Choose the right kitchen appliances and kitchen design and appliances for your home...

New and good quality kitchen appliances are a major expense in your budget. However, because appliance manufacturers are constantly improving their products, they are quieter, easier to clean and more energy-efficient - which means cheaper utility bills.

Buy kitchen appliances that match the fuel source that exists in the area or in your home, unless you choose to modify it. When shopping for appliances for the kitchen, look for the Federal "energy guide" label, where the energy efficiency of the appliance is rated.

When choosing appliances, energy efficiency should always be a consideration. Style is important, but it should not be the only factor.

The label energy guide should give you a great deal of information about the power requirements, efficiency and operating expense of each kitchen appliance.

The technical definition of range is a kitchen appliance that has an oven and a cooktop. When shopping for a range or a separate oven, your first decision should be whether you want it to be gas... or electric.

This decision should be based on how much do you cook or bake, how large is your family and how much do you entertain.

Gas appliances are more expensive, however, they last longer, and they have fewer parts that wear out.

Gas prices in general tend to be cheaper than electricity prices, and gas-fired cooktops are easier to control when cooking than electric cooktops.

Your second decision should be about what type of range you want:

free standing range,
slide-in model
drop-in model

Freestanding ranges are the most traditional option. This range can be placed between two base cabinets or at the end of a cabinet. A freestanding unit has both sides finished...the standard size is 30" wide, 24" deep and 36" high.

Today, separate cooktops and wall ovens are the popular trend, and microwaves have become permanent kitchen appliances in everyone's kitchen.

If you are a serious cook - gas cooktops and electric wall ovens should be what you need.

The slide-in models are designed to fit between two cabinets, because they have unfinished sides (the cooktop and the oven can be separated).

A drop-in range rests on part of a cabinet base between two base cabinets and it has unfinished sides. Ranges take up less room overall in your kitchen and they will cost less than a separate cooktop and wall oven of the same quality - this may be important if you are on a tight budget.

Cleaning considerations for your oven...

When you are buying an oven or range, take into consideration the type of cleaning process these kitchen appliances use.

• Standard cleaning oven - simple: you, or someone, will have to clean it.

• Self-cleaning ovens - has programmable cleaning settings that use high temperatures to clean grease and residue left in the oven.

• Continuous cleaning oven - these ovens have special finishes that absorb and burn off grease and residues left in the oven.

Cooktops, appliances in the kitchen and kitchen design and appliances.

Cooktops are popular kitchen appliances today because they are a surface cooking unit without an oven, and they can be placed anywhere in the kitchen. They are made in gas or electric versions and they are available with 2, 4, 5 and 6-burner models.

Most cook tops should have an efficient range hood and ventilation hood to eliminate odors and steam.

Electrical cook tops - are less expensive when you buy them but more expensive to operate.

Gas cook tops - much less expensive to operate, easy to operate and fast to turn on and off. Gas burners today have no openings under the gas ring. This is a great improvement because if your food spills, you don't have to clean an open gas burner.

Halogen induction cooktops - foods not only cook faster with light, but they retain their natural juices, moisture and good taste.

Some foods are even cooked up to an extraordinary eight times faster - with no preheating with this method.

Magnetic induction cooktops - induction cooktops offer many advantages over standard models - they provide the heating power and precise temperature control of gas models and they cost even less to operate.

For one hour of usage, this model uses about 6-8 cents worth of energy. And, because induction cooktops use magnetic waves to heat the pan, the unit itself stays cool, no matter how high you turn the temperature to.

Cooktops come with built-in woks, ovens built into the wall, rotisseries and indoor grills, which are a great option for the winter season.

Cooktops are very convenient kitchen appliances because the space below that was occupied by the oven can now be used for storage. This space is a great area to store pots and pans.

Most cooktops, ovens and ranges still operate with knobs. However, there are models today that have electronic controls as an option. Cooktops are usually 30" wide, but you can find them in sizes from 20" to 48" wide.

Oven options for kitchen appliances...

• 1- Ovens that have large cavities for baking use a lot more energy and therefore are more costly to run.

• 2- Ovens with smaller cavities for baking are more efficient and improve moisture retention.

Conventional ovens: - This method cooks food by using radiant energy. It uses the broiling element on top of the oven and the baking element on the bottom. These kitchen appliances can be gas or electric models.

Convection ovens: - These ovens cook with an electric heat source and a fan in the back of the oven. This fan allows you to cook more quickly, more efficiently and more evenly by moving the heated air around the food. This is a great method for baking.

This type of oven produces extremely even temperatures throughout the oven, allowing your pie crusts to be as nicely done on the bottom as they are on the top.

Convection ovens are more expensive, but you save money in the long run because of the increased energy efficiency. It reduces your cooking time with every meal and it bakes more evenly.

Combination unit ovens (conventional and convection): This combination of kitchen appliances is not as effective as the convection system.

This type of oven does not heat as evenly as the convection oven. You will need to watch what you are cooking more closely, because cooking this way may burn the food.

Wall ovens: Cooking this way uses a unit that is installed in the wall around chest height which makes it very accessible.

The advantage of wall ovens is that you can locate them anywhere in the kitchen, and you can add other units very easily, depending how much you cook or bake. Wall ovens range between 24" to 30" wide and these units can be gas or electric.

Kitchen appliances and kitchen design and appliances articles:

Considerations when designing log home interiors.

Kitchen cabinets are the showplace of the kitchen.

What do I look for before buying major kitchen appliances?

Kitchen floorings are best for your kitchen!

What materials are best for your kitchen countertop.

Choosing the right kitchen sinks for your home!

Are you looking for decorative kitchen wall decor?

Buy Range Hoods Kitchen Exhaust Fans!

Kitchen range hoods products and accessories for your log home.

Professional kitchen and bathroom magazines...

Rustic kitchens designs and styles.

Create your dream kitchen with rustic kitchen cabinets.

Create your dream kitchen with kitchen remodeling ideas.

Storage solution ideas and organization for your home?

Wine storage, supplies and accessories for your home!

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