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DCS 36″ Grill Review – The Improved BH136RN – Curtos.com

Written by Appliance Dude | January 22nd, 2017

The DCS BH136RN Grill Review – Hottest Gas Grill on the Planet?

After a nearly 2-year layoff I have reconnected with DCS (my former go-to gas grill) and had the pleasure of taking home a BH136RL the other night and proceeded to immediately kick the tires. It would be interesting to see how my view on this grill had changed since I last cooked on one. In that 2-year time period I had fallen for the Alfresco grill and all of the incredible versatility that it offers, and I had also expanded my grill arsenal to Kamado ceramic cookers as well as a variety of pellet grills from the likes of Traeger and Memphis. I had become smitten with smoking and cooking over live fire…so what would the return to a premium gas grill hold for me?

Happy to say that even with all of these other grills on the landscape, the DCS cut through the noise and delivered. Simply put – the DCS is one helluva beast and remains Hot as Hell!

DCS Grill Burners – Serious Heat

About a year and a half ago I produced a video where I discussed the infernal heat that the new DCS grills produced. The heat was so intense that I had to purchase Steve Raichlen grill gloves to insulate my hands and arms from the fire. See video below:

So a few things haven’t changed. First – the grill is still incredibly hot. I mean, infernally hot. That is something DCS has always prided themselves on their ability to turn the burners so high that there never was a need for an infrared sear burner. For many grill enthusiasts and weekend grill warriors this would be a positive. However, while it’s fun to talk about having the equivalent of a 612HP V10 engine under your grill, it would be rather inhibiting at medium and lower temperatures. The grill is actually so hot that just standing in front of it on a January evening in the Northeast where it was around 40 degrees felt a bit uncomfortable. Like I said, the grill has serious muscle.

However to DCS’ credit they did change one thing related to temperature that completely changes the game. The valves have been upgraded so they now provide a wider spread of temperature difference when turning the knob. In the past, Sear was infernal, High was borderline infernal, Medium was hot and Low was definitely not low. Now I saw an appreciable difference between the High and Low settings. I was able to grill shrimp in a basket at a relatively mild temperature on the right burner, all while searing a tuna steak at the grill’s most wicked temperature. That would not have been possible a few years ago with the way the grill was completely turbo-charged.

DCS Grill Build

Not much has changed on the DCS grill in terms of how it is constructed. The canopy still has some heft to it which speaks to its heavy-duty construction, and the grates are incredibly solid. The cart is one of the best built in the premium grill industry. The sliding door (which stores my propane tank) rolls out effortlessly and the two drawers on the left side are aligned properly (a big issue with grill carts) and also roll out with ease and are not wobbly.

Senor Smoke’s Take

If you are looking for a gas grill that is going to hold up for years, and you don’t want to spend at the apex of gas grills, then the DCS should be the call.
It delivers an solid build laden with design integrity, incredibly powerful burners that now have the ability to sweep downwards for lower heat, a great grease management system to minimize flareups and still comes in at a price point that should be lower than Lynx, Alfresco, Fire Magic and Twin Eagles.

Buy a DCS Grill or Outdoor Kitchen at Curtos.com

Curtos.com: Outdoor Kitchen Plans – Alfresco Grill

Written by Appliance Dude | January 17th, 2017

Outdoor Kitchen Plans

Here is an outdoor kitchen we worked on in 2016. It features all Alfresco product including the 42″ grill, refrigerator, versa power cooker and an assortment of undercounter storage.

Alfresco 42 grill with URS1-EXE Alfresco fridge

Alfresco grill outdoor kitchen from Curto’s

Memphis Pellet Grill Review: Prime Rib from Heaven!

Written by Appliance Dude | January 10th, 2017

Memphis Wood Fire Pellet Grill Review – Prime Rib Recipe

It was New Year’s Day 2017 and what better to do than smoke a prime rib on the Memphis grill. It was the first time I have ever cooked a rib roast and following the instruction of Steve Raichlen, I NAILED IT. I used the reverse sear method in order to attain edge to edge medium rare and lordy did I accomplish that. Video below!

Shop for a Memphis Grill at Curto’s – We Deliver Nationwide!

Alfresco Grill Review: Best Chicken Ever, Indirect Roasting and the Dead – Curtos.com

Written by Appliance Dude | December 29th, 2016

Took another accessory home for my Alfresco ALXE42SZ grill and I ended up making the best chicken I’ve ever produced on the Alfresco.
The indirect roasting pod is entirely legit, check it out and let me know about your results.
It’s accessories like this that separate Alfresco from the other premium gas grills.
Buy one for your Alfresco, load her up with a bird or roast of sorts, make sure the beer is cold and plays some Dead circa 1972!

Free Nationwide Shipping on Alfresco Grills

Alfresco Grill Review: Rocking the Steamer Fryer Insert! – AG-SF

Written by Appliance Dude | December 28th, 2016

Alfresco Grill Review – Steamer Fryer Insert AG-SF

Yes, it did sit in the box for nearly 1 year, but I am happy to announce that I broke open the Alfresco Steamer Fryer insert AG-SF and was astounded by the results!
We did shrimp tempura for the inaugural cook. Not only did the shrimp taste great, but it changes the narrative on what we are willing to cook – reason being is that frying was a rare occurrence because we didn’t want to deal with the smell and cleanup in the kitchen. Now with the Alfresco AG-SF steamer fryer insert, the frying can all be done outside so the kitchen stays sparkly clean! We have tons of ideas on what to do next…fried oreos, fried ice cream, rice balls, eggplant parmigiana, chicken fingers…the only question will be how to do this without causing our collective cholesterol to go through the roof!

Remember, free Nationwide shipping on Alfresco Grills


Written by Appliance Dude | December 26th, 2016

If you are considering a Capital range, wall oven, range top, cooktop…now is the time to act.
Its been rumored, hinted, whispered, debated…and now it’s finally coming into fruition. A price increase. And its a HEFTY one on certain models.
This is the first time in years that we have seen an increase from Capital and aside from higher $’s, they are also going to focus on a narrower bandwidth
of models. So are you interested in a 60″ range? Its not a stocked piece any longer…will have to be built from ground up so we are looking at weeks if not a few mos till available. Add on to that if you want a color.
If you would like to order a Capital range please call us at 1-800-966-2878 or visit the showroom in Westchester Count until Sat Dec 31 at noon. At that point ordering for current pricing will be CLOSED!

Video: The Science of Christmas Cookies

Written by Appliance Dude | December 12th, 2016

I was at a training last week and one of the attendees asked the chef for best tips on baking Christmas cookies. I’m not a baker but that question resonated with me for awhile. While I have delved into the science of grilling/smoking (and there is a lot there that a propeller head would appreciate), I consider baking to be the true scientific culinary pursuit. So look what happened upon my inbox this morning…from the good folks at Thermoworks.
Watch and enjoy the science

Review: Subzero vs Thermador Refrigerators – Curtos.com

Written by Appliance Dude | December 10th, 2016

The Appliance Dude reviews the SubZero 36″ French Door Fridge vs Thermador’s 36″ Offering

When customers visit Curto’s and are seeking a new refrigerator, more times than not they will walk out having purchased a french door refrigerator.

French door refrigerators are typically 36” wide (though it can also be 30” and 42”) with two adjacent doors framing the refrigerator and one pull out freezer door underneath.French door refrigeration is one of the most popular styles of refrigerator sold in the United States. The dual refrigerator doors have two succinct advantages:

  • you can use the full width (36” or 42”) for storage including larger items like trays or platters.
  • Since french door refrigerators have narrower fridge doors they are better for applications where an island is adjacent to the refrigerator and could potentially be impacted by the larger fridge door on a single-door 36”
  • For 30” standard depth and 36” standard and counter-depth refrigerators, the most popular models can be found from LG, Bosch, GE Profile and JennAir. These fridges would range in price from $1799 on the low side to a tick above $3000. For many years 36” wide and 72” high were the standard measurements for french door fridges. Then in the mid 2000’s the premium brands began to introduce french door styles at 36” or 42” and 84” in height.

    The first wave of these premium had one very noticeable holdout – SubZero. I took a trip to their factory in 2006 and asked their engineers if they were planning on introducing a french door refrigerator and they said they had not released one yet because they did not feel as if they had figured out certain intrinsic design flaws of the style (like the door gasket which did not allow for a tight seal) so they did not want to attach the SubZero brand to the product style until it could be improved. Their engineers were apparently working on something, because a short number of years later they introduced the BI36UFD/S, a 36” built in french door model.

    Picture of SubZero's BI36UFD/S/TH

    SubZero’s BI36UFD/S/TH

    One of the early adherents to the French Door style on a built-in premium fridge was Thermador. Known primarily as a cooking company, Thermador first introduced refrigeration in 2003-2004 (it was produced for them by KitchenAid/Whirlpool) and shorlty after their parent company opened a refrigeration plant in Turkey where columnar refrigeration for Thermador, Bosch, Gaggenau and Miele would be produced.

    Thermador's 36" French Door Fridge

    Thermador’s 36″ French Door Fridge

    Through the ensuing years Thermador has arguably done the best job at competing with Sub-Zero as they have not only been able to compete on price, but they have also focused on product innovation (they introduced the concept of columnar refrigeration back in 2006).


    Thermador 36” French Door Specs:T36BT820NS

    FREEDOM® Hinge enables true flush design

    Full height door – True cabinet integration without exposed venting grille

    ALL LED sidewall and theater lighting

    Flat stainless steel door panels, pre-assembled

    Professional handles, pre-assembled

    Frame kit for flush installations (25″ deep cut-outs) or framed installations (24″ deep cut-outs) , pre-assembled


    Dual compressor and dual evaporator

    Electronic controls for precise temperature management

    Full width meat drawer

    Carbon air filter reduces odors and keeps air clean and fresh

    Full length cantilever racks for ultimate adjustability

    Full width glass shelves with metal trim

    Full extension drawers at 90° door opening angle

    Gallon door bins

    Large capacity freezer drawer

    Filtered ice-maker

    SuperCool – Chills food quickly

    SuperFreeze – Freezes food quickly

    Sabbath mode

    Economy mode

    Vacation mode

    Door open alarm

    ENERGY STAR® Qualified

    19.6 Cu. Ft.

    SubZero 36” French Door Specs:

    36″ French Door Refrigerator Bi36ufd/s/tH

    21.0 Cu. Ft

    Dual refrigeration system ensures the freshest food and energy efficiency

    Electronic microprocessor constantly monitors entire unit to ensure proper food storage environment

    Air purification system reduces odors, bacteria, viruses and ethylene gas

    Advanced water filtration system

    Illuminated touch control panel

    Bright interior lighting throughout, including storage drawer area

    Adjustable spill-proof glass shelves, door shelves and dairy compartments

    Soft-close crisper and deli drawers form a lower temperature zone ideal for produce and meats

    Easy-access flip-up grille

    Full-extension, roll-out freezer drawer

    Max ice feature increases production for a 24-hour period

    Dual Compressors

    For years (actually, decades) Sub-Zero was pretty much the only game in town that offered two compressors was SubZero. What is the advantage of a variable speed dual compressor system? Aside from being more energy efficient, it prevents air exchange between the refrigerator and freezer. This means that the system does not have to work as hard as air does not have to be moved throughout the entire chassis by one system. Without dry freezer air meeting the warmer fridge air you don’t promote exchange of flavor and odors from one section to the other. So for example your ice cubes or ice cream won’t taste like last night’s Chicken Tikka Masala leftovers.


    Most customers (especially ones who opt to use custom panels) are installing flush inset refrigerators which are flush with cabinetry. Sub-Zero offers a flush install, but it will leave a gap around the door. You also need to bring the cabinets out to 26 3/16ths for a flush install.

    Thermador is an integrated refrigerator, so it is completely seamless to the cabinets for a flush and custom look.


    Thermador 36” french door fridge with pre-assembled stainless panels, pro handles – $7999 UMRP

    Subzero BI36UFD/S/PH, 36” fridge in stainless, pro handels – $10,370 MSRP


    Sub Zero refrigerators are manufactured in Madison, Wisconsin and Phoenix, Arizona.

    Thermador refrigerators are currently produced in Turkey but there are plans afoot to bring production to the United States in the next few years.

    Warranty and Service

    Thermador offers a limited two-year warranty, entire appliance, parts and labor on any part of the refrigerator that fails because of a manufacturing defect

    SubZero also offers a 2 year warranty. Service for the fridges is important and overlooked fact. Sub-Zero is the gold standard in the appliance industry when it comes to customer service, which makes the high price tags more palatable. As I’ve told customers countless times, when you buy a Sub-Zero in some ways it is like you are joining a club that is focused on serving customers. From the way friendly way they answer the phone (and in a timely manner!) and the expedient way that service is coordinated and parts are handled, it truly is a stark difference from dealing with service issues with many other appliance companies.

    Depending on where you live, Thermador offers factory service (the technicians are typically versed in Thermador and their sister company Bosch). Service is well represented throughout the contiguous United States and in major metropolitan areas there are also typically numerous independent service companies available as well.

    The Verdict

    Both Thermador and Sub-Zero make stellar products. You’ll pay more for the Sub-Zero but with that price tag you are receiving a product built along the lines of a tank and which offers incomparable service. Thermador’s french door fridge is compelling as well, especially if considering a Thermador package, which would qualify you for a Thermador hood and a savings of several thousand dollars on your package.

    When we sell these I rarely, if ever, hear about post-purchase issues. The only negative comments I every hear is that people feel that the SubZero is very expensive and that Consumer Reports does not rate them highly (which is a very flawed comment unto itself), and on the Thermador side people who are shorter complain that the top shelf is too high (remember, Thermador’s compressor is on the bottom which elevates the shelves somewhat). Aside from those comments, people buy these in droves and are very, very happy post-purchase.

    If you have any further questions about Sub Zero or Thermador french door refrigeration please visit us at Curto’s or call us at 914-793-5600.

    Wolf OG36 Grill Sale – Review / Curtos.com

    Written by Appliance Dude | November 17th, 2016

    I have a Wolf 36″ outdoor grill for sale and the price is right my friends.
    Wolf products are never on sale…unless we are selling off a display piece.
    And that’s what we are doing here…it’s only a few months old and is in mint shape.
    Watch the video review to learn all about the Wolf OG36 gas grill and then scoop him up for someone’s Christmas present!

    Curtos.com: Alfresco Grill Review – Cooking with Smoke n’ Fire

    Written by Appliance Dude | October 19th, 2016

    Take a Bell & Evans air chilled chicken, an Alfresco ALXE42SZ grill and its various features – rotisserie, solid fuel insert (SFI-POD) and the herb/smoke infusion system….and you get one damn good bird, cooked with “Controlled Smoke”