Thursday, February 19, 2015

(Feb 19) Fridge and Stove Purchased

After much hunting and contemplation, we finally decided to go with a full sized refrigerator and stove/oven. Yes! I know they take up a lot of space - but . . .   We do a lot of cooking. Even now, living in the middle of restaurant Mecca, we cook a lot. Once we move out to a much more remote location, we really felt that this was something that we would do even more of. 

We looked at 20", 22" & 24" stoves. We just couldn't find anything that got great reviews that offered what we wanted at a reasonable price. Same thing really on a fridge. I could have lived with a 15 cubic foot unit, but I couldn't find one with a bottom freezer, a feature I really wanted, without spending a fortune. That meant going down to a 10 cf or up to a 20 cf. The 10s were just too small and we felt we wouldn't be able to store enough fresh food for our lifestyle. So, up to the 20 it was. This meant 30" wide on both appliances. :(

We also had the added confidence that we had plenty of work space provided by the pull-down table on the bottom of the Murphy Bed. At 5' x 30", it should be a nice surface to prepare our meals. I wasn't thrilled at the prospect of putting the stove next to the fridge, but we managed to allocate about 10" between them which will make a nice tall storage for our flat bakeware like cookie sheets, jelly roll pans and broiling pans. We have a similar cabinet in our house in Arlington and it's one of the features we really wanted to carry over to this house. 

We went with Kenmore on both apllicance. The Stove is a 5 burner gas model with a full sized convection oven. It has a large Turbo burner at 18,500 BTU for quick boiling. It also has a Simmer burner that goes down to a very low setting when you need delicate cooking. Large cast iron grates make a solid cooking surface for improved safety and easy clean up. Full function timers including Timed Start and Timed Cook will be very handy. There is also a Keep Warm function on the oven that maintains a serving temperature once the dish is cooked. The large storage drawer under the unit will also facilitate much of our bakeware. I cook as much as possible in cast iron and tend to keep them on the stove top after they've been cleaned and oiled. A large window and lighted interior were also features we had deemed necessary. 

The fridge is 20 cf with a bottom freezer. Also in Stainless steel since they would basically sit next to each other. I really like the idea a the refrigerator portion being on top. In the past, top freezer units meant that I was constantly crouching down to get to bottom drawers or shelves and since I'm in the fridge section 3-4 times as often as the freezer, having the fresh foods at eye level was a convenience I was really looking forward to. We didn't get an ice maker since we have no plans to have public water hooked up to the house. I may regret this later if we decide to put in a well pump and pressurized system but it just didn't seem worth the extra expense for something we might never use, especially in the foreseeable future until we move out here permanently. An ice bin would just be in the way have to be emptied and drained every time we left since we will likely not be able to maintain above freezing temps until our electricity is provided by the grid. 

True to most items we have looked at for our Tiny House, the smaller they get, the more expensive they get, even with a smaller feature set. The same was true here. The feature rich, full-sized stove was cheaper then many of the smaller stoves we had looked at, as was the fridge. The 20 cf unit was about the same price as many of the 10 cf units. The price we paid was in inches though. Combined, the 2 appliances were 12" wider than their smaller counterparts. If we put them on the same wall, we lose a full foot off of that wall's counter space. If we put them on adjacent walls, we lose 6" off of each. We decided to put them on the same wall and leave the full foot of extra space on the segment of counter with the sink, giving us a larger prep area there. Either way, the pull down table would be our main work area. It just means cleaning it up before we could serve a meal there. Otherwise, we would move to the living area and eat there in front of the bay windows or at the sofa with TV trays.

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