Place of honor for the free-standing cooking appliance that extends tradition with current look and performance. Chosen by kitchen enthusiasts to give a professional touch to the environment and to have tools that free the creativity
by Carla Zanardi
Thanks to an imprinting difficult to erase from our imagination. Yes, because kitchen and fireplace have always been associated with the idea of family, warmth, protection, a bit like a mother and the security of her presence. . So it happens that, despite the evolution of kitchen spaces, increasingly rational, and its hyper-technological appliances, there are still many users that choose the free-standing cooker for their homes. Bringing it, at times, from a house to another in case of moving, and maybe, if it has a vintage style, only as a decoration element. It also enters with full rights into metropolitan environments. As in the United States, where big kitchens are equipped with big appliances too; next to the huge side-by-side refrigerators, free-standing kitchens stand out majestic in the domestic panorama which suggests important convivial habits of strict tradition.
In its evolution, the free-standing kitchen has marked several stages. Powered by wood , in past centuries it was also used as a tool to heat the environment (it was called ‘economic kitchen’) “perfuming” it of smoke and slow-cooked dishes, then passed to the wood-gas mixed system, not entirely disappeared in our rural areas.
But the contemporary free-standing kitchen, even if it preserves the memory imprint, has a completely different taste. In style, in performance, in size. . It is available in a range that goes from small appliances of 50×60 cm (descendants from the first little kitchens of the Fifties), for the typical little kitchens of that time and still nowadays for the small apartments and second homes with small spaces; to the classic 60×60 cm, up to the big 90, and to the very big ones of 100 and 120 cm. For young, temporary, or shared accommodation, it is the most right choice: informal, does not require installation (in a few steps you can have a cooking area ready to use, without any design) and is variable over time.
In any size, the market has a wide stylistic choice, linear, traditional, country, even in numerous colors. Both to coordinate with the furniture and to create contrasts in the contemporary rational environments, or to build an environment with an industrial look, perfect for lofts and for homes recovered from abandoned buildings.
To move with the times
The preference for these blocks, especially if they have big sizes, is also due to functions that expand the performance of the cook. He, finding concentrated all devices for cooking, experiences pleasure of an easy approach, the sensation of a most comfortable control between burners and oven, being enveloped by a privileged cooking atmosphere.
The number of fires (from 4 to 6) changes according to the size, almost always there is a double or triple crown burner and of course safety valves.
As in the best built-in hobs, in addition to rapid burners, double and triple crown, there are burners for wok or fish and, essential for high cuisine, those with minimal power, indispensable for delicate recipes without worrying of having to keep active little flames suitable for creams or bain-marie, and avoid so recurring shutdowns or irreparable burns. Equipment that makes it a professional cooking block, sought by hosts enthusiasts of kitchen and cooking. Moreover, it is possible to find grill plates, often in tepan yaki version to cook without fat. And then the hood, designed in the same styles and colors, especially in high-design or traditional models.
His majesty the oven
The oven does not lack anything. Many features of static and ventilated cooking, programmer, pizza function, grill, probe, defrosting and leavening. And if spaces allows it, it is even double, to cook an entire menu at the same time, or use only the smallest cavity and save energy.
Electric or gas? The most widespread is the electric one, but almost all catalogs offer the gas option. Required mostly by habit but often due to an environmental issue, because methane for its distribution does not require the dispersive passages of electricity that generate greater emissions. The most eco-friendly, of course, is the electric one powered by renewable energy.
In areas not yet reached by the supply of methane, the user who wishes to avoid the electricity supply, free-standing kitchens help with a compartment to safely house the liquid gas cylinder. Compartment which alternatively can be used as a useful storage zone.