STYLE MAKERS – Spring

KLAFFS Appliance Partner Clarke Shares Top 5 Appliance Trends

By Kelly McCoy for Clarke, Exclusive to KLAFFStyle

A Wolf Demo Could Answer All of Your Questions!

According to the award-winning team at Clarke, New England’s Official Sub-Zero/Wolf/Cove Showroom and Test Kitchen, appliance trends are all about function. In a recent survey of those who visited a Clarke showroom over the past three years, 69% of homeowners report that “functionality” is the top consideration when selecting kitchen appliances. So, while the look of stunning appliances in a kitchen design is important, the way an appliance performs and enhances food preparation is really what drives new trends and appliance selection.

Chef John Craig

Fortunately, gone are the days when home chefs could only look at the appliances, open the oven doors and imagine what cooking results they might enjoy. Now, at Clarke’s Showroom and Test Kitchen in South Norwalk, homeowners can actually see the latest technology trends in action. You can choose from three different demonstrations to learn what you need to know before purchasing Wolf appliances. If you’d like a general overview of all that’s possible when cooking with Wolf, you’ll want to reserve your seat in a Wolf Introductory Demo. These are offered approximately once a month in South Norwalk.

At a Wolf Product Demonstration you can actually cook on a particular model to taste the results or have a Clarke showroom consultant do a deep dive into the differences between the Wolf E Series and M Series Ovens. Plus, if Sub-Zero refrigeration or Wine Storage is in your kitchen plan, you can see these appliances at Clarke as well, complete with working water dispensers, icemakers and more. As a KLAFFS partner, Clarke shares its belief in the importance of “See. Touch. Try.”

A number of today’s appliance technologies are trending because they are revolutionizing food preparation. The balance of this article will share five of the top appliance trends to help you understand what they are and why you might consider them in your kitchen planning.

5 top appliance trends that Clarke showroom consultants are seeing:

1. Convection Steam Cooking

The Wolf Convection Steam Oven continues to be the showstopper for kitchen lovers. When homeowners discover this amazing oven, they add this into their kitchen design plan more than any other appliance. Homeowners with limited space are actually opting to incorporate the Convection Steam Oven rather than a traditional oven in their kitchens. You have to experience it to believe the results: juicy, golden roast turkey, vibrant steamed asparagus (that retains 22% more vitamins than traditional cooking), bubbly, crisp-crusted casseroles. But that’s not all. Complex multi-pot dishes can be created automatically in one dish. You simply choose the cooking mode combining steam and convection that’s ideal for your dish. The oven’s unique digital technology senses the amount and size of the food, and automatically adjusts all the details of cooking. A stale baguette is rejuvenated to just-baked freshness and crisp, hot phyllo pastry is baked around firmly frozen ice cream.

2. Customized Refrigeration

Sub-Zero actually pioneered built-in refrigeration and then evolved the concept to make it disappear – engineering refrigerators and freezers to accept custom panels to integrate refrigeration seamlessly into your kitchen cabinets. Then they introduced refrigerator and freezer drawers (still a designer’s favorite, based on a recent survey of Connecticut architects and designers.) Now the trend is to “build your own food preservation.” Sub-Zero’s modular refrigeration now offers more sizes and configurations than ever before. With integrated models measuring 18″, 24″, 27″, 30″ and 36″ wide, you can pair up a 30″ refrigerator with a 24″ freezer and an 18″ wine storage unit. You can create a stunning wet bar with a 30″ Sub-Zero wine storage unit and Sub-Zero undercounter drawer refrigerator and freezer for ice, soda, fruit garnishes and other mixes. Gone are the days that the appliance dictated how much freezer vs. refrigerator space you would get…now you can customize each food preservation element in a beautiful – and very functional – way.

3. Induction Cooking

Long a staple in Europe, Induction Cooking is now trending in the U.S. Turn an element up or down, and the response is instantaneous – up to 40% faster than gas or electric. Wolf’s Induction Cooktops provide lightning-fast heat and low-end finesse that many other induction cooktops were never engineered to deliver. Electricity flows through a coil to generate a magnetic field under the glass ceramic surface. When an induction-compatible pan is placed on the cooktop, currents are induced in the pan and instant heat is generated. The cooktop doesn’t heat up, the cookware does. It’s a cooking technology of startling precision, power and efficiency. By the same token, when you remove the pan, the stove is no longer hot. This is a great benefit for those with small children who don’t want burns from touching the stove or seniors who might forget to turn off the cooking element. Professional chefs who have long been “gas is the only way to cook” proponents are incorporating this trend into their own homes due to its responsiveness and energy efficiency. Once thought to be only a cooktop option, an Induction Range is now available through Wolf.

4. Sous Vide Cooking

Cooking “sous vide” is becoming very popular in home kitchens. French for “under vacuum”, sous vide is a method of cooking in which food is placed in a plastic pouch or a glass jar and then placed in a water bath or steam environment for longer than normal cooking times at an accurately regulated temperature. A home chef would typically have to purchase an expensive single-purpose appliance to achieve precise sous vide results, however Wolf offers two ways to accommodate sous vide cooking techniques. Wolf’s Countertop Steamer Module has a Sous Vide Basket. Using the basket accessory, you can enjoy this professional cooking method to create the most succulent, perfectly done steaks, chops, chicken and more. The module control panel adjusts in 1° increments to provide the steady, accurate temperatures you need. You can also cook sous vide in the Wolf Convection Steam Oven using a “steam bath” environment. The oven offers 1° temperature adjustments from 90 to 120 degrees and works like this: you seal a steak or other food in a plastic bag, extract the air, then place it on a wire rack in the Wolf convection steam oven. Using the Steam Mode, set the oven at the exact right temperature, for instance 130°F for a medium rare tenderloin. Then just leave it alone. In about two hours, the steak will be perfectly cooked.

5. Outdoor Kitchens

Everything tastes better al fresco, and Connecticut homeowners are embracing the outdoor kitchen trend to take advantage of every day of warmth and sunshine we have in the Northeast. While Wolf Outdoor Gas Grills offer the same performance and control as their indoor appliances, now you can enjoy this same level of perfection in other outdoor kitchen appliances to round out your outdoor kitchen. Sub-Zero’s 24″ Undercounter Outdoor Refrigerator, 24″ Outdoor Refrigerator Drawers and 15″ Ice Maker are engineered with heavy-gauge stainless steel that withstands elements that would corrode lesser materials. Plus now you can keep dishes you finish cooking at different times warm and moist until you want to serve them by using Wolf’s 30″ Outdoor Warming Drawer. This versatile appliance is also showing up in cabanas, where they keep towels warm by the pool to extend the season even longer!

Whether you’re replacing a single appliance or designing the kitchen of your dreams, a visit to Clarke’s South Norwalk Showroom is a great first – or final – step. Visit ClarkeLiving.com for more information.

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