Cooking Necessities: what does your kitchen need?
Cooking is synonymous with the kitchen. Every kitchen needs it – but how much and where? When planning your home renovation, there are so many decisions from color scheme to how to make it more modern. However, do you know what do you need to look for in stoves, ovens, microwaves, and appliances when designing your new kitchen?
Today we review the best cooking options and explain which ones best suit a variety of lifestyles. This will help you choose what will suit your kitchen when planning your kitchen renovation. Here’s what you need to know.
A must-have in your kitchen, from caravans to palatial mansions. A good stove or cooktop must be functional and high-performing. Bonus points for chic style. Function: you want it to cook at a range of temperatures well and be easy to distinguish between cooking settings. Can you light all burners and fit your pans on them comfortably and safely? There is also limited use to an amazing stove but subpar cookware, you don’t need to spend the earth, but pans made with quality materials are best—non-stick is not long-lasting, especially if put in the dishwasher.
An oven is another kitchen essential and available in many more varieties than cooktops. Whether built-in or freestanding, you can power these with gas or electricity. Conventional electric ovens are standard in many homes today using an electric element to heat food. A convection style uses a fan to circulate air throughout the oven to cook more evenly and quickly. Many higher-end ovens offer a range of cooking settings to circulate the air in particular ways including grilling, steaming, convection, conventional, and even rotisserie style. For regular high-volume chefs, 900mm is best, but for the occasional party or smaller batches 600mm is fine, or x2 600mm for flexible space and energy efficiency. Mounting at hip height is ideal placement if your kitchen space permits as floor ovens can be cumbersome and less safe to retrieve heavy trays of food.
Despite the microwave cookery phenomenon that was the 1980s, there is still a place for the humble microwave in today’s kitchen, even if you don’t do leftovers. In fact, studies show that the shorter cooking time that microwaves deliver means that more nutrients are retaining in foods you’re cooking – like vegetables. Powered by electricity, microwaves use electromagnetic energy to heat and cook. Whether you opt for countertop style or built-in, the basic defrost and heat settings from last century have been replaced by the cook, grill, simmer, and broil. There are even models with sensory technology that will auto-adjust temperatures to suit what’s inside. Modern kitchen designs should consider how to best integrate a microwave to maximize cooking utility.
All the added extra cooking options fall under the category of appliances. From slow cookers, air fryers, toasters, sandwich and waffle presses, bread makers, rice cookers upright grills to multi-cookers and the luxe Thermomix, there is an appliance to fulfill almost any need. Combined appliances like multi-cookers save space but allow you to complete more tasks and are a great option for a small kitchen. For an ideal kitchen renovation, think appliances first and cupboard design second – there needs to be a place to put items that are not being used. Do you need a popcorn maker, or can you do this on your stove? Weigh up how you cook and that will guide you on which appliances to invest in.
From stoves, ovens, microwaves, and appliances, your kitchen should work for you and your lifestyle. If you can’t quite picture where all these cooking options will fit, or how to choose the best one that suits your needs and budget, head to a kitchen showroom or consults an expert team to help you maximize your cooking potential in the kitchen. For other great tips when planning your renovation, visit yourhome.gov.au.