Integrating a Microwave into Your New Kitchen Design

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Microwaves are considered vital in today’s busy lives, but it is hard to deny that they can take up a great deal of counter space. This can be problematic in even the most generous of kitchen layouts, but it is possible to reclaim some of this precious space by integrating your microwave into a new kitchen design.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT MICROWAVE

Before you can even consider integrating your microwave, you need to choose the right model. Countertop models can be tucked into a shelf, or you could opt for a wall mounted unit. If you have limited space, you may prefer a drawer style unit that can be placed at any height. Over the range microwaves can be directly placed above your oven, sharing light and ventilation with the range below. Your choice of microwave model will have a direct impact on how it can be integrated into your kitchen design, so you will need to give it some serious thought before you make a purchase decision.

STACK YOUR COOKING APPLIANCES VERTICALLY

A floor to ceiling unit can be a fantastic, space saving way to stack your cooking appliances on top of each other. This configuration not only looks sleek and attractive, but helps to maximize space. A single unit tower allows you to have lots of serving and prep space alongside your oven or microwave.

GROUP HORIZONTALLY

A horizontal grouping can also save space and still offer great functionality. Placing a drawer microwave alongside your oven makes it easy to move food from one appliance to the other. For example, you can quickly transfer baked potatoes from your microwave to your oven to finish them off. This creates a visual aesthetic of a professional kitchen with a sleek look that complements any style of kitchen design.

CONCEAL IT IN A LARDER

Modern kitchens are harking back to the past with larder units coming back into fashion. Not only is a larder an excellent storage option for your canned goods, but it can also hide your microwave and free up counter space. If you want a minimalist feel to your kitchen, you could even store all your other small appliances in the larder. Just be sure to keep the larder doors open when your microwave is in use.

PLACE IT HIGH

This isn’t an option for people with children interested in independent cooking or those who are vertically challenged, but placing your microwave at eye level can save counter space and also add interest to a run of wall units. If you don’t like the idea of your microwave compromising the sleek aesthetics of your wall cabinets, you could always conceal it within a unit. You will need to ensure there’s sufficient ventilation and you will be restricted to use only when the door is open.

RECESS IT

If you have wall space available from a closet or garage, it could be possible to recess your microwave into the wall. This provides a convenient solution without it looking unsightly protruding out into the kitchen. Ideally, your recess would be created near your range for complete ease of use.

CONSIDER ADDITIONAL MICROWAVE FEATURES

If you are still struggling to incorporate a microwave into your kitchen, you may wish to consider a model with additional features. There are models available with grilling elements. This eliminates the need to have both a microwave and toaster oven in your kitchen. You can not only use the appliance as a standard microwave, but you can also toast, brown and crisp your food.

A microwave is an essential appliance in the modern kitchen. Fortunately, there are a myriad of choices to find the ideal model for your kitchen layout. If you’re looking for a new microwave, you can explore your options with this online collection of microwaves or speak to a home appliance expert for a more specialized service.

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Getting the Best From Convection Ovens

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convection oven can produce excellent results that cannot be obtained cooking in a standard oven. While standard ovens produce heat, this has a tendency to dry foods. On the other hand, convection ovens allow the food to retain more moisture. This can take a little getting used to, so here are some tips for convection ovens to achieve the best results.

THE DIFFERENCES IN HOW CONVECTION AND STANDARD OVENS WORK

While different models vary in design, most electric ovens have a heating element that is mounted at the top or the bottom of the unit. This standard design of oven relies on radiant heat generated by the elements to cook food. Unfortunately, this design configuration can result in hot and cold spots within the oven. Convection ovens are fitted with an internal fan to circulate the heated air. This allows the hot air to be evenly distributed throughout the oven for quicker and even cooking.

COOKING TIMES

One of the greatest challenges of upgrading to a convection oven, from a standard oven, is that the cooking times can vary a great deal. When you are used to preparing a meal in a standard oven, you can experience varying results as you start to use a convection oven. Convection ovens require less time to cook foods, so you will need to make adjustments. Depending on the specific model, size of oven, quantity of food, cooking temperature and desired cooking level, you will need to consider dropping the oven temperature by 25 degrees or reducing the cooking time by approximately 15 to 30 percent. This variation in cooking times means that you will need to monitor your dishes carefully, particularly in smaller ovens. Small sized ovens will naturally cook faster, so you will need to take care not to overcook your dish.

THE CHOICE OF OVENWARE

You may also need to assess your choice of ovenware. Glass baking dishes can cause over browning, so you may need to compensate by reducing the oven temperature by approximately 30 degrees. Some cushion-air pans may not be suitable for your new convection oven. These types of ovenware are designed for use in conventional ovens and therefore allow foods to cook extremely quickly and cause it to burn. You should try to use dishes or pans with low sides to encourage maximum airflow.

Air circulation is important in a convection oven, so you will need to ensure that your cooking pans have at least an inch of space between them. You should also allow a similar amount of space between your oven racks. You will need to ensure that you don’t block the air from circulating, so be careful when using foil or larger dishes that could obstruct the fan.

SOME FINAL ADVICE

Just like a standard oven, you will need to preheat your convection oven for best results. Some models use just one element when preheating that could cause food to burn, so ensure that your oven is at the correct temperature before putting in your food. If you are using a pizza or baking stone, it should be left in the oven during preheating so that it will be really hot and provide that delicious, crispy crust on your bread or pizza.
Since convection ovens instantly sear meat, there is no need to baste your roasts. All the essential juices will already be locked in, so you can eliminate the need to periodically baste. If you want to use a marinade containing sugar, it is a good idea to wait until the last hour of cooking, so the meat will be seared without allowing the marinade to caramelize and burn.

Convection ovens can provide convenient and efficient option for your kitchen. Browse through the available options with this online collection of ovens or speak to a home appliance expert for further help.

At What Temperatures Should You Wash Your Laundry?

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Modern washing machines are equipped with a myriad of program settings, but many consumers remain confused about the temperatures that should be used for their clothing. In most cases the hotter the water, the greater the cleaning potential, but this may not be appropriate for all your clothing and could cause damage. So, here we will explore the temperatures you should be using for your laundry.

USING HOT WATER

Most white clothing and linens can be washed in hot water. This will remove heavy soil and germs. Unfortunately, hot water can cause shrinkage, wrinkling, and fading of colors. If you try to wash your clothing in hot water, the colors may start to look splotchy, while delicate fabrics can lose their aesthetic appeal.

USING WARM WATER

The majority of laundry can be washed using warm water. This mixture of hot and cold water provides a balance between color protection and removing soil. Some washing machines use a 50-50 ratio of hot and cold water, but newer models tend to mix 60-40. Warm water can usually be used without shrinking, wrinkling or fading.

USING COLD WATER

Cold water is preferable for delicate items or bright colors that could fade or run at a higher temperature. If your items require cold water temperatures, but are dirty or heavily soiled, you will need to have a diligent pretreatment routine. You may need to pre-soak your items or wash them for longer to ensure that they are properly cleaned.

CHOOSING THE CORRECT WASHING TEMPERATURE

Since there is the potential for laundry mishaps, by washing at the wrong temperature, it is important to choose the correct washing temperature. Fortunately, there are several ways to determine the correct temperature. The most obvious is to check the clothing tag. The tag will provide any laundry or care special instructions. Most clothing will be labeled with the maximum wash temperature, so check your tags before you do any laundry.

You should also pre-treat any stains. This will allow clothing to be cleaned even if you are washing in warm or cold water. Cold water is not the most effective way to remove stains, but pre-treatment can offer the only solution for delicate fabrics that have become stained. You may need to be patient, as some pre-treatment takes time, but it is important to try to remove any stains before washing to ensure that they are as clean as possible.

If you are unsure about the washing temperature, you may want to try soaking your clothes in cold water before washing. Soaking can vary from five or ten minutes to overnight, but the tougher the stain, the longer you will need to soak the item. Soaking can help create a thorough clean even if you can only risk using a cold water cycle on your washing machine.

CHECKING YOUR WASHING MACHINE WATER TEMPERATURE

If you are still running into laundry issues, you may find that the water temperature of your washing machine is not accurate. In this type of scenario, a candy thermometer can be a useful tool. Check the temperatures of the hot, warm and cold water coming out of the machine. Hot water is typically 10 degrees colder when it arrives at your washing machine compared to leaving your water heater. Generally, hot water is 130ºf or above, while warm water is between 100ºf and 90ºf. Cold water is between 80ºf and 60ºf. If your water temperature drops below 60ºf, your clothes are not likely to be properly cleaned. If your washing machine is not delivering the correct temperature of water, your machine may need servicing or be ready for an upgrade.

FINDING THE RIGHT WASHING MACHINE

Now that you know about the ideal washing temperatures for your laundry, you have the basic knowledge you need to choose the right washing machine. If you’re ready to find the perfect washing machine for your home, consider starting your search with this collection of washing machines or contact a home appliance expert for specialized

Survival Tips for a Kitchen Remodel

A kitchen remodel can be an exciting prospect, but unfortunately, it is not all about choosing shiny new appliances. The reality is that you may have to live in chaos for weeks or even months as your kitchen is out of action. Fortunately, there are some survival tips to help you get through the process.

TRIAGE YOUR KITCHEN

If you like to have your front load washer and dryer side-by-side, but want easier access to your appliances, then you may As you are packing up your kitchen for the remodel, you should sort all your gear into categories. You will need to place your items in boxes marked up for storage, recycling or donation and a temporary kitchen. The boxes for storage should contain items that you will need in your new kitchen, but won’t be used until later. These should be kept in a safe place, but out of the immediate area. Your recycle or donate boxes can be disposed of at your convenience, and your temporary kitchen boxes will be needed for the next tip.

CREATE A TEMPORARY KITCHEN

Even if your kitchen is only out of action for a week, you will need somewhere to make meals, prepare drinks and pack lunches. This temporary kitchen should be out of the way of any renovations, but in a convenient location. You can set up your kettle, microwave and toaster oven in a dining room or a corner of your living room and have your essentials close by. To avoid dust getting on your dishes and utensils, pack them in plastic tubs, so they are protected but easily accessible.

DEVELOP A DISHWASHING STRATEGY

Unless you plan on eating out three times a day, you will still need clean dishes during your kitchen remodel. So, you will need a dishwashing strategy. You won’t want to visit an upstairs bathroom to dump out coffee cups or rinse vegetables. So, designate a sink for kitchen use, so you don’t need to move dishes every time you want to take a bath. This sink can be set up with a dish rack and allow you to keep your detergent on hand. While it will lack the convenience of having your kitchen sink, it should make the chaos of the remodel a little easier to deal with.

TRY TO CONTROL THE DUST

It is inevitable that any home improvements will create dust, a lot of dust, and during a kitchen remodel this can cause problems throughout your home. Your contractor should have plastic sheeting to cover flooring and create a curtain around the project site. This will keep some of the dust under control, but you will need to have plenty of microfiber cloths on hand to pick up drywall dust. Clear anything on the route between your kitchen and outdoors, to avoid workers bumping into items when they are carrying tools or appliances. Be prepared to clean up at least once a day to minimize dust in other areas of your home.

ESTABLISH A PET PLAN

If you have pets, you will need to set up a safe area where they can have access to food and water, yet be out of the way of contractors. You should also set up a place to sleep. This will provide a secure place for your pet to retreat if they start to feel anxious

BE REALISTIC ABOUT YOUR FOOD STANDARDS

The reality of not having a working kitchen is that you will not be able to prepare the meals, snacks, and drinks that may be everyday staples in your home. It is unlikely that you will be able to brew fresh coffee every morning and make a three course dinner. Be prepared to make some compromises. Sandwiches, toast, salads, cereal, and fruit are all easy to prepare, and nourishing. Ice cream on a stick will keep the kids happy, yet doesn’t dirty a bowl. Plan your menu according to your means, not your usual habits.

FINDING THE RIGHT APPLIANCE FOR YOUR NEW KITCHEN

A kitchen remodel isn’t complete without the latest model appliances and if you’re ready to find the ideal appliances for your new kitchen, consider starting your search with this collection of kitchen appliances to explore your choices, or contact a home appliance expert for specialized service.

Wolf Countertop Appliances Bring Convenience To the Holiday Season

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Wolf Countertop Appliances Bring Convenience To the Holiday Season

The holiday season is the perfect time to gather friends, family and loved ones for some delicious home-cooked food, and Wolf appliancesare sure to provide the power and quality you need in a busy kitchen.

Wolf is recognized as an innovator in the premium appliance space, bringing commercial-quality products to the comfort of your own home. While the company is best known for its full-sized cooking appliances, Wolf also produces a host of impressive countertop appliances that pack exceptional features in small packages. Wolf’s products provide the very best in professional-grade home appliances, and this holds true in its selection of countertop appliances, which are specially designed to bring restaurant-quality dishes to your home. To help prepare your kitchen for the holidays, we’re providing an overview on some of Wolf’s best countertop appliances.

Countertop Oven

Your oven is one of the most heavily used appliances in the kitchen, but there’s only so much space in a single unit. If you’re planning a massive holiday feast, you may want to invest in additional oven space, and a Wolf countertop oven is sure to meet your needs.

This premium appliance offers the precision and quality found in a Wolf wall oven in a compact design, boasting six cooking modes and advanced convection functions that help you achieve delicious results with each and every use. This appliance is ideally suited for caramelizing vegetables, roasting pork, broiling fish, baking small pastries and re-heating previously prepared dishes. Thanks to superior components and exceptional design, this Wolf countertop oven offers the even heating and consistent results you require for holiday cooking.

Blender

Do you want to impress holiday guests with delicious blended drinks or perfectly creamy dishes? If so, consider investing in a Wolf blender.

Wolf blenders feature an intuitive LCD control panel and ultra-responsive variable speed settings that allow you to chop, whip, puree, churn and grind ingredients to create whatever you need. From refreshing fruit smoothies and blended mixed drinks to smooth milkshakes and creamy sauces, this Wolf blender will boost your cooking capabilities. This unit features a 64-ounce jar that helps you blend plenty of ingredients at once, and a stainless steel design that provides classic style and durability. In the end, a Wolf blender is sure to help you craft whatever you crave most.

Toasters

No kitchen is complete without a toaster, and Wolf toasters are manufactured with advanced technology that provides crispy and crunchy results whenever needed.

Wolf manufactures both 2-slice and 4-slice toasters, helping you choose the proper option for your home’s needs. These units feature commercial-grade heating elements ideal for toasting fresh bread, frozen pastries and more. Thanks to an intuitive shade selector system, you’ll have precise control over toast color, ensuring consistently great results. Wolf toasters even feature easy to use slide-out crumb trays and bread lifters that provide the added convenience homeowners expect from premium appliances.

Multi-Function Cooker

Holiday cooking is usually an involved and time-consuming process, but it doesn’t have to be. To help simplify your cooking process, you may want to invest in the Wolf multi-function cooker.

This multi-function cooker offers five different modes dedicated to slow cooking, in addition to specialized functions that help you sauté, sear and sous vide dishes. All you need to do is prepare your ingredients, place them in the cooker and select your cooking settings to produce restaurant-quality results that do not require constant attention. Adding this Wolf multi-function cooker to your kitchen will afford you extra time to complete holiday tasks like decorating or gift shopping, providing the peace of mind you need during the holiday season.

Exceptional Wolf Appliances Are Here for the Holidays

The holiday season is a time for celebration, and chaos in the kitchen is guaranteed to ruin what should be the most wonderful time of the year. If you want to bring simplicity to your kitchen while expanding your cooking capabilities, you’ll definitely want to consider investing in Wolf countertop appliances. Thanks to a host of superior offerings, there’s no doubt that you’ll find the exact Wolf product that meets your needs.

Ready to explore your options? You can use this online collection of Wolf appliances, or contact a home appliance expert for specialized service.

Advantages & Disadvantages of French Door Refrigerators

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Advantages & Disadvantages of French Door Refrigerators

The refrigerators of the past were big, bulky and unattractive units that provided food storage solutions at the cost of style. But today’s models expertly blend both form and function, offering designs that match the aesthetic concerns of modern homeowners. If you want an attractive refrigerator that will ensure your food is perfectly organized, consider a French door refrigerator.

French door refrigerators feature a spacious fresh food compartment on top, which is split in half by two side-by-side doors, with a freezer on the bottom. This configuration is a significant divergence from the traditional top and bottom mount refrigerators of yesteryear, leaving many consumers curious if they should consider a French door unit for their home. To help you make an educated decision, we’ve compiled details on the advantages and disadvantages of a French door refrigerator.

Advantages of a French Door Refrigerator

There are several valuable advantages to a French Door refrigerator, the most obvious of those being its unique layout. With two doors on top, you can easily organize items in a way that will help you keep track of all your foods and beverages. This design ensures that you don’t discover moldy fruits tucked in the back of your unit, because you’ll be able to organize food more effectively. Moreover, you’ll have easier access to all your fresh items, as you won’t need to bend down to a bin at the bottom to reach anything.

French door refrigerators also tend to have wider shelves and larger door bins than traditional units. This maximizes storage within your appliance, allowing you to store a wealth of items within the unit at any given time. You won’t have to constantly rearrange storage containers or pitchers in order to organize food, as you’ll have ample space for all your common food storage needs.

Another key advantage is the bottom freezer. The standard bottom freezer drawer design, found in most models, allows for a deeper space that can house more items than a traditional top or bottom mount refrigerator.

Most French door refrigerators are premium appliances, and as a result, they provide superior cooling systems and innovative technologies that ensure your items are perfectly preserved.

Disadvantages of a French Door Refrigerator

French door refrigerators bring plenty of advantages to the modern home, but they aren’t without their disadvantages.

For some homeowners, the bottom freezer style is a major drawback to this type of refrigerator. Having a freezer on the bottom of the unit means you will have to bend down in order to access frozen foods, which can be an inconvenience. This can be particularly frustrating if your unit’s ice maker is located within the freezer. That said, some French door refrigerators feature a water dispenser and ice maker in one of the top compartment doors.

The biggest disadvantage of a French door refrigerator is its cost. As noted, these units are premium refrigerators, and the benefits of a French door refrigerator come at a premium price. Even though these models offer a host of storage possibilities and modern features, they are not always the right choice for budget-conscious homeowners.

Find The Perfect French Door Refrigerator For Your Home

The modern home requires modern food storage solutions, and a French door refrigerator is all but guaranteed to meet your needs. These units provide wide shelves and large door bins that offer ample storage orientations, with a unique two-compartment top that promotes organization. While these models come at a high price, their wealth of advantages make them a great choice for today’s homes.

Ready to find your new refrigerator? Consider using this online collection of French door refrigerators. For additional assistance, be sure to contact a home appliance professional.

“Turn Up The Savings” With Incredible Rebates On Select Wolf Ranges & Wall Ovens – Now Through December 31!

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“Turn Up The Savings” With Incredible Rebates On Select Wolf Ranges & Wall Ovens – Now Through December 31!

Thanks to an array of innovative and advanced kitchen products, Wolf has cemented its status as a leader in the appliance industry, and now you can add one of the company’s impressive products to your home for a truly exceptional value.

As a certified retailer of Wolf appliances, Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center is proud to offer special “Turn Up The Savings” rebateson select Wolf cooking ranges and wall ovens. These powerful cooking appliances offer all the amenities the modern homeowner requires, as well as a superior selection of specialty features to satisfy a range of cooking needs.

“Turn Up The Savings” With Incredible Rebates On Select Wolf Ranges & Wall Ovens – Now Through December 31!

You can take advantage of a $250 rebate offer on select 30-inch ranges or 24 to 30 inch E Series single ovens. These ranges and ovens include:

For even more savings, you can claim a $500 rebate on select 36-inch ranges or 30-inch E Series double ovens. These Wolf ovens and ranges include:

“Turn Up The Savings” With Incredible Rebates On Select Wolf Ranges & Wall Ovens – Now Through December 31!

This incredible rebate offer runs now through December 31, providing limited time for you to discover the ideal Wolf appliance for your home. Download this Wolf Range & Wall Oven Rebate Form for additional details and for a mail-in rebate form. You can also visit subzerowolfpromotions.com to claim your rebate online.

For additional information, or to begin your search for the best Wolf appliance, you can reach out to our Studio City showroom at (818) 755-1111 or our Calabasas showroom at (818) 880-0011. Be sure to contact Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center for further assistance.