In praise of the boiling water tap ... and other great appliances

These appliances, from quiet machines to steam ovens, could change your life

 

Hot water tap

Not only will a boiling water tap give you instant boiling water and save you space in your kitchen but it will also save on energy costs. Quooker claims that the cost of using its hot tap is 1 cent per litre delivered, or about three cents per day. The cost of boiling a full kettle (which typically holds 1.5 litres) is about 2.5 cents per boil. This would suggest that a Quooker could save users a significant sum, particularly those who regularly boil their kettles.  

Hot water taps are the ideal solution in an open-plan space as they create less noise than boiling a kettle. The newer versions are very compact and don’t take up much space, so no need to worry about losing storage space under the sink. You can also get combined models that work as the main sink tap while offering boiling water and filtered drinking water too.

Having hot water on demand will also mean you will waste less water. How many times do you empty out the kettle before you boil it? There are many brands on the market, and you should expect to spend between €900-€1,600 for a good model. 

Hot water taps are a great addition to any kitchen. The only disadvantage I can think of is that you’ll no longer be able to take part in the ritual of “putting on the kettle” when someone comes to call. 

Steam oven

This is probably the number one appliance I’d recommend investing in for your kitchen. Virtually anything that can be cooked in a pot can be done in a steam oven. Everything can be prepared together, eliminating the use of pots, making dinner time prep a much cleaner and less chaotic process. And meaning there is a lot less washing-up to do too. 

Steam ovens are smart appliances that will prompt you when you need to add food or take food out of the oven. So you won’t need to stand over the hob or keep an eye on anything. Everything comes out perfectly cooked every time. There is also a self-cleaning setting, making maintenance really easy.

There are different versions available: plumbed versions where the water refills automatically, and unplumbed, where you will need to top up the water manually. I highly recommend the plumbed version for convenience. 

One question I get asked is: can I get rid of my microwave? My answer is, in theory yes, as the steam oven reheats food beautifully, but it’s not as fast as a microwave. For convenience and especially if you have teenagers in the house who need instant feeding, I’d recommend getting an inexpensive microwave. 

Quiet appliances

Noise is a major contributor to stress. This is a particular issue in open-plan spaces where there are multiple activities taking place at once. Kitchen appliances are among the main sources of noise in these spaces. 

The good news, however, is that everything from dishwashers to washing machines as well as silent coffee machines and kettles has a “quiet” model available. You pay a bit more for this luxury, but it’s an investment well worth making.

When shopping for appliances, ask the sales staff about the decibel or DB rating for the appliance. A DB rating of 45 or lower is virtually silent – similar to a low discussion in a library or quieter. Decibel levels of 45-50 sound similar to rainfall. 

Washing machine 

How many times have you gone to do a wash only to discover you’re out of detergent? You can get washing machines with built-in detergent dispenser. They typically work by loading the detergent bottles or cartridges into the machine. 

The washer determines how much detergent is needed for each wash depending on the level of soiling and the load, meaning you can do your laundry without worrying about how much detergent to add, saving you time and money. 

The machine will also prompt you when it’s running out of detergent so you can restock. One of the causes of faults with washing machines is the overuse of detergent, and it’s also wasteful and expensive. These machines are so easy to use, even your kids could manage a wash or two.

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