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Convection Steam Ovens: The Microwave Alternative

thermador steam oven 3

Thermador convection steam oven

Here’s a New Year’s Resolution you probably haven’t heard before: use the microwave less. Microwaves are a nice appliance to have for warming up your cup of coffee or making your popcorn for movie night, but they dehydrate foods and cook unevenly. Leftovers don’t sound nearly as appetizing when they are being “zapped”. With all the cons, it’s hard to leave your microwave behind because they are so quick and convenient, so what could replace it? A convection steam oven is a great option.

Convection steam ovens are available either 24” or 30” wide, and build into cabinets. Steam ovens use moisture, heat, and airflow to evenly cook food while maintaining flavor. Say goodbye to leftovers, and say hello to eating a meal which appears and tastes the same as the first time it came out of the oven! With a cavity smaller than a traditional oven (Typically between 1.3 and 1.8 cubic foot capacity), preheat times are significantly decreased, and the capacity is still large enough to cook a 12-14 pound turkey. Most brands of steam ovens also include a water reservoir, so no plumbing lines are needed.

miele steam oven

Jenn Air convection steam oven

While planning your remodel or new home this coming year, take your resolution of “using your microwave less” to the next level with a convection steam oven. Many brands make a convection steam oven; Jenn-Air, Wolf, Thermador, and Miele to name a few. Keep the microwave around for the popcorn and warming coffee but never again will you have “left over night”, you will have fresh dinner instead!




Your friendly expert sales associate:

Josh Abby
Specialty Appliance Fort Collins

Options in Under-Counter Refrigerators

Kitchen Aid Undercounter

Kitchen Aid Wine and Drawer Refrigerators


Under-counter refrigerators come in many different sizes and types. The majority of which are 24” but there are alternative sizes available such as 15”, 18” and 36”. Under counter refrigeration can be broken up into 5 main categories: wine coolers, beverage centers, refrigerators, drawer units and icemakers.  Wine coolers are dedicated to just wine storage and depending on the type can either have a consistent temperature throughout or can have multiple temperate zones. Most wine coolers have a glass door front that can be bordered by stainless steel or cabinetry. Beverage centers have a combination of wine racks and regular shelving for other items such as soda or water. Just like wine coolers, beverage centers can have either one or multiple temperature zones. They also usually come with the glass door with a stainless or custom panel boarder.
Under-counter refrigerators are pretty straightforward and serve a similar as a regular fridge just in a smaller form. These units can be ordered with a small freezer section inside as well. Most under counter refrigerators come with a solid door design in black, white, stainless or panel-ready.
Drawer units are a nice option as they can provide better accessibility. These units are available as single or double drawers, the drawer options often include double refrigerator, fridge-freezer combo or wine storage. They are typically available in stainless steel or panel ready finishes.
Built in icemakers are under-counter units that can produce and store a substantially larger amount of ice then the icemaker inside of your normal freezer. There are some under-counter icemakers that follow the same principle of making and freezing ice that your standard ice maker does but some make what is called clear ice. Clear icemakers produce restaurant quality ice that is clear and free of impurities. In these machines the ice is stored in a compartment that allows for the older ice to melt away at the bottom and the newly produced ice to sit at the top always giving you fresh ice. Clear icemakers do require a floor drain or a pump can be provided. Icemakers are usually available in white, black, stainless steel or panel-ready.
Why do I need a built-in unit and why are they so expensive?
Built-in units are necessary if the desire is to install the units in between cabinets under a counter. These units breathe out the front and can be zero clearance. Freestanding units should not be enclosed in cabinetry as they breathe out the back and can burn out if there is not enough circulation room around the sides and top. This factor does mean that built in units are substantially higher in price when compared to freestanding units.


Your friendly expert sales associate:

Mike Zavattaro
Specialty Appliance Boulder

Bosch Benchmark


Bosch Benchmark wall oven

BOSCH has launched a new line up of appliances this year. The Benchmark series is the newest addition to the Bosch family. In the line up a new side swing wall oven that allows for easier access to the oven cavity making cooking a breeze. It has a new look with an intuitive color control panel & clean steel stainless. It can even be installed flush with your cabinets! It is available in both single or double 30” sizes and comes standard with  convection options a temperature probe & a telescopic glide rack.


Bosch Benchmark Steam Convection

Also new to Bosch is their built-in convection steam oven. Steam is one of the best ways to cook a fantastic meal fast. Steam creates an environment that is not only great for veggies and fish, but can also brown and bake your favorite cuts of meat as well as the most delicate deserts and breads. This awesome new addition is available in a 30” wide configuration also with the new control panel, clean steel and flush design for a truly Euro look.


Bosch Induction

Induction cooktops are quickly becoming the preferred cooking surface in homes today . Bosch’s Flex Induction won’t give off the heat that a gas cooktop can but will cook with the same precision as gas and is much easier to clean! Take your water to a rapid boil in a fraction of the time and down to a low simmer in an instant. Bosch’s new induction cooktop features a more even cooking element that allows for pans and griddles of more shapes and sizes. You can now cook with ease and not worry about hot or cold “spots” with their new bridge element. This unit is available in both 30” and 36” wide, with or without a stainless frame.

Your friendly expert sales associate:

Lindsey Connolly
Specialty Appliance Boulder


Dual Fuel or All Gas?

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Wolf DF364G 36″ Dual Fuel Range

What is the difference between an all gas and dual fuel range? This is a question that we hear very often in the appliance world. The difference primarily concerns the oven of the range. A dual fuel range does just what it sounds like, it uses dual or two types of fuel in one unit. You have a gas cooktop and an electric oven. Your all gas range is also what it sounds like, in this case you have a gas top and gas powered oven.

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Wolf GR364G All Gas 36″ Range

There are some factors to consider when choosing between the two. First and most importantly: What do you cook in your home? There are several arguments on this subject but most would agree that if you love to bake you should go for the dual fuel. The idea is that electric ovens tend to hold a more even temperature and produce a dryer heat which is ideal for baking. On the flip side all gas ovens are said to be better than electric for broiling or roasting meats and vegetables. The argument is that a gas oven produces more moisture which can leave you with a juicer pot roast.

wolf conv

Wolf Convection fan system


In most cases a dual fuel range will have what is called “True European Convection”. This is an additional heating element around the convection fan in the back of the oven. All gas ranges utilize flames as the heat source and fans and flames don’t go so well together so you so when you go all gas say goodbye to that third element.

Another factor to consider especially when replacing an existing range is your gas and electrical needs for each unit. A dual fuel range will most often require a 220 volt electrical connection in addition to a gas line. All gas ranges typically require a 110 volt electrical connection in addition to a gas line. Most ranges both dual fuel and all gas also require specific placement of the gas line. It is not always as simple as sliding the old one out and plugging in a new one, so be sure to double check what you have prior to purchasing.

The last consideration to make in your purchase is the price. A dual fuel range on average will cost more than an all gas.This is because dual fuel ranges typically have more electronics and bells and whistles over all. How much more it will cost of coarse will depend on the brand that you decide to go with.



Specialty Appliance

Boulder | Denver | Fort Collins

Your Questions: Insurance and Appliance Safety After Flooding

Post Flood Appliance Safety and Insurance Commonly Asked Questions

Post-flooding safety and insurance coverage questions abound due to the massive floods here in Colorado, especially when it comes to your high-end kitchen appliances. We can help you understand what must be replaced and what might be able to be repaired, and what your insurance might cover.

Brian Montgomery works to clean up the mud in his mother's flooded basement Saturday

Post Flood Safety Tips:

  1. Never plug in or turn on ANY appliance that has been touched by flood water until it has been looked at by a professional.
  2. If you decide to repair an appliance, manufacturers recommend that all motors, electrical components and safety controls be replaced, as well as any gas valves for gas appliances.
  3. Have an appliance technician check the pilot orifice, and replace any valves that were exposed to flood water.
  4. Refrigerators and freezers are NOT SALVAGEABLE! It is impossible to entirely remove the bacteria-filled water. You don’t want to store food in the appliance once tainted water has permeated the internal components and insulation.

Now, onto Insurance.


Commonly Asked Insurance Questions:

Q: Is flood insurance covered under my homeowners policy?
A: No. Flood insurance is a separate policy.

Q: How do I know if I have flood insurance?
A: Call your insurance agent to check and see if you have flood coverage through their agency. Some, but not all insurance agents can write flood insurance policies. You may have a separate policy through the FEMA National Flood Insurance Program

Q: Are my appliances insured though the FEMA National Flood Insurance Program?
A: (Taken from the site)

“What is insured under BUlLDING PROPERTY coverage:

The insured building and its foundation.

The electrical and plumbing systems.

Central air-conditioning equipment, furnaces, and water heaters.

Refrigerators, cooking stoves, and built-in appliances such as dishwashers.

Permanently installed carpeting over an unfinished floor.

Permanently installed paneling, wallboard, bookcases, and cabinets.

Window blinds.

A detached garage (up to 10 percent of Building Property

coverage); detached buildings (other than detached garages) require a separate Building Property policy.

Debris removal.”

-from the General Guidance on Flood Insurance Coverage from FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program – Summary of Coverage

In other words, your major kitchen appliances are covered, but the washer and dryer are likely not covered. Fear not, the washer and dryer are more likely to be able to be repaired, and for less than it would cost to repair a dishwasher or stove.

Evans resident Rito Romero checks out the damage in his flooded home on Monday, Sept. 16, 2013.

Image courtesy of and the AP

As soon as you’ve determined what is covered and can be replaced, it’s on to the next step of deciding how and when to replace your damaged property. The Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association recommends replacing rather than repairing flood damaged appliances. As a general rule, manufactures do NOT cover flooding under warranty policies. However if you have questions about your warranty, here are the numbers for some major manufacturers:

Amana 1-866-616-2664

Bosch 1-800-944-2904

Creda 1-800-800-2733

Dacor 1-800-793-0093

Five Star 1-800-553-7704

Franklin 1-877-261-9867

Frigidaire 1-800-374-4432

Gaggenau 1-877-424-3628

GE 1-800-626-2005

GE Monogram 1-800-444-1845

Hamilton Beach 1-800-851-8900

Hotpoint (GE) 1-800-626-2005

In-Sink-Erator 1-800-558-5700

JennAir 1-800-536-6247

Kenmore 1-800-469-4663

KitchenAid 1-800-334-6889

LG 1-800-243-0000

Magic Chef 1-800-688-1120

Maytag 1-866-616-2601

Panasonic 1-800-211-7262

RCA 1-877-794-7977

Sears 1-800-469-4663

Sharp Microwave 1-800-237-4277

Subzero 1-800-222-7820

Tappan (see Frigidaire)

Thermador 1-800-656-9226

Viking 1-888-845-4641

Whirlpool 1-866-698-2538

We hope this answers some of the questions you may have about repairing and replacing your major appliances. Here at Specialty Appliance, we would love to help you get your kitchen back to it’s pre-flood glory and assist you in selecting replacements for any and all major appliances. We will work with you to find the make and model that will fit your style and budget (or that of the insurance companies).


Stay safe, stay dry, and shop smarter.

Specialty Appliance

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Appliance Trend – Multi-Function Ovens

Multi-Funtion Ovens and Their Features Explained

One of the very exciting trends in the appliance market this year has been the rise of the multi-function oven. This oven type is a combination of different ways of cooking including microwaving, infrared heat, and steam convection. Many, if not all, include a smart cooking interface with programmable cooking times and even a virtual “assistant” in the higher-end models. With faster cooking times and so many style options, it’s easy to see why people love this oven and this week we’re going to look at some of the features in a little more detail.

Miele Oven courtesy of

Convection heating is a favorite of many kitchen cooks for it’s even heating and fast warm up times, but it’s not the only type of heating offered in a multi-function oven. Infrared heat and steam heat are two others commonly found that cook food in different ways and can be combined with convection settings to perfectly cook a casserole or roast. Options for a crispy outside and juicy, tender inside for any meat you decide to cook can be achieved with infrared cooking preceded by steam convection cooking for a few minutes. And your cooking times will drastically shorten due to even heat applied all around with single and dual fan convection models. Many ovens now feature a “sauté” setting that will use a steam cooking mode to get you that perfect dish with no drying out of your meat or vegetables.

Computers are everywhere these days and with technology being what it is, you will find ovens with visual displays that come with an easy to use interface full of options for your baking. Hundreds of presets already built in for different types of food make cooking a turkey for a holiday meal as easy as pushing a couple buttons. Several models also come with a virtual assistant that can answer questions about what types of settings are best for the type of result you are going for and what dish would be best to cook it in. You might even have some questions about how adding a certain amount of liquid to the bottom of the dish might affect its cook time and juiciness when it’s done. The assistant can give you the answer and even suggest specific measurements that will give the best results. With all the help these programs can give, it’s like having a five star sous chef at your disposal. Minus the the hat and extra pair of hands though, unfortunately. We’re sure someone is working on that addition.

All of these great features come together in a multi-function oven for one purpose- to give you the best experience when preparing and cooking a dish or meal. All of these bells and whistles are amazing, but it’s how they all come together to make common kitchen processes a simple and positive experience that makes this type of oven truly a luxury appliance.

We hope this informs and guides you in your hunt for the perfect oven for your kitchen. Stop by our showrooms for knowledgeable help in exploring the multi-function options available.


Specialty Appliance

Boulder | Denver | Fort Collins

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Your Checklist- Considerations for Appliance Shopping

A Guide to Pre-Planning and Purchasing New Appliances

Planning for good appliance purchases | Specialty Appliance Denver Luxury AppliancesShopping is fun. Maybe not for everyone all the time, but at some point in your life you’ve experienced the thrill that is picking out something new, paying for it, and then reveling in your new acquisition. Some people even do this as a form of therapy, others should probably cut way back. Whatever your thoughts on this subject are we all have or will buy a new appliance whether it’s a new fridge or just a microwave to install above an existing stove. This process can be a lot of fun if you properly prepare for it and keep a few things in mind when visiting a show room. Here are six ideas and tips we know will help you on your next appliance hunt.

1. Measure – Many shoppers have experienced the frustration that is buying a new fridge and then realizing, when they get it to the front door, that it’s never going to make it inside the house. The easiest way to prevent this and other “bad fit” speed bumps is to make sure to properly measure every inch of your new appliance’s path to it’s spot in your home. Get those doors measured, the space in between the cabinets, the depth of the spot you’ll be installing it, and the area around it to ensure functionality is not compromised by doors opening too wide or a light switch being lost behind that too deep refrigerator.

2. Don’t Overdo It – While you may love the look of that big industrial-grade oven or large load washer, take time to consider whether it’s practical to buy something that you may never use for anything other than the occasional tray of cookies or to wash a couple shirts and a pair of pants. Something smaller or less expensive might actually be a better fit for your lifestyle.

3. Reviews – Find several and, if possible, ask your friends who also have that appliance you are looking at just what they love and hate about it. You could get some very valuable information that you might not get from the sales associate who only may only have a casual understanding of the features and functions of a particular model.

4. Money – Set aside some time to figure out what your budget is how it impacts what brands you can look at and the features you would like to see in your new purchase. It might be wiser to spend a little more on that fully tricked out refrigerator you know will be a good investment while spending a little less on the range you know will only get occasional use and doesn’t need the built-in grill plate.

5. Test Run – When checking out different models at a showroom, be sure to really use and play with the models. You want to be able to test them out like you would normally use them in your own home. Ask yourself if you can use it the same way you do with your current appliances.

6. Future Planning – Occasionally you will find the odd appliance that a maintenance worker cannot repair due to parts being far too hard to find or a lack of the correct tools for a foreign part. It’s always worth your time to ask about local repair places that can service your equipment before you buy it. Also be sure to inquire about online sources for parts as this can help you help yourself if you’re particularly handy at maintenance care.

Hopefully these ideas give you a few places to start before handing over a significant chunk of change for that fantastic new addition. We like to think of ourselves as the go to place for questions about any aspect of your home and it’s appliances, so if this helps you out, leave us a comment and let us know how and share a link to pictures of your successful installation. And as always, be sure to stop by our showrooms for some one-on-one help.


Specialty Appliance

Boulder | Denver | Fort Collins