. At the same time we were having issues with it my friend was having same issues with her GE. When the same problem happened for the fourth time (thankfully the other 3 replacement parts were under warranty) we bought another fridge.
    Having a large family I wanted a bigger frig. We bought a Whirlpool that has 29 cu ft. I am in love. I pat it everyday and tell it so!! It has french doors and we have not had trouble keeping them closed. The stainless wipes down very easily. I love the huge shelves in the doors-holds tons of salad dressing, ketchup…..It is very well made, the drawer to the freezer is spacious and sturdy. My favorite part may be the large drawer at bottom of frig. It holds so much. Did I say I love my refrigerator??

  14. Thanks for the last few posts, great feedback info and very informative. Loved the post on the marble countertops….I’ve been daydreaming of using marble in my kitchen for years now….defin rethinking that after reading about your experience! Cabinet post was great too, thanks!

  15. My parents have that fridge and I want to scream every time I’m there. It NEVER shuts tight and those produce drawers on the bottom are ridiculous. My kids make a huge mess with that water dispenser because you do have to hold your cup just right or it goes all over!! You’d think they would have fixed these things by now!! Your reviews are so helpful and I’m rethinking my upcoming kitchen cabinet choices. Thanks again!!

  16. I love this series, Michelle, and your honesty! We built our home almost 8 years ago and all the major appliances have been great except for the trash compactor and it’s KitchenAid. Our son who is an expert on this kind of stuff said the quality of KitchenAid went down drastically when it was bought out by Whirlpool in 1986. The motor has been replaced twice, the switch twice and a couple of other things that I can’t recall but lots of service calls. However, it’s an appliance I use every single day and I wouldn’t be without one. At the time it was one of the few compactors that had a ‘solid pack’ function switch which we liked so I highly recommend a compactor with this feature otherwise they are pointless. Our fridge, oven, cooktop and microwave are all Whirlpool Professional Series and we have not had a problem or a service call once in over 7 years with any of them. I love our Bosch dishwasher! It’s very quiet, does a great job and we’ve never had a problem with it.

    • I’ve heard a lot that Whirpool is a very good brand. Thanks for your comment. Def. going to check that brand out next time I shop for appliances.

      • Oh, wow, it was late when I typed out my comment and I MEANT Frigidaire Professional Series, NOT Whirlpool! I’m sorry if I confused you or anyone else!! Hands down, I think Frigidaire is better than Whirlpool!

  17. Michelle, Now I know where you get your sense of humor from……I am having my lunch at my desk at work..and laughed out loud reading her explanation for the broken lid.

  18. I just found your blog and am enjoying reading through so many posts. I love your kitchen! We redid our kitchen twelve months ago in our 1946 home. The previous owners had remodeled in 1984. I tried to go with style that would match the era of our house. We put in an AGA, and it is the best cooker ever!! I knew I would like it, but I absolutely love it! I never want to move now, haha. So nice to “meet” you, and I look forward to reading more.

  19. Ok…I have a Samsung french door fridge (which we love…btw). A few mentioned the water freezing and the doors not closing. We didn’t have the problem with the doors but we ended up with a frozen water puddle. It was covered under warranty, no damage…not a big deal. But the repair guy said in order for the fridge to work properly it need to have a slight tilt, about a half inch tilt, raising the front to allow the freezer to drain properly and the doors shut automatically. The model I have has adjustable legs on the front. It was an easy fix. Guess, what the doors automatically shut now! They weren’t hard to shut before but now they shut like those fancy soft-close drawers.

    Long story to say…..this information was NOT in the owners manual. Why I have no idea. Apparently, it is an important detail.

    Karina

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