KitchenAid KRFC300ESS Refrigerator Review

The KitchenAid KRFC300ESS is a slightly basic French door refrigerator that offers a nice combination of aesthetic appeal and some useful features such as a counter-depth design, produce preserver, and a metal wine rack. 

On the whole, it has above-average ratings and reviews but at the same time, it’s marred by a lot of complaints from users regarding its durability and quality. Nonetheless, it’s still a practical and efficient refrigerator in this category and price range. 

Pros 

  • Counter-depth design for a built-in look
  • Produce preserve to absorb ethylene gas
  • Water and air filtration systems
  • Reliable single ice maker
  • Wine rack that can hold up to 4 bottles

Cons 

  • Fridge temperature tends to fluctuate
  • Drawers don’t open easily and tend to get stuck
  • Doors occasionally struggle to close
  • Water dispenser has no drip tray
  • The finish is not smudge-proof and fingerprint resistant
Recommended alternatives:
LG LFCC22426S
Whirlpool WRF540CWHZ
GE GYE22GYNFS

Design

KitchenAid KRFC300ESS

Although the KitchenAid KRFC300ESS is a simple refrigerator, it does sport a stylish design. The round, knurled handles coupled up with the sleek stainless steel finish gives it an elegant appeal that would complement almost any kitchen décor. 

It also has a counter-depth design and based on users’ comments, it fits so well into the cabinets providing a neat, built-in look. 

KitchenAid offers the unit in three finishes – stainless steel (KitchenAid KRFC300ESS), black stainless steel PrintShield finish (KitchenAid KRFC300EBS) and white water finish (KitchenAid KRFC300EWH).

However, the finish of the KRFC300ESS model is not smudge-proof and print proof, so you’ll have to constantly clean fingerprints off the outside but the shelves are spill-proof hence easy to keep clean. 

Score: 3/5

Storage

KitchenAid KRFC300ESS inside

Being a counter-depth model, the KRFC300ESS (36-inches wide) doesn’t offer so much storage capacity. You get only a total of 20 cu. ft. interior storage space which is ideal for a small family or couple but not a large family (of more than 5). 

Fridge 

The fridge section has a 14.38 cu. ft. capacity and features 5 glass shelves which are well spaced. There are also a good number of slots for adjustment but the depth of the shelves is somewhat limited according to users’ comments. 

Another issue is that they don’t meet the back wall of the fridge which creates a gap that allows small items to fall to the next shelf. 

However, the metal wine rack was a welcomed addition for many users as it provides enough storage space for chilling up to 4 bottles of wine. Several users did mention though that it takes up space once it’s full which reduces the storage space you might need for food.

The fridge section also includes two humidity-controlled crisper drawers that provide sufficient space for fresh food. They seem not to open smoothly though and tend to get stuck as users pointed out. 

The pull-out deli/pantry drawer is equally spacious but users said it also doesn’t slide out easily and gets stuck a lot. The 5 bins on the doors seem okay and two of them are large which users liked because they can hold full gallon-sized containers. 

Freezer Section

The freezer (5.62 cu. ft. capacity) doesn’t offer much space as most users mentioned. The ice maker and the ice bin takes up plenty of space within the top drawer leaving you with only a small drawer for frozen food on the left side. 

The bottom basket does have enough space though and can accommodate more items but users said sometimes it doesn’t open all the way hence making it harder to put in items plus the top drawer doesn’t glide smoothly too.

Users also pointed out that the fridge’s doors occasionally struggle to close. You have to first close the left door before the right one otherwise it pops open when you close them together. 

Score: 3/5

Features

KRFC300ESS refrigerator

ExtendFresh Temperature Management System

KitchenAid has equipped this unit with a temperature-management system that uses sensors to help maintain separate temperatures in the fridge and freezer sections. 

Users did agree that the system does work well for the freezer section as the temperature is always very stable (at an ideal 0o). 

A lot of owners, however, expressed disappointment in the fridge’s performance because its temperature tends to vary by a couple of degrees from the set or default temperature. Several users mentioned that their fresh foods are often partially frozen, especially those placed towards the back of the fridge.

The compressor as well creates a high pitch whistling noise most of the time when it comes on which users said can be a bit annoying. 

Single Ice Maker

The ice maker inside the freezer works fine according to the consensus and provides a steady supply of ice at all times for everyday use. It’s able to deliver a complete batch of cubed ice approximately every 3 hours. 

The unit as well offers a Max Ice function which can temporarily help increase ice production during periods of heavy ice use or in case you need plenty of ice.  

Interior Water Dispenser

The KRFC300ESS comes with an interior water dispenser that dispenses water only. Some users did like the idea of having it inside the fridge since it ensures a smooth look on the outside. 

Still though, many pointed out that it’s somewhat more complicated to operate. It takes two hands to dispense water – one to press the button placed above the dispenser and another to hold the container under the spout. 

The other inconvenience that users mentioned is that the dispenser is located in the corner, just where the fridge meets the door, so you have to open the door very wide to reach it. 

Furthermore, you need to open the fridge door every time you want to use it, which is not only inconvenient if you use it often, but also wastes energy because you have to leave the door open while waiting for the glass to fill. 

The dispenser is also about ¼-inch off the side panel which leaves very little room to fit anything but small container or water bottle. Users said its way too easy to spill the water if you don’t pay attention plus there’s no drip tray, so the occasional drops from the spout end up in the interior of the fridge and onto the floor. 

Water Filter and Air Filter 

The water going into this LG refrigerator is passed through a filtration system first which is quite effective since it’s able to clear out chlorine, lead, mercury, cysts and a couple of other contaminants. Thereby, you get clean, filtered water from the dispenser.

The unit as well features a Fresh Air filter which helps prevent the air in the fridge from getting stale, hence there’s likely no odor transfer from food to the water or ice. Users did attest that both the ice and water have a nice, fresh taste.

Produce Preserver

One nice extra feature you get with this KitchenAid unit is a produce preserver that absorbs ethylene (a natural gas that causes vegetables and fruits to ripen fast). By removing it from the crisper drawers, your veggies and fruits stay fresh longer plus users did mention that the drawers do hold humidity in well.  

LED Lighting and Door Alarm

There is LED lighting throughout the refrigerator which makes it easy to find any item you need on every level. There’s as well a door alarm that sounds every few seconds when the door is left open for more than 5 minutes. 

The other features are pretty standard; digital temperature controls (placed inside the fridge), automatic defrost, filter replacement indicator light, and max cool function. There are some useful features you will miss out on though like the Sabbath mode, control lock, dispenser control lock, and Wi-Fi connectivity.

Score: 3/5

KitchenAid KRFC300ESS bottom

Performance 

Based on the majority of customer reviews and comments we went through, a lot of people seem pleased with the performance of the KRFC300ESS’s freezer. 

However, the fridge appears to perform poorly as there are many complaints about its cooling ability. Most owners said it doesn’t maintain a stable temperature and tends to freeze the fresh food quite often.

There are also a significant number of complaints about the overall reliability and quality of this unit. Common ones include issues with door closure, water dispenser and drawers. Some as well said the rubber seals inside the doors come off quickly.  

One upside though is that the KRFC300ESS is considerably efficient in terms of energy consumption. It’s an energy star certified unit and based on its energy guide, it consumes around 563 kWh/year (74$ annually) which is lower than other similar-sized refrigerators.   

It equally has great warranty terms (10 years): 1st year covers parts and labor while years 2 to 5 covers sealed refrigeration system and the cavity liner. Years 6 to 10 covers parts on the sealed refrigeration system (compressor, evaporator plus other important components). 

Score: 2.5/5

Should you buy the KitchenAid KRFC300ESS?

While the KitchenAid KRFC300ESS is marred by several notable glitches, it’s still a decent and reasonably priced unit that you can consider if you want a basic counter-depth French door refrigerator. It’s a good choice too for a small family and also if having an exterior dispenser is not an absolute must. 

Alternative Options 

We picked a few alternative options that you can look at too if you are not impressed by the KitchenAid KRFC300ESS model. They include:

Cheaper model
LG LFCC22426S

The LG LFCC22426S is a nice option if you are after a cheap refrigerator. It’s a reliable, no-frills unit with all the features you would find in a budget counter-depth French-door model. 

What stands out is its cooling system. It’s equipped with a smart cooling system, LG’s Door Cooling Plus and Multi-Air Flow system which effectively work together to ensure consistent temperatures and humidity level in the fridge and freezer. 

At 15.5 cu. ft. fridge capacity and 7.3 cu. ft. freezer capacity, it also offers slightly generous storage space for fresh and frozen foods. You as well get additional useful features like SmartDiagnosis and self-closing door. 

Its stainless finish is print-proof and smudge-proof too, so keeping it clean is not much of a hustle. The downside though is that it doesn’t come with an ice/water dispenser and a door alarm. 

Similar price
Whirlpool WRF540CWHZ

This is yet another basic counter-depth French-door refrigerator that’s practically identical to the KitchenAid KRFC300ESS model in terms of pricing, design and features. 

The biggest difference is that it’s equipped with an Accu-Chill temperature management system which seems to be more reliable than that of the KRFC300ESS in keeping a steady temperature in both the fridge and freezer sections. 

The other notable difference is that it features an adaptive defrost function that runs only when necessary. Its finishing is also fingerprint resistant and smudge-proof. However, the shelves are not spill-proof, and it lacks an air filter as well as a filter replacement indicator.

Upgrade
GE GYE22GYNFS

The GE GYE22GYNFS is a pricier model compared to the other options in this category. It’s a fairly standard counter-depth French door refrigerator with more features than our KitchenAid KRFC300ESS pick, plus it’s less likely to have reliability issues. 

It has a slightly large freezer capacity (7.16 cu. ft.) and comes with TwinChill evaporators that help maintain stable separate temperatures in the fridge and freezer.  

The biggest advantage is that it features a tall external water/ice dispenser which gives you the option to dispense either crushed or cube ice. On top of that, it has a second icemaker option in the freezer which is ideal if you need to make plenty of ice. 

The other benefit you get with this unit is an advanced water filtration system that clears out much more contaminants. The controls are also placed outside for easy operation. 

With the GE GYE22GYNFS, you as well get several useful extra features like child lock and Sabbath mode. The finishing is fingerprint and smudge resistant. What you miss out is only the produce preserver and an air filter. 

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