Sunday, April 18, 2010

Still in the Kitchen- Choosing Appliances

We've started selecting replacement appliances for our kitchen renovation and the scope creep is happening!  This all started with just wanting a new counter and backsplash. My original thought was to only replace what wasn't functioning or aesthetically appealing.  I thought the cooktop could stay since it works fine and the cream color isn't objectionable.  I thought the double ovens could stay because the black would blend into the cabinetry and at least one of them works!  (Looking at this photo...I can't wait until those cabinets are painted!) 

But reality is setting in... if we get a beautiful bright white counter how could you stick a grimy old cream colored cooktop in it!  Yeah, that's going.  And since the hood matches the cooktop, it has to go.  And if the cooktop is new, why would we keep ovens that only half work!    Yep, they're going too. 

Fortunately, we installed a new stainless steel Bosch dishwasher when we first moved in so that's one less expense. We had one in our old apartment and I couldn't live without it for long.  Here's the unit so you've got the entire picture (just add lots of fingerprints)...

I like to shop for appliances at AJ Madison.   Just like IraWoods is great for fixtures and faucets, AJ Madison is a great place to see what's out there in the appliance world.  They carry most brands and you can select your specific requirements.  Once I find something there, I'll look around online for reviews and pricing.  In the end, they usually have a competitive price and I can save on shipping by using one supplier. But if you don't have a contractor and you need someone to install it, you might try your local Lowes, Home Depot, or Sears.

First, the cooktop requirements:  30", gas, stainless steel, simple grill pattern & knobs, and.... that it works!  Oh, and I don't want to spend a $1,000.  Maytag's cooktop jumped out at us...

Now I just need to find a store where we can see it.  It's considerably less than a lot of other cooktops so I want to find out why?!

My husband also wanted to consider an induction cooktop because of its simple design and ease of cleaning.  (If you want to understand how induction technology works you might try The Induction Site.)   I have to agree that it would be easy to clean but since we have gas I don't see a reason to switch at this point. I like gas.  But if we didn't have it, induction would definitely be my next choice.  This is a Thermador's version...

Here's an installation of a Diva cooktop on one of my projects.  If you want to put a wall oven under it as we did here, you'll have to do some planning in advance due to required clearances.  But it's worth it in the end for a clean look.

Next, the hood requirements:  stainless steel, fit our existing opening, recirculating, simple design and... that it works without it sounding like an airplane taking off!  Oh and I don't want to spend a $1,000.  This Zephyr model jumped out at us.   Who could resist a gentle breeze?  It's unassuming enough and the price is right.

Lastly, the double oven requirements: ...okay this one is a bit more complicated.  Do we need two ovens? The current ovens are 24" wide which makes for two small ovens when I'd rather one big one.  Right now everything I bake cooks too quickly on the edges.  But the only way to widen the oven is to move it under our stove but I'm concerned it's too low and our kitchen is too tight. I think we'll stick with the current location and just get one taller oven.  Here are the options we've been considering. 

This oven from Blue Star has an interesting design with a side hinged door. But the price tag, quickly eliminated it for us. 

This one from Delonghi has an elegant clean design...

I think we may go with this electric oven from Bertazzoni because it looks good and the price is right at $899! 

Right now we have a gas oven but I've heard electric provides more even cooking.  We just need to confirm that our current wiring can support it.

So those are the appliances!  Next step... hit the stone counter supplier to make that marble vs. quartz decision.  

I'd love to hear about your experience with new appliances...what you like and don't like. Or maybe there is an appliance you dream about owning someday.  Ahhh, it brings back memories of my first dishwasher purchase...


  1. Everything in our kitchen sounds like an airplane taking off. The design of everything is fine, so we won't be replacing until things stop working. But I will be looking for descriptions like "gentle breeze." Heaven!

  2. That first dishwasher from Bosch was the quietest appliance I have ever come second one is good but not quite the same. I remember I always use to open it with water flying everywhere because I had no clue it was on!

  3. Definitely don't want to be stooping over to pull turkey out of the oven. I think gas is always preferred for cooking and baking - heats quickly and usually more even. i am thinking that your current oven is a cheap model or not functioning properly - gas gives an even heat usually. Why not ask the Queen of the Kitchen - Emma Bauer - about gas ovens since she has used one for 68 years.

  4. And I think it's the same oven for all those 68 years! as she would say...they don't make things like they use to!

    I've actually been reading the opposite... electric gives a more even and precise temp within the cavity. However, gas can make baked goods more moist and gives a better char when broiling. hmmm, more to think about...

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