KitchenAid Architect KEBS277S Electric Oven

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So far, so good....

Aug 23, 2009 (Updated Apr 20, 2010)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Very Good

  • Ease of Use:
  • Durability:
  • Ease of Cleaning:
  • Style:

Pros:Even heat; easy controls; versatile settings, including convection, bread proofing & cleaning. 

Cons:Part failiure and poor customer service issues.

The Bottom Line:

Controls are easy to use; bread-proof, self-cleaning, convection baking.  But electronic parts are malfunctioning after 6 months; customer service was horrible until the wholesaler interceded.


UPDATE:  02/08/2010:  This oven was installed in April of '08; by the end of the year, we had replaced at least two light bulbs, one in each oven (each oven has two lights).  There was an issue at that time with getting all four light bulbs to work at the same time, but we thought it was just a "trick" of getting them plugged in right.

In December 2009 all four lights went out at once.  We replaced all the bulbs, but the new ones would not light.   Last month I called Kitchenaid and arranged a service call (out of warranty, of course).  The repair man said the light transformer had gone out.  Because we had problems dating from within the first year, Kitchenaid offered to pay for the part; we paid the $129 labor charge.  The repair was done on January 27, 2010 - three weeks ago tonight.  Tonight, all four lights went out at once - again - while I was cooking.   To say I am NOT happy is a huge understatement.  I have already contacted Kitcheniad via website, and tomorrow will call the repair service.

02/16/2010:  The repair tech said it's our fault because one of the replacement lights we got last month was the wrong wattage; the first tech never bothered to look at the bulbs, never tried to see what made the transformer go out in the first place, so we feel this is the service company's fault.  However, neither Kitchenaid nor the service company is willing to admit this.

04/21/2010:  Our neighbor, the custom home builder, went to his supplier, who stepped in and had a come-to-Jesus discussion with Kitchenaid.  The immediate result was a new transformer, new light bulbs, and a new service company who came out and installed all the brand new parts that were shipped overnight to us, all at Kitchenaid's expense.  I have been watching and monitoring for two months now, and there have been no further problems.  But I will only return two of the stars I've taken away, because of the service hassles.

Handy tip:
  If you purchase through a large wholesaler, get them to run interference for you in the even of any problems, because the manufacturer does NOT want to have their product yanked from their large customers.


Original Review:  In 2008 we gutted our kitchen and replaced all the cabinets and almost all of the appliances, including the 30-year-old GE Electric double ovens.  Based on my choice of a Kitchenaid gas cooktop, I also chose Kitchenaid for replacement of the ovens and the dishwasher.

My next-door-neighbor, a custom home builder, offered to get the new appliances at his cost.

Since my new cabinets are natural maple, and the quartz countertop is blue flecked, I thought black appliances would look really sharp.  And they do.

Description:

The double oven unit consists of two ovens, one above the other, and with a control panel at the top that controls both ovens. 
The exterior finish is black porcelain enamel; both doors have large glass panels that allow you to view the whole interior without opening the door.  The interiors are blue porcelain.

Each oven has 6 rack positions, from the very bottom of the oven floor, to barely clearing the top element.  Between them, there are 5 stainless steel racks; 4 are the typical easily-pulled out racks common to most ovens, very sturdy, with built-in handle spaces at the front.  The 5th rack is on a special full-extension bracket that can be tricky to reposition to a different level, but when it's in place it is extremely stable.  It allows you to pull that rack completely clear of the oven opening, without danger of sliding out or falling down, and is perfect for checking a heavy roasting pan.

Both ovens have two side lights, one on each side of the oven.  They use small halogen lights that are very bright and clear... when they work.  One of the lights went out within six months, and another one is intermittent.  You can't just go to your local DIY store and pick up a replacement, either.  You have to order them from Kitchenaid or get one from an appliance specialty store, which is pretty annoying.

The control panel is electronic touch-pad; you do have to have bare hands to use it; you cannot turn off the timer while wearing an oven mitt.  Oh, well.

Technical specs:

The total unit size is 26 ½" wide by 26 ¼" deep by 50 ¾" high.  Both ovens have a capacity of 3.8 cubic feet.  (I have no idea why Kitchenaid is so averse to even measurements, and every measurement has to have added fractions.)

Requires 208/240 Voltage, 40 circuit amps @240 VAC (Nom), 60 Hz, four-wire or three-wire single phase electrical supply; a time-delay fuse or circuit breaker and separate circuit is recommended.

Element wattage @ 240V is 2,000 for conventional bake; 1,600 for convection and 3,250 for broil.

Control Panel Settings:

The top oven has full convection baking, roasting and broiling, with settings that allow you to select the time and temperature as well as an "easy convert" selection that allows you to put in the time and temperature for conventional baking, and it does the conversion to convection for you, depending on the type of food you select to bake.

The bottom oven does not have convection.

The top oven also has a removable temperature probe, and a dehydrate feature.

Both ovens have a hidden bake element.

Both ovens are self-cleaning, with variable soil level and time selections.

Both ovens are Star-K Kosher Certified, with a Sabbath Mode.

Both ovens have a bread-proofing setting (more about that later).

Broil settings allow you to choose full and center settings, appropriate to the quantities being cooked.

They both also have delayed time options for cooking and cleaning, so you can set the oven to start and stop at a particular time.

There is a timer, which can be set in minutes or hours.

The ovens can be locked; this feature must be used during the cleaning functions.

When you first turn on either the top or bottom oven, the display shows a default temperature setting of 350 degrees F.  Unless you use the touchpad to enter a new setting, this is what the oven will preheat to.  The display will show you the current temperature as the oven preheats, as well as the set temperature, and will signal when it reaches the desired temperature.

That signal, by the way, also sounds for the timer, and in convection and timed baking.  It has different sound patterns for each signal, and while it is not that loud, it can penetrate all over the house.

Usage:

I've been using the ovens for nearly two years, and as far as actual baking is concerned, I'm pleased with it.  Let's face it, unless you often cook for large groups (large family, holidays, parties, whatever), you really don't need two ovens 90% of the time.  But when you do... nothing else will do. 

I did my research and selection mostly on the internet, after deciding that I wanted Kitchenaid, and one thing I honestly missed in the research was the bread proof setting.  When the oven was first installed and I saw that, my first reaction was, "What the...?  How could I have missed that?!"   My next reaction was more along the lines of, "Hot Damn!  Hallelujah!!"

I used to like to bake breads, rolls, sweet rolls; I have the BEST recipe for coffee cake, using a mashed potato yeast dough....  Yum.  But in the past several years, I had quit baking, except for biscuits (I'm Southern.  Gotta have biscuits.), mostly because the old ovens didn't heat and bake evenly, and nothing really turned out the way it should.  When I realized what the "bread proof" control was for, I was overjoyed!  It warms the oven to a steady 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and keeps it there, perfect for quick proofing.  No drafts, hot or cold, just steady gentle warmth.  Homemade garlic bread, anyone?  How about a cinnamon roll?

And yes, the biscuits turn out better too.  No more burned bottoms!

I also like to bake cakes and pies; I make killer pound cakes: plain, chocolate and marble.  But every kind of baked goody I tried in the last few years was unevenly baked, and I had given up.  But now... well!  Everything I've baked in either oven has turned out well.  The cakes rise properly, everything bakes evenly, crusts are brown without being burned, and I'm having a blast.

Update note:  Without light in the ovens, it's harder to see at a glance when baked goods have reached the exact shade of doneness you want; close attention must be paid to timing and and the old cake tester/toothpick test.

I've roasted different cuts of beef and pork and whole chickens, cooked hams, casseroles, one-skillet dishes, and I can safely say that anything that didn't turn out well was my fault, not the oven's.  Sometimes you just try out a new recipe that doesn't taste as good as it reads, ya know? 

I bought an oven thermometer, after reading in Cook's Illustrated how important it is to check the accuracy of your oven heat, and how rare it is for even new ovens to be accurate.  Well, I've been happy to see that these ovens are accurate, so far. 

I have used the self-cleaning feature a couple of times on the top oven, and it works as advertised, leaving just a little ashy residue that needed to be wiped up with a damp cloth.  One cleaning was after a fruit pie bubbled way over the crust, and made an unholy mess on the bottom.  It was truly no problem to clean up, and after growing up in the era before self-cleaning ovens, I gotta say, I love this feature.

Verdict:

The lack of durability with the lights is a major issue, especially when paired with the lack of customer service.  I am not sure I would purchase this product again.


Recommend this product? No


Amount Paid (US$): 2098

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