Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Cacophony in the kitchen


Fat Guy
 Share

Recommended Posts

We've been staying at a friend's house this week and the kitchen is equipped with a full battery of current-generation appliances. They work well, but they beep.

This place has appliances beeping all the damn time. The dishwasher beeps when it's done, and keeps beeping to remind you it's done. The refrigerator beeps if the door is open for more than a few seconds. The oven, hood, microwave and toaster controls beep every time you press a button, and then they beep when they're done doing whatever they're doing.

It's crazy. The combination of all the beeping means there's at least one thing beeping most of the time when you're in the kitchen. And much of the time it's hard even to tell where the beeps are coming from.

At least there should be a way to disable the beeping. I'd be willing to take a step back from my general libertarian outlook and say there should be a law about that, enforced by the death penalty.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My appliances at home aren't high-tech enough to beep much, but the kitchen where we teach is filled with new Miele appliances, and they all beep annoyingly. Especially the dishwashers -- there are three of them in the kitchen, and they seem to beep pretty much constantly. It's not loud, but that's part of the problem. You can't tell what's making the noise, so you run around trying to figure out what it is.

On second thought, I take back that my home appliances don't beep. When I'm preheating my oven, a random timer starts, and the oven beeps when the timer is done. It doesn't mean that the oven is preheated -- in fact, the timer seems to have no relationship to anything at all. It sets for 5 minutes when I preheat the oven to 350. Five minutes when I preheat to 375. Six minutes at 400, but also 6 minutes when I preheat to 250. So not only is it a beep, but it's meaningless.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How aggravating, especially for those of us who have to wear a beeper or take pages via phone when we're at home because we're on call for work. I'm on call about every six weeks. I don't have beeping kitchen appliances, but whenever I hear a beep on a television commercial, I get all hyper and rush for the phone thinking I'm receiving a duty page. Given the scenario of beeping toasters, refrigerators and what have you, I'd be rushing into the kitchen all night!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the people designing these things must be moonlighting from their jobs designing children's toys. I remember back in the day toys were inanimate objects, silent and fueled only by imagination. Now every toy, even at the dollar-store price point, flashes and yells at you.

I'd love to be a fly on the wall at the design meetings for these things: "We've got to figure out more ways to make it beep. How about if someone walks near it?"

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes! We had a neutral wire break outside on the power pole and it sent a giant power surge through the house and blew everything up that was plugged in, so we got all new appliances at the same time to replace those. The BEEPING! It took 2 full months to discern what beep was coming from what appliance and what it meant. Lord.

It reminds me of an episode of Top Gear where they were test driving some American car. Jeremy had the car door open and it was dinging like crazy and he yelled something like, "Do you Americans think I wouldn't know that I just opened this door?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only thing in my kitchen that beeps is the oven. It beeps when it's done preheating, and then the timer beeps when things are done. That is the way it should be. The worst thing is that the timer beeps until you turn it off. Really. I wanted to see how long it went, and I think I finally got annoyed after about a half an hour. I don't know how long it would go if I just let it go. Maybe forever.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My microwave used to beep every few minutes, reminding me that "Your Meal Is Ready". Last year we repainted our kitchen, so we unplugged and packed away all our appliances. Now that it's plugged back in again, it only makes its series of beep once, when the timer's up. Hmmmmm........ :hmmm:

Not a kitchen appliance, but my dryer makes this incredibly loud, freaky BUZZZZZZ when the clothes are done drying - gives me a heart attack everytime.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe it's because I've been listening to them for so many years but they don't annoy me and unless I have "primed" my brain to listen for a particular beep for a reason, such as when I need to add an ingredient to the bread machine, I really don't hear them.

Which is fortunate because almost everything electric beeps in my kitchen.

The dishwasher produces 5 beeps and then pauses for awhile then beeps again as a reminder but then is silent.

The toaster beeps fairly loud and I WANT it to signal when it's done.

Yes, the rice cooker plays a little tune at start up and and the end of the cooking cycle as it clicks onto the "keep warm" setting.

So does my Zojirushi hot water boiler.

The microwave ovens beep.

The Thermomix beeps.

The refrigerator beeps when the door has been left open for more than six minutes.

So does the big freezer in the pantry.

The trash compactor beeps when the cycle has finished and it is quite loud. :shock:

Used less often, there is an electric griddle that beeps when the set temp has been reached.

Also a waffle iron that does the same.

I rarely use the espresso machine but it signals when it is ready to do whatever it does (a super-automatic) supposedly to remind one to put a cup in position. It's really unwise to ignore it. I write from experience! :wacko:

I have a "robot" sweeper that also beeps from time to time but I think it is nearing death and the beep is a bit strange - now sort of a squeak. I don't think they are designed to cover a large area.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One strategy to lessen the beep load is to not use the built in timers on some appliances. I use photo darkroom timers for most kitchen timing tasks. These:

www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/20992-REG/GraLab_GR300_Model_300_Electro_Mechanical_Darkroom.html

are available used (craigslist etc) usually for under $35.00. They time from 1 second to 59 minutes and 59 seconds.

They can be set with one hand and you can hear the click click click as you sweep the minute hand out to however many minutes you need. For short intervals like five minutes, you don't even have to look to set accurately. The buzzer can be set to silent or to however loud you wish. They are the easiest and best timer I have found for this sort of job. I keep two in my kitchen. I wouldn't even consider cooking without them now.

Many old Gralab 300s are getting sold used, and the oldest gralab 300 timers have fewer bells and whistles, so check out each timer completely to make sure it has what you want

Edited by cbread (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cacophony but not of beeps. The Revolation chocolate tempering machine makes a terrific noise, as does the dishwasher, the dehydrator, and the ice cream machine. The Revolation does make a few beeps but they are scarcely audible over the noise.

Our appliances are SOOO old that only the Microwave beeps. The rest have the good taste and manners to keep silent.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I feel your pain. The microwave is the only thing that beeps in my kitchen...and I use it for a bread box most of the time. I've got to know though...what on earth is the hood trying to convey when it beeps? Filter cleaning time maybe? On/off state?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The hood has a fan, a couple of lights, and a digital clock/timer. Certainly it beeps any time you push a button to increase/decrease/activate/deactivate the fan or light. The timer seems to have a mind of its own and engages in random countdowns and alarm soundings. It also just spontaneously beeps once in a while.

It's not that any one beeping appliance would be a big deal. But when you have four or five of them competing for your attention it gets impossible.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...