Future Kitchen Technology Revealed

Gorenje-HomeCHEF

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.

HomeChef-Display

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

Forget-the-knobs hob

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).

Kitchen gadgets roundup

Listen to music while you make room in your freezer for that big leg of elk

“No gimmicky offering to get tongues wagging,” assures the latest press release from Slovenian brand Gorenje (and with England actually managing to win against them we don’t need to hold that against them). World Cup victory aside, just wait a cotton-darn pickin’ moment. It’s a fridge-freezer with an iPod dock on the front – isn’t that just a bit of a gimmick?

Kitchen-Gadgets

But the Slovenian firm is blowing its own Vuvuzela about the RK 1000IP freestanding iPod touch fridge-freezer, which also boasts two 50W speakers and wireless internet connection. So what’s the point of this fridge freezer cum music player? Well, the makers envisage the user scrolling through handy household hints and tips via the iGorenje portal (www.igorneje.com), while listening to their favourite music. (Our favourite tip on the site? How to make room in your freezer for that big leg of elk.)

The fridge itself has an A+ energy rating and a state-of-the-art cooling system to keep power consumption to a minimum. Other design features related to food rather than fun include two Ready ‘n’ Serve removable trays that can be used in place of a conventional serving tray for ready meals and a cheese and deli container with a wooden cutting board on top.

Finished in Jet Black Steel, the fridge freezer is arguably a good-looking addition to a contemporary kitchen, and we guess that it saves taking up worktop space with a separate dock and speakers. But at £2,000, we’d rather spend a few quid on an extra shelf. However, for anyone kitting out their kitchen with top-spec gear, it may well find its way on to their shopping list.

At a considerably lower price, Gordon Ramsay’s Panini Press is a cheap way to produce those trendy sarnies that can be pretty pricey if you buy them from the sandwich shop. Minus any high-tech gimmickry – though we were slightly disappointed to discover it doesn’t swear at you if you don’t chop your onions small enough or slice the panini quick enough – the Panini Press can also be opened out to use as a grill – ideal for breakfasts. (£39.99). The Cooks by Gordon Ramsay range is due out in August,

To complete the coffee shop experience in your own kitchen, splash out on your own coffee making machine. Sadly, it doesn’t come with the rather attractive Italian barrista who serves coffee round the corner from our office, but the Dulce Gusto Circolo Coffee Machine is still pretty good looking with an eye-catching circular design – and uses the familiar Dulce Gusto pods to make Cappuccino, Latte Macchiato and Espresso, among others. It’s a not-cheap at £159.99, but if you spend £2.50 a day on your favourite coffee, it’ll only take you a couple of months to break even. Log on to www.krups.co.uk

And if you want to brighten up breakfast time, here’s a toaster with a difference. Tefal’s Brighten up Breakfast with the Toast N’ Light. This little kitchen helper changes colour while it toasts, starting at blue, green, yellow, orange and finally red. Apparently this means you can keep track of your toast cooking – possibly a case of information overload?
The cost of knowing exactly how ready your toast is? £44.99 .
See www.tefal.co.uk for more