How to Choose Kitchen Appliances
No kitchen is complete nowadays without state-of-the-art appliances. They are the driving force of the kitchen and our biggest help and support in our cooking endeavors. With the technological advances and energy efficiency that today’s appliances can offer, the choice has never been bigger and better. Choosing the right appliance doesn’t only make our lives easier, but it can also complement and enhance our kitchen design and aesthetics.
Here are some suggestions on how to pick suitable appliances like a refrigerator, sink, dishwasher, and oven for your kitchen:
The refrigerator is one appliance that will have to run continuously, so choosing the best quality should be the priority. Today’s models that combine refrigerator and freezer are very convenient and offer all the basic features, such as spacious storage, adjustable glass shelving, temperature-controlled drawers for meat, vegetable crispers, ice makers and door bins. Two typical models are freezer-on-top and side-by-side design, and both can be built-in or free-standing. The choice really depends on your personal preferences.
If you have a larger family and like to stack up for the season or cook for larger crowds, go with a roomier model, side-by-side design, with pull-outs, roll-outs, and baskets for a clear view and easy reach.
The sink might not be the most prominent kitchen element but it provides so much more than water. Important things to consider here are the sink material and garbage disposal. What also matters is the shape, size, and depth of the sink. There are various types, ranging from single, double-bowled or three-part sinks that usually have one smaller side that houses the garbage disposal. Even for tiny kitchens, there’s no need to worry as now, there are cleverly designed corner sinks that make use of those underutilized kitchen corners and save more counter space.
After you’ve decided on the shape and size of your sink, your next decision regards its material. The most popular ones are stainless steel, quartz composite and color enamel on cast iron. Stainless steel has been popular since the 1950s and it offers a modern, sleek design that is stain resistant and shiny but prone to dents, scratches and even punctures. Enamel on cast iron sinks are more attractive and more durable but they are quite heavy and require a sturdy counter. And quartz composite sinks are relative newcomers on the market and have a lot to offer. They come in wide ranges of colors, have a realistic granite look and are also stain and scratch resistant.
Nowadays, garbage disposals are a basic feature in kitchen renovations and there are two choices: a continuous feed operated by an on/off switch and a batch feed, activated when the stopper is securely closed. They are both equally good and it’s all a matter of personal preference. Check out our top picks for kitchen faucets that match your style (and budget!).
Most homeowners like to go traditional with their choice of the stove and pick a single unit with the cooktop on top and the oven below because it’s both affordable and space-saving. For more ambitious cooks, there are excellent commercial-style stoves with multiple burners, basting and grilling options and built-in ovens.
Another option is a modular approach where you can be creative and make your own customized look by adding burners, downdrafts, steamers and deep-fry units, rotisseries and grills. Additional properties to consider are gas versus electric, dual fuel range, convection or conventional oven with radiant heating action – it all depends on your needs, cooking habits and preferences.
Modern dishwashers are excellent in design and very quiet too, thanks to their improved insulation. Most of them are also energy efficient, use less power and water and have a drying option that doesn’t require heat. The best choices include options with internal heating which frees the extra demand from your home water heater.
Most models are built-in and are very easily concealed behind panels that match the rest of your kitchen cabinets and offer great features such as multiple wash cycles, quick wash, dish sense technology and delayed start.
Energy efficiency pays off
When purchasing a new appliance, people tend to draw their attention to its upfront cost, without examining the “hidden” price tag, i.e. the estimated expense of operating the appliance during its lifespan.
It is true to say that energy-efficient models are commonly more expensive than their conventional counterparts, but decreased energy requirements (20-25 % less on average for Energy Star refrigerators, for instance) will save you a considerable amount of money in the long run. If you have any misgivings, these tips for buying energy-efficient appliances should help you get the right ones for your household.
The right choice of kitchen appliances is an important part of designing and furnishing your kitchen. Most of them will serve you for a long time and some, like the refrigerator, will have to run non-stop, so it’s essential that it’s of the highest quality. That’s why choosing your appliances shouldn’t be a rash decision. You should carefully consider your options and alternatives before making any investments.