If you're remodeling the kitchen, or just swapping out an old dishwasher, range, or refrigerator, you're probably hearing about a lot of innovations as you comparison shop. After testing hundreds of new appliances, we can tell you that some of the claims are little more than marketing mumbo jumbo. But there have been several legitimate leaps forward in the field of appliance design. Here are five to consider as you shop around.
Steam-assist ovens. Promising speed, versatility, and healthful meal prep, combination steam/convection ovens have been making their way from restaurants into the home. This new type of cooker doesn't replace your main oven, so it's a luxury upgrade. But if there's room in the budget, we were impressed by the Wolf CS024 Convection Steam Oven, $3,800, which cooked a nicely browned 4-pound chicken in about 40 minutes. Or consider the affordable Cuisinart CSO-300, a $300 countertop model that also delivered solid results.
Four-door refrigerators. This new spin on the French-door refrigerator provides an additional easy-access storage compartment, often with separate temperature controls. When it first came out a few years back, none of the models made our recommended list, raising doubts about its longevity. But more manufacturers have since come out with well-built four-door models, including Samsung, which leads the category with two recommended models. A newly-tested four-door Whirlpool narrowly missed our refrigerator picks list.