Tips and Tricks in Our Educational Home Appliances Blog
Posted: December 30, 2019|
Tips for the Easiest Way to Clean an Oven
Cleaning the oven is nobody’s favorite thing to do. But if you ignore this essential chore then your oven can start to look like a crime scene with all kinds of spills, stains, or splatters that need to be cleaned. To help turn what feels like a big job into more of a minor task, here are some tips on the easiest way to clean an oven.
Use the Self-Clean Setting, ReallyMost modern ovens have a self-cleaning feature, and while it may sound too good to be true, they do work quite well. During the self-cleaning cycle, the temperature inside your oven will reach close to 900 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature incinerates any bits of old food and stuck-on residue and turns it into a small pile of ash that can be wiped out with a damp cloth or paper towel. Just be sure to remove the oven racks before you use the self-cleaning setting. They aren’t designed to withstand such intense heat.
This is by far, the easiest way to clean an oven’s interior. Some people are wary of using their self-cleaning setting because of some common myths and misconceptions, so let’s dispel those right now.
- Myth #1: Commercial oven cleaners work better. Not true. If fact, commercial oven cleaners will damage the enamel coating of a self-cleaning oven.
- Myth #2: Self-cleaning ovens waste energy. The truth is, a self-cleaning cycle doesn’t use that much energy. Certainly not enough where you’ll see an impact on your energy bill. In fact, they are usually more insulated than conventional ovens, so they use less energy during normal operation.
- Myth #3: Self-cleaning ovens are health hazards. Again, not true. The fumes that come from self-cleaning ovens are not harmful to adults, children, or pets—except for tropical birds. Tropical birds will need to be removed from the home while the self-cleaning oven is on. While other pets and members of the household can remain indoors, it’s best to stay out of the kitchen and open a few windows if possible due to the excessive heat given off by the oven.
Try a Simple DIY Solution
If you don’t have a self-cleaning oven, or maybe it’s just too hot out to run a self-clean cycle, then try these steps for the easiest way to clean an oven.
- First, create a spreadable paste using baking soda and water.
- Once the mixture is at a good consistency, spread the paste on the inside surfaces of the oven, including the oven window. Let the mixture sit for 20 to 45 minutes.
- Wipe out as much of the mixture as you can with a damp cloth or sponge.
- Once you’ve got most of it out, spray the interior of the oven with distilled white vinegar and let it sit for another 15 minutes. This will cause any baking soda residue to foam up and loosen up any particularly stubborn crud.
- Wipe the oven out again with a clean cloth.
- Close the oven door and set the oven to 200 degrees for 20 minutes to help dry it out.
Take Care of the Oven Racks
Don’t forget to clean the oven racks! Remove the oven racks and soak them in the sink with a mixture of hot water and 1 cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons of baking soda. After they soak for about 15 to 30 minutes, any grease or grime on the racks should be easily wiped away with a rag or sponge. Alternatively, you may be able to place them in the dishwasher but check with your owner’s manual first to ensure the racks are dishwasher safe.
How Often Should You Clean Your Oven?
Once you’ve cleaned your oven, plan on giving it a thorough cleaning every three to six months depending on how often you use it and how messy it gets. But now that you know the easiest way to clean an oven, it won’t be a chore you dread, but just a task to cross off your to-do list.
If you’ve decided that you need a new self-cleaning oven to make your life a bit easier, head over to Reno's Appliance. We carry top-of-the-line electric and gas ranges from brands known for reliability and durability like Amana, GE Appliances, and Frigidaire. We also carry a full line of wall ovens and pro ranges.
Posted: December 23, 2019|
Find the Best Kitchen Ice Machine for Your Kitchen
If you love to host parties and get-togethers, then an entertainment kitchen is a must have. And no entertainment kitchen is complete without a kitchen ice machine. Even if you have a refrigerator with a built-in ice maker, having a separate ice machine for entertaining has several advantages. Here are five reasons why a kitchen ice machine might be just what you need to upgrade your next event.
While you may want to set up your ice maker in the kitchen, it will work anywhere there is an outlet to plug it into. Set it up next to your drink station in the dining room, living room, or anywhere it will be easiest for guests to access. This has the added benefit of keeping people from wandering into the kitchen if you don’t want them to.
The average kitchen ice maker produces ice in as little as ten minutes. This means no more filling up all the ice cube trays that you have the night before a party. Also, no need to run out to the store and buy several bags of ice. You can simply turn on the ice maker and let it get to work to have a steady supply of ice whenever you need it.
They’re Simple to Use
Kitchen ice makers are self-contained, stand-alone units that are very easy to install and operate. That means you won’t have to hire a plumber or go through any of the typical hassles of appliance installation. You simply plug it in, pour water into the tank, and it’s ready to go. Best of all, if you forget to empty the ice storage container, you don’t have to worry because the machine will reuse the water from melted ice to make more ice.
Even though they are relatively small, kitchen ice machines produce a surprisingly large amount of ice each day. The typical ice maker can produce between 26 and 35 pounds of ice in a 24-hour period. Obviously, they can’t store all of this ice at one time, but you can bag up the ice and store it in your freezer if needed. Otherwise, most units can hold up to three pounds of ice at one time.
They Provide Variety
Many people think that you have to sacrifice ice-cube variety when you have a kitchen ice maker, but this simply isn’t the case. Some units produce bullet shaped ice cubes, while others produce clear, restaurant-quality ice cubes. There are also ice makers that allow you to choose from a variety of cube shapes and styles, and even offer crushed ice, which is a fantastic option.
Consider a Kitchen Ice Machine
Whether you are looking for a quick way to make ice for casual get-togethers, larger parties, or for personal use, a kitchen ice maker may be the answer you’re looking for.
Reno’s Appliance offers a variety of high-quality ice makers. We carry the best brands including Electrolux, Whirlpool, Scotsman, and Summit. We also have an extensive collection of refrigerators that come with built-in ice makers. Stop by our showroom in northern New Jersey to select an ice maker and see our full line of home appliances.
Posted: December 16, 2019|
Make the Most of Your Beverage Center Storage Beyond a Wine Fridge
Have you ever considered a beverage center for your home? More versatile than wine fridges, a beverage center holds a variety of drinks for easy entertaining and everyday convenience. Not sure what a beverage center is or why you would get one? Then this blog is for you!
What is a Beverage Center?
A beverage center is an appliance that looks something like a mini-fridge, but is designed with one purpose in mind: storing drinks and keeping them cool. The internal space of a beverage center is ideal for beer, soda, wine, sparkling water, and even juice boxes for the kids.
What are the Benefits of a Beverage Center?
There are a variety of benefits that make owning a beverage center an attractive option:
- Entertain with ease: If you are having a party, then you are likely stocking up on food and beverages. A common problem is that all of those extra cans and bottles eat up valuable refrigerator space. With a beverage center, your drinks are stored at the perfect temperature while giving you more room in the main fridge for food.
- Experience at-home convenience: Beverage centers can be placed anywhere you think it would be most convenient. That may be the kitchen, a den, a basement, a "man-cave" or even a home office. It's up to you to decide.
- Save energy: Beverage centers are specifically designed for the smart flow of cold air, making them energy efficient. In addition, many beverage centers include glass doors that put the contents on full display. This allows you to make your selection, and quickly open the door to retrieve it. Compare that to you and family members having to open the door of your kitchen refrigerator to see what’s inside and make a choice. And let’s face it. We’re all guilty of standing there for a few minutes and letting cold air out while we make up our minds.
- Increase security: Many beverage centers come with locks. It’s an ideal way to keep beer, wine, and other adult beverage chilled, but also out of the hands of any curious children in the house.
- Enhance style: Just from a purely aesthetic perspective, beverage centers look cool. They blend in to almost any décor and can also be a nice finishing touch for an outdoor kitchen, an entertainment kitchen, or a home gym.
Should I get a Freestanding or a Built-in Model?
There are two different kinds of beverage centers available:
- Freestanding units stand alone and can be placed almost anywhere in your home. Keep in mind that you need to allow for at least 2 inches of free space on the top and sides of the unit and 3 inches on the back for proper ventilation.
- Built-in units fit directly into a kitchen cabinet space. There’s a vent on the front to release hot air so you don’t need the space around the unit as you do with a freestanding appliance. Built-ins tend to cost a bit more, but the investment may be worth it if you really want a seamless look in your kitchen.
Why Choose a Beverage Center over a Wine Fridge?
Make no mistake, we love all of the advantages of wine fridges. But you can't beat the versatility of a beverage center. Many models have a specific section for wine bottles, but they can also hold water, soda, beer, etc. If you are serious wine enthusiast with a growing collection, then a wine fridge may be the better option. For the average homeowner, however, a beverage center is the smarter investment.
If you’re interested in getting a beverage center for your home, then come to Reno’s Appliance today. Whether you want something fancy, functional, or somewhere in between, we’ve got what you need.
Posted: December 09, 2019
A Hot Chocolate Recipe for Every Mood
There's nothing quite like a mug of hot chocolate on a cold winter's night to make everything feel a bit cozier. Whether you're looking for a classic hot chocolate recipe, or you're in the mood for something a little more daring, we've got you covered. Check out these seven hot chocolate recipes that are guaranteed to warm up your winter.
Classic Hot Chocolate Recipe
Hands down, this is the best version of the classic hot chocolate recipe. You’ll never go back to powdered cocoa mix again.
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- Splash of vanilla extract
- Whipped cream (optional)
- Marshmallows (optional)
- Combine milk and sugar in a small saucepan and place it on your stove-top over medium heat.
- While the milk is heating, place the chopped chocolate in a small bowl and heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds.
- Take the chocolate out and stir it.
- Return the bowl to the microwave and heat it for another for another 30 seconds, remove and stir. Continue to heat and stir the chocolate at 30 second intervals until it’s just melted.
- When the milk reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit, turn off the heat and add the melted chocolate, whisking to combine.
- Add a splash of vanilla extract.
- Pour into mugs, top with whipped cream or marshmallows, and serve.
Nutella Hot Chocolate Recipe
It’s just two ingredients and one of them is Nutella. You can’t go wrong.
- 4 tbsp Nutella
- 2 cups whole milk
- Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until steaming (not boiling), stirring occasionally.
- Add in the Nutella and whisk until dissolved.
- Serve immediately.
Lemongrass-Lavender White Hot Chocolate Recipe
Dare to experiment with white chocolate and unexpected flavors for a unique treat.
- 12 ounces whole milk
- 1 small stalk lemongrass, chopped
- 1/2 tsp dried lavender
- 1/2 tsp lime zest
- 3 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
- Heat milk, lemongrass, lavender, and zest in a small saucepan until bubbles form around the edges.
- Remove from heat, cover, and let steep 15 minutes.
- Strain milk, then return it to empty saucepan.
- Add chocolate and gently heat everything over medium heat, stirring, until chocolate is thoroughly melted and the mixture is hot.
- Serve immediately.
Peppermint Hot Chocolate Recipe
Rich chocolate with cool peppermint. It’s a classic and delicious combination.
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 generous cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp of peppermint extract
- Whipped cream
- Crushed candy canes
- Pour chocolate chips into a large, heat-safe bowl.
- Heat milk and cream over medium heat until hot, but not boiling. Stir occasionally while heating.
- Once hot, pour the mixture over the chocolate chips.
- Next, add vanilla and peppermint extract and whisk everything until the chocolate chips are completely melted.
- Serve in mugs with whipped cream and crushed candy canes sprinkled on top as a garnish.
Gingerbread Hot Chocolate Recipe
Pair this with gingerbread cookies for a seasonal snack.
- 4 cups milk
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Whipped cream for topping
- Heat milk over low heat in a saucepan.
- While the milk warms, combine the cocoa powder, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and ginger in a small bowl.
- Once the milk is steaming, pour it into the bowl with the sugar and spice and whisk it until everything is thoroughly mixed.
- Serve with whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Coconut Tres Leches Hot Chocolate Recipe
Add coconut to rich hot chocolate to bring a touch of tropical flavor to your winter treat.
- 2 cups whole milk
- 14 ounces unsweetened coconut milk
- 6 ounces of sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, coconut milk, and sweetened condensed milk, whisking well to combine.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Once simmering, whisk in the cocoa powder until thoroughly mixed.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Serve immediately with whipped cream or marshmallows, if desired.
Pumpkin Spice White Hot Chocolate Recipe
Combine the best of autumn and winter flavors in this outstanding recipe.
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
- Whipped cream
- Pour white chocolate chips into a large, heat-safe bowl.
- Heat cream and milk in a pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until steaming.
- Pour the heated mixture over the white chocolate chips. Stir until the chips are melted.
- Add vanilla extract and pumpkin spice and mix for another 30 seconds.
- Serve immediately with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin spice on top.
Posted: December 02, 2019|
Holiday Baking Tips for Convection Bake vs. Regular Bake
It's the season for holiday cookies! Many home bakers turn their kitchens into cookie factories this time of year, churning out dozens of batches of gingerbread men, sugar cookies, and other holiday favorites. If you're a baker, then you may have wondered if a convection oven would be a better option for baking your holiday cookies. Let's look at the differences between convection bake vs. regular bake ovens to determine which is better.
Convection Bake vs. Regular Bake Ovens
A conventional oven uses radiant heat to bake your cookies. The heat emanates from the top and/or bottom surfaces, which usually results in an oven with hot and cold spots. That's why you'll typically have to turn your trays of cookies around halfway through, to help ensure even baking.
A convection oven on the other hand, has an internal fan that circulates hot air, and helps maintain a consistently heated environment. There are no hot or cold spots. The most obvious advantage to having a steady supply of heat surrounding your cookies is that they will cook faster and brown more evenly. In addition, your cookies will release steam from the butter almost immediately in a convection oven, which will result in lighter and flakier cookies.
5 Tips When Using Convection Bake vs. Regular Bake Ovens
If you decide to switch from a conventional oven to a convection oven to handle your holiday cookies this year, then keep these tips in mind to ensure the best results possible.
- Lower the temperature by 25 degrees. Convection ovens are more efficient than conventional ovens, so you can lower the temperature and get the same results. Set the oven to about 25 degrees below the temperature stated on the recipe.
- Check cookies frequently. Your cookies will bake more quickly in a convection oven. Check your cookies about halfway through the cooking time. Then, keep checking every few minutes. Cookies will generally be done baking 6 to 8 minutes faster than the time stated on the recipe. Go by how your cookies look and smell to determine if they are done. As you get more experienced with convection baking, you'll be better able to predict the perfect length of time your cookies will need.
- Don't crowd the oven. Convection ovens rely on air being able to circulate, so don’t crowd the oven with too many trays at once. If the air is blocked, the food will still cook, but it will be less efficient. Feel free to use the top and bottom racks at the same time. But again, make sure not to overload them.
- Use low-sided baking sheets. This tip is probably a no-brainer because most of us usually use low-sided baking sheets for holiday cookies regardless of whether or not we're using convection bake vs. regular bake ovens. But especially with convection ovens, low-sided or rimless sheets allow for better air circulation and crispier cookies. In fact, you should use low-sided baking sheets with most convention oven cooking, including roasting vegetables and meats.
- Know when not to use a convection oven.While convection ovens are ideal for holiday cookies, you don't want use this type of oven to bake cakes, custards, soufflés, or quick breads. The movement of the air from the convection fan can cause uneven baking and reduced rising. In addition, custards can dry out from the air movement and form an unpleasant crust on top.
What's the Bottom Line on Convection Bake vs. Regular Bake Ovens?
When it comes to holiday cookies, convection ovens do have a slight edge over conventional ovens, especially if you have a lot of baking to do. However, you can’t go wrong with a solid conventional oven, if that's your true preference.
If you're in need of a new oven, but still aren't sure which type is right for you, then head over to Reno's showroom in Paterson, NJ. We carry top-of-the-line electric and gas ranges and a full line of wall ovens and pro ranges. Our friendly and knowledgeable sales staff will help you find the right cooking appliance for your home.