When looking for a new kitchen appliance, the first instinct for many people is to spend as little as possible. Then, as they shop around, they begin to discover the amenities that luxury appliances afford—but the nagging doubt about indulging in such a purchase makes them hesitate. And they inevitably begin wondering, “Are high end appliances worth it?”
The answer, quite simply, is yes.
Because when you purchase a high-end kitchen appliance, you’re not just making a purchase, you’re making an investment both in your home and your lifestyle for decades to come. Here, Appliances Connection contrasts and compares kitchen appliances of low, middle, and high price, and the ultimate benefits which come from selecting a luxury kitchen appliance.
Refrigeration has become such an absolute everyday expectation in our lives that the phrase “luxury refrigerator” seems to be an overstatement. But with the advancements in engineering and technology, the question is no longer if your refrigerator keeps food cold, but how it stores and saves your food while keeping it freshest, longest, and with the highest efficiency. It is in this aspect that high-end refrigerators prove themselves the “coolest” option. Let’s compare.
Lower-priced refrigerators may be preferred by those who tend not to store foods for long periods of time or who don’t look to spend money on gourmet foods which tend to be more delicate in storage. So while you can depend on them to keep food from going bad, they don’t have the precision and technology of higher-end fridges. For example, the Frigidaire FFSS2615TE, while carrying modern amenities like an exterior water dispenser and ice maker, is your fairly standard modern refrigerator.
Your mid-range refrigerator is an improvement, embracing recent technological developments in both user convenience and storage technology while remaining easy to control and program. If you want a better class of refrigerator but don’t feel the need for such things like hyper-precise temperature and humidity control or surgical levels of air purity, you might prefer the Samsung RF265BEAESR, which has separate cooling systems for the refrigerator and freezer, an Energy Star rating and a Wi-Fi enabled screen, making it quite a quality refrigerator at a reasonable price.
However, when it comes to all-encompassing high-end benefits, the Sub-Zero BI36UFDO is the item to beat. This is the refrigerator/freezer for those who demand the very highest in storage quality and safety for their foodstuffs. Every aspect of the interior is both manageable and self-monitoring, resulting in pristine food preservation, every time. Whether you’re an unadulterated gourmand or simply expect the freshest, most flavorful foods possible, this is the refrigerator for you.
Wi-Fi compatible, the Sub-Zero has an air purification system that scrubs the interior air of ethylene, mold, and bacteria every 20 minutes, and a cutting-edge microprocessor control that preserves food by adjusting to your individual climate and schedule. It continuously monitors each section of your Sub-Zero for pinpoint climate control, so foods are kept at their ideal temperature. Crispers and deli drawers are strategically located near the evaporator to maintain temperatures a few degrees cooler than the rest of the unit. Drawers are sealed to lock in humidity and ensure freshness. It also has a Sabbath Mode which turns off the lights, ice maker system, and door alarm and prevents them from turning on again while in this mode.
We’ve all heard the saying “there’s no limit to what you can do.” Well, when it comes to cooking ranges, that’s not exactly the truth. The abilities and full potential of a range oven and cooktop are vitally important, and there is only so much even a skilled chef can do with inferior equipment. So if you’re in the market for a new range, why limit yourself? Today’s high-end ranges are more than just a source for heating ingredients—they are finely-tuned instruments with seriously advanced components and technology. And the disparities between less expensive ranges and the luxury ranges are widening every year. Let’s compare a few.
Not everyone needs or wants to be a master chef, and that’s okay. Sometimes, tossing something frozen in the oven, turning a knob, and waiting the allotted amount of time works for people. Not that even the lower-priced ovens are simple, flame-on/flame-off units. Like the GE JGBS66REKSS, they have their own modern advances such as a steam-cleaning option and electronic touch controls. But it doesn’t pack too many features when it comes to specific cooking needs.
Mid-priced ranges are a combination of smart advancements that make cooking easier while maintaining ease of use. They certainly have their share of amenities for any burgeoning cook to explore, but not so complicated or intricate that it threatens to overwhelm the average cook. Take the Bosch HGI8056UC for example. It has a powerful 18,000 BTU burner output, a warming drawer, and a fair selection of cooking modes—but you don’t have to attend a culinary institute to feel comfortable using it.
But for those who expect their range to have the capabilities to help you prepare any and all recipes with aplomb, the Wolf GR304 is the high-end cooker for you. Far from a simple kitchen tool, this range is designed for professional-grade culinary work and has all the features and options you could dream of. This range won’t cook your meals for you, but you will definitely feel like it’s taking an active part in your food preparation.
The fast-heating large capacity convection oven cooks evenly and thoroughly and has an 18,000 BTU infrared broiler for searing and crisping foods. Up top, the sealed burners are covered by continuous cast-iron grates coated with an easy-slide finish for maneuvering cookware smoothly without snags or spills. The burners themselves are dual stacked for ultimate versatility with a larger upper tier delivering maximum heat for searing or boiling, and a lower tier for simmering. It Star-K certified with a Sabbath Mode for pre-programmed heat control.
The dishwasher is one appliance you have to trust to do what it’s supposed to, since all you can really do is load it up with dirty dishes, shut the door, and press start. You can’t see what’s going on inside or open the door for a quick check on the progress, so you have to know the job is getting done. But with a high-end dishwasher, you can do more than depend on it—you can leave it to it’s business with the knowledge that every dish, utensil, pot and pan is being carefully but fully cleansed to the utmost by the latest innovations in dishwasher technology that other washers just don’t have.
Of course, not everyone demands that their dishes get the royal treatment. After all, the basic idea of having a dishwasher is so you don’t have to scrub them in the sink and dry them yourself. If you just want something to take over the labor of dishwashing, the Amana ADB1400AGS may be more in line with what you want. It’s not too fancy with three wash cycles and a triple-filter wash system, but it does take the job out of your hands (literally).
Perhaps you’re looking for something with more modern amenities to choose from but don’t expect every imaginable feature in a dishwasher. Or maybe you’d just like the option of being able to program a particular kind of wash when you need it. Then you’ll appreciate the conveniences included in the Bosch SHXM88Z75N. It has six cycles, six special wash options, and runs quietly, so it’s a definite step up, but lacks the amenities of a true luxury dishwasher.
Top-tier dishwashers, on the other hand, are designed for those who demand the features and flexibility of use that make the appliance almost completely self-sufficient, enabling the user to utilize wash cycles with total confidence. Every possible cookware cleaning scenario has been taken into consideration and implemented in a single machine. The Miele G6875SCVISF stands as a prime example of high-end and high-tech working in tandem.
A major difference setting this luxury dishwasher above the rest is its Bluetooth feature, allowing you to access the program status and conveniently select & start programs regardless of location using your smart device. When it comes to the cleaning dishes, its loaded with extras such as AutoSensor technology, which monitors and adjusts water temperature, water consumption and program duration based on how dirty the dishes are. It uses an EchoTech heat reservoir which transfers the heat energy of used water to the incoming fresh water for maximum efficiency. And it has a full complement of wash cycles for any necessity, including normal, pots and pans, express, china and crystal, and a SaniWash cycle for hygienic cleaning of baby bottles, cutting boards, or anything you want completely clean and bacteria-free. And when the job is done, the AutoOpen feature opens the door automatically to allow fresh air in so items dry completely.
A range hood is a kitchen appliance you might not think of until you need one. And when you need one—likely when your kitchen is filling with smoke, greasy air, and odor—you’re going to wish you had a high-end range hood. For even though every hood serves the same basic purpose, they’re far from the same when it comes to useful features, power, and style—as you can see below.
Range hoods on the lower end of the pricing scale tend to be simple and pragmatic, removing air above the range and expelling it either inside the kitchen after filtering, or out of the home via ductwork. It’s a no-frills item for a no-frills kitchen. The GE JVX5365SJSS is a good example of this level of hood with its easy installation and just two fan speeds. In a single word, it’s sufficient.
But if you’re looking for something more in the middle of the pack, you’re splitting the difference between the basics and a luxury range hood and willing to settle for something less than top-tier. Take the Forte VERTICE36—while it sports a number of interesting features, and has a serviceable fan strength, it just doesn’t have the same power and appeal as a fully-stocked, high-end hood.
However, if you want a range hood to do more than just blow smoke (so to speak), you know a high-end hood is your only logical choice. Because this superior type of range completely changes the atmosphere of a kitchen, making it a clean, haze-free environment in which to work your culinary magic. And on this level, the Viking VCWH53648SS has proven to be one fan-tastic luxury range hood.
In addition to the powerful fan that can ramp up to a mighty 1,200 CFM, the Viking contains a heat sensor that automatically increases fan power if uncomfortable temperatures are detected, and an easily-to-remove stainless-steel dishwasher-safe filter. You’ll have no problem in dim lighting with the backlit LED knobs and bright LED lighting above the cooktop. It also has a heating lamp to keep food warm before serving.
A wall oven is a much larger investment than a range oven, in that the appliance is built-in and becomes a more permanent part of your kitchen. But its advantages are quite practical, being installed at a height that makes handling food far easier than having to constantly bend over as you must with a range, plus a wall oven also makes a kitchen feel far more streamlined and roomy. So, if you’re already prepared to make the leap and install one, why wouldn’t you want the very best high-end wall oven? But before you know which is the best, you should know about the rest.
Spending less for a wall oven might sound appealing, but in the long run you’ll realize that not all wall ovens are equal. Far from it. And that’s what you should really consider when it comes to purchasing a wall oven, not price. A basic model such as the Frigidaire FGMC3066UF combines the convenience of an upper microwave and a lower oven. But convenience doesn’t necessarily mean overall quality, and you may find this model lacking when it comes to preparing foods to your exacting standards.
The same can be said when it comes to mid-range wall ovens. They may have their own array of attractive features and options, but they still come far short of the qualities held by the high-end models. Take the GE Profile PTD7000SNSS—it has a true European convection upper oven, several cooking modes, and is Wi-Fi compatible. However, even when you tally up all its benefits, it simply lacks the very latest in luxury amenities you want in a wall oven.
After all, when you decide to put in a wall oven instead of a range oven, you’re making a long-term commitment to an appliance which you will most likely be using even longer than your current automobile. Think about it in those practical terms and you’ll realize the importance of choosing a top-of-the-line, amenity-laden high-end wall oven. And they don’t come much more luxurious than the Miele H67802BP2.
With this Miele wall oven, every cooking option is covered with 19 operating modes and a MasterChef Plus automatic program that allows you to bake 15 kinds of bread. The Moisture Plus feature increases the humidity in the oven for specific food types, resulting in glossy breads, succulent meats, and perfect casseroles. For recipes you make often, you can save up to 20 cooking settings for repeated use. With the wireless precision probe, you can monitor the exact progress of your food preparation. And the whole thing is controlled by an M Touch panel that makes operation and navigation simple.
When microwaves first became commonplace, their greatest benefits were speed and convenience. And while those are still the main attractions for most microwaves, technological advances have made the modern versions into so much more—especially when you compare a high-end microwave one to some of the lesser models. And besides the added features, the aesthetics of a luxury microwave will fit much more smoothly into your luxury kitchen. Let’s compare.
As mentioned, most microwaves are looked at strictly for their practicality. And if your only needs from a microwave are that it doesn’t burn the popcorn or explode your frozen dinner, a basic model will fit the bill. And you’d be hard put to find a more basic microwave than the GE JES2051DNWW. It has a few simple features like auto and timed defrosting and push-button presets for popcorn, potatoes, and reheating, but it’s a far cry from the high-end appliance you really want.
So you know you don’t want a basic model, but how high on the luxury scale can you really go with a microwave? Higher than you think. And there are many microwaves that come close to being high-end, but don’t quite have the same functionality as a premium microwave. For example, a mid-priced microwave like the over-the-range Frigidaire Professional FPBM3077RF comes with far more features and cooking options than a lower-end oven, like a convection cooking option, PowerSense technology that senses optimum cooking time and power, and a timer you can adjust while the microwave is operating.
But if you want a high-end microwave oven, you’ll have to take your search one step further. Because there are microwaves that are simply built for convenience, and then there are microwaves who take convenience to a whole new level in both programming and performance. A prime illustration of this is the Viking VMOS501SS.
This microwave is loaded with features including an astounding 13 food settings available at the touch of a button, and a warm/hold feature that keeps food warm for extended periods of time without overcooking. It also comes with 15-minute dinner and preset recipe functions, each offering 5 recipes with easy to follow steps, and breakfast and lunch options for cooking and re-heating popular food items. Plus, it can be installed either on the counter or as a built-in oven.
Revamping an entire kitchen is no small decision. After all, if you’re going to replace your main kitchen appliances, you’re going to be investing both in your lifestyle and your home. You’ll want them to aesthetically complement each other and your decor as well. And more than anything, what you really want from a refrigerator, range, dishwasher and over-the-range microwave is quality. And you’re just not going to experience greater quality than in a high-end kitchen appliance package. After all, if you’re going all in for a kitchen remodeling, why would you deny yourself the very finest?
Unlike the previous categories on this list, comparing and contrasting the individual features of each appliance would be a moot point when dealing with full kitchen packages. There are simply too many variables to be covered in detail. However, what you can consider is the question we started with…
“Are high end appliances worth it?”
And, as we said before, the answer is yes.
Think about it. You could go for a lower-priced package like the Frigidaire 957458 and be perfectly content with some quite serviceable kitchen appliances. But why? Why settle for a full kitchen of less-than luxury when you know you could have had the best package possible? That’s what you’ll be asking yourself for years to come.
Then again, you could find yourself on the fence, not wanting to lowball yourself but still not willing to commit to a high-end kitchen appliance package. And that leaves you right in the middle with such packages as the Bosch 959188, which can be quite appealing at first glance. But as much as you may take solace in the knowledge that you got some quality appliances at a quality price, eventually you’re going to look at your kitchen and wonder why you didn’t allow yourself all of the top-notch amenities and features of a true luxury kitchen package.
And that is what it comes down to, isn’t it? Luxury. It’s not an indulgence or a guilty pleasure when it comes to kitchen appliances. It’s a decision to invest in your home and the lifestyle you want by outfitting your kitchen with the very best. And purchasing a high-end package like the Viking 1103559 is an investment you’ll never regret. Because you’ll know you made the right choice every time you open the refrigerator door to inspect its pristine interior or serve a perfectly cooked meal from your range oven. And that kind of confidence and comfort is worth any price.
It has been said that the kitchen is the heart of the home—so make your kitchen a heart you’ll cherish for years to come with high-end appliances from Appliances Connection.