appliance shopping is fun and the worst

I am rather firmly planted in the online shopping camp. My Amazon shopping history includes everything from batteries, to paper plates, to kayak paddles. But, you really can't buy kitchen appliances online. Or at least I can't. I need to see all the nooks, crannies, and details of my big purchase before I pull the trigger. I need to turn all the knobs, pull out all the shelves, and push any buttons.

All that being said, I only care about the oven. I barely care about the refrigerator and dishwasher. I'd like to see them but I also can use my imagination. I'm not doing a built-in microwave. I don't want to loose valuable kitchen space to one so I'm using my old reliable Sears microwave from 2009 that I've been carrying from one apartment to the next. I'll be hiding it in the pantry so nobody really sees it.

Here's a summary of the appliances and primary goal:
- range // 1.5 ovens
- dishwasher // reliable, adjustable shelves
- refrigerator // can fit a pizza box, good freezer

The range / oven is where I invested all of my energy on researching. There were many things that I cared about for features but some more important than others.
  1. Oven ratio / The small oven needs to be able to fit casserole dishes, small sheet pans, cake pans.
  2. Burner configuration / None of the brands I was considering let you do all burners on the top. So you have to do a griddle or a grill as one of the options. I originally started thinking about a griddle, then switched to grill, but now I'm back to griddle. The grill sounds terribly messy to clean ... and you can just go outside to grill.
  3. No touchscreen / I just really don't like them. I like the feeling of pressing buttons and turning knobs.
  4. Maintenance history
Bonus Features
  1. Burner style / Thermador has "star" burners which spread the heat more evenly across pots and pans. In other words, a circle burner only goes in a circle... but a star burner covers more surface area.
  2. Shelf style / No reason to buy one brand over another... but I like how some of them just glide out like butter. So luxurious.
After considering all these options, it was down to Thermador and Capital Cooking. The upside to Capital is that it is less $ and still a reputable brand - but I was never able to see it in person despite going to FOUR appliance stores. As a result, I could never attest to my feelings on oven ratio.

Winning option: Thermador 48 inch, with griddle
I barely care about this. I just don't want it to be ugly. I do have things that I care about but I feel very basic about my interests - unlike the range.

  1. Good freezer space / I freeze a lot of things as leftovers for work. Admittedly, I could be better about freezer management but I just need it to be size-able.
  2. Fits a pizza box / End of story. This is important.
  3. Ice & Water dispenser / This isn't a deal breaker. I never had one until recently but I have enjoyed it. My aunt's fridge has the water dispenser inside - which I like for how clean it keeps the front of the fridge, but I'm not sure I like opening and closing the fridge just to get water.

The biggest thing with fridges is whether they are counter depth or not. I'm going with standard depth because of the freezer and pizza box needs. While it would be great for the fridge to just blend in seamlessly with the kitchen, I know that I functionally need more space than that.

I was pretty set on the GE fridge for a bit but at my 4th appliance store (Yale Appliances), I learned about the service rate of GE appliances being high. The last thing I want is to deal with buggy appliances.

Winning option: GE energy saver fridge, freezer on the bottom (might switch to Bosch ...)

I have even less to say about the dishwasher than the fridge. It just needs to work. I don't need any real bells or whistles. 

The only one that I'm considering right now is Thermador because it comes for free with my Thermador range. I didn't know they made dishwashers but they do - and they are actually the "same" as Bosch. Bosch ones are known to be great and both Thermador and Bosch have good service rates according to my research.

Winning option: Thermador Emerald dishwasher

Stores Visited:
Appliance One in Hanover
KAM Appliances in Hanover
Toma Appliances in Weymouth
Yale Appliance in Dorchester

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