Should You Get A Microwave Or A Toaster Oven?

Breville convection toaster ovenA lot of people would love to eat healthier, but time and convenience is often a deterrent. It is much easier to grab some fast food or order take-out, but that is not always the best dietary choice. Fortunately, both toaster ovens and microwaves have come a long way and offer a great alternative to slaving over a hot stove just to get a home cooked meal. When you are in charge of the ingredients, you have all the control with how healthy you end up eating. But if you had to choose only one, which one of these small kitchen appliances should you pick? We breakdown the major differences below.

If you were to ask someone to name the differences between a microwave and a toaster oven, he or she would not probably be able to do so. Although both a microwave and a toaster oven have an important place when it comes to ease of cooking and convenience, the average person cannot afford buying both, especially if we refer to more expensive, fashion-forward models. The natural question for any caveman would be; which one to choose? The answer is that you can have both if there is enough space and you get the chainsaw off of the counter.  Gouverneur Times toaster oven ratings is a good place to begin if you man up and decide to get a powerful mini oven that you can burn things in (on purpose) to go next to the food processor you use to shred any and everything you can get your hands on.

Countertop Convenience

First and foremost, countertop convenience: how much space is going to take either of the two? A toaster oven is typically more lightweight and compact in construction, having a more user-friendly design as well. If you are decided to ditch all those heavy gadgets in favor of lighter ones, a toaster oven is going to be infinitely more suitable for your needs. In most cases, microwaves require more countertop space, plus some headroom, which is going to be a great disadvantage if your cabinets are low.

Energy Efficiency

When it comes to energy efficiency, a microwave is clearly the winner, though there are models that still consume more than toaster ovens. On average, a toaster oven uses between 1,200-1,800 watts, while a microwave uses only 700-1,300 watts. While the difference is not that significant, a more energy efficient gadget will definitely help you avoid racking up monthly bills and saving money. If we compare each one with a typical oven, we will soon discover that a microwave uses approximately one third of its energy, while a toaster oven uses more than a half. If you are looking for an energy efficient unit, a microwave is the best way to go.

Heating Time

Oster toaster ovenAnother important factor you should necessarily keep an eye on when trying to decide which one to buy is heating time. Think about how you are going to use your microwaves or toaster oven once you have it. While a microwave oven is typically faster in heating, it does not compare to the toaster oven when it comes to the texture, consistency, and appearance of the foods. A toaster oven can distribute heat more evenly during the cooking process, which will automatically result in better-cooked foods, despite the longer heating time needed. As such, your baked potatoes will be soft and fluffy instead of hard and chewy, whilst your sockeye salmon will be flaky, not rubbery. If how your foods taste and look matters to you, a toaster oven is going to be ten times better than a microwave oven, but always remember that the heating time is going to be longer.

Browning

Many cooks are using toaster ovens for their ability to beautifully brown foods. Microwaves are not good at all when it comes to this aspect, so you should give up the idea of buying one if you want a gadget that can brown bread, pizzas, or even cookies. Toaster ovens are equipped with a broiler function that works similarly to a regular oven’s broiler, therefore browning your foods evenly. If you were lucky enough to get one of those more expensive models, a toaster oven will brown them much faster as well, not to mention that it will also handle bread heating and even crispy cooking, if you are planning to do any.

Large Meals

Cooking for a four-person household is decidedly difficult, particularly if you do not have the right gadget to help you handle the process. If you spend a lot of time cooking large foods, like turkey or chicken, a microwave oven is going to be a better option, especially if you go for a larger one where you can fit the dinner for four people at a time. On the other hand, a toaster oven might be just as good, and it will actually cook foods much better due to its broiler function that distributes heat evenly. As a matter of fact, deciding between a microwave and a toaster oven is a matter of preference when it comes to cooking meals.  You can even cook a small Thanksgiving dinner in a toaster oven and get pretty awesome results.

Keep in mind that most toaster ovens are generally just as capable as microwaves, and if you are willing to spend your money on a more expensive model, chances are that you will manage to do many other things a microwave cannot do. There are various types of countertop ovens as well that will offer you different capabilities that you may prefer.  You will definitely notice that price is not a deciding factor due to the fact that both toaster and microwave ovens sell for the same value in most cases, so you should always shop for quality while making sure to stay on budget if you cannot afford luxury.

The Breville 800JEXL Juices With Extreme Power

800jexl Breville juicer reviewFor the ultimate juicing power tool for the kitchen, the Breville 800JEXL delivers and exceptionally good juicing experience every caveman would love.  With stainless steel construction, and a robust motor under the hood, the 13000 rpm action is going to make juicing something that you are going to look forward to every morning.  There is nothing better than dropping in a hard vegetable only to hear it whiz through the cutting blade and have it be annihilated into a dry pulp.  It is also great at producing a healthy, delicious juice, but that is secondary to the fun of destroying your fresh produce.  If you are looking for a fast and fun juicer (albeit a bit loud) then this is the machine for you.

Features of the 800JEXL

Not only do we love this juicing machine, so do most of the people that own one.  Veggie Files juicer ratings have this ranked as the best centrifugal juicer that you can buy, and we agree with that sentiment.  Below are just a few of the reasons that make this one of our favorite workhorses in the kitchen.

It has an extra wide chute right at the center of the shredding disc. Owing to this feature, the juicer can accept materials from the side as a way of increasing the disc’s shredding power. Incredible strength and sheer speed enables users to extract juice out of hard vegetables like carrots with admirable ease. You do not even have to chop food before feeding it into the chute as the ultra-sharp discs are better suited to that task.

The cutting disc is plated with titanium to make it safer to use as it prevents leakage of harmful compounds into your juice. It has a micromesh filter that makes sure you get the most juice out of your food. This can be proven by the dry pulp that goes into the pulp container as you juice. The filter is made out of stainless steel to increase its durability compared to other brands whose mesh must be replaced every six months.

This juicer has 2 speed controls and 1000 watt viable motor which runs at 6500 0r 13000 RPM. This feature allows you to choose the ideal juicing speed depending on what you are juicing. The lower speeds are ideal for softer foods like greens while you need the discs to spin faster if you want fine juice out of apples. One of the drawbacks of all of this power is that it is not going to be the most silent juicer out there.  While it is relatively quiet for its speed, it is going to make some noise.  If this is an important factor for you then a masticating juicer is going to better serve your needs, although it won’t be as fun to operate.

The juicer comes with a juicing pitcher to collect the juice and a pulp container for the pulp. With these spare parts, this appliance certainly brings joy to juicing by reducing the mess. Once you are done though, there is no need to worry about cleaning as all the parts are dishwasher safe.

If you are already tired of the same juice recipe you will be happy to receive the book that comes with Breville 800JEXL. It is full of incredible twists to ordinary recipes that make juicing an experience to look forward to.

Pros

· highest ranked centrifugal juicerThe juicers incredible speed makes users happy because it reduces the average wait time for a pitcher of juice.

· Many customers are excited that the juicer doesn’t vibrate or splatter as they juice.

· The parts are easy to assemble and disassemble for effective clean up.

· Despite the high speeds, the juice extractor doesn’t heat up your ingredients. This is important as people want to preserve nutrients, enzymes and flavor no matter how fast they can extract juice.

· Strong, durable, and beautiful construction means that you can rely on it to produce quality juice and adorn your space for years.

Cons

Despite all the acclaim that this juicer receives, it also comes with some downsides:

· Some customers feel that the price tag it a bit high but the quality makes it worth the sacrifice.

· There are people who complain about the poor seal which causes juice to squirt out of the juicing bowl. Others suggest that the pulp container could use a drip-stop feature as it is quite hard to line up.

· Customers who are concerned about aesthetics do not like the fact that the pitcher gets discolored after some time as some of the vegetable juices can cause some staining.

· Noisy compared to other types of juicers.  This is why we love it, but if you are concerned about waking the whole house then this is not the best choice.

· Breville 800JEXL juicer is rather large and heavy but that is a small price that your countertop has to pay for you to enjoy high yield and quality.

– While you can juice kale, it is not the best performer when it comes to leafy vegetables.

Juicing is a great way to improve your daily diet and make up for years of poor eating habits, so having one of these in the kitchen is a good idea.  That is why we recommend the 800JEXL.  Despite some of its weaknesses that are easy to overlook, there are few other juicers that come close to this model. It is efficient, strong and durable but so easy to use that it doesn’t intimidate the novice. Unlike any other juicer this masterpiece from Breville will surely spoil you for the creative juice it will help you make every day.

Ice Cream Makers Are A Great Way To Keep The Kids Quiet

Making homemade ice cream

While there is nothing worse than being stuck on a hot muggy day with a bunch of kids that just want to complain about everything, there is a simple way to simmer them down.  Making your own homemade ice cream is a great way to keep them occupied while saving some pennies in the process.  While you do not need your own machine to make your ice frozen desserts, it sure does help. To get the most out of the experience with the least amount of work we suggest buying one of these affordable small appliances to use in the kitchen.

Looking through current ice cream maker reviews it is plain to see that the top rated machines are rather budget friendly. Another great thing about getting your own machine is that most of them are able to make things other than ice cream such as gelato, sorbet, and smoothies. You could literally have a different treat every day of the week for a year and not have the same thing twice.

If you are looking for a new home ice cream machine there are three basic types of automatic makers that you can buy. First there is the old fashioned kind that requires you to use ice and salt on the outside of the mixing bowl. As the bowl turns these two ingredients help slow down the freezing process so that the perfect ice crystals or formed to make tasty ice cream. These tend to be the least expensive models.

Second, there are models that forgo the ice and the salt and have you freeze the bowl for a few hours to get the bowl down to the proper temperature. These are the most popular since they are less messy to use and are very affordable.

Lastly, there is the kind that comes with its own compressor which is used to apply the cold temperature to the bowl directly. You do not have to freeze it before using. These offer the greatest convenience since you can make ice cream whenever you feel like it, but this added component also makes the machine drastically more expensive. Whichever kind that you choose, having the ability to make your own delicious treats in your own kitchen is well worth it.

The Recipes Never End

If you love to experiment with different flavors or you like to try different types of desserts, then getting one of these machines can be a lot of fun. There really is no limit on what you can create. Below are just a couple of quick recipes that you can try.

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Ingredients

8 oz. cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup half and half
1 1/2 cups pureed strawberries

Directions

Blend all of these ingredients until smooth. Use a blender or a food processor for this. Chill the ingredients for about an hour. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker. Set the timer according to your ice cream makers directions but approximately thirty minutes.

If you have allergies to lactose or dairy products then try making this recipe instead. It is a light refreshing sorbet made with tropical fruits.

Pineapple, Mango and Peach Sorbet

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups peach pieces, diced
1 1/2 cups mango, diced
1/3 cup lime juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained

Directions:

Mix together two cups of the diced peaches, the mango also diced, the lime juice, and the sugar in a food processor or blender. Blend until its smooth. Pour into a bowl and stir in the remainder of the diced peaches and the crushed pineapple. Then pour this mixture into the ice cream maker. Set it for thirty minutes and check to see if its thickened. Spoon into plastic containers for the freezer to firm up.

If you are a sorbet addict like we are, then you might be interest in some other tasty sorbet recipes to try in your ice cream maker.  There are a number of machines available that are able to make more than just ice cream, and sorbet is often something that a lot of the top models can handle.

Are There Any Drawbacks To Buying an Ice Cream Maker?

While no machine is going to be perfect for everyone, there are a few things to keep in mind before making getting one of these for your family. First, the consistency of the ice cream is going to be on the softer side. If you like yours to be a little bit firmer you will have to put it in the freezer for an hour are so to let it harden. While this is not ideal for those with intense cravings, the extra time will be worth it.

Also if you choose to go for a more affordable model, you will have to freeze the bowl before using. The best way to avoid getting stuck having to wait for the bowl to freeze whenever you get the urge to make something is to make some room for it in your freezer and just keep it in there full time. That way when you decided to make something tasty, the bowl will be ready for you to start mixing. If this is not an appealing option you can always get an ice cream maker that has its own compressor, however these machines come with a heftier price tag. Its the price you have to pay for the ultimate convenience.

Other than that, there is really no huge downside that should deter you from at least trying this out in your home. Kids absolutely love helping out, especially when they get to taste the final product. For a fun and indulgent family activity, there is perhaps nothing better than making ice cream on a hot summer day.

Caveman Food Processor Buying Guide

Cuisinart food processor reviewA lot of times the simplest changes can have the biggest impact. The same can be said for your diet. How you prepare foods in your kitchen can have a huge impact on how you eat and how you look at cooking. The right equipment can make things seem less like work and more like a worthwhile task. This is where buying a food processor to help you fix your favorite recipes can change your entire attitude about eating homemade meals. Food processors are a wonderful invention that can help you take back control of your diet and get you eating and feeling better.

Cuisinart food processors are the perfect choice for anyone looking for a little help. They are right in the sweet spot of giving you something of excellent value for not a whole lot of money. Sure, there are a couple of models that are expensive, but for the most part they offer mid-range prices with high end performance. Below are just some of the food processors that we recommend for everyday chefs like you who want to expand your culinary horizons.

Cuisinart 2009CHB

This is perhaps the best rated food processor on the market that is well received by users for its reliability and functions.

  • 9 cup capacity that is ideal for small families and medium sized recipes
  • Stainless steel blades that keep their edge and will not corrode
  • Easy to use controls. Just three buttons to master
  • Modern design. Compared to some older food processors from Cuisinart, the 2009CHB offers great styling for modern kitchens.
  • Easy to clean parts make this a hassle free appliance.

Cuisinart DLC-10 Classic

Even though this food processor may have classic looks, it has modern performance that shines in any kitchen.

  • 10 cup capacity bowl that offers more flexibility for large and small meals.
  • Same stainless steel cutting discs that will give you a sharp edge time after time.
  • Simple controls that require zero learning curve to master
  • Easy to clean and dishwasher safe parts

This is perhaps the best overall value food processor out there. It will typically cost somewhere around $100, which for everything that this machine can do, is a bargain.

Cuisinart DFP-14CN

A food processor designed for those that spend a lot of time cooking or who have a lot of mouths to feed. This is a real workhorse of an appliance.

  • Large 14 cup capacity bowl which is designed to handle large chopping or mixing tasks. Great for large recipes
  • Classic looks with modern colors.
  • Simple to clean and easy to use. This is something that Cuisinart excels at, making small kitchen appliances that reduce the hassle involved in food prep.

These are just some of the models that they produce but their entire line is pretty impressive overall.

Other Brands

Cuisinart is not the only brand name that makes food processors, they are just the most popular. You can find great alternatives by Breville, Hamilton Beach, and Kitchenaid. These companies also make some high quality machines that fit into different price points. If you have a tight budget then Hamilton Beach is an excellent choice. If money is no object, then Breville makes a food processor worth considering.

Advantages of Using a Food Processor

No matter which brand you choose, having this piece of equipment in your kitchen can really save you a lot of time. Using a knife to chop, slice, or dice vegetables is an extremely tedious tasks that can leave you with cramped hands or cut up fingertips. By simply putting your food in the bowl and hitting a button, your vegetables can turn out perfectly prepared in a fraction of the time. It will also save you potential pain. You can do so many chores with a food processor, from dicing onions to mixing dough. If you are serious about cooking, then you need to get one of these for your home, otherwise you are working harder for no reason.