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Consumer Reports Article on the Top Kitchen Appliances of 2020

by Albert Lee Appliance

Take a deep breath, you’ve officially made it to the new year. While you may still be experiencing some déjà vu, 2021 has arrived. The events of the past year caused people to spend more time at home than ever before, and the unsung hero of 2020 turned out to be our home appliances. Between washing and disinfecting our face masks to catching up on the endless stack of dirty dishes to learning how to cook chicken satay with peanut sauce, our cooking and cleaning appliances were there through it all. Our team here at Albert Lee has made it our mission to operate safely and help our community find quality appliances that can withstand everyday use in our homes that are now doubling as schools, gyms, and home offices.

Considering the worst is hopefully behind us, we wanted to do a recap of some of the best appliances of the past year to shed a positive light on what turned out to be a life-changing situation. With a little help from our friends at Consumer Reports, we took an in-depth look at refrigerators, dishwashers, ranges, wall ovens, and more, and highlighted the products you can depend on to make household chores feel like less of a burden.

Hop in your DeLorean and gun it to 88 miles per hour—we're going back to 2020! Here is Consumer Reports list for the top-rated kitchen appliances from the past year.

Top Kitchen Appliances

We’re all consumers, and much like you, we want to find the best available products for our cooking space. This is a brief list of some of the top kitchen appliances you can find in our stores, but if you’re looking for more in-depth buying guides, navigate to our blog page and take a look at our previous articles.

Top Range

Consumer Reports listed the LG Signature Textured Steel Dual Fuel Double Oven Range (LUTD4919SN) as one of the highest-rated cooking appliances of the past year with an overall score of 85 out of 100. This product is LG's first dual-fuel range. It gives you the flexibility of a gas cooktop and an electric oven all in one sleek and stylish appliance. With a Textured Steel finish, this range uses gas to fuel the cooktop for faster heating and boiling than electric cooktops, and electricity to power the oven for professional-style baking results.

Additional features include ProBake Convection for even baking results on every rack, Infrared Heating to take up to 20 percent off your cooking time with no preheating required, an EasyClean cycle which cleans your oven in 10 minutes with no harsh fumes, and the UltraHeat burner for greater precision and power.

Consumer Reports detailed test results determined that this model had “Very Good performance in our test of how quickly the highest-powered cooktop burner or element heated a large pot of water to a near boil.” It went on to say, “This model had Excellent performance in our baking tests, which reflects even browning of cakes and cookies baked on two oven racks.”

This LG range also scored an Excellent performance score in broiling, oven capacity, and self-cleaning, so you can see it’s a very dependable and versatile cooking appliance that would be a tremendous asset in any kitchen.

modern kitchen with LG range

Top Cooktop

When it comes to cooktops, you can find plenty of quality products in gas or electric models, but if you’re looking for the best-of-the-best, look toward induction for your cooking needs. The Bosch 800 Series Black Induction Cooktop (NIT8069UC) was given a perfect score of 100 by Consumer Reports.

Cooks of all skill levels will get the most out of their appliance and discover what precise cooking performance is all about. The Bosch 800 Series offers consistent temperature settings for more precise cooking results thanks to AutoChef. This cooktop will give any cooking space a streamlined look with a frameless design that is specifically made to integrate more seamlessly with your countertop.

It comes with four induction cooking zones, including an 11-inch zone for large pots and pans, 17 power levels for each cooking zone, it speeds up the cooking process with SpeedBoost, and Home Connect allows you to remotely monitor your appliance and efficiently manage your day. Whether you’re pressed for time or meal prepping for the entire week, this cooktop effectively handles all your cooking needs with superior control.

According to the Consumer Reports detailed test results, when scoring for high heat, this model had, “Excellent performance in how quickly the highest-powered burner or element heated a large pot of water to a near boil.” When examining low heat, the report went on to say, “This model had Excellent performance in our test of how well the lowest-powered element or burner kept a low temperature as for melting chocolate and how well the highest element or burner, set on low, held tomato sauce below a boil.”

aerial view of a Bosch cooktop 

Top Wall Oven

Your oven will be one of the most frequently used of all cooking appliances, so if you’re a big-time entertainer or simply cook for an entire village, a double oven is a must-have. There's no need to hold back on those bulk purchases at the grocery store—the KitchenAid Electric Double Oven Built-In (KODE500ESS) measures at 30-inches-wide with two oven cavities for simultaneous cooking and a total oven capacity of 10 cubic feet.

This oven is equipped with Even-Heat True Convection, providing consistent heating and even cooking. A unique bow-tie shaped design and convection fan helps ensure there are no burnt edges or undercooked centers. The Temperature Probe delivers accurate measurements of internal temperatures of meats, poultry, and casseroles without opening the oven and allowing the hot air to escape.

Along with satin textured handles, precision touch controls, SatinGlide Roll-Out Extension Rack, and a self-cleaning cycle, these exquisitely crafted features and bold design details are the perfect balance of elegance and functionality. Consumer Reports agrees that this double oven is a worthy option, giving it a score of 85 for its spacious interior, broiling capabilities, and convection cooking modes.

The detailed test result for this KitchenAid wall oven explained, “This model had Excellent performance for broiling, which reflects high-heat searing and even browning of a tray of burgers.” The test also included that this model had, “Excellent performance for oven capacity, our gauge of usable oven space.”

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Top Microwave

There are a few different microwave varieties to choose from—there's built-in, the classic countertop, and even microwave drawers, but one of Consumer Reports’ favorite microwave types is the over-the-range microwave. Coming in atop our list is the Fingerprint-Resistant Whirlpool Over The Range Microwave (WMH53521HZ).

The 2.1 cubic feet capacity features a smooth, fingerprint-resistant finish, sensor cooking, and steam cooking. You can quickly clean up spills with the CleanRelease Non-Stick Interior, the 4-Speed motor gets rid of cooking odors with four different fan speed settings, and it comes with the kosher-friendly Sabbath mode.

With a steady and dependable score of 87, this Whirlpool microwave had an excellent score in even heating, defrosting ability, ease of use, and quiet operation. The results went on to mention that this model, “performed excellent in our defrosting test consisting of thawing a pound of frozen ground beef...and performed excellent in our heat evenness test consisting of reheating a bowl of mashed potatoes.”

Top Dishwasher

With everything that transpired in 2020, hygiene was at the forefront. We cleaned, we washed, we scrubbed, and we sanitized. And our dishes and kitchenware were no exception. However, we didn’t have to do all the dirty work ourselves—the Bosch Ascenta Series Built-In Dishwasher (SHX3AR75UC) with the Sanitize feature lent a helping hand.

This dishwasher features six wash cycles, a 14-place-setting capacity, a quiet 50 dBA operation, a self-latching door, and a special Delicate Wash so you can load your fine china into your dishwasher for a soft and gentle clean. This Bosch Ascenta dishwasher is also highly efficient, saving up to 280 gallons of water each year, and the EcoSense cycle reduces energy usage by up to 20 percent.

Because of the combination of superior performance and exceptional features, Consumer Reports gave a score of 89. These features would typically be found on a much pricier model, so this appliance offers a tremendous value. Bosch scores among the top in its class for washing, drying, quiet operation, efficient wash cycles, reliability, and satisfaction.

This model performed Excellent in the energy test, “which combines water and energy use for a fully soiled load of dishes.” Cycle time was also deemed excellent for its ability to clean a full, heavily soiled load that includes a temperature-boost option and heated dry.

sleek dishwasher in kitchenscape 

Top Refrigerator

What’s better, working hard or working smart? If you have the right refrigerator, you can do both. The LG PrintProof Counter Depth French Door Refrigerator (LRFVC2406S) with InstaView door has everything you need to be an efficient home entertainer. Dual ice makers with Craft Ice automatically create crushed and cubed ice for everyday use, and for upscale, craft drinks at home, this fridge also produces LG’s exclusive slow-melting round ice on demand. Innovative LG cooling technologies work hard to ensure you’re serving guests the freshest foods and extending the life of your produce.

You'll experience a greater capacity and increased shelf space to store more food, and the popular Door-in-Door design offers quick and easy access to all your favorite snacks and beverages. Three cooling technologies work in tandem to extend the life of your fruits and vegetables. Linear Cooling, Smart Cooling, and Door Cooling+ deliver blasts of cool air to all areas of the refrigerator.

This is a reliable fridge model with Excellent thermostat control, temperature uniformity, and noise performance, along with Very Good ice-making performance. The additional doors, spacious interior, and ease-of-use make this refrigerator the cornerstone in any family kitchen.

LG kitchen with InstaView fridge

Bonus: Laundry

If you thought this was all about the kitchen, then we certainly fooled you. 2020 saw an increase in washer and dryer use, and without a reliable laundry pair, our clothes just wouldn’t be the same. This isn’t a Consumer Reports list, but let’s take a quick look at a top-rated washer and dryer from our store.

Top Washer

The Electrolux Titanium Front Load Washer (EFLS627UTT) with the exclusive SmartBoost technology provides the most effective stain removal by premixing water and detergent before the cycle begins, maximizing the cleaning power of the detergent. It features the industry’s first Adaptive Dispenser that accepts detergent pods to give you the flexibility to clean with all detergent types for a thorough clean. It is highly efficient and removing stains and has energy-efficient wash cycles. A steam cycle is used to gently lift dirt and stains from fibers, and the 15-Minute Fast Wash quickly deep cleans your items when you’re in a rush to get out the door.

Top Dryer

The Electrolux Titanium Front Load Electric Dryer (EFME627UTT) is the co-pilot to your Electrolux washing machine. This model is an electric dryer with Perfect Steam and Predictive Dry, providing a more precise sensor to protect fabrics from overdrying. When you’re getting ready for work, it removes wrinkles and will quickly refresh items in 10 minutes with the Instant Refresh cycle. Quickly dry the items you need in a moment's notice with the 15-Minute Fast Dry. The dryer is sleek, has simple controls, and rich cycle options, representing the perfect balance between cycle times and cycle temperatures.

man doing his laundry and holding up his dress shirt

Other Top Appliances

And don’t forget the other appliances that helped you through the year. Maybe it was your coffee maker, your barbecue grill, your wine cooler, or even a trash compactor. Whatever your appliance needs, you can count on Albert Lee to provide the best available products across all appliance categories.

Make sure you start the new year off on a positive note, don’t hesitate to give us a call or visit us at one of our store locations to shop our entire collection of cooking and cleaning appliances and discover the top products for 2021.