I’ve had a bunch of readers send in emails inquiring as to what I deemed to be the best value kitchen appliance package in today’s market.
First of all, we need to define “value”. To me, value is going to be the sum of visual appeal, reliability, manufacturer reputation and low cost.
I scanned my lists and came up with these three candidates for best kitchen appliance package. Each one is a 4 piece appliance package in stainless with a freestanding gas range. Keep in mind that most of these emails have been centered around the $3000-$5000 price range so that’s the target I’m shooting for.
I will introduce each appliance package in a separate post, so the entire series will consist of three posts spread out over three days. First up…Frigidaire’s Gallery Series.
Frigidaire Gallery Series Appliance Package
Frigidaire_FGGF3054KF Gallery gas range
Refrigerator – DGHS2644KF – Side by side, 26 cu ft, external ice/water, ENERGY STAR
Gas Range – FGGF3054KF – 30″, convection, chicken nugget and pizza buttons!
Dishwasher – FGHD2433KF – 24″, ENERGY STAR, Quietest dishwasher in its price range
Hood/micro – FGMV185KF – 1.8 cu ft capacity
The Skinny on Frigidaire’s Gallery Series Appliance Package
A year ago if anyone asked me what I thought about Frigidaire, my answer was “I try not think about them”.
That’s changed. I’m talking a 180 degree change.
I’m blown away by the new Gallery and Professional series’ Frigi introduced this summer. I didn’t think they had it in them. They do. And then some.
Whenever I walk by one the displays in the showroom I get all warm and fuzzy. The styling, the attention to detail. The construct. And the price points…what’s not to love.
I was talking to one of my sales guys the other day and we were surmising on the lack of Electrolux business in the last few months. The reason why? The Frigidaire Gallery and Pro series are so close in looks, with a just a few less bells and whistles…why would you pay the upcharge for ELX? The comparable Electrolux range is well over $1000 more than the Frigidaire version! (Hint to Frigidaire – you need to create more separation between Electrolux and Frigi in order to justify the price splits).
What You’re Getting in This Appliance Package
Regarding the above package…you’re getting a 4-piece, all stainless package, ENERGY STAR fridge and dishwasher, convection oven and a sleek OTR micro which acts as a hood and offers a spacious 1.8 cu ft of capacity for under $3000. I did a quick scan of online prices and most authorized dealers (remember we only pay credence to actual dealerships, not cretins running 800#’s out of some bathroom in Brooklyn where they sell refurbs) were a tick below $3000. Plus you would have rebates to take advantage of as well.
Here are few links to check out regarding Frigidaire appliances:
– Frigidaire’s Home Page
– Frigidaire Gallery Home Page
– Frigidaire Professional Collection
In Part 2 tomorrow….amidst all of the hulabaloo created by the resounding success of the GE Cafe line, it seems that GE’s Profile line has been lost amidst the clamor for Cafe. I’m here to debunk the notion that Profile is old, dated and/or seen better days. Profile is relevant, somewhat sexy and provides a great bang for your buck. Tomorrow we’ll get re-aquainted with it.
A recent customer at Curto’s Appliance store was debating on whether to buy an entire kitchen appliance package now, or, just buy the one piece he absolutely needed now, and wait for the Spring for the rest of the appliances. The idea to wait a bit was provoked by his fear of the economy and thought that the manufacturers would offer better incentives on kitchen appliance packages in the Spring. My response…no way are you getting a better deal in the Spring than you are now.
The Spring time means home improvement season has kicked in, so the appliance marketplace will receive a boost from that. Plus, the govt looks like they are moving forward with Cash for Clunkers for appliances in late February, so the manufacturers won’t have much reason to provide further incentives with all that momentum going on. In the dead of winter, appliance manufacturers and dealers are looking to move product, pure and simple. Whether it’s to juice the cash flow, hit a volume quota or to clear the floor for the 2010 models, dealers are ready to deal NOW.
Plus manufacturers are offering great rebates – GE has it’s $500 back on a package of Profile or GE Cafe appliances (by the way we feel the GE Cafe line may just be the best value in home kitchen appliances right now). Thermador has its 1-2 FREE program.
Bosch is giving back $300 on a pair of frontload washer/dryer + additional monies for kitchen appliances.
The deals for kitchen appliance packages are there friends!
Had to do a post on this piece…while 2008-2009 proved to be tough shakes for appliance manufacturers, you can bet that the folks at GE Appliances are dancing a mad jig about the GE Cafe 30″ gas range – CGS980SEMSS. This gas range has proven to be an absolute rock star. GE actually couldn’t have timed the introduction any better – just as the economy was starting to slow up, here comes a cooking range which gives off a pro look, sports some pro features, but comes in THOUSANDS of dollars lower than other pro cooking appliances by brands I won’t name here. Look at the features:
– Self cleaning oven
– 18K BTU power burner and a 150F degree simmer burner
– PreciseAir convection system means accurately baked foods in a gas oven.
– Super-large capacity in the oven
– Warming drawer offers an addition 1.0 cu ft for baking 140 – 450 degrees.
GE Cafe CGS980SEMSS Gas Range at Curtos.com
Considering the MSRP on the CGS980SEMSS is $2899 and it typically sells in the mid-$2000 area (the price for the CGS980SEMSS is less than that at Curto’s) compare that with other 30″ gas ovens that are in the pro category. I won’t name names folks, you’ve been shopping around, so you know the models. The CGS980SEMSS reviews very well, also considering that customers have done nothing but rave about the piece.
The world of kitchen appliances may be bruised and battered, but there are a few pieces out there that have risen above the fray and prospered. Count the CGS980SEMSS as one of them.
Thermador appliances is taking steps to make sure they are not solely viewed as a cooking appliance company. Over the last few years they have introduced wave after wave of new products, and now they are touting their new line of dishwashers. They’ve released three new ones, dubbed Quartz, Emerald and Sapphire armed with the ability to
wash delicate crystal glasses
clean heavily soiled pots and pans
Thermador Sapphire Dishwasher at Curto's Appliances
The Sapphire dishwasher in particular offers a large and versatile capacity that can accommodate 15 place settings, more utensils, crystal and pots, so home entertainers can spend more time entertaining and less time cleaning. So after entertaining guests with your recipe for chicken rollatini in a zesty lemon and herb sauce be confident that Thermador’s Sapphire dishwasher will be up to the task of cleaning up.
So now we shift to the important stuff. Like what is the price of this Thermador dishwasher? Which appliance stores offer discount prices on it?
Well, Thermador products are under a UMRP price policy, so every dealer should be quoting around the same price (yeah, okaaaayy).
As of November 11th, prices are:
Thermador DWHD651GFP Sapphire dishwasher – $1999
Thermador DWHD630GCM Emerald dishwasher – $1299
Thermador DWHD410GFM Quartz dishwasher – $949
Electrolux has finally rolled out their new french door counter depth refrigerators without the ice and water on the outside of the door.
What Electrolux did with this fridge was create a clean, stainless look on the outside, and then they moved the control panel to the side of the door(which is pretty unique, as most appliance refrigerator companies will host the control panel in the upper portion of the refrigerator). The models sport all of the features found in the original line of Electroluc french door fridges that were released earlier this year:
– luxury-designed glass shelves
– air and water filters
– ice maker
– LED lighting
– Star-K certification
– Perfect Temp drawer in some models
The biggest advantage of the new Electrolux refrigerators is that without the ice and water in the door, Electrolux was able to move the ice machine out of the main refrigerator area. This in effect has freed up a tremendous amount of space in the fresh food compartment.
The refrigerators have literally just rolled out the door here at Curto’s so it’s early in the game to report on how they are performing in the homes, but customer’s have been very happy with the styling and other appointments. As the refrigerators gain more time in people’s homes, we’ll follow up with a performance report.
All models are available in stainless, black or white and available at Curtos.com:
Electrolux french door refrigerator at Curtos.com
Electrolux french door refrigerator with open door, at Curtos.com
When I first mentioned this past summer that Frigidaire was revising its brand and introducing a “professional series” , a few people wrote to me and scoffed at the idea. Well a few months after launch, Frigidaire has a wide smile on their face. The Frigidaire Professional range and Frigidaire Professional refrigerators have proven to be the best sellers at this point…so good that availability is getting a little sketchy.
The hottest sellers in the Frigidaire Professional Series are the following two gas ranges:
FPGS3085KF – slide in, 30″, pro select controls, self cleaning, low simmer burner and warming drawer
FPGS3085KF - Curtos.com - Frigidaire Professional Gas Range
FPGF3081KF – freestanding gas range 30″, continous cast-iron grates, warming drawer, self clean
FPGF3081KF - Curtos.com - Frigidaire gas range
Frigidaire has upped the ante style and feature-wise, and so far we haven’t heard of any problems with the series. Of course since this is a new series, we’ll remained tuned in to that point and see if any problems develop. The new Professional Series has Frigidaire aiming squarely at GE Cafe and Bosch’s revised major appliance line. We’ll see what comes of this in the pitched battle for consumer dollars.
So the Frigidaire ranges have been available for a few months now and I’m happy to say that the only issue that has cropped up is that there were some availability issues in the late Fall, but that’s been resolved now. One interesting trend that I have seen develop is that sales of the Electrolux gas ranges have dropped slightly since the introduction of the new Frigidaire Professional series ranges. We have them displayed near one another in the Curto’s showroom and consumers are saying “hey, they look pretty much the same, have similar features, yet the Electrolux range is over $1000 more expensive.”
Compare the Electrolux EW30GS65GS, 30″ slide-in range to the Frigidaire Pro FPGS3085KF. Here are the similarities:
– self clean ovens
– convection ovens
– 4 sealed burners
– 4.2 cu feet of capacity
However, the Frigidaire FPGS3085KF sells for around $1599 at Curto’s, while the Electrolux has a UMRP price of $2499. That’s quite a spread!
I know I recently posted about the Electrolux Icon E30EW85GPS wall oven, but I had to drop some more love its way. I just had customer from Tenafly, NJ call me up here at Curto’s raving about the Icon wall oven he recently purchased for me. He said his wife loves it so much that she has actually taken a liking to cooking now and has tossed him out of the kitchen, which has in turn allowed him more time to work on his golf game. Great stuff.
Electrolux Icon E30ew85gps double oven featured at Curto's Appliances
The E30EW85GPS offers many functions and aesthetics that other more expensive wall ovens feature. It offers:
– convection system
– 6 smooth glide oven racks
– wave-touch control panel display
– meat probe
– halogen lighting system
– cool touch door
– cobalt blue interior (no functional advantage, but you gotta love the color!)
– Star-K cooking mode
– delay bake
Electrolux recently lowered the UMRP pricing on this piece so now it stands at $3299.
There are comparable ovens on the market selling for $1500-$2000 more than this piece.
If Electrolux can bring other Icon pieces to the level of this oven, then that line will be a serious contender in the
mass premium category populated by GE Monogram, Thermador, KitchenAid Architect, etc. I say that because it seems that Icon
has been lost in the shuffle as Electrolux has placed their marketing muscle behind the Kelly Ripa-sponsored Electrolux line and the new Frigidaire Pro series.
In any case, check this oven out. It’s arguably the most value-laden piece on the market today.
Fisher Paykel introduced the concept of dishdrawers to the US almost 10 years ago and the concept caught on immediately with consumers. Now, Fisher Paykel has revised the dishdrawer line with some fantastic new features that have got me so convinced of their value that I’m buying one for my new home!
From a design perspective there are two flavors – one with a handle (DD24DDFTX6) and one with an inset you fit your hand into (DD24DCTX6). In both models, Fisher Paykel has increased the height of the top drawer so you can now fit up to 13″ plates with ease, making cleaning up after dinner parties a breeze.Here are some other features:
– Energy Star certified
– Each drawer is independently operated
– Offers key lock and child locks
– Up to 12 hour delay start feature
– Folding tines create flat surface so large pots, platters and bowls can fit seamlessly into drawer
– Water is pumped into detergent filtering it through gradually which ensures a superior hygenic wash without detergent burn on dishes
Fisher & Paykel offers a variety of colors – black, white, stainless and a model that accepts custom panels to match your cabinetry.
The dishdrawers are incredibly popular and I see them being purchased by a wide customer segment. They are used in Kosher kitchens, NYC apts that are space-confined and are also a popular choice in “green” kitchens due to their eco-friendly nature – the ability to only use one drawer at a time is incredibly friendly to water and electricity consumption.
The other benefit is that Fisher Paykel lowered the price on these models, so they no longer command prices north of $1200-$1300.
Fisher Paykel DD24DCTX6
Fisher Paykel DD24DDFTX6 Straight Handle
Fisher Paykel DD24DTI6 with Custom Panel, Straight Handle
In these value-driven times, I would have to say that the GE Profile WPRE6150KWT washer has turned out to be one of the biggest sellers at Curto’s Appliances.GE hit a home run with this piece. Here’s what it delivers:
– Washer priced around $500
– Energy Star-rated
– Offers stainless steel tub which is more hygienic
– Has a shortened agitator, which is gentler on fabric
– Offers a colossal 4.1 cu ft of capacity – yes, you can stuff a comforter in here
When you consider that the WPRE6150 is also rebated, it’s a no-lose proposition! This piece has cut into sales of the current king of top-loading laundry, the Whirlpool Cabrio. While the Cabrio is huge and offers several bells and whistles, it’s also several hundred dollars more expensive than the WPRE6150KWT. The consumer will determine what is the better buy.
GE Wpre6150kwt washer at Curtos.com
GE wpre6150kwt washer - Curtos.com
Thermador just snuck some changes to their pro cooking line in on me.
The Pro Harmony ranges (the 24″ deep ones that are flush with your cabinetry, as opposed to the 27″ deep Professional Series which has the bullnose).
Noted changes include :
– 18K BTU on every burner
– Fastest time to boil in the biz
– Two extra low burners rated at 375 BTU
– Black porcelain maintop
– 36″ Thermador ranges offer 5.0 cu ft capacity
– ExtraLow feature cycles StarBurner as low as 100 degrees F
Thermador Pro Harmony Gas Ranges