The Beginner’s Guide to Choosing a Refrigerator

If you’re in the market for a brand new refrigerator, it’s not always easy to know which one will work for you, your kitchen, and your lifestyle. Maybe you just moved into a new home and it didn’t include a fridge, or maybe you’re designing your kitchen from scratch and aren’t sure how to begin the shopping process. No matter why you need a new refrigerator, we can help you choose the style, system and configuration that best fits your home and budget!

Best guide to choosing a refrigerator! Need! | Duerden's Appliance & Mattress

Styles of Refrigerators

The first step on your shopping journey will be to decide what style works best in your space. There are basically 4 refrigerator styles to choose from: Free-Standing Full Depth, Free-Standing Counter Depth, Built-In and Integrated.

Best guide to choosing a refrigerator! Need! | Duerden's Appliance & Mattress

Free-Standing Full Depth

A free-standing full depth refrigerator has a case up to 30″ deep, not including the door and handles, and a width between 30″ to 36″. This is a typical fridge that rolls into the opening created for it, but it extends past your counters. This can create choke points in narrow spaces. You’ll get the most amount of space for the money with this one, but it might not fit your vision for a streamlined space.

Best guide to choosing a refrigerator! Need! | Duerden's Appliance & Mattress

Free-Standing Counter Depth

This is also a regular fridge that rolls into the opening created for it, and fits in at counter depth with a case that’s 24″ deep and 30″ to 36″ wide. You’ll lose six cubic feet of capacity as compared to the full depth model, but it installs with a cleaner look and leaves more room in your kitchen.

Best guide to choosing a refrigerator! Need! | Duerden's Appliance & Mattress

Built-In

A built-in refrigerator is the kind that’s actually drilled into your cabinets, making it feel more high-end and customized. These are 24″ deep, have the compressors on top, and widths can range from 30″ to 48″. They can be installed either standard (sticking out from cabinets) or flush with the cabinet. In this case you’ll need to make the cabinet wider. They look great in stainless or with panels, but be aware that there will be thumb-sized gaps between the panels.

Best guide to choosing a refrigerator! Need! | Duerden's Appliance & Mattress

 

Best guide to choosing a refrigerator! Need! | Duerden's Appliance & Mattress

Integrated

These install absolutely flush with your cabinets and can either be stainless or paneled. Usually, they’re done in columns ranging in width from 18″ to 36″ so that you can customize the configurations. You can incorporate wine storage if that’s something you’re looking for as well. Integrated refrigerators can be paneled nearly perfectly and blend into cabinets seamlessly with only fingernail sized gaps around the panels.

Best guide to choosing a refrigerator! Need! | Duerden's Appliance & Mattress

Best guide to choosing a refrigerator! Need! | Duerden's Appliance & Mattress

Best guide to choosing a refrigerator! Need! | Duerden's Appliance & Mattress

Refrigerator Systems

Once you decide what style fridge works best for you, you’ll need a bit of knowledge about its inner workings. A refrigerator’s job is not just to keep food cold – it’s all about food preservation. Keeping food fresh has three elements: temperature control, retaining moisture, and purifying the air. To get this job done, the fridge has a compressor and an evaporator. The evaporator is what cools the air and the compressor pushes heat out through the heat exchange coils. The compressor and evaporator combined are called the cooling system. Various models and brands have different ways that these parts work together to determine how long food stays fresh.

two Evaporators, two Compressors

High-end refrigerators have two complete systems for both the fridge and freezer. This means that your food only loses moisture when you open the door, allowing your leafy greens to last as long as a month.

Best guide to choosing a refrigerator! Need! | Duerden's Appliance & Mattress

two Evaporators, One Compressor

In this type, one compressor alternates between cooling two evaporators, one for the fridge and one for the freezer. Because the refrigerator and freezer don’t share air, your refrigerator air will remain cool and moist, and your leafy greens should stay fresh for two to three weeks.

Best guide to choosing a refrigerator! Need! | Duerden's Appliance & Mattress

One Evaporator & One Compressor

These refrigerators cool the fridge by blowing air through the freezer. This is the norm for all top freezer models, nearly all side-by-sides, and most French door models under $2,000. Your produce will lose more moisture as the freezer dehydrates the fridge air, so your leafy greens will last four to six days.

Best guide to choosing a refrigerator! Need! | Duerden's Appliance & Mattress

Refrigerator Configurations

Now that you know your style and systems, it’s time to choose the configuration. This refers to how the refrigerator and freezer portions of your appliance are arranged.

Top Freezer

This is the least expensive type of fridge and the least convenient. You’ll have to lean down to look inside the refrigerator portion, which is the part you’ll be using the most. Because the freezer and fridge share air, your food will not stay as fresh as with the other configurations.

Best guide to choosing a refrigerator! Need! | Duerden's Appliance & Mattress

Side-by-Side

If you see the freezer and refrigerator portions next to each other, both taking up the entire length of the appliance, you’re looking at a side-by-side. With one of these, you’ll get a good amount of cubic feet for your money, but it’s designed around the idea that you use your refrigerator and freezer equally, which usually isn’t true. Research shows we are in and out of our refrigerators eight times more frequently than our freezer.

Best guide to choosing a refrigerator! Need! | Duerden's Appliance & Mattress

 

Bottom Freezer

With this type, the freezer is a drawer that pulls out at the bottom and the top is the refrigerator. Most commonly you’ll see this with French doors – although it can be a single swing door. You’ll give up some convenience with the freezer, but it’s a great trade-off for the better refrigerator experience.

Best guide to choosing a refrigerator! Need! | Duerden's Appliance & Mattress

Best guide to choosing a refrigerator! Need! | Duerden's Appliance & Mattress

Refrigerator Brands

Taking all of this into account, here’s a general idea of where to look for the refrigerator in your price point.

• Value: Single evaporator models by GE, Whirlpool, Amana, & Hotpoint.
• Good: Dual evaporator models by GE, KitchenAid, LG, Samsung, Maytag, Bosch, Bertazzoni, & Whirlpool
• Better: Monogram, Leihberr, & Viking
• Best: SubZero

Best guide to choosing a refrigerator! Need! | Duerden's Appliance & Mattress

 

Choosing Your Refrigerator

Armed with all of this information, you are now prepared for choosing a refrigerator that’s right for you. If you have questions, concerns, or want someone to help guide you in the process, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Duerden’s or stop by our showroom!

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4 Ways to Grill the Perfect Steak

Ahhh, it’s that wonderful time of year when we all start spending time outside and grilling up a storm in our back yards! If you’re lucky, you have the room to install a full outdoor kitchen like this one to help you grill the perfect steak.

4 ways to grill the perfect steak! Yum! | Duerden's Appliance

For most of us though, all we have to work with is a small patio or deck that may also be home to some dying potted plants and your air conditioner. So you need to find the best grill that fits your space and your budget. And, most importantly, you need to be able to grill “the perfect steak”!

4 ways to grill the perfect steak! Yum! | Duerden's Appliance

 

In our quest to find the best method for cooking steak, we experimented with 4 different techniques. Our customers rated the flavor of the steaks and here are the  results in order of their favorites:

  1. *Sous-Vide (water bath) then sear
  2. *Sous-Vide (steam oven) then sear
  3. Sear then grill
  4. Bake then sear

*Sous-vide is a french term meaning the food is sealed in plastic bag and placed in a water bath. The water is set to a specific temperature so the food cooks evenly and over a long period of time. This is a video showing the sous-vide process on a Monogram induction cooktop:

4 ways to grill the perfect steak! Yum! | Duerden's Appliance

1. SOUS-VIDE (WATER BATH) THEN SEAR

We used our Monogram 36″ induction cooktop to prepare the steaks by putting them into airtight bags with a bit of butter and seasonings. We then set the water temperature in a large pot to 130 degrees, the target for a rare steak. The cooktop comes with a blue-tooth connected temperature sensor that immerses in the water and gives a reading to the cooktop. You will never over-cook your meat using this method. Then we fired up the sear burner on our Napoleon Pro 500 grill to 1200 degrees. Once the steak had been in the bath for 40 minutes, we seared it for 90 seconds per side. This steak was the clear winner, perfectly tender and juicy!

 

2. SOUS-VIDE (STEAM OVEN) THEN SEAR

Using the same idea but without the plastic bag, we put the next steak into our Wolf steam oven. We set the steam at 135, and plugged a temperature probe into the steak. Then we programmed the oven to cook the steak up to 130 degrees. Once it hit that temperature, we finished the steak in the same way with a 1200 degree sear on the Napoleon Pro 500 for 90 seconds per side.  This method took second place and tasted fantastic, just not quite as tender as the winner!4 ways to grill the perfect steak! Yum! | Duerden's Appliance

4 ways to grill the perfect steak! Yum! | Duerden's Appliance

4 ways to grill the perfect steak! Yum! | Duerden's Appliance

3. SEAR THEN GRILL

Starting with salted and peppered room temperature steaks, we seared them at 1200 degrees for 90 seconds per side. We then finished them at 350 degrees in the main compartment of the Napoleon 500 grill, cooking them to an internal temperature of 135 degrees. We let them rest for 5 minutes before cutting into them. The steaks were delicious and juicy!

4. BAKE THEN SEAR

Using our G.E. Profile convection oven, we set a temperature probe in the meat to a target temperature of 130 degrees, and baked the steaks at 180 degrees. We finished these off at 90 seconds per side on the Napoleon pro 500 sear burner. Much better tasting than just throwing a cold steak onto the grill!

4 ways to grill the perfect steak! Yum! | Duerden's Appliance

4 ways to grill the perfect steak! Yum! | Duerden's Appliance

We hope you’ll try all four of these methods and find the one that helps you create your “perfect steak”!

You can check out all of our grills in action Saturday, April 29th during our grilling season kickoff event. We carry Broil King, Napoleon, Lynx, Coyote, Viking and Wolf grills. Hope to see you there!

Also, look for our television grilling segments: Thursday, April 27th on the ABC Midday news at 11am; Friday, April 28th on Good Things Utah at 9am; and Friday, April 28th on Fox 13 Midday news at 11am.

4 ways to grill the perfect steak! Yum! | Duerden's Appliance

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5 Tips to Cooking with Convection

We get questions all the time about what a convection oven does. People are confused and intimidated by it, so let us shed some light on how cooking with convection can make you a better cook!

Who knew cooking with convection was so easy? | Duerden's Appliance

 

Why use convection?

You may think you need special training to use it, but it’s actually really simple.   Convection makes everything better because rather than cooking from the bottom up, it cooks food from the outside in. Convection ovens have fans that constantly circulate the air around your food so that the top, bottom and sides are all experiencing the same temperature. Also, because it constantly introduces fresh hot air, it is more efficient. This means you will not only be able to cook things quicker, but you’ll be able to cook things BETTER!

Who knew cooking with convection was so easy? | Duerden's Appliance

Myths about cooking with convection
  1. The first is the fear it that the fan will dry out your food. That would be true if we cooked with the door open, but we don’t. The moisture stays in the oven cavity and is constantly circulated back into your dish, so you will actually lose less moisture than in standard baking.
  2. The second concern is that you will have to adjust all your favorite recipes. Nearly all consumer ovens come with an automatic conversion feature.  This will calculate the appropriate convection temperature for whatever you enter based on your old recipe. It will automatically drop the temperature by a certain percent based on how that oven has tested.   (You can turn this feature off if you prefer manually setting the temperature).   Even if you don’t have this feature, you can just drop your temperature by 30 degrees and you’ll be fine.   If you want to be more precise, you can visit www.convection-calculator.com.

Who knew cooking with convection was so easy? | Duerden's Appliance

Types of Convection
  1. Standard convection means that the heat is coming from elements on the bottom, just like your classic oven, and that the fan is circulating the air. Some electric ovens use this method, as do all gas ovens. This will do a great job on roasts, casseroles, and single sheet baking. Where it will struggle is baking multiple racks at the same time.   Because the heat is still coming from the bottom up, you will see different results for the top, middle, and bottom racks.
  2. The second type is true convection. If you hear the term European or True European, it is the same thing.   The difference is that heating elements are added to the fans, so the heat is coming from the back rather than the bottom.   Now you are able to bake on all of your racks and get the same result.

Who knew cooking with convection was so easy? | Duerden's Appliance

Who knew cooking with convection was so easy? | Duerden's Appliance

Who knew cooking with convection was so easy? | Duerden's Appliance

Tips on Cooking with Convection

Since we have 12 live ovens in the showroom, we are always experimenting with different recipes and cooking methods. This has really helped us learn and given us confidence in what we recommend to our customers. Here are some things our experience has taught us:

  1. We bake absolutely everything on convection and find that the results are always superior to standard thermal oven cooking.
  2. Baking enthusiasts should avoid gas ovens and get true convection electric ovens.   If you prefer to cook with gas, we offer dual fuel ranges that offer gas cooking on top and electric baking in the oven.
  3. The size of the fan means nothing. Don’t assume that a model with a large fan will perform better than one with a smaller fan. The importance is how even the air flow is, not the speed of the air.
  4. Listen to our finicky bakers. When customers love to bake, we avoid trying to recommend a particular model. Instead, we invite them to bring in their favorite recipe and try it in as many of our ovens as they like. No matter how many bakers have taken us up on this challenge, the results are always the same. The top performer is always a Wolf wall oven. If this works with her budget, that is what she’ll select. If she doesn’t want to spend the money on the Wolf, she will select a GE Profile or GE Café convection oven. They are fantastic baking ovens at an affordable price.
  5. Give yourself some credit. If your current oven has a heating element you can see in the bottom (appliance people call these coat hangers) and if you don’t have convection, you have no idea if you are a good baker. Try using convection, and see how great you can be!
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6 Steps to Better Dishwasher Performance

Is your dishwasher ready to take on all those dirty holiday meal dishes? If not, here are some tips to get better dishwasher performance during its hardest working season!

You can't complain about better dishwasher performance! Love these tips! | Duerden's Appliance

You may find that your dishwasher isn’t working like you expected even if it is fairly new. You may even wonder why they don’t make them like they used to. The truth is that dishwashers and dishwashing detergent have changed completely and we need to adjust to how we use them. It used to be that dishwashers used 35 gallons of water and phosphate-based detergents. In 2010 phosphates were eliminated from detergents, leaving a lot of users disappointed and manufacturers in a panic. At the same time, the Department of Energy has become more stringent on the amount of water and energy a dishwasher can consume before it can be released for production.

You can't complain about better dishwasher performance! Love these tips! | Duerden's Appliance

 

The good news is that dishwashers, if used properly, can actually do a better job than they used to. Here is our advice on how to get the best performance from your machine:

1. Use the right detergent.

Manufacturers have tried every detergent available and rated Finish Quantum soft tablets the best. We have also tried these in the dishwashers in our showroom and agree that they are the top performing product.

2. Make sure your rinse aid reservoir is full.

Rinse aid is very important because it causes the water to sheet over the dishes instead of beading up and causing spots. It also helps them dry better. Any brand of rinse aid is fine.

3. Don’t rinse your dishes before loading them.

Just scrape off the bigger chunks of food and throw them in. The white powder in your Finish tablet is an enzyme that will biologically react with the food on your plates. If there is no food, the powder will become a chalky film on the dishes.

4. Run the hot water in your sink before you start the dishwasher.

Most dishwashers have the ability to heat the water, but they may take the whole cycle to do it. Better dishwashers such as Asko, Bosch, G.E. and Kitchen Aid have a guaranteed water temperature and won’t start counting down the cycle until that temperature is reached.

5. Run the dishwasher whenever you want.

We know your mom taught you not to run it until it was completely full. Back then she was right because her dishwasher used 35 gallons of water and was louder than a freight train! With our new dishwashers that use 2-3 gallons of water, even a half full dishwasher is more energy and water responsible than washing dishes by hand. Also, dishwashers are so quiet now that they can be run while you’re watching TV in the same room.

6. Clean your dishwasher with vinegar.

If you live in an area with hard water you will get a build-up of white film inside the dishwasher. When you see this, pour two cups of white vinegar into an empty dishwasher and run a full cycle. It will look brand new on the inside!Good luck and happy dishwashing!

You can't complain about better dishwasher performance! Love these tips! | Duerden's Appliance

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Top 10 Mattress Shopping Tips

 

You can't grow wrong with these mattress shopping tips! | Duerden's Appliance

If you are in the market for a new mattress, chances are you feel overwhelmed by the sea of white rectangles in the showroom and confused by the choices available to you. Not to mention the fact that shopping for a mattress isn’t exactly on your list of fun things to do on a Saturday! I have been there. I feel your pain. But, here are a few tips that can make your shopping trip more fun. OK, I mean more tolerable!

10 Mattress Shopping Tips

1. TAKE YOUR TIME: A good mattress is an investment in your health and productivity so give shopping for it the time and energy it deserves. You should be ready to test your choices by lying on the beds long enough to really get a feel for them. Sitting on the edge or pushing them with your hands isn’t going to cut it! Having bed head in the showroom is the sign of a good mattress shopper.

2. COMMUNICATE: Tell your salesperson if the mattress you are shopping for will go into a master bedroom, a kids room or a guest room. If you are having sleep problems like  pain, tossing and turning, feeling too hot, or noticing your partner’s motion too much-let your salesperson know so he can steer you in the right direction. Are you a side sleeper? Stomach? Back? Make sure he knows about this too. He is your new best friend and nothing is too personal! That is a lie. Some things are too personal.

3. BUDGET: Know what your budget is and then buy the best mattress that you can afford. This may come as a shock to you, but some commissioned salespeople will try to sell you a mattress that is out of your price range! That said, it doesn’t hurt to understand how the higher end mattresses feel and what makes them better. Then you can step down and save some money.

4. COMFORT:  When it comes to comfort, one size doesn’t fit all.  Mattress retailers define comfort as the even distribution of your body weight. When this happens you don’t have pressure points cutting off circulation to your muscles and therefore no need to toss and turn! You will have a beautiful “Aaahhhh” moment when you discover your comfort match. This epiphany should have you floating on cloud nine for the rest of the shopping trip.

5. SUPPORT: Support basically means that the materials within the mattress are keeping your spine aligned and holding you up without sagging. When you have a crater the size of the grand canyon in your bed,  your back has lost it’s support! The core of a mattress can be generally categorized as innerspring, memory foam, or a hybrid of the two. Each type has it’s pros and cons so try them all unless you’re sure of your pick.

You can't grow wrong with these mattress shopping tips! | Duerden's Appliance

6. AUTHORIZED RETAILER: This probably seems obvious, but you shouldn’t buy your mattress from a fly-by-night pop-up shop! The big mattress manufacturers like Serta, Sealy and Tempur-Pedic all have authorized dealers that represent their brands. This means the dealer has all the support of that company behind them and you know you’ll be taken care of. Check the manufacturers’ websites for dealers in your area.

7. ADJUSTABLE FOUNDATIONS: I know this conjures up images of hospital beds and nursing homes, but wait! These bases look beautiful and you can customize the positions to exactly what you need. They are not just for reading and watching T.V. The zero gravity position takes pressure off your joints and feels amazing. If your partner is snoring, (not you of course) raising the head a bit can help.  Give it a try when you’re in the showroom!

8. DON’T FORGET THE PILLOW: Worn out pillows can ruin the pure joy of a new mattress. Especially if you’ve had them since you were 5. Don’t let this happen to you! If you are truly ready to invest in better sleep, then you should consider upgrading your pillows and bedding when you purchase your new mattress. There are a variety of new and advanced pillows available today, including memory foam pillows with different models designed for every sleep position.

9. MATTRESS PROTECTOR: This is not the same as a mattress pad, which just covers the mattress and is not waterproof. As unpleasant (or disgusting) as it might sound, we all lose some moisture and skin during the night. You need a waterproof breathable protector to keep this out of your pristine mattress! Also most mattress warranties are voided if there are any stains on the mattress, including those from water.

10. COMFORT EXCHANGE POLICY: Many stores will let you exchange your mattress after 30 days if you don’t like it. Hopefully, if you’ve done everything else right, you won’t need to take advantage of this! It’s just nice to know you have it.

Good luck finding the perfect mattress and getting the sleep you deserve!

You can't grow wrong with these mattress shopping tips! | Duerden's Appliance

You can't grow wrong with these mattress shopping tips! | Duerden's Appliance

You can't grow wrong with these mattress shopping tips! | Duerden's Appliance

You can't grow wrong with these mattress shopping tips! | Duerden's Appliance

You can't grow wrong with these mattress shopping tips! | Duerden's Appliance

You can't grow wrong with these mattress shopping tips! | Duerden's Appliance

You can't grow wrong with these mattress shopping tips! | Duerden's Appliance

You can't grow wrong with these mattress shopping tips! | Duerden's Appliance

You can't grow wrong with these mattress shopping tips! | Duerden's Appliance

 

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