The Fridge/Freezer the most used and underrated appliance in the kitchen, and when faced with avenues of these white goods towering in rows in the likes of Currys or Comet it can be a monumental task to try to choose the best one for your needs and of course budget.
My choice was somewhat easier as I had themed my kitchen around Bosch products, but even so Bosch had an amazing 29 models spread over their three trim levels; Clasixx, Exxcel, Logixx and Built-in.
The brief from Mrs Scenic was a full height, half and half Fridge/Freezer. The nearest model that came close to that was the KGN 34X00.
The KGN 34X00 falls into the Exxcel range which is one up from the basic range, I say full height at 182cm it just allows a top box to fit above to create a flush line with wall units, if you go for the KGN 39 models they come up at 200cm and would not fit under a standard top box in built-in units. You can also get a 55cm width model if you have 60cm units with end plates.
So the day arrived for the Bosch to be put into its hole and the half acre of cardboard, polystyrene and endless pieces of tape to be disposed of, re-cycled of course.
The thing that strikes you about the Bosch is its plain design, all of the controls are inside the fridge hidden behind the door out of the way of little fingers, but if you are less than 5ft 6in you may struggle to reach the controls. So what you have is a very plain looking fridge from the outside, and not a row of L.E.Ds and knobs that spoil the clean lines of the appliance.
One thing I had not taken particular notice of were the bow fronted doors, which allowed much deeper storage in the fridge and a recess for pizzas in the freezer. Just one of the simple but clever design features on this appliance.
As I mentioned the controls for the fridge and freezer are located inside, the fridge, and the fridge control is a simple turn knob mounted on the back wall of the fan unit. Being frost free the cooling in the fridge is by cool air passed around the fridge with a fan that circulates cooled air. In normal use the fan cuts in every 10 minutes or so and whilst it is audible it is not over noisy.
The freezer controls are mounted on the header rail of the fridge and are concealed by the fridge door. There are a number of push buttons; one selects the freezer temperature on an LED display from -16oC to max -24oC, there is also a super freeze button which is recommended for freezing fresh produce over 2 kg in weight. The last button being the on/off switch, so the unit can be turned off with out the need to switch off at the plug.
On this model the fridge is supplied with 3 shelves, one of which covers the two salad drawers. The top shelf houses the chiller compartment and can rack, this area is cooler than the rest of the fridge and will store items at just over 0oC. The second shelf has an attachment for a bottle cooler rack and this can be interchanged with the can rack if desired.
The door also has 3 racks, the top housing the egg tray and butter dish, which can be removed. The second rack allows enough room for smaller sauce bottles. The third rack allows full height bottles to be stored and we have found two 4 litre milk cartoons and two 2 litre water bottles will fit easily thanks to the bow shape of the door allowing much deeper storage than other makes.
The freezer is arranged with three draws, two of which pull out on rails, the bottom draw is loose and not as deep due to the recess of the motor at the back of the unit. I should also mention the middle rack has a 26cm height so a good size turkey would fit.
The bow shape of the door also gives extra storage options in the freezer door where a frozen pizza will fit or a couple of cool box cold packs can be stored.
Overall we are very pleased with the appliance, the freezer is totally frost free and keeps a very uniform temperature throughout, the only niggle is a plastic overlap that does not allow the trays full height to be used, but this is to allow the necessary airflow around the freezer to be maintained.
The fridge too impresses, the airflow around the unit maintains a much more stable temperature, the only drawback being any open food needs to be wrapped to maintain moisture as the effect of the fan does dry food out much more than models with the old type cold plate method, and indeed leave half an onion un-wrapped and the aroma will spread to everything very quickly.
Other features worth mentioning;
The linings and elements are all silver lined, which gives protection against bacteria and algae
The unit is completely frost free and only uses one motor (compressor) using fan assisted airflow for more even distribution of cooled air
Rated energy consumption, 358kWh per annum £25 approx to run.
The unit can have door hinged left or right, I did not change the door opening but it looks like a two person job and the appliance needs to be leaned right over, so remember to leave the unit standing for at leased 12 hours if you do to let the oil settle in the motor.
Door seals can be removed for cleaning
So there we have it. A good quality fridge/freezer. A simple, but clever design and economical too.
Controls / Display / Short name: Bosch KGN34X00GB