The Best Toaster Oven For Those Who Love To Bake

Kitchenaid convection countertop ovenIf you love to spend time in the kitchen baking but you are tired of wasting time and energy with your full sized range then getting a toaster oven can really change things for you.  Sure you can make toast, but today’s ovens can do so much more.  As cooking technology has advanced so has the ability of countertop ovens to produce stunning results no matter what type of food you are preparing.  The Kitchenaid KCO273SS is one such example of what a modern oven can truly accomplish.  Bakers love it for its convection cooking function as this help speed up the process as well as ensuring every thing is done evenly for tasty treats.  This is perhaps the best convection oven on the market as it aims to set itself head and shoulders above all other toaster ovens in its class.

One of the many qualities that stand out about this particular toaster oven is its range of cooking functions. There are nine functions altogether Asado Roast, frozen, bake pizza, broil, toast, cookie, keep warm, bake muffins, bagel, and reheat. However, this excludes the convection feature, which could speed up your cooking process by up to thirty percent (30%). Hot air circulates more evenly and faster so that the exterior layer of your food tastes crispier and browns better. For the cookie mode, the convection characteristic also automatically reduces the temperature by twenty-five degrees Fahrenheit to avoid overcooking.

It is important to note that when you use the convection feature that you may have adjust your recipes as this aspect can call for different times and temperature settings.  You might find some convection oven tips handy if you ever want to take advantage of this time saver in the kitchen.

Oven Features

Apart from the nine cooking functions and convection bake, other characteristics of the KitchenAid KCO273SS include:

  • Approximate Size is 18″ (Width) x 16″ (Length) x 12″ (Height)
  • One thousand eight hundred (1800) -watt
  • Removable crumb drawer
  • Temperature conversion
  • Three rack positions
  • Automatic shut-off
  • Nonstick interior
  • Defrost option
  • LCD display

This Kitchenaid digital toaster oven combines an LCD screen with control knobs. There are two knobs the top one is the cooking function selector while the bottom knob is for setting the time and temperature. The time and temperature are adjustable in one minute, and five degrees Fahrenheit increments respectively. As a matter of convenience, you can also convert the temperature from Fahrenheit to Celsius.

This model has a trademarked Even-Heat technology that is designed to achieve a consistent cooking result. It turns the heating elements on and off functions; specific heating elements are turned off for part of the cooking cycle. For instance, the bake mode, the bottom, and top heating elements are typically powered up apart from the top center element, but the broil function, all the three heating elements at the top are turned on but none of the bottom elements. In other words, there is more precision in the heating system to give finer results compared to the cheap toaster ovens.

The outside dimensions are about eighteen inches (Width) x sixteen inches (Length) x twelve inches (Height) including the handle. The interior dimensions are approximately twelve and a half inches (Width) x twelve and a half inches (Length) x seven and a half inches (Height). The height is from floor to ceiling. Maximum workable space would be about five and a half inches high, measured from the bottom rack to the top heating element. The inside can fit six slices of bread or a twelve inches pizza.

Pros

· Spacious toaster oven interiorAsado roast mode – There are very few toaster ovens that carry the roast function. Only a few top end models include this as part of their cooking modes like the Breville BOV800XL. Therefore, in case you want to purchase a toaster oven that contains a roast function, then this Kitchenaid model is a perfect alternative. In addition, it has a defrost button that takes to account thawing time for the frozen foods to give better results.

· The pre-set temperature and time – This oven has a list of pre-set temperature and time for different cooking functions. You can adjust them accordingly to suit your recipes. The oven consequently stores your settings in its memory. It will revert to your current settings the next time you use it again for quick and easy cooking.

· A good substitute for regular oven – The food comes out well as most online reviewers have attested. You can use it in place of the regular oven if you are cooking for a small family. Food does not dry out, plus the toasts are perfectly done without the need to flip them over from side to side for more even shades.

· A quiet fan – The fan does not rattle like that of some toaster ovens. The appliance appears well constructed and robust weighing about twenty pounds (20 lbs). Black & Decker CTO6335S, which is also a six-slice convection toaster oven only, weighs around fifteen pounds as a comparison.

Cons

· Price – The KCO273SS model is not cheap. It is selling for over $200 at various online retail sites. This is toaster oven is comparable to the Cuisinart and Breville models. There are also many other cheaper options including the Oster TSSTTVXLDG and DeLonghi DO2058, which goes for less than $150.

· No interior light – This model does not have interior lights thus very hard to check on the progress. Some users have used a flashlight to check inside while it is running.

Final Verdict

The complaints are few for this model from what we have gathered online. You can read more reviews of the KCO273SS and see what owners have to say about this countertop oven.  Most users gave it a four to five-star rating  So, is it worth buying? Yes, it is if you are a great fan of KitchenAid. The price of this model is on the higher side as compared to other models, but its roast and convection functions give a complete range of cooking modes for a toaster oven. The Even-Heat technology is unique, providing for more precise distribution of heat.

Improving Your Diet With The Help Of A Juicer

juicing-benefitsWhile we love to give into our ice cream cravings quite often, we also like to try and balance things out with fresh juice. We have had a juicer in our kitchen for years now and it is something that we highly recommend. It is wonderful to indulge ourselves in some of the decadent creations that we make, but it also can wreak havoc on our diets. Having the ability to at least get our daily dose of nutrients in a glass of freshly made fruit and vegetable juice is a good way to offset the worse part of our daily eating habits. A good foundation for juicing always starts with the juicer. Finding the right juicing machine can go along way to staying with it in the long term. But what should you look for when getting your first juicer?

Top Considerations When Selecting a Juicer

While it can be easy to decide to hop on the juicing bandwagon, it can be the opposite when it’s time to selecting the right juicer to use. The market is filled with plenty of juicers but not all of them are great. As you start reading juicer reviews, you can easily get overwhelmed by the many features as well as advantages and disadvantages of each juicer. Although such points are necessary, you have to consider some things when selecting a juicer.

How Much Time Do you Have for Juicing?

A lot of people just go into juicing without considering that the process can take time. If you can devote a minimum of half an hour to juice, then you can consider getting a twin gear juicer or masticating juicer. If you only have at least fifteen minutes to prepare, juice and clean then you need a centrifugal or manual juicer because this operates quickly and can be cleaned easily. Additionally, if you wish to juice a whole lot for the coming days, you can consider a triturating or masticating juicer as this provides better time value.

What Do you Want to Juice?

Majority of available juicers today pretty much juice everything. Twin or triturating juicers are great to handle a variety of vegetables and fruits. Such juicers are powerful, use twin gear rotating inwards and interlock to crush all produce between them into pulps. This juicer is best for a produce’s most tough part like watermelon rinds, guava seeds and pineapple cores. But if you want to juice a narrow vegetable and fruit range, this kind of juicer can overkill. Moreover, a manual or masticating juicer is best if you wish to juice leafy greens while a centrifugal juicer should be your choice for juicing soft fruits.

Are Drinking It All In One Sitting?

Although this may sound silly but this is quite relevant in terms of choosing a juicer. Every juicer is made different at least when it come to their ability to preserve the nutrients in fresh produce. Usually, centrifugal juicers provide some friction and heat during the juicing process that result in oxidation compromising the juice’s freshness. If you are making your juice using this juicer, you need to consume it immediately. Meanwhile, a triturating (twin gear) or masticating (single gear) juicer is the best pick when juicing plenty on a day and storing juice for consumption at a later time.

Juice Extractor Features

In terms of buying a juicer, you must take into account some details.

Noise– Consider the time you will juice your produce. Are you living with some people who have sensitivity to such noise? Centrifugal machines are made with fast spinning motors making them noisy when running, and yes, juicers can even wake the neighbors. Masticating juicers are going to be a lot quieter as they run at lower speeds.

Durability– If you want a permanent juicer, try to pick those that come with longer warranties. Also, the presence of a motor can help in assessing the durability of a juicer. Those with motors tend to run at high speeds which can heat them up and contribute to their wear and tear.

Price – This is always a concern and a typical juicer that will perform for you for years and deliver exceptional quality juice will cost between $100 and $500. Masticating juicers tend to be more expensive, so if you want to save a few bucks go for a centrifugal machine.

Juice Yield – Centrifugal juicers are more convenient, but they do produce as high of juice yield as masticating models. For maximum juice extraction, you are better served with a masticating juicer.

Reviews and Ratings

Fortunately there are many high quality juicing machines to choose from in all shapes and sizes, so you should be able to find something that will be perfect for your juicing needs. It will just take a little research.  We like and recommend the juicer reviews at Veggie Files as they go into the best rated juicing machines and rate them by owner satisfaction.  Some of the top juicers for 2016 include the Omega NC800, Breville 800JEXL, Kuvings B6000, and the Breville JE98XL.  We personally bought the Breville 800JEXL for its power and speed, but in our kitchen we need something fast with it being so hectic.   We were also interested in one of the Omega masticating juicers and this will probably be something we end up getting in the future when things slow down for us.  We are just happy to have one of these to help us keep our diet in check.  Now let’s get back to making some ice cream!

 

The Joy Of Making Your Own Homemade Ice Cream

Buying a home ice cream machineFor anyone with a severe sweet tooth, buying premium ice cream can be a rather expensive habit. On the other hand, purchasing your own ice cream machine for your home can be quite an economical alternative to feed your desire for frozen goodies. If you have never thought about getting one of these for your kitchen, then you are in for a treat…literally. Luckily, quality ice cream making units come in a wide range of prices and features that will enable you to find a capable machine no matter what your budget may be.  With simple push button operation, this is also one of the easiest machines to operate that you will own.  Getting one of these for your home is a great way to treat yourself to something delicious whenever you get a craving.

What Are the Best Ice Cream Machines?

Cuisinart makes some of the most popular units with several models that are highly rated by users. Combing through various reviews of the top ice cream makers online and it is quite apparent that you really can’t go wrong picking up anything made by Cuisinart.  Their ice cream machines continue to be among the highest ranked small kitchen appliances on the market. Breville also has a top rated maker, but it is also quite expensive. Leilo, Hamilton Beach, Nostalgia Electrics, and White Mountain are also very good options with numerous positive feedback from customers. One of the great features of most of these machines is that they are able to make more than just ice cream, they can also make other frozen treats. Gelato, sorbet, frozen drinks, and frozen yogurt can also be produces by most of these machine which helps add to their overall value.

What To Look For In A New Machine?

Most of the more affordable ice cream makers use a bowl that must be frozen before starting the ice cream making process. Some bowls are double insulated which helps speed up the process and save time, however it may take several hours to get the bowl to the right temperature. It will also require you to make room in your freezer for the bowl to fit.

Some of the more expensive models come with their own compressor which does not require you to freeze the bowl. Because of this feature you can truly make a batch whenever you feel like for the ultimate in convenience.  This is the main reason for the higher price tag for machines that contain their own compressor.  This also adds to the overall weight of the machine and will probably make it more of a hassle to move around your kitchen, but the trade off may be worth it.

Capacity is also another important factor when deciding on which model to buy. How much ice cream do you need to make? How many mouths will you need to feed? Higher capacity units may be slightly more expensive. However, in the long run, making your own ice cream will end up saving money.

Do They Produce Good Ice Cream?

I have had experience with several model ice cream makers, and they do indeed produce some great tasting results. The consistency is usually on the soft side, but once done, you can put the ice cream your freezer for an hour or two in order to firm it up if desired. These machines are also really simple to use, with most being as easy as a push of a button. The hardest part of using these home machines is the required patience need while eagerly waiting for the job to get done.

Are They Expensive?

As mentioned earlier, home ice cream makers come in a wide range of price points. From $30 all the way up to over a thousand dollars, finding a machine to fit your budget and your needs should not be to hard.

If you have cabinets full of small appliances that you never use, you may be quite hesitant to add another one to the your collection. But for anyone with a serious ice cream addiction, getting your own machine is a worthy investment.  Your kids will absolutely love you for this and it is a great way to spend time together.  Plus, with all of the different ice cream recipes to choose from, this is something that will never get old.  Indulge a little and pick one of these up for your family, you won’t regret it.

Below is a video that gives a quick look at what one of the better ice cream machines on the market can do and shows just how simple it is to use.