What are the general Asian and European kitchen demands and how are they met? According to Pernilla Johansson, Design Director, Electrolux, many kitchens in Asia are rather small and space is often a luxury. Traditional gas cooking is hot and can be uncomfortable in a poorly ventilated space. People are also genuinely concerned with safety issues associated with gas cooking. When we learnt about all these issues and the concerns people have, we realised that induction offers an enormous opportunity. Induction is just as fast and as powerful as gas, but as it works magnetically it heats only the pan and heat retention is very low. Culturally, however, gas is still strongly embedded in Asia and it will take time before induction is adopted by the masses. The result of our creative exploration is a unique induction gas hob that offers the best of both worlds: a powerful wok burner for quick stir-frying and an induction burner for perfect simmering. Power and control in one package. We tested the concept and the design with consumers.
With stir-frying being an essential part of Asian cooking, the drawback of standard induction hobs has been that you could only use a flat-based wok, which limits the motion of traditional stir-frying. Still, many choose induction simply because of the essential aesthetic benefits it offers with its flat and easy-to-clean glass surface that integrates perfectly into any modern kitchen.
How big a role does ergonomics play in the product design? “Ergonomics plays a big part in kitchen designs in general. Any kitchen should be kicked off by outlining the workflow that is being required based on individual user needs. In modern kitchens you often see a great attention to standing working heights. For example, by building the oven into the wall you allow much better control of handling hot dishes. It also gives good eye-level view to control and check the food through the cooking process.