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October 10, 2011, 7:33 am homebeautiful
New technologies are emerging faster than ever before, as manufacturers race to keep up with our demands for more efficient ways to cook. We're seeing a trend towards steam cooking, which is popular because it retains nutrients depleted by other cooking methods, doesn't require oil or butter and enhances the flavour of food.
The drawback with basic steam ovens is that they don't produce a golden crust on roasts or cakes. Cue combination ovens, which marry steam and dry heat. Miele's 'DGC 5061' combination steam oven can simultaneously bake a cake and roast meat. A continuous supply of fresh steam ensures there is no transfer of taste or aroma between dishes.
Pyrolytic self-cleaning eliminates the need for chemical cleaning products. In self-cleaning models, the oven reaches an extremely high temperature to break down grease and grime that can be wiped away afterwards, without scrubbing. Look for a model with an automatic locking function so the oven door can't be opened during the cleaning process, such as Ilve's 'Pyrolytic Built-In' oven, $3299.
Induction cooktops aren't new, but the latest versions have become even more tech-savvy. Gaggenau's 'CX 480 100' full-surface induction cooktop, $11,999, recognises the size and shape of pots and assigns heat to their exact position. A clever pot-tracking device allows you to move pots around the surface without having to change the temperature settings - the cooktop will do this for you.
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