Large kitchen appliances tend to be more specialized and can significantly impact your cooking experience. Knowing what to look for as you plan your kitchen remodel ensures you obtain the ideal ones for efficient and enjoyable food preparation and cooking experience. Energy efficiency, quality, size and capacity, warranty, and style are some of the top features you'll be factoring in while shopping.
Below, we highlight some key features to consider when selecting the top five kitchen appliances – refrigerator, cooking range, dishwasher, microwave oven, and range hood.
A refrigerator is an essential appliance for a fully functional kitchen. There are various refrigerator styles available to suit your kitchen space, layout, and budget. These include top freezer, side-by-side, bottom freezer, and French door options. Regardless of your preferred style, it's important to consider key features when purchasing.
Size and Capacity
Refrigerators come in different sizes – small, medium, and large. The standard sizes range from 24"-40" in width, 29"-36" in depth, and 60"-75" in height. Fridge capacity also varies depending on the size and design and ranges between 4-25+ cubic feet.
Selecting the ideal size and capacity is largely influenced by your household size and storage needs. But generally, here are the standard capacity requirements for most households:
4-13 cu. ft.: 1-2 people
14-24 cu. ft.: 3-4 people
25+ cu. ft.: 5 or more people
Also, remember to factor in the freezer compartment size in line with how much food and groceries you need to freeze.
Energy-efficient refrigerators can save you hundreds of dollars in electricity bills over its lifetime. Look for energy star-rated models to save on energy costs. Rating is usually based on a scale of 1 to 5 stars; the more stars there are, the higher the energy efficiency. For instance, a five-star-rated refrigerator will be more efficient than a one-star-rated model.
Adjustable Shelves and Compartments
Adjustable shelves and compartments are another often overlooked but very important feature in enhancing a refrigerator's functionality. Flexible shelves provide increased storage convenience. They allow you to customize the space and arrange items according to your preferences. Detachable shelves and compartments are also easier to clean than fixed ones.
Some fridge styles and models feature temperature-controlled drawers that allow temperature variation based on the cooling requirements of specific foods. Other modern models feature automatic temperature controls that adjust the temperatures depending on the food stored. Some refrigerators come with misting systems (similar to what you see at the grocery store) for keeping your produce fresh longer.
Cooking Range or Stove
The cooking range or stove is another crucial kitchen appliance that significantly contributes to your cooking experience. It combines both an oven and a stovetop, offering a compact solution for baking, frying, boiling, and more.
Cooking ranges come in standard widths of 24", 30", 36", 48", and up to 60". The right size for you depends mainly on your kitchen space and cooking needs.
There are three main types of stoves: gas, electric, and induction. Gas stoves offer precise heat control and are more cost-effective in terms of energy use. Electric stoves provide even heat distribution, perfect for baking. Induction stoves are energy-efficient and safer as they heat the cookware directly while leaving the cooktop relatively cool.
Stove ovens come in single or double configurations. Double ovens can be a great asset if you cook large meals or love baking. They allow you to cook at two different temperatures simultaneously.
Look out for a stove with a burner layout that suits your cooking style. Some models offer a mix of high-heat and low-heat burners. You may want a stove with a high-heat burner if you often boil water or sear meat.
Some stoves come with safety features such as automatic shut-off in case the stove is left on for an extended period and lockout features to keep children from accidentally turning the stove on.
Choosing the right stove is a balance between your cooking habits, your safety preferences, and your kitchen aesthetics. Always prioritize functionality, but don't overlook design and style, as a beautiful stove can be the centerpiece of your kitchen.
Dishwashers are time-saving appliances that make kitchen cleanup easy and efficient. There are various types to choose from, including built-in, portable, drawer, or countertop models, each offering its own unique set of advantages.
Size and Capacity
Dishwashers come in standard dimensions of 24 inches wide, 24 inches deep, and 35 inches high. However, compact models are also available for smaller kitchens, typically measuring 18 inches wide. The capacity of a dishwasher is usually measured by the number of place settings it can hold. Standard dishwashers can typically accommodate 12 to 16 place settings, while compact models generally hold up to 8 place settings.
If energy conservation is a concern, select a dishwasher with a high Energy Star rating. These models are designed to minimize water and energy use without compromising on cleaning performance.
The noise level of a dishwasher, measured in decibels (dB), can be an important consideration, especially in open-plan kitchens or if you prefer to run your dishwasher at night. Dishwashers in the 45 to 50 dB range are considered quiet. A rating higher than 60dB is a bit noisier and disruptive.
Modern dishwashers come with a range of wash cycles. Standard cycles include normal, heavy, and light, but some models offer specialized cycles, such as sanitizing, quick wash or china/crystal. It's important to consider which features you'll be using the most and select an appropriate dishwasher.
There are some features that can add to the performance of a dishwasher. Look for options like adjustable racks and tines for more flexible loading, hidden touch controls for a sleek look, and smart capabilities for remote control and diagnostics. Some models also offer a third rack for extra loading capacity, soil sensors for optimized cleaning, and hard food disposers to eliminate the need for pre-rinsing.
Microwave ovens are essential kitchen appliances that provide a fast and convenient way to heat or cook food. They work by using microwave radiation to vibrate the molecules in food, generating heat that cooks the food from the inside out.
Size and Power
Microwave sizes vary, with most models offering a capacity of 1.0 cubic feet to 2.0 cubic feet. Power levels typically range from 600 to 1200 watts. A higher wattage means faster cooking times but may also lead to higher energy costs.
There are several types of microwaves to consider: countertop, over-the-range, and built-in. Countertop microwaves are the most common and are portable and easy to install, but they take up valuable countertop space. Over-the-range models are installed above your stove and often include a built-in exhaust fan. Today, many homeowners are opting for microwave drawers, which are built into your kitchen cabinets for a seamless look and are ideal for aging in place.
Microwave features can include defrost settings, reheating programs, and preset cooking options for specific foods like popcorn or baked potatoes. Some microwaves also offer convection cooking, which uses a fan to circulate hot air, allowing for more even and faster cooking.
Choosing the right microwave comes down to understanding your cooking needs, available kitchen space, and the features that will make your cooking experience more enjoyable and efficient.
Range hoods make a fantastic addition to any kitchen. Not only do they enhance air quality, but they also serve as eye-catching focal points with their decorative designs. There are various styles of range hoods to consider based on your kitchen layout, available space, and preference.Common options include undercabinet, downdraft, wall-mounted, chimney, and ductless hoods.
Essential features to consider when selecting a range hood include:
Consider the ventilation power of the hood based on the amount of cooking you do. If you usually cook large meals and more often, opt for one with a higher ventilation capacity. An ideal hood should effectively remove smoke, steam, and odors.
The noise levels produced by hoods depend on the quality of the motor and the speed. If your kitchen is open to the rest of the living space, or you generally prefer a quieter cooking experience, opt for the quieter models.
Some hoods come with built-in lights to illuminate the cooking area. Opt for models that support light customization for increased brightness during cooking.
Create Your Perfect Kitchen with Hochuli Design & Remodeling Team
Hochuli Design & Remodeling Team is a design and remodeling firm located in Tempe that has transformed dozens of kitchens over the years. We understand kitchen design and will work with you to create the perfect space for your lifestyle. Our design process involves taking your ideas, preferences, and budget into consideration to deliver a kitchen that suits all of your needs.
Our team focuses on high-quality craftsmanship and attention to detail in every project we undertake. From initial consultation to final installation, we strive for open communication and collaboration with our clients to ensure their complete satisfaction.