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By Hasmitha Amtha

In the past choosing a stove was pretty simple – a freestanding upright cooker in white enamel was the order of the day. You had two options: one was a gas cooker and the other, the electric option. If you considered an upgrade, a clock with a timer was the way to go.

Just as our taste in food has evolved, our requirements in cooking equipment has advanced considerably, and selecting a stove and oven now is not about whether you’d like a freestanding cooker, but more about the array of features that can be added to assist your cooking experience, whether it’s a wok burner or a grill.

When it comes to the latest trends in stoves and ovens, with the rise in popularity of cooking and entertaining, consumers are looking for kitchen areas that can cope with modern-day demands and cooking capacity.

“Most kitchen buyers who can upscale in terms of size will – the extra space on larger hobs and in larger capacity ovens allows for easier access to pans, and an increased number of burners as well as extra shelves in the oven,” says an expert from Smeg SA.

Stefan Gutstadt from Culinary Equipment Company, importers of Lacanche cookers, asserts that “a quintessential French cooker is entirely bespoke, allowing a client to choose from a range of features and options”.

Ranging from 700mm to well over 2m in width, Lacanche cookers offer a specification to suit every kitchen and budget. Some unique options include an integrated chrome Plancha, pasta cooker, char griller and fryer. Stefan advises that it’s essential to “find an oven or stove that allows you to explore culinary options, as this is often the catalysing moment for passionate cooks. Lacanche cookers offer features that give great joy to home owners who that like to steam, fry or char grill their food”.

Kitchen designer Philip Richards from blu_line explains that “stoves have definitely advanced with the introduction of induction hobs, which offer a safer, cleaner and more environmentally-friendly cooking experience. Black glass-finished oven fronts or black glass-finished stoves give a very dramatic and rich feel to any space”.

Philip also adds that there’s a movement towards touch control appliances. “This is not only a technological advancement but an aesthetic one too, as you can now have ‘knob-less’ appliances that blend effortlessly into the rest of your design scheme, adding to that overall uncluttered look.”

Whirlpool’s KIC product manager, Claire Gibson mentions that “the trends in the kitchen are moving towards clean lines and more glass. For example, the KEO 603 built-in oven has a stainless steel trim and a glass face, which complements any kitchen design and layout”.

When it comes to technology trends, Whirpool’s Fusion eye-level oven has “sixth sense technology and this automated ‘self-thinking’ technology, makes cooking simpler than ever. It encompasses pre-set recipes, automated determining of temperature settings, cooking duration times and cooking modes based on setting the weight of meals to be prepared”.

Mercia de Jager, Miele’s cooking appliances product manager, has pinpointed a few major appliance trends that echo in Miele’s stoves and ovens. Miele’s culinary products possess moisture-plus technology and “this ensures that perfect results are achieved with a combination of fan plus moisture for a wide range of different foods including breads, cakes, meats, soufflés and bakes. The food prepared with Miele’s appliances remains tender, light and succulent on the inside, and boasts a delicious glistening finish”.

In addition, Miele’s ovens have electronically controlled moisture reduction, which is exclusive to Miele; this ensures that a drier environment inside the oven cavity is achieved by a systematic reduction in moisture levels, and produces perfectly crisp results, especially for dishes with a moist topping such as pizzas and open fruit tarts for example.

Swedish appliance maker, Electrolux, introduces its latest luxury lifestyle kitchen gadget, the AEG Avant-garde steam oven. This multifunction oven is great for fast and healthy cooking, offering 13 heating modes with a comprehensive range of pre-programmed recipes and proudly boasts an A rating for energy consumption.

LG Electronics has launched the next generation lightwave oven, the Charcoal Heater, which allows for more precise and healthy cooking with an energy saving of up to 40%. With the LG Charcoal Heater oven, there is no more waiting for the oven to pre-heat before you can start cooking. Liana Barnard from LG Electronics adds that “the active convection technology, coupled with the grill temperature control and the quartz heaters enable faster start-up times, which is up to four times faster than conventional ovens – saving time and energy”.

With all this in mind, Sergio Polita, the kitchen designer from Snaidero Cucine, highlights that you should always consider how green the product is. “We are now in the green age, so I always remind clients to think about their carbon footprint when purchasing kitchen appliances.”