Kenmore 79009 19.7 Cu. Ft. Bottom Freezer Black Review$1,119.99
We set the Kenmore to the manufacturer's recommended temperature setting of 4 out of the 1-7 scale. The appliance overall ran a bit warm, but that's easily fixed by dropping the controls down a number or two. Otherwise, this Kenmore offered some of the best temperature consistency we've seen. The degree was almost exactly the same from top to bottom, and over time there was only a fluctuation of less than half of a degree. You can put your food anywhere in this fridge and it will be kept at almost the exact same temperature regardless of location.
The freezer wasn't quite as uniform in its temperature output as the fridge, but it still did really well. The top of the freezer was noticeably colder than the bottom, but at its warmest the freezer just missed hitting two degrees Fahrenheit. While a solid zero would be ideal, two degrees is still plenty low enough to keep things in safe cold storage. As long as you're not swapping things from the top to the bottom, you'll also have very little risk of freezer burn - each section of the freezer never fluctuated more than half a degree over time.
We test a fridge's crisper drawer using the highest humidity setting designed for vegetable storage in order to determine the slowest rate of moisture loss possible. The Kenmore's unusually large drawers lost an average of just 0.17 grams of moisture per hour over the course of our three-day testing period. This is really quite good, and better than some of the high-end fridges that we've tested. Produce stored here will remain fresh and crisp for longer than average, making this fridge that much better for consumers that love fresh salads.
If you happen to lose power due to a minor natural disaster, your first thought may be for the well-being of your loved ones. Your second thought may be whether or not your food will keep for the mount of time it would take to get the power back on. The Kenmore had no trouble keeping the freezer cold for more than 36 hours after we cut off the power, so as long as you keep the freezer door shut and have a decent power company, you shouldn't have to throw anything away.
The sooner an item is brought down from room temperature to freezing, the better it will be when thawed. The texture of meats and nutritional value of vegetables are just of the elements that can be effected by freezing speed. Ideally, food would be flash frozen instantly, and the closer a refrigerator can get to instantaneous freezing, the better. The Kenmore managed to freeze our test materials in 1 hour and 26 minutes. This isn't the fastest time that we've seen, but it's fast enough to get the job done. Thawed food should be just fine.