Kitchen & Bath Design News

JAN 2018

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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vegetables. When this heat transference source is combined with convection heat and air movement, this healthy form of cooking produces excellent entrees, baked goods, egg products – and does a great job of quality reheating. Steam ovens are available plumbed or reservoir-based, and in both 110- and 220-volt appliance configurations. When I compared steam ovens available in 2017, the performance difference was minimal between a 110- and 220-volt wired appliance, and the cavity size pretty comparable. For a budget-challenged project, or one with mechanical constraints, if you recommend a reservoir-based appliance (that means there's a container for water that the user refills) and an appliance powered by a 110-volt circuit, you can place this appliance anywhere. There are no expensive water supply and drain lines to plumb, or a 220-volt circuit required. Designers need to be aware that these microwave and steam ovens come with a series of racks that facilitate and enhance these combination cooking modes. Therefore, storage needs to be included in the plan for these oven accessories when not in use. APPLIANCE REMOTE CONTROL AND MONITORING Adding on a layer of convenience – that of connectivity, which allows the user to operate and control the appliance from a distance – has a profound impact on the designer's appliance placement decisions during the planning process. The challenge (even if designers don't specify applianc- es specifically) is understanding how this connectivity is a requirement to enable designers to confidently recom- mend products that will enhance their personalized design solution. From a design standpoint, this gives the designer a huge increase in location possibilities. For example: 1. Cooks of different heights sharing a kitch- en can each easily control the oven. 2. Single ovens can be more safely in- stalled under a countertop. 3. Ovens can be located away from the pri- mary kitchen work zone. In the future, there are several other advantages to wireless connectivity and artificial intelligence: 1. Because of current sensing abilities and the expectation of future camera and bar code monitoring capabilities – both cooking performance and food preservation can be greatly improved with the use of connected smart appliances. 2. The cook can save time by being able to control appli- ances from a distance. For example: Perhaps as the host or hostess is driving home from work, they remember they forgot to stop at the local convenience store to grab a bag of ice for a "Happy Hour" they're hosting that night. A connected refrigerator with artificial intelligence has an option of "max ice" that might help speed up ice production. 3. On the near horizon is one of the most important benefits of connected smart appliances – the unit's ability to self-diagnose maintenance issues, such as filter replacement needs or malfunctions about to occur. This will make distance repair or faster on-site repair service a reality for the consumer. Nobody likes to wait for the repairman! special oven cooking capabilities available today that designers will find useful when facing a small kitchen space, or a large one with multiple cooking centers. The biggest change in oven engineering is the manufactur- ers' capability of combining different ways to transfer heat and then to program these ovens so the guesswork is taken out of these complicated combination processes for your client. Now this means the designer has to learn a little bit more about how these appliances work, but the return is worth the time investment. These combination units are great new alterna- tives that can help make the kitchen work flow just right for the client's lifestyle. Let me start with convection ovens – certainly not some- thing new, they've been around for a long time. However, in the past, the user was forced to manually convert recipes, which was often time consuming and error ridden. New convection cooking has been re-engineered and reimagined. Better systems use two fans, not one, to provide consistent, even cooking, so the time and energy advantages of convection cooking can be used for a wider variety of food. The ovens are now programmed with preset cooking modes, identified by the type of product being prepared. So, a con- vection pastry cycle is different than a convection bake, for example. The microwave oven has also come a long way. A major change has taken place in the capabilities of microwave cook- ing because the liquid molecular activity in microwave cooking (which generates heat) has been combined with convection hot air movement and the inclusion of a browning or broiling element within the cavity. This means this smaller combina- tion appliance can replace a standard-sized oven. The last special oven growing in popularity is the steam oven. Most cooks appreciate the benefit of steam cooking for The ability to control appliances from hand-held or voice- activated sources has dramatically impacted kitchen planning placement limitations. Photo: Courtesy of Jenn-Air 76 Kitchen & Bath Design News • January 2018 DESIGNER'S NOTEBOOK Continued

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