How to Choose the Best Kitchen Appliance

Choosing the best kitchen appliance is often a matter of money and taste.
If the sky is the limit on budget, you can run your kitchen with the tools of a four-star chef. If funds are limited, choosing a great appliance is a matter of finding the top-rated product for the best price. Here are some strategies for choosing the best appliance for your kitchen.

Step 1

Consider time. While some kitchen appliances are built-in or need to be periodically replaced, many appliances can last decades, if not a lifetime. You should consider factors such as the lifespan and portability of the appliance as well as how long you plan on staying at your current residence. Purchasing a stove or a refrigerator is very different from buying a bread maker or indoor grill. Some appliances are built-in or heavy while others can be easily transported if you move.

Step 2

Consider the price. If budget is not a major issue, browse through the catalogs of professional cookware on popular sites such as ChefsCatalog.com and ChefsResource.com. If it is good enough for a 3-star Michelin restaurant, it will most likely be good enough for your kitchen.

If your budget is limited, consider where the money could be best spent and how much you think you will use the item. If it is a blender, for example, and you make smoothies everyday, you might want to buy a top industrial-strength model that will last. If you plan on using it sporadically, you might want to consider a value brand.

When you have figured out the exact appliance you want to purchase, compare prices online at home or on your mobile phone at the store. If your local store has a higher price, try to bargain with the manager to get him to match the lowest price available.

Step 3

Read user reviews. There are a multitude of sites that are geared towards consumer reviews as well as retail sites that allow for customer feedback. These include Epinions.com, ConsumerReports.org, ConsumerSearch.com, Buzzillions.com, Amazon.com and Viewpoints.com. Consider both feedback that is given immediately after the purchase as well as feedback on products that customers have been using for years.

Step 4

Consider energy efficiency. Remember that with every appliance, there is the cost of the product as well as the cost of the energy needed to maintain it. Energy Star-qualified appliances incorporate advanced technologies that use 10 to 50 percent less energy and water than standard models, according to EnergyStar.gov.

Step 5

Think about color. The appliance might look great in the showroom of the store, but make sure it will match the colors and style of your kitchen. Consider the pros and cons of a certain color versus stainless steel.

Step 6

Try before you buy. One of the surefire ways to ensure you've picked the best appliance is to try it. Go to the store, inspect it, check out all the functions, ask questions and compare different models.

Step 7

Check out the latest and greatest products. While best to some people means the best quality, to others it means the coolest new thing. In House Beautiful Magazine's 2009 review of best new appliances, it included such items as a a glass-door refrigerator, an outdoor kitchen and an Electrolux oven. Check out Appliancist.com, a site dedicated to home appliance trends and the latest products. Recent reviews showcased a musical vacuum cleaner, a wall-mounted dishwasher and a portable wine cooler.

Tips

  • If you are purchasing a product that you will use frequently, consider the length of the warranty.
  • If the appliance will be built into your kitchen, evaluate if the item will increase the value of your home.