Appliance manufacturer Gorenje and sustainable lifestyle products outfit Ecover have joined forces to put a new spin on our kitchen gadgets. These like-minded companies have introduced a whole suite of shiny black technology with the underlying ethos of environmental responsibility, reusable energy and appliance efficiency – with all the innards easily repairable or replaceable to reduce temptation to scrap them when the gloss comes off.
Cooking up a storm
The piece of kit that really grabs our attention is a touchscreen cooker (thankfully not on the oven door!) The Gorenje HomeCHEF built-in oven with full-colour touchscreen boasts “photo realistic images” for a cook-by-pictures experience. To use SIMPLEbake, just tap a picture of a mouthwatering plate to select or scroll through the options to activate a pre-set programme and then sit back and hope it turns out as delicious as it looks while it handles the settings, temperature and duration. SRP is £1199
Don’t let your oven outsmart your hob. The IQcook induction hob uses sensors to measure and keep a watch on your pans while automatically adjusting heat and cooking times. Like the oven, there’s a whole raft of pre-set cooking modes including frying and slow cooking. Gorenje’s patented SmartSense safety function is designed to prevent your food from boiling over or burning and if a pan boils dry, the cooking hob automatically switches off. With such features as StayWarm and IQBoil, it’s one step away from having your own chef – if only it had an attachment that could crack eggs and make a cup of tea we’d be laughing. SRP £699
Food for thought
If food storage contraptions usually leave you cold, Gorenje has also turned its attentions to the fridge-freezer. The Simplicity range does the complete opposite of the cookers, stripping back all the programmes to give you all the controls in a single dial.
One particularly nifty feature is the Cool’n’Fresh drawer, which sends cool air directly into the vegetable crisper and food and meat bins to diminish droopy leaves and prolong the freshness of your cold cuts. SRP £659
A new Fiery Red range gives you the option of a retro-styled vibrant red finish to match the bright A++ energy rating. If you’re not blinded by the fiery hues, the RB60299ORD refrigerator also packs a SuperCool fast chill option – ideal for blitzing drinks in a social situation – and a fast freeze, which gives your dishes an extra shot of blizzard before returning to the pre-set temperature once your food is frozen. SRP £719
Curtains to smaller washes
A couple of washing machines join this classy kitchen collection. The catchy-sounding WA74163 7k machine or the roomier 8kg WA82145 have A-10% energy ratings and an extra-large 33cm porthole door to avoid the inevitable battering when trying to crowbar in your duvet. UseLogic technology continuously monitors the purity of the water to avoid a stinky cycle and adjusts water usage according to the type of load. It also keeps tabs on detergent levels to determine whether or not you need an extra rinse – ideal if like me you load the machine throughout the day and risk doubling up rather than digging through your smalls to check you put the soap in first.
I particularly like the look of the 17 minute -wait for it… – Quick Wash”, which will rinse through lesser-soiled pieces you need in a hurry. SRP £645
The WA82145 adds a delayed start function, which means you can programme it to get to work at the dead of night to take advantage of better energy rates or start at another more favourable time (like after Eastenders). SRP £410 (reflecting less premium components and reduced guarantee).