I’m at the age where I’m reluctant to reveal my age—a philosophical position that actually might tell you all you need to know, in any case. For the purposes of this post, I’ll just say that ergonomically-minded products like the recent Corner Cabinets have a special personal appeal. Just so with Gaggenau’s BL 235 Lift Oven, “the only oven with an automatic elevating base.” In contrast to the corner cabinets, however, the BL 235 doesn’t save your back but rather the sense receptors in your fingers (and the lower arms and elbows of especially intrepid chefs). The innovative appliance actually brings the guts of the oven down to countertop height, thus facilitating a danger-free zone from which to introduce broiled mackerel, rosemary potatoes, or chocolate crème brulée—all at zero risk.
BL 235 Lift Oven. Designed by Gaggenau.
For true chefs, the occasional singed forefinger comes with the territory, but not even Tom Colicchio would scoff at the BL 235, for avoidance of burns is not the only knife in this appliance’s satchel. The oven features a glass ceramic base that allows direct contact cooking of items like bread and pizza without the need for additional trays or non-stick sprays/oils. The spacious 24-inch clearance between closed oven and countertop maximizes workspace, while the 270-degree access economizes workflow and minimizes mishaps. BL 235 is also a great option for smaller kitchens, since the entire oven fits in the space of just another head-high cupboard.
As for the actual cooking, BL 235 offers 11 heating methods, including convection. Other perks include automated temperature recommendations and precision digital temperature control. The piece also affords the veritable godsend of chemical-free clean-up: the pyrolitic heating feature is a self-cleaning program that actually works—burning off all carbonized semblance of past meals into atmospheric oblivion. Lastly, the BL 235 is one sleek silver number: stainless steel, tinted glass, and balanced halogen lighting make the most basic repast appear ready for prime time.