What’s more essential to your kitchen than cabinetry? The appliances, of course!
Today we have more options than ever before when it comes to appliances. Gone are the days when the only options you had were choosing between black or white appliances or gas or electric. But with so many choices, how do you know which appliances are right for you? We’ve put together this guide to help you decide just that.
Expensive is better...most of the time. However, that’s not the case when it comes to all appliances. Sure, more expensive means more bells and whistles but that doesn’t necessarily mean the appliance is always more functional. Take ovens for example. Right now, it’s summertime in Mississippi, which means it’s hotter than a cat on a tin roof. It’s during this time of year that families in the south learn just how much heat their oven is losing by the amount of heat left in the air. Sometimes the most expensive ovens are focused on better features but slack when it comes to less glamorous but important aspects like the door seal. Your oven’s door seal is the real MVP when it comes to keeping the heat inside your oven and we recommend adding seal inspection to your appliance shopping to-do list.
All-in-One or Separate Range and Oven?
When it comes to deciding if you want an all in one range oven or a separate cooktop and oven, the decision should be made based on space and cost-effectiveness. In most cases, an all-in-one is the most cost and space effective. But if you’re a regular home chef or frequent hostess with the mostest, choosing a larger, separate cooktop and a larger or double wall oven is probably the better choice for you. If you decide to go with a cooktop and separate oven, we recommend choosing a cooktop with a variety of BTU’s so you have the option to cook meals faster with higher heat, especially if you cook and entertain company on a regular basis.
The Warming Drawer
Warming drawers have increased in popularity over the last several years but are they always necessary? If you cook often and have a family, the short answer is yes. Between late nights at the office, after-school practices that run after dinnertime and toddlers who just aren’t ready to eat yet, warming drawers get quite a bit of use in busy families. But if you’re short on space, choosing a large microwave with a keep warm option is a great alternative.
Hood Range Sizes
There are two general rules of thumb when it comes to choosing your range hood. First, choose a hood that’s six inches wider (three inches on each side) than your range. Second, the amount of ventilation power you’ll need is based on your cooking lifestyle. If you tend to cook often and at high temperatures, you’ll want more ventilation. For more on choosing the right range hood, click here.
If your home is free of children or elderly parents, perhaps safety and accessibility isn’t your first priority. After all, you know not to touch your fingers to a hot cooktop. But if you do have a family, choosing appliances with better safety features is a priority. If you have a family member who is wheelchair bound, you’ll also want your appliances to be more accessible. Induction cooktops and ranges are the safest because they are not hot to the touch. Side swinging oven doors tend to also be safer and easier for children, elderly and wheelchair-bound people. Wall mount ovens, microwaves, and fridges are also more accessible.
Food Preservation and Cleanup Appliances
The amount of refrigerator and freezer options available today are enough to make your head spin. You have a choice between traditional all-in-ones with the fridge on bottom and small freezer on top, double-door fridges with bottom mount freezer drawers, and the newest and fastest growing trend--fridge and freezer drawers. You’ll also have to choose if you want your fridge to be counter-depth, standard depth or built in.
When it comes to choosing your fridge, think about size and accessibility. In this case, accessibility is important whether you have small children or a disabled family member or not because easier accessibility means losing less food. If you can see and access everything in your fridge and freezer, you’ll be more likely to consume the foods and beverages that are in there long before their expiration date. If accessibility is also important due to small children or accommodating a wheelchair-bound family member, go for a double-door fridge with a bottom mount freezer drawer or consider wall-mounted fridge and freezer drawers. Although fridge and freezer drawers don’t replace the need for a larger fridge (especially for families), they are quite handy for keeping quick snacks and beverages in an accessible area for people of all ages.
When it comes to the size of your fridge, space and lifestyle matters. A family of three or more likely needs more storage space for food than a single person or an empty nest couple. But what if you don’t have the space to accommodate a larger fridge or freezer? That’s where fridge and freezer drawers and tall column fridges and freezers come in handy. These drawers and column appliances are built into your cabinet space and take up much less space than other refrigerators and freezers and they’re more versatile.
If keeping up with the latest trends is important to you, take a look at this quick rundown of this year’s hottest kitchen appliance trends.
Dark matte (black stainless) or white icy finish
Sous vide cooking components
Vacuum drawers for better food preservation
Tall column fridges
Handless or hidden appliances