Kenmore 72092 French Door Refrigerator Review
Anything bigger and it might be a walk-in.
Despite its giant size, the Kenmore Elite 72092 (MSRP $3,999) occupies a niche in the market. At a listed capacity of 33 cubic feet, this is a French door fridge that could easily hold enough food to run a small restaurant, cook for the Jolie-Pitt brood, or store plenty of fresh veggies for a small commune. But capacity isn't the only feature here. Kenmore loaded the 72092 chock full of innovations to improve the user experience.
Despite the spacious interior and all those features, we weren't thrilled with the fridge's ability to maintain a constant temperature. It can't be easy to cool that much space, but a fridge this big needs to stay consistent if you're potentially storing hundreds of dollars worth of food in there.
Design & Usability
This white whale is heavy—with features.
The white 72092 may not be quite as chic as its stainless steel sibling—the 72093 (MSRP $4,199)—but it has all the trimmings you'd expect from a high-end fridge. Behind those French doors, you get four adjustable shelves—two on each side—that make many temporary and more fixed configurations possible. Each of the top pairs of these shelves smoothly slides back for that vase of flowers or magnum of Dom. At the bottom, there's a variable humidity crisper on the left and an airtight one on the right. That one has a rubber seal to lock in the moisture.
For more isolated fridge space, a temperature-controlled multi-purpose drawer—with temperature options for meat, deli, and produce—and two small compartments with sliding covers sit below the crispers. These small, shallow bins would have otherwise been wasted space, so it's neat to have a place to store some small, shallow items.
The right side of the door features one butter shelf, two main shelves, and one small, bottom shelf that looks too small for anything but film canisters. Except for the bottom shelf, all can move around to make way for tall bottles. The three shelves on the left side are fixed, thanks to the icemaker, but offer plenty of space for condiments. And on the outside, the ice dispenser and front control panel are easy to operate and don't blemish the exterior.
Unlike most bottom freezers, the pullout freezer's door tilts forward when you pull it out, adding to this Kenmore's already solid usability. A lower bin dominates the space, and has a center divider that moves a little to accommodate large items. A shallow drawer and a closed off drawer round out the space above. Some of those innovations take up space, but we'll take the tradeoff.
Performance & Features
Nobody said being cool was easy.
The Kenmore Elite 72092 may have tons of space and features, but it had trouble maintaining a constant temperature, as the mercury slowly crept up throughout our testing. Since this fridge is considerably larger than others we've seen, we can only blame the added capacity for the discrepancy. We open the door six times in 72 hours, and chances are the fridge took some time to get its groove back. But even though the fridge's overall temperature increased, the difference from low to high wasn't major.
The airtight crisper locked in humidity quite well, keeping your lettuce crisp for longer. It performed far better than the poor variable-humidity drawer to its left, which did a below-average job of locking in the moisture.
The freezer maintained consistent cold temperatures, which prevents freezer burn. Our freeze test—a sort of reverse zero to 60 test—showed that food should take just over two hours to freeze. That's hardly fast, but then again, this freezer has a ton of space to cool.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
Think hard. Do you really need a giant fridge? If so, consider this Kenmore.
Not everyone needs a giant fridge. But if you've got a large family and a large budget, the Kenmore Elite 72092 is definitely worthy of your consideration. It's smooth to use and has many worthwhile features. In fact, its few drawbacks—long freezing times, trouble recovering temperatures, high price—are direct results of its huge size.
If you can make do with something smaller, that would be our recommendation. But if you really need a whopping 33 cubic feet, at least get out the measuring tape first: This one may be too big for your kitchen.
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