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25 July 2008 @ 05:01 am
kitchen appliances  
We need to choose kitchen appliances. What should we look for in an oven (we're thinking of getting a double)? Or a fridge?

Has anyone used an induction hob? Are they really as good as they say? Any disadvantages besides not being able to use all pans?

Edit: I think space-wise we'll need to stick a 60cm (or less) wide fridge, so those double-doored American ones are out. We're undecided between freestanding and integrated. We're thinking smallish freezer section for frequently used stuff, and another freezer in the utility (which we don't need to choose just yet). Don't know how big the fridge part would be. Current one is approx 153L and we'd like bigger. Somewhere between 200-300L, but that's quite a range. Any suggestions for capacity?
unavunav on July 25th, 2008 09:28 am (UTC)
Not a Smeg. My parents got a variety of Smeg ovens in one of the embassies about 2 years ago, and my father hates them. They look pretty, but the temperature control is pants. They've had a De Dietrich fan oven in their own house for 30 years, and it is really good. I've no idea what the quality of their current appliances is like though.

I've never used an induction hob. They intrigue me.
a very caring potatomollydot on July 25th, 2008 10:57 am (UTC)

I don't like the look of Smeg things anyway. We saw pink ones in Clerys the other day. With the shade of pink and the rounded edges, they looked liked they belonged in a super-sized Barbie kitchen.

I don't think we've come across any De Dietrich.

The induction hobs intrigue us too. There's all the advantages of the energy efficiency, control (as good as gas, I believe) and safety, but really, the main draw for both of us, is the geeky fascination with how they work.

A drawback is that none of the pots we're currently using will work (you can test with a magnet), but there's a wedding present of a set of pans tucked away in the in-law's attic, and they work.
hell in spectaclesleedy on July 25th, 2008 12:31 pm (UTC)
De Dietrich ovens are still really, really good. We got one because my parents have one (and love it) and our v. foody friend Simon (whose mum is a chef) also recommended them. We have a double self-cleaning oven and I love it to bits - very efficient, nice and roomy (the top oven is actually a proper-sized oven rather than an oversized grill), great temperature control.

(no, I am not in their pay, honest)

We considered an induction hob, but they're expensive, there was the whole pans thing, and I'm really perfectly happy with gas. We got a De Dietrich hob as well and I've had no problems with it.
(no subject) - leedy on July 25th, 2008 12:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mollydot on July 25th, 2008 01:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - leedy on July 25th, 2008 01:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mollydot on July 25th, 2008 01:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - unav on July 28th, 2008 11:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mollydot on July 28th, 2008 03:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - unav on July 29th, 2008 01:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mollydot on August 6th, 2008 11:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
a very caring potato: houseworkmollydot on July 25th, 2008 12:18 pm (UTC)
Alternatively, we could build up a nice burnt coating. For added flavour.

I wonder do they come in any of the cheaper ovens. The multi-function ones seems to have a lot of things we probably won't need. But I would love one that just burns it all off.
(no subject) - leedy on July 25th, 2008 12:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mollydot on July 25th, 2008 01:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - leedy on July 25th, 2008 01:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mollydot on July 25th, 2008 01:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - schmoomom on July 25th, 2008 02:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mollydot on July 25th, 2008 02:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
schmoomomschmoomom on July 25th, 2008 01:02 pm (UTC)
But a *true* self cleaning oven, not one that has self-cleaning panels. Those SUCK. (Yeah, it's a Smeg, which I LOATHE).

Do not get stainless steel. Bitch to clean. Bitch. You scratch it if you clean off some burned parts and the hard bits are on the sponge.

Gas grill. No smoking in the house. Brill.
(no subject) - mollydot on July 25th, 2008 01:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - schmoomom on July 25th, 2008 01:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mollydot on July 25th, 2008 01:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
hell in spectaclesleedy on July 25th, 2008 12:39 pm (UTC)
Other appliance thoughts: we have a Bosch fridge/freezer, it's grand - we didn't have space/money for one of those American-style enormofridges and a friend of mine who has one says he now doesn't think it was worth the money (and said he thinks it's less efficient than the ordinary sort).
a very caring potato: broken icemollydot on July 25th, 2008 01:08 pm (UTC)
We probably don't have space for the American ones either, and don't think we need one. Post updated to note that and add other fridgy questions.
(Deleted comment)
a very caring potatomollydot on July 25th, 2008 03:28 pm (UTC)
Magic sounds good! I wonder why more steam?

Any difficulty getting pots & pans for it? I think most good quality ones would work.
alba_otakualba_otaku on July 25th, 2008 11:36 pm (UTC)
We have gas neff hob (with the loveliest little stove-top adaptor for my pathetically small stainless-steel Italian coffee pot) and neff electric oven...

For myriad reasons I feel gas top, electric oven is the best combo...

As for fridge\freezer... we have standalone but find over time this becomes a little obtrusive space-wise so are planning to sell thnis and re-integrate the fridgea\freezer into the kitchen units... the space is already there.. currently a temporary broom press kinda thing...

BTW - we use or small freezer compartment for ice-cubes, ice cream and the occasional bag of frozen peas. Since we cook most meals from fresh we see no need for any additional capacity freezer-wize!
a very caring potato: haikus are easymollydot on July 26th, 2008 12:13 am (UTC)
Induction seems to compare well even to gas. Because of its spooky action at a distance way of heating, it doesn't need the same time to heat up and cool down as other electric hobs do.

Interesting... I prefer the idea of integrated, but we're finding it hard to get the sort of freezer size we want. Most are too big, then some are too small. Freestanding has more options, but tend to be that bit deeper. Do you know what size your freezer is? When we were in Kerry, the freezer part was approx 40L, and it seemed like a good size, so I've been looking for ones around 40-60L.

I would hope to do some bulk cooking and use the utility room freezer for storing that. Also ice cream :-)

Re: NEFF! - alba_otaku on July 26th, 2008 12:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: NEFF! - mollydot on July 26th, 2008 09:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on July 28th, 2008 12:15 pm (UTC)
Induction Hobs and Pyrolytic Ovens

I will nail my colours to the mast immediately and state that I work on behalf of De Dietrich Kitchen Appliances, but I am also a customer, and own both the company's pyrolytic self-cleaning ovens and an induction hob. De Dietrich was the inventor of induction technology and introduced pyrolytic ovens to the UK.

My comments will be general, however, as most appliance brands feature induction hobs and pyrolytic ovens in their product portfolios, so this is just to explain the technologies, as such.

Pyrolytic Ovens:
A self-cleaning pyrolytic oven is amazing. It negates the need to use harmful chemicals to ever clean the oven again. A pyroclean cycle will cost less than the cleaner, sponges and gloves you need to perform this much hated chore. You just activate the pyro setting and the oven will take care of the cleaning job on its own by heating (safely) to 500 degrees centigrade to reduce all cooking residue to a fine ash. This just needs a quick wipe out with a damp cloth and the oven is clean and ready to use again. Pyrolytic ovens feature special enamel within the oven's cavity to accommodate the high temperatures, which will not affect the surrounding furniture. They also have three (or four) panes of glass on the front of the oven to ensure it is never dangerous if you touch it while the cleaning process is taking place.

Induction Hobs:
An induction hob is a flat glass hob, with touch controls in the main. It uses the simple principle of magentism where inductors beneath the glass surface will automatically react when a non ferrous pan is placed upon it and the hob is activated. Effectively, this means that it is the pan that heats (as it is the conductor)and not the hob.

There are various benefits to this,the most important being that induction is 90% energy efficient against gas (the next best), which is (on average) 55 - 60% efficient. it is also double the speed of gas, as the heat is instantaneous and wil react, the higher the level you require. It will heat a litre of water in half the time of a gas hob and as it is so fast, will save on electricity bills in the future (around 30% on average).

Beacause the pan is the conductor of heat, cooking is homogenous and as each setting is exactly the same every time, cooking is far more controllable. On the highest settings, meat is seared in seconds, and on the lowest, you can melt chocolate directly in the pan without having to use a bain marie.

An induction hob is also safer than any other type of hob as the surrounding surface to the pan is always cool to the touch. Therefore nothing ever burns on it, so it is very easy to clean. There are many further safety elements to look out for depending on the brand.

You do need magnetic pans in order to use an induction hob, and copper based versions will not work. Best advice is to take a fridge magnet with you to check the base of the pan before you buy. Some manufacturers, like De Dietrich have free pan promotions during the year, so look out for them.

I tis advisable to go to a kitchen showroom and have the staff demonstrate the power of induction, so you can see it before you buy. It is incredible.

I hope this information is of use and good luck with your new appliances, whichever brand you purchase.

Kind wishes, TS

a very caring potatomollydot on July 28th, 2008 08:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Induction Hobs and Pyrolytic Ovens
Thanks for that.

I've heard lots of good things about induction hobs - what I haven't being hearing is bad things, and I don't know if that's because it is as great as it sounds, or that I'm mostly hearing marketing messages. But you're happy using it, yes?

From the prices I've seen so far, it looks like the pyrolytic would add €500-€1000, as otherwise we wouldn't go for a multi-function. Also, we're in Ireland, where things tend to be more expensive than elsewhere. I don't know where you're based (UK?). It might be less of a difference there.
(Anonymous) on August 21st, 2008 12:30 pm (UTC)
I have an induction hob I boutght from http://www.internetkitchenappliances.co.uk/. It's amazing - so fast at heating things up and I am sure it must use much less electric