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Help me update my major kitchen appliances, please!

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  • Rick Mar 17, 2014 09:23 AM
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I want to upgrade my stove, over the stove microwave, dishwasher, fridge. I want stainless steel, and nice quality. All of my appliance are standard size, so no 6 burner stoves or huge refrigerators. I have to get an electric or induction cooktop, gas isn't an option. I'd like to stay under $4k for everything if possible, willing to spend more if I need to.

So far I've decided on the Bosch 500 OR 800 series dishwasher, but the rest is up in the air.

I have a Max Burton single induction portable unit and to be honest, I don't love it. I bought it because I really though I wanted to upgrade to induction at some point but unless the full size units are better, I'm leaning towards electric and not induction.

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  1. I am very accustomed to cooking on induction cooktop and I would hate to cook on anything else. There was one month when I had to stay away from home with a traditional electric stove. I bought a Max Burton 6500 and thought it could tie me over and then I'd take it home with me as an outdoor stove in the future but I absolutely hated it. The coil was so small (4" maybe?) that only the center part of the pan got heated up - uneven heating. I knew it's only 1800W so I expected it to be underpowered, but somehow the small coil made everything worse, except for boiling water. It was a horrible experience. I knew I wasn't going to take it home so I returned it instead and ate out for most of the rest of the time. IMO a hot plate is just induction 101 and by no means represents what a full stove is capable of.

    Anyway, see if there's an appliance store close by with a unit hooked up and try it out there before making any decisions.

    Good luck and have fun with the upgrades!

    6 Replies
    1. re: cutipie721

      I used a Max Burton during a remodel and didn't like it either. I've been cooking on induction for three or four years and would never go back.

      @OP, during said remodel, we got Samsung induction/convection range for around $1600 and a Samsung French door freezer on the bottom fridge for about the same amount. The DW came from Ikea (check them out if they're in your area!) for perhaps $300 and my HUGE Samsung MW/convection was around $300 IIRC. So yeah, you can do it. Good luck.

      1. re: c oliver

        Do you know which model induction range you have? I'd love to find one to test out. The Max Burton has me so disappointed that I'm anxious to try out a real induction range.

        1. re: Rick

          http://www.samsung.com/us/appliances/...

          It's pretty much this but mine is several years old so there's no boil over feature and no 'flex zone.' There was a thread a while back that the flex zone wasn't currently available in the US, just Canada. Perhaps that has changed. I would LOVE that. I WAS able to try one at an independent appliance dealer in our area. As I and others have written here and elsewhere the Max Burton is not a good comparison. I describe my 'feelings' towards induction thusly. "I wouldn't go 'down' to gas again if you gave me the most expensive cooktop plus $1000." And I sincerely mean that. Over Christmas we did a house exchange. I can't remember if the range was a Viking or Wolf but I was ready to toss it off their deck. Could NOT get the super low barely simmering that I needed.

          Best of luck to you.

          1. re: c oliver

            Thanks C. Oliver. If you don't mind one last question, do you get hot spots in your pots and pans on the Samnsung induction? That's the reason I hate the max burton, there are hot spots in the pans, you can see where the coils are located just by boiling water. I'm hoping for a more even heat like I get with my electic cooktop.

            1. re: Rick

              No hots spots, Rick. When I boil water, you start to see tiny 'bubbles' all over the bottom of the pot. If you haven't already you may want to read all the threads here on CH and also on gardenweb.com . Lots of info available. Far more than when I bought a few years ago. Again, there's just no comparing the Max Burton to the real thing. I understand from some that the Fagor is better.

              Don't worry about asking questions :)

      2. re: cutipie721

        I bought a Fagor induction burner to use and practice with. I like it very well. We are looking at relocating before too very long and in the new kitchen I will install induction. I also want the Kitchen Aid wall ovens (full sized) that have the steam injection feature. My DH bakes a lot of bread.

      3. Check to see if you can get a discount for buying more than one Bosch appliances. I own a Bosch 500 induction cook top and I like it a lot. I don't know about a stove, but I would assume it would be the same good quality.

        If it were me, I'd put in a range hood, instead of the over the range micro, with a true vent to the outside. You can then choose a micro that fits on your counter or on a shelf over your counter.

        11 Replies
        1. re: sueatmo

          +1 on the vent. We've got an OTR recirculating micro hood and will be replacing it with a vent hood that has the power we need to handle our cooking. We're used to great vent hoods and it's been a pain to be without. My only concern would be budget. If you absolutely need a microwave, a venting micro hood might be the way to go. I believe LG has some of the most powerful fans and a good feature set in their microwaves.

          If you're not familiar with them, a good venting hood can not only pull smoke out of the house, it can get rid of grease and other noxious odors in short order.

          It's possible that you may be able to forego the MW altogether with an induction range. We're going to try a week w/o a microwave at all before we decide whether to buy a countertop model. We're already using it less because of the speed of the GE induction range - so many things that used to be faster cooked or heated in the MW are now faster on the cooktop.

          I love my Bosch 800 series DW. My brother and friend recently bought Bosch after seeing mine in action. You won't go wrong with either one.

          If you buy a radiant electric range, I'd suggest one with a bridging element to make griddle use easier. It also allows you to make a pan sauce in a roasting pan, things like that. It's not a must, but it can be convenient.

          1. re: DuffyH

            We have a stand-alone hood (from Ikea) which is great. Our MW is actually a HUGE Samsung MW/convection which is in the 'pantry.' That's the big metal shelving unit that Costco sells for about $100. So for the rare occasion that I need a second oven I have it. Several years into and can find no fault. Hope that doesn't offend anyone :)

            1. re: DuffyH

              Second on the Bosch 800 dishwasher. Below is a recent appliance on counter depth fridges. We went a bit off topic on a DW discussion.

              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9687...

              1. re: beetlebug

                Just found out the Bosch does not have a heated dry function. Do you find yourself drying the dishes by hand before you put them away or does the heat from the stainless steel really dry them like the salesperson claimed?

                1. re: Rick

                  I never use the heated dry feature cause I like to conserve energy. I find them plenty dry enough the following morning or several hours later.

                  1. re: Rick

                    Yes and no on drying dishes by hand.

                    We run our dishwasher when we go to sleep and unload the dw in the am while the coffee is brewing. If I'm unloading, I put everything away bc whatever dampness there is, is minimal. If C does he, he dries the plasticware bc the nooks and crannies have some water. Mostly the lids.

                    One of the reasons why I went for the dw is because it has that new way of drying the dishes without heat. I never used the heat component in my ancient dw because I was worried that the chemicals would leach out of the plastics. So, when the dw cycle was finished, there was a lot of water (esp on the tops of the mugs). With the Bosch, we don't have the mini puddles, just some miscellaneous drops in cracks of the plastic (like the lids).

                    1. re: Rick

                      I've got a KA, not Bosch, but it has the no heat dry option, which I always use ( but, unlike Bosch, there is also a heat dry option). Like C Oliver, I never use the heat dry because I am energy conscious. Like Beetlebug, we run the DW over night. If you use DW rinse, it really enhances the drying. 90% of the dishes are typically dry straight out of the DW. We put the remaining 10% -- typically plastic containers or pot lids that have a lip that catch water -- in the dish drainer in the morning and they are dry in a few hours.

                      1. re: Rick

                        I've owned mine for several years now and never even knew the dry cycle wasn't heated. I suppose I should have, but when the dry cycle has finished, the dishes are too hot to handle. Really, they are. So I always guessed it was a heated cycle. I'll take your word for it. :)

                        I wait an hour or two for them to cool before unloading. Everything is nice and dry. Plastics might not dry, but I don't wash them in the DW, so can't say.

                        1. re: Rick

                          It really dries them if you give it some time. I run mine overnight, and they are dry by breakfast time

                          1. re: autumm

                            I ran mine about 4pm this afternoon. Unloaded at 8:30, everything was dry.

                    2. re: sueatmo

                      Agreed on the dedicated hood over the range. We opted for a Sharp range/oven/microwave drawer unit. It's got a flattop electric range (I'd have loved gas, but we live in an American Lung Association Certified Health House....and that means no open flames allowed), a small convection oven and a microwave drawer above the oven. It looks like a double oven, stacked setup, but the top part is a drawer. It works out really well for us because there's only two of us. If you had a large family and use the oven a lot, I don't think it'd be a good choice.

                      Beyond that, we went with Kenmore Elite options for the fridge (french doors, bottom freezer, internal water dispenser) and dishwasher (but you've chosen your's there) and hood. We've been very happy with them for 6 years now.

                    3. Hi, Rick:

                      My advice if you get an induction range or cooktop: (a) Only buy from a vendor who offers a "no questions" refund for a period of time to determine for *yourself* whether it's much better than a Max Burton; and (b) get the longest extended warranty that's available.

                      Aloha,
                      Kaleo

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: kaleokahu

                        a) isn't a problem with any vendor I know of and b) only if one believes in extended warranties - I don't.

                        1. re: c oliver

                          It's non-returnable at Home Depot. http://www.homedepot.com/p/Samsung-5-...

                      2. We just did all of that in the last year --

                        Stove/Oven -- Frigidaire Gallery glass-top stove wtih quick-boil and keep-warm features. *Huge* convection oven that I am in love with.

                        Microwave/Exhaust -- Also Frigidaire Gallery -- has a two-level light that gives plenty of light to see what I'm doing, and an exhaust fan strong enough to lift small children off of the ground (two levels -- holy-cow high, and very adequate low) Reheats evenly, with the requisite more buttons than you know what to do with.

                        Dishwasher -- Bosch 500 series -- love this thing. Baked-on lasagna, caramelized fond on skillets -- everything comes off, and no dripply little puddles -- it truly gets stuff dry.