Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cooking with Gas - or Maybe Not

We've assumed from the start that we'd have either a gas cooktop or range.  It's so much quicker than electric and the flame is so visceral.  When we started looking at appliances, we couldn't help but to fall for a big 48" commercial style range with the double oven like this Wolf range.

It has high capacity burners, multiple options for the cooking surface, and just looks so cool.  When considering how we want to spend our money though, a slide in range like this seems to make more sense.

It's much cheaper and still gets the job done.  It's a single oven, but the lower compartment is a warming drawer.  The slide-in ranges are much better looking than the freestanding style, but you do have to worry about the controls on the front surface.

Here's what the Kitchen would look like.

Rather than having the microwave over the range, this shows a real exhaust hood and an over-the-range style microwave in cabinets custom sized to just the right height so the bottom of the microwave is exactly flush with the bottom of the cabinets.

My wife really would like to have a wall oven or preferably a double oven and a cooktop, which is neater and cleaner than a range.  Wall ovens and a cooktop cost more than a range, and the sizes aren't so standardized.  Once you have built-in ovens, their future replacements have to fit in the holes initially provided or the cabinets have to be modified.  So I started shopping again.

Two wall ovens and a microwave make for a tall stack of appliances and the microwave would we a little high - and the microwave gets so much more use than ovens do.  We considered something like this KitchenAid oven/microwave combo, and we could put a warming drawer below it.  The funny thing is, a single oven and a warming drawer cost about as much as a double oven.  The warming drawer is such a simple appliance but they charge what the market will bear.

I saw some Miele ovens which look fantastic, but the price is a little high.  We like the clean euro style, but not so much the euro style price.

Then we went back to IKEA.  Their selection is limited, but they do have the euro style thing down because they're from Europe.  You can get a Nutid (you have to love their product names)oven

which matches the Nutid microwave

and has the same style and pulls as the Nutid dishwasher

and the Nutid counter-depth refrigerator.

I'm not yet used to the looks of the Nutid exhaust hood

but the shape makes sense.  The upper control is just above head height and the surface slopes down so that the exhaust is closer to the cooking surface.

Now for the cooking with gas part.  The latest Consumer Reports appliance review got me thinking about electric induction cooking.  It's even quicker than gas and has amazing controlability.  Here's a video demo.  I think we're convinced that this is the way to go.

Unfortunately IKEA doesn't have induction cooktops in the US yet.  Their appliances have the style we're looking for, have most of the features we're looking for and even a few we didn't expect, they're made by Whirlpool, have a standard five year warranty and the pricing is hard to beat.

1 comment:

  1. Dan - Intereting analysis of cooking appliances and you hit several of the hot points (no - that brand is now longer available). Its a conundrum when costs and space allocations are figured in. Don't know anything about the Nutid line and how you get that serviced which should be another consideration.

    Anyway - interesting blog and I will look forward to reading more in days to come.