Bosch Built in Coffee Machine, courtesy of Trail Appliances
“The wonderful world of home appliances now makes it possible to cook indoors with charcoal and outdoors with gas”
- Bill Vaughan, American Publicist, often published in Better Homes and Gardens (1915-1977)
Several weeks ago, I had the privilege of meeting Steve Parkin, one of the city’s most knowledgeable on the topic of home appliances. Steve has worked for more than 20 years for Trail appliances, and was more than welcoming to have me come to his SE store location and show me around.
Steve and I met at an open house, and it was there that he was explaining the kitchen to me that I got the idea to include him in one of my blogs. Not only do buyers pay more attention to appliances on offer in a new home, but when renovations are happening to an older or outdated home, appliances play a major portion of the renovation budget.
Trail Appliances is one of Calgary’s leading appliances retail stores, as it has been educating Calgarians about all things appliance related and selling to them, not to mention helping learn how to use their new appliances through cooking classes, etc., for the past 40 years. In fact, Trail was originally a bottle depot that got the start in the appliance market through first renting out stoves and fridges. The rest is history.
Steve described these as the up and coming in household appliances, and the focus on higher end new builds, and being added to new kitchens in upgrades to older homes in and around the city. As the name suggests, they are basically beautiful appliances that are built in and offer a convenience. For example, the built-in coffee/tea/hot water dispenser is very popular. In the past, that may have been three separate appliances on the counter, now it could be one built into a wall space or into the island.
Another popular lifestyle appliance that would fit in here, and around the kitchen would be the Steam Oven, which can cook a full meal in less than 10 mins. No, not a microwave oven, but it cooks with steam, making the meal very nutritious and fast. Basically, a built in pressurized steamer at your finger tips.
My favorite is the wine cooler, which you can get built in or as a separate appliance and can virtually be placed in any room. In fact, I saw one in a large ensuite bathroom in Mahogany a few weeks ago - amazing! Such unique features can include a temperature divided space for whites and reds, not to mention more of a wine rack so that the wine bottle is horizontal. Beer can be yet another compartment and adjusted accordingly.
To the uninitiated, the cook top of an induction stove looks very much like a ‘normal’ ceramic cook top. However, once you turn it on, you will very soon realize that something is different: the burner area will not be hot to touch. Voila, one of the key features of the induction top is that it is safe as it ONLY heats when special cookware is used. Other features and why so many home buyers are having it installed from the get go or are upgrading is that 1. Food cooks 3x faster than regular ceramic top; 2. Cools down instantly; and 3. Cleaning is a breeze. How does this work? Basically, energy is created between the magnet inside the induction cooking pot and the element, which causes water to boil or food to cook. Once the magnet is removed (i.e. pot removed from element or element turned off), then it immediately returns to no energy state, thus cooling quickly and is cool to touch. You can check with a Trail appliance near you to ask for an on-site demonstration, and inquire about cooking classes.
Water Softener Unit
According to Steve, water softeners are essential in Calgary homes since our water is so hard and build up is harsh on appliances, not to mention our bodies. More specifically, the hard water is tough on washing machines, kettles, dishwashers and hot water tanks. Soap has a hard time breaking down with hard water, and so can also leave a fog on glasses from the dishwasher or leave residue on shower doors and walls, etc. A water softener contains a resin that is used to remove calcium magnesium from the water, which is what causes the residue and scum with hard water. The second process of a water softener is the use of salt, which is used to clean the resin, not the water. These types of machines can be rented or purchased for the home. It is important to check with your realtor if the unit comes with the home or not when buying a resale home fitted with a water softener.
If you have more questions about any appliance that you have read about here, or need more information or would like to purchase, feel free to contact Steve Parkin at the Deerfoot Trail Appliances location, and I am sure he would be happy the help you: Sparkin@trail-appliances.com or call 403 212 8546.
Thank you for reading and feel free to pass on this information to someone you know who might benefit.
Sub-Zero Kitchen, courtesy of Trail Appliances