The Artichoke design team decided it was time for an Electrolux Grand Cuisine review after completing a recent country house project in Gloucestershire where they were used. In our capacity as designers and makers of high quality bespoke kitchens, our focus is always on which appliances are best suited to meet our client’s specific needs. We purposefully don’t have any formal relationships with any particular kitchen appliance brands as we prefer to remain neutral; it allows us to offer our clients the best quality impartial advice.
In a recent blog we took a topline view on the best appliances brands used in luxury bespoke kitchens. You can read our thoughts here. We now feel it’s time to take a deeper in-depth view on what makes the Electrolux Grand Cuisine range so well suited to some kitchens.
General Overview of the Grand Cuisine Range
The range is made up of a blast chiller, a sous vide, a combination oven and induction cooktop, and induction zone, a sear hob and stand mixer. The styling is contemporary which in some way limits it, and the build quality is really excellent (which one would expect for a high end kitchen appliance brand).
The Electrolux range differentiates itself from other brands on the back of its professional heritage. This kit has been designed for professionals and it is used in professional kitchens all over the world as well as, increasingly, in kitchens in domestic environments. This hybrid positioning makes the Grand Cuisine range a compelling offer for those domestic cooks who take cooking seriously.
After attending a professional demonstration of the appliances with a client at a West London we thought we’d take a closer look at each item in the range.
Combi Steam Oven
This is a very large combi-steam oven which offers a far superior capacity to other ovens on the market. The appliance can rapidly cook large quantities of food using convection heat, steam heat or both. It is also very robust, having been designed for professional heavy use kitchens. Like other ovens in the range it is also supplied with a USB memory stick which can be inserted into the appliance for loading pre loaded recipes. It features precision temperature control and comes with a heat probe for really accurate cooking.
The oven requires a cold water inlet and unlike most domestic steam ovens, the product needs to be vented which ensures your kitchen doesn’t fill up with steam when you open the door. Because of these plumbing requirements it can make positioning the item in a kitchen plan more challenging.
The Combi Steam oven has an exceptional self cleaning function which uses water to clean in the same way as a commercial appliance like the Rational range of fully professional appliances. This is an important feature as most other combi steam ovens do not offer a decent self-cleaning function in our view (microwaves can’t use pyrolytic cleaning because of the linings used).
Professional caterers also like visiting domestic homes which use Electrolux Grand Cuisine appliances because they are suitable for larger commercial cooking trays used in the trade, . This means that visiting chefs can simply place their own trays into your appliances without having to decant their prepared food into smaller receptacles.
Blast chilling is a method of cooling food very quickly down to a low temperature which keeps it relatively safe from bacterial growth. The Electrolux Grand Cuisine blast chiller is a fantastic appliance and as far as we know the only blast chiller suitable for domestic use. Food aside, it can chill ten bottles of wine or champagne in 30 minutes, and it doesn’t produce ice crystals, which means the texture of the food is perfectly preserved, making it particularly excellent for freeze drying fruit such as raspberries. You can also put hot food straight from the oven into it which is ill advised in a domestic fridge .
Blast chillers are great for preserving flavour, and their speed makes batch cooking and meal preparation much quicker and easier. The food will taste better too.
One of the other key advantages of the Electrolux Grand Cuisine Blast Chiller is the speed in which you can made desserts (minutes, not hours!). You can make ice creams and granitas much more quickly than a conventional fridge, and if you are a fan of making pannacotta or multi-layered ice creams, these are dishes that once would have taken all day but can now be done in minutes.
Combining the blast chiller with the steam oven and vacuum packer is a great combination of products to consider if you are focussed on really healthy and fresh foods. After cooking a dish from fresh you can seal in the freshness with a vacuum sealer and then blast chill it to preserve it, using the steam oven to re-heat it afterwards.
Precision Vacuum Sealer
Vacuum sealing is a relatively new option for domestic cooks and it offers several key benefits. By removing air from packaging it provides an extended shelf life for freshly cooked food and it ensures no contamination. It also allows domestic users to cook using the Sous Vide method, a French cooking technique which translates as “under vacuum”. In this technique, food is vacuum-sealed in a cooking pouch and heated up at a precise temperature in a water bath, offering consistency (because you cook your food to a precise temperature for a precise amount of time, you can expect very consistent results, great taste (food cooks in its own juices), waste reduction (traditionally cooked steak loses up to 40% of its volume due to drying out. Steak cooked via precision cooking, loses none of its volume) and flexibility (there is no worry about overcooking because sous vide cooking brings food to an exact temperature and holds it).
Vacuum Packing is also a great way to store left overs, sauces and stocks which can be sealed and stored without taking up lots of space in the fridge. It’s also a great way to infuse flavour into food (place some fish, lemon, aromatics into the bag, vaccum it and then steam cook for a great depth of flavour).
The Electrolux Grand Cuisine gas hob’s extremely striking design is not just there for looks. It’s layout has been cleverly thought through, allowing cooks to slide pans around between burners, something impossible on most hobs. The burners themselves produce a unique flower flame burner which adapts to any size of pan to give a more consistent temperature. They are also very powerful, making them great for wok cooking and flash frying. The very adjustable flame control also means that when they are all on full (admittedly an unlikely event!) they don’t drop temperature.
Surround Induction Zone
The genius of this induction is that its shape evenly disperses heat around a round bottomed pan, helping prevent ingredients from burning. This makes it particularly good for stir frying which Electrolux say can be done using less oil. The round based pan can also be used for boiling, searing, steaming and deep frying, not all tasks that we would be comfortable doing in a flat bottomed pan.
The sear hob is a less innovative item in our view; there’s not much innovation to add to the act of searing, although we’re sure someone in the Electrolux Grand Cuisine marketing team will beg to differ! Searing locks in flavour by sealing the surface which stops juices escaping, making it excellent for steaks and scallops. This particular appliance does boast a fast heat-up time, and a polished chrome surface heats up evenly across its width.
This is commercial kitchen equipment re-designed for the domestic market, so it is important to give careful consideration to each items technical requirements which are likely to be very different to standard appliances (the steam oven requires cold water feed, waste pipe and external ventilation and the induction hob requires greater electrical requirement than standard induction hob and will need a cold air in and warm air exhaust.). Do seek advice from your designer to check if it’s possible to use.
Please do call Andrew or Ben on 01934 745270 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to discuss our experience with the Electrolux Grand Cuisine Range. Alternatively you can request a copy of our brochure here.
Blog update: As of December 2018 we understand that Electrolux are no longer supplying their products into the residential market.