Father’s Day Sale & Gift Ideas

Father's Day Banner

Just say NO to ties! Whether your dad uses the backyard to house his grill or his garden, keeps wine or beer in stock, we have the perfect gift to make his Father’s Day extra special – and none of them can be worn around his neck (at least not comfortably). Plus, we are currently offering an extra 5% off most products that are already discounted 20% off! Break the tie tradition and get on Dad’s good side with any of these choices:

For the Beer Enthusiast:

Krups Beertender Mini Kegerator   Nostalgia Electrics Kegerator   EdgeStar Dual Tap Kegerator   28 Quart Jockey Box

from left to right: Krups Beertender Mini Kegerator ($141.55*), Nostalgia Electrics Kegerator ($399.99), EdgeStar Stainless Steel Double Tap Kegerator ($616.55), 28 Quart 2 Faucet Red Jockey Box ($398.05)

For the Wine Lover:

Summit Countertop Wine Chiller   EdgeStar 26 bottle Wine Cooler   Koldfront 4 Bottle Wine Cooler   EdgeStar 155 Bottle Wine Cooler

from left to right: Summit 8 Bottle Countertop Wine Chiller ($341.24), EdgeStar 26 Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cooler ($699), Koldfront 4 Bottle Wine Cooler ($94.99), EdgeStar 155 Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cooler ($1499.99)

For the Grill Master:

 Outdoor Greatroom Company Portable Gas Grill   Minden Master Gas Grill   Napoleon Mirage Grill   Grill Dome Infinity Series Kamado Grill

from left to right: Outdoor Greatroom Company 20″ Portable Gas Grill ($219), Minden Master Gas Grill ($479), Napoleon Mirage Grill w/Infrared Rear & Side Burner ($1899), Grill Dome Infinity Series Kamado Grill ($799.95)

For the Gardener:

Exaco ECO Square Rain Barrel   Brill Razorcut Push Reel Lawn Mower   Good Ideas Compost Wizard Standing Bin   Exaco 39 sq ft Green House

from left to right: Exaco ECO 70 Gallon Rain Barrel ($208.99), Brill Razor Push Reel Mower ($239.99), Good Ideas Compost Wizard Standing Bin ($128.25), Exaco 39 sq ft Green House ($427.49)

*NOTE: All prices are valid as of 6/14/12, but are subject to change.

What are you getting Dad this Father’s Day?

Top 5 Mother’s Day Gifts

Happy Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is around the corner, but let’s skip the Hallmark card this year and give a gift that Mom deserves. Well, on second though, don’t skip the card — we know how sentimental they can be. But card or not, we have picked out five of our best-selling items, all perfect for Mother’s Day gifting.

Koldfront TWR4BL Wine Cooler1. Koldfront 4 Bottle Wine Cooler

Once considered to be a luxury item, the wine cooler is quickly becoming a staple in the home kitchen. For those with limited kitchen space, or those that just don’t want to take up a lot of space, the Koldfront 4 bottle wine fridge is the perfect wine cooler with its sleek, compact design. This wine fridge utilizes thermoelectric cooling technology so there’s no need for a compressor, allowing for super quiet operation.

 

Margaritaville Margarita Maker2. Margaritaville Fiji Frozen Concoction Maker

Get ready for BBQ season with the Margaritaville margarita machine. The ultimate drink maker, this machine can help you conjure up the tastiest of concoctions, including margaritas and daiquiris for the adults or healthy fruit smoothies for the kids. Perfect for a party or tailgating, this frozen drink maker holds enough ice to make 2.5 pitchers worth of your favorite drink with each use. It is the perfect gift for a mom that loves to entertain!

 

Cuisinart Espresso Maker3. Cuisinart Espresso Maker

Try out a double espresso, luscious cappuccino or spiced latte cafe style in the comfort and convenience of your own home. The Cuisinart espresso maker features a classic stainless steel design, cup-warming plate on top and a removable drip tray and cover for easy cleanup. This is one luxury that will make any mom feel special on Mother’s Day and everyday after that they get to wake up and enjoy this great gift.

 

Hugs for Mom Gift Basket4. Hugs for Mom Gift Basket

Made with moms in mind, this adorable, white picket fence planter is filled with wildflower honey, Ernest Hemingway Highland Select tea, lemon cookies, a bath sachet with salts, a votive candle, body glistening spray, a ceramic picture frame and more! This gourmet gift basket will bring a smile to any mother’s face by letting her know that she is being thought of, and the included picture frame will let her show off her gift (and who gave it to her) to others.

 

KitchenAid Stand Mixer5. KitchenAid Artisan Series Stand Mixer

The iconic KitchenAir stand mixer is something a mom’s kitchen should never be without. Renowned the world over for its quality and versatility, KitchenAid stand mixers have been and continue to remain a favorite of bakers, cooks, chefs and most important culinary artists of all — moms! The beautiful red colors of this specific stand mixer will serve as a great reminder of the love shared between her and gift giver.

 

What will you be getting your mom for Mother’s Day?

 

It’s Wedding Season: What to Give the Happy Couple

White Wedding Gift

If you’re anything like me, your fridge tends to be covered in “save the date” postcards this time of year. And while I’m excited to spend my summer celebrating my friends’ and family’s wedded bliss, I’m kind of freaked out about what to get the Mr. and Mrs. (there are 5 couples!)

Then I realized that I work for a company that sells appliances for smaller living spaces. Putting that into the equation, along with the fact that my friends getting married are just starting out and buying their first homes, I knew I was golden. So without further hesitation, I give you my top five wedding gift recommendations.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer1. KitchenAid Stand Mixer

If the couple you’re buying for doesn’t already have one these, I’m willing to bet that they want one (and it’s on their gift registry). This thing is a kitchen essential for people who like to bake or cook. It comes with attachments for preparing homemade pasta, ice cream, fruit juice and, of course, mixing among other things.

I’m getting this for the people that treat me like their child and have me over for dinner every now and then. I figure the menu will only expand once they get my gift…

Nesco Roaster2. Nesco 6 Qt. Stainless Steel Roaster

I have some friends that practically live at restaurants and seem to have never used their kitchen but swear they want to learn to cook. I’m getting them this roaster. Call it a crock pot, a slow cooker, a roaster – whatever you want, but this thing is the perfect tool for those aspiring to cook.

It goes like this: buy food, put in cooker, set cooker and voila! Dinner is ready when you get home from work. This is the perfect gateway cooking device!

EdgeStar Mini Kegerator3. EdgeStar Deluxe Mini Kegerator

One of the couples is having an open bar at their wedding, so naturally, the mini kegerator is a perfect wedding gift for them. They like to entertain and the groom is a bit of a beer snob. And for the nights they’re not entertaining, it can easily be placed in a closet due to its compact size.

The mini kegerator holds a 5L mini keg, which more breweries are starting to produce, and it’s the perfect size for two people to enjoy.

 

Portable Propane Grill4. Keg-a-Que Portable Propane Grill

Tailgating brought the couple I’m buying this for together. I find it’s only fitting to get them this as their wedding present.

It’s compact enough to fit in the trunk of a car and has handles on the side for carrying around to wherever their favorite teams take them. Plus, the fun football shape makes it perfect.

 

EdgeStar 18 Bottle Wine Cooler5. EdgeStar 18-Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cooler

Nothing says love quite like wine… or a wine cooler for that matter. The last couple I’m giving a gift to is going to have their honeymoon in Napa, so what better gift than to give them a unit to properly store all of their new favorite wines?

This unit isn’t over the top big and has two different zones so they can chill both their reds and whites at the proper temperature.\

 

If you’re in panic over wedding season this year, don’t fret – there’s something out there for everyone!

Let us know in the comments what wedding gifts you are planning to give.

 

4 Built-In Appliances to Replace a Trash Compactor

trash compactor

If your kitchen has a trash compactor, but you hardly ever use it, then maybe it’s time you replaced it with a different appliance. Trash compactors are typically 15 inches wide, but make sure to measure your model and the opening it sits in before deciding on the new appliance you want to exchange it with.

To help get you started, I’ve put together a list of appliances that are 15” wide and could easily replace your outdated trash compactor. Start dreaming of the ways you can upgrade your kitchen:

Wine Cooler

Like all under counter appliances, you will want to make sure you are purchasing a wine cooler that is specifically designed for built-in purposes. A freestanding unit should not be built into cabinetry because it will overheat and stop working, and in the process, your wine could be ruined.

A wine cooler will definitely upgrade the look of your kitchen. There are many different designs you can choose from, but all of them are sleek and sure to be a conversation piece amongst visiting family and friends.

Aside from the aesthetics, if you enjoy wine, then having a wine refrigerator in your kitchen is convenient. You can easily pair a wine with your dinner, entertain guests or enjoy a glass after a long day at work. The wine will be perfectly chilled to your preferred temperature and waiting for you when you want it.

Some of my favorite 15”, built-in wine coolers:

Koldfront Built-In Wine CoolerKoldfront BWR300BL Built-In Wine Cooler

- Single zone wine cooler

- Holds up to 30 bottles

- Temperature range of 40 – 65 degrees F

- LED display & interior lighting

- Slide out wire shelves

 

EdgeStar Built-In Wine CoolerEdgeStar CWR261DZ Built-In Wine Cooler

- Dual zone wine cooler

- Holds up to 26 bottles

- Temperature ranges:
Lower zone – 40-54 degrees F
Upper zone – 54-64 degrees F

- Slide out steel-trimmed, wooden shelves

 

Vinotemp Wine CoolerVinotemp VT-26 Built-In Wine Cooler

- Single zone wine cooler

- Holds up to 26 bottles

- Temperature range: 45-65 degrees F

- Has a lock for keeping your wine secure

- Slide out wood shelves

 

Beverage Refrigerator

What’s great about having a beverage fridge in your home is you’ll free up space in your kitchen refrigerator. Sodas and beers can take up quite a bit of shelf space that could instead be used for more groceries or leftovers from dinner.

Having a designated fridge for your drinks will also make it easier when entertaining because guests will know exactly where to go for a refill. It also means your refrigerator door won’t be constantly opened and closed, causing temperature fluctuations, which can cause some food items, like eggs, to go bad.

My favorite 15”, built-in beverage fridges:

EdgeStar Beverage FridgeEdgeStar CBR900SS Beverage Fridge

- Holds up to 84 cans

- Temperature range: 38-50 degrees F

- Has a lock for keeping beverages secure

- Slide out coated wire shelves

- Blue LED interior lighting

 

Avanti Undercounter Beverage CenterAvanti BCA1501SS Beverage Center

- Holds up to 72 cans

- Temperature range: 34-43 degrees F

- Has a lock for keeping beverages secure

- 2 slide out glass shelves, 1 slide out wire shelf, 1 basket

- LED interior lighting

 

Marvel Beverage Fridge & Wine CoolerMarvel Beverage and Wine Fridge

- Holds up to 60 cans & 4 wine bottles

- Temperature range: 40-65 degrees F

- Slide out maple-trimmed, wire shelves

- Double pane, tinted, UV-resistant glass door

- An alarm if the temperature is higher or lower than desired point for an extended time

 

Refrigerator

Maybe instead of drinks, it’s too much food that’s making it difficult to close your kitchen refrigerator door. An under counter refrigerator might be the answer to your problems then.

Beverage fridges and regular fridges have a similar temperature range, but beverage fridges might get warmer than you need for storing food. Also, many refrigerators have door storage and adjustable shelves, which most beverage refrigerators don’t have.

Here are my favorite built-in refrigerators:

Avanti Built-In RefrigeratorAvanti OBC32SS Outdoor Refrigerator

- 3.2 cubic foot capacity

- Reinforced for outdoor use, but can be used indoors

- Comes with attachable caster wheels for easy mobility

- Full range thermostat

- Reversible, stainless steel door

 

Marvel Built-In RefrigeratorMarvel 30AR Refrigerator

- 3.0 cubic foot capacity

- 3 adjustable, chrome-plated wire shelves & 3 door shelves

- Auto-defrost

- Filler kit allows usage in 18-inch wide opening

- Leveling legs

 

Ice Maker

Large families, or those that just really love ice, might find that their refrigerator ice maker can’t keep up with their needs. Luckily, you can get a separate, larger ice maker than can be built into your kitchen cabinetry.

There are quite a few different under counter ice makers available on the market and most make what is known as clear ice, meaning it contains no impurities; it’s restaurant quality. However, the Scotsman that I’ve included in my list of favorite built-in ice machines makes what is known as nugget ice or, as most people call it, Sonic ice. That’s right; you can get delicious Sonic ice right in your home!

My favorite built-in ice makers:

EdgeStar Built-In Ice MakerEdgeStar Clear Ice Maker

- Makes up to 45 pounds of ice a day

- Stores up to 25 pounds of ice

- Removable ice bin

- Gravity drain line

- Insulated ice storage

 

Danby Ice MakerDanby Clear Ice Maker

- Makes up to 32 pounds of ice a day

- Stores up to 25 pounds of ice

- Removable ice bin

- Built-in drain pump

- Produces bullet-shaped ice cubes

 

Scotsman Sonic Ice MakerScotsman Nugget Ice Maker

- Makes up to 125 pounds of ice a day

- Stores up to 22 pounds of ice

- Produces “Sonic” ice

- Drain pump with 10 foot pump line

- Uses 40% less energy than standard machines

 

So, now that you know about the variety of built-in appliances available, it’s time for you to update and upgrade your kitchen by getting rid of that outdated, unused trash compactor. Fall in love with your kitchen all over again with any one of these amazing appliances!

 

Wine Coolers 101

built-in wine cooler

Mention a wine cooler, and my mind wanders to the French countryside, maybe say… Burgundy. A beautiful wine country, just south of Paris, Burgundy grows fine grapes to make exceptional Pinot Noir red wines and Chardonnay white wines. Yes, I have actually visited there once.

A bit of brie, a picnic basket and a beautiful smile….ok, I have to get back to work!

EdgeStar carries a wide variety of wine coolers, both the thermoelectric, or TE coolers, and the more familiar compressor-based ones. It is very important to note that no matter which one you choose certain guidelines must be observed.

The first item of note is which way the door will swing. Factory configurations usually have it set to open from left to right,  and occasionally, customers want the door to swing the other way, from right to left. Happily, the vast majority of the EdgeStar wine cooler line allows the customer to do exactly that.

The next consideration will be placement of the unit. Most customers prefer to place the unit in such a fashion that it appears to have been built in, under a counter, or in a cabinet. The compressor-based units are preferred candidates, because they vent from the front at the bottom of the cooler. With that in mind, I present a bit of advice for the value minded customer that purchases one of our fine EdgeStar thermoelectric coolers to reproduce the exact same look in their kitchen…

The thermoelectric series of wine coolers are an excellent product, but if you build them in, or put them under a counter, they will overheat, and will live a very short life.

This is due to the fact that they generate a LOT of heat from the back of the unit, and although the cooling is fan forced, they absolutely must be installed in a free standing environment. We mean it, folks, no joke.

Leveling is very important when installing one of our wine coolers, especially the compressor-based ones. An unbalanced compressor will be noisy and will fail early. Use a bubble level to make sure the leveling is done correctly, and try to use a level that has a magnetic strip attached, that’s handy for not only horizontal level, but vertical leveling as well.

Regular cleaning of both the intake and exhaust grills on both types of coolers is also very important, I recommend doing a complete cleaning at least once every 6 months. Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment for best results.

Last but not least, I recommend using a surge protector on all of our wine coolers, but especially the thermoelectric units. Most kitchens these days have outlets that are GFCI protected (think wine cooler falling in the pool), but not surge protected. Surge protectors can be picked up at most retail electronic stores at reasonable prices. The really good protectors will stop passing power when they are worn out.

That’s all for this week. See you later!

Dave

Appliance Terminology Overview

I think a good way to start this blog post series will be to explain some appliance terminology and what it all means. A short encyclopedia, if you will. This is not necessarily all in alphabetical order.

I might get a little technical, but I’ll try to apply the K.I.S.S. rule (keep it simple, stupid) wherever I can.

Technology

Compressor-Based System: An appliance that uses a compressor, or pump, with a closed refrigeration system, and uses a refrigerant to cool a particular space.  This could be a refrigerator, wine cooler (some), kegerator or deep freezer. Common refrigerants include R134A and R410A, among others.

Thermoelectric / TE: An appliance that uses electronics/electricity to cool a small space without the use of refrigerants. These typically consist of a cooling node (Peltier effect) and fans to distribute the air inside the cabinet and dissipate the heat to the outside. They are, for the most part, efficient, although there are a few drawbacks, especially if you are trying to build it into a cabinet.  I’ll delve into that in a later post, along with what exactly a Peltier unit is in simple terms.

LED: Refers to a Light Emitting Diode, which is a commonly used electronic component. All diodes allow electricity to flow in one direction only. Think of it as a one way street, except this one glows when the electric flows. They are used for operation and mode indicators, and also for general lighting purposes. Sometimes they use different colors and are commonly used to highlight and display wines in wine coolers.

Cooling Fans: This will mostly apply to thermoelectric, or TE, wine coolers. They do different jobs: some distribute the cooled air inside the cabinet or at the evaporator coil on compressor-based units, and others get rid of the hot air at the back of the cabinet or from the condenser coils on compressor-based units. Most of them consist of the same small DC-powered fans you find in your desktop computer.

Product Descriptions

Countertop Dishwasher   Portable Air Conditioner   Portable Ice Maker   Kegerator   Portable Freezer Refrigerator   Wine Cooler

Portable Dishwasher: This isn’t the one your mom used to roll around the kitchen and store in a corner. These actually are small enough to sit on a countertop. These are really simple to install. Most come with two hoses, a drain and supply, and a quick connector to attach to a standard kitchen faucet, in place of the aerator. They are typically not meant for a permanent installation. They come in different sizes and capacities, also.

Portable Air Conditioner: An alternative to the typical, window-mounted A/C unit. These usually have one hose used to exhaust out the hot air produced during the cooling process, though some will also have an intake hose. They are mounted on casters, so they can be moved room to room. Most will evaporate the majority, if not all, of the water produced in the exhaust air, but if they don’t get rid of all of it, they will usually have a drain at the bottom of the unit to get rid of the collected water. Portable air conditioners usually will require a 15 amp circuit to run properly, although there are some that require 20 amps or more. Most will come with a window fitting kit that is easily assembled, as they have to be vented to the outside of the room being cooled in most cases.

Portable Ice Maker: An ice maker that is small enough to sit on a counter, produces 6-12 cubes at a time, uses a self-contained water supply and storage for the ice after the cycle is complete. These are not high volume units. Typically, they will not refrigerate the ice and it will melt back into the water tank to start the process over yet again. I recommend moving each batch of ice out of the ice maker and into your regular freezer.

Kegerator: A refrigerated appliance used to keep beer cold and dispense beer. Usually has a connected tower and faucet, with dispenser head to pour the beer and on board CO2 storage to pressurize the beer. They also usually have casters for portability and can be used with multiple beers of your choice, sometimes more than one keg can be used (called a dual tap kegerator). Some kegerators are much smaller and utilize a 5 liter mini keg. These are fairly new on the market. The larger kegerators fit a half shell sankey keg, or Cornelius keg. Some of the mini keg 5 liter units will run on 12V DC and are popular with tailgaters.

Portable Freezer / Refrigerator: These are unique, as they can be used in a vehicle, or boat, or while camping and for emergency uses. Some use compressor-based refrigeration, while others use TE technology. A TE unit typically will not be able to refrigerate to freezing or below, and they will usually be good for 40 degrees F below the ambient temperature around the unit. Think short term storage,  like trips to the grocery store. The compressor-based units are infinitely more flexible, allowing for -0 degrees F operation, up through 50+ degrees F, in most cases. Both can be operated from 12V DC and 120V AC, depending on the model. Each type has their pluses and minuses and I will cover those later. Personally, I like them both!

Wine Cooler: These come in a wide variety of sizes and capacities.  The same can be said for the refrigeration system used. While they have a large temperature range to work with, the TE models generally will hold wines from 45 degrees F-65 degrees F, depending on the ambient temperature of the room they are located in. A compressor-based unit will usually hold wines at 40 degrees F or less, and can be built into a cabinet, as the condenser coil and fan is at the bottom front of the unit. One thing to  remember with wine coolers in general:  They are designed for long term STORAGE, not drinkability, and that applies to TE units in particular. Again, that is a general guideline, so YMMV, or Your Mileage May Vary. (I love acronyms, don’t you?)

Til next time!

Dave

Previous Post: What is a small appliance, anyway?

Must-Have Products for Holiday Entertaining

Tis’ the season to entertain!  Many of us love entertaining and the holidays but entertaining during the holidays can be downright stressful.  As a child you enjoyed all the festivities had to offer whether you celebrated Christmas, Hanukkah or, for some, maybe even Festivus! As we become adults we get to see the behind the scenes of it all and unless you have super powers you have had your challenges.  So here is a helpful guide on must-have products to make your entertaining season full of cheer!

Slow Cooker:

One of my favorite must-haves is the infamous slow cooker. This is a great product for even those nights when you have to fit in some holiday shopping and still manage to cook dinner for the family. The options are endless: you can make a wonderful, warm apple cider, an amazing dip for Christmas Eve, baked applies for dessert or, on Christmas, a hearty soup as an appetizer. Growing up every Christmas, we had Escarole and Bean Soup, super delicious and super easy!

Simply any appliance that allows you to get all of your other duties done while it does all the cooking is a life saver. There are some great options to choose from depending on your family/guest size. I typically have small get-togethers and find the perfect size for me is a 3.5 qt, like the Cuisinart 3.5 Programmable Slow Cooker, but if you have a larger family a 6.5-7 qt might be right for you. Check out the Cuisinart 6.5 qt Programmable Slow Cooker or the Kalorik 7 qt Slow Cooker for larger groups.

Knife Set/Food Processor:

Whether you are a purist or practical, you need a great tool to help with food preparation.  For the purist who really takes cooking to a higher standard, a great knife set is key. I highly recommend any knife set from the Ginsu Knife Collection as they are the epitome of high quality! For the amateur chef or the professional, you have a range to choose from. A couple of my favorite knife sets are the Ginsu Chikara 5  Piece Bamboo/Stainless Steel Set and Ginsu Shoku Ebony 8 Piece with Magnetic Strip.

For the practical chef who doesn’t have enough hands to keep up, a great food processor can help out a lot. Preparation is half the battle and these are some of the great options available: Cuisinart 4 Cup Food Processor, Cuisinart 7 Cup Food Processor and, for the budget-minded, Black & Decker Food Chopper.

Gravy Boat:

My father (who is a chef, so he definitely knows what he’s talking about) always said a good gravy boat is essential to a holiday meal as the gravy ties the entire meal together.  There are many wonderful gravy boats on the market today, but I have a new favorite.

What is better than a regular gravy boat? A heated gravy boat with a wide handle and nice design, the Next Level Gravy Boat.  Not only is it great for serving gravy, but it can also be used for morning brunch as a syrup warmer!  You could probably use it for many other sauces as well. I believe anything that warms something dear to your heart is a great product and a must-have!

Wine & Beverage Refrigerators:

If you are the type of entertainer to throw big lavish dinners, cozy get-togethers or rowdy parties (so pretty much, any type of entertainer), then enjoying a holiday beverage is key. Whether you love a cold beer, tall glass of wine or some bubbly, a great beverage or wine cooler is a big convenience. There are so many different options available that you are sure to find the right product for your needs.

Here are some wonderful units for all of you different types of entertainers:
- Cold Beer: EdgeStar 84 Can Beverage Cooler
- Cozy Get-Together: Koldfront 4 Bottle Wine Cooler
- Red OR White Wine: Koldfront 30 Bottle Wine Cooler
- Red AND White Wine: EdgeStar 46 Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cooler

Coffee Makers:

Lastly, but definitely not least, is a great coffee maker!  Coffee is many things for different people. Some use it as their alarm clock to wake up, it’s what keeps others going throughout the day and for people like me, it is just nice to sit and enjoy a lively conversation over a hot cup of coffee.

If you’re going to be hosting a crowd this holiday season, then make sure you have enough joe to go around! Get a large coffee machine like the Cuisinart 12 Cup Coffee Maker or the Cuisinart Grind & Brew 10 Cup Coffee Maker. And don’t forget about the tea drinkers in your family, the Kalorik-JK31099 Dome Jug Kettle will help them feel right at home.