Stirr Causes A Stir – Battery Powered Sauce Stirrer

stirr-lI have just come across a kitchen appliance that is going to blow you away.

If your forte is making beautiful tasty sauces then you know that they require the utmost attention to ensure that they turn out smooth, and the slightest bit of inattention equals disaster.

You know how it is, you are in the middle of whipping up a roux sauce and you get interrupted, by the kids, the dog or the next door neighbour, it may be just a few seconds of inattention, but when you turn back to the stove – lumpy sauce.

Its so frustrating and nothing you do can redeem the situation.

Well, this handy little battery operated tool means that  no longer do you have to worry about those minor interruptions because while your attention is elsewhere, Stirr keeps on stirring so your sauce remains nicely smooth and lump free and you will never have lumpy cheese sauce or gravy again.

So what is Stirr?

It is an automatic hands-free sauce stirrer, but you aren’t restricted to using it only on sauces or gravy, you can also stirr custards, soups, baked beans with simply a push of the button.

This is also a practical kitchen gadget for anybody who finds stirring tiresome or difficult, so its ideal for anyone with arthritis or wrist problems.

This really nifty battery powered kitchen accessory is the latest invention from  üutensil’s designer Gavin Reay.  The Stirr simply  glides around the pan base stopping the food from sticking or burning.


It is safe to use in your brand new non-stick saucepan and the legs can be removed and popped into the dishwasher for easy clean up.

So often we come across gadgets full of promise that turn out to be less than effective but this is one kitchen accessory you are going to love.

No more lumpy gravy, through inattention, no more sore joints for arthritis sufferers, Stirr just keeps on stirring, ensuring even heat distribution through the sauce or gravy.

And where can you buy  Stirr!!

It is available from uü for  around  £14.99 plus p+p.


Kuhn Rikon Vase Spice Grinder Looks Classy – Works Well

51oP6SpmOtL._SL1082_We really enjoy the flavor and aroma of freshly ground spices. After all the addition of a herbs and spices can quickly jazz up what could be an ordinary tasting or bland dish.

And there are just so many beautiful spices available which means I never tire of experimenting when I am cooking.

So I am always on the lookout for grinders that not only do a credible job of grinding up spices, seeds and herbs quickly and efficiently but also look good.

I have a number of grinders that perform well but I am a bit like the Imelda Marcos of grinders, I don’t believe you can have too many.

This Kuhn Rikon Spice Grinder has the ceramic mechanism on the top of the grinder which means that your counter stays clean and you won’t end up with bits of ground spice all over the place. The Vase Spice grinder is equipped with the CrushGrind® ceramic mechanism that is reportedly sharper and stronger than steel.

This classy looking Vase Spice Grinder has four interchangeable inserts which allows you to quickly and simply change to whichever spice or herb you require. The adjustment wheel turns easily  giving you control over the final result and  letting you choose whether you want extra fine or coarsely ground spices.

Just imagine have total control over your ground spice results. The Kuhn RikonVase Spine Grinder lets you easily grind up salt, peppercorns,  rosemary, flax seeds, cloves, chilis, basil, oregano….all your favorite dried herbs and spices, with a minimum of fuss and you can even grind up the spice mixes that you and your family like, whether you make your own homemade mix or use a store bought mix.

The Vase Spice Grinder is available in  black, red, blue or white.


  • Turn the spice grinder over and grind from the top so counters stay clean.
  • The Vase Spice Grinder easily adjusts for fine to coarse grinding.
  • Three containers make changing spices a snap.
  • There are ergonomic finger grips for easy action.
  • The CrushGrind ceramic mechanism stays sharp.

These spice grinders are attractive enough to leave out on your counter top.

For the black, white and red Kuhn Rikon Vase Spice Grinders go to



Sango Dinnerware – Sango Splash Dinnerware

61gahYL05gL._SL1000_My daughter was looking to buy a new dinner set. She had a vague idea of what she wanted but like most of us she found it time consuming trying to find just the right dinnerware.

Generally the best place to start is to look for a pattern and set to fit your kitchen and dining room décor and from there to look for a set in your price range.

Sango manufacture dinnerware  in a wide range to suit all budgets.

They are an Indonesian company that has been producing fine tableware for years and they offer lines ranging from casual home ware right through to fine dining, in a variety of finishes.

Sango dinnerware comes in a range of different materials including:

  • Stoneware
  • Porcelain
  • China
  • Glazed Earthenware

This makes it very easy for you to pick the perfect set for your home.

Most Sango dinnerware comes in a complete set that includes the serving dishes, so that solves your problem of trying to match up serving bowls with salad bowls and dinner plates.

You will find pretty much any print pattern to suit your home from traditional kitchen designs to nostalgic designs that fit in with grandma’s décor. You will even find themed sets for the holidays such as a patriotic liberty theme.

The glaze and finish on almost all of the Sango dinnerware pieces is dishwasher and microwave safe. The only real exception is the China line. China should always be hand washed and never placed in a microwave.

So it doesn’t matter whether you are looking for fine china or casual everyday dinnerware Sango offers a choice that will fit your style and budget. With the wide variety of themes, material types, and integrated dishes you’ll find a product that will beautify your kitchen and dining room.

One of the patterns that I like in particular is the Sango Zanzibar range of dinner ware.

And the reason I like the Sango Splash range is that the pattern on each piece is totally unique.

My favorite is the earthy toned set that has a mixture of rich brown tones ranging in color from ochre to deep chocolate.  You can also see the spiral brushstrokes and soft accents that are “splashed” together to create the attractive pattern.

The manufacturer uses three separate layers of matte and gloss reactive glazes which drip differently when the green ware is in the kiln, which gives this mottled effect in a pattern of a combination of stretch, and speckle.

Engineering Meets Cooking to Create a Masterpiece

Cuisinart Chef's Classic non stick

Engineering doesn’t belong in cooking! Well, engineering created the cooking equipment we use, so it would be silly to ignore its role in cooking. A large part of designing anything is material selection. Materials have certain properties that make them good for some purposes and bad for others. There is no super material that is good at everything: light, strong, heat transfer, cheap, holds an edge, etc. When choosing cooking tools, consider both the material and the purpose of the piece. This will instantly tell you if it can perform the intended function. Of course, how the tool “feels” cannot be explained with numbers. That’s where testing comes in.

To demonstrate we’ll compare a cast iron frying pan to an aluminum one. Cast iron is a poor conductor of heat compared to aluminum. Why would you use cast iron as a material to make a frying pan? You want heat to move into the food you are cooking, right? The fact that it’s a poor conductor of heat, compared to aluminum, means it will slowly release heat at an even rate into what you are cooking. Searing is one of the cooking methods that surprisingly takes advantage of this cast iron property. For example with tuna, cast iron will sear the fish, but because of its low heat release rate, it will not over-cook the outside layer. The aluminum pan, which excels at conducting heat, will transfer heat so rapidly it causes the outside layer to actually over-cook.

“I am sold,” cast iron sounds perfect. There is the flip side. A side effect of cast iron’s poor heat conductivity is hot spots. If you are an experienced cook these can be managed, if not, you will learn how burnt food tastes. Other properties of cast iron as compared to aluminum are that it takes twice as long to reach cooking temperature and it’s super heavy. You can see there are reasons to use either type of material. What becomes more important is fitting the pan to the person’s skill level and cooking style.

all-clad-stainless-steel-14-piece-cookware-set-reviewWhat this points out, is that cooking tools don’t just happen. There are reasons why certain cooking tools are made out of certain materials. We noticed that all the currently available cooking sets do not consider these factors and deliver mediocre results. They might have an attractive price tag, but you will soon find yourself throwing most of it away or wondering why you have three frying pans that can’t fry properly.

Engineering principles are used to research and test all the items needed for everyday cooking and then crossed referenced it against real life cooking knowledge. The results determined the right items with the right features. The value of a cooking set is not achieved by sacrificing quality, but rather by eliminating redundancy and making correct design choices. The result is high quality cooking sets that let you cook right out of the box.



ManPan Stir Fry Wok Review – The Eco Friendly Cookware

ManPan Stirfry PanI never tire of receiving cookware samples to review, so when a box arrived and was sitting on my desk I couldn’t wait to open it. Inside I was happy to find a Manpan stir fry wok.

If you’ve never heard of ManPans before then you’re not the only one. We have been running this website for a few years now and it was only when a representative of the company contacted us that we found out about them.

So who are they? Well, ManPans is a brand of Lloyd Industries and Lloyd Industries supply commercial cookware to restaurants and commercial kitchens. However, their Manpan line of cookware has been developed with the specific purpose of supplying chef quality pans to consumers.

First Impressions…

As I lifted the pan out of the box I was surprised at how light it was. I am so used to cookware like All Clad and Cuisinart Multiclad where the clad bases make the pans feel solid and weighty.

My other initial reaction was that the pan looked a bit rough around the edges. Almost as if it hadn’t been packaged properly and had scuffed during transport.

Okay not a good start, but stay with me here as although these were my initial thoughts, there are explanations for each of them…and things only got better from there.

What’s in the Box

We received a 10in stir fry pan with a steamer and lid. Both the lid and steamer can be purchased separately.

Where is it made?

It’s not very often that you find a pan that is manufactured in the US but this is one of them. This pan is made in Spokane, WA USA.

What is it made of?

Many will be pleased to know that this pan is 100% PTFE and Teflon-free!!

The pan is constructed from hard anodized aluminum so it conducts heat well and means you don’t need to use high temperatures to cook.

Amazing Non-Scratch Surface!!!

The surface of the pan is coated with what the company calls Gem-X2 which they describe as a two layer sapphire/quartz-like natural mineral finish. Apparently it is resistant to scratching, chipping and flaking. They are so sure of the high standard of the finish that they claim that you can rub a coin across the coating and it will not scratch the surface and in fact, it will wear down the coin instead. I found this a bit too good to be true but decided to take up the challenge and give it a go.

This was harder than I thought…I hate to see cookware with scratches but for the sake of this review, I knew I had to do it. So out came the coin and away I went scratching at the surface. I tried it first on the bottom surface of the steamer as I didn’t want to ruin the pan itself.

It was pretty amazing actually. After a lot of effort with the coin, the surface did have what looked scratches although they were quite faint. BUT as soon as I rubbed the scratches with a damp cloth they disappeared. I did it again and again and scratched even harder but each time the scratches just rubbed off. In fact they just came off by rubbing the area with my thumb.

I then tried it on the pan itself and had the same result.

I checked the pan a day later to see if the scratches ‘suddenly reappeared’ but no they were gone for good and in fact I couldn’t even find the spot where the scratches were to begin with.

And for those that need to see the results take a look at the pics below:

Manpan - Scratch Marks Made with a Coin
Manpan - Scratch Marks Disappeared

The Shape

The pan has deep curved sides and is not as open as the tradtional style wok that we are used to …but we need to remember that we are looking at an American style wok here not a traditional wok… so we won’t get into comparisons between the two.

However, for those that aren’t aware, a traditional wok has a wide opening and a small handle on each side. The bottom is curved and requires a stand for it to sit secure on the stove top. An American style wok, on the other hand, is known as a stir fry pan. It has a flat base and one long handle and sometimes a handle helper. So although they are basically designed to do the same job they are quite different in their construction.

I find that this is a great pan to move food around in as the sides are deep and curved.  It is surprising just how much food you can fit into this 10in pan. And the flat bottom ensures that the pan stays secure on the stove top.

Does it generate enough heat?

The goal for any stir fry pan or wok is to generate a lot of heat. This is so foods cook quickly and evenly – a low heat tends to cause the foods to stew in their own juices which means that the meat can become tough and vegetables soggy and unpalatable. For this reason we really wanted to focus on this aspect of the pan to ensure it made the grade. If it didn’t there really was no point reviewing any further.

So what did we find?

We’re happy to say that the pan did exceptionally well in the heat department. I actually used my own stovetop for testing. And we used it on a hot plate that is renowned for not generating a lot of heat so we were surprised that the pan did so well. The pan got hot quickly and maintained good solid heat the entire time.

I would tend to think that because this pan doesn’t have a thick base is what makes the difference here. It means the pan heats up quickly and maintains the heat during the cooking process.

Can it be used on a ceramic stove top?

Yes definitely – the pan is safe to use on ceramic stove tops.

Can I use the Manpan in the oven?

Yes, these pans are oven safe to an amazing 700F…not that there are many home ovens that get anywhere near to that temperature but at least the option is there if you need it. Just be aware however that the lid is only oven safe to 400F.

What is the handle like?

The handles stay cool on the stovetop but ensure that you use oven gloves if using in the oven as they will get hot. It also feels quite comfortable to hold.

Beauty Marks…

Manpan - Eg of Scuff MarksAs I mentioned in the opening paragraph, this pan arrived with what looked like scuff marks. You can see an example of what I mean in the image. These were examples of marks found on the steamer but there were also minor marks on the pan itself.

I attributed it to poor packaging, however on checking the manpan website I found the following:

“We believe the Gem-X2 finish quality of our pans gives you the most beautiful cooking results imaginable. Our exclusive manufacturing process leaves an occasional harmless streak, smudge or rack mark on the cookware and we don’t overfinish them with unnecessary pretty coatings. We call these our “beauty marks”.”

I guess when your priority is to supply cookware for industrial applications where the performance of the cookware is the top priority then a few ‘beauty marks’ on the final look of the cookware isn’t an issue.

This may work with those in the industry but I just wonder about home cooks. I must admit that I was initially disappointed at seeing the scuff marks but on the other hand I quickly got over it after using the pan and assessing its performance.


Being eco-friendly is definitely something this company is good at. Here’s what they had to say about their cookware:

“Since we manufacture, anodize and finish all our pans in one US location, we save carbon by reducing transportation. Our anodizing process is very clean both in sewage and air quality and receives high marks from the Washington State Department of Ecology. Our finishing technology contains no petroleum products, no PFE or PFOA, is water based and completely non-reactive. From manufacturing to our finished product, we are truly embracing the most eco-friendly cookware available.”

You can read more about it here…Man Pan Eco Green Manufacturing

Does it come with a warranty?

Yes, the pan comes with a lifetime warranty for any defects in material and workmanship. Plus if you aren’t happy with the pan for any reason you can return it in 30 days for a refund.

Our Final Analysis

If you’re looking for perfection then you may be disappointed if the pan happens to turn up with minor scuff marks or discolortions. People tend to expect everything to be just right when they purchase something new so I can only think that this may be an issue for some. Just be aware that this in no way detracts from the ability of this pan to do the job intended.

Overall if you are looking for a green eco friendly pan that stir frys exceptionally well then we definitely recommend this pan. It’s strong but light, it looks good, feels good and does a beautiful job at generating the required amount of heat for cooking stir frys.

Recommended Links

>Watch a Video to see the pan in action – ManPan Videos

>Read more about Manpan Eco Green Manufacturing

>The Manpan Homepage

>Read more about the ManPan Stirfry Pan.

>Check out prices here.