Review of Our New Stove – Kenmore Elite

18 02 2008

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Around Christmas time, I got a brand new stove in my kitchen – a real treat. Our old one was a slide-in that had left us frustrated in the search for a worthwhile replacement at a reasonable price. Finally we got a break when we purchased this Kenmore Elite at the Sears Service Center. It was half price and had a few nicks on the sides – which slide in, so no problem here. Here’s the story:

The Good – It’s a fantastic and unbelievable range compared to our old one. I have grown to love the ceramic top. It does seem to take a little longer to get to temperature, but it seems like there is a greater control over the heating element – with 20 different settings (1-10 in 1/2 increments.) The stove top has 5 burners and a “bridge” burner where we could put a long griddle to cook on. The front right burner lets you expand it’s size to fit larger pans. The smaller burners are of decent circumference and I use them whenever I can to keep hot items in the back of the stove away from prying hands.

The oven portion takes about 15 minutes to preheat. But since I know that, it’s usually not a problem. It seems to get very hot and throughly heats food through. There were three racks in the oven – all ceramic and they can be left in for the self-cleaning cycle. I haven’t explored all of the baking options yet mostly because it’s probably more stove than we were looking for. I like the digital timer and even use it for non cooking functions. It’s very loud and can even be heard in the upstairs of my house.

The controls are super easy to use. It’s all touch pad – which is not what we really wanted, but have adjusted to it well. The pad is really heat sensitive, so all you do is hold your finger over the button, and ta-da, it goes on. From the control pad, you can lock the oven door and the control pad itself – to prevent little ones from playing with it.

Lots of people don’t like the ceramic top because of the cleaning requirements. I love it because it makes me keep my stove top clean. You can’t imagine all the junk that was sitting inside my old stove hidden under the trays. And how many times was something hidden on one of the burners or in the tray so that later when I turned it on, I got the smell and some smoke? The ceramic top is a breeze to clean when you wipe it down while it’s still a little warm. The oven has a display that shows you which burners are still hot. Once the light is out on the display, I wipe down the burner right away and 99% of the stuff comes off. Usually I don’t even need the special cleaner to tackle it if I do that. I also love the top because when I take baking dishes out of the oven, I can just lay it anywhere on the top rather than having to balance it on a burner or between burners.

I haven’t used the warming drawer yet, so I can’t comment. It really wasn’t a feature I wanted, but we may use it.

The Bad
– Having bought a scratch and dent model, we didn’t get some of the accessories – the griddle that goes on the bridge burner, the rack for the warming drawer and the ceramic broiling pan. We kept the broiling pan from our old stove – which I never used anyway, but replacing the other two pieces will set us back about $150. I haven’t found anything that frustrates me about this stove otherwise. Other reviewers on the Sears website didn’t like the ceramic top (but I do) or the long preheat. But functionally, it is easy to use and a very good product so far – no functionality issues.

The Ugly – Installation was an all day affair. There were no directions really on how to do it. I guess they expect that you will hire Sears to come in for an install. Granted, some of Gil’s problems were of his own making. He tiled the floor under the stove, but didn’t measure up the stove before he did it and ended up having to tear up those tiles to get it to line up. It’s still about 1/4 inch higher than the counter top.

Overall – I love this stove. In a few years, we plan to move and I lament that we will have to leave this beauty behind. But I would definitely buy a Kenmore Elite again and I hope I can get a good deal to be able to get a little higher end model like this one.

Note: Despite buying this scratch and dent, we received the same warranty as a regular new stove and we offered the extended warranty as well. It’s a great deal to check out the Sears service center for appliances. Ours also had a lot of refrigerators and we plan on going there for our next appliance purchase. Also, we did not get a users manual until about 10 days after we had it installed. What little there was on the installation was included with the stove when we purchased. I would think that would be a necessity due to safety issues.

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12 responses

20 02 2008
craftapple

Ah, it’s a beautiful stove!

5 04 2008
Dotty

Hi Shelly, et al
We’ve had our Kenmore Elite for about 2 years and I mostly love it also. Looks a little different than yours.
If you do get any hardened things on the top they are easy to remove with a single edge razor blade. Just remember to keep it at a low angle so you won’t scratch the surface.
You mentioned safety concerns:
Since you had no instructions I hope you installed the bracket that prevents the stove from tipping forward. In case you have the door open and one or two racks out, with something heavy on them, there is a possibility of the whole stove tipping towards you. Very dangerous – especially if you have things on the stove top as well.

I was actually looking on line to see if anyone has my problem. I was trying to clean some ugly drips off the glass window in the oven door. Cleaned the outside, still there. Cleaned the inside and they were still there! The drips are between the two glass panels and cannot be accessed. I called the service department and they said it was not covered under our service plan – which we paid extra for – because it was ‘normal wear and tear.’ They would send someone out to take the door apart and clean it but I would have to pay for it!!!
I was hoping to get feedback from other customers before I call the number the service woman gave me for product complaints.
Any one else have this problem?
Good luck with your new stove – I think it works great too.
Dotty

26 04 2008
susan

This is for Dotty, I am looking for the same answer. There is dust and other crud in between the two glass panels. I asked the repair man when he was out fixing something else and he said “don’t try to do that your self, it’s a big mess getting it back together” I usually do everything myself, so was looking on line for some tips about which screws to undo to get inside. Otherwise, a fabulous stove. I have the gas dual fuel type. Very nice.

4 05 2008
v mertlich

I have always had this problem on every stove I have ever had!
I thought it was becasue they were old, but my brand new stove has them now too.
What is the deal with this?

24 05 2008
BrigetRose

It’s beautiful, I hope it still works well for you…

ps: great blog!

21 06 2008
Kathryn

I just bought a Kenmore elite at the Sears clearance center. Reg $1300 but this one was $695 with no tax! What a deal.

. Model C90-688025.

It is in brand new condition but did have a previous owner for a very short time. Only problem is, I don’t have the manual! Can’t seem to find one online. I am afraid to clean the top because I don’t want to scratch it! Can you tell me what the no-nos are? I assume I shouldn’t use steel wool soap pads, but don’t really know.

21 06 2008
Kathryn

http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/kenmore-oven-c14186.html

I’ve just been reading some more about Kenmore and thought I would pass on this warning! Please read about all the Kenmore ovens bursting into flames when the bottom element catches fire at an extreme heat! It could burn your house down. Read the comments at the above link. Don’t leave your oven alone to preheat.

10 07 2008
danny

not sure how to remove and clean front glass panel on kenmore range

27 07 2008
Mary

I also have the Kenmore ceramic top – this is my 2nd ceramic top and I do find cleaning it a bit of a drag but it is cleaner than the old ones!
My problem is the same – I have a drop BETWEEN the glass on the door – it drives me nuts! I can NOT find anyway to access it – any ideas? Mary

4 08 2008
Linda

I hope someone answers about how to clean between the glass. My stove is less than a year old and I noticed a few days ago a drip in between the glass— : ( I didn’t realize that it wasn’t a solid piece of glass. I called repair and basically was told –TOO BAD. Nothing they could do unless I wanted to pay $$ to have a repair man come out to diagnosis and them “repair”.
Has anyone come across an easy way to get to the inside glasss?

I think this is a design flaw–I never had this problem with a stove I had for many many years. After paying all that money for a stove to have it look horrible. I am beside myself.

Linda

18 09 2008
Heidi

Hi, found your blog on a Google search. We just purchased this stove for $250 Canadian and had to replace the touch pad for $350. So all in all not a bad deal. I am wondering if you can answer a few questions. I found when I used it on convection I got some sweating on my countertops around the stove. Should we have put some heat resistant thing around it before putting it in next to the cabinets?

Also we did not get the part that goes at the back. We have a gap at the back of the stove between the stove and the counter. Is there a part for that?

Thanks

19 09 2008
Shelly

Please note to all asking me for advice on their Kenmore stove. I’m just a consumer like you, not an expert on my stove. Please contact Sears if you have questions, I’m sure they would be happy to help.




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