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Kitchen & Cooking

  • Great cooking starts with proper prep tools. Investing in a set of knives is one of the first and most important purchases you can make. While really high end knife block sets can run into the hundreds or even thousands of dollars, don't let that discourage you. I like Knife Block Sets because you get a great variety of knives and a place to store them. There are a number of affordable sets out there that can give you quality when you are on a budget. I love a good deal so I decided to seek out the best, affordable knife sets on the market. The sets on this list of the best knife sets in 2021 were chosen because they are all affordable, durable and come in a set of at least three. A quality knife set is a necessary asset to any kitchen whether you're a pro or not.
    November 24, 2015
  • Who can resist the comforting smell of home cooked food. Walking into your home to the smells of a crock pot meal that has been simmering all day is irresistible. Foods that are slow cooked have more time to develop flavor and tenderize meats. Autumn is here and this is the perfect time to check out these picks and explore the joys of crock pot cooking. The best crock pots in 2021 on this list were chosen because they have multiple, programmable temperature settings and have at least a six quart capacity.
    October 28, 2015
  • Finding a strong paper towel to deal with spills can be difficult and, at times, frustrating. Too often substandard towels shred apart or leak everywhere. However, this list delivers five options that are certain to alleviate any concerns over cleaning with paper towels. These best paper towels in 2021 were chosen because of their strength which allows each pick to clean up liquids and food debris with ease. They’re also extremely absorbent, leaving little behind while using the fewest number of paper towel sheets. The next time you have a spill, look no further than one of these options.
    May 29, 2015
  • If you’re a fan of making pizza at home, owning a pizza cutter is essential. Use a knife for the job and it will make a mess of the pizza you’ve worked so hard to craft. The right cutter will allow you to easily slice through the pizzas thick end crust while keeping the cheese and toppings intact. In my search for the best pizza cutters in 2021, each of these selections needed to be able to cut clean slices, have a comfortable and sturdy grip, as well as being dishwasher safe since washing pizza cutters by hand is time consuming and slightly dangerous.
    March 11, 2015
  • Home cooks who'd like to make pizza at home should definitely consider getting a specialized pizza pan or stone. With one of the best pizza pans in 2021 and a great pizza crust recipe, it's easy to make thin crust, thick crust, or Chicago style pizzas that taste better than the ones you order out. In Italy, pizzas are made in stone ovens that get up to 800 or 900 degrees. Though a home kitchen can take that kind of heat, it's still possible to make authentic pizzas at around 500 degrees if you use a pizza stone. These stones are made from ceramic or soapstone, both of which are materials that don't transfer heat easily. This means that pizza stones heat up slowly and stay hot for a long time, cooking your pizza quickly and giving it a crispy crust. It's also possible to make pizzas in metal pans which may have solid bottoms or holes that keep the crust from getting soggy. Though you can make a good pizza in a metal pan, the crust usually turns out slightly soft and it can get soggy if you don't cook it quickly. Most metal plans can't be used in an oven that's hotter than 400 degrees, so you may need to adjust cooking time accordingly.
    November 21, 2014
  • Whether you own a set of high-quality knives or a discount set you picked up for cheap, chances are that your knives are probably due for a sharpening. Sharpening your knives regularly cuts down on the amount of time it takes to prep your food. It also keeps your fingers safer because you don't have to apply as much pressure when you're cutting. Remember: a sharp knife is a safe knife. There are two main types of knife sharpeners — electric and manual. Electric knife sharpeners work much faster but they do cost a lot more than their manual counterparts. In terms of ease of use, these two types of sharpeners are about the same. Before you buy a sharpener, take a look at the type of knives you own because not all sharpeners are appropriate for all types of knives. European style blades are sharpened at a different angle than Asian style blades. If you try to sharpen a knife at the wrong angle, you can seriously damage the blade. Serrated knives must also be sharpened with sharpeners that are specially designed to accommodate them. We've researched and compiled the best knife sharpeners in 2021 for you to check out.
    October 29, 2014
  • Who can deny the superb flavor of fresh pepper? Growing up, I don't know many people who actually used a pepper mill. I knew dozens of people who had them and simply left them on the table as decoration. Well, these days with the burst of the foodie culture, fresh reigns supreme. There is definitely a better appreciation for fresh pepper, hence the heightened interest in fresh pepper. There a various pepper mills out there. They all do the same thing, crush fresh pepper, but they can differ. The two main types are manual twist and the electric mills. The manual twist comes in a variety of sleek designs as well as those that visually lean more toward the old school pepper mill (the ones that I call the chess piece design). Electric pepper mills are becoming more common and they are simple to use. Some have regular batteries, others are rechargeable. Both types allow you to adjust the coarseness according to your personal taste. It really doesn't matter which you choose. What's important is getting that freshness. Boxes of store-bought ground pepper might be OK in a pinch, but for optimal flavor and freshness, nothing compares to grinding your own. These best pepper mills in 2021 lists will help you decipher which are best for you.
    October 29, 2014
  • A saute pan is one of the most important cook's tools in the kitchen. A good quality saute pan can be used for a variety of dishes. A chef, could get maximum usage for one by using it in the oven, for shallow frying and sometimes baking. The saute pans on this list were chosen because they are oven safe, medium to large sized and very sturdy. These lists of the best saute pans in 2021 will make you wonder how you ever lived without a good saute pan.
    September 13, 2014
  • No matter if you’re just starting to cook or a seasoned professional, a meat thermometer can take your cooking to culinary greatness. The ability to accurately know the temperature of your meat is a huge plus in getting that perfect meal every time. It can also keep you safe as well because undercooking of meat and seafood can lead to serious food borne illnesses.There are a few thermometers to gauge the temperature of your food. The probe type is left in your meat and the temperature is recorded to a separate device, the instant read which is the common spike you see in most kitchens and lastly the infrared which uses an infrared laser to gauge temperature.For our list of best meat thermometers in 2021, we’re going to focus on instant reads for their versatility; probes being pretty specialized to mainly low and slow cooking and infrared is handy for surface temperature only. We also took a look at how easy the temperature gauge is to read because what’s the point of using a cooking thermometer if you can't tell what it says? Finally we took into consideration if the gauge was waterproof and easy to clean because the last thing you want is your thermometer transferring food borne contaminants.
    August 12, 2014
  • Most of home cooks can't afford to have a stone pizza oven at home, but that doesn't mean they can't bake delicious, authentic pizza. A pizza stone is widely considered to be the best piece of bakeware for making pizza in a standard oven. These stones are often made from ceramic or soapstone, materials that don't transfer heat easily, which means that pizza stones heat up slowly and stay hot for a long time. When selecting the best pizza stones in 2021, we looked for stones that are durable, relatively easy to care for, and capable of producing a perfectly crispy crust every time. You'll want to be sure to follow the care instructions for your particular pizza stone, but most cannot be put directly in a hot oven. Instead, stones should be placed in the oven before it's turned on and heated as the oven heats up.
    June 17, 2014
  • Finding the best dishwasher detergent is important because none of us have time to deal with the hassle of getting rid of tough food stains and grease. Though a cleaner may get rid of the food, it is important for it to leave a flawless finish to dishes. Dishwashers are very popular today since it's a non-hassle way to do the dishes, but the dishwasher detergent used will determine just how effective that non-hassle dishwasher is. Finding the right dishwasher detergent is not easy since all dishwashers are different and some may want a tougher clean while others are looking for environmentally safe detergent. Dishwashers do use a lot of energy and water, so many like to consider both the tough fighting power of a detergent as well as its effect on the environment. Based on price and value, here are my top picks for the Best Dishwasher Detergent in 2021.
    April 14, 2014
  • Whiskey or wine, a good decanter can increase the enjoyment you get out of a bottle of your favorite beverage. Whatever type of decanter you're on the market for, you'll want one that's made from strong crystal or glass and one that makes an attractive vessel that complements your decor. Whiskey decanters and wine decanters serve two very different functions. Whiskey decanters are elegant vessels that close tightly between uses so that the whiskey stored inside doesn't oxidize. Wine decanters, on the other hand, are made to quickly expose a bottle of wine to oxygen so that it loses some of its harsh tannin. Wine decanters are also made to help remove some of the sediment from aged wines so that you don't end up with unattractive dregs at the bottom of your glass. We have researched and compiled the best decanters in 2021 on this list for you to check out.
    January 06, 2014
  • Grating cheese or other ingredients doesn't really sound like a difficult task but try grating a large amount with a grater with weak blades. The grater has undergone an amazing transformation. The main types are Flat Graters, Box Graters & Rotary Graters. The flat grater has a flat design with a handle on one end. You can grate cheese or vegetables by standing them up or lying them over a bowl. While they do a good job of grating, they are tedious to use. You can grate soft and sometimes hard cheeses and vegetables easily, depending on how sturdy your grater is. They often have a middle section for slicing. That usually works better for vegetables. Cheese is difficult to slice with that feature. The Box grater however answered the call of those of us who got tired of cramping our hands to support the flat grater. Box graters are designed to stand and often have 3 to 4 sides that offer a different grind for each.  I like the variety these graters have and the handle at the top along with the standing construction makes grating a lot easier. These work well for most cheeses and vegetables. The coarse grate side is only good for hard cheese however. The grater is hollow inside which is a great way to contain your ingredients while grating. Some newer styles even have storage cups. Finally you have the Rotary grater. Most of these have hand cranks but there are a select few that are electric. These graters usually have interchangeable grating drums that fit in the body of the grater. These are good for cheese but really stellar for vegetables like cabbage and zucchini.  You typically feed the ingredients through the top opening and crank with the other hand. The only issue with these graters is they can tend to clog if you are not careful due to the constant turning action. You should be checking the drums after each grating session to make sure it isn't getting full of leftover ingredients. The Rotary grater however is less work than the other previous methods. The grating drums can then be removed for washing. At the end of the day, choosing the right grater has more to do with your personality. If you are always in a hurry or like short cuts, then the Rotary grater would be best. If you don't mind manual labor but want ease of use, you're probably going to prefer the Box grater. If you don't mind manual labor and don't cook much, the Flat grater is fine. Heck, you hardly cook anyway and when you do, it isn't high volume. This list of best graters in 2021 was comprised to show you all of the various types of graters and what they can do. From grating or slicing cheese and vegetables, the graters on this list are some of the best you can buy.
    December 27, 2013
  • Long gone are the days when you had to take your lunch in a paper or plastic bag. Those rusty old tin boxes or those easily scuffed plastic ones are also near extinction. The more modern lunch boxes are designed to store foods more efficiently. Some common types are insulated lunch boxes for adults and children as well as Bento Lunch Boxes. The insulated boxes have taken over as the preferred way to transport lunch and keep the food fresher. The Insulated boxes for adults have a more sleek design. They look more like purses, mini brief cases or totes than lunch boxes. They come in a number of sizes. This new look is perfect for work or any to go meal. The insulated boxes for children are awesome. They showcase lots of colorful designs as well as ones with their favorite characters. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The boxes guard well against leaks and are unbreakable. The lunch box right now that rising in popularity is the Bento Lunch Box. These lunch boxes were inspired by Japanese lunch boxes of the same name. They come in a variety of shapes and are made from plastic, wood or stainless steel. They can be round, square or rectangular and some come with inserts. The single layer Bento lunch boxes usually hold anywhere from 2 to 4 cups of food. You store food directly in the box making it less of hassle. For double layers, you will get two stack-able boxes that can each have food stored inside each layer and then stacked for transport. Some of these boxes come with utensils, dividers or removable compartments. They are a unique way to store on the go foods and are made for children and adults. These lists cover the best lunch boxes in 2021 that each type has to offer. Looking over these lists will give you a re-introduction to sack lunches and how far they have come. There is a lunch box on these lists to suit everyone.
    December 27, 2013
  • Having a safe to eat lunch is oft times dependent on whether or not your foods have been kept at the right temperature. Insulated lunch bags are an excellent way to maintain the freshness of your foods for lunch, picnics or any outing. There are dozens of styles and sizes now available for insulated lunch bags. The best insulated lunch bags in 2021 below were selected because they are easy to clean, sturdy, have separate areas for utensils and are stylish. Browse these hip bags and take your brown bagging to the next level.
    December 19, 2013
  • Whether you're cooking up a turkey for a holiday meal or a roast for a family dinner, a specialized roasting pan will help you get the job done. These pans are deeper than most other baking pans and some of them can be moved from the oven to the stovetop in case you're making gravy. Some pans are lidless, giving plenty of vertical space, while others come with high domed lids that trap the juices inside and prevent meats from drying out. Baking pans come in a number of different materials. Steel pans are sturdy, inexpensive, and lightweight, though they may require some extra care because most have non-stick coatings that can be damaged by metal utensils. Ceramic, stoneware, and porcelain pans are heavy duty, incredibly strong, and usually safe to use with metal utensils, but some of them can be a hassle to clean. Foil pans are designed for one use only and, while they are cheap, aren't the most sturdy pans out there, which means you'll have to be extra careful taking your meal out of the oven. Check out our selection for the best roasting pans in 2021.
    December 18, 2013
  • Wine aerator's gained popularity in 2007. They are typically attachments with a hole in it that provides aeration to open bottles of wine. For some wine drinkers, aeration isn't necessary. To those who are wine aficionados, it is a great way to drink it. The aeration process is simply exposing the wine to air with the expectation of allowing the complex and intricate flavors of the wine to be more pronounced. With these picks of the best wine aerators in 2021 you will discover more about the benefits of wine aeration. These aerators were selected because they could be easily attached to the wine bottle neck or have a separate pour through feature, have an attractive design and are durable.
    December 17, 2013
  • Kitchen wrap is as important as anything else you will use in the kitchen. If you want to keep your food fresh than you want a good quality plastic wrap. Although you may have storage containers as an option, there are simply times when it is more convenient to simply wrap something in plastic wrap. For people who don't have a lot of space, plastic wrap works just fine for wrapping up leftovers or storing food in. For these picks, I chose plastic wrap that cling well and was sturdy. Check out my picks forthe best kitchen plastic wraps in 2021 that will keep your foods in tip top freshness.
    December 13, 2013
  • Whether you're baking a cake or measuring ingredients for a meal, you can't get far in many recipes without a set of measuring cups. There are two main types of measuring cups, large cups with measurements printed on the sides that are designed for measuring liquids, and small, individually-sized cups that are designed for dry ingredients. For this list of the best measuring cups in 2021, we chose a cups of both styles, all of which can be used for either dry and liquid ingredients. We also chose cups with innovative designs that set them apart from the competition. Finally, we looked for measuring cups that are popular with home cooks, both for their aesthetic appeal and their functionality.
    December 12, 2013
  • Remember the process of serving ice cream that typically consisted of a hot glass of water? The glass of water was used to dip the freakishly large spoon or ice cream scoop in to make it easier to scoop out ice cream. While this may have been the best idea at the time, it was certainly not optimal. Ice cream scoops have come a long way. They come with a variety of features and various styles. Some have a hinge attachment to the handle that when pushed has a blade that sweeps underneath the ice cream to release it into your serving dish. The perk to this type of scoop is that it often doubles as a way to portion foods as well. This one is considered a more classic scoop. In recent years, ice cream scoops have gotten quite innovative. Some contain a non-toxic, anti-freeze liquid that is inside the ice cream scoop. It creates and external temperature that allows it to penetrate the ice cream without much work. Another similar type has a liquid inside that is activated by the heat in your hands. This also makes it easy to scoop hard ice cream without strain. Lastly, there are the scoops that have been designed with a unique, pointed tip. These best ice cream scoops in 2021 pierce and dig easily into hard ice cream and even yield a fancier presentation. For those of us who are looking for maximum reward with little to no work, these new age ice cream scoops are the best way to go. For the purists, the old school ice cream scoops are just fine or any large spoon that will dish it up. Now that you have had your ice cream scoop IQ updated, the choice should be easy.
    December 11, 2013
  • Everyone loves the smell of freshly baked cookies. We have all had the experience of chilling dough, rolling it with our hands or using spoons to scoop in onto the sheet. The problem with using spoons, is it takes longer and can be messy. Fortunately, there are a few cookie scoops on the market that make it much easier. The best cookie scoops in 2021 on this list will yield you perfectly uniformed cookies every time. What I looked for with these scoops was durability and ones that were made from stainless steel. Browse through these picks and simplify your cooking and baking experience.
    December 11, 2013
  • No one thinks much about the sharpness of their scissors. Usually, you don't even notice until you find yourself opening and closing them compulsively to cut something that should be easy. My friends, your scissors have lost their mojo. When this happens, it's more economical to simply invest in a scissor sharpener than to keep buying scissors every time they stop cutting properly. I have chosen the best scissor sharpener in 2021 on the market. They are affordable, easy to use and durable. Check out these picks and stop tossing and start sharpening your worn out scissors.
    December 10, 2013
  • You may not believe a spatula to be an essential tool, but you try flipping pancakes without one. It is one of those kitchen items that oft times is forgotten, but is very necessary whether you are cooking or baking. In my search for an awesome spatula, each needed to be heat resistant, very sturdy and made from a variety of materials such as plastic, stainless steel and other types. Check out these picks of the best spatulas in 2021 and get a good look at why you need it and what kind works best for you.
    December 10, 2013
  • The baster, also known as a turkey baster, can do much more than baste turkey. Baster have not had a very reliable past. With some concerns revolving around them being difficult to clean, I was determined to trying to see what had been done to redesign and update the baster. In choosing my favorite basters, it was essential that they were easy to clean, did not drip and were sturdy. Check out these best basters in 2021 and reintroduce yourself to all they have to offer.
    December 10, 2013
  • Nothing is better than a tasty gravy full of rich flavors and spices. What you don't want in your gravy is a lot of fat. Separating fat from sauces or gravies can very cumbersome. Skimming the fat off the top can often lead to loss of some of the sauce or juices as well. For any home or professional cook, a fat separator is essential. I have five amazing fat separators that can hold anywhere from one to four cups, are durable and can withstand hot liquids. Browse these best fat separators in 2021 and feel good about taking the fat out of your sauces.
    December 10, 2013
  • If you've had it with a rusting potato masher or tired of the lumps, you would greatly benefit from owning a potato ricer. These wonderful tools allow you to process potatoes and soft veggies or fruits into a smooth, lump free texture. Many people rely on mixers to remove to smooth out potatoes, but this can result in over mixed, glue like results. Some things I was looking for in these picks were sturdiness and if they could hold at least 1/2 cups. These five picks of the best potato ricers in 2021 represent the best on the market that not only meet my criteria, but also offer superior performance.
    December 09, 2013
  • Many people despise making salad simply because they end up too wet. There is absolutely no labor in washing lettuce. You just want to make sure that the lettuce dries perfectly. No one wants a soggy salad. Your answer to that is a good quality salad spinner. For these picks of the best salad spinners in 2021, a good salad spinner should be medium to large in size and very simple to use. It's just lettuce, nothing about it should be complex. So stop using up paper towels to dry your lettuce and invest in one of these awesome salad spinners.
    December 06, 2013
  • Whether you're carving up a turkey for a holiday meal or a roast for a family dinner, a good carving set will help you make thin, even slices like a pro. Carving sets come with a carving knife, which has a long, thin blade that can cut cleanly through a variety of different meats. They also come with a carving fork, which is a long, two-pronged fork that's perfect for holding a cut of meat in place while you carve. All of the best carving sets in 2021 listed below were chosen because they are made out of quality stamped or forged steel, and feature comfortable handles that will last for the life of the blade.
    December 05, 2013
  • When you're baking or roasting in your oven, exact temperatures are essential. Over time, ovens can become less consistent and the actual temperature you set may not be accurate. As a back up, having an oven thermometer could be very useful. Many are very inexpensive and are easy to use. I thought it might be a good idea to seek out five oven thermometers that are affordable, durable, a variety of styles and able to withstand high temperatures. Check out this list fot he best oven thermometers in 2021 and find one that works with your budget and your oven.
    December 05, 2013
  • There are countless accidents each day in both home and professional kitchens. The culprit; The kitchen knife or meat slicer. Cutting your hand or fingers in the kitchen is pretty common place for pros and amateurs alike. That said, it doesn't have to continue. If you are looking to spare injury from knife or kitchen scissor cuts, then cut-resistant gloves are your answer. I chose these five picks of the best cut resistant kitchen gloves in 2021 because they are affordable and durable. Two things a great set of cut-resistant gloves should be. Stop nicking fingers and protect yourself.
    December 04, 2013