Kenmore Elite 79043 Refrigerator Review
Large, efficient, effective... and expensive
The Kenmore Elite 79043 (MSRP $2,099.99) is the manufacturer’s newest large-capacity bottom freezer. It's 24 cubic feet, and features a reversible door.
This Kenmore isn't perfect, and it's expensive, but it'll be hard to find better if you need that extra storage and don't want a French door, top-freezer, or side-by-side.
Design & Usability
Low frills, high capacity
Bottom freezers are generally pretty basic in terms of design, and this Kenmore Elite is no exception. The broad stainless door is devoid of any eye-catching features, save for the small Kenmore logo in the upper right corner. Should your kitchen layout demand it, this model comes with a door reversal kit.
On the inside, you’re treated to clean white plastic and bright LED lighting. Even the freezer is well lit, which isn’t always the case for bottom freezers. A combination of half-width and full-width shelves allows you to customize your storage space, while the broad door offers plenty of gallon-deep buckets for juice or milk.
The pull-out freezer is quite basic, with upper and lower drawers for storage. This model comes with a built-in icemaker, as well as a large bucket for storing tons of cubes. If you don’t want ice, just flip the switch on the icemaker and use the bucket to help organize your food.
Performance & Features
Turn down the thermostat, and watch out for the crispers
The 79043 earned great results in most of our tests. The freezer was nice and cold, energy consumption stayed exceptionally low, and fridge temperatures remained consistent over time.
That said, the Elite isn’t perfect. Fridge temperatures ran about two degrees too warm, averaging about 39°F throughout most of the compartment despite reading 37°F on the thermostat. Just turn it down a degree or so you should be fine.
Without question, crispers were the worst elements of this fridge’s performance and, unlike a slightly warm fridge, you can’t fix them. The Kenmore’s drawers lost moisture twice as fast as they should, meaning produce won’t last as long as it should. Salad lovers, keep an eye on your greens and make sure to eat them quickly.
In terms of features, this design is very basic. You’ve got an icemaker in the freezer, complete with large bucket for cube storage. Other than an Ultra Ice mode for faster cube production, the only perk is Kenmore Connect, which helps a service technician remotely diagnose what's wrong with your fridge if something breaks.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
Good... but Expensive
Lots of space, for a price
If you’re trying to accommodate enough food for a large family and don’t care about features like through-the-door dispensers, the Kenmore Elite 79043 could be the fridge for you. Its giant capacity can hold plenty of food—both fresh and frozen—while high-end design elements like LED lighting keep it from looking cheap.
Which is good, because it isn’t: Sale prices of just over $1,600 make this one of the most expensive bottom freezers we’ve reviewed. You could get a good French door for that kind of money.
If you don’t want to wait for Sears to launch a sale and don’t care about stainless, consider getting the Elite in a different color. For about $150 less, this model is also available in white, black, and—believe it or not—bisque for about $150 less.
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