choosing appliances for kitchen remodel
Posted: 29 April 2010 12:19 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I am getting ready to remodel my kitchen and am in the process of selecting appliances.  I’m getting closer to making some decisions, but I’m still confused.  Consumer Reports online and comments made by people on sites tend to conflict a lot and I’m not sure what to believe.  I thought where better to turn than to people that actually bake and cook!

I have seen a thread with a little discussion about ovens, which has helped, but I’m looking for thoughts specifically on the Kitchen Aid convection/conventional oven.  I will be getting 30” double ovens.  Surprisingly, I found that there are different size cavities depending on brand and Kitchen Aid’s cavity is the same as my current oven.  I don’t want to lose even an inch in width!  Also, please tell me if you feel that there is a better oven.

A little different from actual cooking, but still in the kitchen, is the refrigerator.  I’m considering a French door style with the freezer on the bottom and also an icemaker in the door.  I’ve read about problems with the icemakers, but does anyone have this style and been happy? What brand and model of refrigerator do you have?  I currently have a side by side in the kitchen.  I also have an extra refrigerator/freezer in the basement that fits platters.  I have an extra full size freezer as well. (We stock up a lot and have large family functions at our house often.)

Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

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Posted: 29 April 2010 12:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Well congratulations on getting a kitchen remodel!  I cannot speak to the oven, but I can tell you that I love my French Door Refrigerator with freezer on the bottom.  The freezer section seems to have so much room.  Mine, a Kitchen Aid model, includes the ice maker in the freezer with filtered water inside the refrigerator door.  I opted not to get the ice maker on the door.  But I live alone so frequent access was not necessary.  I think you might appreciate the space you get from the french doors as opposed to the side by side. 

Have fun.

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Posted: 29 April 2010 08:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Congratulations on the remodel!  We have undertaken extensive additions and renovations in our house, and the one thing that has made the most difference for me was the kitchen, it is well worth while. 

Afraid I’m not much help on ovens, mine is too small inside, has too many hotspots, and wasn’t durable (convection heating element gave out after less than three years).  If I remember correctly, Patrincia has a KA, you might send her a PM.

I just got back from a week of cooking in my mother’s kitchen, and she has a french door with freezer below.  Two things I noticed, first, the cheese and veggie drawers were wide enough so that you had to open both refrigerator doors to access them.  I found this a little bothersome since I frequently had things in my hands and didn’t have both hands free to open two doors at once.  Second, hers was deeper than counter depth, so I was doing a lot of searching for things that were behind other things. 

Personally, I prefer a counter-depth fridge, both for asthetics and so that you aren’t loosing things in the way-back.  I also prefer a fridge with just one door, the extra step of opening the second door was bothersome to me.  My fridge is a Lieb Herr 30” wide counter depth with freezer on the bottom.  If someone told me I could do a complete overhaul of my kitchen, it’s the one appliance I wouldn’t change.  I have the second model listed on this page:  http://www.liebherr.us/us-hg/en/products_us-hg.asp?menuID=108624!345752-0

Good luck with your remodel!

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Posted: 29 April 2010 09:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Congrats on the remodel.  My sister is doing her’s right now as well.  I also have the Liebherr refregerator. Due to the lack of space in my tiny apartment, this fit the best into the space.  I have had problems with the ice maker.  I gave up on fixing it and I just put some ice trays in the freezer.  I do have the freezer on the bottom and I LOVE THAT.  Better than the side by side for sure.

I have a Viking range.  DO NOT GET A VIKING RANGE.  The burners seem to present multiple problems.

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Posted: 29 April 2010 01:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Not sure whether I should congratulate or commiserate on the remodel - I’m at the tail end of one, almost done with the kitchen, but now had to empty out the entire living floor because my hubby insisted on a refinish of the bamboo floors. Ready to move back in!

Thoughts on the fridge: We were thinking about a French door one, but where our fridge is located it really doesn’t make sense because we have a large prep area to the right of the fridge, and I would have always had to work around the right door, do we decided to get a left hinged bottom freezer. (I’ve attached a picture, the fridge goes on the left side of the back wall). Like Julie, we decided for a counter depth fridge for the aesthetics. I looked at a few bottom freezer fridges, and most of the ones with a water dispenser had a large area inside taken up by the ice maker for the door, such as the LGs. We ended up with the Fisher & Paykel fridge with water dispenser - it does not use any fridge space, but it also doesn’t dispense ice, which isn’t a problem for us. Bottomline: Think about your workflow when you make your decision.

Thoughts on the oven: I have a DCS all gas range with griddle in our cabin in Tahoe, and I love it. It’s so much better than my electric oven - forgot which brand - that I have in the kitchen here (which will go back in). I’m getting the same cooktop in the new kitchen, I love the burners, and the fact that the griddle is steel, not some anti-stick surface.

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Posted: 29 April 2010 02:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I haven’t had any problems at all with my Liebherr, but then I didn’t get the ice maker as I only use ice in July-August and I think I remember consumer reports saying that nearly all refrigerators with ice makers had higher repair rates.  Give me a sturdy, clean-lined workhorse that never breaks down over a feature-filled, high-maintenance appliance any day!

Silke, your kitchen is coming along nicely, it looks so much better than the last photo you shared!

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Posted: 29 April 2010 02:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Silke, I love your feature window, is it stained glass, and is it a new addition?  I am pleased to tell you my kitchen is finished!  I love it, my cooker/stove is dual fuel, the ovens are electric and my hob is gas, I always prefer a gas hob, it is so easy to control.

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Posted: 29 April 2010 04:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Thanks Julie and Jeanette. No kidding that it’s looking better…. The end is in sight! The stained glass window came with the house, as did many other very cool things, mainly a spiral staircase made out of the redwoods that had to go to make space for the house, and beams out of an old wooden bridge in Northern California.

I’m with Julie on the keeping it simple theme. We definitely wanted an ice maker, though, and the F&P was a good compromise as the ice maker is very small and it’s down in the freezer compartment, and not taking too much space from my quarter cows and pigs and lambs and chickens….

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Posted: 29 April 2010 04:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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i absolutely adore my kitchenaid french door bottom freezer.  i really can’t explain why anyone ever thought of putting the freezer on the top!  similarly, the side by side fridges are completely useless, neither the freezer nor the refrigerated section are wide enough.  the french doors are lovely as you can open only one door, saves energy and keep things cooler and stable.  put the things you most access on the door you will open the most.

i detest ice makers or water dispensers on the door, more places to trap dirt.  indeed i don’t use the built in inside ice maker nor water dispenser because ice can never taste perfect on a place that also has food, and regarding cold water, i just use my britta pitcher.  i make ice in silicone trays and are kept airtight inside a glass pyrex container.

i also have a small apartment size kenmore fridge, traditional top freezer, this is where food is stored, and the one that gets opened and closed daily.  in addition a chest freezer non self defrosting is vital to preserve cakes and cake things near indefinitely.

i used to have a kitchenaid 30” oven/convection, worked just fine.  the same makers (whirlpool) makes near identical units with the kenmore or whirlpool labels.  i rather have a much wider oven (36” or 42” enough to fit a full sheet pan) plus a small countertop oven, rather than a fixed 30” oven.  that way you can fit your hearts desire on the wide oven, yet do the quick smaller things on the smaller oven.  several cakes bake perfectly on countertop ovens.

congrats.

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Posted: 29 April 2010 07:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Avivaleah - Forgive me for not reading through all the previous comments, but I just wanted to tell you that I have a KitchenAid Convection oven and I LOVE IT!  I have the Dual Fuel Range, but if I were ever to remodel this kitchen, I’d definitely go for double wall ovens and a separate gas top.  As for the fridge, my husband is an ice fanatic so a built in ice maker is a must for us.  I’ve never had a problem with one breaking.  The last 3 refrigerators we purchased were all side-by-side models, but I’m really regretting not getting the French door style with the freezer drawer on the bottom (or at least a single door on top with the freezer drawer on the bottom).  Best of luck in your decision making.  Let us know what you end up getting.

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Posted: 29 April 2010 09:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Totally agree that the bottom freezer is the way to go. I never understood the side by side ones or even worse the top freezers - I reach into my fridge about 20 times as often as into my freezer, and cool air falls down…

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Posted: 30 April 2010 06:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Silke, your kitchen is looking very nice. I like the stained glass window as well.
I can’t really comment on which refrigerator/stove to get. I currently have a side by side Maytag fridge (Maytag sucks). When I bought the fridge I didn’t bake and hardly cook so I was only going with prize and size. My next fridge will be a bottom freezer one without ice maker for sure!

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Posted: 05 May 2010 06:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Thanks everyone for all of your suggestions and experiences!  I’ve decided to go with the Kitchen Aid ovens and probably the Samsung French door refrigerator.  I’m going to chance it (and get the extended warranty) and get the ice maker in the door.  I found out that Lowe’s carries a model that has two ice makers-one in the frig and one in the freezer.  Perfect for entertaining.  Apparently, only Lowe’s has this particular model, so I guess I’ll wait for a deal from them.

Boy is this kitchen remodel going to be expensive! smile

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Posted: 05 May 2010 06:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Yes, they tend to be much more expensive than you initially think. You may want to check AJ Madison for pricing - I got my appliances there for much less money than I would have gotten them locally.

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