Electrolux Grand Cuisine Review

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.

 

 Electrolux Grand Cuisine range

 

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.

 

Electrolux Grand Cuisine combination oven

 

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 Chiller

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 chiller

 

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).

 

Electrolux Grand Cuisine Vacuum Sealer

 

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).

 

Gas Hob

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.

 

The Electrolux Grand Cuisine gas hob

 

 

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.

 

Electrolux Grand Cuisine range - Surround induction zone

 

 

Sear Hob

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.

 

Electrolux Grand Cuisine range - Sear hob

 

Considerations

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 newprojects@artichoke-ltd.com 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.

Kitchen Appliances for Luxury Bespoke Kitchens

Much of Artichoke’s work involves designing luxury bespoke kitchens for private homes. Our projects demand not just the highest quality furniture, but also the best quality appliances to go in them.

We’ve worked with most of the major appliance manufacturers over the past 25 years, and we know what cuts the mustard in terms of performance and quality.  Here are our thoughts on the top major brands delivering at the high quality end of the market we operate in.

 

Sub-zero

Sub Zero has established itself as the fridge and freezer brand of choice in the UK for bespoke kitchens in private residences demanding high quality without compromise.  Since we started working with them we’ve had very few problems at all from clients where we’ve specified their kit (the only problem we did have was sorted pretty rapidly).

Sub Zero has a deserved reputation for the robust workmanship of their products which are used in many domestic environments as well as the professional kitchens of chefs such as Michel Roux, Aldo Zilli and Shaun Rankin.

One of the main points of interest is the unique ‘Air Purification’ system built into their refrigerator line which removes harmful gases and odours; a process that was developed initially for NASA to aid food preservation. Additionally, the Dual Compressor system, standard on all Sub-Zero fridge/freezers, is a completely unique feature to Sub-Zero.

 

Wolf

Wolf, which is owned by Sub Zero, offer a wide range of built-in kitchen ovens, hobs, cook tops gas and dual fuel ranges.  A great deal of focus has been placed on precision control of heat to help users deliver professional results.

Again, their equipment is extremely well built and we’ve had few problems.  It is worth remembering that some of their larger require 3 phase electricity to run and also some seriously powerful extraction which we can help you with.

One of their main features is a patented dual stacked burner which offers extremely precise temperature control and precision, making them perfect for melting butter or chocolate on a low heat or high temperature cooking.

 

La Cornue

La Cornue were first launched in 1908 in France by a chef with a passion for new technology.  They are still made in France, and each oven is hand-made to order using only cast iron, steel, solid brass, nickel and enamel.

Secret to La Cornue’s success is their vaulted ovens which improve circulation and even cooking temperature throughout the oven.  Each oven is assembled by hand and only a few hundred are made each year which are delivered to private homes and professional kitchens all over the world.  They have a unique look and we’ve used them successfully in both contemporary and traditional bespoke luxury kitchens.

Artichoke has installed numerous La Cornue ovens, mainly their Chateaux series; it is well worth visiting their show-room.

 

Gaggenau

Gaggenau appliances have been produced in Germany, with all of the engineering precision you’d expect from a German engineering firm, for 300 years, and their experience shows.  They now offer a huge range of cooking and chilling appliances aswell as appliances for washing and ventilation.

Artichoke has been specifying them for a considerable length of time and their performance has always impressed our clients.  Their designs work particularly well in contemporary kitchen design.

 

Electrolux Grand Cuisine

Electrolux Grand Cuisine are relative new-comers to the domestic luxury bespoke kitchen scene. The backbone behind the new arm of the well established Electrolux brand is the domestication of their existing professional ranges and putting the tools of the professional restaurant within reach of the home chef.

We’ve attended a couple of demonstrations of their new range, which includes combination oven, blast chiller, vacuum sealer and induction and gas hobs.  The kit was demonstrated by a professional chef and performed brilliantly and looks superb.

 

Officine Gullo

With strong roots from Florence, Officine Gullo is a relatively young company compared to the strong heritage roots that it can claim.   Founded in the 1990s, the companies founder based his first oven in a large range oven made in the 1800’s.  The look is renaissance and probably quite polarising, but works well in the traditional and period settings where Artichoke spends much of its time.

These are appliances built for professional chefs and dedicated domestic ones, and they are as robust as you’ll find anywhere.  Also come with a great range of accessories.

 

If you have questions about appliances, contact Bruce or Andrew on +44 (0)1934 745270 and we’d be happy to give you our thoughts.