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Trends: Kitchen News

From small gadgets to big appliances, great innovations for a thoroughly up-to-date kitchen.

Japanese Knives

Kershaw's Pure Komachi stainless steel knives are color-coded to indicate the type of food each should be used for—light blue for fish, for example, and pink for meat ($20 each; 800-325-2891).s

Warming Drawer

Jenn-Air is suggesting a new place to install its warming drawer: in a coffee table, to keep hors d'oeuvres and plates warm at a party. You buy the table separately, then arrange for installation (from $800; 800-JENN-AIR).

Smart Dishwasher

Whirlpool's Gold Tall Tub dishwasher can sense how big and dirty the load is, then adjust the cycle for energy efficiency and water conservation (from $500; 800-253-1301).

Laundry List

Several appliance makers have introduced sleek new clothes dryers and front-loading washers. KitchenAid's Ensemble line, with a matte metallic finish (from $1,100; 800-422-1230), and Bosch's extra-quiet Nexxt machines (from $770; 800-944-2904) join models like Maytag's Neptune Drying Center, which dries sweaters without shrinking them ($1,450; 800-688-9900).

Fixture Finish

A toned-down white bronze, which resembles a slightly warmer silver, is the new look for fixtures like Kohler's Vinnata pull-down faucet in Vibrant Brazen Bronze ($600; 800-4-KOHLER), and Franke's faucets in Windsor Bronze (from $650; 800-626-5771).

WHAT'S COOL IN FRIDGES

Quick Chill and Thaw
The new GE Profile Arctica refrigerator includes a drawer with adjustable temperature settings. One setting allows wine to chill quickly; another defrosts meat at 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature recommended by the FDA as safe (from $2,600; 800-626-2000).

Wine Drawers
U-line, known for its under-counter refrigerators, has just introduced a two-drawer wine captain that can hold up to 43 bottles. Each glass-fronted wine drawer can be set at a different temperature—say, one at 55 degrees Fahrenheit for red wines, the other at 45 degrees for whites. The lower drawer includes a caddy that slides out to help transport bottles (from $2,200; 414-354-0300).

Espresso Maker

Bodum's new espresso machine is innovative and user-friendly: It can process either ground beans or single-serving pods, uses a bottle of water turned upside down as the reservoir, and has a cup warmer on top ($500; 800-23-BODUM).

Toaster Trend

Both Rival and DeLonghi are introducing toaster ovens shaped to fit a 12-inch round pizza. Rival's have a curved front; one model has convection heating for crisper crusts (from $60; 800-55-RIVAL). DeLonghi's, which will be available in November, have a curved back plus convection (from $112; 800-865-6330).

European Collection

In the United States, Electrolux is known for vacuum cleaners, but in Europe it's known as the biggest manufacturer of kitchen appliances. Now Electrolux is introducing its Icon collection here, including a convection oven with racks that glide on ball bearings ($2,000; 877-ELECTROLUX).

Space-Saving Oven

Samsung's ProGourmet wall oven is three machines in one—which makes it appealing to anyone with limited counter space. Part microwave, part convection oven and part broiler, the ProGourmet can handle each of these functions separately, or all three can be used together to speed up cooking ($700; 800-SAMSUNG).

STOVE AND COOKTOP NEWS

Handcrafted Stoves
Only six restaurants in the United States own the French company Molteni's exquisite custom stoves; now the company is making them for home cooks (from $26,000; 800-331-7958).

Seamless Cooktop
The glass surface of Wolf's new electric cooktop is completely level with the countertop—a more integrated look than the traditional cooktop with a raised stainless steel border (from $1,450; 800-332-9513).

New Electric Stove
AGA, the British company known for its gas-powered radiant-heat cookers, is now manufacturing an electric version, which comes in 15 colors ($9,800; 866-424-2487).

Precision-Flame Cooktop
The electronic control panel on Caldera's five-burner gas cooktop allows cooks to adjust the flame in 21 increments($2,000; 800-725-7711). Dacor will debut a competitor in October ($2,500; 800-793-0093).

Published July 2004
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