I’m a Maytag Mom Ambassador-which means that I received an entire new kitchen suite of Maytag appliances! The idea is that I give these items a real life, full bore ahead trial and share my experiences with all of you. This month I’m talking about the Maytag Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator with Spill Catcher Shelves.
So pretty, so shiny clean and new when it arrived.
I posted that picture you see above of the empty fridge with the door open on the Frugal Upstate Facebook Page the day it arrived and said “You’ll never see my fridge this clean again”.
I was right.
I am hard on a fridge. I can and preserve, so I’ve frequently got food in various stages of preparation in the fridge. I have produce from my garden (yes, even in December–I’ve got cold frames and root vegetables under mulch out there). I cook from scratch and wind up with leftovers to be eaten as is or reworked. I blog about food and have ingredients for specific recipes. . .
It’s a mess in there. I seriously considered cleaning and reorganizing the refrigerator so that I could take the pictures for this blog post. But the whole point here is for me to share my real life experiences–and this is real life:
Now let me highlight some of the things I’ve learned about this refridgerator. First, the stainless steel is gorgeous–but I was worried that it was going to be hard to care for. It does indeed show fingerprints and smudges–and we make plenty of fingerprints and smudges.
I’m not a compulsive house cleaner or anything (as if you couldn’t have guessed that from the way I organize, or fail to organize, my fridge). But this is so easy to clean. I just spray it with a bit of cleaner, wipe and it’s gone. I’ve been using the Mrs. Meyers Countertop Cleaner–but I think any basic spray cleaner (or even just some vinegar and water) would work. It dries quickly and streak free. Woohoo!
The drawers are a decent depth. I really use the vegetable drawer for veggies as you can see here–the cranberries are from the store, but the salad turnips, carrots and radish are freshly dug from the winter garden.
This unit boasts “spill catcher shelves”–a feature I hadn’t intended to test for you all. But I defrosted a bag of chicken that was SUPPOSED to be in a sealed bag–but apparently there was a small hole. Yup, that’s right. Icky nasty raw chicken liquid all over my refrigerator shelf. I had to empty off the shelf, wash the bottom of everything, sop up the mess with some paper towels, remove the shelf and wash it. But that was it–just that shelf. Because the whole “spill catcher” thing WORKED and the icky liquid didn’t dribble down onto everything underneath it.
The shelves in the fridge are all adjustable and re-positionable, as are the ones in the door. I’m not really sure I’m in love with this arrangement but I’ll live with it a bit longer and then see if I want things moved. I do want to point out how deep the bottom shelf on the door is–I can fit a gallon milk jug in there no problem! That’s handy.
Another feature I like is that the temperature controls for both the fridge and the freezer are both in the top of the fridge. When we were preparing for Hurricane Sandy I turned the freezer down as cold as it would go so that if the power went out we were starting with the frozen stuff as cold as possible. Well, the power stayed on and I forgot about the freezer–but luckily the controls were staring me right in the face every time I opened the fridge and it helped me to remember and turn it back to the normal temperature by the next day.
We use lots of freezer space in this family. Looking at how packed this baby is, you wouldn’t know we’ve got a big standing deep freeze in the basement! To be fair the one downstairs is full of venison from 2 deer, 1/2 a pig’s worth of organic pork, about 40 vacuum sealed family size servings of various blanched vegetables from our garden this summer, 10 lbs of butter purchased on sale. . . well, you get the idea. I’m not a lady who likes to get caught unprepared in the food department. The freezer up here is not only used for items I’m more likely to dip into every day, but also for things like the bones I’m saving to make soup stock, bread ends to be ground up for fresh breadcrumbs, sunflower seeds for baking and cooking, a pop bottle of ice for icing my chronic foot injury, an ice sports wrap (that’s what that weird white elastic thing goes to) chicken fat for the dog and more.
The drawer pulls out to help you get items in the back, but not all the way, just as far as you see in this photo. I think that’s so you don’t tug the entire drawer onto the floor accidentally every time you slide it out!
We’ve got the icemaker installed-so it automatically makes the ice and pops it into this bin. The bin isn’t on rails or anything, it’s just sitting on the shelf, but you can easily slide it out to access the ice more easily or to dump the ice into a cooler. A note-sometimes when you slide the bin back in it can hit the little wire arm–you know, the thing that can tell if the bin is full of ice and then shuts off the icemaker so it doesn’t make any more? Well when you slide the bin back in occasionally you can accidentally hit that into the upward “lock” position so it won’t make ice. I did that once or twice till I got in the habit of taking a quick look when I slid the bin in. Easy.
One thing that was hard to adjust to with the bottom freezer–shutting the door all the way. For some reason the kids seemed to not shut it firmly at first (they are getting in there for the ice). The first time it happened we didn’t notice right away and opened the freezer to find everything covered with a layer of frost–so much so that the little button that turns the light on and off was frozen in the off position. We had to do a bit of training in making sure the door was pushed all the way closed. It only happened once or twice before they got the hang of it. The good thing was I got to check out the auto defrost-after that incident I just sighed and closed the door firmly. The next day when I opened it all the frost was gone! Bonus–it really was so thick I thought I’d have to do some heavy labor to get rid of if.
So there you have it! We’ve been enjoying the fridge, even though it is smaller than our previous one. I’d love to answer any specific questions you have about the fridge, what we liked and how it worked! Just leave a comment and I’ll respond.