What to look for when buying a deep fat fryer

Presto-deep-fryerProbably the most important feature of a deep fryer is the food capacity.  This is how much food the fryer can safely cook at one time.  Think carefully about the quantities that you will want to cook.  If in doubt, always buy bigger than you think you may need. Oil capacity is how much oil the fryer holds.

Go for a ‘cool touch wall’ model.  This means that the outside surfaces of the fryer won’t get hot and will be safe to touch.  This is especially important if you have children.

How much clear kitchen worktop space do you have?  Will there be room for you new fryer?  Remember it must be near a power outlet. If it’s not going to stay on the worktop permanently, do you have room to store it?

Look at the temperature control.  Avoid fryers which just have an on and off switch – they will be no better than your ‘homemade’ chip pan.

Avoid ‘high, medium and low’ settings.  They are not precise enough for good results.
You need a gauge that will tell you when the correct temperature has been reached for the food that you are cooking.  Some more expensive fryers have two compartments, each with their own temperature gauge.

Some deep fryer models now feature an automatically rotating frying basket.  This periodically takes the basket out of the oil during cooking which decreases the oil residue and still crisps the food.

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Product of the Week – Rachael Ray Saute Pan

Rachael Ray 5qt Saute PanPopular celebrity chef Rachael Ray has her own range of excellent cookware which includes the  5qt hard anodized aluminum non stick saute pan.

And it is the Rachael Ray Hard Anodized Nonstick 5-Quart Oval Saute Pan with helper  and glass lid that we are featuring  as our product of the week.

Now there are some features that make this pan a real asset in the kitchen.

  • The handy 5qt size makes it ideal for cooking up a decent sized meal.
  • The non-stick surface makes for healthy cooking as you require only a little or no added oil.
  • It cleans up quick and easy because no food will stick to the non-stick surface.
  • Oven safe to 400° F.
  • There is a convenient  handle helper .
  • Although it is a large pan it fits on one burner, so you save cooking space on your stovetop allowing you to have other pots cooking at the same time.
  • It is made from hard anodized aluminum which is an excellent conductor of heat, giving you an even spread of heat so that your food cooks evenly without hotspots.


One of the drawbacks with aluminum is that it is a relatively soft metal which means it can dent and scratch easily. However this problem has been overcome by a process known as anodization which causes the aluminum to oxidize and ultimately harden, thus giving you a strong durable piece of cookware.

This piece has the signature Rachael Ray orange colored silicone handles which give you a comfortable grip, are non-slip and heat resitant to 400°.  So you pop the whole saute pan into the oven if you want to finish off the cooking process.

When it comes time to lift the pan, whether to serve or remove from the stove, the handle helper will ensure you have a good grip for when you are lifting a pan full of food.

You will find that the Rachael Ray Hard Anodized Nonstick 5-Quart Oval Saute Pan will be one of those pans that gives you a great deal of practical use and will be a great addition to the Rachael Ray cookware set.

Click the following link to read our full review of the Rachael Ray 10pc  Cookware Set.

What To Look For When Buying A Dutch Oven

cast-iron-dutch-ovenWhen you go shopping for a Dutch Oven do your research and  choose one that is obviously well made.

The oven handle should be heavy and securely attached to molded ears on the sides of the oven.  Avoid ovens with riveted-on ears as these can become weak over time and could be dangerous.  Many oven handles lie down flat on either side of the lid, but if you can, find one that lets the handle stand at a 45 degree angle.  This makes it easier and safer to pick up.

  • Make sure the lid has a lip or depression around its outer edge.  This helps to keep the hot coals on the lid.  It also prevents ash from falling into the food when you lift the lid.
  • Your Dutch oven must have legs if it is to be used over a campfire.  They must be long enough to lift the oven clear from the coals and allow air underneath, to keep the fire going.
  • If your oven is for home use on the stove top or in the oven, you need a flat bottomed one.

  • Read more about Dutch Ovens here…

    Tidy up your kitchen with pot racks!

    metrokitchen-pot-rack1
    Everyone wants to save space, especially in the kitchen where chaos is imminent if things aren’t organised.

    If you are anything like me and just have this burning desire to have all the latest cooking gadgets available then you won’t have room to store bulky, heavy pots and pans?

    And this is where pot racks come into their own. Pot racks solve the dilemma of cramped kitchens, and add a clean elegance to any cooking space. They come in lots of varieties, styles and materials and they can be hung on ceilings or walls. There are also many different shape and sizes, so it pays to have some idea of what style and material you are considering before you go shopping.

    Before choosing a pot rack consider the following:

    - do you have enough space for a pot rack

    - do you want a hanging pot rack or a self standing pot rack

    - will the pot rack match your current kitchen decor

    - do you want a lighted pot rack.

    Click here for more information on pot racks.

    What is a Dutch Oven?

    red-dutch-oven
    The Dutch oven is used when you want to have oven cooking conditions on your stovetop or over a campfire – or you can use it in your oven.

    The name ‘Dutch oven’ is used for various cast pots or kettles.

    The most usual one is the traditional, outdoor cast iron pot or kettle, with a flat bottom and three legs to hold the oven out of the campfire coals.  The lid is flanged and flat for holding hot coals, so that food is cooked from above and below.

    It has a steel handle which is attached to ‘ears’ on either side of the oven, to make it easy to carry.

    Stove top or ‘for use in the oven’ Dutch ovens can be cast iron or aluminum.  They have no legs, flat bottoms and usually have rounded lids.