cooking · Product Roundup · Ranges

Stoves with double ovens: Hot trend

(pun intended in that one)

With the official start of hot dish season Thursday, the migration of cooks inside from their grills to their ranges commences.

At least that’s what I’m cooking. Sure, a couple times a year, we clear out the racks to accommodate a turkey and ham. Or you might be a bread-baker. (I’m more of a meatloaf-maker, myself.)

But I’d venture that most of you most the time need the height of just one rack.

So why do you need to use such a big oven all time? You don’t, which is we’re seeing more kitchens with double oven ranges and more brands making them. Using the smaller oven means you preheat faster, use less energy and, best of all, don’t have to bend down so far to put in/pull out your pans.

Here’s a roundup:

Maytag Gemini Gas Double Oven Range
Jenn-Air Dual Fuel Double Oven Convection Range
Jenn-Air Electric Double Oven Range
Frigidaire Gallery Gas Double Oven Range FGGF304DLF
Whirlpool Gas Double Oven Range GGG388LXS
GE Electric Double Oven Range JB850SPSS
Budget-wise · Energy Efficiency · Things I Want · Washer

Things I Want: Washers

Behold, the laundry room.

This post is the second in a new series, “Things I Want” for my new house. Be impressed with my previous post about refrigerators.

While taking turns bashing our antique dishwasher last week, my roommate mentioned how much water it wastes.

And it does.

We can hear the 12-gallon tsunami rage against the Cuisinart and CorningWare.

But, I told her, the washing machine is muuuuuch worse.

Her jaw nearly dropped at the news that while our dishwasher probably wastes about 8 gallons of water per cycle due to its age, our washing machine wastes about 30 gallons.

And for what? A puny capacity and agitator-worn blouses.

Desirable: Electrolux Perfect Steam Washer

(I also aspire to a design aesthetic that accommodates the whimsy of children's doodles.)

Oh, how I long for the days when I had an Electrolux steam washer and dryer. The steam dryer quickly unwrinkled dresses without me unloading the ironing board. And with the 18-minute wash/18-minute dry feature (the next generation laundry shortens the wash-dry time to 30 minutes total!), my running clothes were ready before I was on Saturday mornings.

Everything came out of the washer super clean– even when I stuffed it full and ran the cold cycle — and nearly dry. Plus, I got to do the Kelly Ripa-hipcheck-to-open-the-door move. Sweet.

However, at nearly $2,600, I wouldn’t have any clothes left to wash.

Acquirable: Frigidaire Affinity Ready Steam Washer

Gotta love promo shots: "Gee, this laundry pair saves me so much time, I've started dabbling in abstract expressionism!"

Frigidaire is made by Electrolux, so the washing machines bear many similarities. The Affinity washer‘s capacity of 4.4 cubic feet is only 0.3 cubic feet less than the Electrolux.

What’s that? A pair of shorts?

The quick cycle time bumps up a smidgen to a 25-minute wash/25-minute dry (time is money, people).

You’ll also lose a bit in the engineering, but a steam washer and steam dryer for $1,800 is a steal.

Plus, you can get a $100 Visa gift card through Sept. 26.

Refrigerator

Frigidaire’s new French-door refrigerator

It’s kind of hard to believe that it’s taken until now for Frigidaire to make a French-door refrigerator, which I learned about yesterday in training (aka Warners’ Stellian University, no joke – that’s what we call it).

FGHN2844LF - $1,799.95
FGHB2869LF - $2,499 (or $2,199 for Pearl or Ebony)

They’re pretty big, measuring standard depth, 36 inches across and a capacity of 28 cubic feet. We’ll be getting counter-depth models in the winter, if you’re holding your breath till then.

Both models have gliding shelves, a full-width drawer big enough for a sheet cake or — if you’re like me — 35 beverage cans and another can dispenser on the door to boot.

The sticker price on the FGHN2844LF is $1,799, but you can also score a $100 Warners’ Stellian rebate through Aug. 1.

For about $400, the FGHB2869 (in smooth white or black — pearl/ebony) you move up to an ice and water dispenser, slick showcase LED lighting, in-unit air filtration (i.e. no icky smell or ice taste) and a really sweet wine/2-liter/can caddy holder thing.

For another $300, the FGHB2869LF moves you up to stainless steel pictured above right.

Also — and this is totally aesthetic, I-want-you-to-envy-my-fridge feature — I had a slight oh-ah moment over the IQ-touch control panel on the inside of the left door, just like the Electrolux models.

Temperature controls that beg to be touched -- nice.
Appliance Design · Product Roundup · Window air conditioner

Which type of air conditioner do you need?

Window air conditioners are the most common style of A/C, but — like everything else in appliances — they’re by no means standard.

Depending on your home, you might purchase a casement air conditioner or a wall air conditioner instead.

Casement air conditioners (also known as slider casement air conditioners) are very similar to window units, but they’re designed for framed windows with a sliding sash or metal casement. Casement air conditioners are tall and thin as opposed to traditional window units, which are short and wide.

In general, casement air conditioners cost more than traditional window units and offer less selection.

Wall air conditioners, you guessed it, go into a wall cutout. Air and moisture vent through their back, unlike window and casement window units, which exhaust air and moisture out both the sides and the back.

Window air conditioners are NOT appropriate for use in a wall application, as the compressor could burn out from improper ventilation and moisture build-up could cause mold in Thru-The-Wall Air Conditionerthe walls.

Wall air conditioners also are generally more expensive than window units, as they are more of a specialty product.

But if you don’t like the look of a air conditioner hanging out of your window or if you dislike reinstalling your window unit every year, getting a wall unit cut in to your house could be the answer.

Cleaning · FAQ · HOW TO · Microwave · Uncategorized

HOW TO: remove burnt popcorn smell from your microwave

Burnt popcorn smell lingers in microwaves so badly, an office I worked in banned it from the break room. It’s notorious, but completely removable.

If your microwave harbors its own dirty Pop Secrets, try this cleaning tip we got from Frigidaire (hat tip to Sarah from our Customer Service Department):

Microwave Odor Removal

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup water
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • grated lemon peel
  • several whole cloves

Combine together in a 2-cup glass measuring cup and boil for several minutes in the microwave on full power. Allow hot mixture to sit in the microwave until cool. Wipe interior with a soft cloth.

Though this tip wasn’t specifically written for burnt popcorn, I can’t think of much else that smells up a microwave. Help me out in the comments below!

About Warners' Stellian · Energy Efficiency

Moving beyond the pop can

Wanna see a magic trick?

We turn this:

Into this:

OK, so it’s not exactly magic, but that 2-feet-long area highlighted by the green bar is the product of those three boxes of cardboard waste. Pretty amazing, huh?

We think so. That’s our new densifier, which grinds up the bulk Styrofoam from appliance packaging and converts it into a form that can be reused as another product, while reducing it by a 20:1 ratio. Waste Management used to haul off our 40-yard waste roll-off container about every four days. Now, we’re down to about once per month!

The process is EXTREMELY labor intensive. The Styrofoam must be completely clean for the densifier to work properly. This means no tape, no staples and no cardboard pieces.

Zach loads the clean Styrofoam into the densifier. We're taking video of this very soon.
This is all the Styrofoam we've "densified" since we got the machine in mid-November. Multiply this air space by 20 and that's what the pre-densified material would take up!

Appliance and cardboard recycling have been a part of our mission for many, many years — but we wanted to do more, my uncle Bob Warner said (he’s leading Warners’ Stellian’s recycling efforts). “We’re moving beyond recycling pop cans. Whatever we generate that we can recycle, we’re doing.”

This includes:

  • cardboard
  • paper
  • wood (many appliances still come with wooden pallets)
  • plastic shrink wrap (a local nonprofit hauls it to sell for reuse. Win-win!)
  • plastic/metal banding (miles of it, seriously)
  • screws

We’re proud of the fact that we’re WAY ahead of the curve for an independent retailer of our size.

Last month, a vice president of Frigidaire/Electrolux toured our warehouse here in St. Paul and commented that only two or three facilities on par with ours exist in the independent network nationwide.

“It’s very labor intensive to sort, and it’s not a profitable endeavor — especially at this point — for us,” Bob told me. “But the motivating factor is doing the right thing.”