There was a time when the choice in kitchen appliances was limited to color and size. Today, there are so many products available that deciding which to install can be more confusing than liberating! From drawer refrigerators to fancy countertop cooktops with woks, griddles and other gizmos, the array of appliances can be overwhelming. It can also make it hard to separate fact from marketing fiction.
The good news is that many of the latest appliances, especially cooktops and ovens, combine style with enhanced safety features — demonstrating the universal design concept that improved function can be beautiful.
I've done quite a bit of homework in this area so that I can put you in a better position to decide what appliances and gadgets make sense for you and your kitchen. Read on to learn about the latest cooking technologies and design features that can help conserve energy and increase safety and efficiency.
Here are three general pieces of advice:
Regardless of the appliance, brand or model you're interested in, look for large-sized buttons and controls in bright, contrasting colors. They minimize mistakes with the controls.
When buying new appliances, select — quiet — models that are well insulated. For example, choose your refrigerator, range hood, dishwasher and even your blender with care, as noisy models can sound like jet engines, even to those with hearing loss.
Available in electric, induction or gas, ceramic glass cooktops are attractive and easy to clean. But note that these surfaces can scratch or mark (for example, when sliding rough pan bottoms). Also, they can be damaged if you forcefully set down a pot or drop an item like a knife, spice bottle or soup can onto the cooktop. (So don't store anything above the cooktop.)