So, you have decided to remodel your kitchen. You have Pinterest-y visions in your head and you are excited to get busy picking out your appliances. But, hold up there! All that beauty and design requires some planning. Your kitchen appliances are going to be a major expenditure, so you need to be sure you are purchasing what you need as well as what you want.
If you are working with a designer, or if you are designing the layout yourself, you will need to know the basic layout. Will you have room for the two ovens and the wine cellar if you get that side by side refrigerator? If you are not changing the layout, appliance sizes will be dictated by your floor plan. However, if you are changing the floorplan, you will have to ensure that the appliances you purchase are going to fit into the space provided.
Also, now is the time to look at the color scheme. Are you opting for stainless steel, or are you choosing basic white? Maybe you are looking at a trendy color or going for basic black. At this time, you may decide to purchase an appliance package where all of the appliances are intentionally matched by finish and manufacturer. Is there a particular brand that you prefer?
This is where the line between wants and needs tends to blur a bit. You may want that refrigerator that tells your phone when you are out of milk, but your phone tells you that you are out of money. Further, you are buying three basic kitchen appliances: stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher. However, you are also going to need a range hood, a microwave, and perhaps a cooktop or wine cooler. This is where planning matters. Decide upon a budget, and decide on where those dollars will be spent. If you have to check your own milk supply to get a built-in microwave or double oven, it may be worth it. Also, check to see if there are price breaks for purchasing an entire package or all the appliances from one retailer.
Using Kitchen Appliances
This is really important because if you are a gourmet cook or pastry chef, you will be using those appliances totally different than the person who says they only have an oven because it came with their house. Also, are there multiple cooks in the house? How many people are usually cooking at once? A splurge is much more justified if you are going to be spending a lot of time in the kitchen, entertain frequently, or cook for large crowds.
So now you know how much you have to spend, how you will use the appliances, and where they will fit in the kitchen. So, let’s think about some of the options available.
There are three basic choices in ranges and cooktops: gas, electric, induction. This is a personal preference, of course, but there are pros and cons to each.
Many people who have used gas do not want to make to switch to electric. They like the easy control of temperature and that when the burner is shut off, it does not continue to cook. It does lose up to 40% of the heat from burner to pan. Some areas may not have access to natural gas and if your house does not have gas currently, additional plumbing may be required.
Electric ranges and cooktops are easy to clean and retain more heat from burner to pan than gas. Gas users do not like it that the pan has to be removed from the burner when turned off because it will continue to cook.
Induction is not as mainstream as the gas and electric models but has trended up in popularity recently. It brings food to temperature much quicker than gas or electric. Some users do not like that all cookware will not work with induction cooking.
Stand-Alone or Drop-In
The styles to ranges differ from stand-alone to drop-in, or you may choose to have your cooktop and your oven separate. Know how you will best use your oven before deciding if it will be a traditional or convection oven. Convection ovens have fans that circulate the heat, thus, cooking faster. However, if you are a baker, you may want a more traditional oven. Some ovens may be purchased as a combination of convection/traditional.
This is the time when you also want to investigate range hoods in kitchen appliances. You will probably want the same finish as your cooktop, but your other choices might be vented or ventless. Vented require special venting, usually through the roof, while ventless models have a filter that needs to be replaced as needed. Hoods come in a variety of styles, from the very simple to highly decorative. Be sure to speak with your designer before locking in on a choice.
Two things should determine the size of the refrigerator: space in your kitchen, the size of your family. Most refrigerators extend beyond the width of your countertops by six or seven inches, but you can purchase counter-depth if that bothers you. You can buy the standard freezer on top model, side by side, french door with bottom drawer freezer, or french door with top freezer. You have the options of no ice maker, ice maker in the door, ice maker inside. If in the door, there are cubed and crushed options, filtered water, and so much more. Artificial Intelligence (AI) in your fridge can monitor shelf life and keep an inventory available.
There is also a trend toward having refrigerators without attached freezers or “freezerless refrigerators”. Since approximately 20% of the total frig space in the traditional style, is used for frozen food, many consumers opt for “freezerless” for more fresh food storage space for their families. They will often buy a full-sized freezer to keep in another area.
Dishwashers have come a long way and are now available as a drawer model as well as the traditional drop-down door. Some are geared to smaller loads and others have a larger capacity. Look for one that will fit your family’s needs. Dishwashers have become customizable kitchen appliances, with adjustable shelves, drying time customized for your individual load and even features to target higher pressure cleaning to specific areas. Smart dishwashers are also AI-enabled, choosing wash times at non-peak energy usage times to save you money.
Microwaves have become one of the essential kitchen appliances. The choice is size and location. Once you decide where you will keep it (countertop, drawer model, or over the range) you can decide which is best for you. Some manufacturers offer a range hood/microwave combination.
Other options for your kitchen might be wine coolers, warming drawers, and instant hot water dispensers. Speak with your designer about installation costs before adding to your design.
Learn More About Choosing Kitchen Appliances
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