Kenmore Review 795.78022: Kenmore Picked a Winner With This Bottom Freezer Fridge (2023)

The Kenmore 795.78022 is a 22.1 cubic foot fridge freezer available in black, white or bisque. You can find it at Sears for $1,100, which, barring some lower-end models, is about as cheap as lower-end freezers.

The bargain price and bland looks might make a boring first impression, but there's a lot more to this fridge than meets the eye. Inside you'll find a range of useful features that free up space for your groceries, as well as some of the most stable cooling performance we've found in this price range. I wish it had a drawer-style freezer instead of the weird, annoying hinged door, but nonetheless, this fridge is a solid value buy that deserves consideration.

This Kenmore fridge has a few tricks up its sleeve (pics)

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an LG double

The Kenmore 78022 has an MSRP of $1,500 but typically retails for around $1,100 in the Sears showroom. This price is on the low end of the freezer price range (roughly $1,100 to $1,800 for most major brand models), so it's not surprising that the design doesn't stand out.

Aside from the lack of stainless steel or any other type of premium finish, the construction here really lacks a drawer-style freezer. Instead, you get a hinged door that opens sideways - a simple pattern when the freezer is on top, but an annoying inconvenience when it's underneath. You'll almost certainly have to crouch or reach down to get things in and out.

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If you want to upgrade from a base unit like this to one with a drawer, you'll have to shell out an additional $300 or more, and that's fairly common across all major manufacturers. GE's cheapest freezers includedthe $1,200 GE Artistry Series refrigerator, all have swinging doors — you'll need to shell out at least $1,450 for a drawer-style fridge freezer. That number is $1,400 for Whirlpool, $1,500 for Maytag, and $1,700 for LG.

Speaking of LG, you should know that Kenmore doesn't make their own refrigerators. Instead, it buys equipment from other manufacturers, renames it Kenmore, and then sells it at Sears. In the case of the Kenmore 795.78022, what you really see is an existing LG fridge with some Kenmore logos taped on. You can tell by the prefix of the model number "795" - that's Kenmore's code for LG.

You can also tell this by comparing the 78022 to LG's other current crop of inferior freezers, such as theor $1,800 LDC24370STthat I checked a few weeks ago. Granted, the interiors are virtually identical - and that bodes well for Kenmore here, as I was a big fan of the LG model's stable performance and user-friendly build.

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(Video) How to Change Filters on Kenmore Elite Refrigerator

It's the little things

I've received a lot of praise for the useful features of the LG LDC24370ST, and you'll find the same thoughtful touches in the Kenmore 78022. big, like wine bottles. Simply put, there's a lot to like about this interior, and more than I'd expect from a freezer that's as cheap as it gets.

None of these details are the kind of marquee features you'd show off to friends and family over dinner. There's no door-to-door here, no touchscreen controls, and no smart features to speak of. The 78022 is just a basic fridge that does a lot of little things right - and that's a good starting point for a unit you'll likely use multiple times a day.

The only real difference between the 78022's chassis and the LDC24370ST's chassis is that the Kenmore fridge is slightly smaller at 14.8 cubic feet in the fridge compartment than the LG's 16.3 cubic feet. It's mainly a width difference, as both fridges are 29 inches deep, not counting the doors. At 30 inches wide, the 78022 is three inches thinner than the LG model.

As I found with the LG model, the standard shelving configuration doesn't offer shelves in the fridge body with enough vertical clearance for a carton of milk. Luckily, the shelves move in and out fairly easily, with enough additional shelves to provide a satisfactory level of storage flexibility. There's also plenty of shelving space inside, although storing milk in the door isn't usually the best idea, where temperatures tend to get a bit warmer. And while we're on the subject...

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Kenmore Review 795.78022: Kenmore Picked a Winner With This Bottom Freezer Fridge (11)

A detailed breakdown of cooling performance

The Kenmore 78022 was a very stable performer in our air-conditioned test chamber, with results almost identical to what we've seen on the LG LDC24370ST, one of the best performers we've tested. Set at 37 degrees F, the refrigerator delivered narrow averages in all regions, with no notable worrying hotspots. The center of the door and the right basket were just over 40, an FDA-defined food safety guideline, but not enough to worry us.

Coming back to the test's up-to-the-minute graph, we can see that it shares a lot in common with the LDC24370ST, particularly the fuzzy appearance of those overlapping lines - something that really indicates tight and consistent performance across regions of the fridge. Both come in at an overall average of about two degrees north of the target temperature, but both keep the fridge body (the blue lines) well below 40 without getting too hot in the doors (the green lines).

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However, there are some subtle differences. The Kenmore fridge spends a little more time over 40, although much of that comes from the butter box, which is usually the fridge's hottest spot. And while the bottom of the port on the LG model also averaged a temperature above 40, it spent less time above that benchmark and ran slightly cooler than the Kenmore's.

Also, there is a slightly larger difference between the hottest and coldest spots on the Kenmore chart than on the LG chart, with a total deflection of about 7 degrees for the former and less than 6 degrees deflection for the latter. It's a small difference, but an indication of the kind of incremental performance improvements you'd expect between two cooler generations.

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After testing at 37, we turned the fridges back on, this time setting them to 33 degrees. Once again the Kenmore has done a good job, with a performance that broadly mirrors what we've seen from the similar LG model. I'd even say Kenmore exceeded - every region in the fridge compartment averaged closer to target than the LG (except for the two pantry drawers, which were dead even at 36 degrees). The entire fridge was also above freezing during testing, as we've seen at LG.

In short, you are looking at two coolers that are virtually tied at the top of our performance ranking. One costs $1,800 and the other is available for $1,100. If a stainless steel finish, drawer-style freezer, and a little storage space aren't worth $700 to you, choosing between the two should be pretty easy.

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Kenmore Review 795.78022: Kenmore Picked a Winner With This Bottom Freezer Fridge (21)

A tetris game in the grocery store

The Kenmore 78022's 22.1-cubic-foot capacity isn't a lot when compared to more expensive French Door models, but it's actually pretty decent among lower-end freezers. Pick GE, Whirlpool, or LG, and you'll have to pay at least a few hundred more than the $1,100 retail price if you want an inferior freezer that will beat it, or even one to match it.

14.8 cubic meters are housed in the fridge compartment, which turned out to be ample room for our standardized test load of groceries. The door shelves saved me a lot of work - even with two milk jugs taking up shelf space, we had plenty of room for a variety of condiments, along with beer, soda and wine. We've also managed to keep an insulated can of dog food on its own shelf - sort of a bonus goal when we load up each fridge.

The only real flaw in the door is a narrow mini shelf tucked underneath. It's practically hidden under the shelf by the main door and I almost lost it while loading groceries. If it were, it would be awkward to get in and out of with the shelf protruding above it. Kenmore/LG could have left this shelf alone and I wouldn't have minded - although it could be a handy, low spot for kid-sized things like juice boxes.

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Once the groceries are in place, we put the big stuff aside — bulky items like a casserole dish, a pie dish, and an extra-large pizza box. I was able to squeeze five of those six stress test items individually into the fridge. The only exception was a large jug - like milk, it wouldn't fit on the main shelves without rearranging them, and the shelf space was already exhausted. The final test tries to fit all of the stress test items at once, and the best I could come up with were three out of six: the casserole dish, the pie dish, and a baking sheet.

What's interesting here is that these are similar results to what I've seen with this LG freezer, which also didn't fit the jug in the standard configuration test and also matched three of the six stress test items at once. The LG fridge has an extra 1.5 cubic feet above the Kenmore's fridge compartment, and while the Kenmore feels a little cramped, it still uses the space efficiently enough to get the job done.

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From then on I repeated the test, but this time I allowed myself to play around with the shelves and rearrange the groceries as often as needed to optimize the space. After things were reconfigured, I had a shelf in the body of the fridge that would fit larger items, which gave me room to house the jug and claim six of the six individual stress test items.

Trying to fit everything at once, I managed to fit five items out of six (the cookie sheet didn't work, although I could have swapped it for the party plate on the bottom shelf). Thanks to the plastic sliders on the inner shelves, I was even able to keep the dog food separate.

Here, too, LG reflects – six out of six items fit individually, five out of six all fit together. This indicates a refrigerator with a more flexible capacity than the number alone suggests.

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the judgment

The Kenmore 78022 isn't very pretty, but it's a very stable performer, with a surprisingly thoughtful list of fridge compartment features and better storage options than you might expect. With a Sears show price of $1,100, it's a steal among freezers.

Having said that, I have a very hard time recommending a fridge freezer that doesn't have a drawer style freezer door. That, along with a stainless steel finish and an increase in capacity, may justify the $1,800 waste.LG LDC24370ST, which shares all the strengths of this Kenmore model (save the price).

The best freeze bet could be consideredor Kenmore 79022 for $1,500as a mid-range choice - it's essentially the same as the 78022, but replaces the swing-door freezer with a drawer. We'll be bookmarking this model for a full review in the near future, but given the consistent performance we've seen from LG's inferior freezers so far, I think it's a smart buy.

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