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Expert Advice: How to Choose the Right Kitchen Appliances, Part II

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Expert AdviceHow to Choose the Right Kitchen Appliances Part II portrait 3 9

Expert Advice: How to Choose the Right Kitchen Appliances, Part II

September 22, 2017

This content was produced as advertising by Remodelista in collaboration with Bosch Home Appliances.

If you’re embarking on a kitchen remodel, you’re probably thinking about investing in a suite of new appliances. The most important part of the process is the research stage, and to make the job easier, we partnered with Bosch Home Appliances and kitchen design specialist Juanita Galliford. In Expert Advice: How to Choose the Right Kitchen Appliances, Part I, Galliford shared her insights on choosing a new refrigerator and dishwasher, plus general kitchen design tips and the lowdown on panel-ready appliances. Here Galliford covers the factors to consider when choosing a cooktop, range, oven, and vent hood, plus some tips on making the most of a small-space kitchen.

Cooktops

bosch induction burner black with silver tea kettle
Above: The Bosch 30-inch Induction Cooktop has a Speed Boost feature that can bring a pot of water to boil in 60 seconds. This efficient cooktop uses sensors to only heat the pan. Photograph by Joyelle West for Remodelista.

Love to cook? Put some serious thought into which cooktop configuration will best fit your needs: either a range (which has burners and an oven in the same unit) or a dual setup with separate cooktop and oven. If you have flexibility in your space, Galliford suggests installing a separate cooktop and wall oven instead of a traditional range. The dual setup is especially convenient in homes with more than one cook.

As for the difference between a gas and electric cooktop, some cooks like gas because it allows for instant temperature adjustment. However, some cooks prefer electric or induction burners, because the flat ceramic surfaces are easier to clean. Additionally, induction cooktops allow for more precise temperature control over what you are cooking at all times, while gas cooktops fluctuate in temperature.

Induction cooktops heat pots and pans by magnetic energy rather than electricity or gas, meaning they’re an energy-efficient way to cook. They’re a great option if you live in a hot climate, because they release less heat into the air. Keep in mind that the magnetic energy requires that your pots and pans be made of magnetic material like cast iron or stainless steel.

Ranges

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Above: The Bosch 30-Inch Gas Slide-In Range has five burners, including a dual-stacked burner for fast boiling plus a convection oven and warming drawer. (For more on convection baking, see our post Baking with Bosch: Lemon Lavender Shortbread Cookies.) Photograph courtesy of Bosch Home Appliances.

If your kitchen layout is more limited, a traditional all-in-one range is a good space saver. “Ranges are easy to install and don’t require custom cabinetry” like wall ovens do, says Galliford. “Plus, a beautiful range makes a statement and can be the focal point of the kitchen.”

Ranges come in two styles: slide-in and standalone. A slide-in range sits flush with the countertop and cabinets once installed, creating a seamless look. A standalone range, as the name implies, has finished sides so it can be used as a freestanding appliance and doesn’t need to be flanked by cabinets on either side.

Ovens

bosch convection bake oven
Above: A standalone oven is called a “wall oven,” though it needn’t be installed in a wall: This Bosch model was installed in a kitchen island. Photograph by Joyelle West for Remodelista.

Just like choosing between a standalone cooktop versus a range, you’ll need to decide whether you want a wall oven or an oven within a range. When you install a separate cooktop and oven, you can select the height of your oven so you are not bending down to get things in and out. And built-in wall ovens installed with flush cabinetry are becoming more popular, as they offer an especially modern look. If you’re a cook with established habits, be sure to check that your favorite roasting pan or pizza stone fits in any prospective oven. If you like to entertain and you have the space, consider installing two wall ovens.

You’ll also need to decide on conventional, convection, or steam cooking methods. A conventional oven produces heat directly from an electric source, while a convection oven uses an internal fan to circulate that heat, promoting more even cooking—it’s often a top choice for bakers. A steam oven heats water and feeds the resulting steam into the oven cavity, so foods stay moist and vegetables retain more nutrients. Keep in mind that you’re typically not limited to a steam-only oven; most steam ovens have a convection switch for baking.

Vent Hoods

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Above: Your cooktop’s vent hood need not be overhead; this Bosch Downdraft retracts into the countertop when not in use. Photograph by Joyelle West for Remodelista.

Vent hoods are necessary in all kitchens, since they help keep smoke, grease, steam, and odors from filling the kitchen and the rest of the house. Some hoods exhaust air into the outdoors via hidden ducts, and others simply filter the kitchen air and recirculate it.

As for style, an overhead vent system is installed on the wall or ceiling above your cooktop and is always prominently on view in the kitchen—so consider it a major design element. Many overhead vent systems also feature directional lighting to illuminate your cooktop.

If your cooktop is located on an island, a ceiling-mounted hood or downdraft vent is right for you. A downdraft like the one shown here is installed in the back of your range or cooktop. It extends up when needed and retracts when not in use.

Small-Space Tips

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Above: Bosch’s line of small-space appliances includes this 24-Inch Refrigerator, which has an 11-cubic-foot capacity.
bosch stainless steel dishwasher small space
Above: Bosch’s 18-Inch Dishwasher is a good choice for small kitchens. It has a third rack, a rack height adjustment feature, and a built-in water softener.

Many of today’s appliances come in smaller sizes to help you maximize every inch of limited kitchen space; consider a narrower combination refrigerator/freezer or separate columns if space in your kitchen is tight. Sometimes called “apartment-size” or “compact” fridges or freezers, they typically measure just 24 inches wide and have about half the capacity of a full-sized model—but come with most of the same features.

While standard dishwashers are 24 inches across, an 18-inch-wide dishwasher will serve a small household well. For your oven, consider a 24-Inch Speed Oven that functions as both a convection oven and a microwave.

“Stacking appliances is another great solution for small spaces,” says Galliford. “You can install a wall oven over the dishwasher, for example, to make use of that vertical space—and also to elevate the oven for more convenient use.”

For more tips, see Expert Advice: How to Choose the Right Kitchen Appliances, Part I. For more information on the appliances shown here, visit Bosch Home Appliances.

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