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Hot Kitchen Majaps In Time For Cooler Months

9/29/2003 02:00:00 AM Eastern

With autumn officially off to a start, major appliance vendors are presenting a host of new offerings for the time of year when people head inside to warm up — specifically, in their kitchens.

High-end appliance maker Dacor has introduced a new line of cooktops, the Millennia Electric Glide Cooktops. The elegantly designed line has a 36-inch and 30-inch cooktop — models METB365 and MET304, respectively.

Both models feature the company's Electric Glide controls, which allow users to simply slide a finger across the smooth ceramic glass top to control temperature settings. The thin lighted strip increases in size and changes color from yellow to orange to red. Commanding ribbon elements create a three-second response for a positive cooking experience. A heat limiter on each element prevents empty cookware from melting or damaging the glass surface.

The METB365 model also has a bridge element that links two separate burners to create a larger heat platform, which is convenient for oversized cookware or accessory griddles, the company said. Both models are available in black with satin trim or black graphite and can be used in an island, peninsula or wall setting environment.

Also new from Diamond Bar, Calif.-based Dacor is the Epicure Raised Ventilation System (ERV), which is designed to efficiently vent Dacor's commercial-style ranges and cooktop appliances with the touch of a button to remove unwanted smoke and odors from the kitchen. Available in three sizes (30-inch, 36-inch and 48-inch), the EVRs integrate easily with the company's various cooktop models.

According to Dacor, the EVR is the only commercial-style downdraft/range combination on the market with a patented gas infrared closed-door broiling system and a four-part Pure Convection Self Cleaning oven with four 15,000 BTU sealed gas burners.

"By combining the power of our Epicure ranges and cooktops with the efficiency of our new EVR … Dacor has created a perfect kitchen environment for chef enthusiasts," said chairman/CEO S. Michael Joseph. "Now, customers will be able to enjoy their kitchen knowing they won't have to worry about smoke and fumes."

Information on Dacor's shipping dates and pricing was not available at press time.

In a first-time move for parent company BSH Home Appliance Corp., it will be manufacturing Thermador-branded refrigerators. The new whisper-quiet fridges, which will be available in October, complete Thermador's suite of high-performance appliances in its Professional Series, according to the company.

"We are entering the refrigeration business with this new line to appeal to the consumers who are loyal Thermador owners and want the complete Thermador kitchen," said president/CEO Franz Bosshard.

The line, which is comprised of 18 different models in three sizes (36-, 42- or 48-inches), and side-by-side and bottom-mount configurations, includes stainless steel fronts, stylish exterior grille, tempered glass shelves and brushed aluminum rails. The interior shelving units in all Thermador refrigerators have a sleek adjustable, frameless design to offer maximum storage capacity. Additional features are integrated one-gallon door storage, adjustable temperature storage drawer (available on side-by-side models), sealed humidity-controlled crispers, roller glides for easy drawer access, convenient ice/water filtration system and wine rack.

Suggested retails start at $5,000 for the refrigerators.

Thermador is also touting newly designed cooktops and ranges in its Professional Series. Emphasizing features and applications that were once only available to professional chefs, this line of cooktops and ranges is aimed at the home cooking enthusiast, the company said. It was expected to ship in late-September with suggested retails ranging from $5,000 to $9,000 for the ranges and $2,000 to $3,500 for the cooktops.

In Thermador's cooktops, a bold appearance is matched with technological advantages such as the company's trademarked Star Burners and ExtraLow simmering capability. The 15,000 BTU sealed Star Burners move the flame from the edges to the center of the cookware to evenly distribute heat and cook faster. They also use a single-point ignition for quiet operation. The ExtraLow system cycles the flame on and off, offering gentle temperatures for fragile foods, such as melting chocolate, or to keep sauces warm without boiling over. Thermador is also introducing its titanium surface griddle as part of the Professional Series. The griddle will not discolor or rust, and it is so strong that metal utensils can be used on it. The cooktops come in 36- and 48-inch versions, each with four or six Star Burners (two of which feature the ExtraLow function).

The Professional Series ranges have been redesigned with many enhanced features. Ranges come in all-gas or duel-fuel models, the latter of which combines a gas cooktop with a performance electric oven. Both models have improved convection ability to cut cooking time by 25 percent; improved pryolitic self-cleaning systems; 10 percent larger oven capacities with five rack positions; and a new electronic control with a platinum sensor that improves temperature accuracy. Users can tell the oven's temperature by glancing at a sapphire blue indicator light at the center of the control panel.

Greenwood, Miss.-based Viking Range has added a built-in 48-inch wide side-by-side refrigerator/freezer with ice and water dispensers to its kitchen offerings. The new model provides the same high performance as the current 48-inch wide side-by-side units, but with the added convenience of dispensers on the door, according to the company. A water filter rids the dispensed ice and water of bad tastes, odors, sediment and harmful contaminants. In addition, the company said the model's ProChill Temperature Management System includes a quiet compressor, electronic controls to maintain temperatures with in one degree and a multichannel airflow system to remove odors along with excess humidity. It is available in Viking's Professional Series or Designer Series, in stainless steel or any other color finishes in the Viking line, or as a full overlay unit with customized panels being supplied by the customer.

The new unit is shipping now with a suggested retail ranging from $6,150 to $7,925, depending on the finish.