The term “prosumer” is applied to a growing group of consumers who have reached a level of skill, sophistication or wherewithal that bridges the knowledge gap between professionals in a specific field and the consumers that buy non-commercial products related to that area of interest. While prosumers typically purchase non-commercial products as well, their purchases generally gravitate toward high end products that are similar to those used by professionals.
One of the fastest growing sets of prosumers is in the field of cooking, an area that gets regular exposure on television through chef competitions, etc. If you consider yourself a cooking prosumer, here are a few factors to consider before going appliance shopping for your kitchen:
* How your kitchen will be configured – Professionally styled appliances take up considerably more linear space than standard versions. As a rule of thumb, you should expect pro-style appliances to require about twice as much linear space than their standard counterparts. You should also factor in the possibility that larger sized appliances will influence cabinetry and storage configurations as well.
* The weight of pro-style appliances – Increased appliance size translates to heavier weight, which may require additional structural support. Manufacturers are constantly seeking to decrease the weight of these pieces and an increasing number of them do not require the support of custom built cement bases. Still, prosumers should find out whether the intended flooring locations can support the new appliances before it’s too late.
* Ventilation – Professionally styled ranges and cooktops require 8 to 10 times the amount of ventilation as standard versions to remove the increased heat. Anything less than that and the home runs the risk of being overtaken by high temperatures, smoke or steam/vapors. Another issue is that the added ventilation sucks so much air out of the house that it causes other risks. These situations can be avoided by installing a unit that equalizes the air pressure between the outside and inside of the home. One way to avoid the ventilation and air pressure issues is to go with an induction-style cooktop, which uses electromagnetic technology to heat the cookware. These burners offer high efficiency and energy savings but are priced at the highest end of prosumer-related kitchen appliances.
* Additional options – Any new item or feature that gets shown on the variety of cooking shows has the possibility of becoming the next hot thing. One feature that has had some staying power is the placement of a faucet in the wall above the cooktop that allows for pots to be filled in place, saving the cook/chef the work of carrying a big pot full of water across the kitchen. The extra faucet also eliminates the need to clear the sink before filling the pot.
Taking these factors into consideration before purchasing your appliances can help to set your budget and determine the best path toward getting your pro-style kitchen set up for form and function in the most efficient manner possible. With your kitchen set up to your specifications, you’ll be ready to work like a pro.