KBIS Kerfuffle: The Show Must Go On

Whirlpool’s self-hosted virtual booth

By Alan Wolf, YSN

Ah, technology.

A virtual version of the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) — the appliance industry’s annual coming out party — was slated to kick off yesterday, but digital snafus have kept the platform’s online exhibitor booths closed through post time today.

Some vendors, including Whirlpool, Samsung and GE Appliances, scrambled to circumvent the show with their own on-the-fly workarounds, while most major manufacturers provided the press with previews of their new product introductions.

So, in the spirit of “The show must go on,” YSN continues its KBIS and concurrent International Builders’ Show coverage with a look at several 2021 appliance highlights.

GE/Monogram

Monogram’s Statement Collection Professional Range

GE Appliance’s luxury line has reimagined the pro range with its Monogram Statement Collection Professional Range. Nearly three years in the making, the unit features such high-end details as solid brass accents, edge-to-edge handles, polished stainless-steel finish, smooth glide racks, and soft-close doors. The oven is topped off by a configurable, multi-ring cooktop with brass burners, including one that reaches 23,000 BTUs. The Wi-Fi- and Bluetooth-enabled range is also compatible with the Hestan Cue smart cooking system, and its TrueTemp gas burner, available on select models, allows users to set and maintain a precise temperature. The pro range will be available this April in 30-, 36- and 38-inch platforms with all-gas or dual-fuel options and will carry a suggested retail of $10,300 to $14,200.

LG/Signature Kitchen Suite

LG’s Signature Kitchen Suite added 36-inch all-gas pro ranges and cooktops.

LG’s upscale Signature collection adds new 36-inch all-gas pro ranges and cooktops offering increased cooking control and even heat distribution. Two ultra-high-temp burners deliver 23,000 BTUs for better searing and quick stir frying, while two ultra-low burners simmer down to temperatures as low as 100 degrees F. for delicate sauces and sugary confections. The models also feature three front-burner grates that can be converted for round-bottom wok cooking, and illuminated, Wi-Fi-enabled “smart knobs” that allow users to see if a burner is on or off remotely.

Samsung

Samsung’s Bespoke fridge with interchangeable panels

The Korean company’s KBIS fare includes the U.S. debut of its Bespoke line of customizable refrigerators. Shown last month at CES, the line features interchangeable front panels in three different fridge configurations, allowing consumers to “express their personal style” and meet their changing design needs. Configurations include a single-column Flex model that can switch between fridge and freezer modes; a bottom-mount freezer model; and an all-new Bespoke four-door Flex fridge. Panels are available in steel and glass finishes and eight colors including Grey Glass, Sky Blue Glass, Navy Steel, Champagne Steel, Matte Black Steel, Navy Glass, White Glass, and Rose Pink Glass. An installer is required to switch out the panels, and shipping and pricing info are slated for this spring.

Whirlpool

The accent is on the commercial channel with Whirlpool’s participation in the International Builders’ Show (IBSx) portion of this week’s co-joined virtual shows. From Whirlpool brand comes a new counter-depth four-door fridge and a fingerprint-resistant dishwasher with a third rack, extra capacity and a whisper-soft 41 dBA of sound, while KitchenAid brings back its Smart Oven+ 30-inch combination oven, replete with oven-powered grill, baking stone and steamer attachments. On the laundry front, Maytag’s smart front-load, heavy-duty washer features an Extra Power button to enhance stain removal with a dual-temperature wash.

KBIS is scheduled to continue through Feb. 12.