Each year it’s fun to see which kitchen appliances are predicted to do well in the marketplace. Some are new models with innovative technology and designs, while others are more familiar. In either case, consumers today are looking for convenience, efficiency, multi-functionality, and smart technology in their kitchen appliances.
Here are some trends for 2021 you may want to consider if you’re in the market for new kitchen appliances.
As their name suggests, steam ovens use hot steam instead of hot air to cook your food. They operate by heating water to 212°F and releasing it as steam into the oven. Although you can buy a dedicated steam oven, you have more cooking modes in a combination oven that provides convection heat with steam. Combination ovens can automatically switch from steam to convection heat, but you can also choose to cook exclusively with either method.
Depending on the brand and model, there are a number of other settings available as well, such as gourmet mode, slow roast mode, and sous vide. With a combination oven you’re able to prepare a variety of different meals, including quickly cooked moist vegetables or fish using steam, and crispy, brown chicken using the convection mode.
There are many benefits to cooking with steam, including:
- Valuable vitamins and minerals are retained, and food maintains its nutritional value.
- Steam keeps food moist, so little or no oil is needed.
- Saves time on preheating and cooking. Food cooks much faster (for instance, salmon takes only 5-8 minutes with steam).
- Reheats food better than microwaves. Leftovers are reheated evenly, maintain their original texture, and don’t dry out.
- Different foods can be steamed at the same time without flavors crossing over.
Induction Cooktops and Ranges
Induction appliances are available as either a cooktop or a slide-in or free-standing range. Unlike electric appliances, they use magnets and electricity to transfer heat from the cooking surface to the pot directly.
Some of the advantages of induction cooking include:
- Controls are precise and super responsive. You can switch from a low simmer to a high boil in just seconds, and vice versa.
- Sauces can be simmered at an extremely low setting without drying out, and the bottom of your pot doesn’t get scorched.
- There is no wasted energy as only the cookware is heated, not the general surrounding area.
- Less venting is needed because it’s the most energy-efficient method of cooking.
- For safety, only metal on the element activates the induction, and heating stops as soon as the pot is removed or it boils over.
- Foods don’t get baked on the glass because it doesn’t heat up, so cleanup is easy with just a quick wipe down. You can even minimize the cleanup by placing a piece of parchment on the element and cooking through it if you’re frying or making a messy sauce.
A new trend that started in recent years and will continue in 2021 is colored appliances. Depending on the brand, you have a choice of many colors, including bright red, orange, yellow, pink, turquoise, cobalt blue, and black, just to name a few. White is also making a comeback, and for those of you who love your light gray stainless steel (matte or shiny), you’re still in style.
An alternative to bolder colors is to add custom panels to your fridge, dishwasher or beverage and wine cooler to match the cabinetry. The only appliance you can’t panel and match is the stove.
With regard to new technologies, refrigerators are especially interesting. Here are a few features you’ll see more of in 2021:
- Some brands have started integrating artificial intelligence into their refrigerators. The AI can open the fridge door on voice command, use cameras to track inventory, alert you when food goes bad, suggest recipes based on available food, write shopping lists, and make purchases directly on store platforms such as Walmart and Amazon Fresh. It can also detect if the ice and water dispensers are operating properly, and when the fridge needs a new water filter. If you give the AI permission, it will even order the filters for you from Amazon Dash.
- Glass-door refrigerators are becoming more mainstream. They allow you to see the food inside without holding the door open and letting in warm air. One refrigerator brand features a dark window that you just knock on, and it lights up to reveal what’s inside.
Glass is also being used for the front of a dedicated beverage drawer. The drawer is meant mainly for storing wines, with appropriate temperature and humidity settings, but there are more settings for juice and other beverages. The glass allows you to view the wine without compromising the drawer’s internal temperature. The shelves are red oak and cradle the wine bottles at the correct angle.
- Ice makers are now available that will also filter the water used for making their ice. And depending on the manufacturer, you have choices for ice shapes — the standard ice cubes, chewable ice bites, or spherical ice balls.
- There’s a new trend in certain high-end refrigerator models — sanitizing ultraviolet (UV) light. One brand uses a deodorizing UV light filter for air inside the fridge, and a second brand provides a UV sanitizer inside the water dispenser, which states it can kill up to 99.99 percent of bacteria.
Healthy eating is a trend that continues to rise in 2021. Multi-cookers are a big part of that trend, because they’re a simple, fast, and convenient way to prepare nutritious meals using a variety of different methods. This unique appliance replaces the pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, deep fryer, air grill, oven, bread maker, rice cooker, and microwave oven. Other advantages include:
- Little or no oil or butter is needed.
- It preserves vitamins and nutrients.
- A whole meal can be cooked at the same time.
- Pre-programmed cooking times makes it easy to use.
- It transforms cheap cuts of meat and staples like dried beans into delicious dishes.
- Meals can be cooked quickly for busy families.
To keep your kitchen and laundry room major appliances operating at peak performance, call C&W Appliance for the very best in repair and maintenance. Call us at (855) 358-1496 or submit our online service request form for prompt, reliable service.