Once you have established a budget and created a vision for your new kitchen, you’ll need to research specific appliances, considering the brands and differentiating factors in each category to choose the appliances with the features, performance and style that best meet your needs.
Also be sure to consider Energy Star-rated appliances to increase home energy efficiency and savings while reducing impact on the environment. For tips on selecting and positioning your appliances for better energy efficiency, see our article on the Energy Efficient Kitchen.
Range or Cooktop
One of the biggest decisions you’ll make in designing your kitchen is whether you prefer a separate cooktop and wall oven(s) combination or a free-standing range, which integrates the cooktop surface and oven in one appliance. There are advantages and benefits to both options, based on how you use your kitchen. For instance, if you tend to cook dishes that start on the burner but are finished in the oven, you might prefer the proximity that a range offers. And free-standing ranges are often more economical and easier to install. But if you have multiple cooks sharing one ample space, the separate zones offered by a cooktop and a wall oven might serve you better. However, your choice may be dictated ultimately by the layout or space constraints of your kitchen — an open kitchen with little wall space or a small kitchen may not be able to accommodate a separate wall oven.
Whether you opt for a range or a cooktop, you’ll need to start by choosing the fuel source. Ranges are available in gas, electric, or dual-fuel configurations. Gas ranges offer iron burner grates and front-facing controls. Dual fuel is popular because it provides even electric heat in the oven together with easily controllable, precise gas burners on the cooktop. You’ll also need to select the right size range for your kitchen layout. Standard range widths are 30, 36 and 48 inches. Larger, professional-size ranges (36 and 48 inches) often include ways to customize the cooking surface, such as additional burners or an optional built-in grill or griddle.
For cooktops, the fuel source choices are gas, electric radiant or induction, with similar choices in sizes, configurations of burners and customizable accessories as are available in ranges. Both electric radiant and induction cooktops provide a modern, seamless look, including optional flush installation, and are easier to clean than gas cooktops. Induction is the most energy-efficient choice, quickly transferring electromagnetic energy directly to pans, which brings them to temperature far faster than any other method. However, be aware that with induction cooktops, you must use cookware that contains a high content of ferrous metal because the heat is only transferred by magnetic interaction between the pan and the coils.
If you’ve opted for a wall oven, the amount of baking, broiling or roasting you normally do may affect what features you choose. Ovens come in standard sizes of 27 and 30 inches and are available in either a single- or double-oven configuration. Double ovens are ideal for cooks who entertain or have large families, if your kitchen size and layout can accommodate them. And while wall ovens don’t allow for custom panel fronts, they may be installed under the counter or flush within the cabinetry for a more integrated look.
Another oven feature to consider is convection, which uses a fan to distribute the air in the oven clockwise and counter-clockwise for even cooking with minimum hotspots in less time than a traditional oven. With convection, you can also cook multiple items at the same time, a plus for those who love to bake batches of cookies. Plus, the reduced cooking time of convection can translate into household energy savings.
A speedcooking oven, like our Advantium, is a hybrid convection and microwave oven. The Advantium uses high-intensity halogen light with ceramic and radiant cooking elements to cook the outside of foods rapidly together with microwave energy to cook the inside evenly. Speedcooking ovens are ideal for accommodating busy lifestyles and can be a great alternative for the cook that wants the functionality of a double oven configuration in a smaller kitchen space. If you do upgrade to a speedcooking oven, be sure to purchase the appliance with the correct voltage for your selected location, as both 240V and 120V versions are available.
Whether via a wall-mounted hood, island hood or downdraft ventilation system, proper ventilation not only removes steam, heat and odors from your kitchen but also keeps your cabinets and appliances clean and grease-free. One of the most important features to look for in a ventilation system is the fan’s ability to move air, measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). For the best venting, the recommended rate is 1 CFM per 100 BTUs of the heat output of your range or cooktop. For example, if your total cooktop output is 60,000 BTUs, you should consider a hood with an air flow rate of 600 CFM. Also, be sure to look at other hood features like lighting, warming lamps and utensil racks that can increase its functionality in your kitchen.
Another important consideration for ventilation is ducting. If the layout and location of your kitchen in your home permits it, ducting your ventilation system to the outside will remove the maximum amount of heat and odor. Otherwise, opt for a duct-free or recirculating ventilation hood, which relies more heavily on filtration for odor control.
At Bell’s Appliance Service, we offer many appliance installation and repair services that you can trust. With stores in Greenville and Jacksonville, North Carolina, we also service areas such as Kinston, New Bern, Swansboro, Atlantic Beach, Surf City, Topsail Beach, Tarboro, Pine Knoll Shores, Onslow County, and Pitt County in North Carolina. We offer excellent household appliance installation, so if you need your refrigerator repaired or a new oven installed, we’re here to help! We’re a locally owned, family-operated business, and we specialize in appliance repair, installation, and maintenance services.