407-295-4489

Category Archives: Major Appliances

Fight Like a Viking

11873 1000_VIKING_PRAs a dealer we are invited to learn and cook on many manufacturer products. This week in my appliance adventures I flew into Georgia with healthy skepticism of the Viking product line.  Because I’m such an appliance geek, what I learned surprised and excited me. Viking keeps fighting…

Since being purchased in 2013 by Middleby Corporation, a leader in commercial kitchen technology, Viking has reinvented and revitalized their brand. Let me take you on a mini tour of how they’ve done that.

VikingCooktops2

Infrared broil technology in their electric ovens, and a carpet of broiling fire in their gas ovens, was really something to watch and use. The power of their induction elements and knob-controlled cooktops open up the market for those wanting more speed and/or have difficulty using electronic touch controls.

VikingBroiler

Learning the various ways to use a warming drawer for slow cooking recipes will make this a must have piece in any kitchen. They also offer the only combi-steam-bake-convection microwave on the market. But by far the most impressive of their commercial technology is due out on the market this year with the introduction of the Turbochef oven to the residential market.

TurboChef

Turbochef uses radiant heat, microwaves, and convection in a way that will take our fast pace cooking to a whole new level. It’s used daily in well known companies commercially to speed up cooking, crisping, and baking to minutes instead of hours. Baked potatoes, French fries, breads, meats, desserts, you name it…done in minutes. Imagine a whole meal cooked for a large crowd in 20 minutes. This is the future and the future is knocking hard and fast on our kitchen doors. Wait for it….

VikingCoke

Refrigeration in Viking has major changes (thankfully). The free-standing, counter-depth piece pictured above is the only piece made by another company….but since it was filled with Coke products….it deserved a picture here. Their built-in products have better hinges and the addition of their Ion Purification System called the “Plasmacluster System”. This type of purification is used in the medical field and the military to clean bacteria from the air and aid (in this situation) in food preservation. It doesn’t use a replacement filter because it’s not a filter. Their compressor design does not require cleaning because of the way it’s designed. They use metal shelving on the doors and tempered shelves on the interior. They offer a max cool in the freezer and refrigeration sections to bring quick cool to just packed refrigerators. The crisper drawers control and introduce humidity where it’s needed most. It’s worth checking out.VikingRef

They have taken the Blomberg dishwasher as their own and with it have combined some of the best features found in many leading dishwashers on the market today. They offer two dishwashers, one with a third rack. Their third rack machine doesn’t cover the entire top of the dishwasher. This helps to accommodate large stemware on the second shelf. All models offer a third wash arm in the top of the stainless steel tub. While not the quietest at 48 dBa, it does offer a final rinse cycle at 167 degrees and their longest cycle is about 2 hours. That high temp final rinse, along with the fan assist, will aid in condensation drying which has become an industry standard.VikingDishwasher

Viking has the ingenuity of design engineers from 67 commercial divisions of Middleby working to bring commercial cooking to a residential environment. Viking Pro offers 2 year warranty.

There is so much I can’t fit into this blog, but come in and let me tell you the story of any piece in their line. Viking is definitely a company worth watching closely to see what new ways our lives will change in the kitchen in months and years to come.

VikingResults

Commercial Cooking and Cooling – Sort of

TrueA few of our brands got their start building products that were not intended for home use.  Products designed for restaurants and grocery stores tend to be larger, louder and less efficient, but more reliable than residential appliances.  While no one recommends commercial equipment for your house, we are able to recommend some commercial brands. 

True1

A large number of coolers and refrigerators in grocery and convenience stores carry the True logo.  True got their start in the 40’s building drink coolers.  Their first big contract was with 7-Up, building reach-in coolers for soda bottles.  They’ve grown to become the biggest supplier in the world for display coolers and restaurant refrigeration.  True Residential builds a complete line of under-counter refrigerators, wine coolers, freezers and ice machines for the home.  They have just added a 42” and 48” built-in side by side refrigerator that would look as much at home in a premium restaurant as it will in your kitchen.  These products have the super high quality components of commercial equipment, while meeting the stringent energy standards of the residential market. 

PerlickRef

The world’s largest restaurant company, Darden Restaurants, happens to be a local, Orlando based company.  Darden owns Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze and several other restaurant brands.  They demand equipment that will not let them down.  Behind any Darden bar you will see Perlick refrigerators chilling their beer and wine.  You can have that same commercial quality with a sleeker look right in your own home with their residential under-counter refrigerators that come in widths from 15” to 48″.  Perlick is also an industry leader in stadium, arena, and bar beer systems.  Keeping your beer cold, whether it comes in cans, bottles or kegs, is no struggle for Perlick.

Perlick1

Many people assume that Viking’s restaurant style ranges originated in restaurant kitchens, however, that would be untrue.  Viking was designed to look like it came from a commercial kitchen, but have the features and safety of a home range.  Over three years ago Fred Carl, who founded Viking, sold the company to Middleby Corp.  VikingCktp3

Middleby, a restaurant and commercial equipment manufacturer, has brought features directly from their restaurant division to their Viking residential appliances.  Their French door wall oven uses the same hinge used on a Blodgett commercial oven.  Their 23,000 btu 7 Series range burners are based on the Southbend restaurant range. The CookTek inductors in Viking’s new induction cooktop will outcook any other appliance in our store. Their speed oven, Turbo Chef, will begin shipping in a few weeks. 

TurboChef

There is no reason you can not cook and cool like the chefs in your favorite premium restaurant.  Well, not having the skills of your favorite chef might be a valid reason for not cooking like them, but at least you can have comparable equipment to practice on!

Your Cup of Tea?

GECafeKeurig

GE Café Series has come up with a brilliant way to make your free-standing refrigerator work harder for you. If you love your Keurig, you’ll love this new feature on this exceptionally featured GE Café French door, standard or counter-depth refrigerator.

GECafeKeurig2GECafeKeurig3

 

 

 

 

As if brewing up your favorite K-cup of tea, coffee, or hot cocoa weren’t enough, you can also dispense hot water. From an app on your phone you can also schedule just when your hot water should be ready to go. Imagine climbing out of bed, pushing a button and having hot water or your Keurig dispenser ready to go…no preheat time required because the refrigerator followed your programmed schedule. The hot water can also be dispensed at a specific temperature using 4 presets, think soup and oatmeal temperatures. While it dispenses the screen displays how many ounces (or mL) have come out. That’s awesome!

GECafeRefPF

GECafeRefPF2

 

 

 

 

Some other features? With the Precise Fill function, the dispenser will let you select how much water to dispense. So, for instance, if you need 3/4 cups of water for your cookies, you can select that amount and the refrigerator will dispense that amount. There’s a perfect temp drawer that also lights up different colors depending on the setting so you don’t have to guess as to which you picked. There are three settings.

GECafeRefDrwr

This refrigerator offers a dual evaporation system called TwinChill™ evaporators. They regulate odors and humidity independently in the freezer and refrigerator sections. Why would this be important to you? Because it will keep your food fresher, longer.

GECafeRefLED

The counter-depth model boasts a 22.2 cf capacity, while the standard depth offers 27.8 cf. With a MSRP of $3300 and beautiful, bright LED lighting it’s clear to see why this might be a refrigerator you would want to take a look at on our showroom floor. See you soon!

Cater to Me

MikeCaterMike, one of our sales team members, had a call come in from a client the other day who also happens to be a chef. As he was accustomed to using full sheet catering pans in his restaurant, he was interested in a range that would accept full sheet pans to accommodate his creations at home. Wanting to confirm which models would work, we started going from product to product putting each to the test. We carry all of the leading brands and display them on our floor. That made it very easy to find out.

DCSrange

So what did we find out?

BlueStarRange

We found that DCS, Dacor, Thermador Pro Grand, MONOGRAM, and BlueStar in 36″ and 48″ ranges are all able to accommodate a full sheet catering pan.

Dacor

It should be noted that not all clients need that feature in their range. I know personally I have gone my whole life and have not needed to use a full sheet catering pan. I’ve even been known to cook up a storm in a 20″ range that I dubbed my “Easy Bake Oven”. However, if you do have the need, it is great to know there are plenty of fantastic options (that we carry and you can test) right here to choose from in our showroom without having to own or visit a restaurant with a commercial range! See you soon!

 

When you wish upon a BlueStar…

bs11My appliance adventures lead me to the crisp fall weather of Reading, Pennsylvania. BlueStar was the brand I was privileged to be wowed by this month….

bs1

The setting of BlueStar was like stepping back in time as I walked into a manufacturing building from 1880. Within its historic walls I found hand crafted ranges, wall ovens, and cooktops still being made….by hand. I personally witnessed master welders expertly close stainless steel seams and sand them smooth into a one of a kind cooking masterpiece. They test every one of their products before they leave the building. Focusing on their free standing ranges, follow me into the land of appliance artistry and workmanship that is exceptional in this industry.

bs12

BlueStar takes the open burner concept and puts their burner design in an elite class all on its own. How? Well, for starters there are ports all up and down the 8 prong burner, with a grate design that doesn’t interfere with the flame. Depending on the BTU of the burner, there are more or less ports. Their simmer burner goes down to 130 degrees. The Platinum Series offers a 25000 BTU burner. The grates are cast iron coated with porcelain for ease of cleaning. The way the burner is nestled within the grates it is easy to see how this particular open burner concept makes cleaning up a breeze. Cooled grates can be hand washed in hot, soapy water or thrown in a dishwasher. Spillovers land in an easy access, removable, drip tray cleaned in the same way. Removing the center of any grate allows direct flame cooking perfect for woks. The Platinum series offers a removable griddle/grill kit. The RNB Series offers built-in configuration options such as a griddle, grill, or French plate, along with burners.

BlueStar_Booth2-623-800-600-80

They offer 6 types of ranges depending on your cooking needs, your wallet, and your customization preferences. Any of their 30” ranges and up are able to hold a true to size catering sheet . The Platinum Series offers innovative heating with PowR Oven technology. The concept is that the oven cavity air is heated, not the oven walls, reducing pre-heat times as well as improving recovery time when the door is opened or food in put in. Their infrared broiler goes up to 1850 degrees.

bs13

With all of that….they also offer 750+ color options and are able to create a range in any color from a swatch. The knobs and bezels can be custom colored as well. There are textures, jewel tones, and metallic to choose from as well. If you can dream it, I’m sure BlueStar could do it! 

bs17

Fun facts about BlueStar

They manufacture pieces for other companies. They acquired Big Chill 5 years ago. They acquired Independent Hoods 3 years ago. They are owned by Prizer Painter Stove Works (hence all the uber-cool color choices). They are launching a refrigeration line at the end of 2015, beginning 2016. And……They totally blew me away. I can’t even fit all I learned in this blog!!!

bs3

I can tell you this, if you want to wish on an appliance star, consider making it a BlueStar, because anything your heart desires may just come true….bs5BS CBS ABS B

 

Finding the Right One

Baking iStock_000063681259_SmallThere are so many brands in the appliance industry. Each one carries it’s own set of bells and whistles, or not. When renovating, rebuilding, or just replacing one major appliance in your home, it is really important to be able to see what’s out there and get a true feel for what you want in the heart of your home.

DCS12

Some brands offer lots of innovation, scroll screens, options, and have easy to navigate options. Some are more manually driven and the temperatures, settings, and oven modes are right up front. Are you looking for sleek and modern? Or do you lean more towards a control board that is reminiscent of gauges on a plane?

Thermador2

Are you feeling stainless or is color more your speed? Maybe a simple coil range fits the bill with its minimal features because simplicity is the goal.

MieleScreen

The beauty of our showroom is the ability to walk around and really see the possibilities. We have so many appliances that are live and in use. We cook with them, clean with them, keep food fresh with them, and enjoy them! Our reps have first hand use and knowledge to share and can guide you through your selection based on your wants and needs. This is invaluable during the selection process. I have been here when clients have brought in their own chicken breasts to test several ovens with the goal of finding the right one. Some have found that their original plan for one brand lead them a different way once they saw all that was available in brands they hadn’t seen before.

With an appliance playground right in your backyard, stop in and see us! Orlando is full of theme parks, be sure to stop in and visit ours!

Rollercoaster2

Photo Credit to Tina Wilson