January 16, 2018

Archives for July 2007

RECALL: Easy-Bake Ovens – Finger Amputation Risk

easy-bake ovenName of Product: Easy-Bake Ovens

Units: About 1 million

Manufacturer: Easy-Bake, a division of Hasbro, Inc., of Pawtucket, R.I

Hazard: Young children can insert their hands into the oven’s front opening, and get their hands or fingers caught, posing entrapment and burn hazards.

Incidents/Injuries: Since the repair program announced in February, Easy-Bake has received 249 reports of children getting their hands or fingers caught in the oven’s opening, including 77 reports of burns, 16 of which were reported as second and third-degree burns. Easy-Bake also received one report of a serious burn that required a partial finger amputation to a 5-year-old girl.

Description: The Easy-Bake Oven is a purple and pink plastic oven that resembles a kitchen range with four burners on top and a front-loading oven. “Easy Bake” is printed on the front of the oven. Model number65805 and “Hasbro” are stamped into the plastic on the back of the oven.

his recall includes all units with the retrofit kit. The Easy-Bake Oven is an electric toy and is not recommended for children under eight years of age. Ovens sold before May 2006 are not included in this recall.

Sold at: Toys “R” Us, Wal-Mart, Target, KB Toys and other retailers nationwide from May 2006 through July 2007 for about $25.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Caregivers should immediately take the recalled Easy-Bake Oven away from children, and call Easy-Bake for instructions on how to return the toy oven for a voucher towards the purchase of another Hasbro product.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Easy-Bake at (800)601-8418 anytime, or visit the firm’s Web site at www.easybake.com

Recall details

Can KitchenAid Stand up to the Grind?

One of the easiest ways I have found to get calcium and vitamins into my kids is to offer them smoothies as an after school snack.I just throw a variety of frozen fruit, yogurt and some milk into the blender and produce a treat they love. This is a great time of year to pull out the blender and make a cool treat.

I have been doing this for years using a Hamilton Beach blender I purchased on sale at a local drugstore almost twenty years ago. Now we have a problem. kitchenaid-blender.gifAbout five years ago, my husband bought me a Kitchenaid blender that claims to be strong enough to crush ice at all speeds, but after years of occasional use, the coupler started breaking apart.The coupler is that small black gear-like circle that connects the blender jar and blades to the base. It has broken in two stages. The first time, when two pieces broke off, I called Kitchenaid customer service. The representative there was friendly and sympathetic, but as our blender was out of warranty, she offered no advice other than that we could continue to use the blender as it was although, it would add a slight strain to the motor and therefore shorten the lifespan of the appliance somewhat.


So, we continued using the blender for the next few months.Yesterday, two more pieces of coupler broke off.I have sent the base to be repaired at an authorized repair shop at a cost of $25. This is not a huge cost, but as a percentage of an $80 blender, it seems high considering how often (or not, really) we used it. I just think a blender that claims to be an ice crushing, high powered appliance, made by a quality manufacturer should be more durable.

RECALL: Signature Gourmet and Kitchen Gourmet 12-Cup Coffeemakers

signaturegourmet coffeemakerSignature GourmetTM and Kitchen Gourmet® 12-Cup Coffeemakers

Units: About 392,000

Importer/Distributor: Atico International USA Inc., of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Hazard: The coffeemaker can ignite due to an electrical failure, posing a fire hazard.

Incidents/Injuries: Atico International USA, Inc. has received 14 reports of electrical failures, including six reports in which the unit ignited causing minor property damage. No injuries have been reported.

signature gourmet coffeemakerDescription: The coffeemaker is white with a glass coffeepot. Signature GourmetTM or Kitchen Gourmet® is printed on the front of the unit. The Model Number (XQ-673B), Item Number (W14A4984) and date code are located on the bottom of the unit. Only units with date codes from May2003 (0503) through July 2006 (0706) are affected by this recall.

walgreens logoSold at: Walgreens stores nationwide from August 2003 through December 2006. The Signature GourmetTM model sold for about $16 and the KitchenGourmet® model sold for about $10.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should stop using the recalled coffeemakers immediately and contact Atico International USA for instructions on returning the product for a full refund.

Consumer Contact: Consumers should call Atico International USA toll-free at (877) 546-4835 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the company’s Web site at www.aticousa.com

Recall details.

Considering Convection – Three Racks of Cookies a Breeze

In a conventional oven, baking three racks of cookies is an invitation for trouble. The bottom row burns and the top is undercooked. In a convection oven, the circulating air makes baking cookies easier, because it eliminates hot and cool spots and differences in cooking times.

Do they work only for baking? Not so.

Convection ovens are capable of being all-purpose kitchen mainstays, turning out evenly cooked cookies; juicy, well-browned poultry and meats; and vegetables packed with caramelized flavor.

[Shown: Jenn-Air JJW9430DDS 30″ Double Electric Wall Oven with Two-Mode Convection in Upper Oven and CustomClean Self Cleaning Oven: Stainless Steel ]

Gas or electric, the ovens use a fan that circulates hot air around food. This moving blast of air speeds up the heat transfer that occurs when two temperatures converge. [See Second Law of Thermodynamics]

Think the opposite of wind chill. When cold air blows, you feel colder more quickly than on a windless day.

Some tips:

  • Not all convection ovens are “true convection.” The true, or best, ovens blow heated air into the oven cavity. This means they have a third heating element near the fan in the back of the oven, in addition to the usual top and bottom elements.
  • Food cooked in a convection oven usually is done about 25 percent faster, so foods retain more nutrients and lose less moisture.
  • In a conventional oven, baking three racks of cookies is an invitation for trouble. Chances are the bottom row will burn and the top will be undercooked. Not so in a convection oven. The circulating air makes baking cookies easier, because it eliminates hot and cool spots and differences in cooking times.
  • To reap the benefits of the circulating air, you must use the appropriate pan. The whole point of convection is to have air circulating around the food, so casserole lids and high-sided cooking pans do not work. Use the conventional oven when cooking with these pans. Convections work best with cookie sheets and shallow pans. When cooking beef, pork or poultry, place them on a rack to allow air to circulate beneath.
  • Bake pizza, tartlet shells and breads.
  • Do not bake delicate desserts, such as ladyfingers, souffles or meringues on the convection setting.
  • Several dishes can be cooked at the same time without flavors transferring from one dish to another.

More to look at:
Frigidaire FEB27T7FC 27 Frigidaire FEB27T7FC 27″ Electric Double Wall Oven with Self-Cleaning Oven and SpeedBake Convection System

Delonghi DEFSGG36DE 36 Delonghi DEFSGG36DE 36″ Freestanding Gas Double Oven Range with 5 Sealed Burners & Convection in Both Ovens: Black

900 Watt .9 cu. ft. Double Grill White Convection Microwave Oven 900 Watt .9 cu. ft. Double Grill White Convection Microwave Oven

Finding Your Inner Guide – or at Least a PDF Manual

I recently overhead someone ask a friend: ‘how did we ever find out anything before Google?’. I gave away my internet age when I said “with altavista” and added for good measure – in a gopher guide. But nevertheless, the point stands. Google is just the greatest mindshare search tool, but its just a gateway into the riches of the internet. One of the great killer aps of customer service is the ability of any manufacturer to make all of their manuals available instantly to their customers.

att_logo.jpgMy ATT answering machine phone is acting weird, and my wife asked me to find the manual. After 10 minutes of wasting my time in paper files, I just did a quick search and came up with this page listing dozens of PDF manuals to various AT&T phones.

One of our goals here is to create a single point resource with as many manuals as we can hunt down. So here’s a start.

Hybrid Appliance Watch – Refrigerator / Microwave


Invention Support has signed a strategic alliance with Virginia Gibbs, the inventor of the new device known as the “Refrigerator/Microwave”, to offer support for this great new invention and to proudly introduce it into the general kitchen appliance market.

The basic idea behind the Refrigerator/Microwave is to combine two kitchen appliances into one as a convenient combo-appliance. Sales of both refrigerators and microwaves are strong. The global appliance market is now valued at around USD 170 billion and is growing steadily at an annual rate of around 3%. With the introduction of new lower energy consuming models many families will be looking to replace their current unit. This is a wonderful opportunity for Refrigerator/Microwave to attract customers.

The Department Of Energy states that if your main kitchen refrigerator was manufactured before 1993, it might be time to say goodbye. While it may seem wasteful to get rid of something that works, it is a smart financial decision and has many other benefits. The microwave oven market is also experiencing a boom. Manufacturers are building and expanding factories to keep up with the demand. Certainly one of the reasons for the microwave oven success is the success of products designed for it. Although microwave penetration of the other two P’s has been falling off in recent years, the appliance still cooks 14.8% of all frozen pizzas and about 10% of prepared potatoes. Microwaving owns the category of shelf-stable entrees, where it is the preferred cooking method for 99.9% of the entries. Microwaves are used most for convenience — for reheating items that are already cooked. It was a lesson that took many food companies a few years to learn.

For years, Recreational-Vehicles have been flooding the highways of America. While families travel, they continue to eat. The RV however does not allow for bulky appliances. The Refrigerator/Microwave will revolutionize the way RV lovers handle their meal preservation/preparation needs. It’s possible that in the future, the Refrigerator/Microwave could become standard equipment with RVs around the world.

As far as combination product sales, the Refrigerator/Microwave could be encouraged by Matsushita’s success. In household appliances, Matsushita’s main business areas include washing machines, vacuum cleaners, dishwasher/dryers, microwave ovens, rice cookers, induction-heating (IH) cooking equipment, sanitary equipment and electric heating equipment. In fiscal 2006, Matsushita continued to enjoy favorable sales of tilted-drum washer/dryers, while combination steamer/microwave ovens achieved high sales growth. Regarding tilted-drum washer/dryers, Matsushita introduced the world’s first model to employ a heat-pump drying system that uses no heater or cooling water during the dry cycle, thereby achieving significant energy- and water-savings. In response to increased awareness about personal health, Matsushita launched a new steamer/microwave oven in June 2005 that combines steam, microwave and conventional oven cooking functions to eliminate excess fat and salt from foods. This product was a hit in the domestic market, contributing to increased market share.

In conclusion, we can note that the Refrigerator/Microwave has extensive potential for success as a refrigerator, as a microwave and as a combination appliance that is sure to deliver astounding convenience. In order that the needs of the kitchen enthusiasts all over the world can be better served, marketing professionals are now reaching out to those who typically allocate funds for these equipment purchases. With these new considerations in mind, it is likely that the “Refrigerator/Microwave” will soon become a more popular item in kitchens around the world. For further information on this great new invention, contact “Jake Way” at info @ inventionsupport.com. And ask about the great new invention known as the “Refrigerator/Microwave”.

Invention Support
Info @ inventionsupport.com

Char Broil 4 burner grill – first thoughts

Char Broil Commercial Series 4 burner gas grill We’re working on a radio segment on grills over at TechTalk Radio and I’ve been lucky enough to test the Char-Broil Commercial Series 4 burner gas grill (Model 463268107). Here are my first impressions out of the box so to speak. This thing is shiny. And BIG. I’ve been using an old cast iron, two burner Arklamatic for over ten years, and barbeque probably 60+ days a year. So i’m used to working hard to make room for my burgers or steak on one burner and my wife’s trout or salmon filet on the other and alternating peppers and veggies as one side or the other finishes. Right out of the gate, using the CharBroil 4 burner grill is like moving into a bigger house. Your stuff looks lonely in all of that space. Last night I grilled a full chicken and only managed to cover a small area over a single grill. Later this week, we’ll fire up the grill for the whole editorial production team, and we’ll easily have room for 20 or 30 pieces of chicken on half the grill.

Living in California with a wife who isn’t that much of a carnivore, I’ve also gotten used to grilling more delicate fare, and wondered if a 50,000 BTU grill would just destroy a less robust food. So we also did a grill test on some items that would make a Texan wince.shrimp-on-the-barbeque.JPG I grilled a few pieces of Surumi – a delicate white fish based fake shrimp, some light salmon fillets, some red trout, some yellow and orange peppers, and (carefully) some lightly marinated tofu.

I was a mildly surprised at how well the grill did. When cooking foods other than burgers and steaks, I tend to spray the grill with olive oil spray to keep the food from sticking, and I preheat the grill for 10 minutes to let it get nice and hot. The grates are a very heavy duty cast iron, tightly spaced, with each grate bar shaped like a triangle so that it tops out in a very narrow line but with minimal gaps between grates to lose your food. I’ve been very pleased with the results so far. The grates really picked up and distributed the heat nicely. The salmon steaks especially came off the grill soft and flaky with a nice grill pattern on the surface but well cooked through and through. Even though I’ve only been grilling small portions that easily fit on a single burner, I’ve found that I’ve had better results if I turn on the neighboring burner also to pick up more indirect heat (the interiors thermometer suggests I was running around 325 degrees with the lid down).

The Charbroil Grill itself

The CharBroil 4 burner Commercial Series Grill is a big piece of hardware. FedEx delivering the grill for testingOur test unit showed up all by its lonesome in a big fedex truck and took three of us to get out to the deck where we are testing our grills. In the end, it was easier to open the box and pull out the grates, doors and side panels to make the box lighter and easier to manouver. Although the grill would certainly fit in the back of a Suburban or pickup, unless you’ve got a couple friends with strong backs, I’d recommend letting the store deliver the grill to you.

hand-and-wrench.JPG building-the-frame.JPG grill-top.JPG grill-on-frame.JPG controls.JPG
Assembly was well documented, and pretty straightforward. The manual is concise, has clear illustrations including blowups of the details of each individual step. Assembly manual for Char Broil 4 burner gas grill Every illustration has a specific listing of exactly which screws and fasteners to use, and the order to use them in. For guys like me who tend not to read instructions cause we just “know how to put things together” its worth actually following the book. Not reading closely , I put a pair of screws into a back panel a step early and had to pull them back out when I discovered that another panel had to be inserted before they could be driven in.

Assembly took about two hours, and could easily a one man job except for the five minutes needed to lower the grill onto the cabinet. Nevertheless, if you can find a son or daughter (or in my case, 4) to help out and tighten screws, the job is a lot more fun. Its clear how much care went into the design of the installation procedures when you see the pack of included screws and fasteners. Instead of a plastic bag with mishmash of small pieces, charbroil gives you a blister pack with each screw and lock washer packed with its mates, clearly labled on the back, with perforated flaps for easy access. Blister pack of screws for char broil 4 burner gas grill

My only suggestions to Char Broil to improve the process: 1. Give me an extra screw and washer of each size. When one washer rolled away, we were sunk untill we could find it again. and 2: Give me a better caster wrench. (To tighten on the wheels on the bottom of the cabinet they give you a small wrench cut out of 3mm sheet metal, which has to bind against the caster’s nut, also out of 3 sheet metal. Sliding off by even a millimeter loses bite on the caster. I found it easier to just get my own wrench and finish the job.)

Nevertheless, I was very pleased with the fit and finish of the unit, and the obvious attention to detail. For example, when you go to hang the doors and need to hold them vertically in place to screw them on, you’ll find that CharBroil has given each one a small little hook that hangs on the lip of the door frame holding them in perfect alignment while you put in the mounting screws. No need to struggle to hold the door up with your knees while you fumble to drive in one screw while holding the next screw in your teeth.


The CharBroil Commercial Series 4 burner Gas Grill is a very attractive piece of equipment. It has a substantial weight and feel, but with nice lines. The exterior of the grill is completely stainless steel, with silver tone plastic knobs. Part of the grill is a higher quality stainless steel, and part seems to be a lower quality steel. On the either side of the grill is a solid stainless steel shelf. The left shelf has a flip up surface that exposes a side burner for those who need to heat up a pot of beans, or corn, or spicy cajun dipping sauce.

All of the seams are very tight and smooth with minimal gapping to let in moisture and eventual rust. The surface does seem to pick up a bit of smear and a slight mottled discoloration from being out in the moist nighttime air. I would probably cover it if I wanted it to last forever, but we might instead try hosing it down every night leaving standing water on the surface and see how the metal holds up to years of simulated rainstorms and abuse. We’ll let you know how things shake out.

I only had a few design concerns. My biggest -and its almost a deal breaker:- There’s no place to hang my spatulas, tongs and grill brushes. The engineers at Char Broil shoud add hooks to the underside of the right shelf so I can hang my tools. For now I’ve had to put a paper plate down on the right side shelf and lay the messy ends of my flippers/tongs on that. This week I’ll go buy some S hooks from the local hardware store, remove the towel bar on the right side, slide on my hooks, reattahc the bar and jury rig up some hanging space. My weaker complaint, and I realize that it’s really just a personal bias, I wish there was a place to put some lava rocks, and to occasionally toss in some hickory chips. The burners are each topped by a steel heat dissipater, but they are sloped downwards, and don’t connect, so there’s no surface above the burners to hold lava or wood chips. Since this is a pretty common design structure across most grill this size, I guess I’m not supposed to complain, but nevertheless, I like when my marinade drips on the lava, burns up and resmokes my food while it grills.

All in all, it seems clear that this is a well engineered, well thought out piece of equipment. It is moderately priced, looks beautiful, and performs beyond expectations. Any outdoor chef should be pleased to stand next to it.

Product Specs and Usage Tips:

Four Burner Gas Grill

  • 500 total sq. in. porcelain cast iron cooking grate
  • Add 170 sq. in. Secondary cooking surface, for a total of 670 total sq. in. cooking area
  • Stainless Steel lid
  • 50,000 BTU Main Burners
  • 13,000 BTU Sideburner
  • Electronic Ignition
  • Double Doors

Here’s a copy of the assembly manual for the 463268007 4 burner gas grill.

Here are some maintenance tips for getting the best lifetime of use from your grill:

Season your cast iron grates so they won’t rust

Learn how to clean your stainless steel grill to keep it looking as shiny as the day you tested it. This great cleaning guide from CharBroil includes a video.

Here are some cleaning tips for the grates themselves.

When all else fails, here are troubleshooting tips for your new gas grill