Designer    Feature 02 Dec 2013

Top 10 2013 Kitchen Must-Haves: Steam Ovens, Eco-friendly cooking and Zoneless Hobs

Advances in cooking technology are broadening the options for designers and their clients. Keeping up-to-date on the next big thing in the kitchen is the key to future-proofing your kitchen schemes…

Craig Davies Managing Director Sub-Zero & Wolf UK

Healthy meals are now seen as an important lifestyle choice and are driving consumers’ demand for combination steam ovens, which help consumers prepare delicious, healthful meals with ease. Cooking with steam preserves nutrition, taste and texture and consumers are now wise to this. Steam helps food maintain up to a 22% higher vitamin content when compared to cooking
in standard ovens.

As home cooking and entertaining for friends and family sees no sign of abating due partly to the continued popularity of shows such as Masterchef and The Great British Bake-Off, capacity is another issue, so larger capacity steam ovens will be available. 50 litres will be achievable, 25% larger than is currently available.

Sub-Zero & Wolf |

Jacqui Hoctor New Product Development Manager Britannia Living

Dual fuel continues to be the most popular choice for range cookers. However, ‘all electric’ range cookers are becoming increasingly popular and almost all of the new range cookers from Britannia are now available with induction hobs. As consumers seek out products that enhance their cooking and enable them to multi-task more simply, they are looking for ever more versatile, performance products that deliver the functionality they require.

As for the future, I expect that the range cooker market will continue to evolve with features to rival built-in. This means we may start to see additional features such as pyrolytic cleaning and steam ovens becoming more prevalent in range cookers.

Britannia Living |


Darren Peake Senior Category Manager Hotpoint built-in

People are now choosing to eat in and entertain at home more, so they’re looking for cooking appliances that can help them create a wide range of meals quickly and easily.

New technology is bringing features from the professional kitchen into the home to cater for the amateur chef. Consumers are used to having state-of-the-art technology at their fingertips, from smart phones to smart pad computers, so they demand technology that will make life easier in the kitchen, too.  As utility bills continue to rise, appliance energy efficiency is becoming increasingly important to consumers. Cooking appliances now need to demonstrate their green credentials without compromising on performance.

Hotpoint |


Joan Fraser Product Training and Development Manager Smeg UK

As home cooking and entertaining for friends and family sees no sign of abating due partly to the continued popularity of shows such as Masterchef and The Great British Bake-Off, capacity is another issue, so larger capacity steam ovens will be available. 50 litres will be achievable, 25% larger than is currently available.

Smeg UK |


Jonathan Casley Managing Director Glen Dimplex Home Appliances

As consumers continue to struggle with rising energy bills, and have a much clearer understanding of the link between energy labels and cost savings on their bills, the requirement for more energy efficient products has understandably moved higher up the purchase priority list and is driving sales up.

Comprehension of the technology is definitely growing – although we know we still have a lot to do. In fact, the introduction of induction to a broader range of appliances other than just built-in hobs seems to be a growing trend.

Colour continues to have significant impact across the board, with manufacturers updating collections to match latest trends, as well as developing colourful coordinating hoods and splashbacks. We are also starting to see many of the innovations that are more often seen on built-in ovens and hobs, beginning to appear on some high end range cookers. This includes features such as zoneless induction hobs, increased use of touch control technology and larger and more flexible oven cavities.

 Belling |


James Cunningham Product Marketing Manager Rangemaster

Design is a key influence for our customers, as well as performance. For example, Rangemaster offers standard stainless steel hobs but with design led cast iron pan supports, as well as gas burners on glass. This gives customers the optimum choice of style within this range.

Induction is growing fast compared to the other fuel types on offer. We have established better technology and have introduced it across more of our ranges as it continues to grow in popularity. On our Falcon range cookers, the only all electric range available is induction – this was due to the popularity of this fuel type.

Induction as a technology is rapidly growing as the benefits are becoming widely understood and acknowledged. The entry models are becoming more affordable as the technology becomes older, whilst the clever multi-zone models which are the latest to the market carry a price tag that will deter mainstream consumers.

Rangemaster |


Neil Pooley Kitchen Category Manager Miele

Innovations driving oven sales are predominantly linked to improving performance. For Miele, this is the use of sophisticated electronics that ensure extreme temperature accuracy – for us that is within one degree. Additionally the intelligent use of moisture to gain perfect results through Moisture Plus, which provides specifically timed injections of steam in the first few minutes of the baking process, so that dough for example will rise more effectively and will form a crisp crust.

Innovations driving hob sales are directly related to induction – specifically, flexible zones which allow them to expand the cooking zone.  Designers and retailers can maximise their upselling opportunities by ensuring they are confident in the appliance features and technology. We offer wide ranging training programmes across all product groups that pick out the latest features and technologies. The sector will continue to evolve. Technology is constantly improving the way in which appliances are manufactured and how they perform. This will allow greater accuracy, higher performance and lower energy consumption.

Miele |


Maurizio Severgnini Managing Director Built in Division Hoover Candy UK

Induction is making its way into the mainstream and consumers’ understanding of the benefits of induction (including responsiveness, energy efficiency, and safety), is definitely increasing. Induction is becoming a much more affordable mid-market product and sales are rising steadily.

Consumers are looking for reliable, convenient, and easy to use cooking appliances that save time and offer value for money. Attractive products that will blend seamlessly into their kitchen like those with touch sensitive controls are proving popular with consumers. There has also been a significant increase in the numbers of consumers who are keeping a keen eye on appliance running costs.

Looking ahead though, with a constant stream of advancements in cooking there will no doubt be some new and exciting technology to come – for example, laser technology, which is currently still very much a thing of the future.

Hoover |


Kevin John Sales & Marketing Director V-Zug UK

In the premium market, there has been a real move to slider controls, and minimalist design on induction is now key, but designers should consider the issues relating to poor circulation. Older people in particular often have poor circulation in their fingers and sliders will not always be their best option. V-ZUG offers two induction hobs with the option for front controls, which should be considered as a solution.

By far the most important innovation in oven technology is the combination steam oven, which is starting to replace microwaves as the secondary appliance in most kitchens, whilst induction is obviously the most important element of every premium kitchen. As for the future, there will be innovations in home automation and connectivity of all elements of the home, the kitchen just being one of those. However perhaps more important will be the drive to reduce energy consumption. A key change will be with the new building regulations on air and heat extraction for new homes, which come into force in 2016 and will mean more emphasis on recirculation extractors.

V-Zug |


Sophie Davidson Head of Product UK and Ireland Electrolux Major Appliances

There is a reason why one in four electric hobs purchased last year was an induction hob. Induction is now the ‘hottest’ hob around. It is faster than any other kind of hob, so controllable you can melt chocolate direct in the pan. The most advanced induction hobs have flexible zones so you can use any size or shape of pan on them. You can time them, put them on hold, set them for a heat boost for rapid heat up – and some even save energy by using residual heat to finish the cooking.

The role of the kitchen has changed. Homeowners want to entertain, relax and spend time with their family and friends within their open plan kitchen space. Electrolux continues to be at the forefront of bringing these innovative products to market that offer both superior performance and energy efficiency.

In 2014, technologies that were once niche, like induction and steam, will be embraced in the home. Consumers are increasingly becoming switched on to the energy saving benefits of induction and the culinary possibilities of steam cooking.

Electrolux |