How to choose the right kitchen appliances

Kitchen design by ICE Interior

Choosing the right kitchen appliances is no longer just about cooking, and if you’ve been on the wrong end of a dodgy appliance decision, you will appreciate the time spent choosing the right models!  If you’re planning a new kitchen, you should definitely take the opportunity to discuss your requirements with the experts, and getting it right will save you a lot of future pain and frustration down the road.

With so much choice here are our top tips and design advice on what we should look for…

  1. It might surprise people, but often the type of ovens selected can set the overall tone and shape for the kitchen design. For instance, a kitchen design with a range cooker will start from a different basis to a design requiring eye level ovens.
  1. Budget – We work with Neff as the UK market leading brand of built in appliances and they currently offer around 30 different single oven models! This sounds daunting, but they fall in different categories and offer many features, so fairly quickly your designer should be able to refine the selection based upon your cooking preferences, requirements and budget.  We would always suggest buying the best brand that you can afford, but you don’t necessarily need a top of range model, a mid to lower end will have the same build quality.  Be honest with yourself and don’t pay for features that you are just not going to require or use! We have various Neff models on display in our Kitchen Studio in Lymington, pop in for a coffee and chat.
  1. Extraction is absolutely key and even more so in open plan designs. It is often a secondary consideration but there are so many options on the market today and did you know that normal cooking can generate the equivalent of a large block of butter in the atmosphere in a single year? And this has to go somewhere – Yuk!  A recent innovation is the Venting Induction Hob, where the extraction and induction hob are all in one, and these offer an effective and space saving design and are ideal when used on an island and peninsula design.
  1. Gas or electric hobs? Again, it’s really down to the individual preference, but Induction hobs sales have grown year on year. These are very sleek, efficient, super easy to keep clean and extremely safe as they heat the actual pan rather than the surface. Many manufacturers now offer ‘venting induction hobs’ which basically mean that the hob and extractor are a combined ‘all in one’ unit.
  1. The humble dishwasher is another under rated appliance, but they actually use less water and energy than washing up by hand. The best ones now offer adjustable interiors, info lights beaming onto the floor to tell you what is going on and near silent operation. By even just picking out a few of these key features I can assure you that dealing with dirty dishes after dinner will be a whole lot easier. The only thing you’ll be arguing about is who has to unload it all later on, and I think I can live with that – wouldn’t you agree?
  1. Fridge Freezers should also be seen as an investment and critically food waste can be minimised as the best models will extend the shelf life of your meat, fruit and vegetables, which is both good for your weekly budget and helping the environment. Your fridge freezer will seldom be turned off so energy efficiency should also be a key consideration, and by law the energy rating should be provided, look for one that is A++ rated as this will use the least power.
  1. Invest in a boiling-water tap. They have been quite the thing for a while, allowing you to make a cuppa or get the pasta on without waiting for the kettle to do its thing. They are also better for the planet using less water and energy than boiling the kettle. The latest craze – partly in response to the big drive to go plastic free and avoid excess water waste are ­chilled, filtered and sparkling-water taps which can all be combined in a single tap.  One concern occasionally raised with these boiling water taps is safety, but they are designed with safety at the forefront and you cannot just accidentally dispense boiling water.  In fact they avoid many of the inherent risks associated with a kettle, which can so easily be tipped over.  We are an approved dealer and have a working Quooker Boiling and CUBE Tap in our Lymington Kitchen Studio, so why not pop in and try before you buy.
  1. Smart home integration is a key trend, which allows you to control all of your Wi-Fi enabled appliances via an app on your tablet or smartphone, and it’s increasingly available at varying price levels. Most brands offer a range of solutions to meet the needs of different households – and how great does it sound to preheat your oven or chill the wine as you leave work? The latest generation of smart appliances can provide remote-controlled access to the machine, including program recommendations, energy monitoring and operational updates and alerts. This is just the very beginning of ‘smart appliances’ and in time we will see some incredible development, and who knows perhaps one day the fridge will order your weekly groceries and tell you oven how to cook them?!  Pretty clever, right?

So, there you have it!  A few tips and suggestions on choosing appliances. The main thing though is to enjoy the research and remember – getting it right really will be worth it in the long run. Why not contact us to discuss your kitchen appliances, we would be delighted to chat through any of your ideas or even if you just want some advice. We are based in Lymington Hampshire on the edge of the New Forest.