Fast Appliances for Impatient Cooks

Appliance salesman: this baby will cook an ox in 40 seconds.
Homer Simpson: 40 seconds? I want it now!

Appliance manufacturers are busy working on new appliances that cook more quickly. We thought the trend was in the other direction with the slow food movement, but GE is introducing a fridge with an "express chill" drawer that will cool drinks in minutes, not hours. (part of it's new Cafe line of "restaurant inspired" appliances.)" GE notes that "from 1950—2004 the average size of the kitchen increased 216%, while the home itself increased by only 72% in size" so they are pumping up the appliances accordingly.

Thermador has developed "lightening fast pre-heat" that takes half the time to preheat the oven. Kenmore has introduced a toaster that cuts 60 seconds out of the process of browning bread. Viking is offering an oven that uses air travelling at 44 miles per hour to cook food five times as fast. Turbo-Chef has an oven with 85 "tornadoes" to cook and brown the food and can do a rack of lamb in four minutes.

Manufacturers say that these are not energy hogs- induction cook tops save energy because less heat is lost to the air, and the spike in power heating the oven is compensated for by the reduced time of cooking. Yet the GE range has an 18,000 BTU burner; there is no way a home kitchen exhaust could handle that without makeup air, this is pushing into restaurant size, more gas to burn and more air to move.

We also suspect GE's fridge but suspect it takes more power to cool faster. They all have a lot more elaborate technology and complexity, and they also cost a lot more- an induction cooktop costs up to $3,000, the turbo-chef oven is $6,000. One user never uses his regular oven any more. "Its like using email. Once you use it, you will never go back to snail mail."

We just wish it was fashionable to show off how energy efficient our appliances were, not how expensive or fast.::Wall Street Journal

Tags: Appliances

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