When we consider the many ways Covid-19 has impacted our homes and lives, cooking and nutrition need to be included. “Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve relied on virtually every device to keep families nourished and healthy,” observes Jill Notini, vice president and spokesperson for the Home Appliance Manufacturers Association. .
Notini sees this trend continue long after the conquest of Covid. “An AHAM consumer study of more than 4,000 US households found that home food preparation was the most cited activity that will continue after the pandemic. More than three in ten respondents have bought small appliances since the first shutdowns last year, she reports.
Back then, many busy professionals and parents who relied heavily on restaurants to provide food and drink had to find solutions at home. These included tools like coffee makers, air fryers, slow cookers, toaster ovens, blenders, and pressure cookers to prepare their favorite items at home. Survey respondents told the professional group that they cook healthier foods, research new ingredients, and try new recipes. (The pandemic has also made adults aware that obesity can impact their susceptibility to this serious new health challenge, so preparing healthy meals has become more of an imperative than an ideal.)
One of the challenges that homeowners and professionals have faced over the past year and a half has been the shortage of large household appliances; it’s still a constant complaint among designers in social media industry groups. There are many reasons for these uptime issues, but the net result has been difficulties for homeowners who have to replace refrigerators, stoves and other major appliances that failed during the pandemic.
Small appliances have been companions during this time. While the oven is not in use, a countertop convection oven or multicooker can be installed. If the hob breaks down, a portable induction burner and electric grill can do their job.
Healthy food and small appliances
Linda Shiue, MD is director of culinary medicine for Kaiser Permanente, as well as a professional training chef and author of Spice box kitchen (Hachette Books). She teaches Kaiser members how to cook healthy meals in her Thrive cooking classes and appreciates the potential of small appliances in preparing healthy meals.
Shiue’s three favorites, she shares, are small food processors, high-speed blenders, and electric coffee / spice grinders. The food processor can help make healthy dishes like pesto, she notes, and it can chop up ingredients like nuts. The high speed mixer makes it possible to prepare smoothies, sauces and mashed soups. The grinder can be used for seasonings or coffee beans. All of them have powerful claims to counter space in a health-centric kitchen.
Place small appliances in a kitchen
Finding that space in a busy kitchen – especially a multitasking kitchen as a virtual home office or study center – can be a challenge. While they don’t share the installation requirements of their full-size counterparts, small devices take up space, need electricity (and possibly water), and can create a visual clutter, especially when are many. Seattle-based interior designer with a passion for healthy cooking, Tristan Gary, sees the benefits, but also struggles with these challenges.
“Small appliances are a way for homeowners to experience new foods and feel like they have an upgrade without a renovation,” she comments. Adding them can involve the same conversation as major appliances: “When someone tells me they like healthy cooking, I usually ask how many people live in their house and if everyone is on the same length of time. wave. If we are talking about creating a kitchen or specific areas around healthy cooking, it is important to know if this is the passion or the goal of an individual or a whole family.
The value of kitchen areas
Kitchen areas, an update of the traditional work triangle, create an opportunity to design specialized prep areas with small appliances, related storage, major appliances, and accessories. For example, a juice extraction station might include not only the juicer, but also refrigerator drawers for produce, a cabinet with organizers for accessories and utensils, a prep sink, and a compost bin. .
The placement and organization of the small device and its associated preparation needs becomes an important design decision. “We all know having a juicer tucked away in a downstairs closet is similar to a conveyor belt in the garage… neither one gets used to it,” Gary says.
What gets used to are the coffee machines, she adds. “We have clients who request breakfast or coffee shifts during most of the consultations. These consolidate a morning routine and provide a great coffee experience at home. And believe me, those $ 6 lattes really add up and a good espresso machine pays off quickly! she thinks.
“Another station we’re having fun with lately are the pastry / pizza stations. Portable home pizza ovens have been a big demand lately and I love it! Gary says. It also includes vacuum units and air fryers for healthy cooking projects. “An air fryer can offer a healthier alternative to fried chicken while still achieving a delicious result. For less than $ 100, you can get a healthy cooking appliance without a complete kitchen remodel. There are also countertop versions of convection-steam ovens, which typically involve a kitchen remodel, and wine captains to create the base of a wine bar.
As AHAM’s Notini observes: “We have all become better at cooking and cooking healthier foods. Since major appliances are still scarce and retailers say they see no signs of relief on the horizon, having handy kitchenware while waiting for your home improvement or replacement appliances can mean a sequel. new small versions. They will complement their installed counterparts when the kitchen project is complete.
Author’s Note: Notini, Shiue and Gary will participate in a chat at the Clubhouse on Wednesday, October 6 at 4:00 p.m. EST (1:00 p.m. Pacific) to share more tips and trends and answer questions from attendees. This session is open to professionals in the design, cooking and nutritional industries, as well as enthusiasts interested in these fields. Those who miss the live event can find a recording the following Wednesday on the Gold Notes blog.