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Jan 27, 2012 07:21 AM

New Appliances

We are in the process of redoing our kitchen which means the purchase of all new appliances. Now I wish we could afford top of the line Wolf, Dacor etc. but this is not an option. We have already decided on a bottom mount Samsung fridge. I would like a built in oven with the built in micro/oven as opposed to a double wall oven and then a microwave. Any thoughts on this design set up would be appreciated. Also, I am looking for a stove top. Should I go gas, ceramic/glass, or induction. Induction is so much more expensive but I can't get over the benefits. The dishwasher is not really a big issue and any quiet brand will do. There is only 2 of us now that the kids are grown. So it doesn't need to be heavy duty. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. We have had issues with LG in the past and refuse to purchase anything with their name on it. Thanks!

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  1. We just went through this at our house, in fact, there aren't even doors on the cabinets yet, it's so recent. Over the past 30 years as home owners we have had extremely good luck with Kitchenaid dish washers and have found them to be very quiet, so our new dishwasher is a KA and almost silent. We went with a built in oven and "speed oven" combo. A speed oven is a convection/microwave and I must say I'm impressed. GE makes what is perhaps the most popular of these, but other companies make them as well and we have had poor experiences with GE appliances in the past, so we went with a Kitchenaid for this as well. We also looked at an Electrolux Icon, but it was a little smaller on the inside. We made the switch from electric coils to gas and the reason was simple, my wife and daughters make a lot of candy for the holidays and they were concerned about the responsiveness of induction and from experience were convinced about the poor performance of ceramic/glass tops as they relate to candy making (the response is just too slow). There is a wide range of gas cooktops and range tops from which to choose. We went with an Electrolux Icon range top because my wife liked the knobs on the front as apposed to on the top surface. This allowed us to get 6 burners and a continous grate surface that's in three sections. It also has a glass/ceramic surface below the grates which makes it easier to clean than many of the others we looked at. I personally try to stay away from kitchen appliances from Korea, I prefer American and European brands. If you haven't really been shoping yet and haven't bought appliances in a while get prepared for sticker shock. Although we could have spent considerably more on other brands, these upper middle brands were expensive enough and had the features we needed. Good luck.

    8 Replies
    1. re: mikie

      Well I never thought I say this but I am "applianced out." Every store we go to it seems like they have their own personal preference and prices vary. You might get one appliance at a great price but then all the others are not deals. Needless to say I stumbled upon a Jenn-Air - JGCP430ADP gas cook top which seems like an incredible steal at $1200. It has the commercial appearance yet is for residential use. The next priced similar style is about $2000. I have searched in vain on the net for reviews and this is what I have found. It is a discontinued model (hence the deal). I could find no reviews. It comes with a warranty and parts are available. Although I am hoping not to need them. It is 30" 4 burner with the larger burner having 17000BTU's. Continuous grates. Sealed burners for easy clean up (although it is recommended you forgo this option). Porcelain for easy cleanup. Does anyone know anything about this particular model?

      1. re: 02putt

        Who recommends sealed burners and why?

        1. re: wekick

          I think I said it is recommended that you forgo that option. The rational is that it cuts down on the BTU's. But it does make the surface top easier to clean. I found this on a website that was rating other higher end stove tops. Bluepoint, DCS etc. Do you disagree? The site also said to look for clear flames and ones that comes out of the burner and then straight up to the pan/pot for the most heat. I have never been able to accomplish that restaurant style sear on my steak indoors and now realize it is because the stove top I currently have does not have enough heat. (It is an electric glass top).

          1. re: 02putt

            I looked for a reference to BluePoint and could not find it. Maybe it was a Blue Star range? The BS has a star shaped open burner and the flames do indeed shoot straight up. Very hot.

            1. re: dcrb

              Sorry dcrb, I think I got you a little confused. I was researching what to look for in a gas stove top. And yes, the site I looked at recommended the Blue Star. One of its features was the flame. I wish but a little out of my price range (no pun intended) as we have 6 other appliances to buy as well.

              1. re: 02putt

                When we redid our kitchen, we too had to decide. The fridge and dishwasher stayed since they still worked well. We went with the BS. We purchased new a Frigidaire microwave, wall oven and warming drawer from an outfit that sells on eBay. Saved quite a bit. Good luck. We put what we would have spent on a new fridge and dishwasher toward the range. It helped some. Good luck.

            2. re: 02putt

              Sorry I meant who recommended you forgo sealed burners. I would just say there is not one type of burner that is best. There are many claims made about appliances without one iota of scientific evidence. These are just accepted as fact by many people. Even the burner ratings given by the manufacturers are their own calculated numbers. The best burner configuration for you is going to depend on how and what you cook as well as the size/composition of pans that you use. Clean up is a matter of personal preference. You can get a sear on almost any burner if you use a heavy cast iron pan and really heat it up. It holds a tremendous amount of heat. This may not be a good idea on a glass top though. Restaurants sometimes will use an infrared broiler to get that sear. The flame on a sealed burner is deflected a little but not as much as some would lead you to believe. This may be a more even heat for some people. Also besides the high end of heat, many will want to consider how good the burner is for low heat. What is the low end of heating, in BTUs? Some will give a temperature which is a meaningless number that will vary according to pan and what you are cooking.

          2. re: 02putt

            Jenn-Air is a Whirlpool brand, as is Kitchenaid, Consumer Reports typically isn't all that hot on either brand, just in general. When we were applaince shopping (over a year) we did look at the Jenn-Air collection and liked it for the most part. There weren't any deals that we found during that time on what we needed in the Jenn-Air line, so we ended up with different appliances. We ended up with the Electrolux Icon rangetop. It was around $2000 and is a 36" 6 burner with two duel flame 18,000 BTU burners. If I could have found a Jenn-Air at the discount you found, I'd definately go that way. I spent a fair amount of time looking for reviews and for the most part they are difficult to find. Consumer Reports reliability survey is probably as much information as you are going to get, and it's not model specific. Good luck.

        2. I would recommend going with a separate oven and microwave. Otherwise, you run the risk of the microwave breaking and having to replace the whole unit. Both my sister and I had oven/mircrowave combos--mine didn't work as well as it should and my sister's broke and became an extra storage cabinet, with the working microwave on the counter. She just did a major redo of her kitchen and had the separate microwave built in above her new wall oven. Looks very nice and she saved a bundle because the cost of the microwave so was low. Years ago, an appliance guy told me "Don't mix technologies." I thought that was good advice.

          1 Reply
          1. re: escondido123

            I didn't clarify why splitting the oven and microwave were important. Microwaves seem to have a much shorter life than ovens...luckily if they are separate they are much easier to replace and the cost is lower for the original and the replacements that may follow. Hope that clarifies.

          2. We put in a new Kitchenaid EQ (extra quiet) dishwasher two years ago, and would not recommend it. The main reason we bought it was because we liked the extra silverware tray that slides out above the top rack. Unfortunately, unless all your glassware is very short, it won't fit. We had to remove the tray.

            That's bad enough, but the worst part is that the pins are positioned in such a way as to make it very difficult to load, especially the top rack. Things tumble over or just won't fit. The bottom rack offers no flexibility in loading.

            One thing in its favor is that it is, indeed, extra quiet. That's fortunate, as it takes three hours to do a load. Though I can't blame that on Kitchenaid, as they all are like that these days due to the $&*%^$ing government messing in our kitchens.

            1. There is so much freedom in designing kitchens today. The only limit is one's imagination!

              Induction: Design wise they give you the freedom of making your kitchen look sleek, modern and minamalist or you can set an induction cook top into a counter surrounded by a big ornate carved chimney that doulbes as a vent hood and get that "castle" look, or anything in between. I bought my house and renovated the kitchen before moving in. That was a bit more than six years ago. Because of budget concerns, I went with a ceramic cook top on the island, black glass set in black granite. I love the look but have regretted ever sice that I didn't go the extra five or six hundred bucks (prices then) for the induction cook top. As a result, I now have a $900.00 black ceramic electric cooktop that serves as the support for the 1800 watt Max Burton stainless steel induction hot plate that I paid just a little over a hundred bucks for on It runs off of 110V power so I have to use it only on specific kitchen outlets designed for that load.

              ***IF*** I was doing my kitchen today, I would give very long and very serious thought to NOT installing a cooktop at all, thus avoiding an additional fee to have a hole cut in the new grante counter top. I would keep the powerful vent hood over the island, then do several power outlets -- maybe even one or two in 220v electrity -- all around the island and picking up three or four induction hot plates and reserrving one of the island storage drawers/cabinets to store them in when not in use. If I'm not cooking on four burners, why have four burners out? It would also give me the option of clustering them close together should I want to make a 30 inch diameter pan of paella! Hey, you never know! Single burner 2,300 watt induction hotplates are available for 220v outlets. And if one burner/hotplate goes, it's cheap an easy to replace. I can't say that for my ceramic cooktop!

              Addressing your reservations about induction for candymakers, not to worry! My 1800 watter is amazing! It is MORE responsive than gas! The biggest curiosity about my particular induction hot plate is that my cast iron and Le Creuset are a LOT more responsive than they ever were on either gas or electricl I alsohave had to learn to use them at much lower power settings than I use when they're on the ceramic cooktop or I will cremate everything! Curiously, I can use higher settings when I use induction friendly stainless steel Fagor pressure cooker and MIU cookware) than I can use with cast iron. I haven't yet tried the "adaptor trivet" that came with it that will allow me to use my copper pots and pans on it, not to mention my Swiss Diamond skillet I "saved" money on by not buying the induction ready model. Using the MIU induction stainless steel saucepans, it will bring 16 ounces of water to a rolling boil in 1 minute and 52 seconds at a power setting of 10. That amount of water in the same pan takes over five minutes on the ceramic cooktop. Give up your reserations about induction and candy making! If you ever watch Eric Ripert's PBS show, "Avec Eric," he uses an induction cooktop on that show and I'd be surprised if the Le Bernardin kitchens are not induction as well. Induction is also very big in European commercial kitchens. In other words, if you can't stand the heat, you no longer have to get out of the kitchen; just convert to induction!

              Ovens: I went with two separate ovens that are mounted to look like a double oven. I did a LOT of shopping and comparisons. I considered a convection oven with a built in rotisserie. I also considered a steam oven in addition to the convection, but nobody makes a steam oven (OR built in espresso maker) that is plumbed to deliver AND drain water! Thanks, guys, but if I wanted to risk scalding myself draining the damned oven I can do it a LOT cheaper than that puppy! But if it had been TRULY "automatic," I'd have been there.

              Ulitmately I went with GE. I know it has a bad rep with some, but every company makes a lemon now and then, and since I am so very prone to buying lemons (call me Mrs. Murphy, of Murphy's Law fame!) I decided the odds might work for me. I went with the Trivection oven that cooks with straight out old fashioned thermal heat, or with convection that can be set for cooking on one, two or three shelves, or with thermal, convection and specially seated microwave that works without burning out the magnatron if I put something in the oven in a metal pan. I found that out one Thanksgiving when I forgot and put the turkey in a metal roaster and used the trivection setting. The metal pan shielded the spine and the back of the turkey, so I had nearly raw back and perfectly done breast! I remembered to use a glass roaster the following year. Trivection delivers a perfectly cooked, wonderfully juicy 25 pound turkey in 3 hours, which means you have to do a lot of juggling to have the rest of the meal ready by the time the turkey has rested and is ready to carve!

              My other oven is an Advantium, but they have seriously changed the design since I bought mine. About six months afterward, to be exact. Mine cooks with microwave and/or halogen light, which is good, but the new ones include convection instead of halogen, and can also function as a warming "drawer." Given my drughers... Advantium ovens now come in a multitude of models, many for 110v electricity. The 220 model now runs around $3,000, and as soon as I win the lottery, I'll switch out! I've had no problems with any of my GE choices, as in two ovens and a ceramic cook top. I despise (with a passion!) my Maytag side-by-side counter depth refrigerator freezer. Poorly designed and poorly made, but I'm stuck with it. It's like a bad marriage. As to dishwashers, just make sure the control panel is not placed so it will accidentally be activated when you open and close the door to add more things. Mine does and it's a pain!

              Good luck with your decision making. If you make no mistakes, that will mean you can also tap dance on water! '-)

              1. Scroll down on this post to plllog's post for a list of what you cannot do on induction in case any of these things matter to you.
                My sister just bought a whirlpool "quiet partner" DW that she does not like.

                1 Reply
                1. re: wekick

                  I was curious about your link and what cannot be done on an induction burner and I can't agree with his list. I've used my Lodge reversible two burner griddle grill on my single unit induction hot plate twice now with fantastic results! My flat bottom wok works fine but does it work as well as a gas super-blast commercial grade dedicated wok burner? Of course not, but I don't have room in my kitchen for one of those. The only thing I've found I can't do on my induction unit is use my copper pots and pans without using a ferrous trivet. I have one but haven't tried it yet.