Featured Article

Kitchen Remodel
January 19, 2012

Planning Your KitchenYour kitchen-remodeling project is large or small, you need a plan. Not something sketched on a napkin or jotted down on a few scraps of paper. You need a solid, realistic, accurate plan of what you want, need, and can afford....

More articles on Kitchen Remodeling

A self cleaning oven

No-hassle cleanup options

One oven option that makes life in the kitchen easier is a self-cleaning feature. Most ovens, except for the least expensive models, are self-cleaning. The continuous-cleaning feature, however, is even nicer because the oven does what the name implies: it continually cleans the oven box whenever spills and splatters occur so you can say good-bye to spray-on oven cleaners, scrub brushes, rubber gloves, and nasty fumes from the cleaner.

Read more
A convection oven

Ogling your oven options

I remember learning how to bake from my mother. We’d turn on the gas to preheat the oven. While it was heating up, we’d mix up the batter for whatever we were making, pour it into pans, and put them in the oven. Oh, how times have changed. It’s no longer gas or electric, there’s convection, microwaves, or combination units. And lots more.

Read more

Downdraft Cooktops

February 15, 2012
Downdraft cooktop

Ain’t nothing like a grilled steak in the wintertime: Downdraft cooktops

The real joy of owning one of these babies is when the weather’s bitterly cold and you’re dying for a grilled steak. With a downdraft cooktop or range, you can have your steak and eat it, too, regardless of the weather. Downdraft units are engineered to pull the smoke and fumes down into the range as you’re cooking and then vent them outside. The ductwork is an additional installation and can substantially drive up the cost of having a downdraft range. Make sure that the ductwork is vented to the outside, too, and not into a crawlspace or interior area. One of the most popular brands, and the originator of the design concept, is Jenn-Air, although many of the major range and oven manufacturers now offer downdraft units.

Read more
A cement cooking surface

Getting creative with additional cooking surfaces

Many new kitchen designs are set up for using a cooking surface unit that has separate burners or heating elements (depending on the fuel source) and are not part of an oven combination. These units are commonly called “cooktops”. Why? Because they’re so versatile. Today’s cooktops have options such as griddles, down-drafting grills (described in the “Ain’t nothing like a grilled steak in the wintertime: Down-draft cooktops” article), rotisseries, and woks. Don’t be surprised to see a cooktop used in an island, either, as a second cooking surface. Another neat feature when using a cooktop is that the space that normally is occupied below the unit by the oven is open for storage drawers, making it a very convenient spot to store your pots and pans.

Read more
A cooktop and oven

Warming Up to Cooktops, Ranges, and Ovens

Cooktops with built-in woks, ovens built into the wall- you have more options today than ever before. If you want to keep things simple, you can stick with an all-in-one cooking top and oven appliance (called a range). But if you want to spice up the look and flow of your kitchen, consider some of the modern advances. When incorporated properly into the kitchen layout, they make the kitchen much easier to use and work in.

Read more
A kitchen with two fridges

Do you need a second fridge?

Before you run out and get a second fridge, you need to decide where to put it. Remember, refrigerators take up at least 2 to 3 feet of width, so if you’re thinking of fitting another one into the kitchen, you’ll lose at least one base cabinet, and possibly two- not the amount of storage space that most people are willing to sacrifice. But if you do a lot of entertaining or have a big family that needs a lot of room for refrigerated or frozen food storage, a second fridge/freezer may be a logical choice.

Read more
A refrigerator with fancy amenities

Paying a little more for the extras

Today’s refrigerators come with several optional bells and whistles. Not all of the extras are things that only the rich and famous would have (or want). Some are handy extras that make using the fridge easier and, in some cases, safer for everyone. Of course, each extra costs you more money, and buying a more basic or bare-bones model will help you stick to your budget if you haven’t or can’t allow a lot of money for fancy appliances. The following list names a few of the extras:

Read more
A freestanding refrigerator

Sizing up your choices: Freestanding or built-in

Refrigerators come in two basic categories: built-in or freestanding. The biggest difference between the two types is how the cabinet is designed to accommodate the motor and cooling/refrigeration coils. But, no matter which style you choose, you must identify the space and the size of the space where the refrigerator will be positioned. Unless you’re tearing out and allowing for new or additional refrigerator space, you need to size the fridge to the space.

Read more

Making Refrigerator Decisions

February 15, 2012
Decorative refrigerators

Chillin’ Out: Exploring Refrigerator Options

The refrigerator is the most-used appliance in the kitchen. Its doors are opened and closed dozens of times a day, especially if you have kids. Selecting a style and design that works best for your family is critical. Choose the wrong type and you’ll fuss and fume every time you open the door.

Read more
A stainless steel kitchen appliance

Analyzing your exterior options

I’ll bet we can all remember the color of the appliances in our folks’s house. In my parent’s house, everything was white, which was the most affordable color for the average American homeowner. And although white has been and continues to be a popular- and affordable- choice, you have more options today. Take a look at the world of color choices.

Read more