Archive for the ‘Freezer’ Category

HOW TO: buy a refrigerator

October 2, 2013

Buying a refrigerator can be a difficult decision, considering all the sizes, styles and prices available. But most importantly (after making sure it fits), the refrigerator you choose should reflect the way your family uses your kitchen and accesses fresh or frozen food.

stainless-steel-refrigerator

Top-freezer refrigerators position the freezer at eye level while the refrigerator compartment offers wide shelves, making it easy to store large trays of food and allow access to items in the back of the refrigerator.

side by side black refrigerator

Side-by-side refrigerators feature the freezer on the left and the refrigerator on the right. Side-by-sides require less door swing clearance, perfect for kitchen layouts with narrow walkways or an island.

stainless-bottom-freezer-refrigerator

Bottom freezer refrigerators are today’s most popular refrigerator style. The refrigerator is opened nine to 10 times more often than the freezer, so it’s convenient to locate the refrigerator at waist or chest level.

four door french door refrigerator

French door refrigerators, the industry’s fastest growing style, is like a bottom-freezer but with French doors (side-by-side) opening from the center. The symmetrical styling allows easier installation with less door clearance to impede a walkway or island. Wide refrigerator shelves easily store large party trays.

samsung french door refrigeratorSome models, like the one pictured above, come with a fourth drawer. Depending on the model, the fourth drawer is a second refrigerator compartment or a second freezer compartment. However, as is the case with the Samsung refrigerator pictured to the right, sometimes the fourth drawer offers more temperature options (think chilling wine versus storing meats) than you’d probably select with your main fresh food compartment.

‘Cool’ features to consider

• A Dual-Compressor System cools the refrigerator and freezer separately. This preserves food substantially longer, better retaining the food’s natural internal moisture.

• Chilling Drawers brings air directly from the freezer into a sealed refrigerator compartment to, for instance, cool a warm beverage to ice cold in 15 minutes!

• Hidden Hinge extends door heights to cover hinges and create a more built-in look.

• Gallon Storage Door Bins hold large milk and juice jugs in the door to free up precious shelf space.

Cabinet-depth models provide a sleek and seamless appearance. The shallow 24” depth aligns with surrounding cabinetry, again, offering a more “built-in” look.

Tip: A common mistake when buying a new refrigerator is not properly measuring the maximum height, depth and width of the space it will fit into. There is no “standard” in refrigerator. However, if your opening is 36” wide and 70” high, you will have a wide selection of models to choose from. As a rule of thumb, you should allow 1” of clearance on each side of the refrigerator for breathing room.

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

Shop Black Friday appliance deals before Black Friday

November 19, 2012

 

Many think that Black Friday shoppers are out scooping up discounted gifts for their loved one’s holiday wishlists.

And they are, don’t get me wrong.

But the day after Thanksgiving is becoming a day savvy shoppers use to score deals for themselves, as well. Think Black Friday refrigerators. Black Friday washers. Black Friday dishwashers. Yep, I’m serious. If you discount it, shoppers will come!

And savvy retailers and brands are hatching Black Friday appliance deals early to ensure the catching of that worm.

So shop now while the supplies are still available. (Hint: we have our lowest deal on a stainless steel kitchen package since…well, at least a couple years — I can’t even remember. But we can’t advertise it!)

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, after all.

 

 

Refrigerator temperature: What temperature should the freezer be set at?

January 2, 2012

Refrigerator temperatures come automatically set to factory recommendations, which are the proper refrigerator temperature of 37 degrees and the ideal freezer temperature of zero degrees.

These are generally the correct temperatures, but according to Whirlpool Corp., your freezer is set at the correct temperature when the ice cream is firm.

If the freezer is too warm or too cold, first check the air vents to make sure that nothing’s blocking circulation. Then adjust the temperature up or down one setting and allow a full 24 hours for the temperature to adjust.

One level is equal to about 1 degree of temperature, so remember: the higher the freezer temperature, the faster your frozen foods lose their quality. However, colder temperatures also could dry foods out, so try to keep the freezer at the recommended zero degrees.

>>Read more tips on proper frozen food storage

Refrigerator, wine refrigerator, freezer and pantry – all in one

December 21, 2011

I recently trendspotted cooking appliances that multitask over separate appliances for separate functions.

But what about refrigeration?

Some of you have a second refrigerator, maybe for beverages or the extra freezer space, but until the holiday season, you don’t really use most of the space. It’s probably 15 cubic feet, in total.

Then people might have wine refrigerators for storing and chilling their wine.

If you’re really lucky, you have an area for cold pantry storage. (If you’re me, you have your poorly heated laundry room to keep the potatoes and winter squash.)

But if you don’t really make use of all the space those different appliances take up, you can see the genius in the Fisher & Paykel CoolDrawer.

Fisher & Paykel, the New Zealand brand best known for its DishDrawers, created a multitemperature fridge drawer. It packs 3 cubic feet into a 33-inch wide drawer and adjusts the temperature setting based on what you need it to be at that moment. Amazing, right?

This is how my daydream plays out:

Pantry (53.5°F)

Chill (31°F)

It can be a cold pantry for fresh herbs and produce leading up to the holidays.

Then days before you can turn it into a refrigerator to defrost your roast without taking up a shelf in your fridge for a few days.

The day of, convert it to wine mode it to chill wine and spirits. You can also keep soda and juice in easy reach for kids.

Afterwards, use the extra space to freeze (or deep freeze) or refrigerate leftovers. All at the touch of a button.

Wine (53.5°F for long-term storage, 44.5°F for white wine serving and 59°F for red wine)

Freezer (0°F) (Deep Freezer -13 °F)

Repair your refrigerator seal with Vaseline

December 13, 2011

Gasket, seal, "rubber thing" -- whatever you call it, keep it moistened.

If you’ve noticed ice crystals on your frozen foods or condensation in your fridge, check your refrigerator seal. After some troubleshooting, you might be able to make a DIY repair without having to resort to a refrigerator gasket replacement.

First, open your refrigerator’s freezer door and slip a dollar bill against where the gasket seals to the freezer cabinet. Shut the door to hold the bill in place.

If the bill slips out, your seal isn’t tight.

Fortunately, moistening the seal with Vaseline (petroleum jelly) should do the trick and revive the strong rubber grip of your fridge’s youth AND keep your foods nice and chilly. Just apply a thin layer of Vaseline to the part of the seal that touches the refrigerator or freezer, and voila!

Canning classes help you preserve the season, just like mom did

August 12, 2011

When I was growing up, we went strawberry and raspberry picking every season to make a freezer full of jelly to enjoy and give as gifts all year long. To this day, I can’t eat store-bought jelly, because my mom has ruined me on anything that doesn’t taste as fruity and fresh as her own stock.

Since moving out, I’ve missed the annual preservation tradition and wanted to learn the science for myself. Apparently, I’m not the only one.

The Star Tribune featured canning's "comeback" last week.

Homesteading is like, super trendy right now, so canning has enjoyed quite the resurgence in the past couple years. Some people have taken it up to continue local, sustainable eating into the colder months; some out of a misguided attempt to save money (it ain’t cheaper). But many just want to make something absolutely delicious.

The Star Tribune published a list of upcoming canning classes, for both newbies and those looking to brush up their skills.

Warners’ Stellian is also planning to host a canning class at our St. Paul store in September, in cooperation with the Mississippi Market Co-op and one of my favorite bloggers and Master Food Preserver, Liz McMann, of Food Snobbery Is My Hobbery.

Stay tuned for details, or email me at jawarner at warnersstellian.com for more info. Feel free to let me know if there’s anything else you’d like us to do. Otherwise, I’ll just keep creating events to satisfy selfish curiosities :)

HOW TO: defrost a freezer in 10 easy steps

July 29, 2011

I think it might be time to defrost...

Most refrigerator-freezers and many standalone freezers feature automatic defrost, but for long-term food storage, manual defrost freezers can be the best option.

So when the ice crystals lining the walls of your manual defrost freezer stacks ¼- to ½- inch, it’s time to defrost.

Don’t lose your cool. It’s easier than you think, using these 10 steps adapted from Frigidaire:

1. Unplug your freezer. This keeps you from being electrocuted.

2. Open the freezer door and keep it open throughout the process.

3. Remove food into a cooler

4. On upright freezers with a defrost drain, remove the drain plug on the inside floor
of the freezer by pulling straight out. To access external drain tube on models with a
base panel, first remove the two screws from the base panel. Locate the drain tube
near the left center under the freezer. Place a shallow pan under the drain tube. Defrost
water will drain out. Check pan occasionally so water does not overflow. A ½ inch
garden hose adapter can be used to drain the freezer directly into a floor drain. If your
model is not equipped with an adapter, one can be purchased at most hardware
stores. Replace the drain plug when defrosting and cleaning are completed. If the
drain is left open, warm air may enter freezer.

5. On chest freezers with a defrost drain, place a shallow pan or the Divider/Drain Pan
(some models) beneath the drain outlet (Figure 2). A ½ inch garden hose adapter can
be used to drain the freezer directly into a floor drain (Figure 3). If your model is not
equipped with an adapter, one can be purchased at most hardware stores. Pull out
the drain plug inside the freezer, and pull off the outside defrost drain plug (Figure 4).
Defrost water will drain out. Check pan occasionally so water does not overflow.
Replace the drain plugs when defrosting is completed.

***If you don’t have a defrost drain, line the freezer bottom with towels to catch
the frost. The frost will loosen and fall. Remove towels and/or newspapers.

6. If the frost is soft, remove it by using a plastic scraper (or if you’re a cheap & hardy Minnesotan like me, an old CD).
7. If the frost is hard, fill deep pans with hot water and place them on the freezer bottom. Close the freezer door. Frost should soften in about 15 minutes, after which you can refer to No. 6. Repeat if necessary.

8. After defrosting, wash inside surfaces and removable parts of the freezer with a solution of two tablespoons of baking soda in one quart warm water. Rinse and dry. Wring excess water
out of the sponge or cloth when cleaning in the area of the controls, or any electrical parts.
Never use metallic scouring pads, brushes, abrasive cleaners, nor alkaline solutions on any surface.

9. Replace drain plug and food.

10. Close freezer door.

A freezer with a side of beef

July 15, 2011

Readers of this blog know my love of photos of animals inside appliances...this is a bit different.

Being cheap and running low on the supply of my boyfriend’s game meat, I’m intrigued by the concept of cow-pooling, or sharing an entire animal carcass with a few others.

I’ve heard of more people doing it, and while it sounds nutty at first, buying a whole cow offers more affordable ($3 to $5 per pound) access to normally (outrageously) expensive pasture-raised or grass-fed beef.

Your refrigerator’s freezer compartment probably won’t have a cow…not a whole or half one, at least.

But chest freezers and upright freezers are surprisingly affordable, starting below $190 for a 5 cubic foot model. In general, 50 pounds of meat fits in 2.25 cubic feet of freezer space. A half cow takes up about 10 cubic feet of freezer space. And stored properly, the meat stays tasty for 12 months.

Something to keep in mind: when storing meats and other foods for periods longer than say, six months, it’s best to purchase a manual defrost freezer. While manually defrosting a freezer is a pain in the butt, frost-free freezers remove more moisture from the air in the freezer, which can degrade the quality of the meat over time (i.e. freezer burn).

One of my favorite magazines, Cooking Light offers more tips on buying and storing beef in bulk.

Has anyone ever bought a whole or half animal carcass? Where did you keep it? Would you do it again?

Fisher & Paykel CoolDrawer refrigerator drawers

January 28, 2011

Don’t get me wrong. I love my full-size, bottom-freezer refrigerator. But occasionally, my freezer runs out of space while my fresh food compartment maintains plenty and my eyes wander to the grass on the other side…

Recently I’ve been thinking, why can’t my fridge be more adaptable?

I had a very educational conversation with the produce manager of a local grocery last weekend about fresh basil preservation. I didn’t know you weren’t supposed to refrigerate it! (Also, those of us in cold temperatures should take special care when transporting fresh basil home, as our subzero air can turn the delicious leaves black.) It should be kept in a cool (50-some degrees) spot.

That’s why I love these multitemperature refrigerated drawers.

Now you see it.

Now you don't.

The Fisher & Paykel CoolDrawer (RB36S25MKIW1) lets you choose freezer, chill, fridge, pantry or wine at the touch of a button so that everything from fresh food to frozen meat to fine wine can be stored at the correct temperature.
So, if you buy a lot of produce one week you have extra fridge space.

Refrigerator (37°F)

Or if a family member comes home with a record catch of fish and the freezer’s full, voila.

Freezer (0°F) (Deep Freezer -13 °F)

If you want to keep it a little colder than the stuff you keep in your fridge, you can do that too.

Chill (31°F)

And if you plunk down more than you’d like for fresh basil and don’t want to see any of it go to waste (or pesto), you’ll love the pantry function.

Pantry (53.5°F)

Having a party? Store your wine and then chill it to precise serving temperature.

Wine (53.5°F for long-term storage, 44.5°F for white wine serving and 59°F for red wine)

And at 36″ wide, the Fisher & Paykel CoolDrawers keep everything in easy, ergonomic reach while being deep enough to fit wine bottles and 2-liter bottles, as shown above.

The spill-proof storage bins can come out or be moved around to do just about anything you need it to.

I'm imagining a Thanksgiving turkey, thawing at the recommended 40 degrees, not crowding my refrigerator for four days.

If you want to see it, we display it at our St. Paul store, our Apple Valley store, our Woodbury store and our Edina store.

And, for being so curious, you will be rewarded with free assorted ice cream treats when you open the drawer.

How sweet is that?


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