Three multifunction appliances you should consider for your kitchen

Sort It: Two-in-one taps, combi ovens and vented hobs take up modest space and are relatively quick to clean

Two-in-one appliances were frowned upon in the past. A good example was the older washer-dryer, where neither the washer nor the dryer worked as effectively as a stand-alone appliance. Now, however, multifunctional appliances are fast becoming hero products. They are an excellent choice for those looking to save space, are often more convenient and can speed up your cooking time too. Here are three appliances worth considering.

All-in-one tap

Hot taps do much more than provide boiling water. Most brands offer combined models that work as the primary sink tap while delivering boiling and filtered drinking water. Quooker also provides an add-on called CUBE that can be used with any of its taps to provide filtered sparkling and chilled drinking water. You’ll lose a little space under your sink but save lots of space in your fridge and no longer need to buy plastic bottles of sparkling water. The CUBE unit can be installed next to the Quooker tank under your sink. It comes with two filters and a CO² cylinder that gives you 60 litres of sparkling water.

Not only will it give you instant boiling water and save space in your kitchen, it will also save on energy costs. Quooker claims the cost of using its hot tap is 1 cent per litre delivered, or approximately three cent a day. The cost of boiling a full kettle (which typically holds 1.5 litres) is about 2.5 cent per boil. Having hot water on demand will also mean you will waste less water. How many times do you empty the kettle before you boil it?

Small compact appliances

Small, compact appliances like a combi-oven steamer or a combi-oven microwave are a great addition to any kitchen. Combined with a single oven, they take up only a bit more space than the traditional double oven but they will give you much more functionality and flexibility when it comes to cooking.

The combi-oven steamer has three appliances in one: an oven, a grill and a steam oven. The combi-oven microwave is an oven, a grill and a microwave. With both of these appliances, you have the option to combine all three functions at the same time for quicker cooking. For example, you could cook a chicken in a combi-oven microwave in about 45 minutes.

Many modern combi-ovens have preprogrammed settings that work out the perfect length of time to cook whatever you are planning. You select the setting for what you want to cook and the oven takes care of the rest.

Vented hob

Another two-in-one appliance worth considering is a vented hob that comes with built-in downdraught extractors. They are available in both induction and gas hobs. Vented hobs do away with the need for an overhead extractor fan and are incredibly effective because the extractor is right beside the source of steam.

Choosing a vented hob will open up more options regarding your kitchen layout and design. Having the hob on an island is becoming more popular and an integrated extractor eliminates the need for an extractor hood in the ceiling. The induction versions are sleek and streamlined in design, making them ideal for locating on an island unit as you hardly notice them.

Traditional extractor hoods tend to collect dust and grease, so they are another thing in the kitchen you’ll need to clean. With a vented induction hob, cleaning is almost effortless. Cost is often a concern when choosing a vented hob over a standard hob and extractor. But a 93cm hob could cost €1,200 and a separate extractor hood will be in the region of €900, bringing the two appliances in line with the cost of a vented hob.

Denise O’Connor is an architect and designer; see optimise-design.com