‘Home is where the heart is’ is an often used expression, but just as true is that home’s place in satisfying more gastronomic appetites. We all have a childhood memory, a rose-tinted recollection that can be evoked by a simple smell, often kitchen-centric: crispy bacon sizzling, homemade bread, minted new potatoes, or a freshly toasted waffle.
Of course, the ability to create these memories is dependent on the centrepiece, the ‘heart’ of the kitchen itself: the cooker. In this regard Rayburn has been doing a supremely fine job for some time now, but homeowners can remain unaware as to how truly multifunctional they actually are.
Range cookers are historically commonplace in the countryside, a sort of cosy necessity to the rural dream, delivering homemade, soul-warming food to families at the same time as heating the house. With the rising popularity of the grow-your-own lifestyle and backyard poultry keeping in urban centres, the sleek enamelled design of Rayburn (like its partner brand, AGA) has seen their widespread implementation into city dwellings, too. Yet, what distinguishes Rayburns from AGAs is that Rayburns also heat water, thanks to a built-in boiler that, in larger models, can serve up to 30 radiators over different floors.
Endorsed by Dick Strawbridge – whose nostalgia-driven love of food has seen him on programs like ‘Celebrity Masterchef’ and ‘The Hungry Sailor’ – a Rayburn Cast Iron Oven is now a greener option, also. Made from 70% recycled materials, the cooker doesn’t stay on all the time, now fitted with a thermostat to provide flexibility and lower fuel bills. Further, running costs are A-rated, and there is a trio of fuel options available: oil, gas, and solid.
One’s taste buds don’t have to suffer in an age when space is at a premium, either. Given that the Rayburn is a three-in-one system providing mouth-watering food, central heating, and hot water, space is economised without taste being jeopardised. The models range from the 200 Series (ideal for the more compact kitchen) to the 600 and 800 Series, which boast the ‘largest hotplate on the market’ (obviously, slightly more space required).
Founded over 65 years ago, Rayburn is a distinctly British brand, every part made in the UK. For families who can’t go a Sunday without a traditional roast dinner, the Rayburn works on ‘the principle of indirect heat’ (or ‘kind-to-food heat’ as the manufacturer likes to call it), permitting slow cooking that produces a moister, more succulent joint at the end (some models have a ‘sheet-metal lower oven’, as a pre-carving rest area). That doesn’t preclude high-heat cooking, however, due to the hotplate under the Rayburn’s insulated lids. So those into diversifying their palettes with Asian stir-fries will be just as satisfied. Nonetheless, desserts must not be forgotten, and here the in-built flue works to prevent malodorous tainting of a main course into a sweet treat sat in the oven at the same time.
As Smart Homewares has hinted before, we’ll be waiting for some sweet-scented, extra chocolatey brownies, then…