October 24, 2014

Thermador’s New Steam Range

Thermador’s Pro Grand Steam 48-inch range offers seven distinct cooking options — steaming, convection baking, burner cooking, simmering, grilling, griddle cooking and warming — with a combination Steam & Convection Oven, a large-capacity convection oven, a six-burner gas cooktop featuring the exclusive Star® Burners, and a fully integrated warming drawer in the all-in-one package. Additionally, it houses Thermador’s cooking exclusives, such as the ExtraLow® simmering technology, and a power Star Burner with 22,000 BTU.

“Judging from the recent success of the built-in Steam & Convection Oven, we believe the market is ready for another game-changing concept with the new Pro Grand Steam Range. Our new professional range empowers home cooks to achieve their best and experience the absolute finest in cooking, whether it’s healthy steam cooking, baking in the large-capacity convection oven, precise simmering on the Star Burners, or just keeping the family meal warm.” said Zach Elkin, director of the Thermador brand.

The new 48-inch Pro Grand Steam Range features:

The Thermador Pro Grand Steam Range offers seven distinct cooking options with four integrated appliances: a full-function combination Steam & Convection Oven; a large-capacity Convection Oven; a six-burner Gas Cooktop and electric grill/griddle option with ProCoat™titanium surface; and a Warming Drawer.
The fully integrated 1.4-cubic-foot Steam & Convection Oven cavity is large enough for a 14-pound turkey, serving 15 people. (A 14-pound turkey takes only 90 minutes to cook in Combination mode, resulting in a moist inside and a perfect crust outside.) The steam oven offers 30 easy cook food programs, and its simple water tank design allows for convenient, spill-proof refilling, and eliminates the need for plumbing modifications during installation.
The Steam & Convection Oven enables cooking without using butter or fat, improves overall food quality and appearance, and preserves healthy vitamins and nutrients typically lost during traditional cooking methods.
Patented six Star Burners with QuickClean™base, which allow for more ports and flame distribution, greater heat coverage and a smaller cold spot than conventional round burners.
Power Star Burner offering 22,000 (Natural Gas) BTU, while the remaining burners produce 18,000 BTU.
Four Star Burners featuring ExtraLow®simmering technology that cycles the burners off and on to as low as 100 degrees (375 BTU).
Large-capacity 5.1-cubic-foot Convection Oven offers maximum cooking space and nine advanced conventional cooking modes.
Spacious 1.4-cubic-foot warming drawer holds up to 10 dinner plates.

Design features include:

Highest-grade stainless steel construction and handcrafted in the United States with signature bull-nose design.
Professional®Series handles and trimkits offer design consistency with any Thermador kitchen.
New hydraulic SoftClose™hinges prevent the slamming of oven doors, and SoftClose glide doors for the warming drawer.
Full Access® telescopic racks with integrated easy-grip handle.
Electronic oven display interfaces to cook timer, meat probe and preheat status.
Commercial-style stainless steel knobs.
Commercial-style temperature gauges and illuminated electronic displays.

The range will be available in August 2011 at high-end appliance retailers, for an MSRP of $13,995.

Recall: STIHL Yard Power Products Due to Burn and Fire Hazards

Name of Product: Gas powered STIHL trimmers, brushcutters, KombiMotors, hedge trimmers, edgers, clearing saws, pole pruners, and backpack blowers that utilize a toolless fuel cap

Units: About 2.3 million

Manufacturer: STIHL Inc., of Virginia Beach, Va.

Hazard: The level of ethanol and other fuel additives can distort the toolless fuel cap, allowing fuel to spill, posing a fire and burn hazard.

Incidents/Injuries: STIHL has received 81 reports of difficulty installing and/or removing the fuel caps and fuel spillage. No injuries have been reported.

Description: The following yard power tools and model numbers are included in this recall:

Blower, backpack BR 500 Up to 284053456
BR 550 Up to 284053456
BR 600 Up to 284053456
BR 600 Magnum Up to 284053456

Hedge Trimmer, extended reach HL 90K Up to 284101483
HL 100
HL 100 Up to 284101483
HL 100 K Up to 284101483

Pole Pruner HT 56 C-E Up to 284398635
HT 131
HT 100 Up to 284097165
HT 101 Up to 284097165
HT 130 Up to 284097165
HT 131 Up to 284097165

Edger FC 56 C-E Up to 284180999
FC 70 C-E
FC 70 C-E Up to 284180999
FC 90 Up to 284012099
FC 95 Up to 284012099
FC 100 Up to 284012099
FC 110 Up to 284012099

Trimmer/Brushcutter FS 40 C-E Up to 284180999
FS 110 R
FS 56 C-E Up to 284180999
FS 56 RC-E Up to 284180999
FS 70 RC-E Up to 284180999
FS 90 Up to 284012099
FS 90 R Up to 284012099
FS 100 RX Up to 284012099
FS 110 Up to 284012099
FS 110 R Up to 284012099
FS 110 RX Up to 284012099
FS 130 Up to 284012099
FS 130 R Up to 284012099

Clearing Saw FS 310 Up to 284012099
FS 310

KombiEngine KM 56 RC-E Up to 284180999
KM 130 R
KM 90 R Up to 284012099
KM 110 R Up to 284012099
KM 130 R Up to 284012099

Visit STIHL’s website, www.stihlusa.com for additional photos of the power tools involved and photos of the toolless fuel cap.

Sold at: Authorized STIHL dealers nationwide from July 2002 through May 2011 for between $190 and $650.

Manufactured in:
United States

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using these products and return them to an authorized STIHL dealer for a free repair. Consumers can contact STIHL for instructions on identifying these toolless fuel caps.

Consumer Contact:
For additional information, contact STIHL toll-free at (800) 233-4729 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s website at www.stihlusa.com or e-mail to stihlrecall@stihl.us

Recall : Telstar Light Bulbs Due to Fire Hazard

Name of Product: Light Bulbs

Units: About 317,000

Manufacturer: Telstar Products d/b/a Sprint International Inc., of Brooklyn, N.Y.

Hazard: The light bulbs can overheat, posing a fire hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Telstar Products has received two reports of fires. In one incident, the fire was contained to the light fixture. The other reported incident resulted in a residential fire.

Description: This recall involves energy-saving light bulbs sold under the Telstar and Electra brand names. The bulbs were sold in two styles: spiral and the “3-Us” shape. The Telstar bulbs were sold in 20 and 23 watts with model number LB-1020 and LB-1023 printed on the packaging. The Electra bulbs were sold in 18, 20, 23, 26, 28, 30, 34, 36, 38 and 40 watts with model numbers LB-18, LB-20, LB-23, LB-26, LB-28, LB-30, LB-1018, LB-1020, LB-1023, LB-1026, LB-1134, LB-1136, LB-1138 and LB-1140 printed on the packaging. “CE 110V,” “China” and the wattage number are printed on the bulb.

Sold at: Discount stores throughout New York and New Jersey from August 2010 through March 2011 for between $1 and $1.50

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the light bulbs and return it to the store where purchased for a full refund.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Telstar Products toll-free at (888) 828-1680 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s website at www.telstarpro.com

Do You Like Your Front Loading Washer?

It might not have been the most stylish, but for decades the top-loading laundry machine was the most affordable and dependable. Now it’s ruined—and Americans have politics to thank.

The above is quote from a Wall Street Journal Opinion piece by Sam Kazman. He goes on to say:

In 1996, top-loaders were pretty much the only type of washer around, and they were uniformly high quality. When Consumer Reports tested 18 models, 13 were “excellent” and five were “very good.” By 2007, though, not one was excellent and seven out of 21 were “fair” or “poor.” This month came the death knell: Consumer Reports simply dismissed all conventional top-loaders as “often mediocre or worse.”

How’s that for progress?

The culprit is the federal government’s obsession with energy efficiency. Efficiency standards for washing machines aren’t as well-known as those for light bulbs, which will effectively prohibit 100-watt incandescent bulbs next year. Nor are they the butt of jokes as low-flow toilets are. But in their quiet destruction of a highly affordable, perfectly satisfactory appliance, washer standards demonstrate the harmfulness of the ever-growing body of efficiency mandates.

The federal government first issued energy standards for washers in the early 1990s. When the Department of Energy ratcheted them up a decade later, it was the beginning of the end for top-loaders. Their costlier and harder-to-use rivals—front-loading washing machines—were poised to dominate.

Front-loaders meet federal standards more easily than top-loaders. Because they don’t fully immerse their laundry loads, they use less hot water and therefore less energy.

When the Department of Energy began raising the standard, it promised that “consumers will have the same range of clothes washers as they have today,” and cleaning ability wouldn’t be changed. That’s not how it turned out.

In 2007, after the more stringent rules had kicked in, Consumer Reports noted that some top-loaders were leaving its test swatches “nearly as dirty as they were before washing.” “For the first time in years,” CR said, “we can’t call any washer a Best Buy.” Contrast that with the magazine’s 1996 report that, “given warm enough water and a good detergent, any washing machine will get clothes clean.” Those were the good old days.

In 2007, only one conventional top-loader was rated “very good.” Front-loaders did better, as did a new type of high-efficiency top-loader that lacks a central agitator. But even though these newer types of washers cost about twice as much as conventional top-loaders, overall they didn’t clean as well as the 1996 models.

The situation got so bad that the Competitive Enterprise Institute started a YouTube protest campaign, “Send Your Underwear to the Undersecretary.” With the click of a mouse, you could email your choice of virtual bloomers, boxers or Underoos to the Department of Energy. Several hundred Americans did so, but it wasn’t enough to stop Congress from mandating even stronger standards a few months later.

Now Congress is at it once again. On March 10, the Senate Energy Committee held hearings on a bill to make efficiency standards even more stringent. The bill claims to implement “national consensus appliance agreements,” but those in this consensus are the usual suspects: politicians pushing feel-good generalities, bureaucrats seeking expanded powers, environmentalists with little regard for American pocketbooks, and industries that stand to profit from a de facto ban on low-priced appliances. And there are green tax goodies for manufacturing high-efficiency models—the kind that already give so many tax credits to Whirlpool, for example, that the company will avoid paying taxes on its $619 million profit in 2010.

If you have switched from a top loading to a front loading washer and have a definite opinion about which is better – and why – please add your comment below. Let your voice be heard – are the socks you’re standing in clean enough?

Proud Appliance Ownership

Just in time for Mother’s Day- a photo I found recently that I liked for its quaint look back in time. This woman seems so pleased with her new washer and dryer. I imagine that the family had saved for a while to acquire the set and ease her workload. Her daughter writes that it is probably 1953 and this is the family’s first automatic washer and dryer. “Before that she used a wringer washer and we either hung the clothes in the basement, or outside if the weather was good.”

Recall: Kohler Engines Sold with Husqvarna, Cub Cadet, and Troy-Bilt Riding Lawn Tractors

Name of Product: Kohler Courage Engines

Units: About 10,000

Manufacturer: Kohler Co., of Kohler, Wis.

Hazard: A wire connector on the engine can become disconnected causing the operator’s seat switch to fail. When this happens, the blades will not shut down, posing a laceration hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Description: This recall involves Kohler Courage twin-cylinder engines sold with three brands of lawn tractors: Husqvarna, Cub Cadet, and Troy-Bilt. The vertical-shaft gasoline engines range in horsepower from 20 to 25. Engines included in this recall have serial numbers with the first five digits beginning with 41028 through 41056. Serial numbers can be found on the black engine cover.

Sold at: Lowe’s, Tractor Supply Company stores, and by authorized Cub Cadet dealers nationwide from February 2011 through April 2011 for between $1,500 and $5,700.

Manufactured in: USA

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the lawn tractors and contact an authorized Kohler dealer or the retail location where the tractor was purchased for a free inspection and repair.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Kohler Co. at (800) 451-2294 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s website at www.kohlerengines.com

The complete listing of all recalled models can be found at: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml11/11215.html

Mom Can Win New Appliances

Indianapolis-based appliance and electronics retailer hhgregg (NYSE:HGG) announced that it will be celebrating Mother’s Day by inviting customers to enter its Frigidaire kitchen appliance package giveaway. From April 26th-May 5th, one contestant will be selected daily to receive $100 hhgregg gift card and all contestants will be registered for the chance to win the grand prize; a kitchen appliance package that includes a refrigerator, range, dishwasher and microwave.

hhgregg’s Mother’s Day giveaway will also support the heart health of moms everywhere. For each Facebook “like” hhgregg receives during this time frame, the company will donate $1 to The American Heart Association’s “My Heart. My Life” fund, up to $20,000. A minimum of $10,000 will be donated.

“We wanted to honor mothers everywhere this year by not only hosting an exciting giveaway, but by giving back to the American Heart Association, a wonderful organization that promotes healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke,” said Jeff Pearson, Vice President of Marketing, hhgregg.

To register for the Mother’s Day Giveaway, please visit www.hhgregg.com/hhgives.

To “like” hhgregg on Facebook, and have $1 donated to The American Heart Association, please visit www.facebook.com/hhgreg