Kitchen appliance myths exposed: part 1

Since the 1950s, kitchen appliances have made family life just a little bit easier for all of us. It’s now faster and simpler to cook food, do the laundry, make coffee and perform a huge range of domestic tasks. With all new innovations come myths, things people commonly believe whether they are right or wrong.

We have heard our fair share of kitchen appliance myths here at Appliance Canada. Some are amusing, some intriguing and some are just plain wrong. For the next two posts, we’re going to bust a few of them.

Cold water doesn’t clean clothes

Not true. Since newer washing machines began offering low temperature washes, a myth arose that said cold water doesn’t clean. This isn’t true. If you use a quality detergent that is suitable for low temperature washes, your clothes will come out as clean as they would at any higher temperature.

I need to pre-rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher

Not true. This is another common myth we come across in the store. In the old days, washing the worst of the grime off your dishes was necessary as neither detergents or dishwashers were good enough to tackle baked on food. Advances in both detergents and dishwashers now prove this myth false.

In fact, pre-rinsing your dishes can do more harm than good. Dishwasher detergent needs food debris to activate. Without the debris it simply doesn’t work as well. Plus, any dishwashing liquid left from the pre-rinse adds too much alkaline to the water which also compromises the wash. Just add dishes directly to the dishwasher regardless of how dirty they are.

I need a new dishwasher if mine still has water in the bottom after a cycle

Not true. Many dishwashers leave a small amount of water in the bottom of the unit to keep seals moist. These seals help the dishwasher function properly and need to remain moist in order to remain watertight. That’s why some dishwashers will leave a small amount of water in the bottom. When you begin a cycle, the water is drained and is replaced with fresh water so everything is perfectly clean.

Self-cleaning ovens don’t need manual cleaning

Unfortunately not true. Nobody likes cleaning the oven but take solace in the fact that it is now easier than it has ever been. Whether you have a catalytic self-cleaning oven or a pyrolytic self-cleaning version, you still need to keep it clean. Clean the shelves, the door, the filter and the vent hood above the oven if you have one.

Circle back next week as we expose some more kitchen appliance myths. In the meantime, if you’re in the market for top quality kitchen appliances at competitive prices, visit our website today, ApplianceCanada.com.

BBQ Buying Guide

This will walk you through some of the options when choosing a grill and what you should know before you embark on purchasing a new BBQ.

1)  Budget –  I like to lead with this as there are so many options out there with so many bells and whistles that having a “set” budget will help eliminate a number of options before you even begin shopping.  For an example, at Appliance Canada, we have options ranging from $500 all the way up to $17,000.  So before you head out to make a grill purchase, know what you want to spend.

2)  Gas or Propane – While this one seems obvious, be sure you know what you are looking for.  The majority of grills will allow for natural gas and propane but that’s not to say your house will do the same.  So you will want to consider where you want to place your grill – Will it be hugging the side of the house?  Will it be the centre piece of the backyard?  Are you in a condo?  These are all questions that you should ask yourself and will help you to know whether natural gas or propane is best for you.

3)  What’s Cookin?  – Something to keep in mind when setting out to buy a BBQ is what type of food you cook most often.  If you love grilling meats that taste better with a sear then there are some great options out there that offer a “Sear Zone” which will allow for you to sear your meat in a matter of seconds.  The technology that is out there today is intense.  These aforementioned “sear zones” will heat up to 1200 degrees in mere seconds.  So, if you are someone who loves to seal in the flavour, then a BBQ with a “sear zone” may be the one for you.

4)  Safety – This may not actually affect the grill that you choose but it is important to mention as many people may underestimate the heat and power of their grill.  When setting up your BBQ you will want to ensure that it is not too close to fences or overhead trees.

5)  Hot Summer Deals? – The last piece of advice is to do your due diligence.  As a retailer, I can tell you that there will always be great deals on grills at certain times of the year.  You will find great deals at all 3 of our locations in Toronto, Vaughan, and London all summer long.

Happy Grilling!

Wall oven buyers guide

Wall ovens are a stylish way to integrate one of the most important appliances in a kitchen into its overall design. Placed inside a kitchen cabinet, at chest height, they make easy work of cooking, baking, grilling and many cooking tasks. A good oven heats up quickly, has an even heat and provides an accurate temperature. Buying one can be a significant investment, so it pays to get it right.

There are a variety of wall oven shapes, sizes, manufacturers, styles and features, so it’s important to know what you’re looking for before you buy. That’s what this post is all about. A quick overview of wall ovens and the things you need to know when buying one.

The space

Usually, a wall oven will fit inside a cabinet space designed specifically for it. A kitchen cabinet that runs from floor to ceiling is usually the prime spot for a wall oven but can be put just about anywhere. Only the front of the oven is ‘dressed’ with all other sides being bare metal. It then slides inside a purpose-built cabinet so only the shiny face is visible.

Wall oven size

The void inside the kitchen cabinet will dictate the size of your new wall oven. If you’re replacing an oven, the new one will have to be the same size. If you’re having your kitchen remodelled, you may be able to dictate whether you have a single oven or double.

Ovens have several standard sizes. It goes without saying that the oven size has to match the space you’re fitting it into.

Fuel

There is no ‘right’ fuel for an oven. It depends entirely on what you have already. Electric ovens are most popular but gas does the job too.

Wall oven features

Like most new kitchen appliances, ovens have a range of features and benefits depending on the model you buy. Some features are more useful to some families than others and some are essential. Here are just a few.

Automatic programs

Some wall ovens have automatic programs that will cook food perfectly every time. You just need to tell it the food type and the oven uses sensors to determine size, weight and cooking time. It then adjusts everything to deliver the perfect result every meal.

Catalytic self-cleaning

Catalytic self-cleaning ovens absorb food debris and breaks them down before burning them off while cooking. It’s an odourless and clean process that works very well.

Pyrolytic self-cleaning

Pyrolytic self-cleaning ovens have a special program that you can run to clean it. The oven heats to around 4000C to burn off all food debris around the oven. Once cooled, you just need to sweep out the ashes and keep the door and shelves clean.

Convection ovens

Convection ovens use a fan to circulate heat around the inside of the oven to ensure even heat distribution throughout the space. Standard ovens can have hots spots that produce uneven cooking while convection ovens don’t suffer that problem.

If you need assistance choosing a wall oven, visit Appliance Canada or call us at 1-800-374-3437 today. We can help!

Cool microwave hacks we bet you didn’t know

Microwave ovens are an exceptionally useful kitchen appliance. As well as the usual cooking, reheating, defrosting and warming duties, there are a range of other useful applications for your microwave. We bet a few will surprise you too!

  • Clean the inside of your microwave and remove nasty food stains by placing a glass bowl of warm water with a little white vinegar mixed in. Heat for 3-4 minutes and then wipe down the inside with a sponge.
  • If you have older onions, top, tail and microwave them for 30 seconds to avoid tears when slicing.
  • Microwave old bread for 10 second intervals to breathe new life into it. Just keep microwaving it until it’s soft.
  • Microwave stiff honey with the lid off for around a minute to soften it and get it flowing free.
  • Get more juice out of lemons and limes by giving them a blast in the microwave for 30 seconds.
  • Make delicious microwave popcorn by heating a bowl of water for 2 minutes first, then quickly swap the bowl of water for popcorn and cooking to get fluffier popcorn.
  • Dry herbs ready for grinding or storing by microwaving in a bowl for 2 or 3 minutes or until they have dried. Then simply store or powder with pestle and mortar.
  • Cook spices safely in the microwave too by microwaving them for 15-20 seconds to bring out more flavour.
  • Make your own potato chips by thinly slicing potato and lying flat on a plate. Cover in oil spray and season before cooking for 6 minutes, turning once.
  • Heat garlic for 20 seconds before peeling and the skin slides straight off.
  • Peel tomatoes the same way by cross-slicing the top, microwaving for 30 seconds, resting for a minute and the just slide the skin off.
  • Separate lumpy sugar that has gone lumpy by putting it in a bowl, placing a moist paper towel next to the bowl and microwaving them for 20 seconds. The sugar should now separate easily.
  • Make your own cappuccino by shaking up some milk in a container, removing the lid and microwaving for 30 seconds. Them simply pour over your coffee.
  • Place a glass of water next to your pizza when reheating in the microwave for much better results.
  • Remove stamps from letters by moistening the outside with water and then microwaving for 20 seconds. The stamp should peel off easily.

The microwave oven is a very versatile kitchen appliance that can be used for so much more than just reheating your coffee or cooking dinner. If you have any good microwave hacks, let us know!

Contact Appliance Canada at 1-800-374-3437 today if you’re looking for a new microwave or any kitchen appliance. We can help!

Kitchen range buyers guide

Here at Appliance Canada, we sell over seven hundred different types of kitchen ranges. We sell large ones, small ones, gas ones, electric ones, free standing ones, professional and slide-in ones. Whatever the space, fuel type, colour or requirement, we have a kitchen range to fit your needs.

Call it a stove, cooker or range, it’s the same thing. The essential appliance every home needs to keep your family fed and healthy. But with over seven hundred products to choose from, where do you begin?

Fuel type

Depending on what’s available where you live, choosing a gas range or an electric range is one of preference. While there used to be a big difference in cooking characteristics, that gap has narrowed a lot and isn’t as polarizing as it once was.

Gas ranges offer very fine control over the hob and a moist heat for the oven. Electric ranges offer less granularity in hob heat control but a more consistent heat in the oven. Electric hobs are also easier to clean and maintain.

To make life a little more confusing, you can also buy a kitchen range with a gas hob and electric oven. These dual-fuel ranges are the best of both worlds. Electric ovens offer the opportunity for convection cooking which is very efficient. Convection ovens cook faster, eliminate hot and cold spots and ensures even heat distribution across the cooking area.

Free standing, professional or slide-in

Your decision to buy a free standing, professional or slide-in range depends on the space available and your cooking requirements.

If you’re building a new kitchen or already have a slide-in range, they offer a much more streamlined and integrated look. Also referred to as drop-in, they can be more expensive than a free standing range but integrate into a fitted kitchen very well.

Free standing ranges are just as good at cooking your food, they just stand on their own. They are the most popular type of kitchen range in Canada and often the cheapest.

Professional ranges are domestic versions of ranges you would find in a restaurant kitchen. These look fantastic and offer a range of features that the average home cook may never use. There is a price premium to be paid for a professional range but if you use the extra features are well worth the money.

If you need help selecting a kitchen range or any appliance, contact us here at Appliance Canada today. We can help!

Washing machine face-off: top loaders vs. front loaders

Laundry appliances are an essential part of modern life. No busy family has the time to wash by hand or visit the laundromat, so a washing machine is an essential utility. Not that long ago, your only choice was a white top loader and that was that. Now you have traditional top loaders, high efficiency top loaders and front loaders. So which do you choose?

Top loading washing machines

The top loader is what we are used to using. It’s what our parents used and probably their parents too. You load the laundry into the hatch at the top and the agitator inside revolves, mixed water and detergent and gets them clean. They work, they are readily available and they definitely have a place in the home.

Advantages of top loading washing machines

  • They are cheap. Top loaders are very competitively priced and often cheaper than front loaders
  • They can work faster than front loaders. Depending on the model, the washing cycle can be shorter with a top loader
  • We know them. As we said, we know and are familiar with top loading washing machines

Disadvantages of top loading washing machines

  • They are very tough on clothes. The agitator movement is rougher than a front loader and causes clothes to wear much faster
  • They use a lot of water per cycle. Top loaders are very inefficient and use up to 44 gallons of water per cycle
  • They have a smaller capacity and spin slower. For larger families, this can be an issue as you have to do more washes and clothes need more drying

Front loading washing machines

Front loading washing machines are slowly gaining ground as more families accept them. Gone are the days of mold in the drum, engineers fixed that problem long ago. This is the new way to wash!

Advantages of front loading washing machines

  • Front loaders use much less water (average 12 gallons per cycle) than top loaders
  • Better for your clothes. Front loaders use a drum and gravity to clean your laundry rather than an agitator. This means less damage and wear
  • Larger capacity and higher spin. The drum configuration means more space inside for your laundry, meaning you can wash more at once. The higher spin means it comes out dryer too

Disadvantages of front loading washing machines

  • Compared to top loaders, the only real disadvantage of a front loader is cost. They are generally more expensive to buy. While they repay that in time by using less water and needing less drying, that initial investment can put people off.
  • One other disadvantage is that you may experience “that smell” that is associated with some front loading washers. This can be due to water build up at the front of the machine, but if cleaned regularly, should not cause much of a problem.

Choosing a particular type of washing depends on your personal preference and the space you have available. All things being equal, each has advantages and disadvantages. If you need more help deciding which is for you, talk to Appliance Canada today. We can help!

Got a new Smart TV for the Big Game? Here’s how to connect

How to connect a smart TV to the internet

Smart TVs are the latest generation of televisions that offer access to a huge range of channels and resources. Some of those are online and by connecting your smart TV to the internet, you can enjoy an ever growing selection of online services. You can also chat to your friends, browse the internet and do pretty much anything online.

While the vast majority of smart TVs sold in Canada never get connected to the internet, we think you might enjoy the sheer amount of content being online can offer. Depending on where you live, you can access YouTube, Netflix, other online streaming services, catch up TV and so much more.

To make it work you will obviously need an internet connection, a router and some cable. You can also connect wirelessly.

Check the connection options

Many smart TVs need a wired internet connection to work but some TVs have wireless built-in. These are obviously beneficial in that they don’t need a network cable to access online services which is tidier. The downside is that speeds can sometimes be slower.

Check the manual that came with the TV or the back of the TV itself. If it has wireless capability it will say so. Alternatively, if the TV has a USB slot, you could use a wireless USB dongle to connect to the internet. You will need to buy this separately.

If there is an Ethernet connection on the back of the TV, this is for wired internet. You will need some Cat5 or Cat6 cable to connect the TV to your router for this to work. You can also connect your smart TV directly to a games console that has internet access and connect through that.

Make the connection

If you’re using cable directly from your router, run it to the TV and plug in both ends. Most modern routers will automatically detect a new device and will give it the IP address it needs to connect.

If you’re going to connect wirelessly, you will need to know the WPA or WPA2 key of your Wi-Fi network. This is the code you are asked for when accessing your network and can be found by accessing the router from a web browser.

Go configure

Your TV will need to be configured to access the internet for everything to work. Access the network menu on the TV and follow the instruction to connect. It is usually quite straightforward. Some TVs can even take care of it for you. Instructions might be on the screen or in the manual depending on your TV.

If you’re connecting via a games console, you will need to turn on the console and access the network menu and follow the instructions from there.

Connecting a smart TV to the internet may seem complicated at first but many TVs will take care of most of it for you.

Happy Viewing!dckiksbsuyomwbs1paqs

Dishwasher Buying Guide

For the average Canadian family, the dishwasher is an invaluable kitchen appliance. Once regarded as a luxury, this humble white good is now an essential part of any kitchen. Appliance Canada sells over three hundred different dishwashers, but do you know which to choose? Do you know your compact from your portable, your integrated from your drawer?

Read on to find out!

Dishwasher types

Modern dishwashers come in several flavours, built-in or integrated, compact, drawer and portable. A built-in or integrated dishwasher is the most common and will sit underneath the kitchen counter, either hidden behind a cabinet door or standing proud on its own.

Compact dishwashers are smaller and are ideal for situations where workspace is at a premium. Drawer dishwashers are available in either double or single drawer and use horizontal sliding drawers instead of the usual front loading door. Last, but certainly not least, is the portable dishwasher. These are either on wheels or sit on the countertop and can be installed just about anywhere.

Dishwasher features

The more money you spend on an appliance, the more features you get. The same is true for dishwashers. Basic dishwashers will still get the job done with fantastic results, but if you’re looking for advanced features, you have to look at premium dishwashers.

Here are a few features to look out for.

Soil sensor

A soil sensor will automatically detect how dirty your dishes are and adjust the water, detergent used and the time it takes to ensure a quality clean.

Filters

A filter is one of the most important features of any dishwasher. Filters help keep food debris away from the wash water and flushes it away. A self-cleaning filter will crush the debris and flush it while a conventional filter will need periodic cleaning.

Wash cycles

Not all dishes are created equal and dishwashers with a range of wash cycles offer the flexibility to work around your specific needs. All dishwashers will have at least three wash cycles but premium appliances will have more. Cycles include a sanitizing cycle, pot scrubber, steam clean, quick wash, single rack and delicates.

Heated dryer

Most dishwashers will use draining and ambient air to dry your dishes over a few hours. Some dishwashers however will either heat up the water so it evaporates faster or use a heating element to dry your dishes faster.

Energy Saving

We all know we need to be more aware of how we use resources and ENERGY STAR helps with that. ENERGY STAR is an energy efficiency standard that ensures any appliance that carries the name is more efficient than those that do not.

If you’re in the market for a new dishwasher and need help or advice, contact Appliance Canada at 1-800-374-3437 or visit our website today. We can help!

7 TIPS for the First Time Home Buyer

With summer in full swing, many people will begin to embark on their appliance buying journey; many for the first time.  Buying appliances can be overwhelming with all the options out there today but it doesn’t have to be.  For anyone who is starting to look at buying appliances for the first time, below is a list of items that will help you to not only find the best suited appliances for you and your home, but also to lessen the amount of time you will need to spend looking around.  There are some key elements that you will need to know before actually heading out to the stores and engaging with a sales representative.  In fact, I was out at a few stores the past couple weeks doing some undercover shopping as a novice appliance buyer and I will share with you my experiences and minor frustrations.  There are a couple of key things that everyone should know before they hit the stores looking to buy appliances:

  1. Budget – Knowing what you want to spend and more importantly, what you can afford is essential.  This almost goes without saying but it is important to know your budget before beginning your shopping experience.  It is important to know your budget as it will help guide you in knowing what brands to look at as well as which ones to avoid.  There are so many options out there but knowing your budget will help you eliminate some of those “aspirational” pieces that you can go out and purchase a few years down the road.
  2. Blend – After the budget has been stamped, you then need to start looking at what you actually need. Are you looking to buy one piece, two pieces, or an entire kitchen or laundry suite?  This may seem trivial but there are so many promotions out there that reward purchasing a suite of appliances that it may be worth looking at re-doing the entire kitchen rather than just the fridge or dishwasher if you think your current appliances may be nearing their demise.
  3. Size – This may actually be the most important of all. When I was out “shopping”, one of the first questions I was asked was “What size are you looking for?”  There are a few different variations when it comes to sizing for appliances.  This becomes extremely important for built-in products but it reigns true for all appliances in all settings.  You need to understand your space requirements.  Imagine having a 30” opening for your fridge and buying a 36” fridge only to find out if doesn’t fit on the day the product is delivered.  And trust me, it does happen.  So make sure you know how much room you have in your kitchen and laundry areas so that you can purchase the appropriate pieces.    Not only will knowing the your size requirements help to avoid any delivery day disasters but it will help to eliminate a number of appliances from your decision, which you will be thankful for in the end.
  4. Features and Finish – With so many options out there, knowing what you want will help to narrow down those options. For example, when I was out shopping I indicated that I wanted a “Stainless steel” finish.  Well, that narrowed it down to about 30 different options.  So not overly helpful.  But as I began to break down a couple of the key features that I wanted, such as water dispenser on the inside, my options began to narrow.  So if there are a couple features that you really want or that you know you can’t live without, then be sure to make these known to the sales associate.
  5. Efficiency – If energy efficiency is really important to you then let that be known. Remember, you are one buying these appliances and you are the one living with these appliances.  It is more than okay to know what you want and to make that a priority in your buying decision.
  6. Be a Buyer – Here is a little tip. I mentioned that I went out secret shopping and that I would share some of my frustrations with you.  My one major frustration I encountered was when I mentioned that I was “just looking”.  As soon as I made mention of this, the sales person (for the most part) brushed me aside and stopped offering information.  So my advice to you would be – ABB.  Always be buying.  While the sales associates I dealt with were helpful for the most part (and these are competitors so I probably shouldn’t even be saying that), they were much more helpful if they thought that I was very close to purchasing.
  7. Pre-purchase – Last but not least and actually probably first is the process is pre-purchase shopping. Simply put – the process of looking around on the web.  Everyone does it now-a-days and they should.  It is an easy way to make comparisons in terms of many of the aforementioned variables.  But I will give one warning.  Do not be fooled by the price that is shown online.  Buying appliances is a lot like buying cars.  Everybody needs them and most people own them.  And much like cars, the “price” you see online is typically not the price that you will realize when you go into the physical location.  As I mentioned earlier, there are so many promotions that take place at any given time and these come with different stipulations.  So while you may see a great price online, you may well find a better one in store.  The take away message from this is only to do your due diligence both online and in-store.

These are just a few things that the first-time and even second or third time appliance purchaser should be aware of when looking around.  Know your budget, know your limitations and know what you want.  At the end of the day, it is you who will be living and using the appliances you choose, so choose wisely.  Best of luck and until next time.

HOT SUMMER NIGHTS

Guess who’s back?  I know it’s been awhile but I’m back and officially out of hibernation.  With the warm weather rolling in, what better time to talk outdoor living.  While it’s not quite summer, it is warm enough to get out and fire up the grill.  I’m sure many of you have the grill running hot all year round but you don’t enjoy it as much as you do once the weather starts to heat up.  This post is aimed at looking at some of the options when choosing a grill and what you should know before you embark on purchasing a new BBQ.

1)  Budget –  I like to lead with this as there are so many options out there with so many bells and whistles that having a “set” budget will help eliminate a number of options before you even begin shopping.  For an example, at Appliance Canada, we have options ranging from $500 all the way up to $17,000.  So before you head out to make a grill purchase, know what you want to spend.

2)  Gas or Propane – While this one seems obvious, be sure you know what you are looking for.  The majority of grills will allow for natural gas and propane but that’s not to say your house will do the same.  So you will want to consider where you want to place your grill – Will it be hugging the side of the house?  Will it be the centre piece of the backyard?  Are you in a condo?  These are all questions that you should ask yourself and will help you to know whether natural gas or propane is best for you.

3)  What’s Cookin?  – Something to keep in mind when setting out to buy a BBQ is what type of food you cook most often.  If you love grilling meats that taste better with a sear then there are some great options out there that offer a “Sear Zone” which will allow for you to sear your meat in a matter of seconds.  The technology that is out there today is intense.  These aforementioned “sear zones” will heat up to 1200 degrees in mere seconds.  So, if you are someone who loves to seal in the flavour, then a BBQ with a “sear zone” may be the one for you.

4)  Safety – This may not actually affect the grill that you choose but it is important to mention as many people may underestimate the heat and power of their grill.  When setting up your BBQ you will want to ensure that it is not too close to fences or overhead trees.

5)  Hot Summer Deals? – The last piece of advice is to do your due diligence.  As a retailer, I can tell you that there will always be great deals on grills at certain times of the year.  One of those times just happens to be approaching.  And it just so happens that we (Appliance Canada) will be running a Father’s Day savings event.  So be sure to check back to learn more about some of the great deals you will come across starting on June 6th at our Toronto and Vaughan locations.  Come visit on June 6th to test out some of our grills and also to get tips and tricks by some chefs and staff to help you maximize your grilling experience.

Until next time, I bid you adieu.