Wide awake and laying in my bed at 5.00am this morning, the thought suddenly hit me. Range Cooker: Is it the only choice, for us?
What about a bank of built in appliances, or built under, into an island unit maybe? There are some fabulous ovens just crying out to be built in to a kitchen. Even ovens with one big cooking space that can be split into two separate spaces with differing temperatures just by sliding in a solid shelf. Now that appeals to me. Plus we could have a steam oven and a microwave all matching and built in (or under).
Recently, when wandering around our new small town of Hornsea, we came across a shop, The Yorkshire Kitchen Company, selling fitted kitchens plus the New Hotpoint LUCE range, and were we impressed!! So stylish, so innovative, in fact, mind-blowing with the amount of modern technology and inventiveness. Ever a range-cooker woman, even I was slightly swayed by this remarkable range of cooking appliances. HD Cooking (High Definition Cooking), is behind Hotpoint’s new technology. They believe that you need absolute precision and this is why LUCE has introduced HD Cooking – as they say, “A unique selection of innovative technologies that give you complete control over everything you cook.” Innovations such as Direct Flame technology, Intelligent Induction Hobs, Dual Flow Technology, and Openspace Flexibility. Right, you say, now enough of the science, what about the actual products.
So, where shall we start? My absolute favourite – the Hotpoint LUCE Openspace Single/Double Oven.
This smart oven is from the new Hotpoint LUCE range of products. This oven has a capacity of 77 litres, which can be split into 2 individual cooking zones by the use of an insulated divider. Now how sensible is that! There is a touch control oven, which comes with Intelligent Programmes that automatically set the time and temperature to get the best out of this oven. But there is a choice of either the Touch Control Openspace oven or the Openspace Multifunction Oven, which features High Definition technology and an innovative Dual Flow system which eliminates hotspots throughout the oven. I, personally, would favour the Multifunction oven, because I quite like taking charge of the oven. The Touch Control Opensafe is great if you a a bit unsure of your recipes, or a very busy person. It works it all out for you. Amazing what these ovens can do.
Plus, being lucky enough to have seen these ovens and other LUCE products in situ, they are incredibly stylish.
And what about matching that Openspace oven with a Hotpoint LUCE Built in Multifunction Double Oven.
This Multifunction Double Oven is very versatile. The smaller top conventional oven, with 35 litres capacity and a temperature range from 30 – 250 degrees, also contains a SolarPlus Twin Variable Grill which heats up in 15 seconds (amazing – my old grill takes forever to heat up, so 15 seconds sounds spectacular) and cooks 20% more quickly than conventional grills.
The main oven has a very respectable capacity of 65 litres. It has 9 cooking programmes and 4 ‘Intelligent’ programmes. It even includes a ‘Proving’ programme for your bread dough! Another good point is that the Hotpoint LUCE ovens have Catalytic liners, to make that dreaded oven-cleaning task much easier. Yes, yes. I know ovens using Pyrolitic cleaning are even better than Catalytic, but you can’t have everything. This oven delivers more than most with its cooking technology!
And what about a matching Microwave?
Now this Microwave above is also from the Hotpoint LUCE range, but from the 45cm Compact Range group of products that all complement each other, all in black glass and fingerprint-resistant stainless steel. Smart!
This Touch Control Microwave has five automatic programmes including fresh vegetables, meat joints and fish, plus 10 microwave power levels and 2 grill power levels. All in this magic happens within its 40 litre capacity oven space. Just love it!
Next on the list is the Hotpoint LUCE 45cm Compact range is the 45cm Touch Control Steam Oven.
Steam Ovens are becoming very popular, in our ever-searching quest to eat healthier food. It is a fast, healthy way to cook food, and seals in valuable vitamins and minerals. This oven also possesses Ingelligent Cooking programmes to ensure all our food is cooked to perfection. Again, very stylish and matches the others in the compact range.
Also included in the 45cm Compact Range are the 45cm Fast Clean Touch Control Multifunction Oven (with brilliant Pyrolytic cleaning), a 45cm Touch Control Coffee Machine and one of those incredibly useful 45cm Storage and Warming Drawers – all designed with impeccable style.
Now for something completely different. These next few products are for people like me who would like to design their own version of a built-in hob. Mix and match, choose whatever suits your style of cooking. Again, innovative and stylish. And all this from the Hotpoint LUCE range.
This is the Hotpoint LUCE Multiplo. According to Hotpoint, “this is a modular, domino-style hob with a unique multi-functional benefit. With Multiplo you can steam, boil, roast, fry and cook – making it the ultimate all-in-one cooking appliance for perfect, professional cooking results.” Sounds impressive!
The Multiplo consists of the main unit, divided into 2, each with high quality stainless cooking vessels and glass lids. Also included are 2 steaming shelves, 1 Deep-Fry basket, 1 Pasta Draining basket, 1 set of handles for removing vessels, 1 large cooking vessel containing glass lid, steaming shelves and pasta draining basket.
There are 5 cooking methods you can use with the Multiplo – Steam, Roast, Fry, Slow Cook and Boil – all using Touch Control, and there are 2 individual timers (one for each zone) and 16 power levels to make almost anything possible. Again, very different for a domestic kitchen.
OK. Now for a piece of cooking equipment that I would really love in my kitchen. A Teppanyaki. Or in Hotpoint LUCE’s words, a Teppan Yaki. Whatever or however you spell it, it looks fun.
Years ago, I worked for AGA in a shop in Beverley that was owned by Christians, who built incredibly expensive kitchens. We shared the shop with Christians, each side complementing each other, and it was interesting to watch Christians move to the forefront of the fitted kitchens world, with their use of new technology. In the shop, Christians used a lot of Miele appliances fitted into their show kitchens. One day even the Christians’s staff were excited – they were going to install something very new to the UK – a Teppanyaki! But the Miele Teppanyaki wasn’t square, it was round. And big! About 20 – 24 inches (almost 60 cm), and when it heated up, the metal dipped slightly in the middle, so that you could stir-fry easily. Like a huge metal wok fitted into a kitchen worktop. Ever since then I have had a hankering for one.
So I was thrilled to see one, with a Stainless Steel Hotplate, by Hotpoint Luce. Basically it is a 2 KW Electric Hotplate, with 6 power levels and a residual heat indicator plus a child lock. The 6 power levels allow for a whole variety of dishes to be cooked on this Teppan Yaki. From Slow Cooking at low temperatures, through to Steaming and Boiling then Roasting and Frying. So whoever is the chef in the house can play around to their heart’s content, creating dishes ranging from Drop Scones and Pancakes, Crispy-Skinned Salmon Fillets and, using the hottest settings, stirring healthy and colourful StirFries.
The next one is for all of us living in the UK. How many times do we get the barbecue ready, the food prepped, the sun-chairs out and then …… it starts to rain! Don’t we just love our Barbecues. So this one’s for all of us.
No longer will we be slaves to our weather. Those steaks and kebabs and giant prawns will be cooked for your family and friends, provided you have a Hotpoint LUCE Barbecue Domino Hob fitted into your kitchen worktop. The stainless steel Barbecue Zone has 2.4kW of power, and 6 power levels, so again, very versatile.
One of my favourite meals to cook on a Barbecue is to take Large Crevettes (Prawns), shelled and deveined, then wrapped in streaky bacon and marinaded for at least a couple of hours in a mixture of sherry, grated fresh ginger, a good pinch of chilli and a drizzle of honey (put the marinade mixture in the microwave for a couple of minutes to let the honey melt). Keep the Crevettes in the marinade until just before grilling on the barbecue. They won’t take many minutes, and by the time the streaky bacon is crisping up, the Crevettes are ready. I love to serve them on multicoloured salad leaves, sprinkled with the pink peppercorns and a dressing made with Raspberry Vinegar. One of my all-time favourites!
We are very lucky, living in Hornsea, to be able to have a good look at all the Hotpoint Luce appliances at The Yorkshire Kitchen Company, which is on 12 New Road, Hornsea, East Yorkshire, HU18 1PF. Their phone number is 01964 534400 so you can pop in or ring them up if you have any queries about the products. The staff are very friendly, and their product knowledge is second to none. We even asked if we could try out our old Eva Trio saucepan on their superb Hotpoint Luce Induction Hob, and they couldn’t have been more helpful. Apparently the Yorkshire Kitchen Company’s website is being updated as we speak, and doesn’t mention Hotpoint Luce, but have a quick look and pop in or ring them with any questions. It’s an exciting time for the company, as the shop is also being updated and some incredible fitted kitchen designs will be in place soon. I’ve already got my eye on a fabulous mix and match set of units! Click Here to get to their website.
Almost finished. This next piece of fabulous cooking equipment stopped Erik in his tracks. He is the StirFry king in our house, and he just loves using his Wok, but as we only have a very old electric hob at the moment, he gets very frustrated. When he saw this next item, his face lit up.
This is not from Hotpoint, but AEG (or there are other makes). It is an amazing appliance – a black glass hob, to fit into a kitchen worktop, that has a hollow in the middle to take the shape of your Wok. AEG provides a professional Wok with this hob, designed to fit tight in the hollow, so that the entire base of the Wok will be heated. It’s a bit like having a work of art in your kitchen, and I’m sure Erik would love one.
Well, it’s pouring with rain outside, the wind is rattling the windows, and am I glad I’m not going out to sea tonight in a little fishing boat. My fingers are cold, and I think that I’ve written enough about all the marvellous appliances that are available for our kitchens.
Range Cooker: Is it the only choice? I think that I’ve written this to help me decide where I’m going in the quest for my ideal appliances for our kitchen. But I’m not sure if I’m any clearer. I’ve certainly learned a lot, and I hope it’s given you something to think about. Just realised that I’ve not mentioned the ‘coup de feu’ or French top, but that will have to be another day.
Watch this space because there’s more to come on Range Cookers. But right now, I think Erik is lighting the log burner downstairs, so I’m closing down and going to collapse on the settee, and warm my hands up.