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Looking for opinions on which appliances are best?

This is just my opinion; do your own due diligence.

My Favorite Research Sources

  • Consumer Reports
  • America’s Test Kitchen (PBS)
  • Kleinert’s book Troubleshooting & Repairing Major Appliances
  • The Everyday Gourmet: Rediscovering the Lost Art of Cooking (via Great Courses Plus)
  • Samurais Appliance Brand Recommendation Report, 3rd Edition
  • Yale Appliance Blog
  • Reddit/r/BBQ
  • Customers
  • Appliance Trade Show by Nationwide

Best Dishwasher

  • Thor: Still testing; looks like a good value so far.
  • Bosch 500 Series with 3rd Rack. Example 2016 model: SHP65T55UC
  • GE, specifically the 2016 GDT580SSFSS
  • Luxury Segment: Miele Knock2open

Best Refrigerator

Hard to say. I’ve learned:

  • I like French door, dual-evaporator, counter-depth, pro handles.
  • Dual evaporators make produce last longer
  • KitchenAid is a favorite in the repair community
  • Chest freezers are under-appreciated
  • SubZero is excellent in the premium category
  • Samsung has my favorite new features

Best Outdoor Grill

Hmmm. My 2017 hobby.

  • Weber: I don't sell it, but most models are excellent.
  • Charcoal: Ceramic, either Kamado Joe or Big Green Egg
  • Gas & Built-In: Napoleon for quality / features. I suspect Coyote and Bull are also nice.
  • Luxury Gas: DCS if I could afford the flat grill.
  • Wood Pellet Grill: Traeger. Also hear good things on Yoder.
  • Avoid: Cheap stainless or grates. Use a cover.

Best Washer/Dryer

  • Just want it to work, for a long long time? Speed Queen top-loader.
  • High end techie? Samsung front-loaders with VRT. Possibly LG or Electrolux, haven't tested myself.
  • Small space? Closets can use laundry centers, like GUD27ESSJWW in the $1200 range. Or Bosch compact units.
  • Lowest price? Used on craigslist, stainless tub, large capacity, avoid used front loaders
  • Dryer Features: Get a stainless tub, moisture sensor, and maybe steam.
  • Bonus: Use plastic dryer balls from HEB. For stains consider Oxiclean powder and Persil 2-in-1.

Best Toaster Oven

  • Breville SmartIQ BOV800XL. Seriously, it’s great in the $250 range. I found it from hunting down the best toaster, and never looked back.

Best Ice Maker

  • Expect it to break every two years. Don’t have a favorite yet. Leaning toward Ice-o-Matic residential unit.

Best Deals

  • No sales tax weekend in Texas on Energy Star
  • Closeout and obsolete models
  • Big-box laundry specials on either 4th of July or Black Friday
  • Open-box with a manufacturer warranty from a trusted retailer
  • Brands that have a good service network / reputation
  • Using manufacturer rebates