Pros: It looked nice.
Hi Kids! Today we’re going to discuss the Kenmore Elite Slide-In Range. Now, this is my first review in quite a while, so please be patient with me while we discuss the details of this incredible appliance. Yes, I did say incredible, and you’ll know why in a minute! Bet you can’t wait!
According to the “View Details” tab at Epinions regarding this remarkable feat of engineering, the range is as follows:
“Kenmore Elite Stainless Steel w/Black 30 in. Electric Self-Clean Slide-In Range,30 in. radiant smooth top slide-in range with self-cleaning 3-element convection oven. Ceramic glass cooktop with one 9/12 in. expandable, one 6/9 in. expandable and two 6 in. radiant elements. Easy Set 550 electronic oven controls w/keypad entry/integrated warmer drawer/zone control, Dual Radiant baking system,Vari-Broil 400 to 550 degrees, Serve Warm and Proof Bread feature,3 porcelain coated oven racks, Warm and Serve drawer, Warm & Serve zone, Color coordinated glass door with extra large Visualize window.” It has convection capabilities, you can bake, roast, and broil. Additional features include storage drawers, glass ceramic cooktop, oven lights, and an oven door window! Yes, a window! Five elements, single oven, self cleaning, yes, this puppy has it all! The details page says the oven is Stainless Steel, but it is also available in white, as is shown in the picture. Same oven, different exterior. Whatever. Back to the real world!
Last summer we began major renovations in our home, adding bathrooms, tearing down walls, completely renovating the kitchen, and that meant that we had to have all new appliances. In retrospect, I was better off with the oven from hell and the stovetop of only high and off temperatures. But, first, let’s take a look at the pros of this range.
1. It looks nice.
2. It has lots of features.
3. It, umm, well, it looks nice, at least it did before yesterday.
In the year and 2 months that we’ve owned this range, we’ve been delighted with it. Well, maybe delighted is an exaggeration. We’ve been very happy….no, too strong, ummm, we’ve been satisfied….well, that’s a stretch…okay, truth be known, this is worse than any range from hell! If you’re considering purchasing this one, please, run the other way, anywhere else, just run like the wind! Save yourself, and your children!
Yeah, I’m exaggerating, right? Wait, let me tell you about our experience prior to Christmas Eve Day, which was yesterday as of this writing. First off, the stovetop. The burners are nice, expandable, and a really great idea, in theory. It takes forever to boil water on this stovetop, insane amounts of time to get up to temperature to cook anything, and then it takes absolutely forever for it to cool down, which scares me because I worry about my children touching the stove or putting something down on it. They have been warned so much that they might actually be stove-a-phobes at this point. Something else for them to talk about on the shrink’s couch when they’re grown up! The heat is very uneven on the stovetop, and for some reason it hates every pot and pan I own. Now, we have very good cookware, but for some reason every pot and pan in my house causes black marks on my cooktop, so we are constantly cleaning it. Cleaning it isn’t bad, but why do I have to do it all the time?? I don’t spill every time I cook, so why am I cleaning marks on this thing constantly? The controls are easy enough to clean, but remember to lock the panel or your buttons will be going wild and you’ll be resetting everything. I also find it frustrating that the small elements are at the back of the stove, making it awkward to see into them, and to reach around other, larger pots to tend to what’s in them.
Do you want to know about the oven? Sure! Let’s talk Pre-heating. How long does it take? I can’t give you a clear answer on that one. Why? Because every time we pre-heat is an adventure in waiting. It can be a few minutes, it can be 45 minutes. Why? I really don’t know, but I know that I have to start pre-heating everything an hour in advance if I want to be sure the oven’s ready when I need it!! I think that’s just absurd! The oven temperature is quite even, and we have been quite happy with that aspect of baking and roasting. Self-cleaning is rather stinky, but we can live with it. Convection works fine, broiling works fine, it’s all good. Or is it? This brings us to Christmas Eve.
Ah, the smells of Christmas Day. Turkey in the oven, all manner of pots and pans cooking and sautéing and bubbling on the stovetop. Well, there’s a little preparation for all those smells and that happens in the weeks before the Big Day. So, Rice Krispie Squares made, Peanut Butter Squares in the fridge, meatballs cooked and out of the oven. Time to relax and have a coffee with my husband in the sunroom, thank God! As we sat there, doing some research on the computer, discussing this, that, and the other thing for about half an hour, we suddenly heard an explosion. Yes, a small one, but definitely an explosion. It came from the kitchen, and we really had no idea what it could be. Nothing was cooking, no one was in the room, it just happened. Imagine our surprise when we looked and saw glass, hundreds and hundreds of pieces of glass all over the kitchen, spread out into the dining room, even ricocheted into the living room! What in blazes happened?
Well, the outer oven door glass shattered and exploded all over my kitchen. I stood there in disbelief, my husband was as confused as I was. What if my Princess had been in the kitchen? She could have been blinded or permanently scarred and maimed, or even killed. What if we had been standing in front of the stove still cooking? Oh, my God, what in the world are we going to do about the turkey? How? Well, let’s make some calls!
Sears, experiencing higher than normal caller volume, was a real adventure. After quite a long wait, thinking maybe everyone’s oven doors had shattered on the same day and Sears really was having problems, I finally got through to a very pleasant young man. Sarcasm definitely intended. I explained what had happened, and said, “I’m supposed to be making Christmas Dinner tomorrow!” to which he replied “Well, that’s not going to happen, is it?” So he tells me that Tuesday the 30th is the first available time for someone to come take a look, and that it will cost me about $66 for someone to take a look at it. Then he’ll tell me what it will cost to fix.
Imagine my astonishment. My disgust. My rage. My child could have been killed by this thing, my Christmas is ruined, my Christmas spirit quite depleted. I suggested that perhaps Sears should be standing behind their product, after all, someone could have been killed. They should be fixing it and sending me a letter of apology. To which Mr. Nice Guy said he’d talk to a Supervisor. Oh, goodie! A few seconds later he comes back and tells me that he can’t find a supervisor and that my range is not a Sears product, and if I have any problems with it, I should talk to Frigidaire, who is the manufacturer of our range.
Kenmore isn’t Sears? I don’t care who makes it, if Sears puts their Kenmore name on it, it’s a Sears product, is it not? Don’t they take pride in their name? Ma’am, do you not understand that it’s a Frigidaire issue, he keeps going on. He’s talking to me like I’m an idiot, or that I possibly do not understand the basics of the English language, or both. I finally give up talking to Pleasant Man, and decide to hang up.
For the past year I have been going through chemotherapy for Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, which is a very expensive journey, what with being off work, and medications and everything else. I don’t have money to pay for repairs to an oven that could have killed my daughter, that could have maimed someone in my family. I refuse to spend time talking to people who are condescending, arrogant, and rude. My husband will be speaking to someone in a Sears store on the 26th. Perhaps he’ll get farther than I did. We spent over $10,000.00 on appliances at Sears last year, and now I’m wishing I had never gone into that store.
In all my years, I have never heard of this happening, and neither has my husband. We have gone from a very disappointing experience with our range, to one that has horrified us, and left a permanent, terrifying memory for me. Don’t do it, don’t buy this range, not if you value your life.