Archive for the ‘Cooktops’ Category

Stove top cleaning tips

December 20, 2013

candy-stove-mess

It’s that magical time of year when you’re cooking twice and much and inviting people into your home to witness the aftermath of that.

Luckily, returning your stove top or cooktop to looking like new isn’t that hard; it just takes a little know-how.

Follow my tips and you’ll never flounder with soap and water again. Cuz ain’t got time for that!

If you have porcelain-coated stove top or grates

gas-stove-top-cleaning-tipsNo. 1 Enemy: Clean up spills containing acids, such as vinegar and tomato, as soon as the surface is cool enough as they could affect the finish.

Tool: Nonabrasive plastic scrubbing pad and cooktop cleaner. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser saves a lot of elbow grease.

Timesaver: Throw grates in the dishwasher on the most powerful cycle you have. It’s recommended to give it a good bath in the sink first, but if you have a great Warner Stellian dishwasher like I do, no prerinsing necessary!

DO NOT: put caps on the dishwasher or reassemble caps on burners while they are wet. Unless you like struggling to ignite your burners.

If you have a ceramic or glass top stove, i.e. electric:

how-to-clean-ceramic-stove-top

No. 1 Enemy: Sugary spills (jellies, candy, syrup). Tis the season!

Tool: Cooktop Scraper or a razor blade. Clean while the cooktop is still warm, wearing oven mitts if necessary.

Culprit: Heavy soil, dark streaks, specks, and discoloration

Tool: Cooktop Polishing Cream or soap and water (if you have aggression you need to work out). Do like Mr. Miyagi taught you: wax on, wax off until white film disappears and takes mess with it.

Culprit: Burned-on soil

Tool: Cooktop Cleaner and Cooktop Scraper (or razor blade). First apply cleaner. Then scrape surface keeping blade as flat as possible. Finish polishing cooktop until film disappears.

Culprit: Overboiling residue

Tool: Overboiling was a special skill of mine when I was first learning how to cook, which took place on the unforgivably hot surface of an electric stovetop. I learned that a melamine sponge (aka Mr. Clean Magic Eraser) eliminated the evidence quite well.

If you have cast-iron grates

cleaning cast iron grates

Read this existing post. HOW TO: clean cast iron grates.

how to clean stainless steel cooktop

You might have a full stainless steel stove top under your grates. First try stainless steel cleaner. For tougher messes, try a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Always go with the grain for best results.

4 days left to get up to $1,700 in Appliance Stimulus rebates

February 28, 2013

appliances-twin-cities

appliance-stimulus-sale

The Appliance Stimulus is back, at Warners’ Stellian through Sunday, March 3

Warners’ Stellian re-created the government’s Cash for Clunkers-style appliance rebate program that was so popular, it crashed the state’s website a few years ago. Not everyone got to take advantage of the limited rebates, and customer requests for similar savings was huge.

Plus, many needed new dryers, microwaves and ranges, which were excluded from the government’s program. Our event has become wildly popular, so we’ve made it an annual mainstay and continue to make it bigger each year.

Like the state’s program in 2010, rebates must be reserved online at warnersstellian.com. Participants may receive up to $1,700 in rebates total but will receive at least $100 in many cases per appliance.

Sample rebates include:

$150 rebate on a refrigerator that costs between $1,000 and $1,4999
$100 rebate on a dishwasher that costs between $499 and $999
$200 for a cooking appliance which costs between $1500 and $2499.99

$50 for a freezer which costs between $299 and $499
$50 for a vacuum which costs more than $328

Rebate total details

Dishwasher (limit 1):

  • $499 to $999.99 – $100 rebate
  • $1000 and up – $150 rebate

Cooking – Ranges, cooktops, ovens, microwaves, etc. (limit 2)

  • $699 to $999.99 – $100 rebate
  • $1000 to $1499.99 – $150 rebate
  • $1500 to $2499.99 – $200 rebate
  • $1500 to $2499.99 – $300 rebate
  • $2500 and up –  $300 rebate

Refrigerator (limit 1):

  • $699 to $999.99 – $100 rebate
  • $1000 to $1499.99 – $150 rebate
  • $1500 to $2499.99 – $200 rebate
  • $2500 and up – $300 rebate

Washer and/or Dryer (limit 1 washer and dryer):

  • $499 to $999.99 each – washer $50 rebate, dryer $50 or $150 for a qualified laundry pair
  • $1000 and up each – washer $100 rebate, dryer $100 rebate or $300 total for a qualified laundry pair

Freezer (limit 1):

  • $399-599.99 – $50 rebate
  • $600 and up – $100 rebate

Vacuum (limit 1)

  • $329 and up – $50 rebate

Water Softeners and Water Heaters (limit 1; can be combined with utility rebates for even greater savings; check with your provider)

  • $499 to $1399.99 – $50 rebate
  • $1400 & up – $200 rebate

Participating brands we are advertising: Bosch, Electrolux, Samsung, Frigidaire, Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, GE, LG, Bertazzoni, Liebherr, Capital, ULine, Asko, Speed Queen, Panasonic, Dyson, Blomberg and more.

Beyond the Stimulus rebate savings, there will be deep discounts on all categories of appliances. A few examples:

  • Frigidaire front load laundry pair for only $899 (regularly $1399)
  • KitchenAid stainless steel dishwasher for just $599 (regularly price of $999.99)
  • Save $1000 on a 4-piece stainless steel kitchen package (fridge, range, dishwasher, microwave) from GE Profile, now just $4249

Aggressive discounts on kitchen packages hope to encourage consumers to replace their existing refrigerators, ranges, microwaves and dishwashers all at once. For example, shoppers can get $1000 savings on a GE Profile stainless steel kitchen package, making it just $4249.

Plus, 18 months special financing available. And as always, local delivery (including free-standing appliance installation) and appliance recycling are free on orders $499 and above.

WHEN:  Now through Sunday, March 3. Customers can reserve their rebate online  

WHERE:  Eight Warners’ Stellian locations, including our:

appliance-stimulus-rebates

HOW TO: clean stove drip pans

January 26, 2012

OK, stop acting like you're having fun. Cleaning the stove is NOT fun. Especially with that spray; you'll be scrubbin' all night.

Cleaning my stove top reminds me of making the bed: even if I do it today, I’m still going to have to do it tomorrow, too.

If you have an electric coil stove you have drip pans, which — by name — catch drips. Even if you clean your range top often, it’s a mess the next time you cook.

So the clean up should be quick and easy, or it won’t get done, right?

The method I’ve suggested before is cleaning stove drip pans with a paste. But no matter how wonderful, applying the paste and rinsing the pans is still more than some of us have time for on a nightly basis.

And this applies to gas stove tops like mine, too. Lots of drips land on the burner caps and below the grates.

The fastest, easiest — and perhaps even most effective way to clean the surface — Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, or a generic version of this melamine foam sponge.

It looks like an ordinary sponge, but because it’s melamine, it actually has little microscrubbers that can remove discoloration and baked on mess with minimal elbow grease.

That being said, it is abrasive in nature so it can scratch or dull surfaces if you’re not careful (Bon-Ami is a great alternative in this case). ‘

If you’re like me, you get so excited about the sudden ease of cleaning your seemingly impossible stove top that you move on to those marks on the floor, that mildew in the shower grout…

Burner-less induction cooktop senses the shape and location of cookware to heat anywhere on surface

January 9, 2012

Induction cooktops, already the hottest way to cook, just got hotter.

The new Thermador Freedom Induction Cooktop heats up your cookware wheverer you place it - no burners.

No more being limited to four or five burners of the same shape.

The new Thermador Freedom cooktop lets cooks place their cookware anywhere on the cooking surface — even oddly shaped items like griddles or roasting pans (think of the gravy making possibilities).

The cooktop will intelligently recognize the cookware size, shape and position to deliver heat without boundaries.

If you’re wondering, ‘What is an induction cooktop?’ Induction cooking rivals gas cooking’s responsive temperature control while being much more efficient, safer (the surface stays cool to the touch) and the smooth surface naturally is easier to clean.

If you’re really into specifics, here’s more info from Thermador:

  • 48 individual 3-inch induction heating elements translates to a 63-percent more effective cooking area on the surface by eliminating the conventional standard of predefined elements.
  • A 6.5-inch, full-color touchscreen display that recognizes pot shape, size, and controls power setting and cooking time
  • Surface area to accommodate a 21-inch x 13-inch pan with the largest cooking surface in the industry
  • A range of 4,600-watt maximum power output with Boost feature and 15-watt minimum power output

But what would a super innovative product be without a color touchscreen these days? The obligatory touchscreen doesn’t just control temperature but shows the position of all cookware.

The Thermador Freedom Induction Cooktop will be available July 2012 with a MSRP of $4,949.

7 most popular appliance blog posts of 2011

December 28, 2011

A post on cleaning the dishwasher was a top dog.

Though not the most-read posts of all time on the Warners’ Stellian Appliance blog, these next 7 posts garnered the most views of those written this year.

7. HOW TO: clean a dishwasher

With more states banning phosphates in dishwashers without consumers possibly noticing, dishwashers got white film.

But a regular maintenance cleaning is always a good idea.

6. HOW TO: clean cast iron grates

If you’re lucky enough to have cast iron grates, you’re unlucky enough to handle cleaning them. The experts at Wolf Range weighed in.

5. DIY Network ‘Rehab Addict’ Nicole Curtis talks appliances

Old house lover/rehabber Nicole Curtis invited us into her “Minnehaha House” in Minneapolis for tips on fixing up kitchens and buying the right appliances.

4. Stove drip pans cleaning tips

Is there anything worse than the grime that builds up on the burner pans on your stove top? Not only do I include a deep-cleaning method, but I offer up the secret ingredient to easily keeping those drip pans shiny on a weekly basis.

3. How long does a dishwasher last?

2. How long does a refrigerator last?

1. How long does a washer last?

No, you’re right; they don’t make ‘em like they used to. (But believe me, that’s not all bad!) Unfortunately, gone are the days when you could expect your appliances to last a decade and a half. Find the new lifespans in each post above.

DCS 36 gas cooktop

November 3, 2011
DCS gas cooktop

DCS gas cooktop

DCS Appliances is trying hard to be the go-to brand for people who cook. (You might have seen them in action on America’s Test Kitchen.)

DCS was purchased by the (probably better-known) New Zealand brand, Fisher & Paykel but inherited its focus on performance from the commercial DCS products, so “home chefs” are likely to be pleased.

Especially with the DCS gas cooktops.

Of course faster boil times are great, but you don’t want to screw up delicate sauces when you’re trying to simmer. Sealed Dual Flow Burners, unique to DCS appliances, provide the control you need.

DCS 36 gas cooktop

On the 36 inch gas cooktop (CDU-365), the powerful center burner can roar at 17,500 BTUs on the 36 inch gas cooktop.

This 5 burner gas cooktop can hover at a gentle 140 degree simmer on ANY burner — so you won’t scorch your five pots of chocolate. (Hey, you never know, right?)

Sealed burners and a sleek design mean no more hard-to-reach spills. And heavy duty grates cover the entire stainless steel cooking surface to make sliding larger pots and pans easy (hello, canners!).

Big, distinctive knobs are easy to use and offer visible confirmation of cooktop temperatures.

There’s also a 4 burner 30 inch gas cooktop, which like the 36 inch cooktop can drop into any kitchen counter. And a one-touch downdraft vent can be added to both the 30 in and 36 in models.

Induction cooktops work like a gas cooktop, using electric power

May 2, 2011

Induction burners heat only magnetic surfaces (like cookware) and nothing else.

While visiting a home in my neighborhood on the Minneapolis – St. Paul Home Tour yesterday, a tour representative said this homeowner’s renovation included switching from an electric stove to a gas stove and how much the representative wished she had a gas stove top in her own home.

“Well, what about induction?” I asked her.

It’s no longer just a choice between gas or electric stoves; homeowners with electric hookups can enjoy all the power of gas plus more responsiveness.

What do you lose with induction? All the wasteful energy loss. Cooking with induction is 70% more efficient than gas and 20% more efficient than electric.

Clean up is easier than smooth top gas ranges because spills don’t burn onto the surface. You can stick a hundred-dollar bill between an induction burner element and a pot of boiling water without worry

Why? Induction burners only heat magnetic surfaces (so you’ll know if your pots and pans are compatible if a magnet sticks to the bottom!), which also make induction cooktops popular choices for kid- and pet-safe kitchens.

Due to its recent rise in popularity (induction has been around since the ’70s but only took off recently), brands now make induction ranges in addition to induction cooktops.

More chefs and gourmet cooks are choosing induction; we put a Thermador induction cooktop in Midtown Global Market’s Kitchen in the Market just this year. I can’t wait to see more people delight in the ability to cook like they’re using gas without the cost and hassle of switching from electric.

Cooking the Market with Kitchen in the Market

March 2, 2011


This Saturday, a pair of my girlfriends and I attended the Cooking the Market class at the new, expanded Kitchen in the Market (in the Midtown Global Market).

Verdict? Stark, raving mad about it. We can’t wait to go back.

Kitchen in the Market started in 2008, but owners Chef Molly Herrmann and Tracy Morgan just opened the new space — a shared commercial kitchen space as well as a cooking school and retail shop. See more if you’re curious.


We shook hands with some champagne cocktails before even removing our coats, and traced the origins of our delicious cheese (which led to numerous “Portlandia” references from our Peanuts Gallery), as guided by Grassroots Gourmet’s Vicky Potts. This intro eased the less-familiar cooks in the 16-person class into the experience, which is open to all levels.


Next, Molly took us on a tour of the market, highlighting the fresh, in-season and obscure (e.g. goat tenderloin). I jotted mental notes, as we created the night’s menu on the spot.

Our newly formed teams engaged in a menu-planning pow wow with the professionals (Molly and other chefs present) and got Market Money to buy necessary ingredients.

We got our goat…


…which probably wasn’t even a funny joke the first five times I used it.

After slicing the goat, we marinated it in zatter (a Middle Eastern spice none of us girls had ever heard of), each taking turns executing the steps Molly delineated.


Note the ubiquity of wine, equally important to those in our group who like to cook (me) and those who like to drink while watching others cook (Kelly).


Our goat “lollipops” entered the commercial convection oven pretty early in the night, compared to the duration of active time involved with other attendees’ dishes. Thus, we creeped on everyone else.


Another team prepared a Greek salad with wild rice.


This scene looks deceivingly chaotic. Everything remained calm and organized.


Smoked salmon croquettes with mango salsa.


Our team’s favorite dish: beef stew.


Tastefully simple (can I call this a) tablescape, with our free whisks. I love free stuff.


Hurry up, people. We’re ready to gorge.


Our presentation of skewered goat tenderloin with yogurt sauce (clearly, arranged with assistance).


Look at that, more wine! And the Greek salad…yum.

The beef stew atop pureed butternut squash proved the class favorite, as well.

Shaved brussels sprouts with lingonberries. Saffron rice.


Personally, I like when dessert isn’t afraid to tell me what to tell me what to do. A cookie who speaks her mind = very sexy. Though, hers wasn’t a bright future, unfortunately.


Warners’ Stellian
loves the idea of KITM and helped supply a Thermador induction cooktop for use in cooking demonstrations.


A view of the Thermador induction cooktop from KITM’s overhead camera feed.

Amber Procaccini Photography

Induction is a great choice for KITM because it’s as powerful and responsive as gas, but it only heats cookware that touches it…not little hands :)

 

From KITM's The Counting Chef cooking demo for kids.

Thanks to Molly and Tracy for a fun, unique night.

Has anyone else been to Kitchen in the Market or the Midtown Global Market in general? This experience inspired me to seek out more cooking classes, so I’d also appreciate any suggestions.

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Vinegar cleaning ideas

January 31, 2011

White vinegar: not just for salad dressing and pickles.

Kim Ode of the Star Tribune posted last week that vinegar rids salt stains from suede boots. And that got me thinking: vinegar is kind of a cheap, green cleaning wunderkind.

Using vinegar to clean is certainly nothing new, but perhaps you haven’t yet tried one of my ideas.

Cleaning uses for vinegar

1. Rinse aid – I’ve recently blogged about the benefits of a regular vinegar cycle (using vinegar to clean your dishwasher), but I’ve also heard of using vinegar as a dishwasher rinse aid substitute.

There’s really no harm in using vinegar in your dishwasher, but I suggest only using it in lieu of rinse aid between trips to the store. Rinse aid should be called drying aid, and modern dishwashers need it to properly dry dishes.

2. Microwave cleaner – Heat a microwave-safe cup of vinegar in your microwave and let it boil, so the steam can loosen up all the stuck-on splatters for a minute or so. Wipe down the interior immediately, while it’s still moist inside — no scrubbing necessary!

3. Clothes washer cleaner - Just like  your dishwasher, your washing machine benefits from a regular vinegar cleaning. Run a cup through an empty cycle using the hottest setting.

4. All-purpose surface cleaner - Equal parts vinegar and water work well for cleaning windows or glass. Also try the solution for an all-natural way to clean the inside of a refrigerator. I hear you can use it to clean stainless steel as well, though, I recommend using a stainless steel cleaner for a shiny, polished finish.

5. Coffee maker cleaner – This tip, learned from my mom, is among my favorites. I try to run a full coffee pot of vinegar through my coffee maker (remove any coffee or filter, obviously) every few months. It’s satisfying to watch all the grime flake off into the pot, and you’ll be amazed how much faster your coffee brews without all the sediment slowing it down!

6. Stove top and oven cleaner – I’ve already blogged about using a paste of vinegar and baking soda for oven cleaning, but that same paste can be applied to your stove top to scrub out those stubborn brownish discolorations and food splatters.

Have you ever tried cleaning with vinegar?
What other household cleaning remedies have you tried?

Stove drip pans cleaning tips

January 20, 2011

I've got you covered on cleaning conundrums.

Drip pans for stoves rank among the toughest cleaning jobs in the kitchen.

Grime on aluminum burner pans, which fit under the electric coils on your range, often seemed to me to be resistant to scrubbing.

And they probably are, if you’re using regular cleaners and scrubbers.

Look familiar?

But my two tricks for cleaning drip pans — one for weekly cleaning and one for deeper cleaning — will keep them looking new and thus, keep you from replacing them so often!

Bonus: Clean drip pans for your electric stove don’t just serve cosmetic purposes; keeping the surface reflective ensures the most efficient use of heat, meaning you’ll use less energy when you keep your burners and drip pans clean.

Spot cleaning burner pans

For day to day drips and stains, make sure the burner’s completely cooled and pull it up and out from the stove top (see photo below). I usually remove the drip pan to my sink to avoid peripheral messes. Wet the drip pan and sprinkle on a liberal amount of my co-favorite household cleaner, Bar Keeper’s Friend (name the other in the comments for a gold star). Use a rag to work the cleaner into a paste and polish off the mess. Rinse and dry thoroughly before replacing the pans.

Carefully remove the electric burner before cleaning its drip pan.

Deep cleaning drip pans

Pick a time when you don’t need to use your sink or stove for several hours, like right before bed or work. Again, wait until the stove is cool and remove the burners. Put each burner pan in separate gallon plastic bags. Add 1/4 cup of ammonia to each and fill the remainder with hot tap water. Close the bags and let them sit overnight (or for several hours).

Then, drain the bags and scrub off the loosened mess. Rinse well before applying any other cleaners, as ammonia can create toxic fumes when mixed. Rinse and dry thoroughly before replacing.

 

Let me know if you try this and how it worked for you!


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