Kenmore Elite 17202 Freezer Review
Big enough to fit anything, and cold enough to keep it fresh.
The Cold Hard Facts
Consistently cooling a space as large as the 21.6-cu.-ft. Kenmore Elite 17202 (MSRP $999.99) isn't easy. Our tests revealed this massive chest freezer had a hard time keeping groceries at an even temperature throughout. That isn't as bad as it sounds, however—average temperatures were almost always well below 0°F, which makes consistency less of an issue.
The best thing the 17202 did was maintain a cold average temperature of about -6.6°F. While that’s lower than the 0°F displayed on the thermostat, we’re not complaining about a little excess chill.
In fact, if the freezer hadn't been so cold, we would complain about its consistency. We noticed an average difference in temperature of ±3.2°F between the warmest and coolest points inside the freezer. That’s not as stable as we’d like, but not a cause for concern given the low overall temps.
The only major downside we noticed was the wide range of maximum and minimum temperatures. Temperatures peaked at 1.3°F and bottomed out at -12.9°F over the course of our 72-hour testing period.
Freezing & Thawing
The Kenmore Elite did a fine job when it came to cooling food. Carefully monitored room-temperature test materials were placed inside the 17202. Their internal temperatures reached 32°F in just 90 minutes—pretty darn good for a chest freezer this size—and 0°F in a hair over 11 hours.
To simulate a power outage, we simply unplug our freezers and leave them alone for 36 hours. At the end of that time, internal food temperatures rose to just 25.3°F—still quite chilly, with no danger of spoilage.
To measure usable space, we remove all the sliding buckets and adjustable storage partitions from the freezer. It absolutely makes sense to use all of the tools that Kenmore provides to divide up the large interior, but ultimately those features are optional.
When stripped to the bare bones, we measured 20.98 cubic feet of usable internal space.
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