A Handy Guide to Shopping for Major Kitchen Appliances
One of the best parts about doing up your kitchen is getting the appliances. Major ones like the oven, hob and hood require just a bit more care and planning when shopping for them. After all, they are a significant driving force of the kitchen and you will want them to last for a long time. To help you along, we’ve put together a handy guide, courtesy of Bosch, to take you through your decisions.
Built-in versus Freestanding?
One of the first questions you have to ask yourself before shopping for kitchen appliances is whether to go for built-in or freestanding ones. While freestanding appliances offer more flexibility as you can move them around, they can cause a kitchen—especially a small one—to look messy. Most of the time, freestanding appliances will be left out on the countertop, taking up unnecessary space and leaving you with less room for food prep.
For a seamless look for your kitchen, built-in appliances are your best bet.
Built-in appliances, on the other hand, allow you to achieve a seamless, uniform look as they are built into your kitchen cabinets. This not only helps to maximise every square footage since the areas allocated for the appliances are measured precisely, it also frees up countertop space and ensures your appliances are more stable since they are fixed in place. With uninterrupted surfaces and appliances no longer sticking out like a sore thumb, your kitchen will also appear bigger and more open.
When to Buy?
The next thing you will have to consider is when to buy your kitchen appliances. The short answer? Right at the start of your renovation process. You should have a general idea of what appliances you want and need—preferably with exact measurements—before sitting down to discuss with your interior designer on your kitchen design. This will allow him or her to allocate space for your appliances.
Get your appliances early in your renovation process so that space can be allocated for them in the kitchen design.
Before the start of any actual renovation work, make sure you have already purchased your appliances. Coordinate the delivery dates with your interior designer so that the appliances will be ready for installation when the kitchen is being done up. Getting your appliances early ensures your carpentry will fit precisely around your appliances. Not only does that save you the trouble of having to find appliances that fit into your cabinets, it also avoids the scenario of having to move your gas and water lines when you realise your appliances don’t fit in where you want them to.
How to Buy?
We zoom into three major built-in kitchen appliances—oven, hob and hood—to see what you should look out for when shopping for them.
Should you go for a microwave or a steam oven? Or will a combi oven be more suited to your needs? To decide what sort of oven to get, determine what kind of chef are you. Are you a dry, moist or a combi chef? Here’s a quick table guide:
|Dry Chef||Moist Chef||Combi Chef|
|Style of cooking||Grilling, Roasting, Baking||Steaming, Boiling, Simmering||Stewing, Braising|
|Definition of cooking types||Relatively quick process; adds crispness and flavour, but doesn’t tenderise.||Involves cooking with water or stock, like poaching fish and steaming broccoli.||Often uses slow-cooking techniques to tenderise and break down tough cuts of meat.|
|Steam Oven||Steam-Combination Oven
Microwave Combination Oven
|Best for||Meat lovers who enjoy browning while avoiding excess fat||The health conscious and nutrient-lovers||Meat lovers who prefer more bite and strong flavour.|
Consider getting a Bosch oven for your kitchen. See how quality, perfection and reliability are ensured in their cooking ovens through a stringent quality control and testing process:
Bonus tip: where to install your oven(s)?
If you’re getting a single oven, install it over your waist level for the easiest access. But if you have limited cabinet space, placing it below your counter and hob is an ideal option if you often transfer food from your cooktop to your oven for the final part of cooking.
Placing your oven below counter makes it easier to transfer food directly from the hob to the oven.
Photo Credit: Melissa C. Koh’s kitchen, SquareRooms
If you are going for more than one oven, have the appliances stacked atop one another at the cabinet to optimise space. Install them at eye level for easy monitoring. But if you want to operate your different ovens at the same time, go for placing them side by side.
More than one oven? Place them side by side if you want to operate them easily at the same time.
There are generally three kinds of hobs to select from. The key differences lie in their heating methods. Here’s an overview:
|Gas Hob||Electric Radiant Hobs||Induction Hob|
|Cooks by||Direct flame||A heating element under ceramic glass||Heat is generated in the cooking vessel directly through induction|
|Ease of cleaning||
|Best for||Wok-hei taste/General cooking||General cooking||Fast cooking with superior control and energy efficiency|
Want better flame control? Consider Bosch’s gas hobs, which offer precise flame adjustment to independently control the inner and outer flame rings. This lets you easily control your simmering and frying.
For a cooktop that is easier to clean though, get induction hobs. This is because the only area that gets hot for an induction hob is the area under your pot or pan; the rest of the surface remains cool, allowing you to clean up any spills easily and safely.
If you have different sized pots and pans, opt for Bosch’s induction hobs, which have an automatic pan recognition that identifies the size of your ware and only heats up its base instead of the entire zone for greater energy efficiency and savings. The hobs also come with a PowerBoost function that increases power output to a selected cooking zone by approximately 50%, so boiling 2 litres of water takes just 4.7 minutes!
Bonus tip: know your gas source
When buying a gas hob, make sure you know where the source of gas comes from to ensure that your cooker is set up to use your selected gas. You can choose between LPG (Liquified Petroleum Gas or commonly known as cylinder gas) or piped town gas by CityGas.
If going for LPG, make sure you allocate a suitable section in your kitchen cabinetry to store your LPG cyclinder in an upright position away from direct heat. For town gas supplied by CityGas, you will need to apply for a utilities account with SP Services and make an appointment for CityGas to turn on your gas line.
Hoods are necessary in helping to remove grease and fumes while you cook, which helps to minimise cleanup. Bosch hoods in particular feature a powerful energy-efficient air recirculation mode that reduces grease particles from dispersing and settling on everything in your home.
In general, there are two kinds of hoods you can choose from: slimline and chimney.
A slimline hood is perfectly inconspicuous.
For the minimalist kitchen, get a slimline hood. It features a thin, slide-out profile that is fully integrated into your kitchen cabinets. Unlike their leaner cousins, the chimney hood is much more conspicuous. Mounted on the wall between wall units or hanging from the ceiling over an island, it comes in either a pyramid or a box design and generally offers a stronger suction ability compared to the slimline hood.
Chimney hoods tend to offer a stronger suction and can be mounted on the wall or hanging down from the ceiling.
Standard hoods come in either 60 or 90cm width sizes, although the latter is more common in households here. When selecting a hood, note its extraction rate. To determine what extraction rate you need for your kitchen, find out the volume of your kitchen in metre cube (length x width x height) and multiply that figure by 10. An effective hood should be able to replace the air in your kitchen 10 times an hour.
Here’s how to determine how much extraction rate you need.
For additional tips like these, download a copy of Your Guide to Home Development with Bosch.
Make your kitchen appliance shopping easier by heading down to Bosch’s Mega Sale Event happening over the National Day weekend!
Enjoy exclusive trade-in deals, BTO kitchen packages and amazing promotions on a variety of home appliances, including ovens, hobs and hoods. RSVP today to enjoy a special gift!