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Category Archives: Viking

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.

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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.

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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.

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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….

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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!

Pick up your drawers…

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Microwave drawers have been popular for over a decade now. Many builders, designers, and kitchen remodelers like the fact that they can have a microwave tucked away under an island, bar cabinet, or theater area relatively concealed and off of the counter.

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MSRP varies for microwave drawers from $949.99 to $1900. Sharp invented and patented the microwave drawer. They use their chassis to make the insides of all the other brands offering microwave drawers. Wolf, Gaggenau, Thermador, Bosch, Viking, Monogram, Jenn-Air, and Dacor all have their own version to match up with their product lines.ThermadorDrawerIn our live kitchens we show Wolf, Thermador, Viking, and Sharp models. They are all similar in features, but it is interesting that Sharp saves a trump or two for themselves. Sharp rates their models at 1000 watts and everyone else has a rating of 950 watts. Expect a cook time difference that will be only a few seconds off, if any. Sharp upsized their microwave drawers from 1.0 cu.ft. to 1.2 cu.ft. a few years ago. As the new models from the other vendors get updated, they are also gaining the extra size. Viking, Jenn-Air and Dacor still sell the 1.0 model, but you will be hard pressed to see where the 0.2 cubic foot went. Some brands offer their microwave drawers in 24″ and 30″ widths for aesthetic and design purposes. The interior capacity remains the same regardless of the width you choose.VikingDrawer

One of the more common questions is if full coffee cups or other liquids splash out as the power open and close drawer moves. Because we have them live, we can test that. All four models sloshed the water in our coffee cup and bowl differently. I think that shows the inconsistencies in manufacturing. In a slope sided cereal bowl about ¾ full, only one of the microwave drawers spilled any water. None of them spilled water from the coffee cup.  Granted….this was with a glass and a bowl of water.  Popcorn, casseroles, and a dinner plate would work fine taking the ride in and out.

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All of the models are great performing sensor microwaves. Sharp promises us that they will begin offering a convection model that will also function as a baking oven. They also plan to offer a model that will accept a custom wood panel so that it hides in the cabinetry. Do not expect those before 2018, though. If you are tired of the over-the-range or countertop microwave, come in to our showroom to check out the microwave drawer.

Blog content provided in conjunction with Doug White and is sponsored by the letter “M” and “W” along with the number 37. That last part may not be accurate.

2015 Year in Review

Happy New YearIt’s been yet another exciting year at Aggressive and much like the rest of the world we are recapping some of the best parts. January 2015 was the official start of our weekly blog and with it each week we brought you up to speed on new appliances, recipes, helpful tips, stories, and showroom happenings. Here are some our favorite highlights from 2015.

The introduction of the snazzy Viking Induction cooktop

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GE Monogram’s French door single walloven

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Our Kill Deer family that grew by three

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The celebration of our 35th Anniversary with locally sourced goodies every day that week

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FOUR new kitchen renovations to our showroom displays with Miele, Viking, Subzero-Wolf, and Gaggenau product lines

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VikingKitchenSubzero-WolfKitchenSubzero-WolfKitchen2GaggenauKitchenAnd of course we had a variety of events…

Our Second Annual Couples Cook-offs brought to us by Edible Orlando and Orlando Date Night Guide

Couples Cookoff 2015

Our FIT Event with the Magic Team, Second Harvest and Disney

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Many delicious meals were prepared and enjoyed in our kitchens by our own employees and guest chefs.

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We know all about “new” at Aggressive because there’s always something “new” going on. 2016 appears to be unchanging in that there’s more change on the horizon of this new year.

So 2016…..BRING IT!!!

This Little Griddle of Mine, I’m Gonna Let it Shine

VikingChrome-1The day before Thanksgiving it was kind of quiet in here right after 12 noon. I’m sure you were all busy cooking, prepping, or sitting in stand still traffic. This was the perfect time for us at Aggressive to play on our appliances. We are prone to do that from time to time.

One of the reasons our customers benefit from our mostly live showroom is we play on the appliances and tell them about what we like about them. We test out their cool features AND eat too many of the tasty results, often. Eric and Doug treated us to peanut loaded cookies and homemade sausages on this particular Thanksgiving Eve. It should be noted this place is a serious threat to my waist and worth every calorie…

The reason I bring up their willingness to feed us is that I was most impressed by how Eric cooked up the sausage. He first defrosted it in the Miele steam oven and then griddled it up on the Viking  ViChrome™ Griddle.

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This griddle is quite impressive!!!! The result was a juicy and tender sausage inside, but crispy and browned on the outside. Perfection! So tasty and fresh. You would never have known it was frozen from 2014!!!! Since the griddle is “thermostatically” controlled it gives off even heat and temperature across the whole surface. That heat stays on the griddle so you aren’t heating up the kitchen, just the food.

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Anyone who loves cooking also knows cleaning up is not an ingredient of that joy. Once cooled, this griddle is easy to lift off the range and carry. The non-stick grease catch also comes out with no problem. Bring all the pieces to the sink, soap up, and done! All cleaned up! It’s mirror-like, chrome finish is beautiful, will not discolor over time, and is why it is so easy to clean.

If you happen to be in the area and want play on this range, or any other appliance, let us know. We would be happy to sample your creation!

“Blank Space”

11873 1000_VIKING_PRWe’ve had a blank space in our Viking kitchen countertop for a short time while we patiently awaited the release of a brand new Viking piece. Much to the surprise of my appliance enamored heart it was filled last Friday with possibly one of the most magnificent 36” induction cooktops I’ve ever laid my eyes on.

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The LED lighting in Viking’s signature blue illuminates the surface to artfully let you know “Hey, I’m on! Look at me!”

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There is a subtle wavy image graphic in the corner of each element to indicate which burner, or burners, are on. The 6 elements are 9 inches squared beneath the surface and will boost to a high of 3700 watts (the gas equivalent of 26000 BTUs) for the first 10 minutes when turned on high. ALL of the elements can be on at once and allowing the full surface can be used.VikingCktp2

This model has a beveled edge and a grey-ish mirrored finish that is visually interesting and provides a very different look than any other brand currently in the market. See….

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If you’re still unaware of the pros of cooking with induction, let me fill you in. It’s energy efficient, much easier to keep clean, fast, and responsive. You really have to see it to understand just how fun induction is to use.  If you’re in the market for a new 30″ or 36” cooktop this Viking cooktop is another reason to visit us.

Maybe this choice will be forever, because it certainly won’t go down in flames…(cue guilty pleasure cheesy pop music)…