Outdoor Living – Barbeques

Spring and summer time call for backyard barbecuing!


The barbeque is the focal point of any outdoor grilling setup, and there are a variety of barbeque models you can choose from. Natural gas BBQs and liquid propane BBQs are both great options, but for the most authentic and rich barbeque flavor, consider investing in a charcoal BBQ.

Charcoal BBQs use lit lump charcoal or charcoal briquettes as a heat source. These barbeques take longer to heat up than natural gas or liquid propane models, but produce food with more rich and smokey flavor. Charcoal barbeques are ideal if you want to get that classic barbeque flavor in every bite. These models are also less expensive than their gas-powered counterparts, as they have less mechanical parts. Charcoal BBQs are simple to use and offer great value, all while infusing classic barbeque flavors into your food. And with a variety of styles and sizes available, you’re guaranteed to find a great charcoal model for your home.

You can turn to Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center for all your barbeque needs. We offer a great selection of the best charcoal BBQs from the most trusted manufacturers, ensuring you find the perfect fit for your home. Be sure to browse our impressive selection of barbeques and outdoor living appliances today.


Integrating a Microwave into Your New Kitchen Design


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Getting the Best From Convection Ovens


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Tips for Organizing Your Kitchen Like a Professional Chef

If you have ever eaten at a chef’s table, or enjoy watching cooking shows, you may have admired the organization of a professional kitchen. This level of organization can allow the average cook to look like a talented professional, as command of your workspace will make food preparation easier. So, if you want to improve your kitchen prowess, here are some tips for organizing your kitchen like a professional chef.


The first step of organizing your kitchen like the PROS is to eliminate excess steps. Professional chefs set up their workspace to reduce movement during a dinner service. Eliminating the excess steps between your refrigerator, prep area or stovetop and pantry will help you to feel more organized and improve functionality.


In a commercial kitchen, there are different stations for different tasks. Not only are there several cooking stations, but there is a prep area and a dishwashing station. This can be recreated in your kitchen by creating spaces for prep, cooking, cold and dry storage and where you plate food. You may also have a beverage station where you prepare your coffee and a seating area. By designating each area, you can plan what you need and where you need it for a more efficient work area.


Efficient food funnels are the key to a successful professional kitchen. Food is moved from storage to prep to line to the pass. This can be emulated in your own kitchen to create the right flow. Virtually every kitchen is designed around the triangle connecting the sink, range, and refrigerator. This promotes good flow, but it can be enhanced. Facilitate efficient movement by keeping anything not used for cooking outside your cooking triangle, but near where they’re needed. Dishware should be near the table, glasses near the water dispensing refrigerator and cups near your coffeemaker.
Group together the items needed for key processes to enhance the kitchen flow. For example, place your dishwasher on one side of the sink and your trash on the other, so you can scrape, rinse and fill with ease.


Once the areas of your kitchen have been designated for specific tasks, they will need to be equipped accordingly, so the correct tools are within easy reach. You won’t need knives near your stove; they should be stored with your cutting boards near your prep area. The storage near your stove should be reserved for pots and pans, but remember you will need seasoning within easy reach.


The most important aspect of feeling like you have the ingredients you need at your fingertips is proper storage. Proper labeling and stacked storage will help to keep your pantry clean and organized. Stackable plastic containers can be used in your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer so that all your ingredients are easily visible in the least amount of space.

Once you’ve filled your containers, remember to label everything. Although you may think you’ll remember what you’ve put in that plastic tub, after a week in the freezer, it may be difficult to identify. Ensure that all your containers have a label facing out, so you can see at a glance the ingredient you need.


Finally, if you want to feel like you’re working like a professional chef, you need to ensure that you keep your kitchen spotless. It can be a real challenge to prepare a gourmet meal if you need to keep moving keys, letters and other detritus off your countertops.


A modern kitchen isn’t complete without the right appliances. Now that you know how to create a kitchen a professional chef would be proud of, you are in the ideal position to make an informed decision to find the right appliances for your new kitchen. Consider starting your search with this collection of kitchen appliances. For further help, contact a kitchen appliance expert.

At What Temperatures Should You Wash Your Laundry?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.

4 Tips For Creating a Beautiful Modern Bathroom


4 Tips For Creating a Beautiful Modern Bathroom

The bathroom is one of the most frequently used spaces in any home, though many homeowners forgo smart and stylish bathroom design in favor of upgrading their cooking appliances or laundry machines. But when the rest of your house is outfitted with powerful appliances, it can make your dated bathroom feel uncomfortable, unappealing and boring.

Today’s bathrooms deserve to shine as an integral and exciting living space, and to help you with some upgrades, we’ve compiled some helpful tips on how to create a beautiful modern bathroom.

1. Update Your Sink and Faucet

The bathroom sinks of the past were drab and boring fixtures, serving their utilitarian purposes without bringing style to the home. If you have an older home, you likely have an unappealing bathroom sink, but there are plenty of modern options you can turn to that bring both style and function to your bathroom.

Contemporary sinks come in a host of unique designs, from textured glass and vitreous china sinks to ornate copper-like styles and more. Whether you want a pedestal sink, an undermount sink or a vessel sink, there’s no shortage of impressive and luxurious models to choose from.

For added style, you can also invest in a premium faucet for your new sink. Today’s bathroom faucets come in a wealth of luxury styles that with bring an added touch of class to any modern bathroom.

2. Invest in a Centerpiece Bathtub

The bathroom should be tranquil and relaxing living space, and nothing will bring peace to your home quite like a centerpiece bathtub.

This type of tube is designed to be the focal point of your bathroom, helping you stay clean as well as relaxed. Many homeowners choose a freestanding tub or modern clawfoot tub to serve as the centerpiece of their bathroom, though there are additional tub designs available. Ultimately, a centerpiece tub is intended to be the visual anchor point for your entire bathroom, serving as a beautiful testament to contemporary style while providing a luxurious atmosphere to the space. Depending on placement, you can even install a showerhead above your tub for additional bathing capabilities.

3. Add Contemporary Lighting Fixtures

If you have an older home, you likely have pretty basic lighting in your bathroom, and upgrading your lighting fixtures provides a great opportunity to bring modern style to your bathroom.

Should beautiful style be your top priority, consider adding some recessed can lights, pendant lights or globe lights to your bathroom, which all provide an ideal level of subtle lighting and elegant style. While consulting with a home appliance and design specialist is recommended, you’ll also want to enlist assistance from an electrician before investing in new bathroom lighting fixtures.

4. Explore Bath Accessory Options

A great sink, stylish tub and functional lighting are all key elements to any bathroom, but if you want your modern space to truly shine, you should consider investing in some bath accessories.

The modern bathroom shines thanks to style in every small detail, and bringing unique fixtures and accessories to your bathroom promotes comfort while providing elegance. If exceptional luxury is your top priority, consider investing in a foot spa or towel warmer. For convenience, consider installing a stylish soap holder in your tub and a unique toilet paper holder near your toilet. Of course, you’ll also want to invest in towel bars, a shower curtain rod and robe hooks, all of which can be found in high quality designs that match the aesthetic direction of any bathroom.

Find The Ideal Bath Fixtures For The Modern Bathroom

Many homeowners put their focus on communal spaces like the kitchen or living room, overlooking crucial design elements in their bathroom. But a modern bathroom will not only provide great style to your home — it will bring added comfort to you and your family, offering a peaceful space where you can relax and unwind from the stresses of daily life. By putting some thought into your bathroom design, you’ll be able to discover the ideal matches for your to your aesthetic desires.

Are you ready to build the bathroom of your dreams? Visit this online collection of decorative plumbing fixtures to explore options, or contact a home appliance and design expert for specialized service.