Best of the Best 2007: Kitchen: Gaggenau
Some of Gaggenau’s most recent innovations came in response to feedback from chefs and kitchen designers. Their recommendations prompted the 300-year-old German company to produce its best-selling ED 220 Combination Steam and Convection Oven and this year’s Lift Oven. The button-operated Lift Oven frees up space in the kitchen by attaching to a wall above a countertop. It does not have a door; instead, you lower the oven’s glass ceramic base to put food in or remove it. The ED 220’s CombiSteam feature—which includes five humidity settings and allows for low-temperature roasting—will retain a meat’s moisture and brown it to perfection. All of the company’s ovens have a pyrolytic self-cleaning function that burns away unwanted residue and heats a ceramic filter that eliminates odors.
Although induction cooktops are not as popular in the United States as they are in Europe, Gaggenau is still forging ahead with new models. “Once you’ve cooked on induction, you will always cook on induction,” says Marc-Oliver Schneider-Herzfeld, the general manager of Gaggenau North America. “They are faster, more powerful, and easier to clean than gas stoves.” The company’s Vario integrated gas and induction cooktops can include an electric barbecue grill, an Asian-style teppanyaki grill, or a deep fryer.
“Deep-frying is actually very healthy,” claims Schneider-Herzfeld, “if it’s done at a high enough temperature, which locks in vitamins, color, and flavor.” To retain high temperatures while meat, fish, or vegetables cook, Gaggenau designed a fryer that automatically adjusts the heat level as you add more food.
Gaggenau operates 20 showrooms across the United States, and nearly all of them will allow you to make an appointment to test the equipment.