Propane Safety Tips

Summer brings warm weather. Warm weather brings Grilling. Grilling for many brings propane refilling, usage and care.

We at H&H want to make sure you are using your propane tank safely this and every summer. That’s why we put together a basic guide to using your tank this summer.

Guideline #1: NEVER, ever, store tanks indoors.
Propane tanks are meant to be stored outdoors in a contained area, such as under your grill in a cabinet specified for such. Keeping a propane tank indoors poses a major safety hazard. Any leakage is more likely to cause a fire indoors as opposed to outdoors. This is because there are more materials inside your house that could catch fire from propane versus outside. When we sell tanks to customers, this is the first point of information we advise. The photo below shows a safe place to store a propane tank.
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Guideline #2: Propane tanks should be stored securely and upright. 
Securely - Storing securely means that the tank should not be rolling around the trunk of your car while you are driving. If outside, tanks should be near a grill on a patio or ideally in a place designed for grills, like under the grill.
Upright – Upright is the only direction tank should sit. Sitting a tank on its side can cause leakage and propane vapor release which causes a potential explosion.

Guideline #3: Keep the valve tightly closed when not in use.
This may seem self-evident but needs to be said. If the valve is not tightly close leaks can occur. When opening the tank, open the valve very slowly. 

Guideline #4: In New Jersey (and Pennsylvania) replace your tank every 12 years at minimum. 
We do not fill a tank that is older than 12 years old by New Jersey state law. The tank’s ability to contain LP can deteriorate, the tank can rust and thus cause a potential leak problem.

Guideline #5: If you a buying a new tank, it needs to have an OPD (Overfill Protection Device). 
The overfill protection device prevents the tank from being overfilled. When a tank is filled and used, the LP expands within the tank. There must be at least 20% empty space within the tank for expansion. Without this, the tank could potentially explode during LP expansion. OPD’s prevent tanks from becoming overfilled at your local propane station.

Guideline #6: If you a buying a new tank, it may have plastic wrap on it. This needs to be removed before use,
H&H’s tanks do not have this plastic covering. However, if you buy a tank from somewhere else, it may have a plastic covering on it when your purchase. Take this covering off before using. Condensation will build up between the tank and the plastic, rusting the tank and causing the need for a new tank.

Guideline #7: Any additional tanks should be stored away from one another.
Do not store tanks near each other. If there is any type of leak or explosion, it will catch on and multiple to the second tank.

Have any additional LP questions? Fill out our contact form below. We would love to hear from you.

 

Product Review: Weber Genesis E-310

Grilling season is upon us and that means many are in the market for a new grill. Whether you have had a grill for over 40 years like this guy, or just had a replacement part that outweighed the cost of buying a new grill, we want to make sure you know the options. 

Why are we reviewing the Genesis E-310? 

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The Weber Genesis E-310 is the most popular grill that we sell. Why? It’s a nice mix between luxury and budgeting. This grill is under $1,000 and has ample cooking space along with features that make it a worthwhile purchase. While being affordable, the features of this grill speak for themselves.

Features

Below are the features of the product with some of our commentary. 

  • Three stainless steel burners – easy to clean, durable
  • Primary cooking area = 507 square inches – big enough for a family BBQ but not too big cooking an entire meal for 2
  • Warming rack area = 130 square inches – a nice addition for the price range – the warming rack is wonderful for heating up foods that do not take too much time to cook (hot dogs, sweet potatoes) while the bottom rack is cooking foods that take a long time to complete (large chicken breasts, for example). 
  • Total cooking area = 637 square inches – more than enough for most consumers
  • Porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates – means they are durable and are not going to break anytime soon
  • Porcelain-enameled Flavorizer® bars – protects the burners from drippings for safety and longevity
  • 38,000 BTU-per-hour input main burners – woohoo! that’s hot!
  • Individual electronic ignition system – Safe and very easy to use even for the novice gas griller (Note: This grill does come in Natural Gas)
  • Porcelain-enameled shroud with a center-mounted thermometer and accent-colored painted cast-aluminum end caps
  • Two stainless steel work surfaces – one of our favorite features about this grill
  • Front-mount control panel
  • Enclosed cart with corresponding painted steel doors, stainless steel handles, and accent-colored painted side and rear panels – This cart is great for storing grill brushes, for prepping for the meal, and much more! 
  • Enclosed tank storage area and precision fuel gauge (LP models only)

Product Rating:

Durability: A – Stainless is more durable than colors, but not much

Longevity: A – We have had customers come in with older models of this grill lasting over 15 years.

Functionality: A

Ease of Use: B+ –  Novice grillers may need to read the product manual a few times to absorb the awesome features. We don’t want the features to lack use!

Look: B+. For other grills in this category it gets an A, but there still are more expensive and better looking products out there

Value for Price: A

Have any questions about this product? Please leave them in the comments or tweet us @hhappliances!

5 Unconventional Foods You Can Grill This Season

Grilling season is upon us, after an arduous and snowy winter. Now that the weather is finally warming up, we want to make sure that you get great use out of your grill. That’s why we are giving you 5 unconventional ways to use your grill for cooking. Happy grilling! We would love to hear your favorite grilling wonders.

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1. Use it to make breakfast. This Stuffed Brioche French Toast Recipe is just what we needed after the cold weather broke. It is easy, and who would’ve though breakfast could taste so good?

2. Drinks? Why not. Grilled lemonade is an excellent recipe to get some solid use out of your grill while giving a traditional drink a summery twist.

3. Grill your side dishes or burger sides, like lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles. Everyone knows that toasting the hamburger bun on the grill is a sure way to keep your guests coming back for more burgers. Have you tried grilling the things that go on the burger? This grilled pickle recipe is a great place to start.

4. Salsa, with grilled tomatoes and avocados. This grilled avocado recipe offers a bit of a taste into the awesomeness that comes from grilling salsa components.

5. Desserts. Grilling fruits has become very popular over the past few years and this has sparked an interested for grilled desserts. Buzzfeed even put together this list of 17 desserts you can make on the grill. The possibilities are endless. Weber has an entire page dedicated to grilled dessert recipes, while Napoleon BBQ has over 65 dessert recipes listed on their site.

 

Grill Season is here!

It’s finally getting warmer and summer is just around the corner. We can almost taste it, we can feel it, and we are ready for it! This time of year is also a great time to buy a grill. Many people need to get that grill before Memorial Day but if you can wait, we will be having a Weber Grilling Demonstration on May 31st between 12-3:30 pm. We’ve love to see you, hope to see you there! In the meantime stay in touch with us on Facebook. Here’s a cute idea for a BBQ fruit boat for any BBQ event.

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Miele’s Creme Brulee: An Es”steamed” Dessert


Cremebrulee1I know what you are thinking. And the answer is yes – we can steam a dessert, and yes, we did steam a dessert and it came out great. But before we get into all of that, let’s quickly talk about cooking with steam.

What is it?
Using a steam oven, we cooked a creme brulee custard. Electrical-appliances.eu gives a great definition of how steam ovens work – “Steam ovens boil water from an inbuilt reservoir to create a cloud of steam within the oven chamber. This moist heating method is the reason why steam cooking offers significant benefits.” The steam in the oven gets very hot and cooks the food within the cavity.

Benefits of Steam
There are many widely known benefits of steam, the majority being related to health. Steaming your food maintains the food’s shape, color, and natural juices. Vitamins and minerals are also retained during steam cooking – moreso than boiling or other types of cooking. Remember boiling broccoli and pouring out the green water when it’s finished cooking? This water contains many essential nutrients that you are missing out on. Also, you do not need oil or any additional ingredient to facilitate steam, only water, which makes the overall process a healthier one.

Why Steam Dessert?
Steaming also preserves the flavor and consistency of food that other cooking methods fall short on. This is why we steamed the custard in our creme brulee.

The Process
Below is Miele’s recipe for the creme brulee in their steam oven. You can also use a traditional oven, or even convection with this recipe – you only need to increase the cooking time in order to effectively adjust the recipe. This recipe can also be found directly from Miele, here.

Cooking Time:            20 Minutes
Preparation Time:     10 Minutes
Food Type: Custard; Gluten-Free Foods
Makes about 12 servings
Miele Products: Ovens, Novotronic & MasterChef ; Steam Oven

Ingredients
1 quart heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
1 large egg
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
Turbinado or raw sugar for topping each custard

Directions
1. In a heavy saucepan, scald the heavy cream until bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan. Remove from heat.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, whole egg, and sugar until well blended. Continue whisking while pouring the hot cream into the mixture.
3. Pour mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large liquid measuring cup to remove any lumps or over-cooked eggs. Stir in vanilla.
4. Divide custard equally among 3- to 4-ounce custard cups or small ramekins. Place in steam trays or on steam oven rack. Carefully slide trays or rack into steam oven. 5. Select CUSTOM or COOK at 212°F. Steam for 25 minutes or until almost set in the center when gently shaken.
6. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 2 days.
7. To serve, sprinkle a small amount of raw sugar on top of each custard and gently turn cups until sugar is dispersed evenly. Broil the custards about 2 inches from the convection oven’s heating element until most of the sugar melts and browns. Watch carefully to avoid burning. Alternatively, working with one custard at a time, hold a small blowtorch so that flame is 2 inches above surface. Direct flame so that sugar melts and browns.

So there it is. A few notes about making creme brulee for the first time -
1. You absolutely need to cool the custard for long enough. Do not try to put it in the freezer to expedite the process, it will not set correctly. The best method for this is to make the custard a day in advance.
2. It is quite difficult to broil the top of the dessert. Some recipes call for small kitchen torch, much like this one. If you are not comfortable with a torch and are broiling, make sure to put the ramekins very close to the broiler. Otherwise you will broil the whole dessert and it will effect the consistency of the custard.
3. This is simple, but time consuming. Breaking it into two days make it much easier!
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Maytag’s brilliant new ad campaign: Maytag Man gets a “MAY”jor “MAY”-ke-over

You may have seen him sitting in the cavity where the dishwasher goes in the latest TV commercials for Maytag; he’s the Maytag Man, and he’s back! Maytag’s old advertising campaign with their Maytag repairman is back and it is in full force this March. In fact, you’ve probably seen him around this month and giggled or took a double-take at the commercials. The Maytag Man is everywhere, gearing up just in time for the famous “May is Maytag Month” sale that Maytag promotes each year during May. 

So who is the Maytag Man? The new Maytag Man is actor Colin Ferguson, seen in TV series like Capers (2014), Haven, Happily Divorced, and Eureka. He is a bit different than the traditional Maytag man, who was a little less of a stud, and fulfilled the traditional stereotype of the repairman.

Maytag promotes this campaign as an abstract yet relatable concept – that your appliances have the “man”power to get the job done right. By giving the appliances human-like descriptions and qualities (also known as anthropomorphism) Maytag is showing the consumer that their products have what it takes to give you the best quality that is American-made (or so they claim – but we sell them and do stand behind their products). 

What do you think of the Maytag Man? If you’d like, you can also follow him on Twitter @TheMaytagMan. And as always, you can follow us @hhappliances.

 

The beginning of the Maytag Man campaign years ago: 

5 Awesome Kitchen Backsplashes via Houzz

We have a radio show!

Hi everyone!

We would just like to reach out and say we have a radio show on 920AM The Voice. It’s on Saturday’s at 2pm, but you can always listen to podcasts of the show here. The show is about appliances, charities, and small businesses in the area and is live broadcasted in Burlington, Mercer, and Bucks.

Have any ideas, tweet us or e-mail us at ApplianceRadio@gmail.com. We’d love to hear from you. :)

 

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What is convection cooking? Is it right for me?

H&H Appliance Center really thrives on convection cooking technology. What do we mean by that? Well, we sell a lot of our products to people who either 1. do not use convection or 2. have not heard of convection cooking or do not know how to use convection technology on their products. Today, we would like to share some of our knowledge about convection cooking versus typical cooking/baking.

Let’s first talk about traditional baking.

Traditional baking in an electric oven

Baking in an electric oven versus a gas oven is different, because the appliances are designed differently, around their heat source. According to Nicole Harms, an Ehow contributor, in an electric oven, large coiled wires are located inside the appliance that heat up in order to cook the food. “There are two sets of these coils, one on the top and one on the bottom. These heating element heat up when electricity is sent to them. The bottom coil of wires is the one that cooks the food when you bake. The dial on the oven controls an internal thermostat. When you turn it to set the temperature, a copper wire that leads to the cooking area is alerted to the temperature that you want. This wire serves as the temperature gauge, and it sends signals to the thermostat to turn on and off based on the temperature inside the oven. The top heating coil is the broiler. This coil will heat to high temperatures very quickly. It does not have a temperature control like the coil on the bottom. It will heat to its highest possible temperature and stay there until you turn it off.” (ehow.com) 

Traditional baking using a gas oven

Isaiah David from eHow gives a great definition of how gas ovens run. Unlike electric ovens, traditional gas ovens A have several burners inside of the appliance which are controlled by a thermostat. “When you turn on your gas oven, an electric lighter ignites the burners. The burners continue to warm the air in the oven until it is above the temperature you selected on the thermostat. The oven then turns off until the temperature drops below the temperature you selected. At that point, it turns on again. Modern gas ovens are well-insulated, so they can stay at the selected temperature with very little additional heating.” (eHow.com)

Now let’s get to the real stuff – convection cooking

What is convection cooking?

It is important to understand how convection cooking is different than traditional cooking  – yes. But it is equally important to understand what convection cooking is, and if it is the best option for you.

Frigidaire gives a great definition of convection cooking that is simple and easy to understand.

“Convection cooking is cooking with the added advantage of airflow circulation, which allows for a more even distribution of heat.”

By using the forced flow of hot air, convection cooking produces the following benefits:

  • Cooking time is approximately 25-30% faster than conventional ovens, saving energy.
  • The more even distribution of heat results in food that is more evenly baked.
  • Generally, less heat is required than with a conventional oven—a convection oven usually cooks at 25°F below a conventional oven’s required temperature.

Let’s take a step back. Convection cooking is possible because ovens with convection capabilities have fans inside of the oven that turn on when the convection setting is turned on. These fans circulate the heated air around the food, causing cooking time to decrease and a more even distribution of heat to food.

So really, the only difference is that my oven has a fan in it?

…Pretty much. The heat distribution is a little different but overall it is not too much different in terms of the appliance. KitchenDaily has a great article that describes the differences in depth, and Finecooking.com gives a superb definition of why, “A short version of the scientific explanation for this is that moving air speeds up the rate of heat transference that naturally occurs when air of two different temperatures converges. To help understand this, consider wind chill: When cold air blows against you on a blustery winter day, you feel colder more quickly than you do on a windless day of the same temperature.”

Now, there are multiple opinions about convection cooking. Some prefer traditional baking because that is what they are used to, and aren’t sure how to use convection cooking.

Is convection cooking for me?

When customers enter our store and need a new oven, we typically recommend buying an oven with convection cooking capabilities. Here are some pro’s.

1. It’s faster.

The fan within the oven causes the air to circulate quickly. For this reason, the air is not simply mingling around, and is constantly coming in direct contact with the food. This also causes great browning for meats and pastries. When using convection, the time will be cut by around 25%. So, if you were originally baking for 60 minutes, your convection cooking time would be about 45 minutes.

2. It is more energy efficient. 

Because heat is being distributed more evenly, the cooking process takes less time. Less time = less heat being used, which makes convection cooking more energy efficient.

3. It is even.

One big claim that convection makes is, it provides for even cooking. This means that the heat is constantly circulated throughout the unit, whereas in traditional baking the air is lifted up and can stagnate at the top of the oven.

4. Better tasting food – sometimes!

If you are a terrible cook and are looking towards convection cooking as a save-all, forget it. It doesn’t save everything. But, what it does do, is often keeps moisture within foods, especially meats, to preserve flavor and make stuff just taste plain fabulous.

Things to remember:

The most important thing to consider when asking if convection is right for you, is asking yourself how familiar you are willing to become with your new oven. Some ovens automatically decrease temperatures to compensate for the convection, so if you are always putting the exact temperature on this type of model, your convection cooking might be off. This is something you can easily learn both through the buying process and through the user manual. And nowadays, oven user manuals are thick and could easily be a weekend beach read. But this is great, because they offer so many new features and quirks about the device that you could go years without using!

If you are used to traditional baking and are afraid to use convection, which many people are (we don’t know why, but they are) stick with baking traditionally. We recommend trying convection because really, it’s just simpler. It might take a bit getting used to, especially if you’ve been baking grandma’s sweet potato pie recipe for 20 years at 375 degrees you may forget to reduce the temperature the first time you use convection. But don’t fret, once you get used to the convection cooking process, it turns out to be faster, easier, and more efficient.

Wisegeek.com also has this to say about convection cooking:

“One advantage a convection oven has is a more evenly heated cooking space. In a true convection oven, there are three separate heating elements along the top, bottom and rear of the cooking space. When a fan forces the heated air to circulate, it doesn’t matter if the food is placed on a top, middle or lower rack. Three separate pans of cookies, for example, can be cooked perfectly in a convection oven, but the heat in a radiant oven cannot penetrate the bottom pan well enough to bake the other two pans evenly. ”  - Wisegeek.com

Thinking of buying?

Kristie Leong states the following when thinking of buying convection, which we think pretty much sums it up, “When shopping for a convection oven be sure to ask about features such as whether the model is self cleaning, has adjustable racks, the ease of cleaning, what type of alarms are available to let you know a cycle is complete, how much space the model will take up in your kitchen, what type of warranty is available.” - Voices.Yahoo.com

Also, the price point between a convection oven and traditional oven will differ. When thinking of buying a convection oven, think about how much you are using it, and what you are using it for. There is one drawback that I have come across, although we have not experienced this in-store. Some customers believe that when they are cooking very fragile things, such as angel food cake, or meringue, that the circulating air may blow the food around. Again, a minor drawback, but the good thing is pretty much all convection ovens have a traditional bake setting anyway, to solve this problem.

Have any questions about convection cooking? We’d love to hear ‘em!

Easy Spinach Pasta Recipe in 10 minutes!

Hi there! It’s been a while over here at H&H, we’ve had a lot going on. For those who don’t know, we have a radio show over at 920 The Voice and that’s been taking up a lot of time. Anyway, here’s a quick and easy recipe that is great for leftover pasta and dry spinach. We made it in store yesterday and all of the staff loved it!

Ingredients: 

dry spinach, about 3-4 cups (whatever you have, really)

leftover pasta, preferably a spiral or penne (we used gemelli)

2 garlic cloves

olive oil (1/4 cup, maximum)

tomatoes (we used grape tomatoes and vine tomatoes)

red pepper -if you have it, we didn’t :(

Salt + Pepper

Procedure

The procedure here is pretty simply. Saute the dry spinach in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and minced garlic. Two minutes later, add the tomatoes. Stir for 1-2 minutes, then add the pasta to heat it up. Once the pasta is heated, serve on a warm plate.

Another variation of this is what I call a quick spinach and tomato pasta bake. Take the leftover pasta and place it into a baking pan such as a Pyrex dish.  Saute spinach, garlic, and olive oil as you would in the first recipe. Add as much or as little spinach as you’d like. When it becomes wilted, transfer it into the dish with the pasta. Add sliced, raw tomatoes, and whatever white cheese you have in the fridge. We went with Gruyere, because that’s what we had, but ideally I would go with Parmesan. Add some spices if you’d like, such as oregano, basil, and a little bit of olive oil. Pop it in the oven for about 15-20 minutes (no more than 20 on convection) and you’ve got yourself a leftover meal!

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