Why It’s Important to Use Oven-Safe Dishes When Baking

Why It’s Important to Use Oven-Safe Dishes When Baking

Oven-safe bakeware is specifically designed to tolerate the extremely high temperatures of your oven while evenly cooking your items, so they turn out the way you want them to. Using dishes that aren’t approved as oven-safe can not only lead to a baking fail, but it could be potentially dangerous. Here’s why it’s important to use oven-safe dishes when baking.

 

Specifically Made with Instructions

Dishes that are made oven-safe usually come with instructions for their proper use. When you use these types of dishes and bakeware, you can be sure that your food will cook the right way without any sort of cracking or breaking during the baking process. There may be temperature limits on certain bakeware, so be sure to check the label before use.

 

Non-Oven-Safe Glass Can Shatter

If you can’t find any oven-safe labels on a particular dish, don’t put in the oven. Non-oven-safe glass or materials can shatter with extreme temperature changes, creating a potentially dangerous mess for you to clean up, or even damage your oven. Not to mention your baked goods will be inedible.

 

Decorative Dishes Could Melt or Leak

Dishes with decorative designs that are not explicitly labeled oven-safe can melt in the oven. Whatever was used for the colored design could leak into your food, that is if it even holds up at all to the extreme heat. When it comes to bakeware, basic is best.

 

Even Heating

Oven-safe bakeware is designed to cook your baked goods evenly, giving them the proper texture and doneness. Using anything other than oven-safe could lead to soggy cupcakes or burnt cookies, and no one wants that.

 

Are you using oven-safe bakeware and your baked items still aren’t cooking properly? There may be a problem with your oven. Express Appliance Repair can help, call today!

The Best Time of Year to Shop for a New Appliance

The Best Time of Year to Shop for a New Appliance

If you have a broken appliance and are in desperate need of a new one, then, by all means, purchase a new one ASAP. But, if you’ve had your eye on a new appliance and can wait a little while, read on to find out the best time of year to shop for a new appliance so you can get the most for your money.

 

The Fall

In September and October, stores are clearing out their existing appliance stock to make room for newer models. Back to School sales, Fall Sales, Labor Day Sales- this is when all the big-ticket appliances are marked down, and you can usually find this year’s newest models for low prices.

 

End of the Month

If it’s the end of the year, or you just can’t wait until the Fall, at least wait until the end of the month. Appliance stores usually have monthly quotas to meet, so prices are slashed in the final few days of every month if there’s still inventory that needs to be cleared out.

 

Major Holidays

The most significant appliance sales usually happen on Labor Day, Memorial Day, President’s Day and Thanksgiving weekend (Black Friday), so mark your calendars and keep your eyes open for sales during these holidays. If you’re more of an online shopper, put a big circle around Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, when online retailers have their biggest sales on big-ticket items.

 

Thursdays

If you are in a pinch and need to buy a new appliance this week, try to at least wait until Thursday. Stores usually begin their weekend markdowns on Thursday, and you can generally get the best pick of the sales on Thursday before the weekend crowds hit.

 

Need help with the installation of your new appliance? The pros at Express Appliance Repair can help!

Surprising Items You Can and Cannot Put in Your Washing Machine

Surprising Items You Can and Cannot Put in Your Washing Machine

Where would we be without our washing machines? Probably outside scrubbing clothes on a washboard. Our washing machines may be the most useful appliance we have, but there are a lot of misconceptions of what you can and cannot wash. Here are some surprising items you can and can’t put in your washing machine.

 

Things You CAN Wash in Your Washing Machine

  • Stuffed Animals- Kids are rough on toys. They get spilled on, puked on and stuffed under the bed. Luckily you can throw most stuffed toys in the washing machine. Be sure to check the tag for washing instructions, but a good rule of thumb is to always wash on delicate in cold water.
  • Oven Mitts- When was the last time you washed your oven mitt? You’re bound to accidentally dip that big fluffy glove in the casserole from time to time, so be sure to wash them at least once a month.
  • Sneakers- Yes, contrary to popular belief, you can indeed throw your sneakers in the washing machine. Take the laces out, wrap them in a pillowcase and throw a few towels in there to balance out the weight and you’ll have fresh smelling gym shoes in no time.

 

Things You CANNOT Wash in Your Washing Machine

  • Handmade Knit or Crochet Hats- Even if the maker told you your item was washing machine-safe, knit and crochet hats can be very delicate to wash. To make them last as long as possible, it’s best to hand wash and lay flat to dry.
  • Memory Foam Pillows- Unless otherwise listed on the label, don’t put your memory foam pillow in the washing machine, you’ll end up with a soggy misshapen mess.
  • Lace- This one may seem obvious, but some people think a gentle cycle wash is ok for lace. It’s not. This delicate fabric should always be hand washed.

 

For all your washing machine or appliance related questions and repairs, leave it to the experts at Express Appliance Repair!

The History and Evolution of the Washing Machine

Have you ever thought about how complicated laundry would be if washing machines didn’t exist? Doing laundry is probably the number one dreaded chore for people, especially parents, all over the country, but owning a washer, or having access to one, makes it a whole lot easier. Let’s look at the fascinating history and evolution of one of our favorite appliances, the washing machine.

 

Stones and Washboards

Until 1797 all people had to help them wash their dirty clothes were stones. Women would use the same rocks over and over again to beat the wet garment. The process was the best they had to remove dirt and grime, but as you can imagine, it wasn’t a perfect system. The invention of the washboard made things a little more thorough, but certainly not easier.

 

Hand-Turned Drums

In the 1800s, large hand-turned drums, which would eventually be the precursor for modern-day washing machines, began showing up in households. Although you had to operate them by hand, you were able to wash many garments at once, instead of one at a time. This alone began to revolutionize how Americans were doing laundry. Once electric wringers were added to the machines in 1911, doing laundry became a much more manageable task.

 

Modern Day Washers

Once spin cycles replaced electric wringers and automatic timers controlled by microchips were standard, the washing machine became a completely self-sufficient device. Today, all you need to do is press a few buttons, and you can have freshly washed and sanitized clothes, according to your preferences, ready to go in the dryer, another modern convenience-minded machine. Washing machines come in all sorts of models, including both top-loading and front-loading, but all are made with energy efficiency in mind.

 

Having a problem with your washer, dryer, or any other appliance in your home? Call the experts at Express Appliance.

Tips for Optimal Fruit and Vegetable Storage in Your Fridge

Do you buy fresh fruit and veggies every week at the grocery store only to discover they have gone bad by the time you’re ready to use them? You’re not the only one. According to the FDA, Americans waste a total of 30-40% of our total food supply. There are definitely ways to keep your produce fresh for longer, so it’s more likely to be eaten and not wasted. Here are some easy tips for optimal fruit and veggie storage.

 

Know What NOT to Keep in Your Fridge

Some fruits and vegetables last longer and taste better if they’re not stored in the refrigerator, and some might come as a surprise to you. Here are some foods that should be kept in a cool, dry place like a pantry or countertop, instead of the fridge.

  • Bananas
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Oranges
  • Mushrooms
  • Eggplant
  • Squash

 

Use Your Crisper Drawers

Almost every refrigerator model comes equipped with fruit and vegetable crisper drawers designed to keep your produce fresh for as long as possible. Most drawers usually have a humidity setting, so make sure you’re organizing it accordingly. If you have your crisper drawer set to the lettuce humidity marker, only keep leafy greens like lettuce, cabbage and spinach in the drawer. The other setting is for apples, onions and other more dense heavy fruit and veggies.

 

Wrap Veggies in Damp Paper Towels

Vegetables like asparagus and fresh herbs last longer wrapped in a damp paper towel in an airtight container. Doing this could get you up to four days more out of your more expensive veggies.

 

Have Your Fridge Checked

If your produce seems to be spoiling sooner than usual, there may be a problem with your refrigerator. Have the experts at Express Appliance check out your fridge to see if any repairs are needed. The better shape your fridge is in, the longer your produce will last.

Not Your Typical Household Appliance Examples

Most people have a refrigerator and a dishwasher, but do you have a donut maker or a milk frother? Probably not, but we thought it might be fun to look at some of the not-so-typical household appliances available on the market today. Who knows, you may find one you need!

 

Keg Fridge

Sure it may sound like something only found in frat houses, but keg fridges are becoming more popular as craft beer takes over the bar scene. If you have a lot of parties or maybe brew your own beer, a keg fridge could be the perfect addition to your home. Some even have a built-in beer dispenser!

 

Wood Burning Stove

Wood burning stoves were once thought as things of the past but have recently gained popularity due to their ability to heat smaller homes, or portions of a large house, using far less energy than a traditional furnace. Models equipped with stovetops allow you to save even more energy so you can cook without the use of gas or electricity. Homes that use propane for energy can save quite a bit on their winter expenses by installing a wood burning stove.

 

Stencil Toaster

Who doesn’t want smiley faces on their morning toast? A stencil toaster allows you to make toasty bread embedded with images to brighten your morning. Cats, dogs, your favorite cartoon character…you name it, you can put it on toast. A stencil toaster might be just the thing to make a picky eater look forward to breakfast.

 

Indoor Grill

Small indoor grill machines that can be tucked away on your countertop might be just the thing you need to get you out of that winter dinner time rut. Burgers, kabobs, steaks – all your summer favorites can be made inside any time of the year. Most models are relatively inexpensive and make fantastic holiday gifts.

The Evolution of Refrigerator Styles

Like most of the large appliances we use in our homes, refrigerators have come a long way over the decades.  Since it’s invention in 1913, home refrigerators have become the central piece of family kitchens. Let’s take a look at the evolution of refrigerator styles.

 

Early Fridge Models

In 1923, the electric refrigerator made its debut in homes in America. Unfortunately, not everyone could afford one. The first model cost around $500 which would be the equivalent to $7,000 in today’s money, so they were only found in high society homes for the first several years after their introduction. You most likely wouldn’t recognize a 1920’s fridge, it looked more like a small cabinet than an appliance, but it made food storage a million times more convenient. The 1930’s fridges kept the compact style profile although expanding with size with the addition of a freezer compartment.

 

The Modern Fridge Originated in the 1940’s

By 1944, 85% of American homes had a refrigerator, so a makeover of sorts began to make it easy to mass produce. More rounded edges and pastel colors began to emerge, that gave the 1950’s fridge it’s iconic look. In the ’50s and ’60s refrigerators were made to match the colors of the countertops and cabinets, so they became available in every shade of the rainbow and still featured the rounded, loaf of bread shape.

 

Large Size and Sharp Edges

The rectangle shape of today’s fridges emerged in the late ’60s when everything became bigger and better. This continued in the ’70s when larger freezers became a selling point. The ’90s is when fancy features emerged like French doors and water and ice dispensers which changed the shape a bit, but the boxy sleek look remained.

 

People still love the retro style of old fridges which is why you see glimpses of them in modern designs. Whether you have an old-fashioned ice box or a top of the line modern fridge, Express Appliance Service can help keep in it in top shape.

Best Small Appliances for Your Kitchen

Large appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers and ovens are necessary for your kitchen, but plenty of small, inexpensive devices could add a lot more convenience to your life. Here are some of the best small appliances for your kitchen, most of which you can buy for under 100 bucks!

 

Standing Mixer

From the experienced home baker to the novice, a standing mixer can make whipping up homemade treats a whole lot easier. Cupcakes, cookies, bread and even pizza crust are all made much simpler with standing mixers. Average models range from $50-$100 and most feature removable hand mixers, so you’re getting two appliances for the price of one.

 

Air Fryer

Air fryers are extremely popular right now for a reason. They make it possible to make crispy favorites like french fries and fried chicken in a much healthier low-calorie fashion than traditional deep fryers. No oil is necessary! You can even make crispy fried veggies and reheat leftovers back to their original just-ordered glory. An air fryer on your countertop makes it possible to indulge without the guilt.

 

Food Processor

Food processors have come a long way in the last several years. There are now some on the market that can make smoothies, soups, and sauces in just a few seconds. If you’re the type that starts the day with a healthy high-protein smoothie, a high-powered food processor is perfect for you. Taking the place of a food chopper and a blender, a food processor can make breakfast, or any meal of the day, quicker and healthier. By combining multiple functions into one appliance, a food processor also frees up counterspace for other uses!

For questions about more small appliances that may work for your kitchen, or for repair or replacement of your larger appliances, contact the experts at Express Appliance Service today.

Surfaces You May Be Forgetting to Clean After Cooking

 

If you love to cook, you’re probably aware of the not so fun cleanup afterward. No one loves to clean up from cooking, but it’s a necessary evil to prevent germs and annoying pests like kitchen ants from taking over your kitchen. Even the most obsessive neat freaks may be missing some essential areas to clean after cooking a big meal. Here are some surfaces you may be forgetting to clean after cooking.

 

Underneath Cabinets

If you have kitchen cabinets above any of your cooking surfaces, or even nearby, check the underside of them. Be prepared to be grossed out. Grease and oil from cooking on your stovetop has a pretty wide splatter range, and a favorite spot it likes to hit is the nooks and crannies of your cabinets. Using an antibacterial wipe or a washcloth soaked in hot soapy water, wipe down and dry all cabinets, including the undersides, after cooking.

 

The Inside of Your Oven

You may clean your oven monthly or even weekly, but the truth is, it should be cleaned more often than that. If you notice that some liquid or food has spilled over onto the bottom of the oven after use, wiping it up right then will save you from a smoky mess next time you use it. Dried up spills can cause smoke and even fires when using your oven, so cleaning up messes as they happen is the best way to go.

 

Oven Dials and Buttons

Grease and oil can splatter and drip down underneath your oven’s buttons and dials, causing them to stick or not work correctly. If you have oven dials you can pull off, remove them and soak in soapy water. While the dials are soaking, wipe down the surfaces under the dials, removing any built-up grime around the indentations.

 

Have a broken appliance due to built-up dirt and grime? Call Express Appliance Service today.

Are Icemakers in Fridges Worth the Cost (and the issues)

Most models of refrigerators come equipped with an icemaker. Icemakers are convenient and helpful, especially with large families, but they do come with some disadvantages.  It leads us to wonder, is this fancy feature worth the cost?

Space

Ice makers take up space in your fridge and freezer. The larger models take up quite a deal of space. If your refrigerator has french style doors, the ice maker will take up a large portion of one entire door. If you have a larger family, or just happen to always have a lot of food in your fridge, this may put a damper on your storage ability. If you’re shopping for a fridge and don’t want to give up your icemaker, look for slim or compact icemaker models.

Water Quality

If you have low-quality water or just don’t prefer to drink your tap water, you’ll need to consider a filter system for your icemaker. Filter systems can be purchased and added to your refrigerator at any time, so do your research and be sure to call a professional for installation.

Maintenance

Keep in mind that if your fridge has an icemaker or water dispenser, it’s going to require some maintenance. Filters will need to be changed, components will need to be cleaned, and possible repairs may be needed.

Professional Installation Required

An ice maker in your fridge means you’ll have to have an available water line and a professional installation after purchase. Having a water line placed will require the service of a plumber, so remember to factor that into your budget when shopping for a new fridge.

Ice makers can be a convenient addition to your kitchen, just be prepared to care for it like any other feature of your appliances. If you’re having issues with your icemaker or any other appliance in your home, call the pros at Express Appliance Service today!