Choosing the Best Pots and Pans to Cook With

When it comes to cooking, the results are always a lot better when you are doing certain things right. While the cooking techniques and the recipes are probably the most important things to focus on, in my opinion you also need the best pots and pans in your kitchen if you are to cook delicious food every time.

pots and pans

A lot of people go out shopping for cookware but end up getting cheap sets because it feels like a bargain to them. The only thing I have against this is that you are cooking food on these. Once you make this food, you will be feeding your children and the rest of your family and friends. While the taste is probably the most important to us at that particular moment, a lot of us don’t realize the long term effects. There are huge long term implications when it comes to your health if you use poor quality materials in your kitchen. On top of that, cheaper quality cookware can easily become damaged if used incorrectly.

Now, if you were to invest in a high quality set of pots and pans, you can be certain that you will obtain some excellent results. This includes results affecting the overall taste of the food and also the beneficial effect of our health.

But before you go out to buy a cooking set, I need to make one thing clear. My recommendation of buying the best pots and pans doesn’t mean that you have to go out and literally spend hundreds of dollars on these sets. This is simply because I don’t believe that the most expensive products are always the best. Yes, there are high chances that they will be great quality. However, our main should always be to find a product that is made of high quality, is associated with superb durability but at the same time is available at an affordable price.

Before making the purchase, you need to make sure that you look closely at various kitchen pots and pans reviews of different products. Your aim is to pick out the top rated cookware within the huge lists of products available right now. You can do this by focusing on few specific areas of the product that you are reading the reviews for.

The first thing to concentrate on is the design and the construction of the cookware. Most cheap pots and pans are made from extremely thin material that can be heated extremely quickly. As a consequence, it can warp fairly quickly and easily too. In comparison, the best cooking pans will be made of an aluminum center that also has a mixture of stainless steel coating on the side. This makes the product heavier and makes the cookware good at conducting heat. In general, you need to look at the materials used to make a particular set whenever you are shortlisting products.

Once you are satisfied with the materials used, you need to turn your attention to the performance of your product. You might assume that the best set of pots and pans will look great and will be highly appealing in terms of looks and packaging. However, don’t go for this approach because there are so many products that will end up disappointing you. You need to check what the cookware reviews say about the performance associated with that particular set of pots and pans. Within this area, the best thing to do is look out for how versatile the product is and what kind of tasks it can complete.

I have already spoken a bit about the price because we need to find the best pots and price at a reasonable price. This can be a bit challenging but if you look hard enough, I have no doubt that you’ll be able to find the right cookware set for your kitchen. The thing is that buying professional-level pots and pans is a great idea because you can be sure of the quality and you can be confident that they will last you a long time. But, you know how expensive they will be. In comparison, the cheapest cookware sets will be very thin when it comes to the layers of material. Buying these might be perfectly okay at the time but the cost of regular replacements will be an increasing burden on you. So, the key is to find the perfect balance.

Lastly, you should also look at extra features when you’re reading those reviews. I mention this because some of the best pots and pans on the market come with extra utensils like spoons, spatulas and lids. You need to look at this aspect thoroughly and check exactly what the contents of the packaging will be. This will also help you to get a better value for money.

Buying a Sandwich Toaster

A sandwich toaster is an electric cooking device or appliance that is used to make great-tasting toasted sandwiches quickly, easy and without the mess of cleaning pots or pans. The Breville Company, which was established in 1932 in Melbourne, Australia, is the original maker of the Breville sandwich toaster. In 1974 Breville put the first such appliance onto the market, making Breville, in many parts of the world, synonymous with this small kitchen electrical device.

Sandwich Toasters

 

Today this small kitchen appliance is manufactured by many different companies all over the world and is known by the general public as, toaster sandwich makers, waffle irons, pie irons as well as breakfast sandwich toasters.

The sandwich toaster is constructed of two solid concave identical hot plates; one on top and bottom of the appliance which clamps together allowing for two standard-size sandwiches to be toasted at the same time. These hot plates have electric coils encased inside them that allows for the heating of the appliance. Many of these appliances on the market today also contain a non-stick cooking surface allowing for easy clean up.

Usually the sandwich toaster also seals the sides of each sandwich, which traps the ingredients inside of the sandwich creating something like a hot pocket. The appliances also have the capability to cut the sandwiches in half on the diagonal as well as cutting off any crust that hangs over the formed hot plates. The exterior of this appliance is covered in an array of material created especially to keep the outside of the appliance cool and safe enough for use.

The sandwich toaster enables the user to easily make their own specialty toasted sandwich, and even cleanup is a cinch. Once the appliance is heated you lay one piece of bread on the bottom of the appliance, add the inside ingredients, put another piece of bread on top of the ingredients and then close the machine, clamping it shut tightly. Most machines these days have an indicator light that allows you to know when the sandwich is completed. Then you just open the machine and carefully pull out your toasted sandwich, wait for it to cool and enjoy.

By mixing and matching different types of bread and ingredients you can enjoy a different creation each and every time you use your appliance. The sandwich toaster can provide as much flavor as your taste buds can handle and then some!

Reviewing the Casio Exilim EX-Z1000

The digital camera market has been a crazy one in the past 5 years, and has come along way. Although 8-10MP cameras have been available for a few years the consumer market has continued to buy digitals cameras in the 6MP range, but why? Is it because of the larger file sizes? Or is there another reason?

Casio Exilim

What’s Included

1. Casio EX-Z1000 Camera (with rechargeable battery)

2. Dock

3. Manual and Setup CD

4. Wrist strap

5. USB cable

6. Power supply

7. A/V TV cable

Camera Design

Design is a very important aspect of a digital camera, often in stores people don’t get a chance to extensively test a camera before buying it so they base their buying decisions off the design; what looks the ‘coolest’. The Exilim EX-Z1000 is definitely a winner in the design category. The silver ultra-portable body features minimal amount of, conveniently placed, buttons. The few buttons this camera does have are all self-explanatory and easy to access.

The large 2.8-inch wide screen is incredible, having a large screen really gives you a chance to see what you’re taking a picture of. The screen is easy to see even outside in bright light.

Menu Design

The menu structure was surprisingly simple, everything was very easy to find and well placed. When in picture-taking mode there is a right hand navigational menu that makes it simple to change various photo settings such as mega pixel, flash, focus, timer, anti shake, ISO, white balance and EV.

Operation

Unlike some more advanced camera’s you don’t need to be a professional photographer to figure out how to use the EX-Z1000, it’s just point and shoot. The camera can be turned on with a press of a button and in less then 2 seconds you’re ready to take a picture.

The delay from the time you press the snap button to when the camera takes the picture is very minimal, unlike some digital cameras. Adjusting settings is very easy thanks to the well-designed menu structure. I am very pleased with the performance of the EX-Z1000, despite the pictures being 10.1MP they are processed rather quickly.

Below the navigation buttons on the camera you will notice a BS button, don’t worry it’s better then it sounds. BS stands for Best Shot, yes that is a very horrible acronym. Best Shot provides dozens of presets for various photo situations such as portrait, sports, text and fireworks as well as special effects such as monochrome and illustration.

Like most digital cameras it also features a video mode that allows you to shoot short low-quality videos. Motion got very choppy on the recorded videos, but really, who buy’s a digital camera for the video feature?

Image Quality

Probably the most important aspect of a camera, I wasn’t as thrilled as I would have liked to be with the image quality of the EX-Z1000, the quality of the images were mediocre. See for yourself:

As you can see the images produced by the camera are high resolution, but not exactly highest quality. The quality is still pretty good though for the size of the quality. File sizes were surprisingly only about 2.5mb on average.

Battery

Lithium-ion batteries are getting increasingly popular in digital cameras, and for the most part the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

Advantages: Long battery life and they degrade slower than rechargeable AA batteries

Disadvantages: Expensive, so you usually don’t have extras handy for when it runs out; have to use specific charger.

Dock

I was happy to see that the Exilim EX-Z1000 uses a dock for charging and connecting to the computer and TV. Unfortunately that’s the only way, the camera has no mini connector for connecting directly. If you travel with your camera and laptop, lugging around the dock could get annoying.

I do like the dock itself, the camera slides into the dock nicely and charges until you push a button. There is a button for USB and a button for Photo, the USB button lets your computer talk to the camera, and the Photo button lets you view your photos as a slideshow on your TV, great, as long as your computer is near your TV.

Conclusion

If you don’t need super-duper high quality photos this is a great camera to get. Don’t let the 10.1MP number trick you. If you want an ultra-portable camera that you can take everywhere with you this is great choice. If you demand superior image quality and tons of features keep looking.

Reviewing the Black & Decker CTO4500S Toaster Oven

Black & Decker CTO4500S microwave is currently #5 in Convection ovens Category. With this microwave, cooking has never been easier because the circulating hot air and microwave “Perfect broil” function helps to maintain heat in the microwave for outstanding results. But, let’s be honest, its affordable price is the first thing that attracts buyers. It is made of stainless steel making it easy to maintain. This microwave fits into every part of your kitchen and takes up minimal space. It has many pros and cons, but it is perfect for one thing for sure – to make a tasty piece of toast.

Black & Decker Toaster Oven

Its main characteristics are:

– Huge capacity – “60 minutes” timer

– Interior made of stainless steel

– Maximum heating power is 450°

– 2 years warranty

– The power of 1200 W

– Extremely strong light inside the microwave

There is more good news – say goodbye to breadcrumbs for good! The crumb tray does a perfect job, you can completely pull it out and clean it very quickly from the leftovers and small pieces of bread. Also, it has a rack slot for dual positioning and the broiling rack. The microwave is very functional, easy to clean with clever functions and big enough for a 12″ pizza. According to customer reviews, the microwave is certified and tested by Underwriters Laboratories. Be aware that it can get really hot when it is turned on. Make sure to always use pot holders before you touch it after use.

The microwave elements include:

– Light indicator

– Temperature selector

– Function selector

– Timer

– Slide rack

– Door handle

– Crumb tray

– Curved interior

– Bake pan

For additional details, you can download the manual on their website.

Now, let’s get to the pros and cons of this awesome toaster oven.

The Pros of this model are as follows:

– The price is very reasonable

– It has protectors and metal arms so you can safely pull the tray out without getting burned.

– It has a nice design and modern look.

However, there are some cons such as:

– It heats only up to 450 degrees.

– The toast can easily burn, so you have to be careful about the timing.

– There is no self-cleaning function. However, cleaning is still quite easy.

Most customers are very pleased with the baking and toasting functions. The convection fan is an extra cool feature that this product has, and it makes cooking faster and easier. On the other hand, some customers did complain about how loud the fan was. Overall though, this isn’t such a big deal when you consider all of the other features.

Conclusion

This model is definitely a keeper. Although it has some flaws, it is an excellent product. Compared to other similar models from the same range, the Black & Decker CTO4500S comes out on top in terms of design, price and the quality of toast produced. It has a rough rating of 3.9 of 5 stars from over three hundred customers.

This microwave can be purchased in silver color and has a total weight of 16 pounds. The  “keep warm” function can be very handy if you want to heat up food from the refrigerator. I’m sure you’ve all heard of Black & Decker. If not, let’s just say that it is a well-known brand with quality products and good warranty plans, so you don’t need to worry about purchasing this product.

How to clean a convection oven

For most people, domestic activities such as cleaning stoves are favorite as same as scrubbing toilets and cleaning gutters. Instead of using chemical substances, the best recommendation for cleaning the microwave is to try something natural. To clean convection oven, you will need four lemons, fireproof bowl and cloth or sponge.

First, cut three or four lemons into slices and put them on a baking dish, add enough water to cover the lemons and place in the oven you warm at 250 degrees. Close the oven and allow it to run for about 30 minutes then turn off and leave it in a bowl until the oven has cooled of. The acid from the lemon will soften any grease and food residues.

Open the door and make sure the oven is cool enough that it can be cleaned. Remove the shelves and leave them on the side, wipe the inside of the oven with a cloth or sponge and clean up the remains of grease and food. Pour in ¼ cup of baking soda and add water.

Convection oven cleaning

Then, apply a soda at the place where the remains are. After 30 minutes, gently scrub with an old toothbrush. Rinse off any residue from the oven so that it will wipe with a clean cotton cloth. Wash the shelves with soap and warm water and scrub stubborn food residues with a sponge.

Another way to clean a convection oven is to use special cleanser to the inside of the oven. Always wear gloves when you clean a microwave, because these cleansers contain chemicals that damage the skin. This will help you to clean the oven thoroughly, if there are places that you cannot clean, use a brush or wire to scrub. Then remove leftovers when you’re all finished.

Modern ovens have a self-cleaning program. Before you turn on this program, turn off the oven completely and let it cool down for a while.

Prepare oven for self-cleaning cycle according to the manufacturer’s guide. Select button to start the cycle. Usually, this cycle lasts two to three hours, be sure to avoid not touch it as long as the cycle runs, because the oven will get warm. When cycle is complete slowly open the oven and wipe the remains with a paper towel.

Drown towels with detergent and warm water and wipe the outside of the oven and glass. When you’re done, wipe remains of moisture with dry towels in a circular motion.