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azlee

Small Kitchen Renovation Appliance Choices?

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I have finally started my small kitchen (5'x7') renovation. The new and level tile floor is in and grouted, the re-plumbing is almost finished and walls and new lighting are being installed shortly.

And now the dilemna... the kitchen is actually shade less than 5x7 with appliances and cabinets on the two slightly less than 5 foot walls (58.5" and 59.5"). This means that I can have only one full sized appliance and I cannot decide which it should be.

At this point, I am leaning towards an 18" Miele Incognito dishwasher on the 59.5" wall and either a 24" or 30" Liebherr fridge and either a 30" Dacor Millenium electric range or 24" Kuppersbusch electric oven (EEB 6800) and ceramic sensor cooktop (EKE 602.4) together in a single 24" cabinet. So it's either full size range and small fridge or full size fridge and 24" range components. I bake, so fridge/freezer storage space is about as important as oven space, to me. The Kuppersbusch oven is surprisingly roomy inside.

So, I wonder if anyone here has experience with these brands and models and also if the there are any strong views on the advantages or disadvantages or choosing the smaller fridge or the smaller oven/cooktop combo? Gas is not an option in my coop, otherwise I would just go for the Viking 24" gas range and the 30" Liebherr fridge.

I'm also open to suggestions for alternative combinations. I'm just at my wits end and need to start placing appliance orders very soon.

Thanks

Azlee

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I don't know anything about the specific appliances you mention.

However, my gut tells me to go for the full-size fridge and the smaller range, if the oven will be big enough to accommodate your needs.

My reasoning: you can augment cooking space, if needed, with counter-top appliances, such as a single burner, a toaster oven, a large roaster, crockpot, etc. Refrigerator space is difficult to increase. About your only option there would be to buy more, smaller refrigerators, and put them in strange places, such as a bedroom. That doesn't seem very desirable to me.

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I've been in small apartments, and my current townhouse (which we're just renovating) has a small, unexpandable kitchen as well.

I'm with jgm: Go for the larger fridge! You can always augment cooking appliances or bake in shifts. But storage space for food before and after it's been cooked is critical.


SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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I've been in small apartments, and my current townhouse (which we're just renovating) has a small, unexpandable kitchen as well.

I'm with jgm: Go for the larger fridge! You can always augment cooking appliances or bake in shifts. But storage space for food before and after it's been cooked is critical.

Yes, I've been thinking that a convection microwave might be a good second appliance. May I ask which cabinets you are considering for your renovation?

Thanks!

Azlee

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I third the motion. Maximize the fridge. Good luck and enjoy.


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Interesting dilemma. I have been living with a 24" KitchenAid gas oven for the past 20 years, ironically paired with a 42" KitchenAid cooktop, and a 36" wide built-in refrigerator. The original refrigerator, whose name escapes me but the company was taken over by Northland that is making the same refrigerator, was tremendous inside. The current refrigerator is a GE - fits in the same space, but has about half as much usable space but then again makes about half as much noise.

The 24" KitchenAid oven is very small inside and I have trouble fitting roasting pans and even standard jellyroll pans are a tight fit. That being said, I too do a fair amount of baking, and have been able to make do. Your point about the amount of room in the Kuppersbusch is what is important. You really need to take along with you your favorite cookware to the showroom and see if it really fits - the same goes with refrigerator

My other point, which I have been trying to around get to, is where you live and for that matter where I live, I am in Brooklyn, is how we shop and cook. Living in one of the few metropolitan locations in this country that allows one to live like a European begs the question, how large a kitchen and how much storage do we really need? All philosophy aside, check out the real usable room in the Liebherr refrigerator (stay away form the Sub-Zero - literally nothing more than a façade with no room inside) and consider going with a 24" oven and cooktop and a 24" refrigerator with the pay off being more countertop.

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May I ask which cabinets you are considering for your renovation?

Thanks!

Azlee

Oh, we didn't do anything to the cabinets. We got a new fridge (the largest we could within the width limitation, which confines us to a top mount) and may be replacing the range (unless the home warranty insurance co. can dig up new a computer board to replace the old controls that are broken). Other than that, our renovations were paint and ceramic tiles.


SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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Interesting dilemma.  I have been living with a 24" KitchenAid gas oven for the past 20 years, ironically paired with a 42" KitchenAid cooktop, and a 36" wide built-in refrigerator.  The original refrigerator, whose name escapes me but the company was taken over by Northland that is making the same refrigerator, was tremendous inside.  The current refrigerator is a GE - fits in the same space, but has about half as much usable space but then again makes about half as much noise. 

The 24" KitchenAid oven is very small inside and I have trouble fitting roasting pans and even standard jellyroll pans are a tight fit.  That being said, I too do a fair amount of baking, and have been able to make do.  Your point about the amount of room in the Kuppersbusch is what is important.  You really need to take along with you your favorite cookware to the showroom and see if it really fits - the same goes with refrigerator

My other point, which I have been trying to around get to, is where you live and for that matter where I live, I am in Brooklyn, is how we shop and cook.  Living in one of the few metropolitan locations in this country that allows one to live like a European begs the question, how large a kitchen and how much storage do we really need?  All philosophy aside, check out the real usable room in the Liebherr refrigerator (stay away form the Sub-Zero - literally nothing more than a façade with no room inside) and consider going with a 24" oven and cooktop and a 24" refrigerator with the pay off being more countertop.

I am also in Brooklyn and aside from wanting to store Fresh Direct pizzas and the occasional turkey in my freezer, I might actually be able to get away with the 24" Liebherr and gain space for a 9 inch cabinet which would be great for touchdown space between the fridge and cooktop. I think I'll be taking your suggestion and sometime this week filling a hopping bag with baking sheets and angel food pans and the cardboard from pizzas and heading back tot he appliance showroom. It's really the only way to know for sure. The fridge part of the Liebherr is probably adequate, it's the freezer part that concerns me. It would probably be healthier to do more daily shopping for fresh foods and Brooklyn is one of the best places to do that kind of shopping.

Cheers

Azlee

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Azlee

Do you have children? Do you eat leftovers? Do you buy food in bulk? Do you use more than one frying pan at the same time often? Do you have room for another fridge/freezer elswhere in your appartement?

I have a full size fridge and it's full. Full of leftovers waiting to spoil before they're thrown out. My recently new other half doesn't believe in throwing away good food. So she waits for it to spoil first.

Before I got married and while raising my two children, The fridge held: Cooking condiments, milk, eggs, cold cuts for after school snacks. Oh ya beer. Ingredients for the evening meal were bought the same day. If leftovers couldn't be wrapped for school lunches, they were thrown out.

My vote is for the full size stove. Specially since you bake.

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In Australia, we have smaller appliances on average than those in the US. People do buy huge amounts of stuff at the supermarket, but if you look closely, a lot of it is shelf-stable staples. I think people buy more stuff fresh at the greengrocer or butcher, and more frequently. So I suppose it depends on how often you like to shop.

Personally, I don't mind having a small fridge and oven. If you're cooking for one or two, a smaller fridge and oven aren't really anything to worry about. As for my tiny oven, well, the Le Creuset fits in there, so I'm happy. :)

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I have an itty bitty kitchen like yours and we chose a smaller dishwasher (for 8 place settings instead of full size), full size cooktop and oven, and did not choose the big fridge - we went smaller which is standard in Europe. The oven would still be considered a bit small but it does just fine. Having all the burners for me was essential to being able to cook properly, as well as a good sized real oven where I can bake and roast normally. We went with a contemporary vitroceramic top for both workspace and lack of gas connection, and I love it as much as I did gas (plus being able to mince and chop on one side while cooking on another is good in a small space). The fridge could actually be smaller than it is, and we'd be happy. I live in the city and don't really stock up though.

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I'm starting to think this is going to be a really hard decision. Harder than choosing tile or fixtures or deciding whether or not to tear down walls. I tend to order shelf staples and longer lasting fresh veggies and meat for the freezer from Fresh Direct every other week or every third week depending upon my at home schedule and buying fresh foods in the neighborhood, as needed. I do keep leftovers but often do not get back to them before they spoil. i wonder if having a smaller fridge might force me to waste less?

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I might go for the full size Dacor. Of course, I have a Dacor range and I'm rather partial to it. If you have the option, you could put a small bar fridge in your bedroom or living room and keep pops and juices and other small things in it, freeing up storage space in your fridge.


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I am also in Brooklyn and aside from wanting to store Fresh Direct pizzas and the occasional turkey in my freezer, ...  The fridge part of the Liebherr is probably adequate, it's the freezer part that concerns me. It would probably be healthier to do more daily shopping for fresh foods and Brooklyn is one of the best places to do that kind of shopping.

Cheers

Azlee

FROZEN PIZZA in Brooklyn? Shame on you! Frozen turkey? Really, if you limit those two items you will probably have more than enough room in the freezer. :biggrin:

I should talk, my freezer is full of duck fat, pork skin, chicken carcasses and other things which I can't identify anymore.

Let us know how it works out.

Jason

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I am also in Brooklyn and aside from wanting to store Fresh Direct pizzas and the occasional turkey in my freezer, ...  The fridge part of the Liebherr is probably adequate, it's the freezer part that concerns me. It would probably be healthier to do more daily shopping for fresh foods and Brooklyn is one of the best places to do that kind of shopping.

Cheers

Azlee

FROZEN PIZZA in Brooklyn? Shame on you! Frozen turkey? Really, if you limit those two items you will probably have more than enough room in the freezer. :biggrin:

I should talk, my freezer is full of duck fat, pork skin, chicken carcasses and other things which I can't identify anymore.

Let us know how it works out.

Jason

Well, the pizza is actually for my teenaged nephew who visits and likes to midnight snack on pizza and the turkey I get free about twice a year from the local supermarket at the holidays. Mostly, my freezer is filled with lots of unsalted butter bought on sale and homemade puff pastry leaves for emergency hors d'oeuvres and of course ICE CREAM. I have to place my appliance orders soon and will keep y'all posted. Does anyone have a Liebherr fridge? A sub-zero would be a perfect fit w/ a full size range but the price, to me, is insanely high and I always hear that they (sub-zero)have a lot of service problems. If only I had another inch of wall space...

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I am also in Brooklyn and aside from wanting to store Fresh Direct pizzas and the occasional turkey in my freezer, ...  The fridge part of the Liebherr is probably adequate, it's the freezer part that concerns me. It would probably be healthier to do more daily shopping for fresh foods and Brooklyn is one of the best places to do that kind of shopping.

Cheers

Azlee

FROZEN PIZZA in Brooklyn? Shame on you! Frozen turkey? Really, if you limit those two items you will probably have more than enough room in the freezer. :biggrin:

I should talk, my freezer is full of duck fat, pork skin, chicken carcasses and other things which I can't identify anymore.

Let us know how it works out.

Jason

Well, the pizza is actually for my teenaged nephew who visits and likes to midnight snack on pizza and the turkey I get free about twice a year from the local supermarket at the holidays. Mostly, my freezer is filled with lots of unsalted butter bought on sale and homemade puff pastry leaves for emergency hors d'oeuvres and of course ICE CREAM. I have to place my appliance orders soon and will keep y'all posted. Does anyone have a Liebherr fridge? A sub-zero would be a perfect fit w/ a full size range but the price, to me, is insanely high and I always hear that they (sub-zero)have a lot of service problems. If only I had another inch of wall space...

of course, now i'll have to buy fancy european cabinets to accomodate the cooktop and oven. i wonder why none of the appliances manufacturers make a stainless rack that would hold both 24" components. kuppersbusch actually makes a rack to hold a 36" oven and cooktop but not for their smaller components.

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Does anyone have a Liebherr fridge? A sub-zero would be a perfect fit w/ a full size range but the price, to me, is insanely high and I always hear that they (sub-zero)have a lot of service problems. If only I had another inch of wall space...

Well, any good kitchen designer or architect will have a wall-stretcher. :raz:

I don't have a Liebherr, but have installed many of them over the past 2-3 years. They are highly recommended by those that own them. I think their biggest downfall in North America is that few people know about them. LG also makes a couple 24" fridges, but they are "cheaper" in qaulity than the Liebherr IMO.

What size sink are you planning, or is this not negotiable. Kitchens this small benefit from a single bowl sink, which frees up more room on the countertop. This is the only downside to using a larger range ... less counterspace. Can you live with the Kuppersbusch combination (induction ROCKS btw!)? That would maximize the work space.

A.

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Does anyone have a Liebherr fridge? A sub-zero would be a perfect fit w/ a full size range but the price, to me, is insanely high and I always hear that they (sub-zero)have a lot of service problems. If only I had another inch of wall space...

Well, any good kitchen designer or architect will have a wall-stretcher. :raz:

I don't have a Liebherr, but have installed many of them over the past 2-3 years. They are highly recommended by those that own them. I think their biggest downfall in North America is that few people know about them. LG also makes a couple 24" fridges, but they are "cheaper" in qaulity than the Liebherr IMO.

What size sink are you planning, or is this not negotiable. Kitchens this small benefit from a single bowl sink, which frees up more room on the countertop. This is the only downside to using a larger range ... less counterspace. Can you live with the Kuppersbusch combination (induction ROCKS btw!)? That would maximize the work space.

A.

Hi there! good to hear that Liebherr are loved by those who own them. The sink will probably be a 20" sink in a 24" cabinet and two 18" cabinets next to that, one with drawers, the other rollouts, I think.

Recycling and trash under the sink cabinet. I am thinking Poggenpohl for cabinets. I wish it could be Bulthaup. As it is, I may have to wait a bit before ordering the cabinets.


Edited by azlee (log)

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We have a 24" Liebherr, which we bought in August 2005. So, I can't say anything about the longer term, but so far we love it. It is well designed, quiet, and super efficient. I describe it as a super model ( tall, sleek, styllish) crossed with a librarian (quiet, efficient).

We had a similiar dilemma with a smallish kitchen - actually more of an awkward kitchen, and opted for standard cooktop/oven and sleek, stylish, skinny refrigerator. There is a thread lurking around in the depths of egullet that lays out our particular situation - but that is largely irrelevant to you.

My recommendation - based on experience with the Liebherr and the standard size oven/range - is to do just that. We occasionally have to resort to a cooler to keep beer/sodas/ice cold if we are having a party, but that has been the only inconvenience. And we usually have 10 lbs of chicken in our freezer at any given time (long tangent - it is for the dog - spoilt damn dog).

I have lived in apartments with small stoves/cooktops and infinitely prefer the convenience of having a cooktop on which you can have at least two largish pots/pans, and an oven in which you put two 9 inch cakes pans next to each other.

So, in summary:

Love the Liebherr

Buy the biggest range/oven you can!

Good luck with the new kitchen!


Robin Tyler McWaters

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We have a 24" Liebherr, which we bought in August 2005. So, I can't say anything about the longer term, but  so far we love it. It is well designed, quiet, and super efficient. I describe it as a super model ( tall, sleek, styllish) crossed with a librarian (quiet, efficient).

We had a similiar dilemma with a smallish kitchen - actually more of an awkward kitchen, and opted for standard cooktop/oven and sleek, stylish, skinny refrigerator. There is a thread lurking around in the depths of egullet that lays out our particular situation - but    that is largely irrelevant to you.

My recommendation - based on experience with the Liebherr and the standard size oven/range - is to do just that. We occasionally have to resort to a cooler to keep beer/sodas/ice cold if we are having a party, but that has been the only inconvenience. And we usually have 10 lbs of chicken in our freezer at any given time (long tangent - it is for the dog - spoilt damn dog).

I have lived in apartments with small stoves/cooktops and infinitely prefer the convenience of having a cooktop on which you can have at least two largish pots/pans, and an oven in which you  put two 9 inch cakes pans next to each other.

So, in summary:

Love the Liebherr

Buy the biggest range/oven you can!

Good luck with the new kitchen!

Crouching Tyler, I found your thread and your kitchen is really charming. Tough layout with so many openings. I love the idea of closing in your porch to make more space. Thanks for your input on the Liebherr. I think I just need to take along some containers from foods I usually keep and see if they fit.

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I am also in Brooklyn and aside from wanting to store Fresh Direct pizzas and the occasional turkey in my freezer, ...  The fridge part of the Liebherr is probably adequate, it's the freezer part that concerns me. It would probably be healthier to do more daily shopping for fresh foods and Brooklyn is one of the best places to do that kind of shopping.

Cheers

Azlee

FROZEN PIZZA in Brooklyn? Shame on you! Frozen turkey? Really, if you limit those two items you will probably have more than enough room in the freezer. :biggrin:

I should talk, my freezer is full of duck fat, pork skin, chicken carcasses and other things which I can't identify anymore.

Let us know how it works out.

Jason

Well, the pizza is actually for my teenaged nephew who visits and likes to midnight snack on pizza and the turkey I get free about twice a year from the local supermarket at the holidays. Mostly, my freezer is filled with lots of unsalted butter bought on sale and homemade puff pastry leaves for emergency hors d'oeuvres and of course ICE CREAM. I have to place my appliance orders soon and will keep y'all posted. Does anyone have a Liebherr fridge? A sub-zero would be a perfect fit w/ a full size range but the price, to me, is insanely high and I always hear that they (sub-zero)have a lot of service problems. If only I had another inch of wall space...

of course, now i'll have to buy fancy european cabinets to accomodate the cooktop and oven. i wonder why none of the appliances manufacturers make a stainless rack that would hold both 24" components. kuppersbusch actually makes a rack to hold a 36" oven and cooktop but not for their smaller components.

Two items to comment on "If only I had another inch of wall space..." ...and "now I'll have to buy fancy european cabinets..." What type of building do you live in? Do you have a Contractor yet? Carving out that other inch is not unheard of and solutions can get pretty creative. If you have a Contractor, have them do the necessary due diligence to see if a little demolition and reframing may get you your inch. The other item to consider is the cabinets. For the price of Poggenpohl cabinets you can have your cabinets custom made by someone local. Custom cabinets may allow you to pick up that extra inch or accommodate whatever may be in the way that doesn't allow you to pick up that inch.

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^

the floor is already grouted (paid for), so i doubt there is an option of carving out more space. it's a tough call, i personally would like to go with more dry storage than either stove or fridge if i was in, say, Brooklyn, but then again not many folks there have as much kitchen stuff and dry goods as I do, i imagine. i like counter space as well, and at 5 by 7, i'm guessing that is what 7'-4'+2'=5' maximum if you have a single bowl sink. i would definately maximize counterspace and go with fewer, smaller appliances.

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I am also in Brooklyn and aside from wanting to store Fresh Direct pizzas and the occasional turkey in my freezer, ...  The fridge part of the Liebherr is probably adequate, it's the freezer part that concerns me. It would probably be healthier to do more daily shopping for fresh foods and Brooklyn is one of the best places to do that kind of shopping.

Cheers

Azlee

FROZEN PIZZA in Brooklyn? Shame on you! Frozen turkey? Really, if you limit those two items you will probably have more than enough room in the freezer. :biggrin:

I should talk, my freezer is full of duck fat, pork skin, chicken carcasses and other things which I can't identify anymore.

Let us know how it works out.

Jason

Well, the pizza is actually for my teenaged nephew who visits and likes to midnight snack on pizza and the turkey I get free about twice a year from the local supermarket at the holidays. Mostly, my freezer is filled with lots of unsalted butter bought on sale and homemade puff pastry leaves for emergency hors d'oeuvres and of course ICE CREAM. I have to place my appliance orders soon and will keep y'all posted. Does anyone have a Liebherr fridge? A sub-zero would be a perfect fit w/ a full size range but the price, to me, is insanely high and I always hear that they (sub-zero)have a lot of service problems. If only I had another inch of wall space...

of course, now i'll have to buy fancy european cabinets to accomodate the cooktop and oven. i wonder why none of the appliances manufacturers make a stainless rack that would hold both 24" components. kuppersbusch actually makes a rack to hold a 36" oven and cooktop but not for their smaller components.

Two items to comment on "If only I had another inch of wall space..." ...and "now I'll have to buy fancy european cabinets..." What type of building do you live in? Do you have a Contractor yet? Carving out that other inch is not unheard of and solutions can get pretty creative. If you have a Contractor, have them do the necessary due diligence to see if a little demolition and reframing may get you your inch. The other item to consider is the cabinets. For the price of Poggenpohl cabinets you can have your cabinets custom made by someone local. Custom cabinets may allow you to pick up that extra inch or accommodate whatever may be in the way that doesn't allow you to pick up that inch.

Thanks for the suggestions, unfortunately, we cannot carve out an extra inch on that particular wall. We were able to carve out a needed half inch on the opposite kitchen wall for the base cabinets. The wall with the appliances would only have a single cabinet for the cooktop and oven, using a european cabinet manufacturer for the european appliances is probably more time and cost efficient in this case, since they already make cabinets specifically for that application. If I can avoid the need for any base cabinet on the appliance wall (for example, if I go with the 24" fridge and 30" range) I can use any brand of cabinets.

I just meant that use of the euro sized cooking appliances would likely require a euro cabinet. I'll try to post some sample layouts, if I can. That might make it easier to understand the limitations.

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  For the price of Poggenpohl cabinets you can have your cabinets custom made by someone local.  Custom cabinets may allow you to pick up that extra inch or accommodate whatever may be in the way that doesn't allow you to pick up that inch.

Thanks for the suggestions, unfortunately, we cannot carve out an extra inch on that particular wall. We were able to carve out a needed half inch on the opposite kitchen wall for the base cabinets. The wall with the appliances would only have a single cabinet for the cooktop and oven, using a european cabinet manufacturer for the european appliances is probably more time and cost efficient in this case, since they already make cabinets specifically for that application. If I can avoid the need for any base cabinet on the appliance wall (for example, if I go with the 24" fridge and 30" range) I can use any brand of cabinets.

I just meant that use of the euro sized cooking appliances would likely require a euro cabinet. I'll try to post some sample layouts, if I can. That might make it easier to understand the limitations.

they make cabinets in lots of sizes, with the right spacers, which are generally needed anyway, especially if youe butt up to a corner, you could make it work with what you have, i think.

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^

the floor is already grouted (paid for), so i doubt there is an option of carving out more space.  it's a tough call, i personally would like to go with more dry storage than either stove or fridge if i was in, say, Brooklyn, but then again not many folks there have as much kitchen stuff and dry goods as I do, i imagine.  i like counter space as well, and at 5 by 7,  i'm guessing that is what 7'-4'+2'=5' maximum if you have a single bowl sink.  i would definately maximize counterspace and go with fewer, smaller appliances.

I plan to convert a nearby closet into a pantry for dry goods and equipment storage (but sadly, the space is not suitable for the fridge.) I have plenty of kitchen stuff collected over almost 40 years of cooking. I'm mostly looking for counter space and cooking space in the kitchen. The sink will be small but deep and covered with a cutting board some of the time in order to gain extra counter space. And given that the floor is finished you're right, that it would be a nightmare to start moving walls now, if it could be done. If I bite the bullet and pay for extra cabinets and go with the 24" fridge and 24" cooking setup, I could squeeze maybe another 9" of counter and storage space out of the kitchen but the extra cost may not be worth it in the end. So many choices...

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      II. Dimensions, Weight & Clearances
       
      The Panasonic, being a true commercial appliance, is considerably larger than most consumer and crossover hotplates. It stands 6 inches tall overall, and on relatively tall (1.25”) feet, so that there is space for ample air circulation under the unit. It is 20.25 inches deep overall, including a standoff ventilation panel in back, and the angled control panel in front. It is 15” wide, and weighs in at a hefty 30.25 pounds. Suffice it to say, the Panasonic is not practically portable.

      The KY-MK3500’s Ceran pan surface is 14.25 inches wide by 14.5 inches deep, almost 43% larger in area than the VMP’s glass. Panasonic tells me they have no recommended maximum pan diameter or weight, but the tape tells me that a 15” diameter pan would not overhang the unit’s top (Compare the VMP, which can accept a maximum pan base of 10 7/8”). Common sense tells me that—unless the glass is well-braced underneath in many places, 25-30 pounds of total weight might be pushing it.
       
      For those who might consider outfitting their home kitchens with one or more of these units, in addition to having 20 amp 240v (NEMA #6-20R receptacles) electrical circuits for each appliance, 39 1/2 inches of overhead clearance is required to combustible material (31 ½” to incombustibles) and 2 inches to the back and sides (0” to incombustibles). The overhead clearance requirement and the tall 6” unit height call for no (or only very high) cabinetry and careful design of a “well” or lower countertop/table that will lower the Ceran surface to a comfortable cooking height. In other words, a tall pot on this unit on a regular-height counter might be a problem for a lot of cooks.
      III. Features

      A. Display
       
      The KY-Mk3500 has an angled 8-key spillproof keypad and red LED numerical display. The keys are large, raised and their markings are legible. All but the four Up/Down keys have their own inset indicator lights, which indicate power, mode and memory operation.
       
      The numerical display is large and bright. The numerical display area is divided between time (XX:XX) to the user’s left and power/temp to the user’s right. If the timer or program features are activated, the numerical display shows both the set time and the power/temperature. There is also a small “Hot Surface” LED icon on the panel.
      The Panasonic also actually uses the Ceran surface as a display of sorts. That is, there is a lighted circle just outside the faint positioning circle, which glows red whenever the unit is operating, awaiting a pan, or the Ceran is hot. Panasonic also claims that this display also changes brightness with the set power level, implying that the operator can judge the heat setting by a glance. Thus this display serves three purposes: (a) pan positioning; (b) burn safety; and (c) intensity.

      B. Safety Features
       
      As one would expect, there are a variety of safety features built into this appliance. In most cases, these features are controlled by detection circuits, some fixed, some defeatable/variable. This being a commercial unit, Panasonic has set the unit’s defaults with commercial users’ convenience in mind. If consumers want the full spectrum of safety settings, they need to vary these defaults. For instance, if a home cook wants to make sure the unit powers off if the pan is removed and not replaced within 3 minutes, they have to manually vary a default. Likewise if the operator wants the power to automatically shut off after 2 hours of no changes. But others, like the basic “Is there a pan there?” detection and overheat shutoff, are there no matter what and cannot be defeated.
      C. Settings & Programming

      The KY-MK3500 features both power and temperature settings. For “regular” induction, there are 20 power settings, which range from 50 watts to 3500 watts. For non-ferromagnetic pans, there are 18 power settings, which range from 60 watts to 2400 watts. The display shows these settings in numerals 1-20 and 1-18 respectively. When the power is toggled on, the unit defaults to Setting 14 in both frequencies.

      The temperature settings are the same in both modes, with 22 selectable temperatures from 285F (140C) to 500F (260C). Other than for the very lowest temperature setting, each setting increase results in a 10F temperature increase. Usefully, the display shows the set temperature, not 1-22; and until the set temperature is reached, the display indicates “Preheat”. The unit beeps when it reaches the set temperature. The Panasonic measures pan temperature using an IR sensor beneath the glass; this sensor sits about 1 inch outside the centerpoint of the painted positioning markings, yet inside of the induction coil.

      The timer operation is fast and intuitive. Once the power or temperature is set and operating, the operator merely keys the timer’s dedicated up/down buttons, and the timer display area activates. Timer settings are in any 30-second interval between 30 seconds and 9 ½ hours, and the display will show remaining time. The beeps at the end of cooking are loud.
       
      There are nine available memory programs, which can be set for either power or temperature, along with time. Programming entails pressing and holding the Program mode button, selecting the program (1-9), then picking and setting the power or temperature, then setting the timer, and finally pressing and holding the Program button again. After that, to use any of the entered programs, you simply press the Program button, select which program, and the unit will run that program within 3 seconds.
       
      In addition to Heat-Time programmability, the KY-MK3500 also provides the ability to vary 9 of the unit’s default settings: (1) Decreasing the power level granularity from 20 to 10; (2) Changing the temperature display to Celsius; (3) Enabling a long cook time shutoff safety feature; (4) Enabling the main power auto shutoff feature; (5) Disabling the glowing circle; (6) Lowering or disabling the auditory beep signals’ volume; (7) Customizing the timer finish beep; (8) Customizing the Preheat notification beep; and (9) Customizing the interval for filter cleanings.
       
      D. Maintenance
       
      The KY-MK3500 has a plastic air intake filter which can be removed and cleaned. This is not dishwashable. This filter is merely a plastic grate with ¼” square holes, so it is questionable what exactly —besides greasy dust bunnies—will be filtered. Panasonic recommends the filter be cleaned once a week. Besides that, the Ceran surface and stainless housing clean just like other appliances.
       
      IV. Acceptable Cookware
       
      Panasonic claims the unit will accept cast iron, enameled iron, stainless steel, copper, and aluminum with two provisos. First, very thin aluminum and copper may “move” on the appliance. And second, thin aluminum pans may “deform”. Panasonic does not address carbon steel pans, but I verified that they do indeed work. They also warn of the obvious fact that glass and ceramics will not work.
       
      Buyers are also warned against using cookware of specific cookware bottom shapes: round, footed, thin, and domed. Trying to use these, Panasonic warns, may disable safety features and reduce or eliminate pan heating.
       
      As far as minimum pan diameter goes, Panasonic claims the KY-MK3500 needs 5” diameter in ferromagnetic pans, and 6” in copper or aluminum ones. My own tests have shown that in fact the unit will function with a cast iron fondue pot, the base of which is only 4 1/8” in diameter, and also works with a copper saucepan, the base of which is almost exactly 5” in diameter. Obviously, the field will be most active at the very edges of such small pans, but they do function.
       
      V. Evaluation in Use

      I can say that not only does the Panasonic KY-MK3500 “work” with copper and aluminum pans, but that it works very well with them. Thermally, thick gauge conductive material pans perform in close emulation of the same pans on gas, even though there are no combustion gasses flowing up and around the pan. I found this startling.
       
      Nevertheless, a searching comparison between copper and ferromagnetic pans on this unit isn’t as straightforward as one might expect. The Panasonic is capable of dumping a full 3500 watts into ferromagnetic pans, but is limited to 2400 watts for aluminum and copper. Despite copper’s and aluminum’s superiorities in conductivity, that extra 1100 watts is going to win every speed-boil race.
       
      I initially thought I could handicap such a race simply by using the temperature setting and comparing the times required to achieve a “preheat” in a pans of cold water. Alas, no—the Panasonic’s IR function signified the copper pan was preheated to 350F before the water even reached 70F! Obviously, the entire thermal system of cold food in a cold pan needs to come to equilibrium before the Panasonic’s temperature readout becomes meaningful.

      A. Temperature Settings
       
      Unfortunately, with every pan I tried, the temperature settings were wildly inaccurate for measuring the temperature of the food. I heated 2 liters of peanut oil in a variety of pots, disk-base, enameled cast iron enameled steel, and copper. I thought it might be useful to see how close to 350F and 375F the settings were for deep frying. The oil in a Le Creuset 5.5Q Dutch oven set to 350F never made it past 285F, and it took 40:00 to get there. I kept bumping up the setting until I found that the setting for 420F will hold the oil at 346F. A disk-based pot didn’t hit 365F until the temperature setting was boosted to 400F. The only pan which came remotely close to being true to the settings was a 2mm silvered copper oven, which heated its oil to 327F when the Panasonic was set for 350F, and 380F when set for 410F.
       
      The temperature function was a lot closer to true when simply preheating an empty pan. With a setting of 350F, all the shiny stainless pans heated to just a few degrees higher (about 353-357F) and held there. This is useful for judging the Leidenfrost Point (which is the heat at which you can oil your SS and have it cook relatively nonstick) and potentially for “seasoning” carbon steel, SS and aluminum, but not much else, since it doesn’t translate to actual food temperature. There’s also the issue of the temperature settings *starting* at 285F, so holding a lower temperature for, e.g., tempering chocolate or a sous vide bath, or even a simmer would be by-guess-by-golly just like any other hob—your only resort is lots of experience with lower *power* settings.
       
      With heat-tarnished copper, a 350F setting resulted in a wide swinging between 353F and 365F, which I attribute to the copper shedding heat far faster than the other constructions, once the circuit stops the power at temperature. Then, when the circuit cycles the power back on, the copper is so responsive that it quickly overshoots the setting. Aluminum, on the other hand, *undershot*, the 350F setting, registering a cycle of 332-340F.

      I conclude that the IR sensor is set for some particular emissivity, probably for that of stainless steel. If true, the Panasonic, even though it automatically switches frequencies, does not compensate for the different emissivities of copper and aluminum. And even if Panasonic added dedicated aluminum and copper IR sensors, there is enough difference between dirty and polished that the added cost would be wasted. Bottom line here: the temperature setting mode is of extremely low utility, and should not be trusted.
       
      B. Power Mode – Pan Material Comparisons
       
      Given the differences in power setting granularity and maximum power between the two frequencies, it is difficult to assess what X watts into the pot means in, say, a copper-versus-clad or –disk showdown. What is clear, however, is that Setting X under disk and clad seems “hotter” than the same setting under copper and aluminum.

      I will need to precisely calibrate the Panasonic for wattage anyway for the hyperconductivity project, so I will obtain a higher-powered watt meter to determine the wattage of every power setting for both frequencies. Until then, however, the only way I can fairly handicap a race is to apply a reduction figure to the ferromagnetic setting (2400W being 69% of 3500W). Given that we know the wattage at the maximum settings, we can infer that Setting 14 (actually 13.8) on the 20-step ferromagnetic range iis approximately the same heat output as the maximum setting (18) for copper/aluminum.

      The boil times for 4 liters of 50F water in 10” diameter pots shocked me. The 10” x 3mm tinned copper pot’s water reached 211F in 36:41. Not an especially fast time at 2400 watts. The 10” disk-based pressure cooker bottom? Well, it didn’t make it—it took an hour to get to 208F and then hung there. So that left me wondering if the Panasonic engineers simply decided that 2400 watts was enough for copper and aluminum. I have a theory why the copper pot boiled and the SS one didn’t under the same power, but getting into that’s for another time.

      C. Evenness Comparisons
       
      The wires which generate the induction field are wound in a circular pattern; when energized, they create a torus-shaped magnetic field. The wound coil is constructed with an empty hole at its center. As matters of physics, the magnetic field’s intensity drops off extremely fast as a function of the distance from the coil; a few millimeters above the Ceran, the field is so weak no meaningful heat will be generated. This means that most induction cooktops heat *only* the very bottom of pans, and in a distinct 2-dimensional “doughnut” shape.

      All of the above can result in a pan having a cooler central spot, a hotter ring directly over the coil, and a cooler periphery outside the coil. It is left to the cookware to try to even out these thermal discontinuities when cooking. Some materials and pan constructions are better at this than others: the successful constructions utilize more highly-conductive metals such as aluminum and copper, but unless the material is very thick, there can be a ring-shaped hotspot that can scorch food.
      Until the Panasonic arrived to market, hotspot comparisons between ferromagnetic and aluminum/copper pans depended largely on comparing induction’s flat, more discrete heat ring with gas’s more diffuse, 3-dimensional one. Dodgeball-style debate ensued, with few clear conclusions. But now, for the first time, equally-powered flat heat rings in two different frequencies allow us to directly compare evenness in ferromagnetic and aluminum/copper cookware.

      The simplest and easiest way to assess cookware evenness is the “scorchprint”, which does not require infrared or other advanced thermal imaging equipment. I’ve posted on how to conduct scorchprinting elsewhere, but basically a pan is evenly dusted with flour; heat is applied to the pan bottom. As the flour is toasted, any hotspots visually emerge, giving the viewer a useful general idea of evenness.
       
      I will later post the photos of scorchprints I made of 4 different pans run using the Panasonic KY-MK3500: (1) a Demeyere 28cm Proline 5* clad frypan; (2) a Fissler Original Profi disk-base 28cm frypan; a 6mm aluminum omelet pan; and (4) a 32cm x 3.2mm Dehillerin sauté. To make it a fair race, I heated all the pans at 2400W until they reached 450F, and then backed off the power setting to maintain 450F. I did this in order not to compromise my saute’s tin lining. As you will see, both the clad Demeyere and the disk-based Fissler did print the typical brown doughnut, with a cooler center and periphery. By far the most even was the thick, all-aluminum pan, which actually was even over its entirety—even including the walls. The copper sauté was also quite even, although its larger size and mass really dissipated heat; once 450F was dialed in, no more browning happened, even after 30 minutes.
       
      I conclude that the straightgauge pans were far more effective at shunting heat to their peripheries and walls (and also to some extent into the air) than the clad and disk-based pans. The latter accumulated their heat with most of it staying in the center of the pans. Eventually, even the “doughnut hole” blended into the scorch ring because the walls were not bleeding sufficient heat away from the floor. This was especially pronounced in the Fissler, the high wall and rim areas of which never exceeded 125F. The aluminum pan, in contrast varied less than 30F everywhere on the pan.

      D. Other Considerations

      The Panasonic’s fan noise at the cook’s position was noticeable at 63 dBA, higher than with the VMP’s 57 dBA. These levels are characterized as “normal conversation” and “quiet street”, respectively. Interestingly, I found two other, potentially more important differences. First, the Panasonic’s fan stays on, even after the unit is powered off, whereas the VMP’s fan shuts off immediately when the hob is turned off. Second, the Panasonic’s fan steps down from the louder speed to a much quieter (47 dBA, characterized as “quiet home”) level until the Ceran is cool to sustained touch, at which point it shuts off completely. I think the Panasonic’s ability to continue to vent and cool itself is a great feature, especially since a cook could leave a large, full, hot pan on the glass.

      The glowing circle is useless for gauging heat setting or intensity. And while it works to indicate a hot surface, it remains lit long after you can hold your hand in place dead center.
       
      VI. Summary and Lessons
       
      The Panasonic KY-MK3500 is a solid unit, well-conceived and rugged. It is extremely easy to use. It works well with both the common 24kHz frequency used with ferromagnetic cookware, and the 90kHz frequency chosen here for copper and aluminum. It effectively and automatically switches between the two.

      In my opinion, it points the way to expanding the worldwide induction appliance market to include dual frequencies. It also obviates the need to: (a) junk otherwise excellent cookware merely to have induction; and (b) retrofit designs to bond on ferromagnetic outer layers. In fact, in my opinion, my tests indicate that, in a dual-frequency world, adding ferromagnetic bottoms may well be a drag on pans’ performance.
       
      I also consider the Panasonic Met-All to be ground-breaking in what it can tell us about *pans*, because all metallic pans are now commensurable on induction. Clearly (to me anyway), watt-for-watt, the copper and aluminum pans performed better than did the clad and disk-based pans on this unit. Boil times were faster, there was less propensity to scorch, and the conductive-sidewall pans definitely added more heat to the pans’ contents. We may ultimately find that 90kHz fields save energy compared to 24kHz fields, much as copper and aluminum require less heat on gas and electric coil.
      In terms of heat transfer, the copper and aluminum pans came close to emulating the same pans on gas. And at 2400W/3500W it has the power of a full size appliance in a relatively small tabletop package.
       
      The Panasonic is far from perfect, however. It can’t really be considered portable. There are far too few temperature settings, and what few it has are not accurate or consistent in terms of judging pan contents and attaining the same temperature in different pans (and even the same pan unless clean). The luminous ring could easily have been made a useful indicator of intensity, but wasn’t. And it lacks things that should be obvious, including a through-the-glass “button” contact thermocouple, more power granularity, an analog-style control knob, and capacity to accept an external thermocouple probe for PID control.
       
      Most importantly for me, the Panasonic KY-MK3500 portends more good things to come. Retail price remains $1,700-$2,400, but I jumped on it at $611, and I’ve seen it elsewhere for as low as $1,200.
       
      The manual can be found here: ftp://ftp.panasonic.com/commercialfoo...
       
      Photo Credit:  Panasonic Corporation

    • By haresfur
      We have started into fixing the kitchen after starting planning several years ago - almost as long as the dishwasher has been dead and the oven barely functional. And don't get me started on the non-exhaust fan.
       
      Before the destruction but after removing all the crap:
       

       
       
       

       
      The fridge was replaced not too long ago and is staying where it is. We had to have its alcove expanded. Perhaps not the best ergonomic location but it fits. We aren't moving the other appliances or sink very far so are hoping the plumbing and electric are no big deal.
       
      End of first day. We caught a couple of things in time. The fume hood and cupboards over the cook-top were set too low. They were going to set the sink as an over-mount when we had bought and under-mount. Apparently it could be done either way but silly us for not making it clear that the sink described as an undermount should be under the counter top. We decide the cupboard to the right of the oven should open the other way so we can get in there when cooking. Our mistake but I hope we can keep the oil, salt, pepper, etc. there rather than cluttering up the counter. The cabinet guy insisted that the cook-top couldn't be centred over the oven. I still don't understand why but not a big deal. It will be easier to get around the island when someone else is cooking but harder to squeeze past into the pantry.
       
      It seems to me that the walls should have been re-done before the cabinets went up. I think this was easier on the cabinet guy who is doing most of the coordination but probably will be a pain for the plasterer. And we have some trim issues to work out.
       

       

       

       
      Day 2 fixing things, electrical work, and measuring for the countertops. Now we wait for them to be finished before much else can happen.
       

       
      Spock is not impressed.
       
       
    • By &roid
      We’ve lived in our house for about twelve years and did a small extension not long after we moved in. With our growing family (son number two arrived this July) we wanted to get a bit more living space so started looking at options about a year ago. We have a late Victorian house with a separate dining room, as nice as this is it’s been a big waste of space - we probably used it two or three times a year. So the plan was to extend the kitchen to add a decent sized dining area and free up the dining room for something better. 
       
      The kitchen we had is under ten years old so we’ve decided to keep some parts of it, adding new worktops, a large rangetop and a breakfast cabinet with pocket doors to hide away the toaster and coffee machine. 
       
      We’re about halfway through the build at the moment so thought I’d post up some pictures of our progress. Hopefully we’ll be finished this side of Christmas... hopefully!
    • By chocoera
      Hi guys!  So...as we all know hindsight is 20/20....so i'm sure we ALLLLLLLLLLLL  have things we'd do differently if setting up our home or professional workplaces.  I'm working with a space that's approximately 850 sq ft.  If you could create your ideal space, what would you do?  The kicker is, i'm a mixed media kitchen, i dont do straight chocolate work.  I do baking so i'll have a double vertical convection oven, i'm getting rid of my 6 burner range and switching to table top induction burners. I have a dishwasher and big sink for rinsing vs 3 compartment sink (hand sink of course) and mop sink....and i have multiple 7 ft and 8 ft stainless tables. I currently have a "cooling room" set up with 4 speed racks, but thought maybe i should switch to a fridge turned up to 40 or 50F? I freeze things for bulk production, so will still have some chest freezers set higher than normal....but yeah. i'm just at a loss of how to capitalize on space, and keep things organized and storage of bon bons, turtles, barks, chocolate caramel apples (things that need to be stored for packaging by employees before they hit the retail floor)  i know jin from vegas had a fridge set at 50F for cooling molds once sprayed and shelled, then once she filled them, moved to a 40F fridge to set filling, then she sealed them...but i didn't remember where she kept bon bons for her bar (where customers pick and choose) or the ones out ready to be boxed?  i know she and jean marie were freezing for bulk orders etc...but yeah.  my mind is just overwhelmed with possibilities, and i just dont want to mess up this new kitchen layout. i think its harder because i make so many things in my kitchen, so i have pots, pans, sheet pans, springforms, cookie cutters, muffin tins, kitchen aid mixers, a floor mixer,  mol d'arts, baking liners, molds, colors, EZ temper, brushes, kitchen utensils, transfer sheets, bulk chocolate and ingredients blah blah blah.   so. if you guys could make an ideal workflow....would you do a walk-in fridge for confection storage? a few fridges set higher (but would humidity be an issue if stored for multiple days before packaging), build another cooling room (it was a room with drywall/insulation/a door/speedracks and portable AC set to keep that room cooler...), or yeah.  thoughts?  oh yeah. and  i need to fit an enrober in there too.  sooooo, ideal workspace. what's in it?  and go!  :0)
    • By weinoo
      I've started a few topics about various renovation related subjects (here and here), but figured I'd put the overall project in its own. Pix often tell the story even better...
       
      It helps to have these. Well, you need to have these if you expect to get anything done in your coop.
       

       
      Then stuff can start...
       

       

       

       
      And then start getting rebuilt.
       

       

       
      A little better electrical system.
       

       

       
      New pipes have to be done in the walls.
       

       

       

       

       
      This Started on September 8th. They've had approximately 25 days on which work was done.
       
      Proceeding along nicely, I'd say.
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