A kitchen’s (new) construction or remodeling endeavor can be an exciting time for all, simply because of the variety of options to choose from. Which option will suit your kitchen – neutral tones or a bold palette? Which choice is current and trendy – two tone cabinets or single colors? What should you consider while choosing a kitchen layout? As you can see, this can actually be a fun project for the entire family!
Here, it is easy to get carried away with all the bright and shiny stuff, like cabinets, countertops, paint colors and so on, and inadvertently max out your budget so you are left with low quality appliances. For this reason, put your kitchen appliances on second priority (layout should be first) so you get on to it quickly without delays. This guide provides straightforward tips so you are prepared to make the best choice.
This is the most important appliance in a kitchen, and for good reason. Serious cooks will tell you that this appliance can be influenced by your cooking style, and the frequency with which you cook in a day.
For instance, electric cooktops are common in old houses. Newer houses prefer gas cooktops as nothing can inspire you to cook more than good old fire! If this is your choice, you will also need to factor in gas line to your house.
Induction cooktops are surprisingly making a big comeback, with better convenience. They are easier to clean, and the newer ones boil a pan of water faster than either gas of electrical (non-induction) cooktops. They are also designed to be most energy efficient (losing less heat than gas), so you can save on utility bills.
Finally, 4-burners have been popular for the past few decades. But if you only cook occasionally or need to work around a compact sized kitchen, 2-burner cooktops are also a good choice. In this case, you may find that more of your cooking happens in an oven, than on the stove.
Like cooktops, ovens also come with many options. If you are a hardcore baker and swear by your cake and pie recipes, then you are more likely to prefer conventional ovens. Incidentally, these are also cheaper then modern convection ovens. On the other hand, food cooks faster and more evenly in convection ovens. This makes them ideal for casseroles, pizzas, and finger foods.
If you are a serious cook cum baker and have the luxury of extending your budget, it is also worth considering having both types, side by side.
A large farmhouse sink is often the favorite of many cooking aficionados. (They look sleek and thus fit better than conventional sinks). But aesthetics aside, sinks can vary quite a bit in terms of size, function (single or double sink), convenience (with an attached drying rack), etc. Here, it is best to choose function and convenience over mere aesthetics as an impractical sink can ruin many a cooking expedition!
Unless you are the kind to only use your kitchen to heat up leftovers, it is best to invest in a decent range hood. In fact, this might even be essential if you’re regularly using 2-4 burners on your cooktop. In this case, your range hood should perform at a capacity of 350-400 cfm (cubic feet per minute), in order to keep the hot air out and your kitchen cool.
Noise can be a factor with old-style hoods. With modern appliances, the more you are ready to spend, the less the noise.
This is one appliance where the budget can spread across a wide spectrum. So if you are not careful, you may end up splurging most of your money on that high-end, 6-door (!), stainless steel refrigerator. But before you succumb to this temptation, ask yourself, “Does my family really need this model?”
Here are some factors to consider while buying a fridge:
- Older models come with minor grievances, like having the less-frequently-used freezer tray on top and the vegetable tray at the bottom. With this, you will find yourself bending down a lot to access fresh produce. Newer models will either flip this, or have another vertical column for the freezer, thus improving overall accessibility.
- Double-compressor fridges are more efficient than single-compressor units. This matters if you tend to spend a lot on fresh produce (like organic foods, etc.) and hence want them to stay fresh for longer.
- Some models offer a water dispenser unit. This may seem fancy, but is pointless, if it offers the same quality water that you can get from a sink, just a few feet away from the fridge! Instead, choose a model with a built-in water purifier.
- A typical model can protrude 6 inches beyond your countertop. If aesthetics and clean lines are a big factor in your kitchen, consider switching to a model that aligns with standard countertop measurements. And for an overall sleek and stylish look, you can also replace your standard fridge door with your cabinet door. so it looks completely seamless and integrated into the cabinetry.
This appliance perhaps sees the most variation in usage across households. For instance, a bachelor lifestyle will have you frequently turning towards your microwave to heat up takeaway food or leftovers. But if you are a regular cook, a microwave may just be an afterthought, useful for heating up your instant coffee. Choose your microwave wisely, according to your usage, as this is one appliance that can help you save a bit of money.
In summary, the above 6 appliances are a must-have in most household kitchens. Here, the finish can also impact the budget, with white and neutral tones forming the lower end of the spectrum, and stainless steel equipment forming the more expensive option. Slate and black slate are also becoming popular as they go well with the dark and sleek look that modern cooks aspire for.
If budget is not a constraint, you can also consider adding minor luxury appliances to your kitchen’s repertoire, including a high end coffeemaker, a noiseless juicer-cum-mixer, a versatile food processor, a slow cooking electric cooker, or even a fancy (and mighty expensive) electric grill.
As that saying goes, with kitchen appliances, the sky is the limit.