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Jul 14, 2010 07:40 PM

Appliance advice needed for a rusty buyer!

I need to replace all of my 33 year old appliances. I am looking at a french door counter depth fridge, a wall oven (micro/convection oven combo), warming drawer, electric cooktop, hood, and dishwasher. I am considering Jenn Aire and KitchenAid. What is your expereince with these brands? Is Jenn Aire worth the 15% difference in price? Any other suggestions?

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    1. At least for refrigerators, Jenn-Air and KitchenAid are both made by Whirlpool, as are Amana and Maytag. Jenn-Air vs. KitchenAid is like comparing trim levels on a Cadillac Escalade. And I have no idea why people insist on counter-depth refrigerators. Paying significant extra dollars to lose refrigerator space all in the name of aesthetics seems awfully silly. And while French door refrigerators are quite trendy, they are hardly necessary unless said refrigerator is in a tight space where a full-sized door can't open. But the freezer on the bottom is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

      1. I suggest talking with some of your local appliance dealers first, deciding on a few and then coming back here and asking VERY specific questions about VERY specific models. There are far too many appliances in this world for people to give you useful advice about what brand is better.

        I do however think that JK's statement "Paying significant extra dollars to lose refrigerator space all in the name of aesthetics seems awfully silly" is a very good point. In fact it might be the best advice you get on this entire thread.

        9 Replies
        1. re: Shaw Oliver

          I am an advocate of counter-depth models. I have owned at least 4 of each type. North America seems to like the aesthetically displeasing over-deep fridges that protrude into the kitchen. They needn't cost more, especially if you elect for side-by-side units.

          I admit you do miss out on that 5 extra inches of fermenting storage space. But I don't have to check the year on my frozen goods.

          I've posted these before, but this is an option...

          Cost me about $2000 for the pair - but they were a Sear's special.

          1. re: Paulustrious

            Of course people are free to buy and choose what they want, but counter-depth, and especially side by side models both contribute to the lack of space. There's a reason they are cheaper and it isn't because they are more sought after.

            1. re: Shaw Oliver

              I agree. I hate side by side models and would NEVER buy one. My mom always had one and it was always a pain.

              1. re: Shaw Oliver

                Sorry - misuse of the expression side-by-side. I should have said side-by-side SEPARATE units. They have the advantage that the compressors and evaporators are specifically designed for one job rather than trying to a compromise between refrigeration and freezing. It also means I can clean the fridge without switching off the freezer.

                I also end up with 36 cubic feet of capacity. The North American side-by-side units I do not like, especially if they have an in-door water and dispenser that gets rid of 30% of the freezer capacity and are also prone to failure.

                1. re: Paulustrious

                  Well that does make a difference! Of course with a seperate side by side unit, you need lots of space. That's basically like having 2 full size refrigerators side by side.

                  I just clicked on the photos - should have before - that is a lot of space!

                  1. re: Paulustrious

                    Yep, totally different. I would LOVE to have that arrangement if we had the room. That would be heaven to me.

                2. re: Paulustrious

                  I totally agree. AND not every household really needs that extra 5 inches of fermenting storage space (great phrase) and the additional floorspace gained by a counter-depth can do wonders for the all-over kitchen flow.

                  1. re: E_M

                    My kitchen is so small that a newer, deeper fridge is not possible. Not everyone needs gallon door storage, for Pete's sake. Counter depth models are routinely $800 more than space-gobbling full depth. Still, cheaper than remodeling.

                    1. re: E_M

                      This was our situation. I had room for the 48" wide but shallow frig. The old frig stuck out in the doorway. Some move the wall back to bring a conventional depth to counter depth but we couldn't do that.

                3. About that combo oven. My sister just spent thousands of hours---she is very thorough--researching before putting in a new kitchen. This was after living with a micro/oven combo where the micro died years before and they had to keep it because it was connected to the oven and had all the knobs. I had the same situation in my house and would not recommend it. My sister ended up getting a separate microwave that had the look of her oven, mounted it next to it and it works fine. But if that micro dies, she can just replace it and not a whole unit.....and the micro was a lot cheaper on its own. Just a word to the wise.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: escondido123

                    My mom had the same thing happen. Combo microwave/oven wall unit and the microwave died years before the oven - and it would have cost ridiculous amounts of money to replace the microwave parts - about the cost of a new higher end wall oven.

                    1. re: escondido123

                      I put my microwave next to the frig away from the range. Anyone who wants to heat up something is out of my way cooking. I do not cook with my microwave.