What Kitchen Appliances to Get? (Reviews included)
We had to consider the kitchen appliances we were getting as we designed the kitchen cabinets. Here’s a list and my review of kitchen appliances: electrical appliances, power points, and miscellaneous items such as the sink. What model to get? Where to place them?
Before reading on, you might want to read my previous post. There, I wrote about how we designed our kitchen cabinets, from the colour and type of laminates to the choice of countertop. I also mentioned the type of drawer handles we chose and the precise configuration of our kitchen cabinet’s drawers and shelves.
Cooker Hob and Hood
Cooker hob and hood are two major items that take up significant space of kitchen cabinets.Our Purchase
For our hob, we had wanted two burners for more countertop space. The hob length of two burners is shorter than the one with three. Moreover, we usually use two burners at any one time. But with only S$10 difference, we got three burners, just in case. And alas, with a big sink and big hob, we have much less countertop space than I need these days.
At one point, we wanted to put the hood on the side without top kitchen cabinet. In that case, we got to choose chimney hood. Good thing we didn’t because our contractor later realised there’s a protruding edge at the ceiling and we had to “cut” the chimney to fit in, which is not ideal for suction power. So we got a slim hood which attached itself nicely to the top cabinet.
- Fujioh Hob (3773 SVGL) and Fujioh Slim Hood (SLM-900R)
- Purchased from Hoe Kee at S$699 (Price negotiable if you get multiple items.)
After more than a year, they are still functioning well, and we cook almost everyday. We chose Fujioh because of the hood’s famed suction power. However, the cooker hood can get quite loud, especially at level 2 and 3. Hence I don’t use the hood as often unless I’m stir frying. I needed to listen to what Evangeline (my toddler) is doing outside of the kitchen or to the music and sermon playing in the background.
On hindsight, perhaps we didn’t need such a good suction. We don’t do wok cooking and we have a kitchen door to keep out the fumes from other living areas, if need be.
By the way, the tempered glass of the hob is easy to clean and looks sleek!
Every household seems to have an in-built oven in their kitchen cabinet. We almost did it too, until husband asked, “Is it necessary?”
Looking at that big oven at our rented flat, I replied, “Ya, we used it to bake food like chicken and sweet potato, and heat up our meals.”
“But we can cook all these on small ovens, right?”
“Really? Is it powerful enough?”
“Ya, this kind of built-in oven is more suited for those who bake pastries regularly.”
I was still apprehensive but we went ahead to buy the portable electric oven. Glad to say, it has served us well so far! Best part, it’s easily replaceable if it’s spoiled in future. This is unlike the built-in oven, in which a contractor is required to pry out the oven from the cabinet. Portable oven is also good for easy cleaning and change of mind. Good thinking on husband’s part!
- Mayer 36L Electric Oven (MMO36)
- Purchased from Mayer merchant (via Qoo10) at S$116 (U.P. S$118).
A good ol’ microwave that’s still working and useful in reheating food.
- Sharp 22L Microwave Oven (R219TS)
- Purchased from Lion City (via Qoo10) at S$69.50
Our contractor needed to know the size of our refrigerator (“fridge”) before he could could start the carpentry work in the kitchen. He needed to adjust the length of the kitchen cabinet to leave a space for the fridge. There’s also at least an 5cm extra space around the fridge that’s accounted for the ventilation.
There are different variations of fridge and so it’s important to know your needs to get a suitable one. We chose the top-mount (freezer above the fridge) among the various types of fridge: Top- and bottom-mount, side-by-side, French-door, and pigeon pair.
Reason for top-mount is because I have used bottom-mount fridge at my parent’s place before and I didn’t like it. Personally, I found it hard to organise, and to take things in and out of the freezer. The other types of fridge are out of our budget and space.
According to Harvey Norman, capacity of refrigerator required:
- A household with two people: 250-300L
- Average family of four: capacity above 400L
As you can see, 450L seems a bit too big for us couple. But at the point of purchase, we considered the new addition of our baby and the possible breastmilk and cooked food for her, and thus the amount of raw ingredients. It’s better to have more space than less. Of course, that meant higher electricity bill, and less countertop space (sacrificed for big fridge).
In a small family of 2+1, the fridge is indeed big for us 20% of the time. Increase this percentage if you don’t cook often. We cook everyday, and thus often have raw and pre-prepared ingredients on dishes fill the fridge shelves.
We would probably still go for 450L because it’s a comfortable size, giving us space to put more stuff whenever necessary. Space especially needed when we organised small parties. Not necessary this big if you don’t cook.
A key feature of our Hitachi refrigerator is the ‘Inverter x Dual Fan Cooling’ that cools freezer and fridge compartments separately. So how did that work out? As an everyday user, my freezer and fridge always feel cool, unlike the fridge at my parent’s place which doesn’t feel cool most of the time. Perhaps that’s also because my mum always pack the fridge to the brim!
We still like how sleek the design is with the tempered glass door. However, the downside is fingerprints are seen easily around the door handle, and on the front when our toddler was exploring and touching all around. If you are an OCD, it might be too much extra work for you.
- Hitachi 450L Refrigerator (R-VG560P3MS-GGR) (there’s a newer model: R-VG560P7MS)
- Purchased from Mega Discount at S$1,050 (Free Gift: Hitachi 1600W Vacuum Cleaner, CV-BM16
During the planning stage, we didn’t really think about the set up of electrical points around the kitchen. We should have! Yes, we can always add extension cord to pull it to wherever we want, but that’s adding further clutter to the kitchen.
As you can see from the photo above, even without the extension, there is the clutter from the multi plug for our numerous electrical appliances. Kettle, baby warmer, steriliser, etc.
Original Power Points (Shifted)
We accepted power points fixated on the wall as where they were. That’s because we had assumed that the kitchen cabinets would work around them. We thought these points couldn’t be shifted, but they can be!
In order to make way for our refrigerator and kitchen sliding door, our electrician had to shift the power points towards the service yard. Question was, how far in? Our contractor recommended the points to be along the edge of the countertop instead of in the middle.
“Additional” Power Points
Behind our tall cabinet is a switch on the wall. And from there, the electrician provided power points for our microwave and oven plug, and also a switch for the cooker hood and “extra” power point on the side of the cabinet. I don’t know how he does that, you can probably let your electrician advise you.
Beside our stove, our contractor took the initiative to install a switch for the cooker hood on the side of our tall cabinet (left switch in the photo above). This was such a great idea we never thought of before.
After all carpentry work was done, we laid out all our electrical appliances. This was when we realised that we needed an additional power point beside the hood switch! Without it, we can’t place any electrical appliances at that side / corner. We could, but with a wire running out from the microwave “hole” and dangling in plain sight. Ugly.
So good thing, the electrician returned to add that additional switch without too much of a hassle. And that’s where we put our rice cooker. The other side of the kitchen was already crowded with electrical appliances, so this is a relief!
Other Kitchen Items
We got the contractor to purchase and install dish rack without door in the kitchen cabinets. I have gone to enough homes to see that the dish rack door is usually up.
So what’s the point of a cover? To hide the dishes for tidier aesthetics and to prevent dust? Reasons not good enough for me to have a cover. I will leave it open anyway. I find it a chore to keep opening and closing the door.
- SUS304 Stainless Steel Dish Rack
- This was included in our contractor package quote. Our previous contractor (who ran away) quoted S$150 for “2-Tier Stainless Steel Dishrack without door, Internal Laminate finish”.
We got many praises for our Kraus sink being big and deep. Good for washing, they say. Glad hubby insisted on getting this. This is one item we decided NOT to get from Taobao where there are many good and cheap alternatives.
Kraus sink has been highly raved by many homeowners online and so we checked it out. Personally, what attracted me were the sound absorbing feature and the sink grooves that allowed for complete water drainage. Hubby likes the size. More of its features on Kraus website.
Too bad Kraus sinks are not sold in Singapore and hence we can’t preview it before buying the big ticket item. It’s an expensive sink even without the import fees. We bought it at the time when free shipping was just retracted from the Singapore market. Hence hubby negotiated with the customer service officer (“CSO”) for 30 minutes before we purchased during the chat and had our shipping cost refunded.
But I took a quick look at Amazon Prime Now as I am writing this and the listed price is S$353.61. Even cheaper than our purchase price! Moreover, you don’t have to spend the time and effort to talk to a CSO officer.
- Kraus KHU100-30 Kitchen Sink 30 Inch Stainless Steel
- Purchased from Amazon Website at S$419.00
Have fun shopping for the electrical appliances and planning the configuration of the kitchen! Let me know in the comments below if you have any more questions. 🙂