Clippings by KitchenConfused

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RE: What dishwasher detergent to use in new Miele (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: akchicago on 03.19.2013 at 09:56 am in Appliances Forum

I use Method Smarty tabs in my Miele DW. I think rinse-aid is essential, so I also use the inexpensive Jet Dry. My water is just slightly hard - the Miele technician said it's not quite hard enough to need to use the Miele built-in softener, but it is a bit hard.

I use the Method Smarty tabs unscented version. I don't want any scents in my DW detergent, and I really like that Method Smarty tabs do not have bleach--I do not want the smell of bleach that is found in other DW tabs. They also can be easily broken in half, and I find that a half-tab works great for a load of dishes. There have been posts that if you use too much detergent, you will have etching or a white residue on dishes and glasses. I buy Method Smarty tabs at Target or Whole Foods, but they can be bought cheaper on Amazon.

Here is a link that might be useful: Method Smarty Tabs

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clipped on: 10.31.2013 at 10:57 pm    last updated on: 10.31.2013 at 10:57 pm

RE: Which Miele DW to get? (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: rococogurl on 01.05.2013 at 08:18 am in Appliances Forum

Buster, check the download sheet for any dishwasher. A "standard" 24" wide DW space is a bit roomy for most Mieles. Mine is installed in such a space (mis-measure) and as a result not as quiet as it could/should be. This can be remedied by a building out the side of the cabinet and placing a thin strip in front. But also should be considered in the install cost if quiet is a premium.

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clipped on: 07.13.2013 at 10:06 am    last updated on: 07.13.2013 at 10:06 am

RE: Cork flooring? (Follow-Up #18)

posted by: anne_j on 03.27.2008 at 10:41 pm in Orchids Forum

I'm looking at cork tile for my kitchen and adjacent areas. Local dealers have so little knowledge of the product they are selling, and none of them offer multiple brands of cork. How do I compare brands? I've seen samples of Globus, Duro-Design, Natural Cork, APC Cork, Expanko, and DMI so far. I've seen Globus and Natural Cork installations, but only in showroom offices, not in anybody's kitchen. If you have experience with cork flooring, here's what I want to ask you about:
(1) Can you talk to me about homogeneous tiles (same material all the way through) vs. veneer tiles (thin layer of "pattern" on the top, plain old cork that looks like a bulletin board the rest of the way through)? Is there an industry standard for how thick the veneer layer should be? I've seen it from too-thin-to-measure up to about 1.5 mm. Is the exact thickness of the veneer important, or does it not make any difference? I have put my samples through some abuse, so I can verify that the tiles that have veneer on them do not recover as completely from compression as the homogeneous tile. (Example: the hard plastic glide on a kitchen chair leg.) Even if you keep your floor scrupulously clean and don't mess up the clear finish or scrape through the veneer layer, it seems like having a floor full of little permanent dents would not be good. Does anybody have experience with this? Be aware that some companies don't tell you which of their products are homogeneous and which are not. They can still call it "100% cork" even if the top layer is paper-thin! If in doubt, look closely at the top side, bottom side, and edges of a tile to see if the little "chunks" of material go all the way through. It seems to me that a very thin top layer would lose a lot of the advertised resiliency, because too many of those cushy little cells have been sliced open. Am I wrong?
(2) About the clear finish: Some companies list their prefinished tile as being coated with polyurethane, and some companies list an acrylic finish. Is one considered to be of higher quality than the other? Would one be more clear, or more flexible, or last longer, or be more environmentally friendly? When you site-finish these factory-coated tiles, or years later when it is time to reapply the finish, can you apply a water-based polyurethane such as BonaKemi Traffic on either one of those surfaces?
(3) Has anyone special-ordered tile to get a different size? If I'm willing to wait (6 to 8 weeks), I can get, for instance, 18" x 18" tiles from APC Cork. Is there any reason NOT to do this? Would the quality be any different than the mass-produced size?
(4) Some brands are applied using a type of adhesive that is like contact cement; you apply the liquid to the substrate and to the tiles (if they aren't pre-glued), and they stick together on contact. Other brands use a mastic that is troweled onto the substrate, sort of like laying ceramic tile. Is one method is better than the other? I don't want corners and seams popping up! I hope that installers are more knowledgeable than retailers. If not (am I getting cynical?), is one method more idiot-proof than the other? If I ever damage a tile and have to replace it, would one method make that easier to do?
(5) Are some brands better than others at making tiles that are consistent in size, thickness, squareness, etc.--anything that would make installation easier? Does anyone have experience with mixing two colors of tile (of the same brand) on one floor? Were the sizes of the two the same, or did you run into problems?
(6) Our refrigerator is large and heavy. Where do I put it during the days that the floor is being installed and the finish is curing? Nearest rooms are dining room (hardwood) and den (carpet). How do I get it back in place without ruining the new floor? When it is in place, should I put a sheet of something thin but sturdy underneath the rollers, to keep them from making dents?
Any answers you can provide would help me so much!
P.S. About the Globus tiles: I agree; very nice colors. Most are veneers, so if you pick one that is varies much from the natural cork color, any scratches will show. I saw this at a dealer, in a room used as an office. The floor was a dark color in an interesting layout with small insets of a very light color. Very attractive, except where their desk chair rolls around; lots of pale streaks showing where the dark-stained veneer had worn through. I am personally frustrated because my practical side says "buy solid tiles; they are more resilient and you can sand and refinish them" while my designer side says "but the larger swirling cork patterns are so much more visually interesting!" I'm looking for a compromise. I'm waiting for samples to arrive from DMI. I will soon get to see some Expanko residential installations, so maybe that will help. Someone mentioned APC--be aware that some of their glue-down tiles ARE veneer. Call them if you are not sure; they will tell you which ones.

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clipped on: 04.21.2013 at 06:46 pm    last updated on: 04.21.2013 at 06:46 pm

RE: Looked At A Bluestar Range Today....WOW! (Follow-Up #22)

posted by: thull on 10.09.2011 at 09:46 am in Appliances Forum

I'm not sure where ratflinger is coming from. Ooh, Ooh, and I'm an engineer, too.

I'm not a fussy cleaner, so cleaning consists of periodically running the burner bowls and grates through the dishwasher. I don't bother with the supports (well, maybe once every 18 months). Just not sure how the ignition wire is a problem.

The one thing I don't love is the open igniters. Water gets in them and rusts them eventually. There was an old post that I saved about trading them out for flat-top igniters from Guy Banks (intended for a Viking). I did that and have been working on a long writeup about how to do it.

Right now, I'm out of town and will make time when I get back to finish up that post and put it on the board.

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clipped on: 02.12.2013 at 03:34 pm    last updated on: 02.12.2013 at 03:34 pm

RE: Looked At A Bluestar Range Today....WOW! (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: tyguy on 10.06.2011 at 02:42 pm in Appliances Forum

Sandy: Sounds like you are pretty much ready to roll!!! Copper core all clad would be pretty damn close to as good as tin lined copper pans, and *almost* as nice to look at. :) I have wasted many-a-drool over those copper muaviels too. Hurry up and order that Bluestar!

If you are looking for the Simplex Windsor kettle, try and grab one that is specifically for gas ranges, you will get your french pressed coffee in amazing speed. (I think it would actually come pretty close to induction speed).

Did you get a price for your 48" red bluestar yet? I would be curious to see what they are going for now(I got such a hot deal almost 4 years ago now).

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clipped on: 02.12.2013 at 03:29 pm    last updated on: 02.12.2013 at 03:29 pm

RE: Generic BlueStar range ceramic ignitors? (Follow-Up #28)

posted by: joewatch on 02.06.2013 at 01:59 pm in Appliances Forum

Hello BlueStar Peeps,
Hope you are enjoying your ranges.

I just replaced a cracked ignitor with this model ordered from Amazon: Music City Metals 03361 Ceramic Electrode Replacement for Select Jenn-Air and Nexgrill Gas Grill Models ($11.73)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0028S3T4Q/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00&tag=613240924-20

I had to enlarge the bracket hole with a drill and bend the ignition wire to a 90 degree angle, but otherwise, it was a painless installation. Works perfectly.

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clipped on: 02.11.2013 at 11:19 pm    last updated on: 02.11.2013 at 11:19 pm

RE: Generic BlueStar range ceramic ignitors? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: kelsold on 08.25.2010 at 03:09 pm in Appliances Forum

FWIW, I bought several extra igniters about 3 or 4 months ago from Eurostoves. I don't recall the exact price, but it seems it was a lot less than $25 per.

I also bought a care kit and it has all the products I use to keep my BS rangetop looking good. The care kit includes a couple of igniters also.

Anyway, you might try them. They treated me very well and they were great to do business with.

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clipped on: 02.11.2013 at 11:18 pm    last updated on: 02.11.2013 at 11:18 pm

RE: I love my Marmoleum SO much (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: MarinaGal on 01.15.2013 at 08:07 am in Kitchens Forum

Mizinformation - the installer used three coats of a latex (I think he said latex) fill. He would apply a layer, let it dry, come back the next day, scrape and apply another layer. This leveled the floor and filled in the cracks between the tiles. After those three coats of fill, he applied the adhesive for the Marmoleum. We considered removing the tile, but it was set in many, many inches of cement (this is a 100-year-old house). I was worried that the Marmoleum would feel as hard to walk on as the tile, but its feels softer and warmer.... It also is a thin product, so we raised the floor only very slightly.

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clipped on: 01.17.2013 at 11:28 am    last updated on: 01.17.2013 at 11:30 am

RE: Stone Information and Advice (& Checklists) (Follow-Up #40)

posted by: buehl on 10.21.2008 at 05:12 pm in Kitchens Forum

Sink Undermount Options

There are pros & cons for each type of reveal:

  • Positive Reveal. The sink shows; granite cutout is slightly larger than sink

    • Pros: Easier to clean b/c you can see the gunk and can easily wipe it off (it only gets nasty if you leave it there)

    • Cons: Silicone (caulk?) is visible, but if they use clear you won't see it when it dries

  • Negative Reveal. The granite overhangs the sink; granite cutout is slightly smaller than the sink

    • Pros: You cannot see the gunk buildup or silicone

    • Cons:
      • You cannot see the gunk to clean it.
      • Dirty water/food can splash up & under where you cannot see to clean it. It's difficult to see underneath w/o leaning way over & into the sink.
      • Dishes/glasses have been known to break b/c when you lift them out near the edge of the sink the dish hits the stone counter & can break (or, if the dish wins, the counter could chip...but I'm not sure how likely that is).

  • Zero Reveal or Flush. Sink & granite are flush or even; the granite cutout & sink are the same size

    • Pros:
      • Easier to clean b/c you can see the gunk
      • No platform over or under for the gunk to collect

    • Cons:
      • More difficult to do perfectly
      • Silicone is visible, but if they use clear you won't see it when it dries

You will find proponents of all three types of reveals here...but in the end it's what works best for you.

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clipped on: 01.13.2013 at 06:17 pm    last updated on: 01.13.2013 at 06:17 pm

RE: Blanco Silgranit Sink (Follow-Up #16)

posted by: may1918 on 03.12.2012 at 05:04 am in Remodeling Forum

I have a Blanco black Silgranit Sink. I am on a well. We were getting the white stains and build up on our black sink (from minerals in the water, from our dish soap and from Barkeepers Friend). I would use vinegar and mineral oil, but they would never completely get rid of the white stains, they were just hiding the stains temporarily and then the stains would come back in about a week. I finally found this forum and looked at all of the remedies that were listed here in the comments, but none of them really worked. The one remedy I hadn't tried yet was the Target Brand Up and Up Magic Erasers. So...I decided to give the Magic Erasers a shot.

I purchased the Target Brand Up and Up Magic Erasers and I soaked one in water and squeezed out the water so it was still wet, but not dripping wet. Then, I started with the bottom of the sink were the major white staining was. I scrubbed lightly in a circular motion, then in a linear motion and the stains appeared to get lighter. Then, I applied a little more pressure and continued to scrub the stains. The more I scrubbed the stains with the Magic Eraser, the lighter the stains got until they finally disappeared! Then, I started on the white stains around the faucet and soap dispenser. Within a few minutes of scrubbing, those white stains disappeared as well.

Because of Target Brand Up and Up Magic Erasers and this Gardenweb forum, my black Silgranit sink looks like new again...for the first time in three years!

My recommendation, for anyone that has this problem, is to skip all of the other suggested solutions and try the Magic Erasers first...the Magic Eraser is really the only solution.

By using the Magic Erasers, I don't need to use mineral oil on my sink anymore. I still use mineral oil if I want to give the sink more of a shine, but I don't have to in order to hide the white stains anymore...because I don't have anymore white stains after using the Magic Erasers.

If I do see white stains gradually appearing again...I take out the Magic Eraser...dip it in water...squeeze out the excess water and I lightly scrub the white residue or stain until it is gone (which takes about a minute or two).

Thanks again to the people here that suggested the Target Brand Up and Up Magic Erasers...they really work and now my black Silgranit sink looks like new again.

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clipped on: 01.13.2013 at 06:08 pm    last updated on: 01.13.2013 at 06:08 pm

RE: Blanco Silgranit Sink (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: wrigglyseed on 09.27.2008 at 02:02 am in Remodeling Forum

We got a white Silgranit sink when remodeling. After a bit, it gets dirty on the bottom. Stainless steel rub-offs, etc. So, we tried cleaning it. First we tried soap, then we tried vinegar. Nothing. We tried scrubbers, we tried abrasive cleaners. A little better, but oh I was going to throw a spring. I finally bit the bullet and bought the Blanco cleaner, even giving the sink the benefit of having not been "properly cleaned" since we'd bought it. The cleaner barely made a dent, it would clean the sides a bit but that was it. We (wife and I) were bummed, it seemed we'd wasted our money on the sink.

Then, one day for some reason or another, my wife tried one of those Mr. Magic sponges. Turned out to be Magic indeed! The sink cleans up with EASE. I am not kidding. Wipe, wipe, wipe, clean sink! I came home from work and I noticed it straightaway, a gleaming Blanco Silgranit just as it looked the day it was delivered. I kid you not. NOT A SPOT REMAINED.

Hope someone sees this and is saved!

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clipped on: 01.13.2013 at 06:06 pm    last updated on: 01.13.2013 at 06:06 pm

RE: Would you buy your Silgranit sink again? (Follow-Up #36)

posted by: magdiego on 01.11.2013 at 03:07 pm in Kitchens Forum

This is my anthracite sink with a white quartz - Silestone Yukon Blanco. I LOVE my sink. LOVE.

From Kitchen

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clipped on: 01.13.2013 at 05:53 pm    last updated on: 01.13.2013 at 05:53 pm

RE: Would you buy your Silgranit sink again? (Follow-Up #35)

posted by: localeater on 01.11.2013 at 02:43 pm in Kitchens Forum

Southernmom, mine is bisquit and my countertop is MadrePerla quartzite- so I think that meets your light criteria. I love the two together. I strongly considered biscotti as well but liked the undertones in biscuit better.
From GW Photos

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clipped on: 01.13.2013 at 05:52 pm    last updated on: 01.13.2013 at 05:52 pm

RE: Would you buy your Silgranit sink again? (Follow-Up #32)

posted by: bahacca on 01.11.2013 at 01:43 pm in Kitchens Forum

I love mine other than the fact that it has a hairline crack in it. I have anthracite, so i'm not sure if it came in like that or if it happened during install. All I can say is that a week after I sent pictures and proof of purchase, I was sent a BRAND NEW SINK. The crack is in a spot where it doesn't matter to me and isn't clear through, so until something happens or the sink gets very old, the new one is in my garage. It is undermount, so not exactly an easy fix;-) If you get a dark color, take white flour and dust the whole thing with it. Swish it around and if there is a crack, it will show with the flour. I was told to do this by SIlgranit. As far as function, look, etc, I'd buy one again in a heartbeat, even with mine coming(or becoming) flawed.

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clipped on: 01.13.2013 at 05:49 pm    last updated on: 01.13.2013 at 05:49 pm

RE: Would you buy your Silgranit sink again? (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: numbersjunkie on 01.10.2013 at 11:42 am in Kitchens Forum

LOL. Grlwprls, I was the one who had a plumber leave in a huff about the plumbers putty! But the second plumber the fabricator sent also used plumbers putty - and I could not find anything on the Silgranit website to point to. He said what I was reading "on the internet" was for the seal between the counter and the sink. In any case, there was no staining from the plumbers putty, and I have the Anthracite color.

Southernmum - the answer to your question is YES, YES, YES I would do it again. My sink is 2 years old and looks like new. And I do not baby it at all. No scratches at all and if they don't show on black they shouldn't show on anything lighter. After about a year, I did have some issues with a white haze, but after some research, I tried Mr Clean magic eraser and it worked like a charm - turns out there was a buildup of some sort (grease?) that I couldn't see (maybe due to the color) and didn't come off with Dawn. Made the sink look brand new, and water beaded up on the surface like when it was new. A year later, I needed to use the Mr Clean again. I plan to put a Silgranit in my vacation rental when I update the kitchen - because I know it can stand up to abuse.

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clipped on: 01.13.2013 at 05:45 pm    last updated on: 01.13.2013 at 05:45 pm

RE: Would you buy your Silgranit sink again? (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: grlwprls on 01.10.2013 at 10:41 am in Kitchens Forum

But make sure they install the drain with silicone NOT putty. Putty will stain the sink from the oil base of the putty. Make sure your plumber knows this...but be nice (and gentle). Members have had plumbers leave in a huff when this was mentioned to them.

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clipped on: 01.13.2013 at 05:41 pm    last updated on: 01.13.2013 at 05:41 pm

Update RE: ''Plasticky'' Silgranit? (Follow-Up #26)

posted by: drbeanie2000 on 11.01.2012 at 12:11 pm in Kitchens Forum

So I went ahead and got the Super Single with offset drain in Anthracite. When I first saw it out of the box, I thought - Seriously? When it went in, though, no plasticky look or feel. It feels incredibly sturdy. It looks fantastic with our leathered Cambrian Black countertops in that we barely notice it is there. There might be some water spots on the sides every once in a while, but they are not white, they're not that noticeable. I just wipe them off with a microfiber cloth every night.

I think our project manager was a little dubious about it, but he talked about how great it was once it was in. He especially mentioned the quietness.

I hope to get higher resolution images soon but the attached photo shows how well it blends in with everything and is totally unobtrusive.

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clipped on: 01.13.2013 at 05:38 pm    last updated on: 01.13.2013 at 05:40 pm

RE: Anyone have experience with Blanco Silgranit kitchen sinks? (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: momtofour on 01.19.2010 at 01:54 pm in Kitchens Forum

I found the best price for our model and the grids at Quality Bath online, even with paying state tax. Delivery was quick and items were well-packed. You could look at the Pegasus line at HD which I understand is made by Blanco. They have a double bowl, super single and D-single and sell in the brown and black.

An installation tip for you: do not use plumber's putty to install. Blanco recommends silicone. If you really want plumber's putty, there is now a product made to use with stone.

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clipped on: 01.13.2013 at 05:33 pm    last updated on: 01.13.2013 at 05:33 pm

RE: BS vs Wolf (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: alexr on 07.22.2012 at 12:48 am in Appliances Forum

So all the burners on a Bluestar no matter what size - can be adjusted at their simmer setting. That is, you can 'fine tune' the lowest flame setting of any burner and then it will keep that setting when the knob is turned to simmer.

It requires you or someone to slide the knob off, and use a small flat blade screwdriver to lower the simmer flame. This adjustment doesn't affect the high full open flame setting. The second adjustment is the air shutter, which mixes air in to the flow of gas going to the burner. Also very easy.

You can set the flame so low that it barely pop up from the hole, but does not cause the ignitor to re-spark.

Anyway, that can be a very small flame.. If you set it too low not enough gas comes out of the burner to light every hole and the flames 'wander' from hole to hole and eventually the ignitor will spark. You get the idea.

Then it's just a question of how many holes- the smaller burner has about 35 flame holes and the other sizes add 4 or 8 more holes on each arm of the 'star' burner, or an additional 32 for the 15K and an extra 32 holes for the 22K.

The largest 22k Bluestar burner's simmer produces about the same heat as the lowest simmer setting on a Capital Culinarian- a competing open burner range.

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clipped on: 07.23.2012 at 02:05 am    last updated on: 01.12.2013 at 07:14 pm

RE: Bluestar questions for Bluestar owners (Follow-Up #28)

posted by: langour on 01.03.2013 at 02:06 pm in Appliances Forum

Happy New Year all,

I have owned the 36" SS six burner for 7-8 years...love it.
I have the high backsplash with shelf...love it...must have in my application.

Just a few comments:
Pros
1) Its a Ferrari, fast, high heat - the broiler works great, the issue is the height adjustment for the racks, with the current broiling pan...they are either too high or too low...I therefore use a 1/2 sheet pan under my broiling pan...works fine.
2) Wok cooking...OMG...if you have a hand hammered steel wok...you are in business...as good as any asian restaurant...BTW I live in Oakland, CA...I eat in SF and Oakland China Towns alot.
3) Huge oven - full sheet pan - cook anything
4) Relatively easy to clean - with the way I cook, I have to break the top down @ 1/month and clean the whole thing.

Cons
1) Fit and finish is not Wolf...some sharp edges, one or two knobs a little loose...I dont mind...easy fixes.
2) One oven bottom support came loose...aluminum rivets broke...need to replace...its the angled piece for the removable bottom in the back under fan...its probably my fault, I left a pizza stone on the oven floor for several years...probably overheated the bottom.
3) Ignitors...major issue for many people...the complaint is they break...yes they do. I think I know the problem...after many replacements...its operator error. The heat from the front burners will sometimes run away from you...especially if you've been drinking :-P (ie careless) and dont pay attention. The ignitor sits in the flame...the insulator is ceramic. When you have a boil over, the 212 deg water comes into contact with the 400+ deg ceramic...crack! Ive simply come to terms with my Ferrari...I buy @ 6 ignitors a year and replace as needed...no big deal.
4) Ignitor module - it broke on me once...several years ago...I bought a new one, replaced it...its been fine ever since.
5) Oven cleaning...not bad, but its a huge oven, so it takes a little longer, I get a little dirty...oh well...my cast iron butterflied chicken is unbeatable.

I love this range...it will change the way you cook.

I installed my range, had to recalibrate my oven initially...very easy...small screw in oven dial shaft.

When friends come over...they always want to help out cooking...I havent been able to figure that one out yet :-D

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clipped on: 01.12.2013 at 06:25 pm    last updated on: 01.12.2013 at 06:42 pm

RE: Range Hood Hell - Please help! (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: racmrc on 08.28.2012 at 05:42 pm in Appliances Forum

Mizzm - we have a "BEST" by Broan range hood. It is a 48" wide x 24" deep Model K260 with stainless baffles. We use an external 1200 cfm blower by BEST along with a Fantec silencer. Our duct has a length of 13' physical feet with one 45 degree and one 90 degree bend. The 48" hood was $1050 and the external blower was $780, both purchased locally where I'm located.

Sound levels are hard to describe but I'll try:

Lowest speed (this hood has variable blower speed) - on low you can't hear it

50% speed - our refrigerator running will drown out the blower but noise level of wind hiss is similar. So far it seems this will be the speed we used the most.

75% a bit louder than the refrigerator but only hear wind noise with air going thru baffles - loud enough to hear but noise drops off as soon as you back off from the hood, especially about 5 feet away. This speed so far is all we've needed when doing the most smoke producing cooking - using cast iron skillets super hot and blackening various meats. Tons of smoke and 75% power easily pulls everything out.

100% - a slight hum from the remote blower and a fair amount of hiss of air being sucked thru the baffles. Sound level probably about 3/4 way between the sound of a refrigerator running and a table top microwave (probably closer to the microwave). We haven't seen yet where this full speed has been needed - but good to know its there.

Our previous range hood had an 8 sones sound level and just for reference - 8 sones is similar (to us) as a jet engine running the the kitchen - or maybe even a lawn mower. 8 sones is very distracting and hard to have a good conversation.

We looked at many different hoods and every hood we saw with an internal blower was loud so we knew we really needed the external blower. With our kitchen remodel our kitchen will be part of a great room and we wanted the quietest possible blower setup we could get. We are 100% satisfied with the performance and noise levels.

With our remodel, we will soon have a different rangetop installed (already delivered), a 48" BS with 24" grill and we have no concerns about our range hood being able to do the job since it's already proven it can handle what we throw at it.

I would not hesitate to purchase the BEST products again - much cheaper than others and nice quality.

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clipped on: 01.10.2013 at 12:36 am    last updated on: 01.10.2013 at 12:45 am

RE: Final Range Hood Insert Decision (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: pbx2 on 09.05.2012 at 11:48 am in Appliances Forum

Intuitively, I can safely say that unless you have a 24+" hood depth, nothing is capturing the smoke unless you fabricate an angled hood extension at the rear of the hood insert hanging down several inches to deflect smoke back towards the front - a inverted hanging back splash if you will.

Not having said also that, the hood would need to be mounted forward & away from the back wall as to be able to capture the front burner smoke.

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clipped on: 01.10.2013 at 12:06 am    last updated on: 01.10.2013 at 12:06 am

Final Range Hood Insert Decision

posted by: p.ball2 on 09.03.2012 at 12:11 pm in Appliances Forum

Okay...after months of deliberation, we're down to 2 choices (we think) for our range hood (above a Blue Star 36" - no grill).

Zephyr AK9340AS or Vent-A-Hood M40PSLD. Both are around $1,300. The VAH may (or may not) have non-dishwasher safe filters...go figure).

Anybody have an opinion?

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clipped on: 01.08.2013 at 12:42 am    last updated on: 01.08.2013 at 12:43 am

RE: What can you tell me about Blanco Silgranit Sinks (pics pleas (Follow-Up #81)

posted by: jlcm on 09.06.2011 at 02:39 pm in Kitchens Forum

We have a white double sink where the left side is larger than the right. It was purchased and installed by a professional contractor in 2005. In 2008 we noticed a small crack in the bottom of the left sink. Blanco was good to their warranty - they sent us a new sink, but we had to hire someone to remove the old sink and install the new one. It is now September, 2011 and we are having the same problem again. The left side is cracked, but this time, the crack is very large and it goes all the way through so the sink leaks. We are trying to find another brand of sink to fit the unusual opening, but so far, we have had no luck. We might very well be stuck getting another Silgranit sink even though we don't want one!

As far as cleaning the sink goes, you do have to be careful with pots and pans because they will leave a grey mark if they rub on the sides of the sink. I have found that a Magic Eraser works pretty well on those marks, and, every couple of months I fill the sinks with warm water and a couple of capfulls of bleach. I let it sit until the water cools off, then, while the sinks are draining, I scrub them with a scrubber sponge. That gets them pretty clean. I do wish that I had purchased a good quality stainless steel sink when we did our kitchen re-model in 2005 instead of the Silgranit sink.

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clipped on: 12.05.2012 at 11:57 am    last updated on: 12.05.2012 at 11:57 am

RE: What can you tell me about Blanco Silgranit Sinks (pics pleas (Follow-Up #18)

posted by: mysterymachine on 01.17.2008 at 03:51 am in Kitchens Forum

Everyone has already said how great they are and I agree but I want to make sure you know to check them REALLY carefully for invisible cracks every step of the way, when you get it, when its installed etc. Especially in the corners. Somewhere in the chain ours got a crack - you couldn't see it at first but then when dirt etc got into the microcrack you could.

Blanco is standing behind their product and is supposed to send me a new one but it will be extremely hard to get this undermounted sink out and a new one in.

Still they are awesome sinks and even with this added hassle I would pick them if doing it all over again - just be super picky about checking them (run a fingernail around and feel for cracks).

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RE: What can you tell me about Blanco Silgranit Sinks (pics pleas (Follow-Up #33)

posted by: pugger on 01.25.2008 at 03:28 pm in Kitchens Forum

We've had our black (anthracite) Blanco, like Lisa's for about 4 years now. We did our's as a drop-in, you can do it undermount or drop-in. We're going to granite counters just now in black, so we're switching to a stainless sink - just can't find a good shape w/ depths like this one! This material is tough, and you can take anything off the stove or out of the oven & sit it in the sink if you had to, it's good to well over 500 degrees plus.

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clipped on: 11.29.2012 at 12:09 am    last updated on: 11.29.2012 at 12:09 am

RE: What can you tell me about Blanco Silgranit Sinks (pics pleas (Follow-Up #80)

posted by: Andrea (Guest) on 08.05.2011 at 01:23 pm in Kitchens Forum

HI,
I love our silegranite sink. We have anthracite with the other appliances in SS. We have a SS faucet. The sink is wonderful.. I have gone with cast iron in the past and I don't like SS but this I love. I have so many compliments on the sink. I have 4 young children and the sink holds up great. I will use a little vinegar and water miss to clean it and it looks great--we have had it for about 9 months now and it looks like it did the first day--hope this helps

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RE: Anyone have experience with Blanco Silgranit kitchen sinks? (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: amysrq on 01.18.2010 at 05:30 pm in Kitchens Forum

I've had the white since November 2008 white and have no trouble keeping it clean. I do scour it out at least once or twice a week, depending on what we've been cooking. I use BKF (nothing else like it) or a quick spray of Fantastic with Bleach, but that stinks up the whole house. Magic Erasers work, too, but they're expensive. Day-to-day, meal-to-meal, I just use an O-Cello scrubbie and a bit of dish soap.

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RE: Bluestar Range Hoods (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: philwojo on 07.24.2012 at 08:19 pm in Appliances Forum

I don't know about them personally, but my DW and I are going to buy a Zephyr brand to go over our soon to be purchased BS 36" rangetop. You should check them out.

phil

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RE: Is Sub Zero fridge worth it? (Follow-Up #50)

posted by: vvl on 08.16.2011 at 09:32 pm in Appliances Forum

Had a 42" side by side SZ for over 20 years.Served us well, with a few repair issues. Now remodelling a new house and thought "no way am I spending over $10k on a fridge".... Well, after much research, compromised and am getting a 36" SZ all fridge and a separate freezer (TBD) to go in the butler's pantry.
I considered - Miele,Thermador, Kitchenaid, Liebherr, Viking, GE, etc. The Liebherr seemed to be a good replacement - but the 36" French door was very expensive and the Liebherrs 24" columns - I did not like the flimsy plastic drawers in the freezer at all! The Miele was actually more expensive that the SZ but really nice, the Themador Towers were the biggest contenders for me. Really liked their configuration and feel - but by the time I would have bought both the fridge and freezer, I was back up to the Subzero price - soooo, ended up deciding on the Subzero 36"fridge in the kitchen for daily use (really liked the space and feel of it! so bit the bullet, got it under $5,000.
BTW - I did not like the space my 42" SZ gave me all those years. The freezer was so dinky that we had to get a second full freezer for our meats;the fridge was adequate but wished it were bigger. Really depends on the size of your family and how much storage you require. Bottom freezers are supposed to be much more energy efficient than the side by sides, so are all frige/freezers - so I would more look at the columns or all refrigerator/freezers rather than the one 48" unit. Thermador make a 30" fridge and 18" freezer that are really nice. Hope this helps!

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clipped on: 07.23.2012 at 01:48 pm    last updated on: 07.23.2012 at 01:49 pm

RE: BS vs Wolf (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: alexr on 07.22.2012 at 02:49 pm in Appliances Forum

My only comment is I think I would prefer the 15K burner at the right front position and put one of the 22K's to the right rear position.

They used to do it that way, but the back 22K burner would leave a scorch mark on the 6" stainless back splash. To me, that's not a big deal, and it's nice to park a big pot of pasta water or whatever back there.

And if you have the short "Island trim" the scorch marks won't show anyway. In that case, you'll need stainless or tile on the wall behind the range unless there is no wall behind the range-as in an island.

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clipped on: 07.23.2012 at 02:03 am    last updated on: 07.23.2012 at 02:03 am

Hoods with BS

posted by: sspiper on 07.22.2012 at 01:56 pm in Appliances Forum

Hi Folks,
Looks like I am jumping in with the BS.
What do you use or recommend for a hood?
Is 600 CFM enough for a 30 in RNB (2x 22k + 15K + simmer)
Many thanks for any help.

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clipped on: 07.23.2012 at 01:59 am    last updated on: 07.23.2012 at 01:59 am

RE: Is door heat still a problem on the Blue Star? (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: bibliomom on 11.09.2011 at 01:37 pm in Appliances Forum

I think it gets really hot - hot enough to where I'd think twice about buying one again. The combination of the oven and griddle (for instance) was hot enough to melt the white silicon/plastic/whatever caulk stuff along the ball bearing track of the pull-out cleaning tray. Can I tell you how long it took to figure out why the tray would no longer open and then clean up the mess once I figured it out? (It dripped through the oven and bonded with the floor tile.) The tray on the right is fine - it's over the small oven and under burners.

Granted, the caulk isn't a stove door issue, but it is (imho) an uncontrolled heat issue. (And no, BlueStar was not even remotely helpful in dealing with it. It took several attempts to even get someone to talk to us and their advice was basically to pull harder. We weren't even able to get a call back after that.)

I like the stove, but the whole thing left me with a bad taste in my mouth. If you're not completely in love with open, cast-iron burners (which sadly, I am) I'd get a different stove and oven heat is part of the reason.

I don't use the oven at all in the summer, I warn guests when I'm baking, and constantly remind my kids not to touch it. Granted, lots of people train their kids not to touch wood stoves, but a) my daughter is high-functioning autistic and doesn't perceive temperature properly and b) I don't think I should have to perpetually warn people not to touch a kitchen oven.

If you have a cruiser who might put their weight on the oven door and not be able to pull back quickly enough or a diabetic family member who can't perceive heat properly they will probably burn themselves. It's just that much hotter than a standard oven, especially if you're using the broiler and/or griddle as well as a hot oven.

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RE: Reheating - Miele Steam Oven vs. Microwave - How Long? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: plllog on 01.01.2012 at 10:28 pm in Appliances Forum

Basically, a microwave is better for large and dense things because it warms the inside as well as the outside. That includes your frozen dishes, and anything that can be stirred, like soups and stews, whether frozen or not. Because microwaves heat unevenly, and can be drying, they're not so good for heating leftovers.

The Gaggenau combi-steam, which Zartemis and I both have, on "regenerate" setting, is perfect for heating leftovers, as well as small, already cooked vegetables. You can put in a plate of meat, vegetables and starch and they'll all come out the perfect temperature, with nothing overcooked or weird.

A steam oven is also good for blanching and steaming vegetables, poaching fish or chicken, making hard steamed (not boiled) eggs, and lots of other stove top things. I've tried to do rice, which is supposed to work well, and have never had a good result for that, which is so easy to do on the stove.

The combi- part means you can add moisture to anything you can cook in a convection oven, which means no basting, and the food doesn't dry out.

Sandwiches can go either way. If it's a fairly wet sandwich (moist bread, spreads/condiments, cheese, etc.) it can zap pretty well. It takes longer to do it in the combi-steam, but you don't have to worry about what all is in it. For instance, crusty, pointy rolls don't zap well, but are great from the steam oven.

You can do all microwaving tasks with a small, inexpensive, countertop model. A steam oven, especially a combi-steam is much, much more expensive, but, in my opinion, worth every penny. I'd get the steam oven, and a Costco microwave. (What I did get is the combi- and an Advantium speed oven because I often need three ovens for entertaining.)

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RE: Reheating - Miele Steam Oven vs. Microwave - How Long? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: zartemis on 01.01.2012 at 08:03 pm in Appliances Forum

We've only had our steam oven for about a week and already it is the most used appliance. Since our kitchen isn't finished, it's probably to early to tell what the long term pattern will be.

One of the big pluses (for us) is that it is our smallest oven so the preheat time is fast -- so we use it preferentially for all regular oven uses other than broiling. We haven't done meat/roasts in it yet, here are some tasks we've used it for that it does much better than a non-steam oven:

  • Refreshing day or two-old pastries, bread, croissants.
  • Steam-roasting vegetable mixes. We done some purely in the steam oven, and some sauteed first, then finished in the steam oven. The steam oven keeps them moister than they would be uncovered in a regular oven, yet can caramelize the outside, which neither the MW nor steam pot can do.
  • Reheating refrigerated foods. I just warmed up some apple brandy cake. I was going to eat it cold, but remembered steam oven, put it on a plate and 8 minutes later it was warm and moist. I'd say reheating foods is my favorite (since I'm not currently the main cook in the house).

Since we got the steam oven, we haven't used the MW (the MW is on a cart in our temporary kitchen area). We bought a smaller MW with a curved back to nestle into a countertop corner. The only thing I don't like about it is that it looks like a dorm TV:

Here are tasks a MW beats the steam oven for:


  • defrosting things fast (like your frozen casseroles)
  • speed cooking root vegetables (And actually, this would be the case were a Speed Oven proper would excel. To fast roast root vegetables, you can start them in a MW then finish in an oven to roast the surface. With a speed oven, you can do it all in one oven.)
  • faster dehydrating, e.g. you can make jerky in a MW, or spread thin vegetable purees and nuke them to dehydrate them and then grind into a vegetable powder. However, a MW usually can only make a small quantity at a time.
  • some unique frying tasks: puffing grain/rice mixtures (although deep frying works here, too). Or see this video on making fried herb garnishes with a MW).
  • quick melting tasks, e.g. butter or chocolate.

Most tasks can be done more than one way, it's just a matter of time and convenience. We got to use a steam oven in person and took an intro class on it as well. This is what convinced us we'd really benefit from it more than we would a speed oven. But, as the person in the household who does more reheating of meals, I must admit that if most of those meals were frozen and it wasn't convenient to defrost them in advance, I'd prefer a speed oven.

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clipped on: 07.21.2012 at 01:23 pm    last updated on: 07.21.2012 at 01:23 pm

RE: Open/Sealed Burners (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: alexr on 12.17.2008 at 04:54 pm in Appliances Forum

Sealed burners, particularly ones with a stainless top, look modern and clean-looking. The flames do come out of the burner ring sideways, so it's good to have either several different sized burners (like the American), or dual ring burners. Some sealed burner folks have mentioned that with the burner on high, a lot of the flame goes up around the sides of the pan (may require a large bottomed pan to take advantage of high ).

They clean up differently, but I think it's a matter of preference. The stainless sealed tops you just wipe off like a countertop. Some sealed tops are black and can be harder to clean. Open burners, (Bluestar)- the burner bowls are porcelain cast iron and come out individually. Or you can just wipe in place as well if it's just a light clean up.

Open burners, esp. Bluestar has the burner sitting lower below the grates and the flame comes straight up in a star pattern instead of sideways from a circle. You can still have a flame come around the outer edge on high, but the rest of the pan is still getting very even heat.

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clipped on: 07.21.2012 at 12:22 pm    last updated on: 07.21.2012 at 12:22 pm