If you need a new cooker or fridge-freezer to help you through the year’s busiest entertaining season, use this guide for advice and the latest designs.
Think about the size you need
Compact and slimline appliances are no longer a niche market and many brands offer a good range of products. If space is an issue in your kitchen, consider combining appliances to gain more room – try washer-dryers, fridge-freezers and microwave combination ovens. If you have a bigger area to play with and you entertain regularly or have a large family, plan your appliances to accommodate your needs. Look for large-capacity dishwashers – some now go up to 14 or 15 place settings – and washing machines that can manage a larger load if needed. Drum sizes vary from 5kg to 11kg, with the average being around 7kg. Look at your fridge to freezer ratio if you are thinking about buying a combined model; do you need a fridge with a small freezer or do you need both compartments to be of equal size? Also, bear in mind that big American side-by-side models can be overpowering in a small space or narrow kitchen.
The latest fridge and freezer models are designed to be a focal feature in your kitchen scheme.
|Due to the success of its Vintage refrigeration collection, Swan has increased its range and now offers this tall fridge and freezer, which can be placed side by side. A+ rated for energy, the models are available in traditional cream, red, green, orange, black and blue (shown). Each appliance measures H182xW59xD65cm; the SR11050 vintage tall larder fridge costs around £900 and the co-ordinating SR11040 freezer around £1,000.|
|This new American-style, side-by-side fridge-freezer in stainless steel is the ultimate model for those who love entertaining, as it includes an indulgent drop-down bar and ice- and-water dispenser. Other useful features include a low noise level, an ‘eco’ function for lower energy bills, a child-lock and frost-free technology. Also, it is made from stainless steel so it won’t need constant cleaning. The SBS63XEDH model, H182xW91xD78cm, costs around £2,000, Smeg.|
Family-sized washing machine
If you have a big family, consider investing in a large-capacity washing machine.
|The new LINDO300 model from Zanussi has a 10kg drum and is fitted with an extra-extra-large door for fast and easy loading. It also has some useful time-saving functions such as QuickWash, which reduces program time by up to 50 per cent, and QuickStart, which cleans clothes in 30 minutes. It also has a Refresh wash: a 20-minute cycle for small loads and lightly soiled clothes. The ZWF01483WH model (above) measures H85xW60xD66cm and costs around £479.|
Flexible zoned cooking space
|This Professional Series 90 three-segment hob, with a combination of a gas hob, griddle and two-zone induction panel, is arranged in three 30cm sections. It is factory-assembled for a seamless finish and fits a standard-sized cut-out for a 90cm hob. Measuring W52xL89cm, it costs £1,950 from Bertazzoni.|
Chilled wine storage
Invest in one of these useful appliances to keep your drinks the perfect temperature year-round – choose from a range of sizes and features.
|AEG’s stainless steel SWD81800G1 wine cooler, H178xW56xD55cm, is designed to provide constant optimum conditions to chill your drinks to perfection. To get the best from both red and white wines, it features dual-temperature regulation, a Coolmatic rapid- chill function, and humidity level control to prevent corks from drying out. Priced £1,129, it has the capacity to store 99 bottles.|
|Sub Zero’s ICBIW-30R built-in wine cabinet is its widest model yet. With three temperature zones – two for the wine storage areas, and a third range of lower temperatures for the refrigerated drawers beneath – it measures H213xW76xD61cm and costs around £9,700.|
|If you didn’t think that you could squeeze a wine cooler into a small kitchen then you might be surprised to find out that this model will fit into a 15cm gap. Lec’s 150WC MK2 wine cooler can hold up to seven bottles, has a reversible door, digital temperature display and an internal light. Available in black and stainless steel finishes, it’s a useful option to fill space that isn’t wide enough for a standard unit. It measures H87xW15xD57cm and costs around £239.|
Feeding a crowd? Make life easy by investing in one of the latest generation models with intelligent features, specialist functions and a large capacity.
|Belling’s BI 60 E PYR electric multifunctional oven with pyrolytic cleaning and programmable timer has nine cooking options, including a conventional and fanned electric oven and grill. Other useful features include a top heat function for delicate browning, a base heat function for dishes such as pies and pizzas, and an intense bake option for foods that have a high moisture content. Available in stainless steel, it measures H58.5xW59.5xD55cm and costs around £449.|
|The sous-vide ‘under vacuum’ slow and low-temperature steam method of cooking has long been popular with professional chefs. This new CombiSteam oven allows you to develop flavours at home in the same way. Ingredients are prepared in the VacSealer drawer, removing 99.9 per cent of all air, and then cooked using one of the three temperature settings. The oven can also roast, bake and grill, and has an interactive screen with access to 90 recipes. The EOB8956VAX oven measures H59.4xW59.4xD56.7cm and costs around £1,399; the EVD29900AX VacSealer, H29.4xW59.4xD53.5cm, is around £1,499, both Electrolux.|
|With a capacity of 70 litres, which allows for an extra shelf, this new SK400 oven from CDA is a good choice if you want more space but can only fit in a standard-sized model. The extra space means it’s possible to cook all the components of a traditional Christmas roast dinner, or six trays of scones, at the same time. It features a control panel that gives information about the function selected, the current temperature and the cooking time; it also has halogen interior lighting, integrated anti-tilt shelves and a triple-glazed cool-touch door with removable glass. Finished in stainless steel and black glass, H59.5xW59.5x D57.5cm, it costs around £419.|
|Miele’s KM6356 induction wok hob is a flush-fit, sleek model with an integrated wok burner. It has nine power settings, a twin-boost function and its own made-to-measure pan, which sits in a concave ceramic bowl. It’s not only ideal for stir fries due to the precise temperature control but is also great for other dishes, such as risottos, delicate sauces and soups. It has four cooking areas including a PowerFlex zone, which comprises two areas that can be combined into one larger zone as needed for bigger cooking pots. Pan recognition and automatic heat-up functions feature as standard. It measures W51xL79cm and costs around £2,950.|
|Most standard dishwashers offer a capacity of 12 place settings but this ProClean model from AEG has 15. The satellite spray system gives an outstanding wash performance and SoftGrips hold glasses in place. Other features include a Timebeam that projects the cycle time remaining onto the floor and an ‘auto off’ function. It measures H81.8xW59.6xD55cm and costs around £799.|
Find the best price
Once you have found an appliance you like, take time to shop around online as prices can vary enormously. Remember to factor in delivery costs and whether your old model needs to be taken away. Some companies don’t offer this service, others charge, but many will take it away for free. Also, check delivery times and retailer warranties; you may prefer to pay for speedy delivery or a longer guarantee.
If you are looking for a new appliance but don’t mind if it’s not the most up-to-date model, then check retailers for end-of-line stock at discount prices.