Win a $101 OXO Gift Voucher Simply Tag OXO on Facebook

OXO the official pageIt’s been one of those weeks, what with my grandaughter’s car breaking down miles from home and my husbands medical problems that I nearly missed out on passing this great competition onto you.  

 So I do apologise, because this is too good to miss.

For your chance to win one of 10 prizes of $101 worth of excellent OXO products you simply need to enter the OXOnomics 101 Contest on Facebook by 9 October 2009.

Now here’s the really good bit. It’s really easy.

To be in the running to win this great prize, all you have to do is become a fan of OXO – the Official Page and dedicate your  status update on Facebook to OXO by tagging OXO – The Official Page, and comment on OXO’s post for your official entry.

How easy is that! Facebook is the social media phenomenom that we all love to use when it comes to keeping in touch with family and friends.  It is so easy to dash off a few lines of text letting everyone know what you are up to.

For those who are unfamiliar with tagging this is what you need to do:

To tag OXO – The Official Page in your status, use the “@” symbol beforehand, and click on OXO – The Official Page in the drop down menu.

 Visit http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=109765592130 for more information on Facebook Tagging.

And OXO, well they have to be the kitchen accessories available.  Everything is ergonomically designed with good looks and practical functionality in mind.  I use OXO goodgrips products because they work.

So off you go, quickly now and tag OXO on Facebook, write something nice about OXO in your facebook status and be in with the chance to win a $101 OXO Voucher.

Keep in mind that you must be 18 years of age and live in one of the 50 States of America.

Visit http://www.oxo.com/oxonomics101/ for all the Official Rules to the contest.

I found that by typing OXO the Official Page into the search function on Facebook I was easily able to find them.


Announcing the Winners of our First Competition

Firstly we would like to thank everyone who participated in our recent giveaway. We received lots of excellent comments and it was really difficult to come to a decision.

In fact we found it so hard that we had to add a 4th prize.

So without further ado I would like to announce the winners of the Amazon Gift Card Giveaway:

  • 1st place – Sezin O – $100.00
  • 2nd place – David H - $50.00
  • 3rd place – Kimberly C – $25.00
  • and our added Bonus prize goes to – Sky S (for the most comments left) $25.00

Once again thank you to all participants.  We will be running another competition very soon so why not sign up for our newsletter so that you don’t miss out on the opportunity to be in the running for another great prize.

Our Blog is Entered in the Best WordPress Design 2009 Competition

WPContestNominee300Our blog has been entered in the Best WordPress Design 2009 Competition being run by Freshventure.com.

Now we are pretty excited about this competition as apart from getting even more exposure for Only Cookware, there are some great prizes up for grabs.

We would certainly appreciate our readers voting for our blog, the voting begins on September 1, 2009.

Thank you for your support, and don’t forget to watch out for our next exciting competition right here on Only-Cookware.





$100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway – Leave a Comment to Enter

Amazon Gift Card

This contest has now ended. You can view the winners here…

We are running our very first giveaway with a prize of a $100 Amazon Gift Card for the winner plus prizes for 2 runners-up….a $50 Amazon Gift Card for 2nd place and $25 for 3rd.

To enter all you need to do is leave a mininum of 2 comments on our blog – leave the first one below this blog post so we know you want to be entered and leave the second comment on any other post on our blog…

So just so it’s clear you need to leave 2 comments in total (although you can leave more if you like) – one on this post and one on any other post on the blog.

The more comments you leave, the better your chance of winning.

The entries close at midnight (PDT) on Saturday 29th August and the winners will be contacted the next day via email.

To be eligible you must be over 18 and live in a country that allows you to purchase from Amazon. No point having a gift card if you can’t use it so please check first.

We will choose our favorite comments as the winners. This could be the most constructive, helpful, funniest or informative comments or just the best question asked and we will publish the results (with winners names) on this blog.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO ENTER…

STEP 1: Leave a comment below telling us you want to be entered.

STEP 2: Leave a comment on any other blog post on our site.

STEP 3: That’s it…your done…you can leave as many comments as you like. the more you leave, the better your chances of winning.

Good Luck!!

Wanda & Paula

The Microwave Maze…How to Choose?

Whether you are buying a microwave for the first time or replacing an existing one, there are a few basic questions to ask yourself before you start searching. Once you have the answers to these, your search will be simplified and you will have a higher chance of getting a microwave that fits your kitchen, your cooking style and your way of life!

Where Will Your New Microwave Be?

In the kitchen…obviously…but where? If you are having your kitchen remodelled, you may like to consider an ‘Over The Range’ or ‘Built In’ model. Both of these are discussed in detail later in the article.

If you wish to have a straightforward ‘Countertop’ microwave there are a few points to consider:

  • Measure the space on the countertop where you would like your microwave to sit. Don’t forget height, if there are wall cupboards and depth.
  • Ensure that there will be room for the door of the microwave to be fully opened.
  • If possible, ensure that there is adequate space in front of the microwave so that hot food can be placed straight onto the counter.

What Will You Use It For?

Many people who buy a microwave start out thinking that they will use it for a variety of cooking uses and then find that they only use it to heat up forgotten mugs of coffee or defrosting the meat that they forgot to take out of the freezer! If this applies to you, be realistic and just get a basic microwave that will meet these needs.

If you already use your existing microwave for cooking, or wish to do so, measure the dimensions of your favourite cookware and make sure that

  • It is microwave safe.
  • Your new microwave will house it adequately and allow it to rotate, if applicable to your new model.

If you will be using your microwave frequently, decide whether you need the following functions as they can affect the price:

  • Convection capability
  • Controls, settings and buttons for specific foodstuffs or food groups.
  • Temperature sensors
  • Automatic Defrost functions
  • Easy cleanup – for example, a removable turntable, plate, tray or rack.

I Don’t Understand the Wattage…

The wattage is simply the power of your microwave. The higher the watts, the faster the food will cook. Some older models of microwave didn’t have their wattage specified, so to find out the wattage of an existing microwave, perform the following exercise:


Put 8 ounces of water into a microwave safe jug and put it into the microwave on high power. Time how long it takes for the water to come to the boil.

  • If it takes less than 2 minutes your microwave is between 850 and 1000 watts.
  • If it takes 2 – 3 minutes, your microwave is between 650 and 850 watts.
  • If it takes 3 – 4 minutes, your microwave is between 400 and 650 watts.

Knowing the wattage of your ‘old’ microwave will help you to make the transition to your new one. For example, if you never found your old one powerful enough, just buy a higher wattage.

Now that you know what size and wattage you require, let’s take a look at the types of microwave available.

Countertop Microwaves

These are free-standing and can sit in any area of your kitchen as long as there is a power source nearby. This style is the least expensive and also offers the most variety of sizes and power.

The internal size (often referred to as capacity) of these microwaves can range from half a cubic foot to two cubic feet. Externally, they can vary in size but a larger unit may be as much as two feet wide, 14 inches high and 18.5 inches deep. This can take up quite a lot of space on your worktop – especially depth wise, so be sure to check the external dimensions of the model you are interested in and then check them against your own space. It can help to make a paper ‘template’ of the microwave size and lay it on the counter to help you visualise the space usage.

Their wattage, or power usually starts at around 600 watts and can go as high as 1300 watts.

If space is going to be an issue, look for a countertop model that gives you the option to mount it under a wall cupboard. This is invaluable in freeing up counter space and is safe because it gives you some work area to put a hot dish down, when you lift it out of the microwave.

Pricewise, these can start at well under $100 but don’t forget that you get what you pay for, so try not to be tempted by a bargain unless it fits your needs. If it does…go for it!

Overall, the biggest quest with these models is to find one that takes up the minimum amount of space but is big enough to meet your cooking requirements.

Over-The-Range Microwaves

These are the same as countertop microwaves but they have the added advantage of getting rid of steam, smoke and cooking smells via their own integral ventilation system. They do this by being professionally installed over your existing cooker and have their own hood.

They are generally slightly bigger than ordinary countertop microwaves, usually starting at around .8 of a cubic foot internally (and 800 watts). However, they are sometimes not as deep, so check the measurements carefully, especially if you want to continue using a favorite piece of cookware in one.

These start at around $250 but don’t forget that you may need to pay a professional to install it, so if you are considering one, get some quotes before deciding.

Built-In Microwaves

If you have a bijou apartment or little countertop space, then you may like to consider a built-in microwave. These can be installed into a cupboard or into an alcove or space created in the wall.

Their dimensions and power are similar to the over-the-range microwaves but they can be more pricey, due to the cost of a more complicated professional installation.

What is  Convection Cooking?

Some microwaves have a convection cooking option. Unlike a standard microwave, this option circulates air around the food, which cooks it more quickly and also browns and crisps it.

This is a nice feature to have if you use your microwave for a lot of cooking but if you only use it for warming or defrosting you probably wouldn’t make the most of it. Another thing that may put you off is the price. A Convection Microwaves is costly and can set you back around $1500.

Extras

When you’re trying to choose a microwave, you may find the extra features confusing. Here’s a guide to what they are and what they do. They are all useful but the more features, the higher the price, so decide carefully if you would need them before buying.

Time Cook

This feature lets you program two different cooking times and power levels for one dish. This means that you can start a dish off on one power, for your desired length of time and then it will finish cooking on your second choice of time and power. This gives you a lot of control, allows you to actually cook rather than simply reheat and gives you the freedom to cook more complicated meals.

Automatic Defrost

This is a very useful feature – especially if you are prone to forgetting to take items out of the freezer in time! Automatic Defrost automatically calculates the level of power and the defrost time for the item and ensures that it is properly defrosted and ready to cook.

Shortcut/Convenience Keys

These keys are factory set to automatically cook certain foods at the press of one button. They are great for items like pizza or popcorn and children love them! As a general rule, the more expensive the model of microwave, the more convenience keys it will have.

Sensor Cooking

This clever feature continually assesses the moisture level in food as it cooks and then automatically changes the level of power and the cooking time to ensure that the food is properly cooked.

Child Lock

This one is self-explanatory and very useful if you have small children as it stops them from switching on the microwave.

Turntable/Moveable Tray

This feature is useful in three ways.

  1. Food cooked on a turntable is continuously rotated to make sure it is heated evenly.
  2. The turntable or tray is usually removable to make cleanup easy.
  3. If you wish to place a bigger dish into the microwave, remove the tray or turntable and then cook in short bursts and manually turn the dish.

Handy Hints

  • If you’re still not sure which model will be best for you, get a book on Microwave Cookery (or borrow one from the Library). See which types of meal you may be likely to cook and what microwave features you would need.
  • Have a good look on the internet before ordering as there are bargains to be had!