Posts Tagged ‘induction’

Common Cottage Eco Experience at the Minnesota State Fair

August 25, 2011

Again this year, Warners’ Stellian appliances among other eco-friendly home ideas in the Eco Experience Common Cottage exhibit at the Minnesota State Fair.

Sure the house has a smart design and is constructed from reused and reclaimed materials, but you can also learn tips to improve the house you have: increase the energy efficiency of your home with an energy audit, incorporate composting and recycling systems, improve indoor air quality and install eco-friendly kitchen surfaces and appliances.

And if that doesn’t get you going, there are backyard chickens on the patio, covered by part of the now-defunct Metrodome roof (and a super pretty natural gas grill from Warners’ Stellian).

If you’re intersted in improving the energy efficiency of your home, you’ll be introduced to the best resources for financing your energy improvements, from loans, rebates, tax credits, or grants.

My camera ran out of batteries before I could take pictures of the STUNNING kitchen, with its blue-green colored reclaimed cabinets and recycled glass counter tops, but I can show you the smart and sexy appliances we chose to showcase this year:

Liebherr refrigerator

The architects on this project specifically requested Liebherr, and we couldn’t have agreed more. Liebherr goes beyond being super energy efficient (27% over federal standards) to become the most sustainable refrigerators; its refrigerators are manufactured in the greenest way out there. Plus, its two compressors ensure premium food preservation. Basically, your fresh (local?) foods will last way longer because the dry air from the freezer won’t disturb the humidity in the refrigerator.

Electrolux induction range

Elements on this Electrolux induction range automatically detect the presence of magnetic cookware, activate the induction field and adjust it to the exact size of the pan. This means that no energy is wasted heating anything else but the cookware holding your food. Induction is 20% more efficient than electric and 70% more efficient than gas, though it boasts the same power and responsiveness that cooks love.

Bosch dishwasher

Not only is it whisper quiet, this Bosch dishwasher uses only 2.4 gallons of water per wash; the average kitchen faucet flows about 4 to 7 gallons per minute!

LG washer/dryer combination

 

This ventless LG washer / dryer combo takes up less space and washes and dry in one appliance. Plus the washer is Energy Star rated, meaning it uses less energy and water to do its job.

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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U of M’s ICON Solar House

September 25, 2009

Can modern, solar-powered design be livable? That was the concept behind the University of Minnesota’s ICON Solar House team.

Students from disciplines ranging from business to design to engineering took up the challenge of designing, building, and operating the most attractive and energy-efficient solar-powered house. Next month, the team and the house will travel to Washington, D.C. for the U.S. Department of Energy‘s Solar Decathlon contest, in which the house will be displayed on the National Mall for three weeks along with 19 other houses from competing colleges.

It’s called a decathlon because the students’ house will be judged from a set of 10 criteria (including appliances — we love these people!).

The Icon Solar House’s Dan Handeen was gracious enough to give a tour of the project Wednesday, so we could see how far the house had come since we got involved some months ago when the house didn’t even have walls!

Mary Stage (Web administrator) and Carla Warner (director of sales) pose with Dan Handeen outside the U of M's Icon Solar House.

I took this photo of Mary Stage (Web administrator) and Carla Warner (director of sales) with Dan Handeen outside the U of M's Icon Solar House.

The combination of livable design and airtight engineering impressed us. We all laughed at the concept of a “sleeping alcove” — which is basically a room sized to the dimensions of a full-size bed — but the high ceilings and amenities (towel warmer?) surpassed our expectations for a 800532-square-foot home. (Update: Dan said the finished floor area of the house was even less than I had read about in other stories about the house.)

Dan Handeen shows us the energy meters.

Dan Handeen shows us the energy meters.

Dan said the team wants the ICON Solar House to stand out from the sterile-type designs they witnessed at the last contest. Rather, the students want to create something that people can actually see themselves living in. (See more on the team’s ideas for the ICON Solar House.)

Solar panels help power the house, Dan explained. But the house is already super energy-efficient, so teams that roll the meter backward — producing more energy than they consume — are awarded 100 points. The team that produces the most energy gains an extra 50 points, Dan said.

Obviously, we’re cheering for them. We’re so proud to be a part of such an inspiring project and help select the right appliances to help the team score the trophy and the bragging rights. All of the appliances in the ICON Solar House have the highest Energy Star ratings.

Kitchen-in-progress.

Kitchen-in-progress

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It's a cabinet! It's a drawer! No, it's a DishDrawer!

Dan startled me when he pulled out that wide, far-right cabinet to reveal a dishwasher, which is embarrassing because I work for Warners’ Stellian and knew all about the Fisher & Paykel DishDrawers. But these were so well-integrated (re: paneled) and perfect for the small kitchen space that I confused them for cabinets.

The 24-inch-wide Liebherr refrigerator (left) will also be paneled and was cooling lunch for the crew in the meantime.

It's too bad this cooktop will only be used to boil water. That's some lucky water...

That's some lucky water...

Perhaps the most strategic choice of appliances in the kitchen was the Wolf 30-inch induction cooktop. Each team competing in the Solar Decathlon must perform the same set of tasks, which mimic things people do in every day life.

One task is to boil 5 pounds of water. Induction cooking is extremely efficient because energy is only supplied to the pot. And no wasted heat means water generally boils faster on induction cooking surfaces.

Dan says the team was planning on selling the house, but the U of M has been so impressed with the project it might want to keep the house all to itself. I certainly would.

Dan Handeen shows us the energy meters.

Dan Handeen shows us the energy meters.


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