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issue: August 2007 APPLIANCE Magazine

41st Annual Cooking Report
Configurable Cooking

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Honeycomb Hobs from Küppersbusch

Commercial-style appliance trends have often implied commercial-sized cooking, making them impractical for most European, Asian, and American homes. As the premium segment has embraced greater variety and moved into lower price points, commercial-style cooking moved into more “standard” sizes. The configuration and flexibility of premium cooking equipment for small kitchens is emerging in the form of more narrow built-in ovens and slender cooktop/range components. In September, GE will launch a two-burner, 21-in. ceramic-glass cooktop on the U.S. market. The cooktop will provide users with limited space all the cleanability benefits of a flattop in a size range that was previously limited to coil units. The cooktop also offers ADA-compliant controls in the front, adjustable heating elements to accommodate different-sized cookware, and hot surface indicator lights.

Fisher & Paykel, the appliance maker out of New Zealand that has been expanding globally in the last decade, is bringing a new line of cooking appliances to the United States from Europe, produced with a modern, minimalist look and sizes that start small enough for a European flat or an upscale apartment in an American city.

Laurence Mawhinney, Fisher & Paykel’s vice president of sales and marketing, says the new line helped F&P achieve some of its strategic growth goals in Europe. The United States remains the company’s biggest market. “These products extend our branding strategy in the United States and provide the customer with further choice,” he says.

Ovens in the new line feature a mirrored-glass door that gives it a chic look but also has a coating that helps it reflect extra heat back into the oven. A cooling system circulates air through four panes of door glass and around the oven to keep the exterior cool. The 24-in. model also integrated the heating element into the base for more-efficient use of space, and the model offers interior capacity of up to 2.5 cu ft.

Fagor Electrodomesticos Cooking Design Centers

In the United States, FiveStar Range (Cleveland, TN, U.S.) pioneered the market for stainless-steel, commercial-style ranges in small sizes when it launched a 24-in. range built to the same performance specifications and from the same commercial-grade stain-less steel as bigger models. In 2007, FiveStar began equipping the 24-in. and cooking appliances of all other sizes with the Ultra High-Low Burner, which has one of the broadest Btu spectrums available. FiveStar’s spokesperson is TV chef and restaurateur Rick Bayless, and he was in-person at the Kitchen/Bath Industry Show this year describing the benefits of the new burner. The lowest setting is equivalent to 350 Btu, and it can maintain this extremely low heat for hours. “It goes…up to a blasting 21,000 [Btu],” Bayless said. “If you’ve got a big pot of pasta water to bring to a boil, you can do it in minutes.”

Another new development from FiveStar is the Lodge Cast Iron Griddle/Grill, which was designed by FiveStar but manufactured by Lodge Manufacturing, a century-old manufacturer of cast-iron cookware. It is designed to combine the flavor-enhancing qualities and consistent heating of pre-seasoned cast iron with the convenience of a built-in cooktop griddle/grill. It grills on one side and can be turned over for a flat griddle surface.

Components in modular form allow the buyer to configure the equipment. Germany’s Küppersbusch Hausgeräte AG has been providing componentized cooking to European customers through its VarioLine appliance line. The user can start with a 60 or 80-cm-wide hob (cooktop) and add 30-cm- wide rectangular components such as a grill or deep fryer. Küppersbusch is taking the concept further with its Masterline series’ hexagonal Honeycomb hobs. The user starts with a control honeycomb featuring touch controls, a timer, and a childproof lock. Four to six additional honeycombs—320 mm tip-to-tip—are added to allow a number of creative cooktop layouts. The smooth black ceramic surface from supplier EuroKera offers easy cleanup,

Spain-based appliance OEM Fagor Electrodomesticos exhibited its Cooking Design Centers at the Annual Architectural Digest Home Design Show in New York City in March. The Cooking Design Centers are designed to be streamlined and functional for city dwellers with limited space. The all-stainless-steel centers are engineered to meet all cooking and basic storage needs in a single 50-in. configuration and includes a 24-in. convection oven, 27-in. radiant cooktop, 48-in. stainless-steel backsplash, and 48-in. wall-mounted hood. The center can also be configured with a cookware storage drawer in place of the oven.


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