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Old 11-11-2001, 09:49 PM
elmwood elmwood is offline
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 9,338
Last week, a brand spankin' new Expo Design Center opened. When I was coming back from a meeting downtown, I decided to play hooky from work for about an hour to check the place out.

Egads! I had flashbacks to 1999-era Denver, when the dot-com dollars were flowing like the Tuscan wine the yupsters drank in mass quantities, and even the proles had shiny Sub-Zeros in the kitchen.

I'm wondering, though ... yeah, refirgerators with brushed steel doors look cool, as do industrial-looking ovens. Still, seeing a Viking refrigerator that ran for about $8,000, I wondered "what's the big deal?" Sure, it looks nice, but does it do a berrer job at keeping food cold than a $1,000 Kenmore? What about those $11,000 stoves -- are they really worth it?

Are over-the-top high end appliances the kitchen equivalent of esoteric audiophile electronics, or are they just normal fridges, dishwashers and ovens that have been redesigned and prettied up a bit?
Old 11-11-2001, 10:25 PM
Earthling Earthling is offline
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Up a creek with no paddle
Posts: 1,376
Before these things got to be popular, they used to be commercial/industrial products, meaning they're supposed to last longer, which was their appeal to those with the means (both money and access to sources in the trade) to get them. But now it's become trendy and available to anyone who can drive to a suburban shopping center. This is one man's experience.

Another part of it, I'd say, is just to show us that the people who can afford these things are different/better than the rest of us. It's an ever-changing game; when the proles got Sub-Zeros, the moneyed ones moved on to Traulsens.
Old 11-12-2001, 07:50 AM
Green Bean Green Bean is offline
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: NJ, Exit #137
Posts: 12,024
Being the proud owner of what would have been a $5000 stove (we got a deal--long story) I can say that it is a truly wonderful stove. Is it 10x better than a $500 stove? Maybe not. But it's like driving a Mercedes instead of driving a Chevy Cavalier.

For those that are interested, it's a Dacor--their home model. (It's not one of those oversized ones.)

And the highly priced kitchen appliances are status symbols. Maybe some people buy them just to show off their disposable income. They do look nice in any case.
Old 11-12-2001, 02:17 PM
Jeremy's Evil Twin Jeremy's Evil Twin is offline
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: The Right Side Of My Mind
Posts: 454
In general, the more expensive kitchen appliances have higher Hunger ratings.

For instance, the $600 Llamark fridge has a measely hunger rating of six, whereas the $2750 Old Thyme fridge increases the hunger rating to nine. That may not sound like a big difference, but it's the base number that determines a meal's final hunger rating when other factors (stove type, counter type and cooking skill) are added on, so it's very important. (You can even download a $4000 pantry that has a whopping hunger rating of 12!)

(Ok, now I know I've been playing The Sims too much... )
Old 11-12-2001, 06:06 PM
Athena Athena is online now
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: da UP, eh
Posts: 13,322
I'll second Green Bean's opinion. My stove didn't cost $11K - more like $3.5K - but I love it. It's 100 times better than an off-the-shelf GE or Kenmore.

It's a Dacor as well, gas range on top, electric convection oven on bottom. The oven is incredibly accurate, and the convection feature makes cooking most things much faster. My Thanksgiving turkeys are always done in about 2 hours, as opposed to 4-5 hours in a standard oven. My burners are hotter than standard burners, allowing me to cook up big ol' pots of food at full boil or only slightly simmering depending on my needs.

The damn thing is also about 100 times easier to clean than most low end ranges I've had the pleasure of cleaning.

I actually got in an argument with my real estate agent over the range. He told me that I needed to leave it when I sold the house. I told him no way. He wheedled and whined, and finally said "Look at it this way - how much would it cost to replace the range in your next house?" I told him how much it cost. He shut up.
Old 11-12-2001, 06:30 PM
Kamandi Kamandi is offline
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,631
Ye-gads! And to think I thought twice before buying a $37 camp stove at REI!

Mind you, it's smaller than a pack of cigarettes and weighs less than 4oz. Try carrying your $3500 Dacor range up a mountainside.
Old 11-12-2001, 06:47 PM
Green Bean Green Bean is offline
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: NJ, Exit #137
Posts: 12,024
I've got a Dacor range AND an MSR Whisperlite. Thbbppp!
Old 11-12-2001, 07:19 PM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 36,997
from the science world

some ovens and fridges are so pricey because, in theory, they regulate temperature to a much finer degree, and produce more consistant results. They will pump heat in or out faster to keep within a degree or two, and their thermostats are not only more accurate, they react to changes more quickly.
Old 11-12-2001, 08:50 PM
thinksnow thinksnow is offline
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: lurking behind you...
Posts: 4,736
Weird, I've got some Dacor SCUBA gear, though it was only about $2,000 for two sets of primaries, octos and a BCD...odd.
Old 11-12-2001, 09:10 PM
scotth scotth is offline
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 1,325
Originally posted by elmwood

Are over-the-top high end appliances the kitchen equivalent of esoteric audiophile electronics, or are they just normal fridges, dishwashers and ovens that have been redesigned and prettied up a bit?
Well, if they are like audiophile grade components, that would be a positive statement.

I'll be happy to make a factual comparison if anyone is really interested in the design and real world difference between mass market equipment and high end equipment. Starting this in another thread is probably the best course unless the original poster is really interested in this.


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