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Whirlpool Washer vs Maytag – WFW92HEFW

Written by Appliance Dude | June 30th, 2017

A Maytag washer holds the top position in the 2017 consumer reports ratings, but there is a Whirlpool washer which is right on its coattails.

Whirlpool washer vs Maytag…which direction should you go in?

If you are looking for a washer, or washer and dryer upgrade and you want front loaders, buy the Whirlpool WFW92HEFW washer and its accompanying dryer.

I am going to create a direct comparison between the Maytag mhw8200 and the Whirlpool wfw92hefw

Whirlpool WFW92HEFW

The Whirlpool WFW92HEFW and it’s dryer mate are being sold at extremely low prices this 4th of July

Maytag and Whirlpool Washer Similarities
Both are 4.5 cu ft.
Both are Energy Star Certified
Both spin at 1200 RPMS – this will shorten your dry times and help you save energy
Both have 1 year comprehensive warranties
Both have fan systems which pump fresh air into washer, thus minimizing mildew

Maytag and Whirlpool Washer Differences
Whirlpool has one more cycle, listed below:

Maytag
• Allergen
• Bedding
• Clean Washer With Affresh
• Cold Wash
• Delicates
• Drain & Spin
• Normal
• Overnight Wash & Dry (12hr)
• Powerwash®
• Sanitize
• Wrinkle Control

Whirlpool
• Normal
• Cold Wash
• Delicates
• Heavy Duty
• Clean Washer with affresh
• Drain & Spin
• Quick Wash
• Sanitize
• Whites
• Towels
• Color Last
• Wash & Dry

Whirlpool has 2 more temperature settings
Whirlpool allows for ADA height

The biggest advantage for the Whirlpool washer vs Maytag is that it is built with commercial components and it has a 10 year warranty on the motor. The Maytag also has the overnight wash setting but considering that the Whirlpool has their version of Maytag’s Fresh Hold fan system, the Whirlpool can probably handle an overnight load as well.

So with the products so close in their feature sets, and since they are owned by the same company, which should you choose?
With the current 4th of July promotion, the answer is clearly the Whirlpool WFW92HEFW. You can currently get the Whirlpool washer and dryer for $1499 (a steal!) plus you can also get a rebate if you purchase pedastels as well. The Maytah 8200’s are over $2000 as a pair…so with a price difference of over $500 the answer is clear…jump into the Whirlpool!

2017 Viking 5 Series Range Review

Written by Appliance Dude | June 29th, 2017

Review: Viking’s 5 Series Gas Range is Getting New Love

Does the Viking 5 series range now offer great value in the high end range market? Hell yes.

After Middleby purchased Viking Range in late 2012 (literally on New Year’s Eve) one of Middleby’s first moves was to start incorporating technologies and features from their commercial portfolio into the Viking residential line. The first move was realized a year later when Middleby debuted the Viking 7 Series gas range at the 2014 KBIS show, proudly showing off the equivalent of a Tesla for your kitchen. Replete with volcano burners, chrome griddles and high powered infrared broilers, the 7-series not only gave Viking a stove that could run with the BTU-blasting open burner ranges from Capital and BlueStar, it did something else – overshadow the venerable Viking 5 series range that has been Viking’s hallmark product for years. I recall speaking with a Viking executive around that time and there even seemed to be doubt whether the 5 series would even have a future with Viking betting so heavily on the souped up 7 and their intro 3 series.

Viking gas range - Curtos.com

Viking 5 Series Gas Range


2017 – Return of the Viking 5 Series Range

Somewhere along the line, someone at Viking decided to give the 5 series some love and start backing it again. That was one of the smartest decisions they’ve made in years.
The reason being that the Viking 7 Series, in all it’s searing, baking and broiling beauty is simply too expensive for many home cooks, particularly if you move to the dual fuel product with the electric oven and self clean feature. So with the thought of goosing sales of the 5 series, Viking considerably lowered the prices of the 5 series product early in 2017, with some products seeing drops of over $500+. This, combined with Viking’s new “10 after 10” promotion (when used in a Viking kitchen package) would drop the price of the 5 series lower than Wolf, its main USA-made high end range competitor. This was a dramatic turn bc prior to 2017, the Viking product was always more expensive than Wolf, Thermador and Monogram, as Middleby had implemented annual prices increases each year while some competitors (Thermador) hadn’t raised prices in several years.

Incredible Value of the Viking 5 Series Gas Range
Dare I say that a Viking range is actually a value play now? I think it is.
Their dual fuel 48″ range is now $1000 less than the comparable Wolf. Then with the 10 after 10, that creates even more of a price difference. The 30″ VGCC304BSS gas range is several hundred less than the Wolf GR304
And what’s not to love about the features?

The dual fuel 5 series gas ranges offer a glass infrared broiler, 2 sliding extension racks, 18,500 BTU burners and a porcelain cooking surface that contains spills. You also get a full 2-year in-home warranty. The gas range offers identical features save for a different broiler which is gas infrared.

For more information on the Viking 5 series ranges visit Curto’s in Westchester County or call us at 1-800-966-2878

Alfresco Grill Review: Gotta Love ‘Dem Flareups! – Curtos.com

Written by Appliance Dude | June 24th, 2017

Why the Alfresco ALXE Series of grills handles flareups better than anyone else

If you are shopping for a grill and the salesperson tries to sell you on said grill’s ability to completely negate flareups, then my advice is to walk your ass out of that store or off the phone PRONTO.

There is a silly misconception that flareups are the bane (not this Bane) of every backyard griller .
I wholeheartedly disagree. Especially if you are using a gas grill.

What is a flareup?

It’s fat, juice, marinade or some other cooking byproduct that is hitting a very hot surface on your grill. The result is smoke, or flame that rises, WITH FLAVOR, sending it back to the food. Since a gas grill does not impart any flavor to food (gas = colorless, odorless, tasteless), then the flare up or FLAVOR BOMB/FLAME KISS, is actually a positive thing.
The problem is when your grill is too hot, or filthy, and you can’t harness the inherent beauty of the flare up, and it becomes sustained, and ultimately burns the shit out of your food.
It’s like any other cooking fire, it delivers the goods (man,is there anything better than cooking over live fire?) but it needs to be harnessed or that beauty it delivers to our olfactory senses can go sideways real fast.

So what you need is the tool or toolkit to be able to handle this heat/fire and channel it for the good as you cook on your limited (taste-wise) gas grill. That’s why the Alfresco is the way to go – the ceramic briquette system it uses is off the charts good. Watch the video for the details, but if you want a vehicle that will allow you to cook at a high temp yet control the inevitable flareups, the Alfresco ALXE series delivers.

Alfresco 42 Grill Review

Written by Appliance Dude | June 4th, 2017

Why do I love Alfresco gas grills?
They are built like tanks.
They have 13 succinct reasons that make them the most versatile grill
and…they knock the s#* out of untamed flareups!

Over the years I have lost too many good pieces of meat to the insidious grip of untamed flareups. While I squarely blame myself for those issues, it didn’t help matters that the grills I was using using capitulated in the face of these meal-ruiners.
That was until I started grilling on an Alfresco ALXE 42 Grill

Because of Alfresco’s brilliantly designed ceramic briquette cooking system, my flareups have been transformed into “flame kisses” that aid in flavorizing my food, instead of turning it into a shade closer to obsidian and leaving it with the taste of a fireplace.

Which means…

Alfresco Grills Have the Best Flare Up Taming System!

Proof is in the pudding…

My wife gave me a few skirt steaks that had been sitting in an Asian marinade bath for a few hours. When they were brought to the white hot Alfresco 42 grill, they were undoubtedly fodder for a serious flare up outbreak.

As you can see from the images below, flames did start to erupt, BUT WERE SUPPRESSED IMMEDIATELY. Because of the close concentration of the briquettes (if you look at Alfresco’s ceramic grid vs the competition there are very few gaps that would allow flames to shoot through) the flames may get through, but they are smacked down after allowing for a brief flame kiss which is a flavor enhancer. More on that next…

Flare Ups are a Good Thing. No, Make that a GREAT Thing.


Flare ups are caused by drippings.
And drippings are what flavors our food.
The folks at GrillGrates feel that the drippings and their byproduct (flareups) are the most instrumental factor in giving your good it’s kick a$# taste. Yes, more important than the wood pellets, chunks, charcoal or (with a gas grill) the chips in a smoker box. We WANT flare ups, but we don’t want sustained flare ups. Instead we need to recontextualize them as “flame kisses” or “flavor bombs”.

BTW, no matter what cooking system you are using, if you don’t clean your grill gates and briquettes, you will be slowly creating a flare up factory.
I clean my Alfresco 42 Grill regularly and make sure to burn away any buildup on the briquettes.

If you have any Alfresco Grill questions please give us a holler and remember we ship Alfresco nationwide…for free! Call us at 1-800-966-2878 to order today!

Alfresco 42 Grill Review

Alfresco 42 Grill - Flareup Gone!

The Alfresco 42 Grill’s ceramic briquettes knock down the flareup.

2017 Alfresco Artisan Outdoor Kitchen Pictures – Westchester County NY

Written by Appliance Dude | June 2nd, 2017

Outdoor Kitchen Ideas

Q. How do you get an insanely great outdoor kitchen complete with kickass grill equipment…yet avoid spending boatloads of cash?

A. Do an Alfresco Artisan outdoor kitchen!

Artisan is a line of outdoor appliances by our friends at Alfresco. If you’ve followed my blog or watched any of my YouTube videos, you know that I’m a big Alfresco fan. Actually, I believe that is the best of the premium gas grills.

Artisan is what I call the “stealth Alfresco”.
For a fraction of the cost of an Alfresco, you are able to get:
– virtually the same cooking system
– the same open air plenum which cools the front of the grill, preserving it’s delicate wired innards
– the same silicone-sheathed wires and igniters which are heat resistant up to 600 degrees
– the same in-home warranty
– built and assembled ENTIRELY in the same plant in sunny California

The Artisan comes in 2 sizes for built ins – 32″ and 36″

It offers a rotisserie, optional infrared sear burner that can be installed/removed with the ease of a pin and lights on the knobs and one (very bright!) light in the hood canopy.

We recently finished an Artisan outdoor kitchen in Westchester County, pictures are listed below. In this kitchen we used:
36″ Artisan grill head – ARTP-36

30″ Artisan Access doors – ARTP-DD

Artisan Trash Chute – ARTP-TC

Marvel Outdoor 24″ Fridge

Alfresco Artisan Outdoor Kitchen in Westchester County NY

Alfresco Artisan 36″ Grill Heard – ARTP-36 with 30″ access doors

Artisan ARTP36 Grill head with 30″ access doors.

Cast iron skillet in pizza oven

Marvel Outdoor Refrigerator

Alfresco Artisan Outdoor Kitchen with front view of pizza oven

Side view of pizza oven in Alfessco Artisan outdoor kitchen in Westchester County

Alfresco Artisan Outdoor Kitchen

Review: Traeger Timberline 850 Kicks A$# on Memorial Day

Written by Appliance Dude | May 31st, 2017

Traeger Timberline 850 Review

A few takeaways from my Memorial Day cook on the Traeger Timberline 850:

– I was finally able to do a LONG cook on it (a few racks of short ribs). Prior to this I had been doing shorter cooks – hamburgers, chicken, pizza and a variety of steaks.
The longer cook allowed me to gauge how it burns through pellets, how it maintained temperature and how it retained food moisture over a longer period of time.

Traeger TImberline 850

– the Grill is huge. Kudos to Traeger for this ingenious design. Not only is there a tremendous amount of headroom due to fact the pill-shape which added another 5″ of vertical grilling space.

– the SuperSmoke feature is completely badass. I’ve used this quite often when making steaks…what I do is smoke my skirt steak, NY Strip, or ribeye in the Timberline 850 for about 15 mins at around 225. I then take the steaks and sear them at a very high temp on either my Alfresco sear burner or DCS sear burner. The steals come out nearly edge to edge medium rare with a very nice smoke hint. The SuperSmoke feature is great b/c I can concentrate the smoke on the food in short, focused bursts.

– Temperatures will vary inside the grill – they have made a big deal about their TRU convection system which is going to allow you to cook 20% quicker and more evenly. I did not see this in the Memorial Day cook – the ribs towards the back of the grill seemed to cook faster than the ones placed in the front. This is probably due to a big gap between the rack edge and the grill back wall which allows heat to come up the back of the grill (and I would assume eventually start to convect in a circular motion).

– the best part of using the Timberline – the initial smoke that is generated at startup. The smell is…heaven sent.

– I love the bamboo side shelf. Much more practical than the front shelf available on the Pro series grills. I’ve used it rest tools, sauces…and booze!Traeger Timberline 850 Side Shelf

– the grill is very quiet. There was some concern that it would be loud considering it was now able to climb up to 500 degrees. Not an issue. It’s actually quite relaxing to listen to. When I’m in the back with the Timberline humming, a libation in hand, and something tasty on the grill…it is a moment of mindful bliss!

– I’m sorry but I have not tried the WiFire at home yet. Haven’t done any longer cooks save for the Memorial Day ribs. When I try my first brisket, WiFire will be engaged.

– I don’t see much Smoke Leak (when a smoker that isn’t well-sealed will allow smoke to creep and leak from all sides of its closed door) so that tells us the gasket and thicker door is doing its job.

– Yes the Timberline can sear but I still prefer taking my burners/steaks off at the last minute and giving them a white hot sear on my DCS or Alfresco.

– With all the talk of Smoke Science, SuperSmoke, wiFire and TRU convect, the real show-stopper are…the racks! You get three heavy, stainless grated that are more akin to what you have in your indoor wall oven rather than a bbq. They are multi-positional, slide out effortlessly and are a significant upgrade over what other grills are offering. The rack depth has rendered obsolete the front folding shelf popular with the Pro series…that would take up too much real estate).

– Startup time – I’m at 250 for smoking in less than 10 mins. I can get to 375 or 400 for grilling in a few mins more. Getting to 500 is more a lengthy climb.

Review: More Traeger Timberline 850 1300 Love – Curtos.com

Written by Appliance Dude | May 17th, 2017

I continue to kick out the jams on my Timberline 850 and have more product info to share. I also have some cool fun facts direct from the Traeger main office culled from their experience with the product, so strap yourself in…

– Do I need to keep the lid open at startup?
Unlike the Pro 22 and 34 models, you do NOT need to keep the lid open when igniting.

– Can I line the drip tray with aluminum foil?
I know that lining the drop tray makes clean up SO much easier. However (and this is direct from the mountains in Utah, ie Traeger’s office) – they highly recommend using the Aluminum Drip Tray Liners. Yes, I understand that Traeger is going to push the liners as it’s another add-on to the ticket, but they at least take the time to explain it:
“Airflow in the back of the Timberline is critical to proper smoke and convection as all the smoke rises through the back. If this area is blocked by a piece of foil the smoke will not rise and roll properly and will impede the expulsion of the old smoke.”

Traeger’s final take: If you insist on foiling the drip tray then make sure your folded tightly on sides front and back.

Where is the hottest part of the Timberline?
Very back corners on bottom grill position

Why is the front shelf so small?
The lower rack is so heavy and deep that it can be pulled out like an oven rack
You have 2 huge side shelves which are at higher positions and more accessible than the front folding shelf on the Pro series
The shallower shelf allows the cover to slip on easier

Why is the meat probe giving me a different reading than my Thermapen?
]
This is a great question!
I have always received odd readings with grill meat probes (mostly with the Memphis grill) which prodded me to drop the dough on a Thermapen (arguably my most important grilling tool other than the grill!). According to Traeger, the more durable a meat probe is, the less accurate it is. So…

delicacy (a fold-up Thermapen) = accuracy

The Traeger meat probe is designed to get you into the general range of desired temp…and at that point it would be wise to use an instant read to nail that exact temp you need.

MORE TO COME>>>>

Review: Hestan 36 Grill – Curtos.com

Written by Appliance Dude | April 20th, 2017

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a….Hestan grill.
Built like an amphibious assault ship, the Hestan grill is the newest entry in the premium gas grill category.
It’s heavy, both in weight and looks, and feature-laden to say the least.
Watch the Señor Smoke video below and visit us to see in person or order one on phone or online.

We Ship Hestan Grills Nationwide. Call Us at 1-800-966-2878

Review: Traeger Timberline 850 vs. Tri Tip Steak – Curtos.com

Written by Appliance Dude | April 20th, 2017

5/4/17 – Update – Watch me “Double-Fist” with a Traeger Timberline 850 and Alfresco ALXE42 grill as I smoke n’ sear a steak to perfection!

After writing my initial review of the Traeger Timberline a few weeks ago, I have more tests to report on and the story hasn’t changed. This grill kicks shit and eats snakes.

My Traeger Timberline 850 has quickly eclipsed my other 6 grills, becoming my go-to piece for both grilling and smoking.
Yes, you read that correctly, I AM grilling on this new Traeger. The days of using the Traeger solely for smoke cooks is over, as the Timberline has manned
up with more muscle under the hood to provide consistent, hot temps that will provide a nice char.

For one of my first tests for the Timberline 850, I bought a tri tip steak from Vincent’s on Arthur Ave in the Bronx

I decided to use the reverse sear method to cook the tri tip. This technique usually guarantees me edge to edge pink which is what I am aiming for. I prepped the steak with extra virgin olive oil and a dusting of Jake’s Grillin beef rub.

With the hopper full of cherry pellets, I set the Timberline at 250F and kicked back with a Heady Topper. Within minutes, the Timberline was hovering around my temp and releasing a light smoke perfume from the back of the grill…intoxicating!

I waited about 12 mins all told ( I wanted the grate to warm up as much as possible) and then I laid the tri tip on the lower grate. I smoked it for about about 45 mins and when the temp reached around 110F, I pulled it. I already had a bed made for it where it rested for about 10 mins while I cranked up the heat on the Timberline. As it started to climb, I happily noted that the Timberline did not make a tremendous amount of noise while it fed the hopper (some of these pellet gills sound they are playing Flight of the Valkyrie when attempting to climb in temp.

After we had pulled north of 450 on the digital temp gauge and the Thermoworks pen (crucial piece of equipment!) I placed the tri tip back inside the Timberline, stuck in the meat probe, and loaded it back on for 10 mins. I was very sensitive to over-cooking and that made it all the better when the tri tip was sliced by my Victorinox knife. The sanguine, lush interior was juxtaposed by a charred, almost-crunchy exterior. The sear was legit, and made all the better by a nice dash of cherry smoke which took the flavor to another level.

Here are pics of the cook. Much more to come with the Timberline 850!

Buy Your Traeger Timberline 850 at Curto’s – Free Shipping

Getting Ready to Sear

Buy your Traeger Timberline at Curto’s!
http://www.curtos.com/en/catalog/product/418704-Traeger-TFB85WLB

Traeger TImberline 850 – Reverse-sear Tri-Tip

Tri-Tip!

Review: Traeger Timberline 850 Grill – Yes, It Can Sear!

Written by Appliance Dude | March 30th, 2017

5/4/17 – Update – Watch me “Double-Fist” with a Traeger Timberline 850 and Alfresco ALXE42 grill as I smoke n’ sear a steak to perfection!

PLEASE NOTE – Timberline launch event changed to Sunday April 2 from 12-4. However, we will have the 850 grill here on Saturday for viewing

4/20/17 – Check out my newest Traeger Timberline review where I reverse-seared a tri-tip steak with an 850!

Please join “Big Wave” Berg from Traeger and Senor Smoke from Curtos this Sunday, April 2, in the Curto’s “smoke lot” as we take the Timberline 850 out for its launch party. We’ll be beating on it from 12-4 EST. Please call in advance to RSVP. 1-800-966-2878 and get ready to pre-order this amazing grill!

1966 Central Park Ave
Yonkers NY 10710

The Traeger Timberline grill is now available for pre-order and considering the volume of calls coming in re: this mind-bending product, I thought it made sense to cobble together a review based on my experience with it.

The Timberline came across my radar screen about 9 mos ago. My Traeger rep (“Big Wave”), knew that I was preaching the gospel of the Memphis wood-fire grill (what a piece!) and would tell me, “Dude, I know you love that Memphis, but I may have something for you in a few months.”

What he was alluding to was the Timberline, and if I remember correctly, it was supposed to be released last Fall. Big Wave actually had a prototype he was cooking on and the initial reviews, apart from some balky wifi, were stellar. Fast forward to late 2016, and Big Wave informed me that the Timberline was definitely going to hit its new release date of March ’17, and he now had a demo model which had improved from the prototype. He was cooking consistently with his Timberline and raving about the results, boasting about his:

Out of this world ribs
Stellar pizza
Best ever Thanksgiving Turkey
Flawless Leg of Lamb
and more…

I kept hearing the same message – temperatures held great, plenty of room for the food with the increased headroom on the pit, nice tasteful smoke flavor which didn’t overpower food, and an appreciable uptick in construction / design integrity compared to the Pro series. It became apparent that I needed to get in front of this grill myself and take this for a spin.


To Sear or Not to Sear

I did not doubt the Timberline’s ability to deliver the goods when it came to smoking. There are competitive BBQ teams that use Traeger pits, plus we’ve seen first hand what the results are when you smoke on a Pro series model. However I did have my doubts on whether it was going to be able to sear appropriately, particularly b/c it did not have a direct flame area like the Memphis and the Yoder pellet grills. So I issued Big Wave a challenge – bring the pit up to Yonkers and let’s give it a go, focusing on the sear.

He brought the grill up on cold day in February (ah. another nice challenge. could it maintain temp in the cold?) and to say I was impressed by the fit and finish would be an understatement. The grill hood and some heft without being a kettlebell, and as I opened and closed it I did not detect any wobble (which I still see in some of the better gas grill hoods). The casters were an improvement over the ones on the Pro series and I liked the increased headroom in the pill-shaped body which is providing an additional 5″ of grill space. Then there was the lid gasket and the double-walled stainless. As I’ve waxed poetic about the Memphis grill for several years, I’m always asked how the stainless Memphis can provide the moisture retention akin to a ceramic kamado grill. Answer is simple – the gasket (similar to a kitchen oven) provides a tight seal, and the double-walled stainless makes a strong barrier so smoke and heat have to stay where they belong…around your food.

Big Wave and set the grate at its lowest level (for searing) and after about 10-15 mins, the Timberline was hovering around 400, give or take a few degrees. The steaks were rubbed up with Jacobsens salt, olive oil and pepper and on to the Timberline they went. I kept them on for a total of about 8 mins as they were not monster size in thickness, probably about 1″ (too thin, but what can I say, I didn’t buy them). We did 4 mins per side with a 45 deg turn every two mins for our cross hatch marks. Steak registered 130 on the probe so we had nailed our medium rare. Taste was very nice, with a nice hint of the Mesquite (our pellet choice). Did not have very large or deep sear marks, but the steak was caramelized with a slight bark on it…and juicy as can be.

Does the WiFire Work?
This is the area that is going to need some work, at least from what I saw that day.
While we were able to get the Wifi synced to Big Wave’s app pretty easily, the connection to monitor the cook was very spotty. There are external circumstances that could be involved – maybe the wifi signal was not robust outside – but if my experience with the Memphis wifi app (which over 1 year after release is still giving some of my customers headaches) is to be lesson, then the WiFire app is going to need some kinks worked out. While it would be a nice convenience to monitor the cook remotely, it’s not a deal breaker for me and most of my customers who are looking for grills are not putting wifi monitoring at the top of their wish list bc they know there is a good chance it’s going to be spotty.
I’d let the kinks (which will undoubtedly arise, it’s technology folks!) and then just roll with it until it is a stable platform.

Wood vs Gas…Let the Revolution Begin
We’ll be doing more testing on Saturday at our launch event but between Big Wave’s plethora of cooks dating back to last summer and our cook in February, I can tell this grill is going to be a home run. Considering that you now have the ability to properly sear (which you will def get if you use a cast iron skillet in the Timberline, another test that will need to be done) I will really try to steer grill shoppers to this category now and away from many of the gas grills that inhabit its price point. The argument that a gas grill works bc of the convenience is well taken, but what can be easier than a pellet grill? It maintains nearly exact temps and can now be monitored remotely via the WiFire app. And oh, it actually imparts flavor to your food and takes you back to the start of our species when cooking with fire was the norm.
So come visit us this Saturday to see it in person, or call us with a pre-order…the demand is overwhelming and they simply don’t have enough grills made to meet that demand right now!

Gallery of Timberline Cooks



CAST IRON SKILLET NACHOS


THANKSGIVING SMOKED TURKEY



TRAEGER DEMO UNIT

BIG WAVE PIZZA

SMOKED ST. LOUIS RIBS