Thermador Ovens and Cooktops - Page 3

Returning to the roots of Eichler home cooking with the oven-cooktop King

"Everybody could gather in the kitchen, crack a beer, cook a steak. It was almost primitive—a campfire kind of thing," Coggins said. With the nation flocking toward the suburbs, gatherings within the home began to take the place of nights at the supper club or bar. Eichlers were built for socializing and allowed middle-class people to entertain in a natural style all their own, rather than hosting knock-offs of more affluent gatherings.

Built-in appliances brought with them practical improvements as well as stylistic ones. The new ovens came with warming drawers to keep food at a serving temperature. The range, in the absence of a 450-degree box under it, cooked what was on the burner, but allowed food to stay cool right up until the power came on. It also made 'slaving over a hot stove' just that, instead of slaving over a hot stove and oven.

Getting the oven out of the way allowed the stove's ventilation system to be down-draft, removing the need for the overhead hood and allowing for the kitchen island setup. Though forward in concept, the early downdraft systems did not work as well as their ceiling-mounted counterparts. In 1978, Thermador developed the pop-up vent, which drafted from the side instead of from the bottom and sank into the counter when not in use. Though introduced after the Eichler era, the pop-up vent stems from concepts developed in the Eichler-Thermador kitchen and remains popular in remodels.

As Eichler worked to streamline the commute-heavy lives of the new suburban multitudes, Thermador worked to streamline their kitchens. In 1963, Thermador introduced the self-cleaning oven. In 1964, the lift-up cook-top made cleaning the burners an easy job. 1967 saw the built-in can opener and toaster. Many Eichlers also had a Nutone blender motor built into the countertop.

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