Large Kitchen Appliances Buying Guide
Choosing the right large appliances for your lifestyle can help you find your groove in the kitchen. From finding a fridge that keeps all types of food fresh to deciding on a dishwasher to simplify cleanup, think of your large kitchen appliances as your closest allies in helping you and your family eat healthy and well.
What to Consider When Choosing Major Appliances
Appliances come in many sizes to service a party of one or a large family. The capacity of each appliance isn’t the only important consideration when it comes to thinking about size. Not only should you carefully measure the space in your kitchen allotted for each appliance, but you’ll also need to measure doorframes and hallways leading to the kitchen so you know you can move your appliances into place when the time comes.
Your family’s lifestyle and eating habits will influence the kitchen appliance features you consider. For example, if fresh produce is a must in your home, independently temperature-controlled produce drawers in your fridge may be high on your list. Or if you like to entertain, a larger oven or an expanded cooktop will add value to your lifestyle. Many companies are also making technological advances in appliances, so Wi-Fi connectability and pairing your appliances with apps may also come into play.
If you want to keep your electricity bills down or otherwise go green, choosing appliances with great efficiency levels will be a priority. You’ll want to look at the kilowatt-hours used per year and the annual operating costs of each appliance when you’re comparing units. The EPA’s EnergyStar rating system will help you with your research.
Choosing the finish and color of your appliances is the fun part, but there are still practical things to consider. For example, if you have children in your home, the maintenance level of the material will take precedence. Stainless steel appliances in different colors and smudge-proof finishes still reign supreme for their long life and cleanability, but other choices in textured or smooth finishes are also available. Many appliances can also be fitted with a false front in the style of your cabinets for a seamless look in your kitchen.
There’s one thing all kitchens have in common — a refrigerator. Whether a fridge is basic or has all the bells and whistles, most people can’t get by without a way to keep fresh and frozen foods, well, fresh and frozen. Consider size, features, and efficiency first as you choose the most important large appliance for your kitchen, then choose your desired finish. See our full Refrigerator Buying Guide for a chart on average fridge sizes and capacities.
The main function of your dishwasher is, of course, washing dishes; but there are several features to consider before you purchase. Most budget dishwashers now clean just as well as their high-end counterparts, so your decision will more likely be on based run time, quietness, convenience features, finish, and price.
Convenience features have come a long way in the past few years. Some models include a soil sensor that adjusts the wash cycle according to how dirty the dishes are, ensuring the cleanest dishes in the least amount of time possible. Many have adjustable and fold-down racks, so you can modify the space for serving dishes, pots, pans or other odd-shaped items. Other features to look for include heat dry, flatware slots, filter type, hidden controls, and more.
Ranges & Ovens
While some kitchens benefit from separate cooktops and ovens, a range is the easiest way to start cooking. In fact, it’s easier than ever to choose a range that’s right for you because you no longer have to choose between gas only or electric only. Options with duel-fuel, convection, and double ovens make ranges more versatile than ever. When you find the appliances that best service your day-to-day needs, selecting a style and finish you love will feel easy. For help buying an all-in-one range, check out our Complete Kitchen Range Buying Guide.
Whether you have a busy lifestyle or just want to speed up some of your cook prep, a microwave is a modern kitchen essential. When you’re choosing a microwave for your home, your first consideration is space. Your kitchen floor plan may include room for a microwave-hood combo to be installed over your range, or it may include space for a built-in among your cabinets. However, most models will sit directly on your countertop, so the microwave size you choose will directly affect your counter space. Other features to consider include convection oven options, moisture sensors, inverter tech, and pre-programmed quick buttons that take you far beyond “popcorn.” All microwave styles come in options that range from 600 to 1,200 watts. See our Microwave Buying Guide for more microwave features to consider.
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