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RE: What appliance(s) far exceeded your expectations? (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: lucypwd on 06.06.2008 at 12:12 am in Appliances Forum

OK maybe this isn't a true appliance, but a mini - the zojirushi NH VBC 18 rice cooker. It is amazing - perfect rice every time - holds it as long as you want - never overcooked - set it in the morning for rice at night. I love it!!

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clipped on: 06.10.2008 at 05:17 pm    last updated on: 06.10.2008 at 05:17 pm

RE: KA v Cuisinart mixer? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: chefkev on 05.05.2008 at 01:54 am in Appliances Forum

Dear Bluekitobsessed,

I don't think it's overkill to have both. A FP will perform many of the tasks that a mixer will perform, but a serious baker will want a mixer. Reasons include:
- Mixers are generally better for larger batches of doughs and batters & a good mixer will handle some of the heavier doughs like biscotti or pasta dough better.
- The whisk attachment on the mixer is better for aerating things like whipped cream and meringues. The variable speed is also a help, especially with meringues, as a real baking geek will start out at slow speed and then raise speed for better volume. (I'm momentarily forgetting the science behind this - I'll of course remember it right after I hit the submit button.) You're not going to be making souffls with your FP.
- The paddle and dough hook attachments are more gentle for making artisan breads where you don't want to work the dough as aggressively as a food processor might even with the dough blade. For the same reason, you can use the mixer's paddle attachment to "whip" a large batch of mashed potatoes, whereas the food processor will give them a wall paper paste like texture because a sharper blade can damage the gelatinized starch granules. (I've never forgotten the shock of wrecking a batch during a graded final in cooking school.)
- I like a mixer with paddle attachment for cookie doughs that have nuts and/or choc chips because it's less likely to crush them provided you add them at the end and mix just a tiny bit more. I also think the mixer bowl is easier to scrape (It can also be a help to have more than one mixer bowl).
- Another advantage of mixer bowls is you can put them in ice baths to quickly cool and hot water baths to heat or apply a gentle flame to them which can be helpful for Swiss and Italian meringues or melting chocolate. I confess I've been known to hit the outside of the mixer bowl briefly with a kitchen blowtorch in order to soften butter I'm creaming if it's just a little too hard. (If it's a lot too hard this isn't a great idea.)
- Mixers have some cool attachments that FPs don't have. You can grind meat and make/stuff homemade sausages with the right mixer attachments (The FP is sometimes better for grinding/emulsifying, but you can't stuff sausages with it. There are pasta rollers and cutters you can attach to your mixer that are very cool. There's even an ice cream maker sleeve that you can put in your freezer and then use to churn homemade ice cream. FPs, however, have slicing attachments that mixers don't and I love the grating wheel FP attachment - It's a big time saver if you're grating a lot of cheese.

To me these are just a few of the reasons a well equipped kitchen will have both a FP and a quality mixer. I don't know what mixer to recommend to you. I have an old (Hobart era) KitchenAid that I love, but the new ones I've used aren't great and KitchenAid doesn't provide good customer service if something goes wrong. The Kenmoore mixers of 6-8 years ago (I also have two of these) were great, but quality dropped after Delonghi took them over. I don't have experience with the Cuisinart Mixers. I do subscribe to Cooks Illustrated online and highly recommend them. They just updated their mixer reviews this March & liked the Cuisinart, so if I had to buy now, I'd first go garage sale hopping to try to find a Hobart era KitchenAid and failing that I'd take a chance on the Cuisinart.

Here's what Cook's Illustrated said:
"The KitchenAid Professional 600 ($399.95), earned its spot on the test kitchen counter in 2005 for mastering tasks that ranged from churning cookie dough and kneading bread and pizza dough to whipping air into heavy cream and egg whites. We wondered how three newer models would compare. The West Bend 12-Speed Stand Mixer ($99.99) was disqualified during round one (kneading bread dough) when its dough hook caused the machine to shudder so fiercely it almost fell off the counter. Brawnier rivalsthe Cuisinart 5.5 Quart Stand Mixer ($349) and the Wolfgang Puck Bistro Stand Mixer ($249.90)whisked their way through all manner of tasks (though the Wolfgang Puck machine tended to tremble while kneading). Both models sport an ingenious disk that caps their nonstick dough hook and prevented pizza dough from riding up and sticking, as it did in the KitchenAid. Add that to Cuisinarts handful of modern perks and its clear why this mixer has overthrown KitchenAid for a place on our countertop.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED:
Cuisinart 5.5 Quart Stand Mixer
Price: $349
Source: www.cooking.com
Comments: In addition to acing its way through heavy tasks like kneading bread and pizza dough and churning cookie batter full of oats, nuts, and dried fruit, this machine offers a host of modern updatesa digital timer with automatic shut-off, a fold function for incorporating ingredients delicately, and a splash guard attachment with a built-in feed tube."

Best wishes - HTH!

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clipped on: 05.06.2008 at 02:45 pm    last updated on: 05.06.2008 at 02:45 pm

Help with Kitchen Layout.

posted by: victorathome on 04.24.2008 at 06:21 pm in Kitchens Forum

I love this forum and hope to be able to one day contribute as much good information and ideas as I get.

We are starting Kitchen remodel. We started with HD KD and Kraftmaid cabinets. We have a space with a kitchen nook (with table for four) and a small kitchen separated by a peninsula.

The hope is to remove peninsula and put an island with seating for four in nook space to make it look and seem like a larger open kitchen with an island that still works for casual family eating.

Exisitng Kitchen:
Existing Kitchen layout

Latest Plan:
Kitchen Remodel Layout

Problem we are having is that I am not positive the island will work and provide seating for four and proper spacing around it. Maybe I just need help with couter top (granite) shape, or maybe just some tweeks? We are willing to have some smaller than proper spacing to make it work.

The space seems big enough, I have taped out the island and put some chairs around. I just want to make sure we are not missing anything.

Any ideas or thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Victor

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clipped on: 04.28.2008 at 11:35 pm    last updated on: 04.28.2008 at 11:35 pm

RE: Where to put the microwave (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: weissman on 04.08.2008 at 12:11 pm in Kitchens Forum

You can mount a GE JEM31 (or PEM31) in an upper cabinet with a trim kit - it can also be mounted under a cabinet. Not sure what you mean by expensive - MW was around $200 - I forget how much the trim kit cost (~$100+) but it looks really good. Pictures on my home page.

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clipped on: 04.10.2008 at 02:05 pm    last updated on: 04.10.2008 at 02:06 pm

RE: Calling all creative minds - want to make white kitchen dazzl (Follow-Up #29)

posted by: igloochic on 02.05.2008 at 03:25 pm in Kitchens Forum

I was just thinking of doing a reply and didn't want to sound like a snob...but I was going to say exactly what pecanpie did LOL so I guess I'm not alone in that opinion.

White and classic is SO gorgeous! But only if it's done with the utmost of quality in mind. There's an old design saying (that I can't repeat verbatum, but you'll get the idea) that the simpler the design, the higher the quality necessary to pull it off. When there is no one star in a room....than the whole room is the star and it has to be designed accordingly. You can actually get away with a cheaper kitchen by doing a few high end pieces with lesser items mixed in, but not when you go with those very very classic looks like you're thinking about.

But frankly, that look is what we'll do in our next (ok I guess it's next next kitchen since we have two in progress). Simple, clean, white with white marble on the perimiter countertops and black marble on the island. It's so classic, so elegant, so fabulous, that done right, it won't need any extra "zing" because the whole room with be zing itself :)

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clipped on: 02.29.2008 at 02:41 pm    last updated on: 02.29.2008 at 02:41 pm

RE: Best advice from this forum (Follow-Up #54)

posted by: reno_fan on 09.11.2007 at 11:46 am in Kitchens Forum

Kitchen, I'll post as soon as I can find a replacement USB cable for my camera.

It's really not very exciting, though. It's clear tubing (like the kind you see on aquariums) attached to the bottom of the soap dispenser thing, and then extends down through the lid and into the bottom of the bottle of soap. (We just drilled a hole in the top of the bottle and shoved the tubing down.) So low tech! The tubing is something like $.23/ foot and we bought 2 feet. Super easy.

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clipped on: 02.28.2008 at 04:45 pm    last updated on: 02.28.2008 at 04:46 pm

RE: Things I'd wished I'd known about Ventahood before buying ... (Follow-Up #33)

posted by: capecodcook on 02.27.2008 at 08:20 am in Appliances Forum

As an owner of a Wolf hood, I would point out that there is not a grease cup. Instead there is a long trough that the baffles seat in. Grease runs down the baffles and into trough. As far as build-up is concerned, this has never been an issue. Grease ends up in the trough and there is sometimes a dark brown coating on the baffle plates, but nothing that could be called a build up. It is almost impossible to believe grease could build up to the extent it could clog the baffles-they are spaced fairly far apart.

Anyway clean-up consists of draining the grease from the troughs into the garbage then popping everything into the dishwasher. Since everything is stainless, there are none of the problems mentioned above with VAH. And when I have everything out I wipe down the blower. This usually has a thing film grease at worst on the frame. Sticking my hand and rubbing the impeller, I find no grease on my fingers although I don't know if anything is collecting on the inside of the blower cage. On the whole very simple cleanup and seems to collect most of the grease in the baffles since I find little inside the hood above them.

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clipped on: 02.27.2008 at 03:25 pm    last updated on: 02.27.2008 at 03:30 pm

RE: Help! Cooling fan, convection fan, .... what do i need to kno (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: c9pilot on 01.24.2008 at 02:13 pm in Appliances Forum

We have the KA combo convection oven and the cooling fan is quite noticeable. It's also on whenever the convection is on, so I'm not sure if it's the convection fan or the cooling fan, but I suspect it's the cooling fan.

We have a pretty loud house (dog, boys, parrots, music, news, etc) and open floor plan, so it doesn't really bother us.

I do appreciate it because it works really, really well to dissipate the heat. Living in Florida and trying to conserve a/c, I don't want a "hot spot" in my kitchen, especially right in the middle of my galley-shape. For this reason I also really, really like my ventilation hood and I use it even when I'm using the oven on my range.

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clipped on: 02.26.2008 at 06:03 pm    last updated on: 02.26.2008 at 06:03 pm

RE: Independent vs Prestige Vent Hood (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: guadalupe on 02.26.2008 at 11:13 am in Appliances Forum

Once again the power of the hood depends on how much duct run and how many turns, increasing power does not necessarily increase performance. A simple duct run requires less power if the hood is properly sized for your cooking product. A good choice might be the Kobe pro hood 1000 cfm multiple speeds and quieter than most.

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clipped on: 02.26.2008 at 02:38 pm    last updated on: 02.26.2008 at 02:38 pm

RE: BlueStar No. 24 (Follow-Up #81)

posted by: alku05 on 07.12.2007 at 07:23 pm in Appliances Forum

Philnmtl, the Lodge grill pan is the one I've been looking at online. I'm just not sure it's quite long enough, and since I can't find one locally (ie easily returned), I haven't yet pulled the trigger on ordering one.

Let me tell you a bit about cleaning our Bluestar. It is easy-peasy. The entire top comes off and can be washed in the sink or DW. Underneath there is a drip try that we keep lined with foil in case something makes its way down there. We've only had our rangetop up and running for just shy of 3 months, and the foil is still clean. Don't worry about "crusted on crap on wires etc". It's not going to happen because a) The heat is above the innards so nothing's gonna get burnt on, not that would be an issue anyway because b) The range guts are very simple and are not under the open part of the stovetop. This means that even if you have a big boilover, it's not going to get on any innards except for pretty much the drip tray. Sure the burner and burner bowl would get icky, but those are easily cleaned. And the 22K burners are wonderful for wokking!

We have a 42" wide 600cfm Ventahood. It's only 24" deep, and although it fully covers the front burners, the hood's lights occupy the front 3" of the hood. If we're wokking something very smokey on the front burners, some of the smoke bounces off those lights and escapes the hood. In hindsight, we should have gotten a 27" deep hood. Our hood is more than enough for us for 95+% of the time, but if we had gotten the 27", it probably would have been 100%.

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clipped on: 02.25.2008 at 02:51 pm    last updated on: 02.25.2008 at 02:52 pm

RE: Blower Recommendation for Wolf Pro Island Hood (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: orangedaisy52 on 11.20.2007 at 07:04 am in Appliances Forum

I had the Fantech remote rooftop blower and attic silencer intstalled a couple years ago. It is nearly dead silent and has nice flow. I can't speak for your size because mine is a 400 cfm for a 30 inch Kitchenaid gas cooktop...slightly different requirements. It was not expensive. I believe the blower was about 300, the silencer (which works very well) about 125. With labor the whole thing was about 750...running new 8 inch duct.

At first we didn't get the silencer and it was quite loud and high pitched and then we had the silencer installed...beautiful. I occasionally forget to shut it off because its so quiet. Best of luck! Your kitchen sounds lovely.

Anne

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clipped on: 02.06.2008 at 02:16 pm    last updated on: 02.22.2008 at 04:47 pm

Which range hood to buy

posted by: patrickbitton on 04.02.2007 at 11:40 pm in Appliances Forum

Hello everyone,

I recently purchased a Wolf 48" Dual Fuel range which has 4 burners, a griddle and a Bar B Que. I'm having a little trouble finding a range hood without salespeople scaring the crap out of my wife and I.

We were looking at the Jenn-Air model JXT9048CDP, which is priced at $1595.00 + taxes in Canada. This unit has 6 speed, 2 warming lamps, auto shut off and 2 centrifugal motors(?). My wife and I went to a place that specializes in high end appliances and the salesperson explained that with my range, I would need a vent hood with an external blower unit. Well, that's really nice because there would be no noise but the cost is $3000.00. He also explained that having a Bar B Que and a griddle, it would create ALOT of smoke and that my, 1100cfm Jenn-Air would not be powerful enough to draw out all the smoke. But I read on another site that too much power can pull smoke and carbon monoxide from the fireplace and from the furance vent which can cause major health problems.

My question is, am I okay with the Jenn-Air or what the salesmen was telling me is true? I don't want to call Jenn-Air because they will try and sell their product and same goes with Wolf or Ventahood.

Thanks,

Patrick Bitton

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Read the rest of the thread - he likes the hood, but finds out he needs make up air.
clipped on: 02.22.2008 at 04:14 pm    last updated on: 02.22.2008 at 04:20 pm

RE: Honest Opinions on Ikea Cabinets?? (Follow-Up #40)

posted by: westsider40 on 02.14.2008 at 11:34 am in Kitchens Forum

Hi remodelfla, No, I went to the Ikea store midweek with a long list of questions for the kitchen people. The woman I talked to offered to have an installer come to my house and measure, for $100. Not having a kd nor gc, I whipped out my credit card and signed a contract.
The 'measurer' called me. I told him that I needed to recess the frig because of our lousy space and wd need one who could, after demo, re-frame the newly opened wall. I also said we needed to insulate the walls because we have 1960 code insulation and our kitchen is freezing. He said he has a construction co. he often works with and he'd bring that guy along. prayers answered.
So, I gave Ikea $100 to accurately measure, and, it turns out, gives ideas abt which cabs, sizes to put where, etc.Also this $100 can be applied to the kitchen purchase.
The best part was that I actually got started, and now know it can really happen. You can just dream and plan on GW so long, but at some point, I needed to go forward and DO IT! I suspect that a lot of you are in the same boat--kind of paralyzed for fear of making terrible mistakes. But then you get old and die and still no kitchen. lol Bev

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clipped on: 02.21.2008 at 02:40 pm    last updated on: 02.21.2008 at 02:40 pm

RE: Honest Opinions on Ikea Cabinets? (Follow-Up #41)

posted by: biner on 02.14.2008 at 11:39 am in Kitchens Forum

Installation is 50% of the linear foot cost. How much they do I'm not sure.

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clipped on: 02.21.2008 at 02:39 pm    last updated on: 02.21.2008 at 02:39 pm

RE: Honest Opinions on Ikea Cabinets? (Follow-Up #16)

posted by: brunosonio on 02.13.2008 at 05:12 pm in Kitchens Forum

Pros--great price, top quality construction on the boxes, good quality on the doors, easy to purchase and install.

Cons--limited door/wood/stain selection, limited sizing (3" increments), need for fillers.

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clipped on: 02.21.2008 at 02:05 pm    last updated on: 02.21.2008 at 02:07 pm

RE: Honest Opinions on Ikea Cabinets? (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: caligirl_cottage on 02.13.2008 at 03:53 pm in Kitchens Forum

Thanks for this post. I think we're now having to explore IKEA cabinets because our overall budget has gone so far over from unforseen conditions, that we need to trim up in other areas. I'm glad to hear all the positive reviews.

One other interesting fact - IKEA has to meet the more stringent indoor air quality regulations in Europe and so their cabinets do not contain added urea formaldehyde, a big source of offgassing in homes. This is an important factor for me because my home will now be such a tight envelope and we have small kids. If that's an issue, it gives another "plus" to IKEA over other cabinet lines made with plywood.

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clipped on: 02.21.2008 at 02:03 pm    last updated on: 02.21.2008 at 02:04 pm

RE: Honest Opinions on Ikea Cabinets? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: pharaoh on 02.13.2008 at 11:43 am in Kitchens Forum

I think that IKEA cabinetry is the BEST kept secret in kitchen design! I built my own cabinets for my kitchen so I know a thing or two about woodworking :) IKEA's hardware is excellent. their organization and storage solutions are almost unmatched.

you would have to pay 10 times the price for an equivalent italian name brand. one of our friends has the snaidero cabs and they look and work just like ikea...

Had I not had woodworking skills , i would go with ikea over any other cabinet line

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clipped on: 02.21.2008 at 01:59 pm    last updated on: 02.21.2008 at 02:00 pm

RE: Honest Opinions on Ikea Cabinets? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: ctlady on 02.13.2008 at 10:01 am in Kitchens Forum

We have several IKEA cabinets in our mudroom (along with an IKEA sink and faucet), and a mid-range semi-custom line in the kitchen. I would say the IKEA cabinets are at least as sturdy and well made as the semi-custom line, possibly more so. They look great, clean up beautifully, and the drawer options, etc. are terrific (and cheap!) I love them, only wish we could have made them work in the main kitchen, but we had too many shapes and sizes they didn't make, which would have required MUCH "tweaking" of the IKEA cabs. Our architect highly recommended them, and said he is seeing them in more and more "high-end" kitchens not because they are cheaper but because people just really love them. It does help to have an installer who is either experienced with the IKEA hanging system or who is happy to learn it.

However, I would advise against their sinks and faucets -- we aren't thrilled with the quality of those, even for a mudroom.

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clipped on: 02.21.2008 at 01:57 pm    last updated on: 02.21.2008 at 01:57 pm

RE: Ikea vs. higher-end (Signature or Cabico)? (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: oruboris on 02.21.2008 at 12:14 am in Kitchens Forum

In terms of durability, I don't think you'd see much difference. Once properly installed, the cab boxes should withstand decades of day-to-day use. I once had a kitchen with cabs the builder insisted were 'upgraded', but the drawer boxes were particle board, stapled together. Constant headaches as they got out of square, bottoms collapsed, fronts fell off.

The Ikea drawers are Blum tandems, which is as good a drawer as you can get. They also use a blum hinge, but I'm not sure which, or if they come with/accept the soft close clips.

Disaster can strike any cab-- a plumbing leak, someone tripping over/stepping in an open drawer. Most of these are repairable, some aren't. Heavy ply boxes probably increase the odds of a successful repair, but what are the chances it will ever be an issue? Unanswerable.

But: if this is your forever house, how do the Ikea sizes fit your space? Having a lot of spacers or cabs that aren't *quite* right is tougher to take in a space you hope to never remodel or upgrade again.

Are you one of the lucky, lucky few who flat out loves an Ikea door, or would you be looking at upgrading that right off?

And what about budget: it's never a non-issue, but is it a big issue, or only a small one? What would you do with the money you save going with a non-custom cab like Ikea? Will it make much difference in other areas, or would it pretty much not matter at the end of the day?

I'm almost certainly going with Ikea boxes because the layout of my kitchen makes them a viable choice, I'm capable of customizing them on my own to acheive my dream kitchen, and the timeline looks better than going with Scherrs.

I am dead certain that I want quarter sawn oak, though, so that means Scherrs doors. Can wait for the doors, not the boxes. I consider this my 'forever' kitchen, because I can't imagine ever wanting to do this again...

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clipped on: 02.21.2008 at 01:52 pm    last updated on: 02.21.2008 at 01:53 pm

RE: Bluestar No. 25 (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: keitel on 11.16.2007 at 07:21 pm in Appliances Forum

The reason I scratched the question was because I found out today that they will configure the burners as you wish at no extra cost. I remember this being the case in many states but wasn't sure how it was all going to pan out here in Canada. You can assume that it can be done for you for no extra charge. I don't want both the 22's up front; that's why I was asking in the first place.

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clipped on: 02.15.2008 at 05:46 pm    last updated on: 02.15.2008 at 05:46 pm

RE: Blue Star: Brass Trim/Back Splash Yes or No (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: alku05 on 12.20.2007 at 05:43 pm in Appliances Forum

I have a Bluestar rangetop against the wall with the island trim (the 1" backing). I like it a lot b/c it allows a wider flared pot to be used on the back burners. If you go that route, be sure to remember that you need to install a fireproof surface to the wall at least 6" below the cook surface as well as above.

Photobucket

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clipped on: 02.15.2008 at 05:02 pm    last updated on: 02.15.2008 at 05:03 pm

RE: Actual use of micro/convection (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: teachmkt on 11.26.2007 at 11:05 am in Appliances Forum

We've had a Sharp 930 wall-mounted for 3 years and use it all the time for all three functions: micro, convec and dual. We didn't have room for both a wall oven and a micro, so went with convec micro as both backup oven and micro. The above poster's comments about the SS interior getting a little dirty when roasting is true, but it can be worked around. We also use it as a warming oven with both racks in. The micro part is slightly less powerful than prior micro-only units, but that boils down to extending some cooking times by a half minute or so. It handles baking tasks remarkably well, down to items like popovers, and in the dual use mode it can take metal dishes. Our range oven is very large and much of what would have been done in the range is now done in micro-convec mode. Only real downside is the broiler function is just high heat.

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clipped on: 02.15.2008 at 04:34 pm    last updated on: 02.15.2008 at 04:34 pm

RE: Actual use of micro/convection (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: thull on 11.26.2007 at 12:00 pm in Appliances Forum

We have a GE Profile countertop one that's mounted in a cabinet with trim. It's definitely saved us turning on the 36" gas oven a bunch of times in the summer. But it doesn't handle large dishes well. I think it doesn't have enough thermal mass to bring large casseroles and the like up to temperature quickly. The hot air blowing across the top can overdo the top/sides before the middle gets done.

For roasting a small amount of veggies or cooking something thin, it's the champ. For larger things you may need to adjust. And I wouldn't do a chicken or something similar just b/c of the mess. My only other complaint is that it puts out hot air against the doors of the cabinet above, so we usually open them when using the convection.

We also have the same model in my office. And folks there are like a few posters here- they think the apocalypse will happen if they leave the metal rack in when using the microwave. The GE one sits on top of the turntable and turns with it. And there's no problem with arcing if you leave this one in while microwaving.

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clipped on: 02.15.2008 at 04:33 pm    last updated on: 02.15.2008 at 04:33 pm

RE: Need wall-oven recommendation (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: steve_a on 02.15.2008 at 07:28 am in Appliances Forum

I suggest that you look into GE's Profile line for convection wall ovens. We have a 27" that's over 5 years old and we love it. I do a fair amount of roasting and baking, and this oven performs very well. It has all of the nice features that I'd ever need. I think it should be within your price range, but I'm not up on the current pricing or models. Common "wisdom" is that GE can have expensive repairs, so I purchased the extended maintenance (or whatever they call it), $7/mo for the oven and refrigerator. Haven't had to use it yet. Steve

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clipped on: 02.15.2008 at 12:19 pm    last updated on: 02.15.2008 at 12:19 pm

RE: Any KitchenAid Architect II Wall Oven Users??? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: charlyinfl on 10.12.2007 at 06:06 am in Appliances Forum

mkodimer, I have the new Kitchenaid double wall oven for 3 months now. I really like it. The various functions, bake, broil, convection all deliver nicely baked or roasted results. I find that the oven temperatures are very accurate. The meat probe is an asset too. For cake baking I always preheat at least 20 minutes.

I've used the self-clean cycle once all went well. Actually, this is my 2nd Kitchenaid oven, this is in our newly built home. In our previous place I had the single wall oven and it was fine too. No problems.

The new oven has the all glass door which is very sleek and the gliding roller rack. That roller rack works well when I have my large heavy roaster in there. Otherwise, I find the standard sliding racks fine for regular baking etc. The convection fan panel is very slim, so the oven can handle good sized cookie sheets and pans. Since this model has the hidden bake elements, you cannot line the oven floor with foil or other drip trays.

The controls are easy to use and the cooling and convection fan sounds are barely noticeable.

The Kitchenaid ovens have a 5 year warranty that is worth noting.

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clipped on: 02.15.2008 at 12:17 pm    last updated on: 02.15.2008 at 12:17 pm

RE: Hood venting question (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: kaseki on 02.14.2008 at 10:40 am in Appliances Forum

To minimize grease particulate precipitation on the duct walls, the air velocity should be in the recommended range of 1000 to 2000 feet per minute, so the duct size should be commensurate with the fan capability. (Divide fan cubic feet per minute by the area of the duct in square feet. Use the estimated air flow for the duct and hood losses, and not the fan's static pressure rating.)

While commercial ducting has to be welded together to keep grease fires out of the building structure, residential ducting is usually slip-jointed. So occasional inspection of the duct interior would seem to be a good idea.

I'm not sure what defines a microhood, but if you want to keep down odor and grease laden air, then the hood has to achieve both capture and containment. Capture is mainly determined by the hood entrance area exceeding the area of the burners, while containment is mostly determined by hood volume and exhaust flow.

On the other hand, if the link below is apropos, then you may not need to vent the hood at all.

kas

Here is a link that might be useful: amusing thread

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clipped on: 02.14.2008 at 04:48 pm    last updated on: 02.14.2008 at 04:48 pm

RE: Importing appliances into Canada from USA (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: katrina_l on 11.13.2007 at 05:26 pm in Appliances Forum

Hi Pelican, I imported all my appliances a year ago (Wolf, Subzero) back when the Cdn. dollar wasn't so strong and I still saved a pile of money (over $9000). As the appliances were manufactured in the US, I only had to pay GST (no PST as I live in Alberta). I was told that customs might check to ensure the appliances were CSA/UL approved (most major brands are) but they never did. I drove them across the border myself and had absolutely no problems. In regards to warranties, most major brands provide international warranties so don't believe the Cdn. salemen when they tell you that the warranty won't be honoured - not true in most cases! I checked with my chosen manufacturer beforehand to make sure. I am planning on doing it again this year for my 2nd home reno. Hope this helps and good luck!

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clipped on: 02.13.2008 at 06:34 pm    last updated on: 02.13.2008 at 06:34 pm

RE: Height of base cabinets with Blue Star Range (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: cloud_swift on 02.11.2008 at 09:17 pm in Kitchens Forum

lambic, Bluestar calls it a cooktop but most others would call it a range top - i.e. the knobs are in front and it looks just like the top part of the range. I wish Bluestar would call it by the name the rest of the industry uses. Bluestar distinguishes between their rangetop type cooktops and their real cooktops by calling the latter ones drop-in cooktops. Why can't they just be more normal?

They didn't have the drop-in cooktops when we bought ours - but we probably would have still bought the rangetop one because of a small thing. Their drop-in ones use different grates and they don't have the removable center that allows the grate to hold a wok without a wok ring. That close contact between the burner and the wok is one of the best things about the Bluestar and I wouldn't want to give it up.

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RE: bluestar vs bertazzoni simmer rates (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: guadalupe on 02.09.2008 at 11:04 am in Appliances Forum

The Bluestar simmer is 130 degrees which is 380 btus on the 10,000 btu burner, the 15,000 btu will simmer at 142 degrees which is 580 btus, this has been tested several times

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clipped on: 02.11.2008 at 04:31 pm    last updated on: 02.11.2008 at 04:32 pm

RE: Baffles, Mesh, Both and Best (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: lascatx on 01.31.2008 at 10:28 am in Appliances Forum

I have a Best by Broan that came with mesh filters and we ordered the baffles with the hood. The baffles came in a separate box. We removed the mesh and installed the baffles -- so yes, we have both, but only can use one at a time. Is that what they were talking about?

DH didn't want to put in a serious cooktop and hood and have what he felt ws the look of builder cheap mesh filters. It was the same issue with flat drawer fronts -- had to be 5 piece for us, and the KD and I knew there was no use trying to convince him otherwise. He would always feel flat drawer fronts and mesh filters looked "cheap."

We tested both sets of filters when the hood was first installed. There is no difference in the sound we get from the blower (external, but in a short straight run without room for a silencer), but I do think the mesh give you a bit more of the air woosh sound as the air passes over a lot of little wirey elements instead of a few larger pieces, especially at higher speeds. I have read that mesh is supposed to operate better at lower speeds and the baffles at higher. I haven't tested that, but this seems to work pretty well for us. Even at 1200cfm fully cranked, it is not as loud as the minimal downdraft we had before.

At full speed (1200 cfm), we can still talk across the kitchen and into the family room, but it may require the person in the family room to speak up a bit. I can't say that I can hear everything on the TV when I am standing right under it though. On the low speed through about mid range, all you notice is a motor hum, and on the lowest speed, we've walked out of the kitchen and left it on. Only after the kids have gone to bed and everything quiets down for a while have I noticed that we forgot to turn it off.

I'm pleased overall -- did you see my post about popping and filling 90 bags of popcorn, delivering them and coming home to no popcorn smell? I loved that! Every now and then I wonder what it would be like with a silencer. I wish you could see, and hear, vent hoods installed. It's the one thing I felt almost completely blind in buying.

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clipped on: 02.07.2008 at 04:12 pm    last updated on: 02.07.2008 at 04:12 pm

RE: Vent a Hood 300 cfm...is this enough? (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: Gary (Guest) on 01.31.2008 at 04:44 pm in Appliances Forum

Its not going to be enough!!I had one 300 CFM and didn't do the job. Then I bought one 860 CFM (SV168F-30 Spagna Vetro).This thing sucks like crazy!!I bought it from Vancouver(kitchenhoods.ca). 36" with 6" duct!!
Works perfect!

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RE: Maytag Epic (9700) vs Whirlpool Duet (9400) (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: sears4me on 01.28.2007 at 07:10 pm in Laundry Room Forum

First of all... For those who are not aware, Kenmore is made by SEVERAL appliance companies including Frigidare, Lg, Whirlpool, Ge, Amana and Bosch! It is unfair to hold a brand resp. for any old problems. Their are good maunfactures and bad. I am not saying Kenmore is the best but the track history is harder to judge than other brands. The new Epic is a re-worked KitchenAid and is not any more heavy duty than the Duet. ALTHOUGH... is is a better value for what you pay for each. I have sold appliances at Sears for 13 years and am very impressed by the new Epic in comparison to the Duet and HE5t. Great features for less money. I would have no problem selling any of these machines to a customer. As an owner of the older HE3 washer, I love it and it has also gotten great reviews along with the Duet and KitchnAid. Please Note.. The new HE5t and soon to be new Duetht have a new 6 point suspension system designed just for 1st and 2nd floor laundry rooms! The older Duet/HE4t/HE3t/HE3 and Epic do not. They can cause much more vibration than you would like unless on a very stable floor either being made of concrete or tile etc... Stay away from ALL Frigidare made products especially front loaders as the bearing will go in 3-5 years and cost you $500 minimum to replace. New Oasis TL/Cabrio machines are doing great things as well. Be not afraid. As far as the country of origin... All 3.8 cu. ft. machines are made in Germany and the 3.3/3.5 cu. ft. models are made in Mexico. This goes for the Maytag/Kenmore and Whirlpool models.

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RE: thermofiol vs stained wood kitchen cabinets (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: biner on 12.17.2007 at 07:05 pm in Kitchens Forum

If you want sleek, shiny euro style slab doors, Ikea Abstrakt White or their new Solar line are beautiful IMO. Don't have the peeling problem with heat that thermofoil does and they have a 25 year warranty. We have Ikea cabs with the Ikea Blumotion hardware and couldn't be happier.

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RE: Another Ikea kitchen reno (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: expobaby on 03.03.2006 at 01:02 pm in Kitchens Forum

Thank-you for all the compliments. Starpooh you have my permission to archive our kitchen. Sorry it's taken a few days to round up the answers to some of your questions. We're still doing some renovations to our main level and things are a little chaotic.

The floor is flaxen beige with blue by Stainmaster.

Backebo is the name of the door style by Ikea. It is a light Beech wood. A friend who works at Ikea called it a transitional style.

Here is a simplified budget outline.
Appliances (fridge, dishwasher, mini fridge) $3120.00
Lighting 715.00
Floor 1090.00
Exterior (door, exhaust fan etc.) 975.00
Construction (drywall, electrical parts etc) 1262.00
Finishing (french doors, tiles, hinges etc) 1155.00
Cabinets 6500.00
countertops 600.00
sink 120.00
faucet 60.00
soap dispenser 15.00
sink accessories 20.00
drawer accessories 50.00
door knobs 300.00

Grand Total of $15,982.00

The above amounts are in Canadian dollars.

I was hoping to take a few more pictures, but it might have to wait till the drywall dust has settled. Off topic, can anyone tell me what "Expo" is in the States? I called myself Expobaby as Canada hosted Expo67 in Montreal, the year I was born.

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RE: ikea/lacanche downtown nyc loftstyle townhouse kitchen (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: downtowner on 04.28.2006 at 02:09 pm in Kitchens Forum

Jenny,
The only person who realized immediately that the cabinets were from IKEA lives in Denmark and had just been to the store. They just mostly make people happy.

abfab,
There have been many postings on the excellent quality of IKEA cabinets. The store in Seacaucus has this display of how many hundreds of thousand times the units can be open or shut. They use the same hardware as ultra-expensive Boffi. If quality were a problem, after thousands of posts and articles, etc., it would be known by now.

IKEA does rotate its designs, but it would be good to post this question in the latest IKEA thread in the kitchen forum, where many more knowledgeable IKEA experts could advise you. There is no reason to think that anything will happen to the cabinets.

On the island, I combined base cabinets on the inside, with full drawers and appliance pullouts, with floor standing wall cabinets on the outside. I copied the idea from a display in IKEA Seacaucus. IKEA sells adjustable legs for the cabinets, which makes levelling very easy. The GC wasted a little space by using wood strips between the two rows of cabinets for extra stability. I do not believe they were needed and made the end panel an irregular size. I would have just butted the cabinets together. But they're not going anywhere, that's for sure.

The extra storage on the outside of the island is very handy. It is near the table, so we use it as a kind of breakfront.

IKEA cabinets are not cheap because of construction or design. IKEA hires serious designers and uses excellent quality materials. IKEA has economies of scale, and saves tons of money on marketing, assembly and service. You don't get a totally free lunch. The service can be infuriating.

But for IKEA questions seek out in particular Fairegold on the Kitchen forum. She is much more knowledgeable, and so very helpful. She has even made a desk out the kitchen cabinets.

The island has become the soul of the house. We eat breakfast there. We read and do paperwork there. We prepare meals, do crafts projects. We set out elegant buffets --and chinese takeout. And to stand on the inside of the island and cook, or make cappucino's, waffles or drinks is just a lovely way to be at home. I'm afraid the the more elegant megaron is vastly underused because the windows and the island (and the computers) make the back room such a magnetic space.

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RE: What do I need to store dishes in drawers? (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: aliceinwonderland_id on 12.06.2007 at 07:31 pm in Kitchens Forum

I use cork to line my dish drawer. With Blumotion, I see NO need for the guides. My plates are stacked 20 high and have never slipped. I've even caught my kids trying to slam the drawer and topple dishes. Precisely why I paid all that extra money for the Blumotion.

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RE: Starting at the Beginning - the Layout (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: alku05 on 11.10.2007 at 02:04 pm in Kitchens Forum

I think the biggest thing that I see is that the prep zones and cleanup zones cross eachother. Ideally, you want to arrange your sink so that on one side of it you have a prep zone (conveniently located to range and fridge) and the pullout trash and DW on the other side.

Are you open to the idea of moving your sink? If so, I suggest keeping the fridge where it originally was (close to the dinette), placing the sink where the DW is, and shifting the DW down towards the corner. Put the pullout trash next to the sink, either on the prep side, or inbetween the DW and sink depending on your preference. These changes will give you a distinct prep zone on the penninsula by the fridge and range, and it moves your dish zone closer to the upper cabinets where they can be stored. More importantly, with the separation of the prep and clean-up zones, you can have someone else put away disheswhile you prep and cook, and snackers get get to the fridge without getting underfoot.

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clipped on: 01.29.2008 at 07:07 pm    last updated on: 01.29.2008 at 07:07 pm

RE: looking at gas cooktops..which do you love? (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: jamesk on 01.11.2008 at 09:13 pm in Appliances Forum

I've been using my Gaggenau KG291 for a couple of years now. It's one of the best and most responsive cooking appliances I've ever used. I've been extremely well pleased.

One of its major advantages, relative to other gas cooktops, is that each burner has either 2 or 3 rings of flame which provide very even heat across the bottom of a pan. Most other cooktops have a single ring of flame which shoots outward when turned up high, sending all the heat out to the edges of the pan. The Gaggenau puts flame under the middle of the pan, too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gaggenau Cooktops

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RE: range or cooktop & single oven underneath? (Follow-Up #19)

posted by: rockrisley on 04.23.2007 at 10:06 am in Appliances Forum

I am in the process of making the same decision. My KD put the wall oven in a base cabinet with the cook top to the right of the oven, not immediately on top. She said it is always nice to have counter top above the oven and also to have the ability to have utilize the cooktop without standing directly in front of the oven. This is probably the idea I will go with.

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RE: Bluestar or American Range (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: guadalupe on 01.28.2008 at 03:45 pm in Appliances Forum

everything you do on the bluestar burner is going to happen better than any other burner. Simply there are no cold spots, it is going to fry better, boil better, sear better and wok cook like no other. That does not make the other burners bad, just not as good. Fry an egg on any sealed burner and you will cook the perimeter first and as the pan heats you will cook towards the center, the buestar cooks evenly with he cheapest of cookware. Oven advantage may belong to american because of the twin fan convection system, broiler quality belongs to bluestar with 1850 degree temp at surface. Vent a hood has no filters so clean up is more intense and you will have to spray the blower with degreaser more often if you fry less often if you dont. Most prefer baffle filters for ease of cleaning, the dishwasher does the work.

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RE: Bluestar and American: grate and burner sizes, and pot sizes? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: alku05 on 11.29.2007 at 07:10 pm in Appliances Forum

I have no problems using small pots on my Bluestar. I took the picture below for someone who wanted to see how many big pots would fit on the grates, but the pot in the rear back is a 6" pot and it fits fine. The gap between the main 4 prongs is 3" so anything bigger than that is totally usable. Indeed, my DH uses a tiny espresso pot on the rangetop, but he has to place it off to the side b/c it's only 2.5" in diameter. But it works.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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RE: Bluestar and American: grate and burner sizes, and pot sizes? (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: mccall on 12.03.2007 at 09:22 am in Appliances Forum

egganddart
This is one of the biggest features of the Bluestar the unique burner design that has been used for decades as one of the best of Restaraunt ranges. The star burners cover the full bottom of the pan not just a ring around the outside.
As for burner power. The Bluestar has the most powerful burners at 22K but that same burner will also go very low. it also has, on a 30" model, one 15K and the simmer burner.
So it gives you the most versatility in your cooking of anything out there, plus the infra red broiler and the largest available oven. By the way the open burner design makes this very easy to clean, grates and bowls can go right in the DW or you can just invert one grate that might have something on it over another burner and burn off food. the drip pan under the top catches anything that might fall through and if you cover that tray with foil you just change the foil occasionally.

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clipped on: 01.22.2008 at 04:08 pm    last updated on: 01.22.2008 at 04:08 pm

RE: Where are the average joes?? (Follow-Up #43)

posted by: mrzed on 09.08.2006 at 12:24 pm in Appliances Forum

We've just gutted our kitchen for a complete remodel. We are only replacing our range and fridge. Fridge is being replaced to take advantage of a more energy efficient model (top freezer Kenmore by Whirlpool). Our criteria for the fridge was it had to have filtered water in the door, and be as efficient as possible.

Range will be Bluestar, because I like to cook, and all my research here and elsewhere indicated that spending $2000 on a gas range would be only a slight improvement on a base model, whereas the BS at $4000 will be a REAL difference.

Other than that, we are keeping our old Maytag DW (it cleans dishes), and our microwave. The only other splurge is a $1500 upcharge to have our cabinets made with formaldehdye free materials. I value my family's health more than any stainless steel appliance.

I have a hard time relating to the idea of dishdrawers, warming ovens, built-in fridges, etc. I even think hot water dispensers and garburators are questionable. My kitchen will be for cooking.

So I would say I'm an average joe, I live in a middle class 1965 house, I have a middle class job, I just have a clear sense of my priorities. It's not about having a look, it's not about spending 5 times as much on an appliance for a modest increase in convenience, but if I can get the most powerful range available for less than any other pro-style unit, why not. It's a rare case of a high-end purchase that will make a difference to me.

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clipped on: 01.21.2008 at 05:58 pm    last updated on: 01.21.2008 at 05:58 pm

RE: What do you wish you had done differently? (Follow-Up #99)

posted by: beatrix_in_canada on 09.29.2007 at 11:14 am in Kitchens Forum

divamum,

there are two kinds of pull-outs.

a) The ones where you first open cabinet doors and THEN pull out the shelves. I had those in my old kitchen and hated them as they always hit the cabinet doors which looked very scratched very quickly. This is the type of pull-outs most people in the forum do not recommend.

b) Pull-outs that are attached to the cabinet door so that the shelves come out as soon as you open the cabinet in ONE step compared to the two-step process described above. This type of pull-outs I love as much as drawers.

Here is my pull-out pantry in this style (it is a very large pull-out, most would be smaller and can easily be done for a 12" cabinet):

My kitchen has a combination of quite a large number of drawers and pull-outs of the b) type.

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clipped on: 11.23.2007 at 01:39 am    last updated on: 11.23.2007 at 01:39 am

RE: What do you wish you had done differently? (Follow-Up #72)

posted by: lynninnewmexico on 08.29.2007 at 10:45 am in Kitchens Forum

This will be the second custom kitchen in this house . . . the first was when we built it 14 years ago. As I planned for this new (total gut) redo, these were the things I most wanted to change . . . the things I've been regretting for the past 14 years:
~ should have done drawers instead of so many cabs with pull out shelves. It's been a PIA to open the doors and then pull out the shelves. The shelves are always getting caught on the doors when pushing them back in. With this new redo I'm getting lots of drawers.
~ wish I would have thought about where I would be doing most of my prep work and put in a bank of drawers right there to hold all my prep tools, ziploc bags, aluminum foil, etc so that I wasn't running all over our kitchen getting the things I need.
~ Planned for other work stations in our kitchen. We're a family of cooks and at present we're always running into each other.
~ wider walkways
~ wish we'd have not blindly trusted our builder's choice for a custom cabinet maker. Wish we would have done our research first and talked to many of his other clients . . . we'd NEVER have hired him! We have a gorgeous, totally custom home with horrible cabs that have been falling apart for the past 13 years.
~ wish we would have thought more about the view from our family room into the kitchen. For the past 14 years we've had a lousy view of our refrigerator!
~ a bigger pantry
~ a big drawer to store my Tupperware.

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clipped on: 11.23.2007 at 01:16 am    last updated on: 11.23.2007 at 01:16 am

RE: What do you wish you had done differently? (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: jeri on 07.30.2007 at 11:47 am in Kitchens Forum

Done Right:

1. Drawers everywhere! Including under the sink for trash and recycling.
2. IKEA cabinets which include Blum full extension and soft close drawers.
3. Recessed standard depth fridge so it looks like a counter depth but cost less and has more space.
4. Large single bowl sink.
5. Every shelf in my pantry is a pullout.
6. Removed wall to family room
7. Office area room for 2 computers and storage for "office" stuff.

Things I will do in my next kitchen:

1. Induction cook top
2. Advantium oven
3. Plugmold
4. alcove behind cook top
5. granite slab with lots of movement
6. Deeper counter tops
7. wood floors

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clipped on: 11.22.2007 at 11:17 pm    last updated on: 11.22.2007 at 11:17 pm

RE: What do you wish you had done differently? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: livingthedream on 07.29.2007 at 11:34 pm in Kitchens Forum

I wish I had made the refrigerator compartment deep enough for a regular fridge rather than counter-depth.

If we had pulled out the lower cabs and made the counter two or three inches deeper, we'd have been able to have deeper uppers as well. That wouldn't have cost a lot extra, and then we'd have saved hundreds on the fridge -- and gotten more space to boot.

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clipped on: 11.22.2007 at 11:05 pm    last updated on: 11.22.2007 at 11:05 pm