Kenmore Elite 80373 Over-the-Range Microwave Review
The Kenmore Elite 80373 has good looks and a good sensor, but nothing else stands out.
The Kenmore Elite 80373 (MSRP $849.99) over-the-range microwave has us a bit torn. We love its clean and stylish appearance, and it features one of the best sensor cooking modes we have ever seen. But it also lagged behind the competition in our cooking tests, whether we asked it to defrost, reheat, or cook using convection.
If your most important qualification for a microwave is that it matches your range, the 80373 will do. Otherwise, you should keep shopping.
Design and Usability
The Kenmore 80373 sports a crisp transitional aesthetic. It is available in white and black, but we think the stainless trim is worth the extra money.
The pressure sensitive control panel doesn't deviate from the standard microwave template, and the extractor vent is controlled by physical buttons found just below the cooking controls.
Sensor aside, not much to write home about
Straight away, the 80373 impressed with a sensational sensor setting. Microwave sensors promise a new level of cooking convenience, but the 80373's fast, accurate and consistent sensor actually delivers on that promise.
Apart from the stellar sensor, however, the 80373 offered only mediocre performance. The microwave's high wattage was evident in the fairly fast water heating times. However, as we have discovered, power is a double edged sword, and the popcorn setting resulted in a few burnt kernels. The microwave's convection setting proved inadequate, as well.
One of the worst things about defrosting or cooking food in a microwave is when parts remain frozen while other sections are blisteringly hot. That was the case with this Kenmore: Reheated food definitely needed to be stirred throughout the cooking process, while the Defrost setting left large portions of the food still frozen.
It all depends on what you value
Despite its high MSRP, we found the 80373 on sale for $517.99. Despite its good looks and stellar sensor, even that price may be too much for this Kenmore.
Considering that we found the better performing, larger, and more powerful Kenmore 80353 on sale for only $457.49, there's little reason to go for the smaller 80373, unless space in your home is at an absolute premium.
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