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If you like to cook a lot on the weekend and then freeze everything ready to be microwaved and eaten during the week, then these Pyrex containers are perfect for you. All the containers are made from tough non-porous glass, which won't warp, stain or absorb smells - so if you cook a lot with garlic or curry powder, these are ideal for a sweet smelling kitchen!
DeLonghi make the whole range of coffee makers, from state of the art espresso coffee makers to traditional moka coffee makers. For a long time, this Italian manufacturer was practically synonymous with coffee machines.
Here are some of the best Delonghi coffee makers:
The Delonghi EMK6 Alicia Electric Moka Espresso Coffee Maker is a compact coffee machine designed to sit on a countertop in your workplace or kitchen. It’s an adaptation of the the traditional stovetop coffee machine – instead of heating the aluminium boiler on your stove, it fits on an electric base that heats the water. There is an automatic thermostat which switches off the boiler at the required temperature.
It has a transparent jug at the top which allows you to see how much coffee you’ve made, and it makes 3-6 cups of espresso.
The DeLonghi DC312T 14-Cup Drip Coffeemaker comes with a 24 hour programmable timer which enables you to wake up to a fully brewed pot of coffee. If you are in a hurry, you can use the pause and serve button which allows you to stop the brewing process to pour yourself a cup of coffee before allowing it to finish brewing the rest of the pot. The filter is made of nylon and is easy to clean, and the non-stick warming plate at the bottom is also easy to keep clean.
This machine is great if you are brewing coffee for a large number of people.
The DeLonghi EC155 Espresso Maker is a pump driven espresso machine with a stainless-steel boiler. Pump driven espresso machines produce a higher pressure than steam driven espresso machines, and the pump in the Delonghi machine is self-priming. It comes with a 35 ounce removable water tank, which makes cleaning easy, and a steam wand. It also has two thermostats, which means the steam pressure and water temperature is controlled separately.
You can make your espresso with either ground espresso or an E.S.E. pod. This machine comes with a limited 1 year warranty.
Related pages: tassimo coffee makers
You can’t produce a proper meal without that essential piece of cooking equipment – a good chef’s knife.
Here are some of the best chef knife sets on the market.
The KitchenAid 12 piece knife set is made from high carbon stainless steel, with contoured handles with a steel end, so that the knives fit comfortably in your hands.
Here is what you get in this set: an 8 inch chef’s knife, an 8 inch slicer knife, a 5.5 inch serrated utility knife, a 5 inch santoku knife, a 3.5 inch paring knife, and four 4.5 inch steak knives.
You also get a set of kitchen shears and an knife block.
They are hand wash only, and you should make sure they are dried immediately after washing to prevent rust.
This set is more suited to people that eat a lot of steak than the Rachael Ray knife set, which has smaller knives and no steak knives. I personally think the KitchenAid is the better set because the knife sizes are bigger.
You can get this set with free shipping
For stamped steel knives, you can’t go wrong with Wüsthof and their Gourmet 7 piece knife set includes all the cutting implements a modern chef needs.
Like the Shun knives, these are made from high carbon stainless steel, but where Shun layers and folds the steel samurai-style, Wüsthof stamp their knives from a single sheet of steel.
(Note that the Wüsthof Classic line, which is a lot more expensive, hand-forges the knives, which is a different technique from the stamped steel you find in this Wüsthof Gourmet line).
Here is what you get in this set:
* 8 inch cook’s knife
* 8 inch bread knife
* 4.5 inch utility knife
* 3.5 inch paring knife
* 9 inch honing steel
* kitchen shears
* solid oak block with 9 slots
Wüsthof are a German brand and these knives are made in Germany and come with a lifetime warranty. Click here to buy
Shun knives are made from 33 layers of high-carbon stainless steel, (a VG-10 stainless steel core and then 16 layers on each side), in much the same way Samurai swords are forged, layer upon layer.
This set consists of 6 pieces – a bamboo knife storage block, a pair of kitchen scissors, an 8 inch chef’s knife, a utility knife, a paring knife and a sharpening steel.
The handles are D-shaped and made of pakkawood, which is made of layers of hardwood with waterproof resin.
They are designed for smaller hands – so women should be able to use them comfortably – men with extremely large hands may find this set too small for them.
These knives are made in Seki City in Japan, which is the center of all Samurai sword making in Japan. they come with a limited lifetime warranty. Click here to buy them online
The Calphalon Stainless Steel Dutch Oven, pictured right, has an 8 quart capacity. It has an aluminum core that is covered completely on all sides with stainless steel.
The lid is made of tempered glass, which makes it easy to view the food being cooked. It has two stay cool handles on either side.
It is safe in the oven to 500F, and can also go into a broiler or on any stove top. It is dishwasher safe, which is the great advantage stainless steel dutch ovens have over cast iron ovens.
The American Kitchen Stainless Steel Dutch Oven, has a 6 quart capacity. It’s also a “tri-ply” oven – aluminum core sandwiched in stainless steel on both sides.
The lid of this dutch oven is also stainless steel, and it is safe in the oven to 500F, as well as all stove tops including induction, and the dishwasher.
This dutch oven is made in the USA.
The All Clad Stainless Steel Dutch Oven, has a 5.5 quart capacity.
It too has an aluminum core sandwiched in between stainless steel. The lid is also made of stainless steel.
It works on all types of stove tops, as well as goes into the oven.
It is dishwasher safe (though they recommend hand washing to preserve it longer).
The pots are made in the USA, though some people have reported lids made in China.
Aluminum has always been a popular choice for cookware as it conducts heat fast, evenly and effectively. However aluminum has a tendency to corrode – but hard anodized aluminum solves this problem. An anode electrolyte is sent through the aluminum, which changes the structure of the outside surface, forming aluminum oxide, which is resists corrosion.
The inside of anodised aluminum cookware is generally lined with a nonstick surface which keeps foods (especially acidic foods) away from the aluminum and at the same time makes it easy to clean.
Here are the best hard anodized aluminum cookware sets:
This KitchenAid 12 piece hard anodized nonstick cookware set comprises of
* 2 saucepans with lids (1.5 quarts and 2 quarts)
* covered saucepot
* 8 quart covered stockpot
* 3 quart covered saute pan
* two skillets
This set has tempered glass lids for all the covered pans.
As you can imagine, this is more expensive than the T-Fal set show below.
This set is oven safe to 350F and the interior of pans has a patterned non stick coating that is scratch resistant..
Here’s what you get:
* 2 saute pans
* 3 saucepans with lid – 1 quart, 2 quarts and 3 quarts
* one 5 quart dutch oven with lid
* nylon serving spoon
* nylon slotted spatula
The nylon spatula and spoon are designed to help you preserve the nonstick interior of the pans. The handles are wrapped in silicon which help them stay cool to the touch.
This set is made in China and is relatively inexpensive as far as anodized cookware sets go.Click here to purchase online.
If you want the complete range of pots and pans, you can’t really go wrong with the Cuisinart 17 piece hard anodized cookware set.
Here is what it comprises:
* 3 covered saucepans (1.5 quarts, 2 quarts and 3 quarts)
* 3 skillets
* one 4 quart covered saute pan
* one 9 quart covered stockpot
* one pasta insert
* one covered steamer insert
The pasta insert is especially useful, as is the large stockpot. Best of all, this set is relatively inexpensive – it’s cheaper than the analon set despite having five more items.
You may also want to read about the Rachael Ray nonstick hard anodized cookware set
Modern pressure cookers were invented by Presto a century ago, and the company still make the most reliable pressure cookers on the market.
Presto pressure cookers are stovetop cookers, which sit neatly on any gas or electric stove.
The large pressure canners, like the 23 quart one pictured left, come with a dial pressure gauge, so you can be extra precise with the level of pressure you need for canning. The smaller 6 quart pressure cookers have a cover lock indicator to show when there is pressure in the pot.
The 23 quart pressure canner is made from heavy duty aluminum, with a steel lid that comes with a sealing ring. The lid locks into place and doesn’t unlock till the pressure has subsided. The handles stay cool throughout. The 6 quart pressure cooker is made from heavy stainless steel.
Both comes with racks so that you can stack several layers within the pot.
These pressure cookers come with a 12 year warranty, plus instruction and recipe booklets. If you merely need a pressure cooker for fast family cooking, choose the 6 quart cooker, as the capacity is not too large and not too small. If you are canning, then you really need the 23 quart canner (which doubles as a pressure cooker).
Presto also sell the inner sealing rings separately if yours stops working due to wear and tear and old age.
Le Creuset French Ovens are cast-iron cooking pots that are often referred to as dutch ovens.
The cast iron is enamelled to make it non-stick (in a safe non toxic way). The enamelling also means that you don’t need to season your cast-iron pot to protect it, the enamelling does that for you.
The enamels come in a variety of pretty colors.
The benefit of cooking in a cast-iron pot is that iron conducts heat superbly allowing to to heat the pot evenly which then enables you to do all sorts of one pot cooking, like traditional french casseroles, stews, and any cooking that involves simmering.
Le Creuset dutch ovens are hand-made in France and come with a lifetime warranty.
The 5 1/2 quart pot is the perfect size for family cooking
All good cooks need an accurate kitchen scale (see this NYT article on why scales produce better results than relying on cup measurements), and this page details all the best kitchen scales on the market, so you can make an informed decision about what to buy.
The Salter Aquatronic Glass Kitchen Scale is a sleek modern kitchen scale that can weigh up to 11 pounds of food.
It’s not as sensitive as Eat Smart Kitchen Scale in that the lowest weight it can cope with is two grams (instead of the Eat Smart’s one gram). However, if you are cooking for a large family, it’s unlikely you will need to weigh such small quantities. It copes with pounds and ounces as well as kilos and grams.
The glass platform resists staining and does not retain any smells from the food weighed on it. You can weigh food directly on the platform, or on a bowl.
It comes with a 10 year warranty and replacable lithium batteries. Buy it online with free shipping
This is a small lightweight kitchen scale, that can weigh food up to capacity 11 pounds. (If your recipes are all in metric, be assured that it handles kilograms and grams just as well). The Eat Smart Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale comes with rubber “feet” underneath, to ensure it doesn’t slide along your kitchen worktop.
It’s very sensitive (it can cope with one gram or 0.5 ounce) – this is great for dieters and those who are preparing small amounts of food. You can weigh foods directly on it (as in the picture right), or you can use the zero (tare) function, which automatically eliminates the weight of the plate or bowl you have put your food in. The LCD screen is large and clear with big numbers, which make it easy to see even when viewing from the side.
The scale comes in white, silver, black and red. Two AAA batteries are included with it (this kitchen scale is unusual in being able to use standard batteries instead of specialist batteries), and it also comes with a free Eat Smart Calorie Factors guide. you can get it with free shipping
The Polder KSC-310-28 Easy Read Digital Glass Top Scale, Silver has a modern non-removable glass top, a silver body and an extra large LCD screen for displaying weights. It’s sensitive – it can weigh items as small as 1 gram or 1/8 ounce, and has a maximum capacity of 6 1/2 pounds.
It has an unusual “Add and Weigh” feature, which allows you to add weigh multiple items without removing the items you’ve already placed on the scales.
It’s powered by 3V batteries (which they include), and comes with a 1 year warranty. It’s easy to clean – just wipe the glass top with soap and water. You can buy it with free shipping
Here are some other kitchen scales you might be interested in:
You know how it is when you grill meat – it looks fine outside, but is it cooked inside? You need a good meat thermometer. And when barbecuing, you have an additional problem – holding the thermometer in the meat long enough, and trying not to flinch from the heat while it does it’s thing – which is where wireless or remote meat thermometers come in.
Here is the best remote meat thermometer for grilling:
The Maverick ET-73 Remote Wireless Smoker Thermometer pictured above right, is the most elaborate of all the wireless thermometers on this page. It not only measures meat temperatures, but has a timer in addition.
You get two probes, one for meat, and another to measure smoking chamber temperatures (if you smoke your own fish etc).
It measures temperature from 100 feet away, and the receiver will alert you when you are done, and also warn you if the temperature is too low or too high.
It is powered by four AAA batteries, which they include in the box.
Here are two other meat thermometers you may want to consider:
The RediCheck Remote Cooking Thermometer by Maverick allows you to measure the temperature of the meat on your bbq grill or in your oven, from 100 feet away.
Place the thermometer probe in the meat, program the receiver to your required level of cooking (by temperature), and it alerts you when it’s done.
This unit is powered by 2 AAA batteries (which are not included so you have to buy them separately).
The Grillmark Remote Probe Grill Thermometer also measures the temperature of meat from 100 feet away, by sounding an alert on your receiver.
It does not measure specific temperatures, but instead you need to select a setting (from rare, medium rare, medium, done and well done
For a guide as to how best to use a meat thermometer, please see the following page
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