For the Pro Chef at Heart: Cooking with the Latest Gadgets
Culinary trends inspire a new wave of amenity-focused appliances.
By Rebecca L. Rhoades
While many appliances attract consumers with stylish designs and high-tech touch screens, sometimes it’s the hidden features that generate the most interest. State-of-the-art components are transforming the kitchen and elevating the home cooking, entertaining and cleaning experience.
Once limited to professional kitchens, sous vide utilizes precise temperature control to deliver consistent, restaurant-quality results. Now, the kitchen appliance brands are bringing this cooking method to home chefs. Signature Kitchen Suite was the first to offer pro ranges with the technology built in. This year, the function can be found in its dual-fuel range tops and wall ovens. The company also removed the need for water circulation, creating a new steam sous vide mode that is used in its combination wall oven that blends steam and convention cooking.
A number of high-end brands have followed suit, including Miele, which offers the function in its combi-steam oven; Electrolux, which showcased its connected double wall oven with air sous vide; and Fisher & Paykel and Gaggenau, which both presented steam ovens with vacuum-seal sous vide drawers. “Sous vide is still a niche, but it’s becoming more popular,” says a representative of Fisher & Paykel, which also showed off a pro range with a built-in air fryer. And if the style of cooking isn’t for you, Klosterman has another idea. “The drawer in which you can vacuum-seal items was incredible,” she remarks. “You can even throw your socks and underwear in it so you can pack them into your suitcase.”
LG Electronics upped its appliance game with its new InstaView line. As the name suggests, users can knock twice on the refrigerator or oven to instantly illuminate its interior. The oven offers air-fry capabilities, while the fridge features the CraftIce maker, which creates one of the hottest cocktail trends—crystal-clear, 2-inch-in-diameter ice spheres. It can make approximately 160 spheres per month.
Other specialty appliances on view this year included Monogram’s built-in pizza oven that’s sure to be a family favorite, Perlick’s refrigerators with marinating pans and deli drawers, and speed ovens, as shown by Smeg, GE Profile and Miele. “I have a speed oven, but I don’t think enough people know about them,” says Klosterman. “Monogram offers one called Advantium. It uses halogen lighting and convection and microwave technologies to cook.”
Once seen only in tap rooms and coffee shops, countertop glass rinsers are now found in the home. Delta’s offering uses high-pressure water jets to rinse residue from inside glassware and bottles. It can be installed into a new or existing water line and is available in chrome or stainless steel finishes. “It’s the coolest thing,” says Evans. “It’s such a time saver for anyone who reuses bottles, especially baby bottles.”
Elkay is also showcasing commercial-quality components. The Smartwell beverage center dispenses single or mixed fruit flavors to still or sparkling water, while the company’s exH20 Liv integrates seamlessly into any room of the house, providing convenient access to chilled, filtered water.
With so many unique and useful features available on the market, it’s hard to imagine one that would elicit wows, but Kraus’s Purita 2-in-1 Kitchen Filter Faucet did just that. Dubbed the “beer faucet” by show-goers, the Purita features two independent water lines that can be used to dispense tap or sparkling water, nitro coffee or even beer. “Purita marks the beginning of a new age in home-filtration technology,” says Todd Alexander, director of product development for Kraus USA.
Whether you prefer intimate evenings for two or you enjoy hosting large gatherings of friends and family, these cutting-edge products will transform your home into a destination for food and fun.