Review: Wüsthof Come-Apart Kitchen Shears

Wusthof Come Apart Kitchen Shears

Wusthof Come Apart Kitchen Shears

Every kitchen needs a good pair of shears.

Those who don’t have a pair for the kitchen often end up moving some of their sewing scissors into the kitchen to be used when needed. But sewing scissors and kitchen shears are two very different things.

Kitchen shears need to be able to do a number of different jobs. From simply cutting open a plastic bag of ingredients to cutting apart chicken and other meats, there are a variety or roles they are expected to fill.

When it comes to benefits, the Wüsthof Come-Apart Kitchen Shears are built with a number of them. First they have blades that can be snapped apart. This is vital when you are using shears for the kitchen. Imagine if you were to chop up a piece of raw meat with the shears and were unable to clean all of those meat particles out of the hinged area of the shears. This is just what you can do by taking them apart.

Additionally, these are ambidextrous shears, meaning they can be held in either hand. This is something that lefties appreciate.

The creators of these shears also kept other help you may need in the kitchen in mind as the handle of these shears also have a jar opening capability thanks to a steel tooth inset.

What We Like

  • The fact that they come apart, making them much easier to clean, especially after you cut meat and other items that require a very careful clean up.
  • They are a favorite cutting tool when cutting chicken, but of course they can be used for cutting fat off meat, cutting through ribs and even butchers twine.

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Review: Lodge Logic Cast Iron Skillet

Lodge Logic SkilletThe cast iron skillet is a great addition to any kitchen. You can use it on gas or electric ranges and stoves as well as put it on the grill or over an open fire.

There are so many things you can do with cast iron that you can’t with Teflon coated or stainless cookware.

Cast iron heats much more evenly than the cheaper types of cookware. This means no more burns or hot spots in whatever you are cooking.

When it comes to using the 10-1/4’ skillet, you re going to be in love with this piece before you even turn on the heat of your stove.

Here’s why – The makers have saved you a lot of time in initial prep by making sure it comes to you pre-seasoned.

If you’ve never seasoned a piece of cast iron cookware before it can be a bit intimidating. The Lodge Logic Skillet takes the guesswork out of seasoning. You can just take it out of the box and start cooking.

Another area you will be impressed is with the quality of Lodge Logic Skillets. When you hold it you can feel the weight. It comes in at six pounds. There are a lot of pretty wimpy flimsy excuses for cast iron cookware and this certainly beats the pants off of them.

One really nice feature of the Lodge Logic Skillet is that it has two built in lips along the rim of the pan. This lets you pour liquids out without worrying about them spilling all over the sides. These little added features really set the Lodge Logic Skillet apart from its competitors.

Things We Like:

  • We love having a handle with a hole in it so we can hang the skillet up.
  • The small handle opposite the main handle is a great addition making handling a full pot easier.
  • They are just the right size is for cooking up a skillet full of bacon and eggs.

Update:

Since this post was written, I have purchased the 8″ Lodge Logic skillet. The reason I brought the smaller skillet is because I love to make omelets, both plain and souffle.

So I wanted to see if the cast iron pan would pass my test.  It certainly did. I removed the  instructions that were gummed to the base, washed the pan in very hot water, dried it well and then coated it in good quality olive oil

The pan is preseasoned so it didn’t require the full pre seasoning treatment. After bringing the pan slowly to the heat I cooked the first omelet which cooked to perfection.  One thing I hadn’t counted on was how hot the handle gets and picked it up without a pot mitt.  Big mistake so make sure that you have either a pot mitt or the love handle on hand when it comes time to pick up the hot pan.

Clean up is a breeze, simply rinse the pan under hot water, towel dry or dry using paper towel and coat with a thin layer of oil to stop the pan from rusting.

I have to say I am impressed with my Lodge Logic skillet.

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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!

Home Protection For You – Your Family and Your Cookware

Adt BadgeA cookware website probably seems like an odd place to talk about home security, but when you consider how much a professional set of cookware costs these days then you might just want to stop and think about its replacement if your home is burgled.

We tend to think about our plasma tv’s, gaming platforms, works of art and other smaller valuables before we even consider our kitchen ware. But really, we all need home security to protect our family, pets and possessions.

That’s where ADT Home Security come in. They are experts in the field of security for your home or business. There are a number of packages available so that you can select one that suits the level of security you need and within your budget.

The Basic Package includes:

  • 1 Safewatch Quick Connect Control Panel
  • 2 Wireless Door/Window Sensors
  • 1 PIR Wireless Motion Detector
  • 1 Wireless Keychain remote
  • 1 Power supply and 24 hour battery
  • 1 ADT window decal

The system is easy to use and you have two way voice communications with ADT Monitoring Centers during an alarm. Monitoring is 24/7.

So if you want to sleep soundly at night knowing your home and family are well protected why not check out ADT Home Security and rest easy.  ADT know their business and that business is looking out for your safety.  And at the very least you will know that expensive set of All Clad or  Mauviel Copper cookware is safe.




What to Consider When Buying Camping Cookware

How you like to camp is a big key in what to consider when buying camping cookware. If you’re car camping or bringing the family out for a quick picnic weekend then your cookware will be a lot different than that used for a solo backpacker.

Let’s look at what you need if you’re planning a backpacking trip first.

When backpacking you want the lightest gear possible. This means you’ll want a collapsible lightweight stove.  When looking for a lightweight stove you want something durable with very few parts. There’s nothing worse than being stranded on a trail with a broken stove.

These units only have a few parts, the collapsible stand, burner unit, heat reflector, and gas bottle.  It all folds down into a tight little package that can easily be stuffed into your backpack.

For backpacking you probably won’t be doing any elaborate cooking. All you need is a small lightweight metal pot for boiling water. Aluminum works well.

If you’re car camping or feeding a group of people then you’ll want a bit more choices.

Your two main choices are a propane or white gas stove.

There are benefits to both types.  A propane stove is much easier to take care of.  All you have to do is screw a bottle into place and click the auto ignite and you’re up and cooking.

A white gas stove is less maintenance intensive. All you need is a jug of fuel. Pump up the stove and light it.

As far as pots and pans go all you need are a skillet and one or two pots to get cooking. This is not going to be a problem as you can find durable lightweight cooking gear at any outdoor store. It’s just a matter of sorting through the offerings and looking for something that suits your current camping needs.