November 1, 2012

My Maytag Kitchen

A few summers ago, on the hottest day of the year, our refrigerator decided to stop working.  Granted, this sort of thing sometimes happens with appliances, particularly on days when you need it most (Murphy's Law and all that), however our fridge was only 2 years old and a fairly high-end model at that.
To stay my husband and I were peeved is an understatement, especially when customer service for the brand was pretty much non-existent.  Even the repairman said that he has fixed this part many times before, with no recall or correction from the brand.

After a $300 repair bill, Chris and I moved on with life, not really considering our fridge again.  Who really thinks about it much when it's doing what it's supposed to do?  Unfortunately, we had to think about it again last summer when, surprise surprise, the same part broke again!  We hemmed and hawed, debating what to do.  Fix it? Buy the cheapest fridge out there to replace it?  We ended up fixing it, more because we didn't want to deal with getting it in and out of the house.  But in the back of our minds, we didn't trust that fridge and even avoided packing it to full for fear of losing all our food again.

On a whim this past spring, I decided to apply for the Maytag Dependable Kitchen Moms program with Mom Central, thinking how great it would be to know this refrigerator was finally out of lives.
In addition we'd get to test out a fancy Maytag stove, microwave and dishwasher, something we haven't had in this house.  When I received the email that I was accepted, I couldn't believe it; I was ecstatic, especially since I'm an avid cook who makes 95% of my family's meals.

Our house is 100+ years old, and the kitchen definitely shows its age.  With its awkward layout and lack of a dishwasher, it's often a challenge to cook and keep the kitchen clean.  To make room for a dishwasher, my husband and my brother tore out the old metal cabinets and farmhouse sink. 
I was a little bummed losing that sink--it was so pretty, but it just wouldn't accommodate the dishwasher.  We kept the upper cabinets but will probably replace them when we do a full renovation of the space.  I did the tile work, using some small subway tiles to fit with the age of our house.

Our kitchen went from this:
to this:
It's been a pleasure having appliances that I can rely on, that don't overcook the food and keep things cold and organized.  When I think of the Maytag brand, the first thing that comes to mind is how long they've been around.  To me, that equals dependability, knowing that the company has weathered many years of service.

I rely a lot on my appliances, particularly during the cooler months and holidays when I'm baking and cooking a lot (and having to clean up a lot too) so I need them to be there, working hard for me.  The Maytag Ice20 Refrigerator has been amazing, definitely not like our last fridge.  It helps keep food organized and easily accessible
(Forgive the spare contents: we just spent the last 2 1/2 weeks in the hospital with my son and weren't eating much at home.  And the pic is kind of wonky because I had a toddler literally underfoot.)
The Ice20 has a cool middle drawer that pulls out and is great for holding kid-accessible snacks.
You can even see into the drawer when you're inside the main area of the fridge, which is helpful for tracking the cheese stick stash.

The freezer is also contained in a drawer, albeit a rather large one.  This is so convenient, being able to just pull the freezer out to find what's inside.
Our last fridge just had a door and it was hard digging around to find things, especially on your knees.  The Ice20 freezer has a main compartment and then a wire drawer that also slides out above.  Tons of storage here.

My favorite feature is probably the water and ice dispenser.  I feel so spoiled having this!
Not only are ice and water at your fingertips, but it has a lot of other techy features like a measured fill option, where you can have the fridge measure out a cup of water for you without using a measuring cup.  Plus it automatically keeps track of how many ounces that are going into your glass, which is great for making sure you drink your 8 glasses of water a day.

I haven't decided which appliance is my favorite--I seriously love them all.  The Jetclean Plus Dishwasher has been especially nice, since we never had one in this house.
It's saved us so much time in the evenings by eliminating that 45 minutes of hand washing dishes.  It gives us more time to spend with the boys and less time at the sink.  Since I have no prior dishwasher experience, I can't really say if this is quieter or roomier than most, but I really don't notice when it's running and I've never had to turn away a dish since it arrived and was installed.
I've even experimented with putting some pretty crusty dishes in it, just to see how well it works and I'm pleased to report that they were squeaky clean.  I was impressed that you can adjust the top rack to accommodate larger pots below.  The layout inside makes it easy to load; it beckons every thing into its right place.

The Maytag Electric Range has also been a workhorse, even though we haven't been home much this month.  I've baked pumpkin chocolate chip bars in it, as well as a shepherd's pie which I used the broiler for and it worked great.  I like that the oven light automatically goes on when I open it, unlike my last stove.
The glass cooktop itself has taken some time to get used to, with its 3-in-1 burner (which is awesome!  What a great idea.) and warming area.  I'm excited to use this over the holidays.
It's so much easier to clean than a typical coil burner stove.

I also received an Over the Range Microwave, however due to son being in the hospital for a few weeks, we haven't had a chance to install it (we need to add a cabinet above the stove to accommodate it).  But I am looking forward to saying goodbye to this sad fellow, who's been hanging around since my college days.
I'll give my thoughts on the microwave when we finally install it in the next week or so.

While our kitchen has a ways to go in terms of its final layout, I'm excited that all of its biggest contributors are now awaiting my culinary direction.  They've surprisingly all fit right into my cooking routine, and though I still have to learn about some of the special features on each appliance, I know they're going to make life in the kitchen a lot more productive and a lot less stressful.  I'll be posting for the next few months about my experience with these appliances.

You can keep up with Maytag via their Facebook page, @MaytagBrand on Twitter and by checking out the other Maytag Moms (including the laundry moms) by following us on Twitter under the hashtag #MaytagMoms
Disclosure: I wrote this post participating in an Maytag Moms Dependable Kitchen Ambassador program by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Maytag. I was provided with a Maytag kitchen appliances set, including a refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher, and range to facilitate my post.

2 comments:

  1. Maytag has thought of everything. I've had my Ice2o for about 4 years now. Innovative. Quiet. Efficient. Adjustable shelves, freezer on the bottom, ice maker on top, very well thought out. Thank you Maytag.

    Regards,
    Jack
    refrigeration maintenance site

    ReplyDelete
  2. So excited to see all of this!!! I love that snack drawer feature- I'll bet it saves energy from the kids opening and standing in front of the fridge, gawking. Oh, wait, that's probably just my kids… ha!

    We have a crazy ancient microwave, too, but I can't justify buying a new one when it still works.

    Can I just say that this kitchen suite looks fantastic?! I can't wait to see what you cook up with it.

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