Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Appliance Holiday Cooking Tips

       Don’t think of a holiday meal as a one-day cooking project that will only take a few hours to cook. Be prepared and start in advance. Our advise to you is to Prep, Prep, Prep!
       Start a couple of days ahead of time. Plan what you are going to make way in advance, make your grocery list a week before the event, and start getting some of your items ready just a few days before the big holiday feast. Here are some helpful tips of things that you can do with your appliances to make it easier for you on those big important holiday meals.


       About a week in advance, clean out your refrigerator. The best time to do this is right before you go grocery shopping. This will make it easier for you because all of the things that you do have will be fresh in your mind.
       Make sure to start unthawing your turkey about 4-5 days before the feast. That big turkey will take a lot of room in your refrigerator, so utilize your refrigerator's special features like the extra shelves, airtight crisper drawers, herb storage, or the adjustable fridge freezer compartment. If you still find yourself not having enough storage space, utilize a second refrigerator stored in the garage or basement.
       A few days in advance, you can start cutting your produce and store them in air tight containers in your refrigerator.
       You can organize your refrigerator by putting the ingredients that take the longest to cook in the front of your refrigerator. The things that take the least amount of time to cook can be stored in the back of your fridge.


       Preheating your oven can sometimes be a struggle. A great tip for preheating your turkey is to have the temperature at about 500 degrees Fahrenheit while it's preheating and then lower it back to the cooking temperature at around 350 degrees Fahrenheit when you put your turkey in. Because the turkey is so big and cold, it sometimes can shock your oven and make the temperature decrease even as low as 90 degrees Fahrenheit making cooking times even longer. So to avoid longer cooking times, make sure your oven is at the right temperature at the beginning.
       On the day of cooking, more burners can be a blessing on a busy day in the kitchen.  If you can, consider adding an induction cook top to your Kitchen. What I like about induction cooking is there’s no flame, so you’re keeping the surface area cool making it safer making sure none of the kids or guests get hurt. It’s going to be more efficient than gas, and it can be as precise. If you want to melt chocolate, it can set it at 78-79 degrees. It’s more about the precision temperature than anything else. Of course, if you use induction cooking, you’ll need cookware made from cast iron or another magnetic material.
       Some ranges have a fifth burner in the middle and/ or a griddle on gas burners. The griddle is nice because you can just place some of your food directly on the surface without using pans. As an extra bonus your meat and veggies can have those nice grill marks on them to make them look like you grilled them outside.
       At the bottom of most ranges is a warming drawer. Utilize this space for big meals by placing bread in there to rise the dough before you cook it and keep it warm after they are done.


       A week before your event, make sure to clean inside and outside of your microwave. This appliance is sometimes the thing that we forget about during the holidays. None of your guests want to open up a dirty microwave.
       A microwave oven is made for a Thanksgiving feast! Microwave ovens use the precision of convection cooking with an element and fan the distribute the heat better. This speeds up cooking times three times faster than conventional microwave cooking.

       About a week before your holiday feast, clean your dishwasher. Use an Affresh dishwasher cleaner tablet and have your dishwasher run a cycle with no dishes in it. This cleaning product will take out any mineral build-up and will clean inside of the machine making it work more effectively.
       Make sure that your dishwasher is completely empty at the beginning of the day of your feast. That way it is ready for new dishes.
       On the day of, pre-wash your dishes while you are cooking by filling half of your sink with hot soapy water. Once they have soaked for a little bit, place them in your dishwasher.
       If you have a quiet dishwasher (a sound rating of about 46 dba or lower) will make your life so much easier on event day. Once everyone is done eating and you load up your dishwasher, you can run it while mingling with your guests. It is so quiet, no one will even know that it's running.

       With these tips, you will be ready to tackle the challenge of cooking for 10 plus people. You can always have helpers in the kitchen and remember to have fun!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

What’s a Steam Oven?

As the name suggests, steam ovens uses steam (instead of simply heat) to cook your food. While conventional ovens can dry out food, steam ovens keep moisture in the oven making your food more flavorful. We will take a look at what steam ovens are and some of the benefits to make the switch.

How it Works
On the side of the oven, there is a section where you add water to it. Some steam oven models, can be hooked up to your water line to automatically fill up the water; in other versions, you have to fill the water up manually.  Once you turn on the oven, it will use the water to turn it into steam. There is a valve that releases the pressure of the steam into the oven similar to a tea kettle. Using steam is great to cook delicate foods like croissants and specialty bread. You can also use steam to cook vegetables, fish, meats, and even make your leftovers taste like they were just made.
If you eat a lot of leftovers, a steam oven will be your best friend. Most of the time when you reheat your leftovers in a normal microwave, the food comes out dry and losses it's flavor. When using steam to reheat food, it keeps the moisture in and you have fresh tasting food all over again!
There is more space to cook food in a steam oven than a conventional microwave. Go ahead and put in a big casserole dish or even a turkey inside.  Another great thing about using steam technology is that it can eliminate flavor transfer. Meaning, if you have one item on the top and another item on the bottom, you will not have the bottom item taste like what is on the top dish.
Healthy Cooking
The main reason cooking with a steam oven is getting more popular is because it's the healthiest way to cook! Because it heats your food with water into steam, there is less to no need to use oils, butter, and other un-healthy ingredients. Steaming your food retains more vitamins, minerals, and nutrients than any other way of cooking. All of your vegetables will be moist and taste much more fresh.
With steam technology, your cleaning worries will go away! The steam helps lift food splatter off for the surface making it extremely easy to clean. Just remember that after cooking, you can wipe down the inside and most of the spills will come right off.
Technology Options
Steam ovens can't do everything, of course. They aren't useful for browning meat, for example. It’s no problem if you have a combi-steam oven—you can just finish your roast off with the convection setting—but if you only have a steam setting, you may want to finish it off with a quick range top sear. You should consider getting a convection steam oven which combines the steam oven with the capabilities of a convection oven. The two modes can be used separately or even together giving you the luxury of both cooking methods. You can have your food be moist and have them be browned at the same time! Make sure to check out all the different steam cooking options.

The steam technology is becoming more popular in some of the higher end brands like Thermador, Monogram, Cafe, Miele, Bosch, and Jenn Air. Take a look at the different features and types of ovens that use steam to find the right version for you and your kitchen.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

6 Condensation Dry Dishwasher Tips & Tricks!

Take a look at what condensation dry in dishwashers is with Nate. He also gives you a couple other tips that you can do to get rid of the extra water residue.

Condensation is created when there is moisture in the air. When that moist air is in contact with the cooler surrounding area, the moisture turns into little water droplets. This is why you see little puddles at the top of your glasses or dishes when upside down.

Bosch dishwashers use the technology called Condensation Dry. Other appliance companies have models too that do the same or similar things.

With this type of drying method the appliance does not use a heating element at the bottom; instead, there are multiple elements throughout the inside that work together to better dry your dishwasher. The final rinse uses higher temperature water to make it even hotter in the dishwasher. Having stainless steel walls inside helps isolate the heat. Once the temperature drys, the stainless steel actually cools down faster than glass and porcelain making less water droplets.

Condensation drying is more energy efficient and more hygienic than the traditional way of dishwasher drying.

Because there is not heating element on the bottom, it is actually safe to put plastic bowls and materials on any level of rack.

If you are not quite ready to upgrade your dishwasher to have Condensation Dry, here are 6 tips and tricks to reduce condensation:

  1. Have the top rack not placed straight but at a tilt. This will make the water drop down instead of staying on your dishes on the top shelf.
  2. Use A rinse aid like Jet Dry which reduces the surface tension of water making the dishes dry better.
  3. Use the sanitize cycle to make the temperature of the dishwasher at hotter temperatures.
  4. Have more space in between your dishes and make sure that they do not touch. This will help with the air circulation of the water and air.
  5. As soon as the cycle is done, try to open the door right away to allow the moisture to evaporate out of the dishwasher.
  6. Start by emptying the bottom rack to avoid spilling the extra water caught on dishes on the top rack to fall down on the bottom rack dishes.

We hope that these tips help you with making your dishes dryer after doing a load. Let us know if you have any specific questions to improve your appliance experience.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

4 Reasons Why You Should Have a Convection Oven

If you love to cook and want to improve the quality even more, a convection oven is your secret ingredient. Cooking and baking is a science and with this technology, you can get better quality in less time. Using convection ovens will make sure that you don't have any more burnt bread, dried out turkey,  or distasteful veggies.

Convection cooking uses fans and exhaust systems to move the air inside the oven, creating more consistency in your cooking. This is available with gas and electric ovens.

1. Saves Time- Convection cooking can save you up to 30% of cooking time! These ovens cook food more quickly than conventional ovens, which are also called radiant or thermal ovens. This is because a convection oven uses a fan and an exhaust system to move hot air around food. This actively transfers heat and causes food to cook more quickly than it would in a conventional oven. Just be sure to reduce the temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit and make sure to peak at it because it will be done in less time.

2. Saves Energy- By requiring less time for your food to cook, it also allows you to save energy. When using convection ovens, you also use lower temperatures so your oven does not have to heat up as high, saving you money on your energy bill. Most convection ovens are Energy Star Rated because of how much energy is saved.

3. More Even Cooking- Regular ovens can have hot spots, depending on where the heating element is, but the fan in a convection oven will circulate the air to help even out the temperature variances. This allows the food to cook more consistent throughout.

4. Better Looks- This technology is better at browning the top of your food. In a conventional oven, the atmosphere in the oven is more humid as the moisture is trapped making it harder to get that pretty look on the exterior of your food. With convection ovens, there's more of a dry atmosphere. This allows the sugars to caramelize making the top layer perfectly golden brown. Don't worry, your interior of your meat and vegetables will still have that moisture inside.

If you are convinced that convection cooking is the way to go, that's great! Make sure that you get one that has the option to turn it off for better bread and cake baking. You do still want your bread to rise and not dry out your interior. I would do a little experimenting and see what works best for you, but having the option to not use the convection technology is good to have.
Don't be intimidated by convection cooking, embrace it and you will find your food tasting so much better. Stop by one of our locations to see what convection cooking really looks like.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Advantium Oven by GE Monogram

Celebrity Chef Mark Kalix is here today to show you the future of cooking with Advantium Ovens made by GE Monogram appliances.

This is a speed oven with 4 sources of heat to cook things quickly and accurately. It uses:

  • Standard Convection
  • Halogen Lamp
  • Ceramic Heat
  • Radiant Cooking Elements
There are already 175 + programmed recipes and cook times for different meats depending on the size and quantity that you have for perfect cooking times. The cooking technology allows you to cook food up to 8 times faster compared to a conventional oven. The halogen lamps are really nice in that they make sure the top of the food has that perfect brown crisp look and taste.  There is no preheating required for cooking with Advantium ovens and microwaves. With the rotation platform inside, it can even rotate your casserole dish inside for even levels of cooling with convection technology too.

Stop by one of our locations to check it out for yourself. You will be amazed at how fast you can cook a big turkey and more!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

What is a Downdraft Range?

Bob is here to share with you three options for your cooking ventilation in your home.

1.The most common way to vent the air is with an over-the-range microwave. This is the most common way to circulate the air.

2. Hoods made over the range or cooktop with no microwave. These are common for kitchens that are more custom, but are used for standard kitchens as well.

3. The third option, not a lot of people know about. Downdraft ventilation is located in the range in itself. It is located in the middle of the range and had filters and fans that move the gases and air underneath the unit. This is a great options for ranges and cooktops that are located in the island, where hoods might get in the way. 

A great example of this is the Kitchen Aid 30-Inch 4-Burner Dual Fuel Downdraft Slide-In Range (KSDG950ESS)

We hope that we gave you an inside look at the different types of ventilation systems out there. Now you can decide which one is best for your needs. Give one of our stores a call and our team can answer anymore questions that you may have.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Smashed Brussels Sprouts

Sick of struggling with your kids to make them eat their veggies? Try this amazing recipe out tonight and your family will suddenly list Brussels sprouts as one of their favorite foods!

  • 2 lbs. Brussels sprouts
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. chopped thyme
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl.
  2. Blanch brussels sprouts- bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add brussels sprouts and cook until bright green and very tender (about 10 minutes). Add brussels sprouts to ice bath to cool, drain.
  3. On a large baking sheet, toss blanched brussels sprouts with olive oil, garlic and thyme. Using the end of a small glass or mason jar, press down on the brussels sprouts to smash them into a flat patty. Season each smashed brussels sprout with salt and pepper, then sprinkle mozzarella and parmesan on top.
  4. Bake until the bottoms of the sprouts are crispy and the cheese is melted and golden (about 20 minutes)
  5. Garnish with parsley and serve warm.

Prep Time: 15 mins. | Total Time: 45 mins. | Serves 6-8

Recipe originally appeared on Delish.com