Top Kitchen Appliances for 2012

April 9, 2012 — 31 Comments

Kitchens are the heart of a home and probably the space where clients have the strongest thoughts and opinions. I suppose that makes a lot of sense because it’s the one room in the house that everyone generally uses the most – both individually and in untold combinations with friends and family members.

Even if you don’t really cook.


I wrote a post on the Top Ten Modern Kitchen Design Trends back in September of 201o and to my great surprise, it is one of the most popular articles on this entire site. Not because the information isn’t good (it’s great by the way – 16 months later and it’s still relevant and current), it’s because I didn’t ever think that this site would turn out to be a resource on kitchen design.

This got me thinking that it was time to put together another kitchen post but this time focus on kitchen appliances. My office probably specifies between $500,000 and a million dollars worth of kitchen appliances a year and we have learned a few things along the way. To help round out this post (because I would like to have every one of these appliances in my own house), I asked some renown kitchen designers (who also happen to be trusted colleagues and my friends) to give me opinions on their favorite appliances. Surprisingly – or maybe not surprisingly – there were several appliances that ended up on everyone’s list.

In no particular order, the Top Kitchen Appliances for 2012 are:


Gaggenau CX 491 full induction cooktop

Gaggenau CX-491 – full surface induction cook-top

Gaggenau’s CX 491 full surface induction cook-top is the first induction cook-top to turn the entire surface into one large cooking area. Cookware of all shapes and sizes can be placed anywhere on the CX 491’s surface, which can accommodate up to four pots and pans simultaneously. Beneath by the glass ceramic surface are 48 closely-spaced, staggered micro-inductors. Unlike conventional large induction coils, this structure transforms the entire cook-top into one large cooking area.The intuitive controls are operated by an extra-large TFT touch display.

Of all the appliances on this list, this one is definitely the coolest.


Thermador CIS365GB Materpiece Induction Cooktop

Thermador Masterpiece – cis365gb – induction cook-top

Includes the Thermadore exclusive – SensorDome™ – a retractable sensor that measures the heat of the pot. This unique retractable sensor utilizes an infrared beam that continuously measures the heat from the cookware to maintain the precise temperature needed. To take advantage of this feature, simply use your existing enamel-coated cookware or attach the included dishwasher-safe stickers onto non-enamel cookware.

Note: All the experts I spoke with had induction cook-tops on their list – every single one. We have been seeing our clients choose them more and more often and the market demand seems to be catching up with what these systems offer.


Miele KF 1901 VI Refrigerator Freezer Combination

Miele KF 1901 VI – Refrigerator/Freezer Combination

As far as refrigerators go, this one is about as stylistically clean as they come. A fully integrated appliance with loads of features – including “Remote Vision” which allows the fridge to tell a monitoring system that there is a problem so that it can be fixed before you have to throw away the contents of the interior. Great storage capacity, great interior visibility and “ClearView” lighting system –
with this unique halogen-based lighting system cascading from the top and sides of the appliance, blind or dark spots are eliminated, making it easy to see and access virtually all food items.


Wolf Convection Steam Oven CSO24

Wolf CS024 – Convection Steam Oven

Delivering precise control is easy with a variety of steam, convection, and combination steam and convection cooking options. Unique technology senses the amount, size, and shape of food once an automatic mode has been selected. While cooking, it monitors the time, temperature, and environment, eliminating all guesswork in the kitchen. It is also a great looking appliance which sometimes counts more than it’s functionality … in this case you get both.


SubZero IF-27R Refrigerator Column

Sub-Zero all refrigeration IC-27R and all freezer column IC-27FI

Electronic controls are up front and easy to use, flat to the ceiling bright lighting in cabinet and drawers, door alarm will alert you with an audible beep if the door is left ajar. The integrated design accepts custom wood panels. It has adjustable, spill-proof glass shelves and soft close crisper and deli drawers. This is one of the appliances that sets the Gold Standard for refrigerators and freezers.

If given the chance, I would do just about anything to get these into my own house … [sigh] When this site really started taking off, I had dreams of someone from Sub-Zero calling me and telling me

Congratulations! We love you and your site and we are sending the IC-27R and 27FI to your house as we speak!”

It hasn’t happened because I would totally tell you if it did. It still remains a dream.


GE Monogram 48" All Gas Professional Range model RZGP48NDRSS

GE Monogram – 48″ All Gas Professional Range – ZGP486NDRSS

This is a great range and one that we use all the time. It has an authentic professional appearance, sealed, dual-flame stacked burners, infrared broil burner and the largest all-gas professional oven capacity available (in the 48″ range size). If you cook big meals (or just want to look like you do) this is a fantastic appliance. Furthermore, until you’ve had a range-top griddle at your disposal to work with, you don’t know what you are missing.


Miele Dishwasher Diamond G 5975 SCSF

Miele Dishwasher – Diamond G 5975 SCSF

The quote from my expert pretty much says it all;

“Honestly, it gets no better than this machine. Between its configurable trays, brilliant interior lights and self-closing door, what more could anybody want. Oh yeah, it also cleans dishes really well.

I have a Miele dishwasher in my house, it was the first appliance I swapped out when I moved into my current house. In fact, part of the reason I did it was I had to replace my dishwasher in my last house and I went with a Miele and I was so amazed at how well it performed, there was no way I was going back to another brand … it was that good.


I would like to thank the following kitchen designers and appliance savants; they all gladly gave me their opinions freely which is saying something, most people have to pay to consult with theses experts! They are all very knowledgeable and maintain websites that generally contain the latest ideas and thinking when it comes to all things associated with the kitchen. Check them out:

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  • Diego Pabon

    I would love to see an update to this list!

  • Pingback: RD&B Group » What’s Hot, Cold and Weird in Kitchen Appliances?()

  • Quasi Quirky

    why is everything stainless steel on this site? when my help cleans it so it can look this good, dang he fills the air with all sorts of smelly oil based product that just kinda clings to the face and handles and makes me feel the need to wash my hands with lots of stream polluting anti-bac soap just to get the smell off and the cloths he uses floods right into the Hudson after a good washin’…. yuck! So, some of you act like selling this stuff like is good for the enviro somehow. Truth is, anytime you “cook” anything…. there is YOUR carbon footprint. Oh, I don’t care, the Earth does heal herself, but that stainless steel cleaner (I have some of it, and use it, but truly, only because it makes things kinda pretty – see pics above, and it’s a nice change from that less destructive finish on appliances of yesteryear). Truly though, bend over and take a whiff of that clean stainless appliance you adore…. it really is stinky… truly, it has a smell.

  • neha sharma

    visit http://appliances.zatse for home appliances electronic products,,

  • Jr

    Where can I buy the cx 491 cooktop?

  • Tom Greg

    I absolutely love your new appliances! I think you picked excellent choices and your new kitchen will be worth all the time, research and money you spent. I think the kitchen is where families all come together. Also, perfect timing for the holiday!

  • mark f

    great post.  wow, look at how thin that countertop is (above the miele)

  • ArchivalDesigns

    That is the one heck of a dishwasher! It’s amazing how much we get used to having great kitchen appliances around. It’s hard to ever settle for anything less afterwards!

  • I think I have those same mugs as in the Miele Dishwasher picture.

  • I want ALL of those, especially the Wolf oven & the Miele Fridge/ freezer. When I say “want” here, it’s in the context of “send it to me now and no-one gets hurt.”

    • I’ll make sure to pass your threat …err, request along to the magical appliance fairies. 

      They always come through for me :/

  • Elyas

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    Visit the blog I’ll be happy and successful way for a good architect and capable (I) type.powerarchitetect.blogfa.comyou can use in language understandable to toolbar your own language.
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  • Paul Anater

    Great post Bob, and thanks for asking for my two cents.

    • I think that gets you up to like $4.76 worth of two cents. Next time were in Spain, I’ll buy you a cup of coffee 🙂

      As always, thank you for always answering the call when asked –

  • Peter Zimowski

    As a working chef and architecture student this post gets me all kinds of excited.

    • awesome…

      What sort of “chefing” do you do? I always thought that if I couldn’t make the architect thing work out I would become a chef – funny how many architects I talk to have similar predilections.

      • Peter Zimowski

        I studied Classic French cooking at the Cordon Bleu in Pasadena, CA and have worked all over. I currently work for an excellent restaurant in Brunswick, Maine. It’s called El Camino and we do Mexican inspired food using local and organic ingredients. As I continue to study architecture, the more apparent the parallels between cooking and designing become. Both are the refinement of a basic human need into something pleasurable and artistic. I can see how architects would be interested in chefing. Who doesn’t like to be around food?

  • Jean-Pierre Louis

    We are building a house within the next year or so, still looking for land.  Posts like this one are great since we’ll have to start thinking about appliances and every other sort of fixture for a house.  I looked up the prices of some the appliance, definitely high end and out of my budget.

    • These appliances represent the best of the best and as a result, their price tag reflects their position. There are all sorts of fantastic mid-range appliances that deliver superior results. I didn’t focus on those appliances because I generally believe that most people (which includes me I might add) tend to buy those appliances based on their appearance rather than on performance. That’s not to say they aren’t great, it’s just that the performance difference isn’t as apparent.

      Hope that helps put it in some perspective.

  • Great article and I appreciate your recommendations! That dishwasher is on my list. I WOULD LOVE to have your opinion on washer and dryers… please please please.

  • Having perspective in the industry for a long time, this is absolutely the “gee whiz” era where appliances are evolving to their (if not full) amazing potential! Somehow, too, appliances – those large, cold, metal forms, have enduring sex appeal to both consumers and to us in the industry!

    • Thanks you for your contributions to this post. Despite the fact that I swing by your site with regularity, I felt this post would be incomplete without having your specific input.

      Thanks Susan

      • Quasi Quirky

        what’s a CKD,CAPS…. sure sounds important

        • “Certified Kitchen Designer” and “Certified Aging in Place Specialist”

  • induction cooktops are the way to go. professional ranges are overkill for 99.9% of cooks, tend to create more ‘building science’ issues than anything else, less kid-friendly, and much less energy efficient. best way to sell them is to include some decent stainless steel pots/pans with it.

    • a very small slice of our clientele choose their appliances without some nostalgia mixed into the process. Eventually – maybe – things will shift towards more energy efficient cooking methods.

      Cheers and thanks for commenting  

      • Quasi Quirky

        if you have a clue about “energy efficiency” in the cycle of this earth and its inhabitants – truly from creation to end use, I might take you to heart. you tend instead to toss about a snotty remark aimed at some crowd who irks you at this moment, based on some current environmentalist guru who is just lining his/her pockets, well, bob, this pretty much just renders your opinion, well, simply unfounded and I, for one, would appreciate your spreading less BS.

        • your comment is completely nonsensical. I write about my own practical experience which counts for something. How you read my comment and came to the conclusion that I wrote something snotty is beyond me. The fact that someone is choosing their appliance package based on it’s appearance first with energy efficiency coming in somewhere down the line certainly shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. If your comments don’t actually contribute to the dialog, they aren’t worth keeping on the site.

          • Quasi Quirky

            nope, you are promoting “energy efficiency” as your idea of the ultimate primary goal of cooking for the masses. i’m calling you out for being an elitist snot, who suggests the “masses” don’t understand but maybe someday they will. how about you accept “nostalgia” just as valid as “energy efficiency” (or at least your interpretation of it… whatever that may be). Lastly, own your statements instead of backtracking or trying to redirect them… I can’t see anything you could claim as your own practical experience in your comment:

            “a very small slice of our clientele choose their appliances without some nostalgia mixed into the process. Eventually – maybe – things will shift towards more energy efficient cooking methods. Cheers and thanks for commenting”
            Just pointing it out. Validity enough.

          • you couldn’t be more wrong – I find it amusing that you are trying and explain to me what I wrote. The point I was making is that people DON’T choose their appliances based on energy efficiency – they choose them based on their appearance and the features they have. Maybe one day more appliances will be chosen for some other reason than the main reason being appearance but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

            Also, if you can’t refrain from name-calling you will be backlisted from the site. I don’t mind when people disagree – even if they’re completely wrong – but if you can’t make your case without name calling, you’re point isn’t thought through enough to keep on site.