KitchenAid KSC24C8EYY Review
The KitchenAid KSC24C8EYY (MSRP $2,799) is a high-end fridge with a very specialized focus: food preservation.
The KitchenAid KSC24C8EYY (MSRP $2,799) is a high-end fridge with a very specialized focus. It's part of the new-for-2012 Preserva line, which is marketed as being able to keep your food fresher, longer. From our testing, we can say this tall side-by-side absolutely delivers on that performance with superb moisture retention and an effective refrigerator, plus some innovative features.
Despite those strong points, however, a questionable freezer and high energy costs nearly derailed this fridge entirely. If you eat mostly fresh foods it's a good choice, but many other fridges offer a more balanced approach to chilling food.
Design & Usability
A fancy counter-depth that uses its height to maximize internal space
This stainless steel KitchenAid is a side-by-side fridge with a through-the-door ice and water dispenser, as well as an external control panel. The interior is unremarkable in its arrangement, using a traditional mix of glass and plastic shelves, but it looks really fancy. LED lighting and stainless trim on the shelves and drawers give this a high-end, high-tech look that definitely doesn't disappoint. Even the dairy bin is just different enough to be interesting: Instead of the traditional curved cover, the front flips up and slides under a plastic lid, maximizing space with an almost perfectly rectangular storage area. The ice maker is also spatially efficient, as it is located entirely on the freezer door. The ice bin pulls down and out, granting you easy access to bulk ice. There's even a nifty little window built in, as well as a separate light, so you can see how full it is.
Unfortunately, the layout itself is a bit lacking. Side-by-sides tend to be tall and narrow, and this counter-depth model adds "shallow" to that list of adjectives. There's limited fridge space, and the top shelves are very high up.
The controls may also take some getting used to, simply because there are so many things you can adjust. Touch-sensitive icons allow you to control temperature, lights, locks, even cup size and unit of measurement for automatically filling glasses with water. The lights turn off after about a minute or so of not being touched, which means you won't have to worry about having your kitchen bathed in a pale blue glow all night.
With functionality that matches its elegant design, this model only had a few small sticking points.
The most exciting thing about this fridge is KitchenAid's fancy new Preserva technology. The company says their new “Fresh Flow” air filter reduces the presence of ethylene gas—one of the substances that causes food to spoil—and supposedly is 15 times more powerful than baking soda when it comes to reducing odors. We don't test odor removal, but it's exciting to know that companies are working on it.
Otherwise, the fridge feels like any other high-end unit. Tall shelving areas make for easy access, and you've got plenty of slots for storage customization. Their glass surfaces are smooth and wipe clean with little effort, as does the metal trim. The lip where metal meets glass, though, isn’t perfectly flush, so you’ll want to make sure nothing drips or gets stuck in there. In a nifty design twist, the fridge’s door shelves are actually composed of two portions: a metal frame that hooks onto the door, as well as a plastic bucket—the actual storage space—which is easily removed for cleaning. Fancy though they may look, storage drawers slide out very smoothly on both sides but caught more often than we expected going back in.
The water dispenser and ice dispenser are operated by two separate paddles, and there's a small light illuminating the whole dispenser unit.
One of the best crisper drawers on the market today
In case you haven't guessed by now, this KitchenAid's vegetable drawer really impressed us, retaining moisture for three times as long as many other models we've tested. This means that produce will stay fresh and crisp in this fridge for far longer than almost any other model that we’ve tested to date; it's one of the best—if not the best—out there.
The rest of the fridge was remarkably consistent, but it did run a bit warm despite using the manufacturer-recommended thermostat settings. It's an easy fix, though: Just turn down the dial a bit, and the problem is solved. Make sure to invest in a thermometer to help ensure your food is being cooled at the correct temperature since, unlike other high-end fridges, this KitchenAid's controls aren't on the Fahrenheit or Celsius scales.
The freezer maintained a very cold temperature over time, but it did fluctuate by a rather large amount. While nothing was even close to thawing, variations in temperature can cause small ice crystals to form. That's what leads to freezer burn.
We also weren't impressed by energy consumption. Though this is a tall fridge, its interior space isn't that big, and it used a lot of electricity to keep that interior cool.
Even with all its pros, it still costs too much.
The KitchenAid KSC24C8EYY's $2,799 MSRP is, in many respects, not justified. Flaws like inconsistent freezer temperatures, a cramped interior, and high energy costs are prominent enough to detract from an otherwise solid appliance.
Where the manufacturer made this fridge really shine, though, is in its crisper drawer. Combined with a Fresh Flow filter, it will preserve your food, making your groceries stay fresh and last longer. That may even save you some money in the long run, especially if you eat a lot of fruits and vegetables.
In this application, however, the Preserva system is exceptional technology that's been added to an average fridge.
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