This Surprising (and Hidden) Upgrade Keeps Our Kitchen Quiet and Smelling Fresh

published May 22, 2023
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White sink in kitchen counter at home
Credit: Westend61 / Getty Images

When we remodeled the kitchen in our new house, I spent a lot of time researching appliances. Each of my choices in appliances — big and small — was made with the aim of saving our family of seven time, energy, and frustration so that our kitchen could run as smoothly as possible.

I decided on a counter-depth fridge because it would fit better into the room, and allows for better flow overall. I opted for a speed oven instead of a microwave so that we had the option of using the unit as not only a microwave, but also a secondary oven and toaster. I chose an induction oven for its speed and how easy it is to clean. And I picked a fancy workstation sink because I knew it would make our daily lives run so much more efficiently.  

Smaller appliance decisions received just as much consideration. When it came to the garbage disposal, I knew that I wanted an upgrade from the relatively finicky garbage disposals we’d had in the past. I wanted to find one that was reliable, powerful, and as quiet as possible. 

After plenty of research, I decided on the InSinkErator Evolution Esteem Plus, and I love it so much more than I ever thought I could. This garbage disposal has a one-horsepower motor that I can even use to grind chicken bones! It comes with a nine-year warranty and a removable (read: easy to clean) drain flange — which can get pretty disgusting if not cleaned regularly. The garbage disposal is compact enough to fit even in cramped under-sink cabinets. And the best part? It’s so quiet. 

At $339, the InSinkErator Evolution Esteem Plus obviously isn’t the cheapest garbage disposal out there. However, the higher horsepower, longer warranty, and the quiet operation of the higher end model has been more than worth the investment for our family’s day-to-day life in the kitchen. 

The difference this garbage disposal has made in our kitchen is so much bigger than I could’ve anticipated. It has cut down drastically on the amount of garbage we accumulate, the amount of waste we produce, and therefore the number of times we need to take out the trash. I originally planned for two garbage cans in our kitchen, but the disposal has cut down so much on our trash that we’ve been completely fine with just one. I also learned that running food through a disposal is much more environmentally friendly than tossing scraps into the garbage. That is, if you don’t have a septic system and are able to use a garbage disposal, of course. 

In addition to cutting down on the overall amount of trash, the InSinkErator has also made the trash we do have far less offensive. Without food scraps in the trash can, odors are now next to none — and it’s a crazy difference I didn’t think I’d notice. Especially as a highly sensitive person, I’ve appreciated how the reduction in odors has had a major impact in keeping me at ease in the kitchen. 

Along with a reduction in trash and foul odors, the quietness of the unit has contributed to my overall goal of reducing chaos in the kitchen. Running the disposal (unless there’s something gnarly in there like the aforementioned chicken bones) doesn’t sound like a train running through the kitchen, but rather like a hum low enough to blend into the background noise. I honestly think my hood vent is louder! 

I tell everyone how much I love my garbage disposal and how it has transformed the way our kitchen functions. My only issue so far is actually remembering that I really can dump basically everything in it (except for fat, bones that are too big to fit in the opening, and oyster shells). It’s my favorite hidden feature in the kitchen — I might even call it my secret weapon.