Appliance Index: Hot Stuff

Last fall, right after we purchased our home, I entered the appliance-shopping rabbit hole. Yes, I’ve attended (and spoken at) KBIS (the national kitchen and bath show), compiled multiple “kitchen specials” magazines and yet I didn’t have a guiding principle when it came to my own home.

So, how’d I land on the ones I chose? I started wth what was most important to me (ahem, looks) and then crowd-sourced my 25,000 most discriminating designer friends for their take. (See the original Instagram story here.)

Part I: Range & Hood

Induction: That’s how I began my entire kitchen design process—knowing I wanted to make the leap away from gas and into induction.
1) For health (zero gas emissions) and safety (no hot surfaces — only the cookware gets warm)
2) Performance — chefs love it (truly!); it boils water in mere minutes
3) Environmental reasons. Why use natural gas when there’s an alternative? 

Surprise: Europe went induction a while back. It’s sort of de rigueur there. But on the North American market, there are fewer choices. I considered duel fuel, but, that’s like the mullet of ranges. Either do it or don’t, I say. 

Funnily, it was the Fisher Paykel red colourway that first attracted me — and the classic knob styling. Clearly, I’m not a purist, but there’s something satisfying about turning a knob and, lo, now that I own it, I can say it delivers: there’s a gentle click, click, click as you move through Bake to High Broil, which is, for whatever reason, the setting I visit most. Once a New Yorker, always a New Yorker, they say.

Anyway, the enjoyability factor has been on par with owning a new car. Everyone wants a turn to drive and we all stand around admiring it when it’s parked. Who knew? 

Biggest (unfounded) fear: Since induction is powered by magnets, not all cookware is compatible with the cooktop. But guess what: out of my hodge podge array of Le Creuset (no single color, love ‘em all); Tfal nonstick (a bad habit I know), workhorse, college-era stainless steel, and flea-market cast iron, only the Tfal nonstick didn’t work. No loss there. GreenPan, All-Clad. and others ALL have sexy induction-friendly pans, so, maybe someone will bring one for a housewarming. 

Biggest joy: SPEED. Gawd it’s so fast. If you think you’ll set the pasta water to boil while you chop a few onions and sauté them in oil…. well, you won’t even have finished pouring the first half-glass of wine you need by the time the water is done. Honestly: 3 mins 40 seconds is our average for a full pot of pasta water. Compare that to 8-11 for gas ranges. It’s a game-changer.

New tricks: Using the Aero modes — the oven fan circulates hot air throughout, so, when you pack your the shelves, you don’t have crispy cookies on one and chewy on the other.

Short list of what we cooked in the first 2 weeks: 

  • Marian Burros’ famous plum torte
  • Homemade chicken soup (first time, weird but true)
  • Many, many broiled bread products
  • Croissants (the frozen ones are available at every corner store here) 
  • Braised tofu & veg
  • Bubble tea (I have a 9-year-old)
  • Hard boiled eggs

My picks:
Induction Range, 36″, 5 Zones with SmartZone, Self-cleaning — OR36SCI6B1
Product links: USA / Canada

36″ Insert Range Hood — HPB3611-4_N
Product links: USA / Canada

Next up: My refrigeration choices: Fridge, freezer, CoolDrawer

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  1. Updated food list:
    5 x Marian Burros plum cake
    Pumpkin Pie
    Ottolenghi broiled eggplant & anchovies
    Char-broiled onions
    Carbs galore: Pasta, baked potatoes, pancakes
    Blueberry muffins with crumble topping….
    And on and on and on

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