What do men want from a kitchen?
Wednesday, 28th May 2014, Jane Gibson
A full 14 percent more men cook now than they did in 1965, according to a study cited by Esquire. The rise could be put down to the modern man's newfound cultural interest in cooking, an increase in innovative gadgetry for the kitchen or simply as a backlash to the amount of ready-meal/processed foods on the market. Regardless, an increasing number of males are spending time in the kitchen and if home is where the heart is, pulses start racing when men are cooking, baking and grilling.
As a result, more men expect to have a say on the design and specification of their kitchens. Furthermore a kitchen's design is becoming a priority not just for bachelors but for couples who will share kitchen duties.
Noting kitchen essentials
An increasing number of men view their time in the kitchen as a "project". Whether they are slow cooking pork for ten-hours or creating a calorific concoction of meats and cheeses, men need a kitchen that can survive the wear and tear of long-term cooking. Consequently, they need to think about layouts, applications and worktops that remain durable and can withstand the rigours of cooking. For instance, granite is a heat-resistant stone so may be useful for worktops that will handle hot pots and pans.
Another popular structure in modern kitchens is the 'island'. Used for storage, cooking and as a potential dining area, this additional kitchen counter-top can be used as an overflow surface for meals that require more than just a single pan to cook. It can also hold an additional sink; useful if one person is cooking and the other wishes to wash up at the same time.
Naturally there is crossover when it comes to kitchen gadgetry and appliances. Popcorn makers, stainless steel knife blocks, waffle presses, George Foreman grills, toaster ovens...there is no end to the number of innovative appliances that men love to use in the kitchen. Of course, there needs to be room to hold all of these gadgets in the kitchen so men are sagacious enough to opt for larger, 'open' kitchens to accommodate their need for useful (and sometimes completely worthless) gadgetry.
Generation X - men and women born between the years 1961 and 1981 - are much more conscious about their kitchens and cooking than their parents ever were.
"Men have fun in the kitchen," claims Jon Miller, author of a study about food cited by Time magazine. "I was surprised by how often they shop and cook. If men just happened to wander in the kitchen and making something, that makes more sense, but when you buy into the whole process, then you're into it. Clearly they are into it."
Dual roles in the kitchen is now commonplace and, as a result, men want their kitchen to look as pristine and practical as possible. This includes choosing everything from the colour, layout and appliances down to the type of stone that will be used for their worktop.