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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!

Me Likey Two 36″ French Door Refrigerators – Liebherr CS2062 and KitchenAid KFCS22EVMS

Written by Appliance Dude | July 2nd, 2010

Two 36″ counter-depth french door refrigerators have caught my eye recently. Different looks, different price points, but both charting high on the style meter.

Liebherr CS2062
I’m going to have to do a full-blown post just on this fridge. Liebherr refrigerators are funky animals, at one time the darling of NYC’s designer elite, they were a niche product that you would sell every so often into a NYC apt. Things have changed. The CS-2062 is their 36″ stainless (no finger prints!) french door refrigerator that is technically a freestanding unit but can achieve a built-in look if partnered with the correct space depth-wise.
Total capacity is 19.5 cu ft. I have one on the showroom floor that you would think is a dead ringer for a SubZero or Monogram due to it’s “flushness”. The CS2062 also offers 2 compressors (just like a SubZero) so you don’t mix air between the freezer and fridge, glass shelves which help maintain temperature and oh so funky and energy efficient LED lights inside. Contractor Pricing is $4999

The Liebherr CS-2062 Refrigerator

KitchenAid KFCS22EVMS
I’ve been told that the KFCS22EVM is KitchenAid’s top selling french door refrigerator now. Part of their acclaimed Architect II series, the KFCS22 has 22 cu. feet of overall capacity, offers an internal water dispenser, is Star-K certified and offers glass shelves. And yes, you can fit gallons on the door!
The one thing to take note of is that a feel people told me this fridge has a loud noise that cycles on numerous times throughout the day. If you read this GardenWeb post, someone states it occurs about 20x per day. I can appreciate this because my wife and I recently purchased the KBFS22 which is 32″ wide and it makes a loud cycling noise as well. I’m of the mind that it’s the icemaker but it is somewhat annoying if you’re spending alot of time in the kitchen. In any case, intermittent noise aside, this is a really nice looking box whose insides are configured in logical and efficient fashion and the price won’t break the bank. Average price should be around $2400

Bosch Dishwasher Buying Guide Part 1 – Bosch Integra Dishwashers

Written by Appliance Dude | May 6th, 2010

If you’re looking to buy a Bosch dishwasher you’ve come to the right place.

Is your current dishwasher leaking all over the floor?
Are your dishes coming out dirtier than when you put them in?
Or maybe you’re redoing your entire kitchen and you’ve decided to update your relatively trouble-free dishwasher.

Bosch Integra Dishwasher - Hidden Controls

Your choice of dishwasher is extremely important. Unless you are open to the drudgery of cleaning grime from dishes and burning your hands under scalding water when doing so), your dishwasher is an indispensable part of your kitchen. It is YOUR FRIEND. And if it’s going to be your friend, it needs to be someone you can trust, and there isn’t a dishwasher brand out there that can be trusted as much as Bosch.

Plus, Bosch has not incorporated UMRP, or minimum prices on their dishwasher lines, so it is possible to buy a discount Bosch dishwasher without a great effort, especially if you live in the price-pressurized Northeast market.

Why Buy a Bosch Dishwasher 24?
Bosch dishwashers are among the most popular dishwashers in the marketplace. Why? Because they combine the following: QUALITY – PERFORMANCE – DURABILITY-FLEXIBLE PRICE. They consistently receive positive reviews from Consumer Reports, as a matter of fact when CR released their most recent dishwasher ratings, Bosch held 2 of the top 3 spots. Quite simply, Bosch knows how to make a quality dishwasher and get it into your home and price that won’t make you break into a cold sweat.

Bosch dishwashers can be broken down into several different lines:
Bosch Integra
Bosch Evolution
Bosch Ascenta

Today we’re going to focus on the Bosch Integra line of dishwashers, whose calling card is that the controls are hidden from the user. Instead of being located on the front of the dishwasher door, they are found on the TOP of the door, accessible when you open the door.

Bosch Integra Dishwashers: 300 Series
Bosch Integra dishwashers start with the 300-series. The 300 series operates at 50 decibels, a stainless steel tub and 4 wash cycles. They are Energy Star and NSF certified. There is a 19 hour delay start timer and quick wash that operates in 30 minutes. These dishwashers are available in black, white, stainless and will accept a custom panel.
Prices on the Bosch 300 Series Dishwasher should be from $750 on a black or white model to around $850 on a stainless unit.

Bosch Integra Dishwashers: 500 Series
The Bosch Integra 500 Series is the most popular offering from Bosch and IMHO offers the MOST value. Want to make your dollars work wonders? This is the line to be in. The two offerings to focus on in this series are the SHX45 and the SHX65 models. The SHX65 offers more wash cycles (6 opposed to 4) as well as a sanitize option that removes bacteria. Aside from those two features the dishwashers are identical: they both operate at the same decibel level (47), both are Energy Star certified, both offer stainless tubs and both offer capacity for 14 place settings. The SHX45P05UC can be had for under $900, especially if you take advantage of Bosch rebate programs. The SHX65 should start around $975 in black or white and go up to about $1150 for stainless.

Bosch Integra Dishwashers: 800 and 800 Plus Series
The Bosch Integra 800 Series is Bosch’s premium line of dishwashers. They offer an introductory dishwasher, the SHX68P05UC, which operates at a near silent 44 decibels, offers 6 wash cycles, a stainless tub and reduces Energy usage up to 20%. The next step up is the 800 Plus series which takes everything that the SX68P05UC and SHV68P03UC offer and delivers even more. The SHX68E05UC is 42 decibels and operates at 180kw per year, which helps qualify it for the demanding 2011 Energy Star requirements. The premium SHX68E15UC and SHV68E13UC also offer 6 wash cycles but operate at 40 decibels which makes them the quietest dishwashers in the US market. Both 800 Series plus dishwashers also offer one more rack (15) than the 800 Series SHX68 and offers a different, more flexible racking system for easier loading.
Prices on the Bosch 800 Series should start around $1199 and will move up to around $1600 for the top of the line 800 Series Plus. Expensive?
Go price out a Miele if you want sticker shock – top of the line Miele LaPerla dishwasher chalks in at $2400.

Check out this video touting the power of the Bosch 800+ Series. It rocks! And keep an eye out for the vaunted 3rd rack…more on that below!


The 800 Plus Series Offers the Third Rack System

With the introduction of the 800 Plus Series, Bosch now offers a third rack for additional loading capacity, something that you originally would only find in a Miele dishwasher. This third rack is V-shaped and helps to separate silverware, making it easier to clean. It also offers room for odd-shaped cutlery and small dishes.

Bosch 800 Series Dishwasher - Third Rack

Suffice to say, I absolutely love the Bosch Integra Line of dishwashers. They look great, are durable and don’t command price points that border on the absurd. Plus, they’ve received the adualtion from Good Housekeeping, Consumer Reports and scores of households whom first bought Bosch dishwasher products when they were first introduced into the US market in the 1990’s and would NEVER think of switching into another brand.


The Scoop on KitchenAid Architect Refrigerators

Written by Appliance Dude | March 26th, 2010

We recently installed a KitchenAid Architect Series appliance display in the Curto’s showroom and it’s been amazing to see the love it has garnered from customers. The KitchenAid refrigerators are in particular demand so what I’ve done here is break the refrigerator line down by product category, and highlight some of the real winners.

KitchenAid Architect refrigerators are the brand’s biggest sellers aside from their dishwashers. Refrigerators come in a variety of styles such as counter depth, standard depth and built-in (which are positioned to compete against SubZero, Viking and GE Monogram refrigerators) and within those sizes you will find side by side, french door and bottom freezer models.

In this post I am going to concentrate on KitchenAid’s more popular side by side and french door refrigerators. I’ll cover the bottom freezer’s in another post.

KitchenAid French Door Refrigerators

For a counter-depth unit, check out the KFCS22EV which has an automatic icemaker and is 22 cu ft. If you want to opt for a bigger fridge in a standard depth size, then look at the KBFS25EV, which is basically the same fridge as the prior one but in a larger size. If you want a built-in French Door unit, then look no further than the KBFC42FTS which at 42″ offers 22.6 cu ft and a proprietary water filtration system.
Lastly, if you prefer a French Door with water/ice on the outside door look at the KFIS25XV if you want a standard depth model at 25 cu. ft and 36″ in width, or the KFIS20XV which brings the same features in a counter depth package at 36″ in width but 20 cu. ft in capacity.

KitchenAid Side by Side Refrigerators

The majority of KitchenAid side by side refrigerators chalk in at 23-25 cu. ft in capacity. Some of the more popular pieces are the KSCS25FVSS which offers ice/water on the outside of the door, 25 cu ft and is 36″ wide. The unit is Star K certified and also has an automatic icemaker. Water in the door is filtered through KitchenAid’s proprietary PuR system. The counter depth version would be the KSCS23FVSS which offers the external ice/water dispenser in both black and a monochromatic stainless steel which makes the entire outside uniform looking. The KSCS23 is 23 cu ft.

If you are looking for a built-in fridge and don’t want to spring for a SubZero, Thermador or Viking, Kitchen Aid offers side by sides in 42″ and 48″ increments. Looking for a 48″ with ice/water outside? Look no further than the KSSC48QTS. Not interested in ice/water? Go with the KSSC48FTS.
If you want a 42″ built-in, then the KSSC42QTS (external dispenser) or the KSSC42FTS (no dispenser). Both models offer water filtration, automatic icemakers, and spill proof shelves.

Kitchen Aid French Door Refrigerator - Curtos.com