How to Choose Cooking Appliances
To help focus your selection process, ask yourself the following questions. You also can print out the questionnaire and refer to it while visiting a kitchen designer, appliance showroom or retail store.
1. What are the dimensions of my current appliances? Does my current kitchen layout allow for any changes in these dimensions? Or will the layout be changing?
2. What kind of utility hookups do I have in my kitchen? Am I willing to pay to change them if I want to change my cooktop, range or oven from electric to gas or vice versa?
3. What look do I want to create with my cooking appliances? For example, professional kitchens use stainless steel appliances; a sleek modern space might use a glass cooktop and glass-front wall ovens; and an Old World kitchen usually has a big range with a wood- or stone-covered vent hood.
4. How many people typically do the cooking in my home? For how many people am I or are we usually cooking? Does this affect the size or number of ovens, burners, etc. that we need?
5. How do I/we cook? Do I use the oven or the cooktop more? Am I interested in features such as convection, steam or induction cooking? What about grill, griddle or wok modules as part of the cooktop? Do I need a professional level of cooking power and precision, or are standard Btus or wattage sufficient?
6. Do I use enough power when cooking to require a serious ventilation system? Do I have the appropriate ductwork for an updraft vent hood, or is a downdraft system more appropriate? Would a microhood be sufficient?
7. Do I entertain and cook enough that having a second oven, a warming drawer or built-in coffeemaker will be useful?
8. Should I consider a microhood or a compact range or cooktop to help save space in my kitchen?
9. Do any household members have physical limitations that would make a wall oven easier to use than a stove? Would a smooth-surface cooktop or one with continuous grates also be easier to use?
10. Do I want options that save time spent cooking and cleaning—for example, a speed oven, self-cleaning oven, sealed burners or pre-programmed cooking modes?