Community · Events · Food · grilling

What is GrillFest?

Featured Photo Credit of Minnesota Monthly and TJ Turner

 

What is better than opening the gate to summer with an outdoor food fest?  How about a food fest, a beer fest, an expo and a gathering of people grilling out and enjoying festivities. Together, over 4,000 attendees and 100 vendors will make up the most popular grilling themed event in the Twin Cities.

#GrillFest is a weekend long event that celebrates grilling and chilling with awesome food, drinks and fun. It’s essentially “Grill Disney Land” for enthusiasts and food fanatics alike.

One expected highlight is when seven critically-acclaimed restaurants will team up with seven unique craft beer breweries to battle it out. They will compete for the title of taste as they serve up the best pairs for attendees to taste and vote on.

An additional competition will consist of Bloody Mary mix companies going head-to-head to serve their signature drinks, using Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Attendees will again get to vote on who gets to be crowned Grillfest’s Bloody Mary Champion.

Rain or shine, it’s grillin’ time.

Warners’ Stellian is going to be there to serve up some goodies, and we’re bringing our friends, No Name Premium Meats & Seafood and Flat Earth Brewing.

We will also have experts on-site from WeberTraegerNapoleonDCSPrimo, and Broil King to showcase some of the best grill brands available, and we will help you find the perfect pairing for your backyard.

After you fill up on salmon and steak from No Name, you’ll find a sweet ending as you roast-your-own s’mores over our Big Green Egg smoker grills.

In honor of GrillFest, we would like to invite you to enter to win a top-of-the line Traeger Timberline, worth $2,000. Learn more about the Traeger Timberline here.

For more information and ticket purchasing, visit Minnesota Monthly’s event page.

 

Energy Efficiency · Food · HOW TO · Microwave · Ranges · Refrigerator

AS SEEN ON TV: Appliance tips to maximize your kitchen

Rena Sarigianopoulos of KARE and Carla Warner of Warner Stellian chat about how to help your appliances help you.

Carla Warner visited KARE 11 News@4 on Monday to share some tips for making the most of your most-used kitchen appliances.

In case you missed us, here are those tips:

Microwave

1. To get rid of that popcorn smell or other odors, squeeze a lemon into a bowl of water and boil it in the microwave it for several minutes. Allow the bowl to cool before opening the microwave door and then wipe down the interior with a soft cloth.

2. Take advantage of different power levels. Most people only cook using 100% of the microwave’s power and just nuke everything. But you can effectively use your microwave to soften and melt gently, too. To quickly soften butter, cook 1 stick for 1 minute on 10% power level.

Refrigerator

1. A small amount of condensation on the fridge or freezer is normal, especially during humid weather and summer vacation, if you see more condensation than normal, check the seal (or gasket) for any obstructions and clear them. If there aren’t any, try moistening the gasket with Vaseline by rubbing a thin layer on the seal where it meets the cabinet of the fridge. This should create a stronger, air-tight seal.

2. Brands might create the perfect space for gallon-jug storage on your refrigerator door, but consider how quickly you will use highly perishable foods (like milk) before storing them here. Why? Consider the temperature fluctuations of this region of the refrigerator. Accordingly, produce like broccoli, asparagus and apples benefit from colder temperatures located near the rear, while corn and berries — for example — benefit from the warmest spot in the refrigerator, so choose those for the front. (Alternatively, fresh herbs like basil thrive in slightly warmer-than-fridge temperatures, so I keep mine in the door!)

3. Use your crisper. Those clear drawers in your fridge aren’t just for convenience. Many models allow you adjust the humidity of your crisper drawers to suit their contents. Consult your use & care manual for specifics on your model, but in general, separate your fruits from vegetables and set humidity to high for green, leafy vegetables and low for fruits and vegetables with skins. Meats should be colder – often just above freezing – so keep them in your deli drawer, which is usually designed to stay colder.

Range

1. Keep your burner caps and drip pans clean. Maintaining a tidy cook surface isn’t just about impressing company. Dirty surfaces don’t reflect heat as well as polished surfaces, thus wasting energy and potentially your time. We sell range top cleaner made specifically for cooking surfaces that will help you keep your range or cooktop looking — and cooking — well.

2. Match pots and pans to the size of your burners
Unless you’re using an induction cooktop or range, you’re heating a lot of air while you try to heat your food. For instance, induction cooking – which only heats the cooking vessel and not the air — is 20% more efficient than electric and 70% more efficient than gas. To lessen energy loss, choose the appropriate-sized pot or pan for the size of burner you’re cooking on (i.e. don’t put a 1-qt saucepan on a ginormous “power burner”).

3. Cover your pots while boiling water
When you think about it, it makes no sense to boil water in an uncovered pot. Using a cover helps water boil faster while creating pressure and preventing evaporation. Saving lots of time and energy.

 

Appliance Design · Food · Freezer · Refrigerator

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

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

Food · Freezer · Refrigerator · Wine storage

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

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)
DIY · Food · Freezer · HOW TO · Refrigerator

Repair your refrigerator seal with Vaseline

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!

cooking · Events · Food · Freezer · Sustainability

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

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 🙂

cooking · Food · Freezer

A freezer with a side of beef

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?