The May 2010 issue of Consumer Reports takes on some of the appliances we use on a daily basis, including some that live in the kitchen. Any homeowner may want to have a look-see at what they’ve determined are the best and worst vacuum cleaners, washers and dryers, laundry detergents, lawn mowers, tractors and weed eaters.
For our purposes, I would like to direct your attention to their take on kitchen appliances. They rated ranges, toasters, microwaves, cook tops, wall ovens, toaster ovens, nonstick cookware, mixers, refrigerators and freezers, water filters and more. I’m about to buy a new toaster oven (the knob broke off mine – why is it always some cheap little thing that breaks and renders an otherwise working object difficult or impossible to use?) so I paid particular attention to that rating. For the record, CR of course recommends a $170 toaster oven.
Here are a few other peeks at the ratings:
* GE scored high in ranges, getting the top spot in electric smooth top ranges, electric coil, induction and gas. The dual fuel range to buy, according to CR, is a Bosch.
* Kenmore beat GE in the wall oven category. Electrolux won the electric cook top category, with Kenmore edging out competition in the induction and gas cook tops.
* Kenmore and GE scored well in the microwave category, unless you’re buying an above-the-stove variety, in which case you should look at a Samsung.
* You can probably guess who won the stand mixer test: KitchenAid. And CR warns readers away from the $90 Sunbeam Mixmaster, calling it “a lightweight in performance and pounds.”
* The refrigerator ratings go on for several pages and encompass any combination of top-freezer, bottom-freezer, side-by-side you can buy on the market.
* Oddly, they did not rate dishwashers, which disappointed me. I was talking to a colleague last week about dishwashers and whether any of them really ever clean an entire load. Ours is in the neighborhood of 25 years old and still cleans like a champ, although I’m sure its energy efficiency would make a person shudder.
Pick up a copy of the May issue of Consumer Reports for much more information on kitchen appliances, if you happen to be in the market for something new. Got a product you would like to recommend? Speak up.