* This is PART 2 of a two-part article about “KITCHEN APPLIANCES”. PART 1 can be found here.
Dishwashers are not indispensable, unlike other kitchen appliances, but they do save time and effort. Top-range models use much less water and energy than washing the equivalent load of dishes by hand and the results are usually better.
– When choosing a dishwasher, first assess your needs and how much space you have. Full-size dishwashers have the capacity to wash 12 place settings (excluding pans and serving dishes). Slimline models take nine place settings and compact versions take four.
– Most dishwashers are designed to fit under a worktop. Some are integrated appliances, which can be concealed behind a panel to match your units. Site the dishwasher as close as possible to the sink to make plumbing more straightforward.
– Programs vary according to the machine and may include an ‘eco’ setting, a setting for glassware, a half-load setting and a rinse program. ‘Intelligent’ dishwashers can assess now dirty a load is and adjust the program accordingly.
– Look out for flexible internal fittings that accommodate different sizes of dishes and types of utensil.
– An anti-flood sensor, which cuts off the water supply in the case of a leak, is a useful feature.
– Stainless steel interiors are more robust than enamel but can cause some metals to discolor. Use a flat cutlery basket in the top of the machine to wash silver cutlery.
It is important to choose a freezer based on your way of life, the size of your family and the way you cook and shop. There is a vast range of appliances on the market from small basic models that fit underneath a worktop to huge double-door refrigerators that have many special features and functions.
– Decide whether you want a refrigerator with an icebox or a separate refrigerator and freezer. Larder refrigerators, which do not have freezer compartments, offer more space for fresh food. Freezer compartments have star ratings, which show how long certain kinds of frozen foods can be kept.
– Pick the one you prefer — freestanding appliance or one that is built-in. Integrated refrigerators are designed to be covered with a front panel that matches the rest of your units. Many freestanding refrigerators make bold style statements in their own right.
– Choose a refrigerator that is big enough for your needs and will fit into the space at your disposal. If you are installing a standard refrigerator under a worktop, you should allow a gap of 25 mm (1 inch) at the top, back and sides for ventilation.
– Modern appliances are highly energy-efficient, which makes them relatively cheap to run. Many models are also free of CFCs and HFCs, which contribute to global warming.
Features & Functions
– Auto defrost regulates the temperature inside the refrigerator to prevent the build up of frost. Larder refrigerators have auto defrost. Refrigerators with integral iceboxes need to be defrosted when ice builds up or they will not chill food adequately. – Intelligent cooling, where the temperature is controlled electronically and displayed on an LCD panel, maintains an even temperature throughout the refrigerator. If the door is left open for a while, cool air will be directed temporarily to warmer areas.
– Shelves and interior fittings vary. Glass shelves are better than wire ones because they stay cool and are easier to clean. Adjustable shelving, bottle and egg racks and compartments for butter and cheese are standard, as are salad drawers or crispers.
– Some refrigerators feature multi-zone cooling, which allows different food to be cooled to the right temperature. These may include special meat drawers, humidity controlled salad drawers, and a zero degree chiller compartment for ready meals.
– Some large refrigerators include an ice end chilled water dispenser on the freezer side. These appliances need to be plumbed within 1 m (3 ft) of a water supply.
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