Arcelik Refrigerators: A Brief History of the Company

If you haven’t heard of Arcelik refrigerators, don’t feel too bad.  This isn’t a brand name you hear too often when it comes to American or Far East Asian markets, but the Arcelik Company is a Turkish based company that specializes in home appliances and sells heavily in the Middle Eastern and Asian markets, even expanding recently into Russia.  Founded in 1955 in Istanbul, Turkey; this company has a long history of producing durable goods and various consumer appliances to their markets.

The modern standing of Arcelik refrigerators is impressive, as the parent company is considered by sales volume to be the third largest provider of home appliances in Europe, behind only Electrolux and Indesit.  There are two main brands from this company, with Arcelik being one and Beko being the other.  While Arcelik might get a lot of attention, it’s also important to know that they’re not the company all the way at the top.  Arcelik is owned by Koc Holding, Turkey’s largest industrial service group.

A brief history of Arcelik
The first appliance Arcelik produced was actually a washing machine, made in 1959.  The first model of refrigerator came the very next year in 1960.  The company continued to expand, bringing out new models and continuing to produce inexpensive but reliable home appliances for every part of the home.  1999 was a major reorganization year, and the merger of Beko and Arcelik happened in the wake of some major changes.  Plants were opened in other countries like Romania, Russia, and China to increase its reach into other markets.

In modern times, when it comes specifically to the refrigerators produced the two largest Arcelik refrigerator plants are currently located in Eskişehir, Turkey and Kirzhach, Russia, respectively, although the plant in Russia also produces washing machines.

What’s the future?
While no one can ever predict the future for sure, Arcelik is not only one of the largest manufacturers of refrigerators and home appliances in Europe, but their creation of plants in China and Russia show every intention of continuing to expand and refusing to just stand pat.  In addition, the gaudy sales numbers make it very unlikely that the company is going to crash any time soon.  People will continue to need reliable and affordable household appliances, and this company isn’t going to cut them out of production any time soon.

There’s every reason to believe that as long as this company keeps doing what they have been that Arcelik refrigerators will be around for a long time to come.

 

Originally posted. June 21, 2011

Refrigerator Pickles – A Quick and Easy Idea

Refrigerator pickles are pickles that are made by immersing them in seasoning and straightaway refrigerating them. Unlike sour pickles – which are fermented – they are relatively easy to make for do it yourselfers.

The first thing to consider if you are going to prepare a refrigerator pickle batch is the seasonings you will use.  The flavor of your pickles will in large part depend on the seasoning, so it is an important factor in the recipe.

Fridge pickles do not have the properties of canned pickles that make them last forever.  They must be kept in your refrigerator rather than sitting out at room temperature.  While you lose the preservative effect with pickles prepared this way, you do gain an extra crispness to your pickles that many people favor.

While traditionally fridge pickles have been a great way to use leftover cucumbers, many modern chefs used them for all sort of vegetables.  Carrot pickles, onion pickles, beet pickles – almost anything is possible!

You do not need to prepare refrigerator pickles in bulk.  Even if you only have a couple of spare cucumbers, you can easily slice them up, place them in a jar with seasoning, and sit them in the fridge. If it helps think of yourself as brining or marinating the cucumber, rather than pickling; that sounds less intimidating and is probably a more accurate description of the process.

 

 

Originally posted. October 11, 2011

Choosing the Best: Electrolux Refrigerator Reviews and Tips

If you’re interested in purchasing a new Electrolux fridge, you may be wondering what model, price range, and features are right for you. Luckily, a cornucopia of Electrolux refrigerator reviews and tips are out there to make your buying experience the best, and easiest, purchase of the year.

Buying the Best Fridge

Purchasing a large appliance such as a fridge or dishwasher is often a hefty investment for a household. Luckily, the best advice for buying a quality appliance is contains only three easy steps. Following these, you should be able to set yourself up for a great appliance buying experience.

  • Look up costumer reviews: The first step to finding the right fridge for you is to search through varied consumer reports to see which models of appliance raise to the top. Often, the best machines will get good reviews all around. If a generally well rated fridge gets one or two bad reviews, don’t rule out the fridge. There are always people who are unhappy with even the best model.
  • Go to an appliance dealer: Buying online is great, but finding a reputable dealer who can also handle repairs is best. For expensive appliances, take the time to forge a relationship with the people who will be fixing your machine.
  • Check out the warranty: An extended warranty on parts and service is always a good thing to check out. But before purchasing a warranty, make sure to go over just what exactly the warranty covers.

General Reviews

The general reviews of Electrolux refrigerators are mediocre at best. The largest problem that people have with these refrigerators is that the ice machine and supply components do not work properly. As a more expensive fridge model, people also do not like the build of this fridge. While most of these appliances are constructed correctly and securely, there is a review or two where the customer is unhappy with misaligning doors and loose fixtures.  There also is some problem with maintaining internal fridge temperature.

Specific Problems

The main problem that customers have with their Electrolux fridges is failure of the ice machine. From strange dripping to weird noises, it seems as if these models of refrigerators are all lacking in the ice department. If you do choose to purchase one of these models of fridges, be aware that a great number of them malfunction within a short time after purchase and installation. What solutions are out there? An Electrolux technician can replace the computer component of the ice maker. You, as a homeowner, can also purchase an ice machine service kit that the company supplies to solve some of the problem parts.

Your Electrolux Fridge

When looking at Electrolux refrigerators, make sure to take customer experience reviews and the potential problems into consideration before making a large investment. Electrolux refrigerator reviews are the best way to get a good look at what sort of machine you’re considering. Always make sure to purchase your fridge from a reputable dealer and don’t forget to take a look at possible warranties.

Originally posted. June 8, 2011

Integrated Fridges

For many homeowners, the ideal refrigerator in recent years has been a side-by-side, perhaps a stylish stainless steel fridge freezer. However, of late the new trend in kitchen renovations has been the move towards the ‘integrated kitchen’. The basic concept behind this is rather than having appliances matching each other; integrated appliances are instead used to match with the kitchen cabinetry. The popularity of this trend has led to the rise of integrated fridges.

A standard American refrigerator – no matter in white, black or stainless – is very hard to miss. When you walk into a kitchen the fridge stands out like a sore thumb. Integrated refrigerators, on the other hand, are custom designed to disappear in the kitchen.

A fully integrated fridge is usually custom designed for a particular kitchen, unlike traditional fridge freezers. The usual technique is to form a panel to be affixed to the appliance door. This panel will be made of the same type and tint of wood used by the kitchen cabinets. If properly designed, at first glance the door of the integrated refrigerator will look just like another cabinet.

To fully achieve this look requires more than just a door. The fridge must be designed to fit into the wall so it does not stick out further than the cabinetry. This may require modification to the wall to create a niche for the appliance to be placed. Also, if the kitchens cabinetry is somewhat ornate, it may be necessary to add trim to the door panel to fully duplicate the look of the rest of the kitchen.

As with traditional American fridges, an integrated refrigerator can be had in a wide range of styles. They can be a basic fridge or freezer, a fridge over freezer combo unit, or the classic favorite – a side by side unit.  Also popular, often as second fridges, is the use of an integrated under counter fridge to provide supplemental refrigerated storage for well equipped kitchens.

Since these custom built fridges are designed to be able to split tightly between cabinets, they do not require the traditional buffer space of air around them that other fridges do. This feature – plus their high stealth factor – makes integrated fridge freezers ideal for rooms other than the kitchen. The idea of an integrated bar fridge that blends subtly into the background appeals to many.

All good things come at a price, and the integrated fridge freezer is not exempt. You will pay a significant premium in having one of these units customized for your kitchen. There may also be additional cost in preparing an area in your kitchen for the installation. However, if you are renovating already, then some of that money is going to be a wash.

Another possible negative factor to consider is that integrated fridges are usually significantly smaller than traditional models. This is due to the requirement for the refrigerator to blend with the cabinets, and not stick out into the kitchen.

If you have the funds, and can live without the extra fridge space, then creating an integrated kitchen may be for you. If so, then you will definitely find yourself needing to purchase one of these integrated fridges.

Originally posted. May 30, 2010

12v Fridge

If you are in the market for a 12v fridge for your car or off-road vehicle, there are several points to consider before taking the plunge.  I will briefly discuss here some of the more pertinent factors relevant to the purchase of a 12V refrigerator in the hope of making you a more informed buyer.

Compression Or Absorption Technology

The cooling system in nearly all refrigerators utilizes one of two basic technologies: Compression refrigeration or Absorption refrigeration.  Each of these systems has its respective advantages and disadvantages for use in a 12 volt cooler.


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The major advantage of an absorption refrigerator is that these devices can potentially be powered using gas.  If you are considering a 3 way fridge like those used in a caravan for its flexibility (they can be run off 12v DC, mains or LPG) then they will be an Absorption type fridge, as Compression refrigerators cannot run from gas.

One cheap 12v refrigerator good for those on a budget is the Koolatron KWC-4 Coca-Cola Personal 6-Can Mini Fridge. This highly decorative fridge can conveniently cool half a dozen cans of soda to about 40 degrees Fahrenheit below the ambient air temperature.

However, if you plan to run your 12v fridge freezer off  DC all the time, rather than using LPG propane, you should definitely lean towards purchasing a compression refrigerator.  This type of unit has several advantages absorption units’ lack.

Firstly, while both technologies can be setup to utilize 12v DC, a compression model will use a lot less power than a comparable absorption.  This will make a huge difference when you are parked and have the 12 volt fridge freezer powered from your vehicle.  An absorption fridge will draw down the car battery quite rapidly, with a well-chosen low amperage compression fridge it may be possible to leave the unit plugged in several hours with minimal impact to your battery charge state.

In fact, a compression 12v fridge can be so energy efficient is it possible to rig yourself up a setup using solar panels to keep it running indefinitely.  Given the price of solar power, the fact that this is considered an option speaks volumes to the efficiency of these 12v refrigerators.  Particularly noteworthy for their cooling efficiency are the 12v Danfoss compressor fridges.

A second drawback to absorption units is the issue of leveling your portable fridge.  They really need to be maintained very close to level in order to work correctly.  If you take your vehicle off-road you may well be deliberately seeking out ‘non-level’ terrain.  12v DC Compressor refrigeration shine under these conditions.

Fridge Or Fridge Freezer

If you want a 12v freezer, you should probably again opt for a compressor unit.  Absorption 12 volt fridges can usually cool only a certain number of degrees below the ambient temperature and thus makes for a poor 12 volt freezer.  With a properly equipped compressor fridge freezer temperatures are possible.

Choosing A Brand

There are several manufactures of 12v fridges suitable for use in vehicles. Norcold, Waeco and Engel are all well regarded model lines,  Engel and Waeco refrigeators in particular have a very good reputation for ruggedness and durability. Engels Engel AC/DC Fridge Freezer – Engel MT45F-U1 is a very well regarded 12v fridge freezer that gets rave reviews. The firm Novakool has a line of 12v marine refrigerators intended for use on a boat.

When shopping around you will notice these 12v compressor fridge models are generally significantly more expensive than a similar 12v absorption model; and you may be tempted to purchase a cheaper 12 volt refrigerator freezer absorption model.

However, when buying a 12 volt cooler a budget model may be more trouble than it is worth.

If you are looking for a true 12v fridge intending to use it solely with a 12 Volt power supply, it is almost certainly worth the extra expense for the compressor type of 12 volt refrigerators.

Originally posted. June 13, 2010

Viking Appliances

Many people just think of Viking Range Corporation as a cooking and ventilation manufacturer. The fact is Viking appliances encompass a wider range than one might think. Their brand is stamped on a wide variety of products including Viking refrigerators, wine cellars, dishwashers, garbage disposals, countertop appliances, cookware and cutlery. They also have extensive lines of outdoor and commercial kitchen equipment. It’s a lot to cover so we’ll just discuss interior residential appliance options here.

Residential Cooking & Refrigeration
By far the largest and most prevalent category of Viking products, Viking cooking appliances include freestanding ranges, range tops, cook tops, ovens, microwaves and warming drawers. All of these are available either as the professional series or the design series. The ranges are available as electric or gas with the fuel option of either natural gas or propane. All cooking appliances can be customized with desired features or accessories. The exclusive finishes available for some models (like the Professional Series 30” Gas Oven – VGSO) are so fun, ranging from stainless to iridescent blue to lemonade to racing red or a standard black and twenty three other colors in between. On the inside, all Viking ovens feature easy to clean racks, large capacity, ProFlow convection baffle and Courmet-Glo infrared broiler. The ranges have porcelainized cooking surfaces, and advanced burner technology includes TruPower Plus, SureSpark, VHS Pro Seals, and VariSimmer. Ventilation at Viking is extensive, and you can be sure top of the line. Choose from wall hoods, chimney wall hoods, island hoods, rear downdrafts and custom ventilator systems. The options here can almost be overwhelming, but really it just goes to show what expertise Viking has on the subject of cooking and ventilation, and ensures there is the perfect product out there for everyone.

Refrigeration & Wine Storage
The Viking family of refrigeration includes built-ins, freestanding units, beverage centers, refrigerated drawers, ice machines, and both full height and undercounted wine cellars. Like the Viking cooking appliances, the refrigeration units are available either as professional series or designer series. Viking boasts over twenty built in models alone, all available with the same exclusive finishes as the ovens and customizable with any specific features or accessories. ProChill Temperature Management, Plasmacluster Ion Air Purifier, Adjustable Cold Zone and Humidity Zone Drawers, all stack up for the ultimate in refrigeration technology.

Dishwashers & Disposers
Coined “Kitchen Cleanup” on the Viking website, the disposals and dishwashers available from Viking are perhaps the most straightforward line of products. A total of seven dishwasher models, and two disposals, they all encapsulate the Viking aesthetic and technologically driven mechanical design. The dishwashers are available again in either professional or designer series, multi level power wash, Sure-Temp water heating, Quiet Clean performance, Sturdi-Built Racks, and a meticulous five-stage filtration and disposal system ensures spot free dishes with no redepositing of food particles.

Countertop Appliances
The countertop appliances manufactured by Viking include coffee makers, stand mixers, toasters, hand blenders and mixers. There are different color options and features available. Accessories or replacement parts like carafes, pouring shields, dough hooks, and whip attachments are all readily available online. If Viking brand is appointed everywhere else in the kitchen, why not go all the way and keep the aesthetic and high quality consistent with counter top Viking appliances too?

 

Originally posted. May 24, 2011

Freezer Baskets

Anyone who owns a deep chest freezer will testify to the requirement for freezer baskets to effectively organize the contents. Without some careful forethought you are likely to find your freezer jammed full of a random jumble of items without rhyme or reason. To avoid this situation any owner of a large freezer should consider purchasing and using chest freezer baskets.  Unlike upright freezers, deep freezers do not come with built in freezer bins.

In a large freezer items may be stored for many months before being used. Often you will find yourself looking in the freezer at a mysterious container or bag that is covered in frost, and having no idea what is inside or how old it is. This is bad for multiple reasons.


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First of all, let us say you are looking for some frozen pork. You will have to rummage through the freezer looking for a bag that looks like it is pork. If you own a chest freezer this can be very rough on your back. Once you finally find what appears to be the right bag you will pull it out, and after it has been defrosted hope your visual inspection was correct and you did end up with what you were looking for. Was it the wrong bag? Oh well…you are stuck eating chicken tonight!

A second concern with unorganized freezers is that it can be very difficult to know how long a frozen item has been in there. With a big deep freezer it is easy to end up with unidentified items that have no indicate of age. Due to this you will likely find yourself throwing away perfectly good food simply because you don’t know how old it is.

By investing in some freezer baskets you can turn the chaos in your freezer into a well-organized, easily accessed frozen paradise. Both sturdy plastic and wire baskets are readily available; your best choice for a material for a chest freezer basket is up to you. If your deep chest freezer is particularly large, you have the opportunity to utilize stackable freezer baskets.  Stackable freezer bins are particularly popular, in some deep freezers these can be stacked 3 or 4 layers deep allowing for a very sophisticated organizational system. When you have several baskets available in your deep chest freezer you gain the ability to organize your food by both type and age. You might have a basket labeled for 2009 Pork, 2009 Chicken, 2010 Pork and 2010 Chicken. This allows you to solve both the issue of unidentifiable type of food, and unidentifiable age of food.

Also, by having everything neatly organized this way, you can find things fast. No more digging through the depths of the freezer item by item. You can also organize so the baskets for the newer food are placed at the bottom. By doing this you can ensure you are rotating your food out regularly. I.e. you will finish off the 2009 pork before starting on the 2010 pork. This will greatly reduce food wastage, thus saving you money.

As has been demonstrated, the benefits of freezer baskets are many. And any money you invest in purchasing them should be recouped fairly rapidly via the reductions in spoiled food. If you have a deep chest freezer you owe it to yourself to purchase a set of stackable freezer baskets.

Originally posted. May 28, 2010

Sub-Zero BI-36R All Refrigerator Review

Perhaps your freezer is in the garage, or maybe you just need more room than a side-by-side can offer; either way, the Sub-Zero BI-36R All Refrigerator is an alluring model worth taking a closer look. In this review we will do just that by looking at the BI-36R’s features, pricing, and warranty info.

Sub-Zero BI-36R All Refrigerator Features

  • The Sub-Zero BI-36R All Refrigerator is loaded with all the good stuff you need.
  • This refrigerator will literally use less electricity than your 100-watt living room lightbulb.
  • It’s annual energy usage is estimated at 404 kWh, which works out to about $43 per year.
  • It is UL approved in both the US and Canada.
  • The flip-up grill enables you to completely build in and service this refrigerator from the front.
  • Fully certified as Sabbath and holiday compliant by Star-K Kosher.
  • Plenty of design options, including overlay, framed, flush inset, and classic stainless steel.
  • Air purifying system.
  • Bright and even interior lighting.
  • The glass shelves are easily adjustable and spill-proof.
  • The crisper and deli drawers are their own low-temperature zone.
  • Kosher certified and Energy Star qualified.

BI indicates “Built In”, so if you were looking for an Integrated model, check out the BI-36R’s cousin, the 736-TR All Refrigerator. The “R” stands for Refrigerator, as in All Refrigerator. If you need a fridge/freezer combo, then look into the BI-36S for a Side-by-Side model, or the BI-36U for an Over-Under model.

If the Sub-Zero BI-36R is exactly what you’re looking for, but you like the idea of checking to see how much milk you have left from the other side of the kitchen island, then check out the BI-36RG for a triple-pane, UV-resistant Glass Door.

Pricing for the BI-36R
Pricing is precious info for Sub-Zero, but if you look around you can find a price tag on the BI-36R at about $5,000 or more. Your best bet is to type in your zip code on Sub-Zero’s store locator and give your local dealer a call. Once you know who is carrying Sub-Zero, you can walk in a see the unit for yourself. Get a feel for it. See it in action. Overall, this sales method can be in your favor, which is nice for this kind of personal investment.

Sub-Zero Warranty Information
Sub-Zero offers three different warranty coverages for the BI-36R. They are the Limited Twelve Year Sealed System Warranty, the Full Five Year Sealed System Warranty, and the Full One Year Warranty. Warranties start in the date of original installation

The Sealed System Warranties only cover defective components (due to materials or workmanship) in the sealed system, which is described as the compressor, condenser, evaporator, drier, and all of the connecting tubing.

The One Year Warranty, however, will cover all parts and labor needed to repair or replace any defective components. You will want to read the entirety of the warranty information on their site in order to understand all the exclusions and conditions.

The Sub-Zero BI-36R All Refrigerator is an elegant powerhouse of energy efficient freshness. For most interested buyers, the BI-36R is not a toy, it’s an investment. But a worthy one. If you’re looking quality, beautiful design, and efficiency, then look no further than the Sub-Zero BI-36R.

Originally posted. May 9, 2011

Stackable Freezer Baskets

Stackable Freezer Baskets are a great asset for anyone with a large chest freezer or upright freezer that is in need or organization; the benefits of a set of freezer baskets in keeping a freezer in order are difficult to overstate.  This is especially true if you have a deep chest freezer, which do not come with the built-in freezer bins that help in the organization of upright models.

But for those looking for a good set of stackable freezer baskets for their home, it can be difficult to find a source. This article aims to help you with that issue.

One popular model is the Grayline Housewares 604 Deep Storage Basket. These wire baskets works great in deep chest freezers when bought as a set and when ordered via Amazon are available at a small discount when purchased in large quantities. These white storage baskets are made of sturdy wire with a white vinyl coating for your protection, and incorporate carry-all handles for easy portability.

A good wire basket choice for upright freezers is the 2 Pack Stacking Baskets (White). These sturdy stacking freezer baskets come in pairs specifically designed to rest on top of each other, and do a great job of converting upright freezer shelving into smaller more useful compartments.

Durability should not be an issue with these wire storage baskets, as they are made of vinyl coated steel which should last you for years to come.


Another popular product for freezer organization is the white Storage Basket – Set of 2 (White) (14.75″ L x 8.5″ W x 5.5″ H). This particular high quality product is made of epoxy-coated wire for exceptional durability and long-life.

These extremely versatile white wire freezer baskets are a great solution for both chest freezer storage and for upright freezer storage. They are also useful for a wide range of other non-cooling applications.


While not specifically intended as a freezer storage solutions many people swear by the Spectrum 47870 Small Storage Basket, Chrome as exceptional freezer baskets. These high end baskets have a strong wire grid design with chrome finish, and incorporate an ID label holder – ideal for labeling the contents of your wire freezer basket.

Originally posted. November 25, 2010

Energy Star Refrigerators

The refrigerator is undoubtedly one of the most important appliances in any home. However, it is also one of the worst household appliances when it comes to energy consumption. Picking an Energy Star refrigerator will ensure that the model you’ve selected will help you cut down on energy consumption because Energy Star refrigerators are designed to use less energy than other refrigerators.

The Energy Star rating system was first introduced for refrigerators in the United States back in June 1996, and the required standards are periodically revised upwards as technologies for increasing energy efficiency go mainstream.

Note that the Energy Star system is not used in all countries.  The European Union  uses an energy efficiency grading system of A++ (the very best) to G (for real energy hogs) for fridge efficiency ranking. In the United Kingdom products are labelled with the Energy Savings Trust ‘Energy Saving’ logo if they are highly efficient.  While slightly different in execution, these standards are similar in concept to the U.S Energy Star ranking system.

All Energy Star refrigerators are energy efficient and require less electric power than other models. They are designed with features that allow them to retain cold temperatures better, thus requiring less work from the compressor. One of the main features of an Energy Star fridge freezer is that it has a specialized door that seals the cold inside the refrigerator. Its compressors are specifically designed to stop when the refrigerator has reached the target temperature.

Energy Star RefrigeratorIf you don’t keep a lot of food on hand, you can save even more electricity by buying an Energy Star compact refrigerator. A smaller fridge uses less energy than a large one, and getting an energy efficient fridge is a great investment that will help you save money and reduce power usage while protecting the environment. Reading Energy Star refrigerator reviews will help you get the information you need to decide which refrigerator to purchase.

Keep in mind that certain factors such as size, location of the fridge, and configuration need to be considered when picking an energy efficient refrigerator. Many people try to purchase the biggest refrigerator they can afford. However, the size does have an effect on energy usage. The bigger the refrigerator, the more energy it needs to maintain the desired temperature. Fridge configurations such as auto defrost use more energy than the manual types. The location of the fridge is also important in ensuring that it will not consume a lot of power. Heat sources such as your stove or oven will affect the performance of the fridge if you keep them close to each other.

There are many models available on the market today that are Energy Star compliant. Choosing one among this wide selection of energy efficient refrigerators can be a daunting task if you don’t know what to look for. The most important thing is to look for a fridge that has a yellow star logo. The Energy Star label ensures you that this refrigerator, such as the GE Energy Star refrigerator, will help you save twenty to thirty percent in power consumption. You will notice that most GE monogram refrigerators have this certification.

It is clear that an Energy Star refrigerator offers plenty of benefits and perks to consumers. Being able to save money and protect the environment through the effective use of energy is very important. It also allows you to narrow down the list of refrigerators that you should buy. It makes perfect sense to buy an Energy Star refrigerator to help conserve energy in your home.

Originally posted. March 22, 2011