To fully satisfy our everyday needs, our house has to be equipped with proper kitchen appliances.
What should we consider when choosing which devices to buy?
Buying kitchen appliances is not so easy a task. Remember that, most likely, you are going to be stuck with your picks for years to come. For that reason, it is best you think about it carefully, or else you might regret it later. Before you get yourself a new fridge, oven or a dishwasher, you have to think about a few aspects. In this short guide, we are going to help you by pointing out all the important questions you have to answer yourself, so you can make an informed decision about buying the best kitchen appliances.
One of the crucial questions, that you have to ask yourself before buying kitchen appliances, is how many people are going to use them. Looks aside, this is basically the core thing to think about. Essentially, this determines what exactly we are looking for. Then, there is the matter of functionality – what do you really need, and what you do not? Finally, we have to think about efficiency, style and the size of it – after all, if it does not fit in your kitchen, it will do you no good, right?
Fridge – the heart of every kitchen
Choosing the right fridge is the most important thing when it comes down to kitchen appliances. These days, fridges come in every shape and form, and are also equipped with a plethora of useful systems that will make your everyday life easier, and your food preserving options wider.
The first thing you have to consider before you buy a fridge, is defining the size that suits your needs. To make that choice, consider how often do you buy food, and what amount of it. It is also important to answer yourself, what is the purpose of the fridge and who is it going to serve? Is it going to be a fridge for a big family of five, or maybe for a young couple that might not need to use it all that often, because they rarely even eat at home?
If it’s the latter, a good solution could be half a meter high, small fridge. One main shelf, a set of smaller ones placed on the side of its door, that’s it. Suits small needs, leaves a lot of space, works. Probably doesn’t even need to have a freezer, but that is for you to decide.
When talking about a bigger family or a group of friends living together, however, you have to pick something of higher capacity. For about three people, the best choice would be a one meter high, and of a capacity of one hundred liters. Such fridge is perfect when you plan to cook your meals at home.
It should also be equipped with a freezer, for storage of frozen meat and vegetables, that are helpful in preparing main dishes.
For a big family of four to five people, the best choice are big fridges, about one and a half to two meters high, because they allow you to divide the products into separate groups – which is quite important considering how many people are going to use said fridge, and the amount of the actual food that is inside.
Apart from height and the number of shelves, the most important thing is the capacity. A big, family-oriented fridge should have the capacity of at least two hundred liters. It is also important to think about where we are going to place it – if we lack the space, we can build our fridge in, as a part of the furniture.
Okay, now that we have the different sizes and capacities covered, it is worth noting that it does not only boil down to that. Just as important is the functionality of a fridge and the options it provides. One thing to remember is, fridges are distinguished by different classes of energy efficiency, as well as noise parameters. If we are looking for the most efficient and silent fridge, those start with the letter A, with a number of pluses after that, which reflect their further status among that league. For example, a fridge signed up with A+++ would be the best possible fridge, when it comes to these parameters. From there it goes all the way down to the letter N, which stands for Not Good I suppose. Such fridge is a noisy monster that devours energy like crazy, so better avoid these. An efficient fridge is going to pay for itself as time passes, so buying a cheap one is not actually good for you wallet. Also, buying a silent one might be very important if your kitchen is an open one, connected with the living room, and the noise would highly disturb you on a daily basis.
Dishwasher – can’t live without it
Dishwasher used to be considered a luxurious addition to your house, but as the technology advanced, it became a standard appliance in most homes. They come in two standard sizes – 45 centimeters wide, aimed towards one or two people inhabiting the house, or a bigger option that is 60 centimeters wide, perfect for a bigger, four or five members family. Obviously, bigger appliances allow for a larger number of dishes washed in a single go, which is important if we plan to often cook and eat at home, or to invite guests on regular basis. Except for the standard kind of standing dishwashers, we can also get ourselves a machine designed to be built in. Such option is going to do a great job in smaller kitchens or in a kitchenette, by saving valuable space.
While choosing your dishwasher, it is also worth it to look at its energy class. It starts with a “G” class, which is the worst, and goes up to the A+++, which is highly efficient. Basically, same deal as with the fridges – higher class means lower energy and water usage, which means lower bills. You see where this is headed, right? It is not worth it to save up your money when buying a dishwasher, only to lose all of it and more later, on the bills.
Dishwashers come with a set of programs installed, for washing specific amount of dirt off your dishes. For example, if you do not consider your dishes to look as if they have just emerged from a swamp, you can use a mild washing program. Simple as that. Some of them, however, are equipped in more complex systems. For example, if we have children at home, it might be a good idea to buy us a dishwasher with a program that allows for washing plastic toys, or programs for steam cleaning pacifiers and bottles. You can also find dishwashers with programs aimed at delicate, hand crafted glasses or porcelain.
Oven? Hotplate? Stove?
Back in the ancient times, people had no problems picking their food heating system. Everyone had a four burner cooker with the oven attached below. Well, now it is not that simple anymore, as we have plenty other options for cooking our food. First of all, hotplates are rapidly gaining popularity, and we can place said oven elsewhere, for example furnish it somewhere, and thus improve the uniqueness of our kitchens design.
Of course, before you make up your mind about all of this, think about the basics – how often do you really cook? How much do you cook? What kind of food do you usually heat up? Do you need a big, spacious oven, or maybe a smaller place where you can cook a pizza or something fast?
Now that you have your answer, lets check what options you have.
If you decided to install a hotplate or a stove, you have to choose between gas ones, electric and induction. All of them have their ups and downs. If you are not an experienced cook, maybe its best to get yourself a simple electric one, as it heats up slowly, so it is less likely you are going to burn anything if you forget about your food for a second or two. On the other hand, a professional cook might want to pick up a gas stove, for its fast heat up and ability to cook under strict conditions.
When it comes to ovens, there are a few innovative options you should consider:
What was once impossible, now is rapidly becoming a standard. With independent chambers, we can cook several dishes at once, adjusting the correct temperature for each chamber. Saves us a lot of time, as well as energy, since if you do not have to heat up all of the chambers every time you cook, the oven does not draw as much power and reaches the temperature that you want faster.
Scrubbing your dirty iron pots is not much fun, is it now? What about the burned ones? There is a simple solution to that now – all you need is an oven with a steam cleaning option. Instead of ruining your hands, go watch your favorite show. In about twenty five minutes – voila.
Some of the ovens have the option of checking the weight of food you put inside, to automatically choose the correct temperature and cooking course.
Coming back from work late? Gonna be hungry? No problem – just program your oven to start at a precise hour, and your food will be ready when you open your door!
Compatible with your smartphone.
Pretty self explanatory. Latest oven models allow you to do just that – use them from a special app on your phone.
Ventilation system – what should we buy?
One final thing about equipping your kitchen in the correct appliances is making sure you install a proper ventilation system. There really is a plethora of them, and listing all of your options would, frankly, demand another article.
For now, let us just say that the most common and universal are overhead hoods, that suck up the smoke and other things right from the pot below. These can be further divided into the ones that expose of the smoke, by blowing it outside your house, and soaking ones, that use carbon filters. Do some research on the heat up appliances that you want in your kitchen, as there are no better or worse ventilation systems – there can only be proper ones and mismatched, for your specific situation.
If you have a hotplate, you might also want to consider a down draft system. Situation is pretty much the same as with the overhead hood, except the fact it works around and below your hotplate, instead of over it.