How can I improve my cooking experience in the new kitchen?

homebuyer23February 10, 2013

Looking for insight on what would fit my appliance needs and budget. I'm trying to figure out exactly what appliances we will want so I can start to finalize our layout and get cabinet quotes. I'm up for doing my own research, but I started to and realized I had no idea where to begin!

I cook family meals every day and like to bake when I have time. Probably use my stove twice as much as my oven at least. From my experience with what I've always had (30" electric ranges), I wish I could boil water faster, have all larger burners, have it easy to clean, (I'm a pretty messy cook), I'd love to be able to use a large grill and or griddle, grill being more important. Would like more control over heat. For an oven, I need room to do a big T-giving turkey. Hate that when baking 2 sheets of cookies at same time, the bottom rack ones tend to burn on bottom. I hate that our house always smells like what we had for dinner (cheap inefficient hoods).

We have room on plan for 36" width, but willing to do 30" if it met our needs mixed with budget better. We can convert to gas. I'm also open to induction. I have no idea what to look for in a range hood.

We also need a microwave... do the $1,200 drawer models do anything major that my $80. Countertop one can't do? What is an advantium I keep hearing about? If it acts as both a 2nd oven and a microwave I like the sound of it, but I don't know if its in my budget or if I have anywhere to put it.
With a roughly $5,000, "cooking appliances" (range, or cook top / oven, microwave,advantium? Toaster?!) budget, and our proposed layout, and based on my cooking needs, can anyone give me an idea of what type appliances you recommend I should start researching and what to look for... features, sizes, brand names, cfm, btus, sealed burners, blah blah! etc?

Here is our rough layout...

Thank you!

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I think you will enjoy the 36" range...and it sounds like gas would meet your needs. I really like our KA dual fuel range, it has a large electric oven with convection. You can get either a griddle or a grill...we did griddle, since we can grill outside here all year.

I have the sharp MW drawer...but if you do a range rather than wall ovens, you could get a less expensive MW and put it on a shelf in the area where you would have put a wall oven. The only reason I got the drawer was because I didn't want MW on the counter and definitely didn't want it over the range (couldn't have done that anyway...the range needed a real hood.) I do love the drawer, but it doesn't cook any better than any other type of MW. You could save that $ and put it toward your range.

Good luck...your kitchen is going to be great!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:28AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

From your description, you will love an induction can boil water in 90 seconds and you can melt chocolate without a double boiler. Warm means warm....I've kept cream soups warm without simmering on it. But you do need pots that magnets will stick to on the bottom as it works off of magnetizable materials.

We looked at advantium but went with trivection and std microwave instead. Most people I know like their advantium, but they generally end up using it as just a microwave instead. The trivection is regular oven, convection oven and speed bake which includes just a touch of microwave (not enough to use as a stand alone microwave) to bake things crispy but quickly. For example, I did a 4 lb pork loin roast in 30 min.

I would not use a MW drawer in that I like it at eye level so I can see what's happening when I'm cooking things like oatmeal that tend to boil over. So we put our MW above our wall oven in a cabinet with nesting doors so we can hide it when we want and can use any old std MW...don't need to buy a fancy $$$ one with special stainless surround, etc.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:37AM
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I have the microwave drawer because I wanted it under the counter. I also got the Sharp - 24" b/c the appliance guy told me there wasn't much (any?) difference in the interior space between the 24" and the 27". It is no different than my old on the counter one, and it doesn't have the built in turnstyle that my on the counter one had. Not worth it if you have the space.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:50AM
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An oven with convection is great for cookies and turkeys! In convection, I can bake four racks of cookies at one time without turning or changing positions of sheets, and they all come out perfectly browned. Convection also does an amazing job with poultry: convection roast makes the skin crispy, with the meat moist and juicy. Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 10:03AM
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I have a MW drawer for the reasons mentioned above. However, just wanted to point out that they cost about $750 new, not $1200. Plus, many people have gotten better prices on ebay.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 11:57AM
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nini804 - do you know which KA dual fuel model you purchased? No problems with it so far?

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 12:07PM
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Looking at your layout, I don't think you have the room for a 36" range. You will need a filler between the blind corner and any adjacent cabinet. That nixes your pullout that you have there. And you have minimal landing space on the other side next to a major traffic route. That will leave you with a 30" range fitting MUCH better. You could do a 30" induction range and separate wall oven elsewhere, or something like the GE Cafe with the griddle and double ovens below. That would give you the maximum versatility in the smallest space. If you want to grill, use a grill pan or do it outside. It doubles your requirements for ventilation, which you haven't discussed at all. That will get pretty expensive as you will be required to have makeup air for the CFM that you would need to have for a grill.

In your situation, I'd put a separate under counter oven in place of the under counter MW. Maybe a speed oven, but the best place for the MW is next to the fridge as that's the logical flow of snackers and reheaters.

I'd also really revisit having the work table as island. You could make the island work a lot harder by having a small prep sink on it and putting the trash there as well. That would give you a better prep zone with less walking. I'd suggest swapping the pantry and fridge. You need a straight shot from the fridge to the sink to make the prep zone work best. And that involves water access. So, you need the fridge at the bottom of that aisle, or a prep sink on the island. Or both. Otherwise, you're adding a lot of roadwork to making dinner.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 12:19PM
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If you boil a lot of water, the single best thing you can add to the kitchen is an instant hot faucet. I steam a large pot of veggies every night for dinner and the convenience of using the instant hot and having the water at a boil in 10 seconds means I can now add the water and veggies at the same time, set the timer, and go.

Seems like a small thing, but compared to how I used to do it ... add the water, wait for it to boil, get distracted 25% of the time and have the pot boil dry, start over, repeat in a loop depending on how distracting my day was, etc. ... the instant hot is like a little slice of heaven in my kitchen. :-)

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 3:16PM
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Sophie Wheeler

I agree with a 30" cooktop or range here. The problem being if you go with a cooktop, which would be best if you choose induction, then the location of the wall oven becomes a problem. Under counter is probably the best that you're going to be able to manage for it. So, you might as well look at ranges in that case and keep everything under your vent hood.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 3:25PM
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Thank you!
Holly,live wire, why can't I fit 36" stove on a run that is 82"?

I can see that 9" on one side and 12" on other would look unbalanced, but are there other reasons? Think I could steal 3" off my 36" wide walkway, if I scooch the REF down to the end where I currently have the Utility pantry?

Does a separate cooktop have the same issues or would that fit easier if I was willing to move to a under counter oven on other side?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 3:25PM
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Sophie Wheeler

82"-36" range - 27" blind corner (you HAVE to have a filler with a blind corner for clearances) = 19". If you 100% crowd the molding (which is a bad idea) then that's a 12" cabinet to the left and a 7" cabinet to the right. Except there aren't any 7" cabinets unless you're doing full custom. And the only 6" cabinets are those fairly useless "spice cabinets" of small narrow boxes. If you do the 6" cabinet, and shift things to the corner, that leaves you with an awkward 1" between the cabinet on the left and the doorway molding. But at least then you'd actually have room for the counter's overhang.

It just cramps things way too much. Adding back that 6" from going to a 30" lets things breathe much better and be a bit safer.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 4:09PM
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I have my 36" rangetop on a 7-ish foot run that ends in a diagonal wall, then turns toward the sink. I have a 25-inch counter to the left of the stove and an 18-incher to the right, followed by the 12-inch diagonal piece that turns the corner to the sink (after another 12-inch piece.) It all works beautifully for us and isn't the least bit crowded. I do have an island 40 inches from the stove but mainly do my prep on the right side of the stove.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 4:58PM
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Sophie Wheeler

sjerin, that "12" on each side of the corner is actually is actually only the front part of a 36" corner cabinet. So, you have a 36" corner cabinet, an 18" cabinet, your 36" range top, and then a 24" cabinet. That 114" is a LOT more space than the OP's 82".

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 5:20PM
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Holly, could I do the 36" corner cab, 36" range, and 12" end? At 84" It leaves me with 62" from the 12" end cabinet to REF wall.

The current doorway there actually has no molding around it right now, and in this layout option, we are removing the "doorway" and just ending the wall at the end of the stove run, wherever we need to end it.

So, if stove wall is 36"+36"+12"+2" overhang, and I have a 28" depth REF, that leaves a 32" aisle...

too tight?

Can a corner cabinet be something other than 36" if going custom? We haven't ruled out custom...planning on checking out local Amish custom places as soon as I figure out a general layout.


    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 8:02PM
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Just wanted to say I LOVE my advantium! I have the larger model. I literally have replaced our toaster oven. It will toast waffles, toast, English muffins, bagels perfectly. The speed cook option is also very cool. I "thought" I would only use it as a microwave but I'm using it for everything else. I was surprised at how much I love it

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:10AM
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