The kitchen has never been hotter in New Zealand.
From the ever-present TV reality cook shows to the grow-it-yourself gardening revolution, and from the modern open-plan homes which turn kitchens into living rooms to the classic Kiwi love of having friends and rellies around for a meal, we're focusing more and more of our time and energy on where and how we cook, eat and entertain.
And whether you're redesigning your kitchen to match your needs - to cope with a growing family or a new home - or whether you're simply looking to replace an old appliance, 1OO% Appliances has something to suit every taste, style and budget.
There are some staggering inventions out there at the absolute top end of fitting out your kitchen: appliances such as in-built bench-top coffee machines, flash-freezers, dual lighting-ventilation units, fridges that dispense sparkling water and induction stovetops which recognise the shape and size of your cookware.
So it's worth having a roam around the internet to see what's on offer - once you've been inspired, you can talk to a 1OO% Appliances expert to see how they can match your desires. Remember, 1OO% Appliances has been voted top for customer service in New Zealand and our owner-operators are at the very top of their game when it comes to knowing the very latest trends in entertaining and cooking.
Now you're cooking
Entertainers might not be satisfied with the usual largest capacity of 80 litres for a single oven and choose instead to go for the double-oven. This is a no-brainer for keen foodies who don't want their dinner parties to be constrained by their appliances and might want to be able to turn out a delicate souffle for entree while also roasting that centrepiece roast for a main course.
A basic “bake & grill” oven may be sufficient if you don’t cook often or for rental properties however a multi-function oven is a must-have for a more accomplished cook. Multi-function ovens can range from three to thirteen or more baking functions offering the most appropriate way to produce the perfect dish, for example old-school cooks know the difference between a conventional bake for cakes and fan grilling for a roast, but more adventurous cooks will love the range of options which can include pizzas, defrosting, keep warm, rotisserie and steaming. And time-poor chefs can use a multi-function oven to create the perfect cooking sequence through "intelligent" automatic programming technology, for example defrosting meat and then cooking it or cooking and then crisping the top of a dish.
The hottest trend for foodies in cooking is currently the steam oven. Instead of the heat coming from heating elements in the oven, it is generated by circulating steam created from an inbuilt reservoir. Many cooks say this helps keep in nutrients, flavour, texture and colour as well as helping to keep the oven clean by avoiding those baked-on spills.
When it comes to cook-tops the big question is the choice between electric, gas or induction. Electric and gas hobs have been the traditional choice for years, but induction heat is more hi-tech and requires specific cookware: an electric current produced by copper coils under the ceramic or glass top agitates electrons in the metal cookware creating friction and causing instant heat. Top New Zealand chef Peter Gordon, writing in the New Zealand Herald, is keen to push induction hobs for real foodies saying that although gas and induction are both great for the speed at which you can control your heat, induction is better at allowing less heat to escape hence helping keep your kitchen cool and your power bills lower. "Many top restaurant kitchens around the world have been switching all, or at least some, of their stove tops to induction because it lowers the heat in the kitchen, it doesn't need such powerful ventilation (as there is no chance of a burst gas pipe) and it's also quieter - gas is surprisingly noisy," Gordon says.
1OO% Appliances stocks Beko Induction Cooktops
Keeping your cool
Foodies and entertainers know the value of a great fridge and freezer. Of course capacity is the big factor here - space to keep those platters of canapes cool or that wonderful dessert away from the heat - just make sure when you're choosing a new fridge and freezer that your kitchen has the capacity to fit it. Some models can be more than 900mm wide which may mean you have to re-think your kitchen cabinetry!
If you know you're going to be going to-and-from your fridge a lot it makes sense to look at options where the fridge is either to the side of the freezer or stacked on top, or look at the ultimate luxury of separate models - certainly your back will thank you for it! Some side-by-side models can be 700 litres capacity, but choosing a matching pair of fridge and vertical freezer will let you get closer to a 50:50 mix in your fridge and freezer storage and give loads of storage space.
The ultimate entertainer's kitchen gadget has definitely become the automated ice and filtered water makers, meaning you don't have to worry about your guests having to go without ice cubes in their pre-meal g&ts and you can guarantee a cool glass of filtered water is on hand for them whenever they want.
1OO% Appliances stocks a full range of Fisher & Paykel fridges and freezers, including the ActiveSmart Ice & Water refrigerator.
Although there's quite clearly a very functional element to choosing your dishwasher, if you're an entertainer and foodie it makes sense to consider the whole package.
If you've got people around, you want to make sure your after-dinner drinks and chat isn't punctuated by your dishwasher changing cycles every five minutes - that's why 1OO% Applianes makes sure each model we stock has a decibel rating for its operating noise level. As a guide, 47 decibels is average and 45 or lower is better. So come in and hear the difference.
The benefits of a double dish drawer can't be overestimated either, allowing you to get the dishes started after entrees without having to wait until the dessert's done; or giving you the chance to get some clean glasses without having a stack of pots and pans waiting for their turn in the draw.
1OO% Appliances stocks a full range of Fisher & Paykel dishwashers including the Double DishDrawer.
When you're cooking for the whole family, the buzzword is practicality. You know you're as likely to need a great toaster and kettle for that breakfast on the run before getting the kids to school, as you are a good-sized oven, easy-to-clean stovetop and spacious fridge-freezer.
You're also pretty keen to know that what you're going to spend your money on is going to last you - what's the point after-all of going for an appliance with all the bells and whistles, if you never use half the functions and the gizmos and gadgets stop working after six months. The Consumer website has a wonderful thread on kitchen appliances which have stood the test of time - with some great stories about mixers that have lasted 40 years and even a toaster that's kept up with a couple through more than 60 years of marriage! But as well as the funny stories, consumer.org.nz is a great place to start when looking for a new appliance if your busy schedule doesn't allow you the time to browse everything 1OO% Appliances has to offer. Their advice and tips on shopping for dishwashers, wall ovens, induction cooktops and fridge-freezers will give you all the ammunition needed before you come and see one of our experts.
Now you're cooking
Cooking for a family can mean being flexible - being able to produce that sit-down roast for when the table's packed with rellies, to being able to cook up a quick and easy tea in half an hour.
The traditional freestanding oven, grill and hob is great if space is of a premium, but growing families might need larger capacity ovens (which range up to around 80 litres) or even the benefit of a double oven. The extra half oven is an economic option for grilling or baking small dishes while the full-sized double oven is the choice of those who may have to host those seriously large family Christmases.
For those who don't want to spend precious time scrubbing away to get their well-used ovens clean, choosing a pyrolytic oven is a great option. We wouldn't recommend, necessarily, using the function - which raises the oven to approximately 500°C for up to two hours - to cremate a Valentine's Day rose like these kitchen salesmen did, but that temperature makes sure all food and grease residue is burned off, leaving a spotless oven and only a little ash to sweep away. To keep children safe during such high-temperature cleans, the pyrolytic control securely locks the oven door, and only releases the lock once the temperature drops below 300°C.
Of course, there's no reason why having a family means having to miss out on being a great foodie, so all the great 1OO% Appliances options mentioned above for entertainers, also apply to her too! 1OO% Appliances has Beko pyrolytic ovens.
Keeping your cool
When you’re choosing a combined fridge/freezer, you can choose one with a freezer mounted at the top, at the bottom or on one side. Models with a top-mounted freezer are generally a little more energy efficient, while those with a bottom-mounted freezer are more ergonomic since we tend to go to the fridge more often than the freezer. If you're running a large family, talk to a 1OO% Appliances expert about whether the money you'll save on a more economic choice will be worth the constant bending down to access a lower fridge.
Side-by-side models are a larger format, 90cm wide or more, and provide plenty of storage space. The fridge compartment tends to feature a range of handy drawers and shelves and let you store the most often used items in easy reach. The freezer capacity tends to be more than a typical fridge/freezer but has quite narrow shelves and large families may still need more room with either a chest freezer or a matching pair of vertical fridge and freezer.
Ice and water-makers may seem like an entertainer's choice, but families can also benefit from having chilled filtered water "on-tap" for thirsty children who would usually rather turn to the fizzy drinks. 1OO% Appliances has Ice and Water Bottom Mount Refrigerators.
If you have a large family, you'll need to make sure you have a heavy-duty waste disposer with a grinder blade made of stainless steel rather than lightly galvanised steel which will wear out more quickly. Some of the more expensive models also come with “sound deadening” so you don't scare the cat – but all waste disposers make noise!
Choosing a dishwasher for the family might also mean having to look beyond the standard size of 600mm wide x 600mm deep, and standard bench height - just to make sure you're not still stuck with a load of pots and pans in the sink once you've got all the cups, plates and glasses in the machine. Ask in-store at your nearest 1OO% Appliances about new "tall" models that still fit under-bench but give extra height.
There's no reason that you can't be a foodie, love to entertain, or raise a family in an apartment. But since more and more New Zealanders are living in flats (Government figures show the numbers quadrupled in the 10 years before the 2006 census), 1OO% Appliances has some great space-saving ranges suitable for every style and budget.
Now you're cooking
Because of their heat-saving qualities, induction stove-tops are the perfect appliance for apartment living. Giving you all the "touch" and control of gas, the induction stove-top's hi-tech setup means you won't be letting your cooking skills heat up the whole flat.
Although double-ovens may be out of the picture for most apartments, combining a sleek single oven or standup model with a good microwave oven will give you added flexibility in the kitchen. There's also a good range of benchtop ovens and breadmakers at 1OO% Appliances for those really tight living spaces.
The smaller your living space the more important your rangehood to ensure your cooking doesn't pervade your whole home and 1OO% Appliances has a large range from simple entry-level models, to super-stylish designer versions that will complement the look of your kitchen.
As a rough guide, a good starting point is 400 cubic metres/hour. But if you're apartment has a combined kitchen/living area you may need more powerful extraction, some models come with a useful ‘boost’ function – so you can ramp up the power for a short burst of intensive cooking.
Your rangehood should ideally be ducted outside but if you can’t duct outside, say because your kitchen has no external walls, then you can choose the reticulation mode and fit carbon filters as an accessory to better clean the air.
Keeping your cool
When space is a premium, make sure you have all your measurements checked and double-checked before you visit 1OO% Appliances to choose a new fridge. Rest assured there is compact models for space saving like the Fisher & Paykel E240BR WW Compact Fridge Freezer.
1OO% Appliances stocks dishwashers with slim inverter Directdrive motors to optimise energy and water efficiencies. And all our dishwashers come with a decibel rating so you can tell if they're quiet enough for a small home. If you're not sure whether you'll fit all your cutlery, dishes and glasses in, simply come down to your nearest 1OO% Appliances store and test-drive our dishwashers in-store. You can even bring your own dinnerware along to make sure they fit! Check out the LD-1482T4 LG Freestanding Dishwasher.