kitchen confidential

8 Essential Non-Electric Appliances for Your Kitchen

8 Essential Non-Electric Appliances for the Kitchen

Do you want to try off-grid living, but are afraid of the lifestyle extreme change? Why not experiment with some non-electric appliances? Simply switching to non-electric appliances in your kitchen can put some extra money in your pocket as they shave vital pounds and pence of your utility bills.

The number of non-electric appliances available will suprise you

Our top pick

A pasta maker is essential if you love pasta. And, since homemade pasta is one of the easiest things to cook, it’s a good place to start if you’re contemplating off-grid living. Remember: The quality of the pasta depends on the quality of the ingredients, and your kneading technique. If you don’t knead correctly, your pasta will be sticky.

Most pasta makers are adjustable, so you can make perfect lasagne, cannelloni, ravioli, ribbon noodles, and fettuccine, etc. In no time at all you’ll be making pasta good enough to impress Marcus Wareing on MasterChef: The Professionals.

Non-electric appliances you might already own

Many of our existing kitchen appliances don’t need electricity. There are also several affordable options available, so you can really embrace retro living.

  1. Coffee percolator. They make delicious coffee and are convenient for camping trips. Percolators are easy to use, simply add water, ground coffee beans and a filter and leave it on a heat source (a fire for non-electric living) for 5 – 10 minutes, depending on how strong you like your coffee.
  2. French press: This is another coffee maker that is as easy to use as a percolator. Simply boil water on a heat source (a gas stove or open fire), and pour over coffee grounds. Let it steep for around five minutes and then push the plunger down to get all the grounds to the bottom. Pour and serve.
  3. Manual mixer. Twist the handle and watch the beaters whirl. It’s great for beating eggs, whipping cream and making batter.
  4. Hand flour mill. Got gluten issues? Then use one of these babies to turn oats, rice or chickpeas into flour.
  5. Dough maker. Of course you can knead dough by hand, but why not try a non-electric bread maker to speed things up a bit. Simply add the ingredients, crank the mixture and enjoy perfectly kneaded dough.
  6. Food strainer. Many people have a food strainer occupying the back of the cupboard. It’s great for making your own sauces, juices and jams. All you need do is cut up fruit, drop them in and start turning. You don’t need to peel or core the fruit, as the strainer will do all the separating for you.
  7. Manual food processor. A twist of the handle turns multiple blades rapidly, producing the same great results as an electric food processor. A number of blades allow you to cut, dice and blend as desired.
  8. Zeer clay pot fridge. You’re unlikely to have one of these lying around, but they’re great way to keeping food cool. You put one terracotta pot inside another and fill the space between with wet sand. As the water evaporates, it pulls heat from the pot inside and makes it cooler than the air outside.

The bottom line

Let’s not muck about, eschewing electricity for manually-operated appliances does feel like a bit of a step backward. Technology advances for a reason – to make life easier. Using elbow grease is not easier than flipping a switch or pressing a button. Depending on how passionate you are about your cooking, however, it can be more satisfying when you know the meal produced is the result of authentic hard work.

If you’re passionate about saving energy and going green, non-electric appliances also hold certain appeal. And, if you’re in the position where every penny saved is a penny earned, you can’t shrug off the money-saving benefits of putting electricity on the back burner.

Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles

Our Easy Guide to 10 Common Oven Symbols & Functions

Our Easy Guide to 10 Common Oven Symbols & Functions

Have you ever looked at all the symbols on your oven and wondered what they actually all do? Most of us buy an oven with the hopes that it will serve us well for years to come, which is why maintaining your oven properly is essential. What’s more, you ideally want your oven to have all the cooking functions you need – but what oven symbols mean what?

Here, we’ve put together a full guide what what the oven symbols your oven has mean:

See our complete list of oven symbols below…

Ovens cooking functions are displayed on the front panel via symbols. Understanding these oven symbols is not only important for successful cooking but also important to keep your oven in good nick. Using them incorrectly could cause your oven to trip or fuses to blow and that’s a major inconvenience, even if you have good oven insurance.

To help you understand the various oven symbols and their baking/cooking functions, here are the ten commonly used symbols.

1. Fan oven

A fan in a circle represents an oven that uses a fan to distribute heat generated from a circular element that surrounds the fan. Ideally, the heat distribution should be even, so that it doesn’t matter where the food is placed in the oven, it cooks perfectly every time.

Fan ovens are designed to heat up faster, reduce cooking time and decrease energy consumption. Fan ovens are great for baking multiple trays at a time (biscuits, cupcakes and muffins on the top, middle and lower shelves respectively). They’re also recommended if you like your meat cooked the ‘chefy’ way, tender on the outside and rare on the inside.

If you have a combination oven and you want to use the fan, then the symbol won’t have a circle around the fan.

2. Conventional heating

The symbol for conventional heating is two lines, one at the top and one at the bottom of a square. The lines represent the two heating elements used, one at the top and one at bottom of the oven. Instead of a fan, the heat is diffused by natural convection. Use the conventional heating mode for roasting meat and vegetables or baking cakes.

3. Bottom element heat

The symbol is a single line at the bottom of a square, which represents the lower heating element in use. This method is ideal for baking something that requires a crispy base such as pizza. It is also used for baking a casserole.

4. Bottom element heating with grill

The symbol for this function is the zigzag (grill) line at the top and a straight line at the bottom of a square. It’s a good function to use for cooking pies, quiches, and crisping pizzas.

5. Fan with grill

The symbol is the zigzag line at the top of a square with the fan symbol underneath. The fan distributes the heat, while the grill roasts from the top. The grill cycles on and off to maintain the temperature setting. This method is ideal for cooking meat and poultry.

6. Grill

The symbol is simply a zigzag line at the top of a square. Using the full grill allows you to cook food for virtually your whole family plus guests. There may also be a half-grill setting, which means only the centre of the grill element gets hot. You’ll need to place food dead centre to get even cooking. Grills ate great for crisping and browning food, so use yours to make toast or toasted sandwiches, melt and brown cheese on lasagne and make delectable mushroom steaks.

7. Oven light

Rather obviously, the symbol is a light bulb in a square. Some ovens cook with the light on automatically so you can see progress easily, but other ovens have a light switch so that you have to turn it on and off to see what’s potting.

8. Oven defrosting

Not all ovens have a defrost function, but if yours does, you’ll see it on the symbol that looks like a snowflake above a drop of water. In this mode, the oven fan is switched on but no heat is generated. The air circulation defrosts the food. It’s great if you forgot to take food out to defrost overnight and you need to make a plan quickly.

 

9. Warming oven

The symbol is a dish with ‘steam’ lines rising above it. Use the function to keep food warm, without cooking it anymore. Food should stay moist and not dry out when using the warming function.

10. Plate warming

The symbol for this function is three dishes lined horizontally above one another. Dinner party etiquette dictates that you must serve plates warm. This setting keeps your plates safely warm without damaging the china.

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Oven Symbols Guide:

Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles

10 of the Best Tallest Ovens on the Market

10 of the Best Tall Ovens on the Market

The tallest ovens around these days are double rather than single ovens and they tend to be known as either ‘built-under’ or ‘built-in’ ovens (the latter when the oven fits into a specially-built shell in the kitchen).

The name ‘double oven’ is actually a bit of a misnomer since the appliance usually comprises of not two ovens but rather one and half. The top oven is usually a standard oven with a grill while the bottom half is the main oven and usually has an energy-efficient fan facility. It could also be multifunctional (for instance, if baking then slow cooking with a conventional heat source works best).

You’ll find that single ovens tend to be anything up to 60cm tall while double ovens can go right up to 90cm. Width-wise though there’s usually no difference between the single and double oven – all are roughly 60cm wide and 55cm deep.

For this post we’ve concentrated on the height of the ovens and here’s our list of some of the tallest we could find:

Our pick of the tallest ovens around

  1. Hotpoint UHS53XS. Electric build-under oven. Height 88cms. Costs from £280.
  2. Hotpoint UH53WS. Electric build-under oven.  Height 80cms. Costs from £355.
  3. Belling BI70FP. Built-under Electric Double Oven. Height 703mm. Costs from £340.
  4. Stoves SEB700FPS. Electric Built Under Double Oven. Height 703mm. Costs from £430.
  5. New World NW701DO. Electric Built Under Double Oven. Height 703mm. Costs from £330.
  6. Rangemaster 85640 R7247. Multifunction Electric Built Under Double Oven. Height 720mm. Costs from £630.
  7. CDA DC740SS. Electric Built-under Fan Double Oven. Height 718mm. Costs from £480.
  8. Zanussi ZOF35501WK. Electric Built-under Double Oven. Height 715mm. Costs from £460.
  9. Bosch HBN53R550B. Exxcel Electric Built-under Double Multifunction Oven. Height  717mm. Costs from £985.
  10. Electrolux EOU5410BOX. Built-under Electric Double Oven. Height 715mm. Costs from £630.
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Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles

Old Appliances vs. New: We Pick 10 of the Best Retro Fridges

Old Appliances vs. New Appliances: We Pick 10 of the Best Retro Fridges

If you had a typical childhood you’ll have heard at least one adult mutter, “They don’t make ‘em like they used to.” It does seem that way, especially when we look at the quality of modern appliances. How often do they have to be replaced? It feels like appliances are made to last just long enough to see out the warranty. Then they go phut and you either have to pay for repairs or a replacement. If you don’t have insurance, replacement is often more cost-effective than repair.

There is a way to enjoy high-tech with old-world looks, as retro never goes out of style.

The retro look has been trending for years and manufacturers have capitalised by producing cool appliances that hark back to the 50s. Retro appliances come in a variety of contrasting and complementary colours and metallic finishes. You’ll also see a a dash of pop art and bold curves suggestive of sexy James Dean and voluptuous Marilyn Monroe.

Back in time

The 1950s was an era of celebration. The end of WW2 meant that people could lighten up; rock ‘n roll was born and the world was on the brink of all sorts of social revolutions. It’s possible the current retro trend speaks to a need to escape our 24/7 lives, rising costs, and other stressors.

Regardless of whether to want romantic nuances or bold and funky, there’s a retro fridge for your tastes.

So, why the popularity? Well, market watchers and analysts believe that TV’s The Great British Bake Off had a large impact on the retro trend. The underlying sense of that playful and joyful era has really caught on.

Retro fridges that are just peachy keen (jelly bean)

Smeg

Smeg leads the retro refrigerator field in design and variety. You might even say that Smeg is the granddaddy of retro, with the widest range of options available, from drop dead gorgeous to sleek, funky and funny. The company captures the essence of the fifties in ways that will make your jaw drop. The fridges are colourful and clever and you can choose from a rainbow of colours.

Smeg actually dates back to the 1950s, which gives it first-hand experience designing and manufacturing retro kitchen appliances. Its line of retro fridges first hit the market in 1990 and, as they say, the rest is history.

The Smeg retro fridge line is pricey, but hugely popular, particularly in the US and the UK. There are over 122 models to choose from, and a range of colours. Your choice includes velvet black, blue denim, brown, colour stripe, cream, English rose, grey, lime green, metalised grey, orange, pastel blue, pink, red, silver, and yellow.

And the fridges include

One of the zaniest designs is the SMEG500V, a replica of Fiat’s famous Cinquecento. It’s available in three colours: Green, red and yellow. The car-shaped fridge received the ‘Good Design’ award from The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design in 2013. Then there’s the decadent Gold with Swarovski Crystals retro fridge. The SMEG FAB28OR is yours for a £1,620.

The SMEG Fab 10 is available in 12 colours and comes in four special editions. It has a large-capacity fridge and freezer section and runs almost completely silently. This is completely unlike the original 50s fridges, which sounded as though they’d vibrate through the wall.

Not to be outdone, Servis and Bush have designed their own retro fridge ranges that are every bit as gorgeous as the market leader. Gorenje and Big Chill are competitive, with some Big Chill appliances exceeding the notoriously high price tags of Smeg.

Gorenje

Gorenje has a range of vintage, chic and romantic retro fridges, and a colour range that includes bold bright and beautiful metallic sheens, deep purple, bright orange, emerald green, signal red, glossy black, rich dark brown, cream, champagne, white, magenta and silver. The price on the Gorenje Retro Fridge RB602990W has been slashed from £700 to £569, so if you’ve had your eye on a retro fridge, but price has been a factor, now’s the time to get your Gorenje with the SuperCool chill option that chills a bottle of wine within half an hour.

Servis

Servis retro fridges are as visually appealing as Gorenje and Smeg. The colours include chilli red, classic cream and jet black. They tend to be large-capacity fridges (around 317 litres) and have an A+ energy rating, glass safety shelves, wine rack and ice box. Especially tasteful is the chili red Servis C60185NFR, with a capacity of 335 litres, it’s frost-free, with an A+ energy efficiency rating, a bottle shelf, three door shelves, two fridge drawers and three freezer draws. The Servis Retro Fridge line adds a touch of sophistication, glamour and style to every kitchen. Expect to pay between £493 and £538.

Bush

Bush is better known as a commercial supplier of really cool refrigeration systems, but the Bush BRTL60170B Retro Tall Fridge, is getting a lot of really good feedback from customers. Choice of colour is limited when compared to Smeg, for example, but the black is intense and vibrant, with metal handles and a bright internal LED light that just oozes style, and has all the benefits of a modern fridge, like the A+ energy rating. It’s spacious inside with 4 safety glass shelves, a vegetable drawer, salad crisper and a chrome wine rack with metallic designer handles. Fridge storage capacity is 281 litres and the frozen food compartment has a 30-litre capacity. On the whole it’s attractive and considered good value for money. Additional colours are cream, chilli red or lime green, and they are well-priced, ranging from around £330 to around £500.

We need to give an honourable mention to the Bush BSFF60, which has a large capacity, three salad crisper compartments and which uses frost-free technology and is energy-efficient. It also has 13 hours of power-off capacity. Expect to pay in the region of £500.

Oranier

Oranier has a retro fridge line with a colour choice between red, lime green and cream. In keeping with the retro style the colours are vibrant. There’s the single door RKS 1 and the double door RKS 2. Like Bush, Oranier has focused on function over form, and have put out fridges that hold their own in terms of value for money. Oranier’s retro line includes features like automatic defrosting, egg containers, and very impressive freezer capacity.

Big Chill

The Big Chill’s Retropolitan line comes in a selection of colours, including beach blue, buttercup yellow, cherry red, jadeite green, orange, pink lemonade, turquoise, black and white. You can choose between a handle on the left or right and other options include icemakers and door removal. The body is stamped metal with authentic chrome trim and handles. It’s frost-free and has automatic moisture control as well as a temperature management system. It’s rated Energy Star, and the big thing about the Big Chill’s Retropolitan refrigerator is the storage space. If you’re not wild about the 8 standard colours, you can choose from 200 custom colors. It has got 4 half-width glass shelves, 2 clear crisper drawers, a slide-out upper basket and one large lower freezer basket. This range is pretty pricey and will cost you around £2,400.

The Studio retro fridge line is smaller than Retropolitan line, but the colour options are the same, and it is also frost-free, with temperature management control and automatic moisture control. The Studio line has a pivotal handle as well as the left or right hand hinge choice. There’s one spill-proof glass shelf, a full-width opaque crisper, 4 door shelves, an adjustable freezer shelf, and the price tag is around £1,840.

Swan

Swan has a pretty good line of retro fridges too, and the Swan SR11010C has had £129 shaved off the price tag, down from £709 to £579. It’s 54.5 cm wide, so it’s easy to fit into most kitchens. It’s got a 168-litre fridge capacity and a 40-litre freezer with one glass freezer shelf. The energy rating is A+, three safety glass shelves, 5 door pockets and wine rack, and it has an auto-defrost fridge and manual defrost freezer.

Other honourable mentions have to go to:

  • GGA French Style Retro. A bespoke fridge with two French doors. Comes with two freezer drawers which reduce warm air intake when opened.  Electronic ice maker making express ice cubes. Retails around £1600.
  • Baumatic Retro. Available in royal blue. Self-defrosting fridge and plenty of capacity. Even temperature throughout. Comes with safety glass shelves. Retails around £650.
  • Husky Retro larder fridge. Capacity of 108 litres and very good energy rating. An under-counter fridge which doesn’t take up a lot of space. Chrome wine rack and salad crisper drawer. Reversible door. Retails around £450.
  • LEC Retro. Frost-free and a decent energy rating, this fridge is in cream and comes with unusual and shapely retro handles. Wine rack and good sized freezer compartment. Costs from £560.
  • Next RETROC. Very energy efficient with 246 litres fridge capacity. Comes in cream with five shelves and 19 hours power failure storage. Retails around £370.

If you’re into strolling down the memory lane of a bygone era, and want to venture into a space that is playful, joyful and reminds you of your gran’s 60 year old fridge with a makeover, then now is the time to remodel your kitchen and embrace your colourful side.

Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles

Discover 10 of the Best Domino Hobs on the Market

10 of the Best Domino Hobs on the Market

First off – what are domino hobs? Well, for those not currently in the know it’s an oblong-shaped hob which combines two methods of cooking at the same time (hence the name. i.e., a domino is oblong and split with two different numerical sections).

Advantages of domino hobs

The concept of the domino hob isn’t only great in terms of space-saving, but it also provides far more flexibility in the kitchen – to the extent you can now buy domino hobs with a BBQ grill, wok burner or a deep fat fryer if you so desire. So, what are the best domino hobs currently on the market? Well, the following are our favourites:

Best domino hobs on the UK market

  • De Dietrich DTi1032X. This high tech appliance has touch controls, nine power levels a boost function and auto switch-off device. An induction wok hob which is energy efficient. Costs around £1195.
  • Miele Company Fryer CS1411 F. This high quality fryer is also great for cooking the likes of pasta since it comes with a special insert specifically for that. Adjustable temperature controls. Costs around £1250.
  • Gaggenau’s Vario VR 230 electric grill plate. This electric grill plate comes with a lava stone base to absorb fat, making it a very healthy choice for barbecue cooking. Has nine different power levels. Costs around £1200.
  • AEG’s MaxiSense flexible induction hob. Half the cost of the other hobs so far mentioned here, the MaxiSense is great for cooking more than one thing at once. Then again, the two cooking zones can be combined into one large zone. Cooking can be paused – which is excellent for family homes. Costs around £650.
  • ATAG:TY3011M teppan yaki hob. Fancy a bit of healthy oriental cooking? Then check out this smart looking stainless-steel appliance. The yaki pan cooks perfect meat and shellfish thanks to its dipped hot plate to catch any excess oil. Costs around £1,425.
  • Miele CS1122E Ceramic Domino Hob. An electric hob with stainless steel frame and glass ceramic surface. This item works as two zones or one larger area. Automatically turns itself off after four hours. Costs around £800.
  • Bosch PKF375V14E Ceramic Domino Hob. Comes with nine power levels and a two stage residual heat indicator. Again the cooking zone can be extended. Costs around £400.
  • Neff N24K35 wok hob. A gas hob which is great for producing first class stir-fries thanks to its dual-control wok burner. Has a flame failure safety device. Costs around £400.
  • Siemens ER326BB70E Domino Gas Wok Hob. Has two burners (one high speed; the other standard). Combines a cast iron pan support with a flame failure safety cut out device. Costs around £430.
  • Zanussi ZEI3921IBA Induction Domino Hob. An electric induction hob with two hotplate burners, this domino appliance is stainless steel in appearance with rotating knobs. Costs around £215.

As you can see from the domino hobs in the above list, the range of domino hobs are still dominated by the expensive and quality brands such as Miele, Neff and Bosch although other, less expensive ranges are currently making an appearance as the popularity of the domino hob increases.

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Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles

What’s the Cost of Installing a New Hob in Your Kitchen?

What’s the Cost of Installing a New Hob in Your Kitchen?

Having decided which type of hob you want to purchase, the next step is to buy the hob and have it installed. The cost of installing a new hob in your kitchen can be broken down into buying and installation costs, and running costs.

1. Buying costs for a new hob

Depending on the type of hob you buy, here is how much you can expect to spend on a new hob:

Base price models (£75 – £200)

  • Gas hobs start at £75
  • For about £100 you will find electric plate hobs with twist-knob controls
  • Starting price for ceramic hobs is £170

Mid-price range (£200 – £400)

  • Between £200 and £250 you will find mid-range electric plate hobs, ceramic hobs and gas hobs
  • Induction hobs start at £300
  • In the £300 and £400 value range, you will find some really stylish and modern hobs with more than four burners

Premium range (£400 – £750)

  • A gas or ceramic hob priced more than £400 will have a designer look and special functions like dual heat zones
  • Induction hob features in the £300 and £500 range remain fairly similar
  • Any hob that costs more than £500 will have designer looks and advanced features such as residual heat indicators and touch sensitive controls.

Designer range ( more than £750)

Any hob in this range will most certainly belong in a designer kitchen. Expect the entire range of features you can possibly have on a hob, including small utensil detectors, overflow indicators, and pause buttons.

Popular brands as per hob category include:

Gas hobs: Stoves, AEG Electrolux, Indesit, Smeg and Zanussi

Electric hobs: AEG, Indesit, Beko, New World, Neff and Baumatic

Ceramic hobs: Bosch, Stoves, AEG Electrolux, Indesit, Smeg and Zanussi.

Induction hobs: AEG Electrolux, Miele, Stoves, Smeg

Electric plate hobs: AEG, Indesit, Beko, New World, Neff and Baumatic

Also check out kitchen retailers like Homebase and B&Q for some low-cost options.

2. Installation costs

The cost of installationing a gas hob will be approximately £120 (this includes labour and fittings). Only a GasSafe qualified engineer should install your gas hob. Hiring someone who is not qualified to install the gas hob will put you and your family at great risk.

Hire an experienced electrician to install the electric hob. You can expect to pay £70 to £100 depending on the type of hob.

3. Running costs

There are significant differences in the running costs of gas and electric hobs. A gas cooker used for about 80 minutes per day for a year will cost £37 less per year to run, than an electric cooker used for the same amount of time. In addition, since the long-term costs of electricity will rise more quickly than gas because of green taxes being added to the former, the difference in running costs between gas and electric hobs will further increase.

Our advice would be to compare the costs of installing the new hob, before you decide on a particular hob brand and model.

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Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles

Meet 16 of the Best Dishwashers

16 of the Best Dishwashers

Compiling a list of the best dishwashers isn’t an easy exercise since we all measure the quality of appliances on a wide range of different attributes. For instance, some people will judge a quiet machine as more important than the number of programmes a dishwasher has, while others will put eco-efficiency at the top of their list of priorities. Still others consider the most important feature to be how well the dishwasher, you know, washes dishes.

Anyone in the market for a new dishwasher will also be limited by budget, and how much room they actually have to accommodate a large appliance. Some dishwashers are physically bigger than others, but a smaller machine may make better use of the space within. A carefully laid out inner space will make your dishwasher easier to load – and more efficient at getting your dishes clean.

It’s also important for the dishwasher to be user-friendly. The whole point is convenience after all, and if you have to spend as much time figuring out the correct settings for the dishwasher as you would have spent hand washing your dishes, well, then it’s not exactly a sound investment.

What we’ve done here is tried to compare and contrast the different features we ourselves value – such as low decibel count, eco-saving programmes and ease of use. We’ve come up with a list of the dishwashers we consider to be the cream of the crop. Your opinion however, may very well differ…

16 best dishwashers

  1. Beko DSFN6839W (around £350).

Easy to use, quiet and with a separate top basket for knives.

  1. Bosch SMS53A12GB (around £440).

Quiet, easy to use and very effective eco wash.

  1. Beko DSFN1530 (around £260).

Easy to clean filters, childproof controls on inside of machine, quiet.

  1. Miele G5620SCclst (around £1200).

Moveable racks, very efficient quick cycle, quiet and excellent cleaning performance. Very expensive, but it is Miele.

  1. Baumatic BDF465SL / W (around £250).

Very stylish and efficient, slim, has a very good one-hour quick wash.

  1. LG D1454 (around £590).

Easy access sliding cutlery tray, energy saving ‘off’ switch, stylish and quiet.

  1. Bosch SMS65E22GB (around £540).

Quiet, easy to load, good performance and choice of wash cycles.

  1. CDA WC370 (around £380).

Large choice of programmes, roomy, impressive short cycles available.

  1. Whirlpool 6th Sense PowerDry ADP900IX (around £600)

Sadly, the ‘6th sense’ in the title does not mean it has the ability to see dead dishwashers. It does, however, have a self-cleaning filter, which saves the owner a lot of time and effort. It also has a feature known as ‘PowerClean’, whereby water is sprayed through 28 high-power jets at the rear of the dishwasher. This is a particularly effective weapon against grimy pots and pans.

  1. Zanussi ZDS2010 (around £310).

Good for small kitchens, easy to use, quiet to run.

  1. AEG F99009W0P / M0P (around £600).

Very quiet, easy to load, ‘extra silent’ programme of 37 decibels.

  1. Miele G4920SC (around £600)

Energy-efficient, user-friendly and extremely good at cleaning dishes, which at the end of the day is what you buy it for. A bit on the noisy side though.

  1. Samsung DW60H9970FS (around £700)

The price tag is intimidating, but it’s justified. You expect quality craftsmanship from a Samsung product and this dishwasher delivers with premium class cleaning and drying facilities.

  1. Hotpoint FDEB10010P (around £260)

Easy to install, energy-efficient and with 13 place setting capacity that makes it well-suited to cleaning up after family meals.

  1. LG D1484CF (around £600)

As well as a spacious interior that makes it easy to load, this model boasts a highly effective ‘steam mode’ which blasts the dirt off your dishes using high-pressure steam. It also has an eco-mode which, as the name suggests, minimises its use of water and electricity.

  1. White Knight DW0945WA (around £180)

If you’re trying to cram a dishwasher into a very narrow space, this may be the ideal model. With a width of only 45cm, it saves space in the kitchen but still has capacity for 9 place settings, which will be enough for most family occasions. Like many of the other options listed here, it’s also energy-efficient.

The above are what we judge to be the best dishwashers around at this moment in time. However, the technology changes so rapidly today, with major improvements on an annual basis, so no doubt our list will look very different this time next year. And with the “Internet of Things” being a trending topic at the moment, who knows? Your next dishwasher may even be internet compatible.

Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles

Top 18 Gas Cookers for £250 or less

Top 18 Gas Cookers for £250 or less

Gas cookers: Many people consider them a godsend, thanks largely to their affordable running costs and the fact that they provide instant, easily controllable heat. Gas cookers can also be more attractive than plain old electric cookers, coming in a range of colours and styles to suit different tastes and kitchen designs (although, electric cookers have now started to come in different colours so you can colour-code your kitchen properly).

You can choose between freestanding and built-in gas cookers. Freestanding cookers obviously allow you to place your cooker wherever you want in the kitchen. Built-in cookers are more limited, on the other hand, but they tend to have separate hobs and ovens, so you can customise to a degree.

You don’t have to spend a fortune on a new gas cooker; there are several affordable options that you can choose from for £250 or less. Let’s look at some examples.

  1. Essentials CFSGSV15 50 4-burner hob and single conventional oven. Expect to pay around £180
  2. Logik LFTG60A12 4-burner hob and single conventional oven. Expect to pay around £240
  3. Indesit I5GG(W) 4-burner hob and single conventional oven. Expect to pay between £180 and £230
  4. Flavel FSBG51S 4-burner hob and single conventional oven. Expect to pay around £180
  5. Hotpoint HAG51P 4-burner hob and single conventional oven. Expect to pay around £244
  6. iQ single cavity cooker. Expect to pay around £220
  7. Amica 508GG5W freestanding single cavity. Expect to pay around £240
  8. Gorenje GI52108AW single oven. Expect to pay around £240
  9. Flavel FSBG51W single cavity oven. Expect to pay around £250
  10. Indesit I5GG1S single oven. Expect to pay around £260
  11. Beko BDG581. Expect to pay around £230
  12. Indesit IT50GW. Expect to pay around £230
  13. Beko BDVG592. Expect to pay around £250
  14. Beko BSG580. Expect to pay around £180
  15. Logik LFTG60W12. Expect to pay around £230
  16. Homeking HCG500W. Expect to pay around £200
  17. Bush AG56S single oven. Expect to pay around £200.
  18. Swan SX1031B single oven.Expect to pay around £220.

As you can see, you really are spoilt for choice if you need an affordable gas cooker. If you need a bigger cooker for your large family you can get double ovens for around £250 if you look for special promotions. You can pick up some surprisingly good deals.

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Top 10 Fridge Freezer Best Buys

The Top 10 Fridge Freezer Best Buys

Fridge freezers are becoming ever more sophisticated these days with special features such as thermostatically controlled crisper drawers and the ability to withstand a power cut for more than 24 hours. Many are frost-free too while just about all that made our top 10 boast of excellent temperature control. And indeed, this is our pick of the best fridge freezers:

  • Samsung RB31FERNBSS.

This frost-free fridge freezer is excellent for storage with a sliding shelf and super-quick chill compartment which can be switched to 0 degrees centigrade. Its energy rating is A+++ so is very cost effective to run. Costs from £650.

  • Miele KDN12823S-1.

Another frost-free model with a larger fridge than freezer. Cools and freezes quickly, keeping food fresher for longer. Good at maintaining a steady temperature. A quiet fridge with an A+ energy rating. Costs from £670

  • Siemens KG39EAW40G.

Another great product for chilling and freezing all kinds of food and with a handy humidity-controlled salad crisper drawer. Lots of storage space, including a chiller cabinet for fish and meat. Costs from £560.

  • Neff K8345X0.

Frost-free and can chill very quickly while the manufacturers boast that the freezer can work up to 29 hours after a power shortage. An alarm goes off if either the fridge or freezer doors are left open for too long. Antibacterial coating is sprayed onto the fridge walls. Costs from £1580.

  • Bosch KGE36AW40G.

Has a A+++ energy rating meaning it’ll keep utility bills down and which is impressive considering its large storage capacity. Excellent at both chilling and freezing food. Salad crisper drawer has humidity control switch. Costs from £620.

  • Hotpoint FFUL2023X.

Frost-free and with a A++ energy efficiency rating. Good freezing and chilling, despite fluctuating room temperature. Good food storage layout. Three adjustable door racks for bottles come with handy dividers. Costs from £560.

  • Haier MyZone AFD626TGB.

Very stylish and available in red, black or white gloss. Has three separate compartments, one of which can be used for either a fridge or freezer. Comes with a super-freeze setting. A+ energy efficiency rating. Costs from £640.

  • Smeg FAB32QO.

Can chill fresh food to less than 5 degrees centigrade in just under a day and will retain frozen food for up to 24 hours in the event of a power cut. Comes with an inbuilt wine rack. Available in ten different colours. Costs from £1360.

  • Panasonic NR-B32FW3-WB.

This frost-free item has a vitamin safe drawer that the manufacturer’s claim keeps food fresher for longer. Good in terms of a consistent temperature. Great for bulk buying or cooking and freezing big batches of food. Costs from £700.

  • Bosch KGV33NW20G.

Temperature stability is excellent. Has a fast-free area and plenty of freezer space considering its size. Comes with a bottle rack and adjustable shelves. Humidity control for crisper drawer. Costs from £360.

Do you agree with our judgement? We’d be interested to hear from your experience of owning one of the above fridge freezers.

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Top 10 Fridge Freezers Under £200

The Top 10 Fridge Freezers Under £200

If you have a limited budget and feel that you really need more fridge and freezer space, then you’re probably expecting to have to do an awful lot of research. But don’t despair – we’ve already done a lot of that for you to the extent that we’ve listed here the best value fridge freezers we could find for under £200.

When you come to look yourself though, do shop around very carefully as you’ll be able to find great deals and it’s always worth keeping your eye on your favourite products as you never know when a bargain will present itself.

Our picks

  1. The Hotpoint RTAA42P comes in at just under £200. The fridge holds 180 litres, while the freezer has 40 litres of space – so that should be enough space for a family’s needs. The product has an A energy rating so it’s pretty efficient.
  2. The LEC T5039W is a similar price to the Hotpoint and it has 90 litres of fridge space. The freezer has three glass-fronted drawers. This product has an A+ energy rating, which means your fuel bills will hold nothing to fear.
  3. The LEC T50082W under counter fridge freezer is brilliant for space saving. There are two safety glass shelves in the fridge, as well as a salad drawer, and there are 27 litres of space in the freezer. Like its T5039W cousin, this product is rated A+ for energy and is around the £180 price mark.
  4. The Beko CT538IAPW has impressive storage capacity – 140 litres in the fridge and 77 litres in the freezer. This product also benefits from anti-bacterial door seals, giving you the additional reassurance of food safety and hygiene.
  5. Another great and reasonably priced LEC product is its TS48112W model. Priced at roughly £185, the fridge holds 77 litres, while the freezer can take 35 litres. Should you lose power, the freezer will keep products frozen for up to 10 hours.
  6. The Indesit RAA24 fridge freezer is proof that looks can be deceiving. This fridge freezer looks small, but it can hold an impressive 222 litres of chilled and frozen foods. It retails for just under £200 and the door is reversible, making it extremely versatile for your kitchen.
  7. The Bush BSFF55136 fridge freezer retails at around the £180 mark. It is 55cm wide and it has varied storage options for all of your food and drink.
  8. The sleekly designed Russell Hobbs RHUCFF48B fridge freezer will look good in most kitchens. It has an A+ energy rating and a reversible door. Another feature is its quick chill compartment, allowing you to cool foods quickly and safely.
  9. The Haier BD103GAA is a real bargain, retailing from between £130 to £180. The capacity is 106 litres in total and is 57cm wide by 84.5cm tall.
  10. The Logik LUC50S12 is another bargain, retailing from £130. It is approximately 50cm by 84cm and great for those who don’t seek too much fridge and freezer space.
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Posted by Surewise in Appliance Insurance Articles