Burning to upgrade your cooking space? Don't let these innovations escape your notice
Bigger, smaller, higher tech, lower profile—the choices in kitchen appliances are multiplying faster than the cooking and cleanup chores they're meant to simplify. Just in case you haven't wandered the appliance aisles in awhile, there's a whole raft of new problem-solvers out there. Here are some to be on the lookout for.
If you have: Custom food-storage requirements.
Consider: Modular fridge components, whether you need a drawer that adjusts from freezer to fridge temps to defrost your roast, like the one shown here by Haier, or just want to customize the interior of your 48-inch fridge with—or—without—freezer and wine-cooler compartments, available from Liebherr Appliances.
If you have: The urge for an appliance that's as sleekly designed as your iPod.
Consider: New single and double wall ovens from Siemens (shown) with lookalike "I-slide" controls set to hit stores in November.
If you have: A home that's vulnerable to power outages—and has wireless Internet.
Consider: Waiting till early 2008, when Miele debuts a new line of fridges (shown) equipped with "Remote Vision" hardware that will e-mail your local service center if it detects a fault (loss of power, water leakage), which in turn will call your cell phone.
If you have: A kitchen that's open to a great room.
Consider: One of the new low-profile induction cooktops with a smooth glass surface that fades into the background and is a snap to keep clean. Since it only conducts heat directly into the cookware, it won't warm up the kitchen like conventional burners. Coming in early 2008: a cooktop with gas burners
that lower out of sight when not in use from Fisher Paykel (shown).
If you have: An issue with range hoods that threaten to knock your noggin.
Consider: A height-adjustable vent hood. There are plenty of downdraft models that disappear into the island, but due in stores this winter: a ceiling-mounted hood that lowers for optimum suction, then raises up for maximum headspace from Miele (shown).
If you have: A kitchen that's a tight squeeze.
Consider: Creating a cooking center clustered with conventional, convection, speed-cook, and microwave ovens, and warming drawers, all in a space-saving 24-inch size, now available from a growing number of manufacturers.
Ariston offers a 24-inch convection oven (shown), as well as a 24-inch warming drawer and steam oven.
If you have: A hankering for the very latest pro-style add-on.
Consider: A restaurant-quality salamander broiler with an adjustable rack system, either built in or freestanding