refrigerators
Expert Score
8.6

Kenmore Elite 51773 Refrigerator Review

If you want a side-by-side, keep shopping.

Credit: Reviewed.com / Matthew Zahnzinger
November 18, 2015
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

The Cold Hard Facts

The Kenmore Elite 51773 (MSRP $2,199.99) is an attractive side-by-side with an even more attractive price, but recommendations from us are based purely on data. After running this Kenmore through the wringer, our data pointed out some positives and negatives.

Temperature Performance

In the main section, most of the temperature output was spot on. The top and middle sections displayed average temperatures of 36.68°F and 37.16°F, respectively. That’s fantastic, plus a little extra warmth down at crisper level—which clocked in at about 40.23°F—is good for produce.

Kenmore Elite 51773 Controls
Credit: Reviewed.com / Matthew Zahnzinger
The controls are responsive, but require some digging to access all the features. View Larger

Still, when any section of a fridge gets that close to 41°F, we get a little wary, especially with measured fluctuations of ±0.28°F. Once you hit 41°F, you run the risk of accelerated bacteria growth, so be sure to store prepared foods up top.

The freezer, while even less stable (it fluctuated about ±0.67°F) was so chilly that the shifts should really have little to no impact. The upper sections averaged -1.24°F, while the lower shelves came in at a brisk -2.67°F, more than cold enough to dodge freezer burn.

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Moisture Retention

The Kenmore’s crisper was one of the highlights of our tests. Over the course of three days, our test materials lost an average of only 0.07 grams of moisture per hour. Other fridges in this price range lose twice that.

Freezing

Despite its chilly temperatures, the Kenmore Elite’s freezer was only so-so at chilling food quickly. Room-temperature sensors took 1 hour and 39 minutes to hit 32°F. We’ve seen slower, but 90 minutes is average.

Storage Space & Energy Efficiency

Kenmore Elite 51773 Interior
Credit: Reviewed.com / Matthew Zahnzinger
Lots of lights, lots of shelves, and lots of space. View Larger

For a side-by-side, the 51773 is actually quite roomy. In the main section, the numerous shelves and drawers add up to 12.75 usable cubic feet of storage. Still, with all those shelves to arrange, you might find yourself stuck with some sections that feel cramped and short.

The freezer is actually quite roomy, with plenty of adjustable shelves and sliding drawers to utilize. Throw the small shelves on the door into the mix, and you’ve got 7.99 usable cubic feet for your frozen goods. Bear in mind the slim design of side-by-side compartments means you’ll have to do some shelf juggling to fit wide objects like frozen pizzas or Thanksgiving turkeys.

The energy efficiency of this model wasn't great. With the ice maker running, this fridge needs about 0.09 kWh per usable cubic foot. Assuming a fixed electricity price of $0.09 per kWh, we think this fridge will cost you roughly $63.21 annually—about 30% more than some of its similarly sized competitors.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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