For about 30% less than many comparable models, you get high-end design, plenty of room, and a level of performance that's pretty solid. Sounds like a good deal to us.
High-end style on the cheap
Despite its modest price point, the folks at Kenmore definitely didn’t come up short in the style department. A stainless finish with responsive touch-panel controls are marks of a high-end fridge, as is the inclusion of a central drawer that comes with four distinct temperature settings for specialized food storage.
Four adjustable shelves in the fridge section—two of which have retractable front halves—offer plenty of customizable storage, while three smooth-sliding drawers help keep fruits and veggies together at the bottom.
A shallow, recessed tray at the bottom of the fridge serves as a nifty little multipurpose nook where other fridges simply have wasted space. You can store marinating meat or use it as an easy-to-reach snack bin for the kids. It's covered by two sliding glass panels, similar to the overlapping double doors you might find on a bedroom closet.
In the pullout freezer, you get sliding drawers of various heights and a pizza holder, which can fit two family-sized frozen pies at a time.
Running just a little warm
In the fridge, our sensors recorded average temperatures of 38.8°F at the top, 38.34°F in the middle, and 39.5°F at the bottom. Because temperatures fluctuated an average of 0.5ºF over 72 hours, you needn't worry about food's internal temperatures going above 41ºF—the temperature at which bacterial growth begins to become a problem. Still, you’ll want to turn the thermostat down a degree or two for optimal food preservation.
The freezer was similar: good enough, but warm. We recorded a low temperature of -2.37ºF, and a high of 3.47ºF during an automatic defrost cycle. On average, however, temperatures only fluctuated a half a degree over 72 hours. That means you'll do a good job avoiding freezer burn if you turn the temperature down.
We've seen better crisper drawers
While you can adjust the thermostat to help deal with temperature issues, there’s no adjustable slider to improve the crispers. Our test materials lost an average of 0.27 grams of moisture per hour over the course of three days inside the Kenmore’s fridge drawers. That’s more than average for French door fridges, and could potentially result in faster spoiling of produce.
Temperature performance is alright
In our lab tests, temperature performance was acceptable. Both the fridge and freezer zones ran warm, something that is correctible by turning down the thermostat.
Over time, temperatures varied only slightly in both compartments, though food in the freezer compartment frequently got above 0ºF—which is what causes freezer burn.
None of the three fridge drawers have adjustable humidity controls, and this is made all the more frustrating by the fact that they only did a mediocre job retaining moisture.
Aside from the central temperature-controlled drawer, the feature set is pretty standard. Through-the-door ice and water dispensers are complemented by a control lock, rapid-icemaking Acceler-Ice, and vacation modes. You do get the option of a measured fill on the water dispenser, which is a nice perk. Users can ditch the measuring cup and let the fridge dispense exactly as much water as a recipe requires.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
Neither under- nor overwhelming
Freezing times were just plain average. The chilly lower section of the Kenmore cooled room temperature food down to 32°F in one hour and 23 minutes, which is good.
The 72383 also passed our thawing test with flying colors. After 36 hours without power, the interior had only warmed up to 28.49°F—very chilly, indeed.
A great price for a good fridge.
The Kenmore 72383 isn’t outstanding at anything. Other products have better temperature control, superior energy efficiency, and more gadgets than you’ll find here.
What this Kenmore does bring to the table is a great price for good performance and a good set of features. It's one of the least-expensive French door fridges to feature a fourth temperature-adjustable drawer—other, cheaper models tend to have a second freezer drawer instead. With its well-designed interior, it might be a good fit for families.
Could be roomier
Despite its size and some clever compartments, the Kenmore 72383 does have a few flaws when it comes to space utilization. Gaps around the four shelves waste good storage space, but nooks like the sliding compartment in front of the crispers help mitigate that. All told, the main fridge section offers up 12.48 usable cubic feet of space, including the large central drawer above the freezer.
Speaking of which, the freezer is quite roomy. Two sliding drawers sit above the main pullout bin, which is divided by a sliding central section. Throw in the pizza caddie hidden just inside the freezer door, and you get 5.02 usable cubic feet.
While the 72383 isn’t inefficient, it’s not quite as frugal with energy as other modern models. We calculate it requires 0.1 kWh to cool each cubic foot, as opposed to similar models that can use as little as 0.07. Keep in mind this is with the icemaker running, so if you don’t empty it out often, that efficiency will improve. Figuring a national average cost of $0.09 per kWh, that comes out to about $59.40 a year in electricity costs.
Meet the testers
Logistics Manager & Staff Writer@ReviewedHome
Matthew is a native of Brockton, MA and a graduate of Northeastern, where he earned a degree in English and Theatre. He has also studied at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin and spends most of his free time pursuing a performance career in the greater Boston area.See all of Matthew Zahnzinger's reviews
Checking our work.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.Shoot us an email