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GE Monogram Appliance Packages – The NYC Appliance Package

Written by Appliance Dude | August 5th, 2010

In this series I am going to analyze seven different GE Monogram appliance packages that were put together by the Monogram
team. I’ve sold several of these recently, especially for New York City residents looking for new appliances but who are spatially constrained.
Some of the larger appliance packages have been popular in our core market of Westchester County, Connecticut and New Jersey.

GE Monogram Appliance Package #1 – Metro Package

Refrigerator: ZFGB21HZSS – 36″ French Door, freestanding
Dishwasher: ZBD6920PSS – 24″ dishwasher
Hood: ZV830SMSS – 30″ hood
Cooktop: ZGU384NSMSS – 30″ gas cooktop
Oven: ZET938SMSS – 30″ electronic convection oven
MSRP Package Price: $10,999 (not eligible for current Monogram instant rebate program)

Monogram calls this a “elegant, sleek and style-forward package”. I tend to agree. The reason this is so popular in urban markets such as NYC
is that the kitchen appliance footprint isn’t that large. You can even make it smaller by using an 18″ GE dishwasher, thus freeing up 6 more inches of cabinet space. Or, you could pop in a 27″ oven such as a ZEK938SMSS instead of opting for the 30″ single oven. And notice how the refrigerator is smaller than your typical Monogram fridge – the ZFGB21HZSS is counter depth yet doesn’t have the height that a typical Monogram fridge has because the compressor isn’t placed on the top.

And on the design tip – notice how these models feature the thinner handle as opposed to Monogram’s thick pro handle found on their ranges.
Designers seem to lean towards, sleeker, more refined design in NYC appliances. Maybe because the pro handles will look too fat, large and obtuse in a smaller kitchen set up that is so the norm in NYC?

GE Monogram - zbd6920pss - Curtos.com

GE Monogram - zbd6920pss - Curtos.com

GE Monogram - zet938smss - Curtos.com

GE Monogram - zet938smss - Curtos.com

GE Monogram - zfgb21hzss - Curtos.com

GE Monogram - zfgb21hzss - Curtos.com

GE Monogram - ZGU28NSMSS - Curtos.com

GE Monogram - ZGU28NSMSS - Curtos.com

GE Monogram - ZV830SNMSS- Curtos.com

GE Monogram - ZV830SNMSS- Curtos.com

Thermador Steam Oven Delayed

Written by Appliance Dude | August 3rd, 2010

What a bummer…I had already sold a few of these new Thermador combination steam/convection 24″ ovens, with August 1 as the anticipated arrival date.
Thermador has informed me that the release date for the oven has been pushed back into the late fall. As stated, complete bummer because I had high hopes that this would be a strong seller in the fall cooking season. When a manufacturer tells me that things are delayed, that usually means that it’s going to take even longer than their initial delayed date. So here’s hoping that we don’t see these ovens pushed into late year or even early 2011.

In the meantime, if a steam oven is your thing, you’ll have to look at the Miele 2042 at $2699, the Viking VCS0244 at $3624 or the Gaggenau BS27 at over $6300!

Sub-Zero Refrigerator Cleaning Tips

Written by Appliance Dude | August 2nd, 2010

I’m always asked for cleaning tips for SubZero refrigerators. Here’s a few for ‘ya:

Cleaning the Exterior of a Stainless Sub-Zero: Use a soft, non-abrasive stainless steel cleaner, something akin to Signature Polish.
Apply to the surface to maintain luster and protect from food stains and remember to always clean in the same direction as the grain.

Cleaning Interior Glass Shelves: Allow shelves to come to room temperature before submerging in hot water. All refrigerator and freezer compartment glass shelves are dishwasher safe. Rinse and dry thoroughly.

Cleaning the Interior of a Sub-Zero Refrigerator: Use mild detergent and DO NOT use abrasive cleaners as these may scratch interior surfaces. Mild solution of soap and warm water, with a little baking soda. Do not use vinegar. Avoid using isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol or cleaners containing alcohol as this may attack some plastic parts. Rinse and dry thoroughly. Avoid getting water on lights, control display panel and Control Center.

Capital Ranges On Display at Curto’s Appliance Store

Written by Appliance Dude | August 2nd, 2010

After months of consternation, my mind is made up.

Capital Ranges will be on display at Curto’s, perhaps as early as this week.

I have been toying with the idea of displaying Capital’s ranges and other cooking appliances, but I just didn’t feel bold enough to put another high-end cooking brand on the floor with the economy still in banged-up mode. No doubt things are a hell of a lot better than 2008-09, but customers are still being very very shrewd and value-driven, even in the high-end space.

And that’s what made up my mind about Capital ranges. They are offering great products at EXTREMELY attractive price points compared to the high-end behemoths. I think that many consumers are going to jump at what Capital Range co. is offering.

I’ll update this post when we actually get a piece on the Curto’s floor.

Capital Range at Curto's Appliances

Capital Ranges...Soon to be on Display at Curto's

Why SubZero Refrigerators Remind Me of Led Zeppelin

Written by Appliance Dude | July 13th, 2010

So I have a couple from Greenwich CT in the showroom and the wife has me cornered…

CT Appliance Customer:: “Why do SubZero’s cost more than KitchenAid built-in fridges?”.


CT Appliance Customer:“Is it true that they break down?”

CT Appliance Customer:“I need to know why SubZero’s are as good as they are touted to be. Sell me on it.”

Wow. Where to begin? I start off like so….

“SubZero refrigerators are the finest in the business…I know this first hand…my parents, and grandparents, and aunts and uncles have owned them for decades. I’ve had countless customers come in here looking to replace their decades old 500-series models who swear at the altar of the Wisconsin company. They wouldn’t be caught DEAD with anything save for a Sub in their kitchen.”

” I also visited the SubZero factory 4 years ago and got a first-hand look at how the refrigerators are not only made, but how they are checked for quality (by humans!). So in terms of quality, prestige, brand power, reliability, looks and now even more so than ever functionality (due to all of the whiz bang things that SubZero has implemented in the “built-in” series) I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that they are not only the grand-daddy of the whole concept of built-in refrigeration, but, even decades after they debuted, they are still the torch bearers and the ones who create the standard that everyone else in the business reaches for. Kind of like…(I’m thinking of an analogy and I guess the fact that I was playing “Houses of the Holy” on the way in lead to this)…Led Zeppelin. You know, it’s like no one can touch them, even 40 years later. They are the father and standard-bearers of hard rock. ”

“Ok makes sense”, she says, still trying to process this.

I don’t know if she digs the analogy. Maybe I should have used Shania Twain or Michael Buble instead of Zeppelin. I’m about to re-engage when her husband looks up from his Blackberry for the first time in 20 mins and says “That’s good enough for me. Buy the SubZero.”

And that was it…no more questions, just a credit card, a thank you and on the way out the husband leans towards me and say, “Saw them at the Garden in ’73. Loved it. When we need a dishwasher, let me know which one is closest to the early 70’s Stones and you’ve got a sale.”

Random Notes on Thermador Steam Oven, New Electrolux Washers

Written by Appliance Dude | July 10th, 2010

I promise there won’t be any mention of LeBron James here…whoops….

I’ve had a bunch of people inquire about the Thermador combination steam convection oven since I wrote about it last week.
Please keep in mind that this oven won’t be available until August and from what I’ve been told Thermador hasn’t shipped any models for dealer floors.
This oven seems to be a hot little number…I’ve already sold a few sight-unseen…as soon as I more info about release date I will post immediately…

Electrolux is talking up their new frontload washers…they’ve made them larger and have now cut wash times down to 15 minutes. I asked my Electrolux rep how they are able to continue to shrink wash times down and he answered with an emphatic “I have absolutely no clue!”. I guess it’s magic. At this rate, in another year Electrolux will have this wash-time thing down to the point where all you will have to do is wave your soiled clothes in front of the Wave Touch Panel and they will be all fresh n’ clean. Geniuses at work!

Electrolux Washer EWFLS70JMB at Curtos.com

Electrolux Washer EWFLS70JMB at Curtos.com

If You’re Thinking of Buying a Wolf Dual Fuel Range or Wolf Gas Range…

Written by Appliance Dude | July 8th, 2010

I just had a customer from NYC who was shopping for appliances pepper me with a bunch of questions about Wolf appliances. First and foremost she needs to figure out whether to buy a Wolf dual fuel range or a Wolf gas range. Since I’m hit with this question on a regular basis I figured it’d find a nice home here on the blog.

I’m going to break this down to bullet points so it’s easy to digest:

Wolf Dual Fuel Range

– Comes in 30″, 36″, 48″ and 60″ with a multitude of top configurations
– Self cleaning oven
– Dual convection fan system (creates a more even temp in oven, cooks faster)
– Electronic control knobs
– Sealed burners
– Burner grates are continuous

Wolf Gas Ranges Analysis
– Comes in 30″, 36″, 48″ and 60″ with a multitude of top configurations
– Oven is NOT self cleaning
– No electronic controls
– Now offers dampened hinges on doors so they don’t crash down when opened
– Burners are not sealed
– Grates are not continuous

My .02 – The Wolf dual fuel ranges are amazing works of engineering. However I have a place in my hear for the venerable Wolf gas range. I like the heritage behind the product (it’s existed in one form or another for decades) and I like its no frills approach to features. I also like the knobs on the gas range more (they are more contoured than the dual fuel knobset) and let’s face it – the lower price point on the gas ranges (sometimes approaching a $3000 price difference) is an important point to consider.

Why Buy a SubZero Refrigerator? More Than a Review…

Written by Appliance Dude | July 6th, 2010

A customer from Fairfield County visited our appliance store today and was torn between buying a SubZero 48″ refrigerator or going with a lower-priced built in from the likes of KitchenAid, Monogram or a Thermador. Her friends had recommended the SubZero but she couldn’t get comfortable with the price difference. Her position was, “It’s just a refrigerator, I mean all it’s doing is keeping my food cold. How different can a SubZero be that can justify it’s price?”

A few years ago, the answer to this query was that SubZero A) was the originator of the concept of built-in refrigeration so they have set the standard that everyone is trying to catch up to B) no one offers two compressors except for SubZero and this feature is well worth the upcharge.

Those two answers still apply, but since SubZero introduced their Built-in series a few years ago, they have clearly distanced themselves from lower-priced competitors as they have introduced a fridge-full of features to firmly cement themselves as the premium brand in food preservation.

Here are a few things Sub Zero has added to their built-in series:

Advanced Walter Filtration
– using carbon filters, the system removes viruses, bacteria and chemical pollutants from water.

Antibacterial Air Filter
– SubZero has developed a cleaning system to prolong food storage. The filter is located in the back of the wall of the refrigerator compartment. This system scrubs the air of mold, bacteria, viruses and other contaminants too small for conventional filters.

Sub-Zero has built in a host of other features as well – new flush inset design akin to their SubZero 700 series, new Max-ice feature which torques up ice production by 40% over a 24 hour period, touch sense technology on a revised control panel, new brighter and whiter lighting, and more space due to a reconfigured door.

Back to my customer…I went through about half this list and she decided to go with the SubZero. : )

Thermador’s Sexy New Steam Oven –

Written by Appliance Dude | July 3rd, 2010

If you are a health-minded cook (or you just want something cool hanging in your kitchen) you’ll probably want to check out Thermador’s new
steam ovens
. The MES301HP (pro series with thick handle) and the MES301HS (Masterpiece series handle) are insanely great additions to Thermador’s premium lineup of wall ovens. It’s the first oven to combine three distinct cooking styles -steam, true convection and combi steam and convection. It also boasts 40 preset food settings.

Thermador Steam Oven Professional Series

One of the cool things about this oven is that it’s larger than the other steam offerings on the market. The 1.1 cu ft oven cavity can fit a 14lb turkey and according to Thermador’s cooking experts, cooking a bird in combination mode for 90 minutes will result in a perfectly moist inside and gorgeous crust on the outside.

Here is a pic of the inside of the oven:

Thermador Steam Convection Oven at Curto's

Inside of Thermador's Steam Oven

Here are the 9 cooking modes available to meet just about any cooking need:

* True Convection (85-450°F) – A fan on the back wall distributes the heat evenly throughout. Perfect for moist cakes, sponge cakes and braised meat.
* Steaming (95-210°F) – Perfect for vegetables, fish, sides and extracting fruit juice.
* Combination (250-450°F) – A blend of steam and convection modes. Perfect for fish, soufflés and baked goods.
* Reheat (210-360°F) – Cooked food is gently reheated. The inflow of steam keeps the food moist, and brings back the original flavor, texture and crispness.
* Proof (95-120°F) – Steam and convection modes are combined to keep the surface of bread dough from drying out. This special cooking mode enables the dough to rise much faster than at room temperature.
* Slow Cook (140-250°F) – Tenderizes all meat cuts and types, especially roast beef and leg of lamb.
* Defrost (95-140°F) – Steam and convection modes are combined. Humidity transfers heat to the food, maintaining its moisture and shape. Ideal for fruit, vegetables, meat and fish.
* Keep Warm (140-210°F) – Designed to keep food warm for up to one hour without drying it out.
* Dish Warm (85-160°F) – This mode prevents food in preheated ovenware from cooling as quickly. Perfect for ovenware and plates

Check out the bread baked in the Thermador Steam oven by Chef Brad Peterson…DEELISH!

Bread Baked in the Thermador Steam Oven

Bread Baked in the Thermador Convection Steam Oven

People seem to be sold on the idea…I’ve already sold one sight unseen!

The MES301HP and MES301HS will be available on August 1 and will retail for between $3299 and $3499.

Liebherr CS2062: The Flexible French Door Fridge

Written by Appliance Dude | July 3rd, 2010

I keep getting asked questions about the Liebherr CS-2062 French door refrigerator. Interest has definitely spiked on this piece and I think it’s because Liebherr is doing a great job convincing the influencers (designers, high-volume appliance showrooms) that there is great value in the fridge, plus it seems to be gaining some positive steam on blogs and forums.

The cool thing about the CS2062 refrigerator is that it provides great flexibility and value considering what it brings to the table and what the price point is. First, it’s flexible – it can be used as a freestanding piece, or you can push it into a cabinet and achieve a built-in design (make sure to check the roughs on the CS2062 so you have the correct cabinet dimensions).

What else does it boast? How about two compressors (this has been one of SubZero’s calling cards for years) which allows the air in the fridge to stay in the fridge and likewise for the freezer. End result: your ice cream or ice cubes don’t taste like last night’s leftover herb-crusted sea bass.
The CS2062 is also Energy Star certified and boasts LED lighting which consumes less electricity than halogen lamps plus it looks cooler.

However what I really dig is the design flexibility. I just did a kitchen in NYC where the CS2062 was used in a freestanding application with only one side adjoined to cabinetry. I also recently did a kitchen in Scarsdale where I was instructed to come up with a built-in French door solution for a price that wouldn’t make them faint. At $4999 (contractor pricing) the CS2062 can’t be beat when you consider the lack of built-in French door fridges (SubZero doesn’t offer one) and the higher price tag on the Thermador Freedom built-in model. Two months after delivery and my Scarsdale customers LOVE IT!