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Hurricanes and Appliances

We are bringing back a previous blog from Appliance Boy to get us ready for the hurricane season.   In Florida, our season runs from early June to November.  The peak is from mid- August to late October.

“Is there anything that I can do to get my appliances ready for a hurricane?”
Fear not, APPLIANCE BOY is here to help.
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While some might view this as a ridiculous question, there are several things that you can do regarding your appliances to help, or at least minimize headaches after the fact.hurricane

Water: I will start by saying that water is not good for electronics. Hopefully water intrusion won’t be a major issue for most people in Central Florida, but it might be for our friends and family closer to the coast. If you think you will be facing a major threat of flooding, unplug the appliance or flip the breaker to it. Do not turn it back on until you are reasonably sure that any electrical components are dried out. (Think of a cell phone)

Power surges: These are a higher likelihood for many of us as lightning increases in proximity to the storm. If you do not have surge protectors or are worried about some of the complicated electronics in your appliances, it is not a bad idea to unplug them or flip the breakers to those units. If they are built-in appliances and you don’t have access to the plugs, flip the breakers.
What if you lose power?  Do not panic, your refrigerator can work like a large Igloo ™ cooler. Keep in mind however, that anytime you open it with no power you will be letting cold air out and it will begin warming up. Frozen foods and ice will begin to melt. When the ice melts it will probably start to leak out of your freezer onto your floor. Remove the ice bucket and use it in your cooler to help keep those foods cool. To prep for the storm put as many bottles of water into your freezer as possible so that you have a higher ice load to maintain the cold. Remember that water expands when it freezes so drain a little off before you put them in. If you lose power you can move some of these to the refrigerator compartment to help keep it cold. It is also a good idea to go ahead and set your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest temperatures.

Everything you ever wanted to know about Self-Cleaning ovens……

We’re on a mission from God and we won’t stop until the senseless stress of dead ovens is eradicated from the holiday season.  As we approach the holidays some of you out there might be thinking, “The in-laws are coming over and we can’t have a filthy oven when they arrive”.

So this is what your oven looks like after you forgot to clean it following your successful Thanksgiving turkey?

DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT!!!!!!  NO ONE CARES BUT YOU, we promise.  Well, that might be a lie but it’s better than no oven at all, right???

Every year we have 5-10 customers that call us in the weeks leading up to Christmas with some very familiar refrains. “Help, I self-cleaned my _______________ (insert any brand here) oven and now I can’t open the door.”  Or the ever popular “Help, I self-cleaned my _______________ (insert any brand here) oven and now it is totally dead.” Or the dreaded, “Help, I self-cleaned my _______________ (insert any brand here) oven but I forgot to remove the foil from the bottom of it and it melted into the liner”.   Okay, I’ll stop.  You get the point.

Pyrolytic (super-hot) self-cleaning is amazing.  Just ask someone that has ever had to clean an oven that isn’t.  It usually involves some pretty aromatic chemicals and lots of elbow grease. Self-cleaning burns the grease and stains from your oven liner and literally turns them into ash.  It does so by achieving temperatures usually only found in workshops, kilns, and other heavy manufacturing processes.   The temperatures required to do this can be up to 900 degrees for several hours.  This degree of heat for a prolonged period can easily damage control boards, trip fuses, blow thermal limiters, and leave you up a culinary creek with a microwave for a paddle.  Having said that, DO NOT use oven cleaners in a self-cleaning oven; they can damage the interior surface.

While most modern ovens are designed to be self-cleaned, doing so is similar to drag racing the family truckster. You can do it, but it stresses your equipment and you shouldn’t do it on a daily basis – especially not before the family road trip.  Let’s think of the holidays as that family road trip for your oven.  “Mr. Griswold, hold off on the drag race until school gets back in session.”

 

Wanna save some money?

Last spring I wrote about clearing out your freezer: removing the unknown, the expired, the unwanted, and then planning your next week’s menu around the food remaining in your freezer. It was a time for savings and serving creative meals for dinner. Making space in my freezer was rewarding and fast too. It allowed me to create space for the spring and summer harvest.

Aggressive Appliances has the same issue that my freezer had last spring. Our warehouse has several appliances that were older models, dented and scratch, mismatched, and returns from clients for various reasons. WE NEED TO CLEAR THEM OUT!

We have brought many of these appliances to our sales floor. Our clearance equals great savings to you! Come check them out!

-Jim Balano

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Subzero Food Preservation

What is the big deal with Sub Zero and their two compressors? Why does it matter?

In two words, food preservation. While other manufacturers have now moved to dual refrigeration, Sub Zero was the pioneer and continues to be at the forefront of innovation in this realm. Ever notice how your milk always freezes on the top shelf or how the lettuce always freezes in the produce drawer?

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Appliance Boy will explain why.

img_2353      Before I launch into the mechanics behind why this happens I want to take a quick side step and explain the “Codfish Ice Cream Photo”. This is another great reason to keep the refrigeration systems in your freezer and fresh food (refrigerator) compartment separated. As the air in some refrigeration systems is transferred from one compartment to the other it takes odors and inevitably other particles with it, thus the fish in your refrigerator can contaminate the ice cream in your freezer. Of course, my vegetarian wife doesn’t want chicken pot pie flavored lettuce. That sounds like a dream to me, but I digress.

      Most refrigerators only make cold air in the freezer compartment and then transfer it to the refrigerator compartment via a damper. The dry frozen air from the freezer doesn’t need to be in contact with your fresh lettuce, apples, or your milk; they need moist, chilled air. It harms them and causes them to go bad faster. As we move towards healthier lives and more conscious eating we are all finding that this healthy eating can be costly (to our wallets not our bodies). Fresh fruits and veggies are expensive and having to replace them every couple days can get pricey.

Everyone is familiar with the expression “one bad apple ruins the entire bunch”. Well it is actually true. When fruits and vegetables decay they release ethylene gas. As this gas is released from the decaying vegetables, it comes into contact with other produce and it actually accelerates the decaying process of those items. Some manufacturers (namely Sub Zero) have addressed this with an internal air filter which reduces the ethylene in the compartment.

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In a quite unscientific test that we conducted several years ago we placed several types of produce in various Built-In Refrigerators in our showroom. We then compared the levels of decay and edibility (is that even a word?!?!) over the course of several weeks. The units with dual refrigeration systems and an internal air filter actually kept the food preserved for more than 25% longer.

Another major factor in food preservation is where you store certain foods inside your refrigerator. Did you realize your refrigerator is set up to have different temperature zones? That is another topic entirely however and we will save that for another week.

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“Is there anything that I can do to get my appliances ready for a hurricane?”

Fear not, APPLIANCE BOY is here to help.

img_0064

While some might view this as a ridiculous question, there are several things that you can do regarding your appliances to help or at least minimize headaches after the fact.

hurricane

Water: I will start by saying that water is not good for electronics. Hopefully water intrusion won’t be a major issue for most people in Central Florida, but it might be for our friends and family closer to the coast. If you think you will be facing a major threat of flooding, unplug the appliance or flip the breaker to it. Do not turn it back on until you are reasonably sure that any electrical components are dried out. (Think of a cell phone)

Power surges: These are a higher likelihood for many of us as lightning increases in proximity to the storm. If you do not have surge protectors or are worried about some of the complicated electronics in your appliances, it is not a bad idea to unplug them or flip the breakers to those units. If they are built-in appliances and you don’t have access to the plugs, flip the breakers.

What if you lose power? Do not panic, your refrigerator can work like a large Igloo ™ cooler. Keep in mind however, that anytime you open it with no power you will be letting cold air out and it will begin warming up. Frozen foods and ice will begin to melt. When the ice melts it will probably start to leak out of your freezer onto your floor. Remove the ice bucket and use it in your cooler to help keep those foods cool. To prep for the storm put as many bottles of water into your freezer as possible so that you have a higher ice load to maintain the cold. Remember that water expands when it freezes so drain a little off before you put them in. If you lose power you can move some of these to the refrigerator compartment to help keep it cold. It is also a good idea to go ahead and set your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest temperatures.

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Emergency Service: We will not have emergency service available during the storm and it will likely not be available again until Saturday.      

As always, you can send a message to service@aggressiveappliances.com.

Wolf Steam Oven Customer Review!

The best reviews are straight from first hand experience with a product!  One of our customers recently purchased a Wolf Steam Oven and absolutely loves it!  He sent us this note reviewing his experience using it:

Jerry,

As you know, my wife and I were somewhat skeptical with regards to substituting the new Wolf Steam Oven instead of a traditional second oven for our new home.  After using the steam oven now for about 2 months, we are finding that we no longer use our primary oven or the microwave as the benefits the steam over provide are remarkable.  In both preparing all type of recipes from cooking, baking, steaming, and reheating leftovers, we find the quality of the food outstanding.

We have been programmed over the years with the Microwave of expecting food to be prepared in the matter of minutes and having the quality marginal.  As we all know, good quality comes with the element of time and a lot of this we lose just in the initial preheating of the oven.  With the steam oven you don’t preheat.  The steam oven attains its cooking temperature so quickly that time is saved over a traditional oven.  Also, we are finding the total cooking time for many recipes is less than a traditional oven and not much longer than a microwave and again, the quality is substantially better than that of either.

When it come to reheating leftovers, here the steam oven leaves all others.  It’s almost like getting the consistency and flavor of the food as if it was just cooked.  The ability to introduce moisture back into a food that has been refrigerated is amazing.  You have to experience this to believe as we were doubters as most clients are at first.

There are still uses for both the main oven and microwave, however  the microwave has been reduced to just heating coffee as the steam oven can do everything the microwave can do, just better.  The only thing you give up is a little bit of time but if you enjoy good food as we do, then patience is rewarded.

Thank you and Cathy from Subzero and Wolf again for your recommendation and we will be recommending this product to our clients.

Mark & Lori Nasrallah

Contact us for more information about the Wolf Steam Oven!

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Now You’re Cooking…With Steam!

When you think of steam power, does your mind race to a 19th century locomotive? Or did your first thought jump to the shirts and slacks waiting to be ironed? Well, we appliance geeks immediately think steam ovens (of course, we also recognize the appliance brands in the kitchen of every TV show and movie we watch).

If you’re unfamiliar with this technology, cooking with steam is not only super healthy, but surprisingly versatile. These appliances, such as the Wolf and Miele steam oven lines, are easy to use and easy to clean. In fact, there’s almost no clean up needed.

The staff at our store regularly heats up leftovers with steam ovens instead of microwaves. Now this may not seem worth mentioning, but these ovens don’t just heat leftovers-they rejuvenate them.

Let’s look at two of the brands we carry. First off, the Miele steam oven is a MasterChef product, which means you just select the type of food you are cooking and it will automatically select the right cooking mode for perfect results! This is known as a food-driven menu system. Miele’s stainless DG 4084 model goes for around $2,850.

Those who can their own food products will go bananas for this appliance, and the rest of us will discover an incredibly healthy way to cook entire meals. The Miele DG 4084 Classic 24” Steam oven may look small inside (everyone exclaims how small it seems), but it delivers big performance. Like most of Miele’s products, not only is it incredibly well engineered and designed, but it is good for 20 years plus.

Not to be outdone, Wolf’s offering is not just a steam oven, but also a convection cooker. This product is likely to be the “go to” cooking appliance for anyone that forks over the nearly $3,800 it costs to own one. In one of the initial presentations introducing this product, Wolf asked the question, “Is there anything this oven can’t cook?” The rest of that presentation then demonstrated the product’s seemingly limitless number of food preparation options, impressing everyone in attendance.

This product is packed with more cooking modes than most people would ever consider (14 in all). If it were not for the gourmet mode, also a food-driven menu system, it might be one of those products that gets demonstrated and then passed over by consumers for something less intimidating. But for those who want the best of all cooking worlds, not just steam, this offering from Wolf is the one for you.

The “Dummy’s Guide” to Magnetic Induction Cooktop Technology

To many consumers, magnetic induction (MI) cooking is an advanced technology straight out of a futuristic sci-fi kitchen. But in reality, these induction cooktops date back to the ‘80s, saw a reintroduction in the ‘90s and were withdrawn or recalled shortly thereafter due to service issues. This most recent resurgence has them in kitchens to stay, though. To put it simply, this cooktop technology offers the most efficient use of energy.  Induction 1

Gas has long been regarded as the fuel of choice to fire up our cooktops, largely because of its responsiveness. In areas where natural gas is readily available, appliance dealers rarely sell electric. Likewise in electric markets, many homeowners won’t go to the expense of installing a Liquid Propane (LP) tank and plumbing the house, so electric cooking appliances are the norm (much to the chagrin of real cooks, who generally prefer gas).

Induction 2But with this latest resurgence of induction cooktops, many folks are becoming enamored with the responsiveness, efficiency and safety benefits this cooking technology offers. The only drawback has been the price. However, we’re now seeing the array of induction products expanding and the prices coming down to the tipping point for many consumers.

So, here’s the “Dummy’s Guide” to induction cooking: The element under the glass vibrates the atomic particles of the cooking vessel (sci-fi sound effects please)–throughInduction 3 magnetic energy. That means that your pot or pan must be made of ferrous (iron containing) metal. If a magnet doesn’t stick to it, it isn’t gonna work. That vibrating pan then heats the food. With other forms of electric, the burners get hot and lots of that heat goes into the air and is wasted. The same goes for gas, which is another inefficient use of energy. When expressed in efficiency percentages, MI hovers in the mid 80% range, while all other cooking techniques are about half that, sitting at about 40%. 

Now to the responsive power of MI, which makes all the difference for real cooks. Induction is faster to boil and more instantaneous to simmer once you learn the control mechanisms. Some cooks might claim that gas performs just as well, but that is undoubtedly personal bias talking. In both the demonstrations we’ve performed, real cooks who used gas and MI cooktops side by side gave the slight edge to induction.

Now tInduction 4o safety: Induction cooktops can reduce the number of kitchen fires to virtually zero. Because the element isn’t hot, nothing that falls on it burns (unless it is food that happens to fall into a ferrous metal pot or pan).

Finally, because the induction burners are set under glass, these appliances are beautiful. Folks often tell us they don’t really cook, so they wouldn’t be interested in an induction cooktop. But these are the same folks that end up buying the MI products simply because they look fantastic in their kitchen. Go check them out for yourself at a quality appliance store that will let you do a “test drive.”

The Quietest In Class Has Arrived

The new 2013 Bosch dishwashers have arrived and while Bosch has always been on the leaderboard in the highly competitive industry of dishwashers, they have officially broken away from the pack. With everyone making so much noise about the quietest dishwasher, it seems that the Bosch engineers have triumphed once again.

Their latest quiet number is 39dBA. Since Bosch held the previous low of 42dBA, they are resoundingly the quietest brand around. Here’s the proper context to understand the decibel (dBA) number: An increase of 3 dBA is the equivalent of two dishwashers running at once; that means they’ve cut the noise in half! You can explore the “science of quiet” over at Bosch’s website and compare their dishwasher to other familiar sounds at varying decibels. The Bosch Dishwasherdishwasher is now so quiet that the only way some know the machine is running is by the presence of their InfoLight shining onto the floor; as can be seen here in Bosch’s commercial highlighting this un-heard of level of quiet. The ad goes on to feature brush-less motors and multi layers of sound absorbing insulation. The new design elements work together to make this the quietest dishwasher around, so there’s no more waiting until the dishwasher is finished to gather around and start a family movie night!

In regards to load ability, the upper models are fantastic, with lower priced models less impressive. The innovative 3rd rack is now available in more models and at lower price points than ever before (beginning at $899). You’ll get up to 30% more loading area on models with this 3rd rack design. With water usage still down in the 2.4-3.3 gallon range and 4 different design configurations, this new line of dishwashers will resonate with consumers in a big way. Schedule an in-store demonstration today to see for yourself!

Big Green Egg Kamodo Style Grill Is A Must

da7174fThe Big Green Egg is a kamado style ceramic cooker that has attracted masses of fans around the globe. One of our employees tried out the Big Green Egg for themselves and determined this is a must-need for every home in Florida; it has had a cult-like effect on everyone at Aggressive Appliances and we just can’t stay away!

The high quality materials make these cookers last for decades, so finding a way to integrate them into a summer kitchen (not just as a roll around product) was bound to happen. Originating centuries ago, the ceramic kamado cooker served as the main cooking appliance for millions of people, and it still does today. With the ability to bake, broil, smoke, and grill at controlled temperatures it simply begs to be cooked on all year long. Aggressive owns one for cooking at our events and one by one each of our staff is joining the cult!

While there are many, many competitors on the market these days including Primo and Kamado Joe, the Big Green Egg is undoubtedly the benchmark kamado cooker. Even the competitors seem to agree, as everyone else’s sales pitch contains the line “it’s just as good as the Big Green Egg”. Dubbed as the original American-designed ceramic cooker, the Big Green Egg’s USA made precision temperature gauge allows backyard chefs to control heat accurately up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit. The Big Green Egg was also the first ceramic grill manufacturer to offer a Limited Lifetime Warranty as a testament to their quality over competitors.

We can attest that selling the BGE is somewhat akin to a pyramid scheme in that a friend tells a friend, etc. and it’s a snowball of affection for the product from there. Something else that’s nice and rare in this level of product is that the Big Green Eggs are affordable because there’s a model for everyone. The Big Green Egg prices start at $399 for the mini, with larger Big Green Egg models available at $559, $659, $849, and the Xlarge at $1,199.

Come check out the Big Green Egg in person and find out how you can kick off summer with one of the most versatile cookers on the market!

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