September 17, 2013

My New Appreciation for Jenn-Air Appliances

Last week I had the chance to visit the World of Whirlpool in Chicago with a group put together by Mountain Land Design.  The focus was Jenn-Air Appliances, and by the end of 2 days, full of food and more food, we all came out with a better understanding of Jenn-Air appliances and where they fit in the luxury appliance market.  I'll confess - I didn't specify Jenn-Air much before.  I wasn't really sure where they fit in, and couldn't help associating them with the early downdraft models that I despised (particularly because I have one in my own home).  This trip changed my entire perception of their products.

The World of Whirlpool is in the top floors of this building (view from the Architectural Boat Tour we took earlier in the day)

We saw (and tasted) demonstrations of most of their appliance line.  A few things that really stood out to me are listed below:

Coffee Maker (not going to be released until early 2014)
  • Made by DeLonghi, a company long-established and well-known for its quality coffee makers
  • Easier to clean than other built-in coffee makers
  • The price point can't be beat.
Steam Oven
  • Keeping pace with other steam ovens on the market (also at a great price point.)
  • Only requires a 15-amp circuit (others require 20)
Convection Ovens
  • Dual Fan True convection - where "true" means there's a 3rd heating element behind the fan that redistributes the air temperature evenly

Dawnita & Chef Ann
Pro-Style Cooktop 
  • Highest burner up to 20,000 BTU's
  • Lowest burner potential 500 BTU's
  • And my favorite - the SKILLET!  The chrome-infused stainless steel skillet means no seasoning needed to prevent sticking AND it's easy to clean!  We each made our own omelets on this skillet and were surprised how well it worked.  
Induction Cooktop
  • Sensor Boil feature beeps when water is boiling, beeps again when it's time to add the food, and beeps a 3rd time when it's going to reduce to a rolling boil.  
  • 2 Bridge elements (where others only have 1)
  • Most powerful induction cooktop in the industry!
  • Probably the most eye-opening part of this trip:  The ventilation.  I must confess, for years I've been saying that downdraft ventilation was a last-resort, as it wasn't going to work as well as standard ventilation due to the physics of hot air rising.  I was proven wrong.  While downdraft ventilation of the past may have been inadequate, that's changed with more recent re-engineering.  After a few demonstrations, I was amazed at how well these vents performed.  
  • We witnessed first-hand the amazing new Accolade telescoping downdraft, which I posted a video of on instagram:  
    A few more photos from our trip:
Mark & I were in charge of prepping the apples for apple crisp, which we later ate with homemade ice cream for dessert.

Cocktails in the clock tower:


Lunch courses:

    Thanks to Jenn-Air and Mountain Land Design for a great trip!