Even as a seemingly endless stream of cooking shows, personalities, and cookbooks inspires you to take your culinary skills to the next level, manufacturers are focusing on their own criteria for success: providing appliances and products that look great, save time, reduce energy usage, and ensure a clean, sanitary kitchen.
These themes were prominent at the 2011 Kitchen & Bath Show in Las Vegas, where exhibitors displayed a number of cutting-edge products for the technologically up-to-date kitchen.
Worried about being ready for your soon-to-arrive guests? Need to add one more dish in a hurry? A number of products reflect the idea time is critical. The LG Studio Series cooktop, for instance, uses Ultraheat technology that accelerates cooking time, even if you're just boiling water for pasta for 10 minutes, with heating settings ranging from 5,000 BTUs up to 19,000 BTUs. And the LG ovens used InfraGrill technology that reduces cooking time by 30 percent for some food, with infrared heating elements that reach broiling and other critical temperatures more quickly.
Summit Appliance is displaying an induction cooktop that, like competing products in this growing category, uses magnetism to generate heat that is confined to the cookware, providing for faster cooking times and greater energy efficiency. Summit's SINC424220 model offers a bonus for dwellers in apartments and tight spaces: The 24-inch-wide induction cooktop fits into a 23-inch-by-20-inch cutout, with its four burners, 10 power settings, and easy-to-clean Schott Ceran glass ceramic surface.
The theme of energy efficiency was widespread at the show, and that is welcome news, given the threat of higher utility bills in many communities. For instance, Dacor showed its new 24-inch Renaissance dishwasher, which are Energy Star-qualified because of effective electricity and water usage. While design aficionados might focus on the stainless steel finish and hidden ergonomic controls, reduced electricity and water usage are the name of the game, thanks to 6 wash cycles, 7 wash zones, and 2 drying levels that accommodate small loads up to the dishes and silverware from a large dinner party.
Faucets & Sinks
For those who have had one of those multitasking kitchen (or bath) moments where a third hand would have been useful, solutions are being offered by Muirsis and Danze , in the form of hands-free faucets, with a variety of functions, such as automatic water dispensing and easy temperature and flow adjustments. These no-touch faucets also contribute to a cleaner, more sanitary environment, especially when one has been handling foods like poultry and meats.
While function is a big deal for kitchen product makers, design is still a top focus. Rohl , for example, offers Perrin & Rowe® Filtration faucets that provide filtered water, with contemporary styling, as well as the Pull-Down faucet line emphasizing ergonomics and design. For homeowners seeking unique design solutions, JSG Oceana presents what it describes as the only glass sink on the market, with a hygienic surface that is available in several colors and marketed as resistant to scratches, stains, and temperature changes. And Quadro SRL showed Scandinavian-design Ottavo products that complement a line that includes several high-end product families.