refrigerators
Expert Score
8.0

Kenmore Elite 79043 Refrigerator Review

Large, efficient, effective... and expensive

November 12, 2014
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 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

Kenmore Elite 79043 Exterior
This bottom freezer is a very sizable—and expensive—product. View Larger

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.

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Performance & Features

Kenmore Elite 79043 Icemaker
The icemaker takes up minimal freezer space and can produce a lot of cubes. View Larger

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.

Kenmore Elite 79043 Controls
Controls are basic, and are located along the upper frame. View Larger

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

Kenmore Elite 79043 Interior
Lots of usable storage space make this a good choice for large families. View Larger

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.

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.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
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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