Category Archives for "Appliances"

June 7, 2017

Father’s Day Gift 2017

Finding the perfect Father's Day gift 2017 for your dad is no easy task. We have put together a list of favorite items for Dad's around the kitchen (our expertise area) to try and help you find the right gift for pops.

​Finding the Right Father's Day Gift 2017 For Your Dad-

It is true that a homemade gift is more personal than a purchased gift. However, buying a gift can be just as personal if you there is evident thought and consideration that goes into the gift. That is why it is important to think about what your dad enjoys, his hobbies, and personality and get him a gift tailored specifically for him.

We have taken some time to come up with types of dad categories. We then spent time thinking of unique and great ways gifts that show thought and are tailored to his needs.

Types of Fathers-

  • Rugged Outdoors- Nothing is better for this dad than being outdoors and in nature. This dad is probably superb with his hands and loves making things from scratch. While you see two trees and dirt ground he sees a campfire and the perfect place to hang a hammock. For these dads you can also check out our knives guide.
  • Super Chef- This dad bucks the stereotypes and loves to cook. He is always in the kitchen or outside grilling making the perfect breakfast, lunch, or dinner. He takes pride in his family cleaning the plates and asking for seconds! This entire website is perfect for this dad but you can also check out our processors guide that is great for every chef. 
  • On the Go Dad- This father has a lot on his plate and is always running around to make everyone happy. Six different sports practices, three dance lessons, PTA meeting, and work all in one week? Not a problem for this daddy he gets everyone everywhere and on time.
  • Nerd Dad- You know that one time you walked downstairs and stumbled upon your dad's role playing game with his friends? If something like this has happened to you well, you have a nerd dad. Video games, fantasy movies, comic books, and role playing are all fair game for this geek dad!
  • Finer Things Dad- Also known as the FTD this dad loves the more beautiful things. Sitting down in front a fireplace with a good bottle of scotch and sculptured ice cubes is the perfect night for this father. Need to know a good wine pairing for dinner ask this dad and you will not only get a recommendation but probably his wine notes and flavor guide to the wine as well.

Your dad is likely to be a blend of 2 or more of these wonder father figures. We have given our labels for each gift on which dad will enjoy each gift! Let us know of any other suggestion to add in the comments section!

Fathers Day Gifts 2017-


Ahhh starting it right of with what can only be described as the perfect man-boy toy! Boys like their toys and well daddies are just an enormous boys and will act boyish opening this gift.

We highlight one of a unique drone kits with the POWERUP FPV Paper Airplane VR Drone Kit. This kit puts you in the cockpit of a paper airplane with smartphone virtual reality goggles. If you have ever wanted to control and know what it is like to fly in a paper airplane this drone gives you answers.

Perfect for- Outdoors Dad can get the perfect shot of his hike or campsite or even scout ahead with the remote control
​Perfect for- Nerd Dad will love all the fantasy like features and will fly the drone around the neighborhood acting out a scene from Star Wars.


Fathers Day 2017 Chiller

This HyperChiller has become my favorite item in the kitchen right now. The whole concept behind the product is that you can put any liquid inside it for only 1 minute, and it will cool the liquid as if you have added 30 ice cubes to it. It is ideal for iced coffee like the name suggests but also for white wines, (looking at you Finer Things Dad) soda pop, and scotch. Without having to use ice cubes to chill your drink, there is no water dilution to the process.

Perfect for- Finer Things Dad to chill his scotch or white wine.
Perfect for- On the Go Dad to chill and cool drinks faster and not slow down.


Fathers Day Gift 2017 Book

This book holy cow. A New York Times best selling complete meat- and brisket-cooking education from the country's most celebrated pitmaster and owner of the wildly popular Austin restaurant Franklin Barbecue. This book is for all dads even the Super Chef Dad who already knows his way around a grill. There is so much great information about grilling, meats, and sauces all dads will appreciate it. There is even an Audible addition for the On-the-Go Dad to listen in the car.

Perfect for- All Dads even remotely think about cooking once in a while


Fathers Day Gift 2017 Watch

A watch is way low on the unique scale for fathers day, but Misfit has nailed this watch. The sleek and elegant design will even have the Finer Things Dad impressed. With an app downloaded to any smartphone the watch tracks steps, calories, controls your music player, takes selfies, and gives phone and text alerts. Nerd Dads will geek out to all the features while on the go dad can save time and headaches using the watch and warnings. This watch is amazing.

Perfect for- Finer Things Dad luxury watch with a great design what else can we say.
Perfect For- On the Go Dad the app and watch make life much easier for the busy dad.
Perfect For- Nerd Dad its a smart watch that connects to the app its nerd heaven.

Hopefully, these ideas will at a minimum get you on the right path to helping you find the right gift for you dad. Don't forget a humorous card or personalized card go a long way as well and pair perfectly with your gift. Enjoy Fathers day all!

20 Ideas for Your Food Processor

If you aren’t a big fan of the food processor, you don’t know what you are missing. First if you have not bought a food processor yet check out our full in depth buying guide here. You may have gotten one as a wedding present from your aunt or as a housewarming gift from your parents. Or, let me guess...you just bought one for yourself.Is it collecting dust in your kitchen cupboard? What a waste!It doesn't have to be hidden away until you have to slice carrots and onions. You could be making…

Pie dough!And Ice cream! And even homemade mayo! Chances are, you aren’t getting the use out of your food processor that you could (and should!) be. Food processors have a wide variety of applications beyond chopping veggies. A good food processor can turn you into quite the chef while saving you time, and, not to mention, keep dozens of pots and pans from needing a clean.Here is a list of twenty food processor hacks that will just make you fall in love with the big ole’ machine.

• Gazpacho

Gazpacho is a traditional Spanish cold tomato soup, perfect for hot summer days. It uses fresh tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, bell peppers, celery, herbs, oil, vinegar, and spices. As you can imagine, this could take a lot of chopping. If you are like me, the vegetable juices will ooze off the chopping board and get all over your kitchen counter...what a mess? Don’t freak out; you can save on this by putting all the gazpacho ingredients in the food processor. You can find a great food processor gazpacho recipe (with a Californian twist!) at Simply Recipes click here.

Picture Credit: Simply Recipe

• Nut Butters

Have you ever wondered what is really in your peanut butter? If you look at the ingredients of most commercial nut butter, it is likely you won’t recognize many of them. Why not make it at home? For the most basic recipe, all you need is an oven and nuts. Roast the raw nuts of your choice for about 10-15 minutes at 350F, moving it around once or twice, so they are evenly cooked. Put them in your food processor, and you will notice the nuts have turned into a moist powder. Scrape down what was stuck on the sides and turn on the food processor again. Repeat this multiple times until it starts to clump, and let your food processor run. It will take about 15 minutes for the nuts to turn into a delicious, creamy, all-natural nut butter.

Pro Tip- Add the flavors of your choice – cinnamon, maple syrup, raw sugar, dark chocolate… let your imagination run wild!Check out the step-by-step recipe for roasted almond nut butter at Heather Eats Almond Butter.

• Meat Grinder or Meat Shredder

High-quality ground meat is a lot more expensive per-pound than the same quality meat when it is whole. You will love it when you make yours at home. Healthy Green Kitchen has a delicious recipe for homemade pork breakfast sausage made from organic, grass-fed pork shoulder.

​Shredding chicken and other meats is also a breeze with your food processor. Put your thoroughly cooked meat that you want to shred in the food processor and only use the pulse function. Tap your pulse button until you have the meat shred to your liking. Make sure to be very quick with your pulses the power of your food process will quickly take the shredded meat into ground meats in a second. These shredded meats are perfect for recipes that call for shredded chicken or pork to be pulled apart by forks save your fingers and sweat use your food processor!

Pro Tip- Make sure the meat is cold when you want to grind it, so it doesn’t turn into mush when you process it. Make sure you meat is fully cooked when you want to shred it. 

• Homemade Mayonnaise

Let’s face it. Mayo is on the black list of sauces. It is high in saturated fat and cholesterol, and some critics point to potentially dangerous ingredients like soybean oil.

It doesn’t have to be that way; if you have your food processor handy, you can make a delicious, healthier homemade mayonnaise with an egg yolk,  lemon juice, vinegar, salt, pepper and olive oil and skip all those nasty preservatives. Adding a mustard turns your mayo into a remoulade and makes for a very taste spread. Check out the full recipe with mustard at Umami Girl.

• Pesto

If you are a seasoned food processor user, this might come as a no-brainer. But, believe it or not, people will pay good money for some bottled pesto sauce. You don't have to be one of those people make an amazing batch of pesto at home and save some cash. Pesto is incredibly easy to make. Once you have all of the ingredients on hand, it takes about three minutes. It’s the secret pesto bottlers don’t want anyone to know.

The traditional recipe calls for basil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan cheese, and olive oil, tossed in the food processor and blended until smooth. Are you feeling adventurous? You can make any variation of the classic recipe you want. You can use carrot tops instead of basil, almonds instead of pine nuts, and asiago instead of parmesan there are countless recipe variants.

Check out a step-by-step guide on how to make pesto at Gimme Some Oven.

• Creamy Dips

Do you have some unexpected guests coming over? You can make a delicious dip in minutes by mixing a creamy base like yogurt, cream, cottage cheese or – for some vegetarian versions – tofu and avocado. Toss the ingredients in the food processor, add some garlic, lime, and seasoning and serve with pita chips or crackers. Chowhound has a great article on 20 different dips you can make in a food processor we have tried most of them and have not found one that we disliked. Check the recipes out here! 

• Marmalades

Three ingredients. Food processor. Delicious tangy spread for your morning toast. It’s not too good to be true!

Food Processor Marmalade

• Pasta Dough

If you have ever made pasta dough before, you probably remember what a mess it was to clean up the sticky dough off your fingers, the bowl, and the spatula. Rather than kneading the pasta dough by hand, you can mix all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. When it is done, the dough just needs to be rolled out and cut into your desired shape and cook.

The Second Pancake has a great recipe for food processor pasta dough and the guide has great pictures for reference. You can find the full recipe here!

• Cauliflower Rice​

Cauliflower rice has gained popularity in many health and fitness circles as a great low-carb alternative to regular rice. Its applications go way beyond a simple side dish. You can use cauliflower rice to make pizza crust, stuffed peppers, and even sushi.

Cauliflower rice is the simplest thing you can imagine. After washing your cauliflower head, cut it into chunks put it into the food processor using the grater function. To prepare it before a meal, steam or sauté for a maximum of 10 minutes with desired ingredients.

• Homemade Gluten-Free Flour

Yes! Your food processor can also make flour! Believe it or not, it will only take about three minutes.

Remember the nut butter I mentioned before? For the first few minutes, the butter was more powdery than it is buttery. This powder can be used as flour. When it comes to nut-based flour, almond flour bakes best, while oat flour is the easiest to make.

To make it, just place the desired flour base (oats, cashews, almonds, sunflower, hazelnut, buckwheat, and more) in the processor and grind them for 1-2 minutes. Some tips on different bases for gluten-free flour can be found at Attune Foods.

• Baby Food

Homemade baby food is healthier, more natural, and cheaper than store-bought baby food. You can puree almost anything – from carrots and pears to peas. If you have a full week ahead of your, you can plan ahead and make large batches and freeze the puree in small storage containers.

• Truffles

Do you have someone you want to impress with your skills in the kitchen? Even the word Truffle sounds fancy. Mix all of the necessary ingredients in a food processor, only to roll and chill. Find the full recipe at My Yellow Farmhouse here.

• Pie crust

Call me strange, but my favorite part of pies has always been the crust. I can tell when the crust is frozen, store-bought or homemade. Homemade crusts are always the best, and any pie fan will tell you that there is nothing quite like a pie made from scratch.

• No-Cook Fudge

Fudge doesn’t have to be something you only enjoy at the state fair. Using your food processor, you can make fudge, without having to turn on your stove.

Usually melting the chocolate is a vital part of making fudge to make sure all the ingredients are properly mixed. A food processor does this without needing the chocolate melted. Using a food processor not only saves you time but also gets room temp fudge into the refrigerator meaning it will be hardened faster!​

Check out a great recipe at Cookie and Kate.

• Cole Slaw​

Cole slaw is a classic summer side. While cole slaw doesn’t have very many ingredients, when done in the traditional manner, cole slaw takes lots and lots of chopping. You can put the cabbage, onion, and carrot into the food processor, and toss with the dressing of your choice. Its super quick and super easy to make slaw fast.

Pro Tip- Use the pulse setting on your food processor. You don't want to turn your shredded veggies from a slaw to mush.

• Salsas

No need to get store-bought salsa after this hack. Put tomatoes, onion, cilantro and lemon juice in the food processor, and two minutes, you will have the perfect appetizer for taco night. As you get more comfortable with experimenting, you can add garlic, green and red peppers, jalapeños, corn, vinegar, and anything else your heart desires.

Pro Tip- For salsa just put your food processor on full speed and let it really go to town on everything in the bowl. For Pico De Gallo use the pulse setting and stop while your tomatoes and veggies are still chunky. 

• Macaroons

With this recipe for Chocolate-Hazelnut Macarons from Good Housekeeping, you can take the batter straight from the food processor bowl to the cookie.

Pro Tip- If they aren’t eaten within the first day, they get a little soggy. Freeze them, they will last up to one month.

• Dressings

If you make oily dressings in a bowl, they will often separate into phases. If you make them in a food processer, however, all of the ingredients will temporarily blend, allowing you enjoy the tastes of each of your dressings’ ingredients.

For a fluffy, creamy dressing, check out this recipe for food processor Caesar dressing straight from Cuisinart.

• Making Ice Cream at Home

​This hack alone is worth buying a new food processor. Not only can you make ice cream at home, but you can also make it with one ingredient, and it is much healthier than commercial ice cream. Watch this great video below on how to make your homemade ice cream. 

Pick a fruit – any fruit! Place it in the freezer for at least 4 hours, and then whip it up in the food processor. If you like your ice cream a little sweeter, you can add honey, cinnamon, chocolate, or any additions you can think of. After it is blended, scoop the blend into a storage container and place it back into the freezer.

• Churn Heavy Cream into Butter

Churning butter has got to be the coolest food processor hack. Imagine being able to say you churned your own butter? Well, it’s not churning so much as it is processing – but the end-product is just as yummy, and takes only a fraction of the time. What could be better than high-quality, freshly churned butter?​ Plus if you add fun stuff like honey or garlic during the process you have homemade garlic butter or homemade honey butter. 

You can learn how to make your own butter from heavy cream at Frugality Gal.​ Not only does Frugality Gal do a great job explaining how but all the trail and error she went through plus cost savings by making your own butter. 

Your food processor can be your greatest ally in the kitchen if you do not have one check out our full guide here. We also have a guide on when to use your food processor, blender, or immersion blender here. Not only can it help you save time as you make your favorite weeknight staples, but the food processor can also help you to be a bit more adventurous, and try making something new.Food processor truffles for dessert, anyone? Bon appetit!​

Blender vs Food Processor vs Immersion Blender

Professional chefs, those who love to prepare fine dishes as a hobby, and parents who try to make healthy meals for their family are all too aware the value a quality blender brings. However, not all know the value that comes from food processors and immersion blenders. We are asked to compare blender vs food processor all the time so we made a chart and a couple quick tips for each appliance. 

While a blender is great, it's not the best tool for every blending task we face inside the kitchen. Recently, we spent time investigating and testing which of the three works best in some scenarios. Here's where each tool is most useful and when you should consider changing up and using a different option. We have created a quick chart for reference below with full explanations if you keep reading. 

Recipe

Blender

Immersion Blender

Food Processor

Smoothies/Blended Drinks

Ideal

NEVER EVER FOR ICE

Not Really

Butters/Whipping

Can Use

Ideal

Can Use

Chopping Veggies/ Fruits

No

Ideal

No

Doughs

No

Can Use

No

Shredding Meats/ Cheeses

No

Ideal

No

Purees

Can Use

Don't Use

Ideal

Blender

Ninja Blender

The blender is the number one go to for all our blending and puree needs. However, the traditional blender is best for making smoothies and alcoholic cocktails (such as Margaritas). Blenders have incredibly powerful motors but blades that are not as sharp as the food processor. It is the powerful motor whipping around duller blades and high blade rotations that make blending ice, fruit, and vegetables an easy process.

Traditional blenders eliminate the need for a number of other kitchen appliances, are easy to clean, and the deep bowls help prevent overflowing or causing the lid to explode off, allowing for smooth mixtures which are easy to digest.

The only drawback to the traditional blender is their blades are often rather dull, making it not as useful when trying to puree foods with a harder constitution or even slice and dice. Avoid using the blender when trying to do anything with finesse.

Immersion Blender

Not as powerful nor multi-purpose as the traditional blender, the immersion blender is useful due to its compact nature. It also eliminates the need for multiple cycles a regular blender would need to puree certain soups. While the Immersion Blender is less common in the kitchen its usefulness will surprise you.

Immersion blenders work best with foods that are liquid or have a soft constitution, making it the best option to blend mashed potatoes, pesto, and tomato sauce. The immersion blender is also ideal for helping to improve the consistency of cream cheese (for cheesecake), hummus, and mayonnaise.

The one critique of immersion blenders is that the user must be careful not to use it in shallow bowls or if what needs whipping, blending, or pureed is in small quantities. Why? Well at any time if the immersion blenders blades come out of the material be prepared to wear the food, paint the walls, and laugh at the situation. Deeper bowls will also help with keeping the messes to a minimum. However, it would be a lie to say I have not used the immersion blender as painting tool and my kitchen wall was the canvas.

Cuisinart Immersion Blender

Cuisinart Immersion Blender

Food Processor

KitchenAid 9 Cup Food Processor

KitchenAid 9 Cup Food Processor

Our favorite appliance, what is there you don't want to use a food processor for in your kitchen? Once I learned the power of the food processor nothing was safe from its blades. You can check out our full buyers guide on food processors here. A food processor's blades resemble those of a katana. The diesel machines are perfect for chopping up hard foods that the traditional blender can have trouble chopping. The food processor can easily and efficiently slice nuts, seeds, and other dense foods.

In fact, we can also use a food processor to chop up onions, garlic, peppers, and other vegetables. For cutting meat to shreds, there is no other option which comes close to the food process.

You should not use the food processor for liquids. They are not best suited for handling liquid foods or those containing a loose constitution. While others will say that it's acceptable to use a food processor with these foods, don't get a blender. To puree in a food processor (I have tried multiple times) you will have to run it through the process multiple times. You cannot keep the liquid and the processor running for long as the liquid will seep out the sides, middle, and top. A blender or immersion blender is far more practical in this situation.​

*It is critical to note that you should never use your food process to blend or chop ice. The food processors motor is not as strong as a blenders to motor through the ice. More importantly, the success of your food processor is reliant on razor sharp blades and blending ice will dull your blades fast. Again our note to everyone never put ice into your food processor unless you want to buy some new blades for you precious (Am I the only one that calls my food processor that?).

January 1, 2017

Best Over The Range Microwave Guide

Over the range microwaves have come a long way since first introduced. The once large, bulky, and in your face over the range microwaves have evolved into a smaller, more smart, and power packed kitchen appliance. The best over the range microwave has work cut out for it because they have two primary functions. It first is a microwave convection oven ready defrost and warms up any food with a push of the button. However, it also has a ventilation system in the base of the device to help when cooking over the stove to keep circulating clean air while ventilating the bad our out of the cooking area.

Best Over the Range Microwave vs Hood Ventilation

The question of which is better the best over the range microwave or hood ventilation has long been a debate among cooks, kitchen designers, and just your average consumer. Two years ago this question was a lot simpler to answer if you had space and the money getting a good ventilation system above your stovetop area and then buying a microwave to place elsewhere was the way to go. We are in 2017 now, and with better ventilation units packed into smaller microwaves, the debate is not as cut and dry.

Pros

  1. Saves space- especially in smaller kitchens. Having a hood above your stovetop is great but if you can get a microwave into the same place you are freeing up countertop or shelving space where you would have to put the microwave.
  2. Pricing- A big win with the over the range microwaves. Instead of spending on two separate appliances you spend on one. Quality over the range microwave might cost more than a regular microwave, but when you add the cost of a hood or ventilation system, you come out way ahead.
  3. Convenience- This one is a big one for me as a cook. I love the convenience of storage while cooking right in front of me. A lot of the time I will be using the oven and stove top (finishing sides and what not) when I need to rest something typically a meat. Having a microwave right at my head level allows me to plate and rest in the microwave without taking up any countertop space while finishing up your cooking. Newer microwaves allow for broiling and other uses as well that come in very handy around the holiday with lots of desserts and casseroles to be cooked.

Cons

  1. Ventilation Power- The newer over the range microwaves have kicked up fan speeds and ventilation capabilities, but it does not compare to a hood system. For those looking to ramp up the cooking to the extremes with flambees and searing meats a hood might be your best bet.
  2. Style- Most people love the look of an elegant, sleek, and clean hood. It adds a bit of mystic and elegance to the kitchen an over the range microwave simply cannot. Hoods also come in a wide variety allowing for the personality of the kitchen to really shine. 

Conclusion- For most an over the range microwave is probably the best way to go. It provides more space in the kitchen, gives great functionality, and is cost effective. Some circumstances buying a hood ventilation makes sense, but with the new power, these microwaves pack its hard go any other way.

What is a convection microwave and can it go over the range?

We get asked a lot what a convection microwave is and why is different than a regular microwave oven. To answer this question, we first need to understand how a microwave oven cooks food. A microwave is set to send microwaves at a frequency that agitates water molecules. When the water molecules get agitated the at an atomic level, they start vibrating and generating heat from inside the food. The vibration of atoms is what cooks the food, so the heat comes from within the food.

In convection heating, heated air is blown over the area that you want to warm up. For foods, this means crispy and warm food on the outside but sometimes does not get to the middle of foods or leaves the middle cooler than the outside.

A convection microwave can combine the best of both worlds. Using microwaves to heat up the middle of your food while blowing hot air on the outside to provide a warm crisp outside. When combined the two technologies create the best chance at an even cook. Heating foods evenly make convection microwaves desirable and over the range convection microwaves a rare "unicorn" for kitchen appliances. The L.G. LMVH1711ST tops our list of best over the range microwave with convection oven capabilities.​

What makes the best over the range microwave?

When we review and rate over the range microwaves we look at three major factors; microwave features and performance, ventilation performance, and design.

Microwaves Features and Performance

The functionality of a microwave has advanced far from the turn the dial for the time you want to nuke your food and ding when times up. Some microwaves have the ability to judge the moisture in foods and adjust to cook the food properly. Defrosting has become an art, and better microwaves have multiple options including defrost by weight, by a sensor, and by food types or a combination of all three. Add in extra functions such as baking or broiling there is a wide range of features we look for with microwave features.

Ventilation Performance-

Most brands will give an area size as to how powerful the ventilation system is. An example is our top model can ventilate a 400 cubic feet area per minute. We have used a lot of consumer reports data, however, to make sure that the manufacturer is not over promising on the ventilation ability. We gave bonus points for microwaves that had multiple fan setting, and some even start automatically when the area below gets too smoky.

Design

With most kitchens focusing on the oven and stovetop area the over the range microwave will be right in the center of your kitchen. We look at the design for not only functionality but also sleek or elegant design to not be a sore eye in the focal point of the kitchen.

Microwave

Power

Ventilation

Size

Sensors

Overall Rating

LG LMV18

1000 W

300 CFM

1.8 Cu Ft

8

​4.4 out of 5.0

GE Profile

1000 W

300 CFM

1.7 Cu Ft

9

4.1 out of 5.0

GE JMV

1000 W

300 CFM

1.6 Cu Ft

10

4.6 out of 5.0

LG LMHM

1000 W

400 CFM

2.2 Cu Ft

9

4.8 out of 5.0

Samsung ME21

1000 W

400 CFM

2.1 Cu Ft

​10

4.5 out of 5.0

1. LG LMHM2237ST 2.2 Cubic Feet Over-The-Range Microwave Oven, Stainless Steel

Our top pick for Best Over the Range Microwave goes to this LG dandy. It was an easy choice with the largest capacity of 2.2 cubic feet, reliable ventilation power, multiple microwave features, and highly satisfied confirmed purchase reviews.

  • Microwave Features-

LG did not skimp on the microwave features with this model. A touch pad control panel that is smudge proof immediately starts you off right with your microwave experience. Including features such as defrost, smart, clean, bi-level cooking, melt/soften, and reheat by sensor you will find a setting for anything you need. There are no broil or oven features which could be a deal breaker and almost dropped it from our recommended choice but....

  • Ventilation Performance-

This won the day for LG LMHM2237ST. When installing you have the options to chose back, top, or front ventilation. The back and top ventilations are for exterior venting if you have the setup for it. If not no worries there is a charcoal filter that does a fantastic job when ventilating back into the kitchen. LG has created a quiet power technology that keeps the noise from the system relatively quiet, and you gives you four different setting for fan speed. The power behind the system is one of the strongest on our list at 400CFM and performed well in all of our tests.​

  • Verdict-

While this microwave could have some added features with oven functionality it tested so well in ventilation tests its hard to recommend anything else to go above your stovetop. If ventilation is less of a priority for you, look at some other models that give you higher functionality as a microwave.​

2.  Samsung ME21F707 Over-The-Range Microwave

Best Microwave
  • Microwave Features-

​Samsung put its best foot forward with the ME21F707MJT microwave and its functionality. It's sleek design with easy access control panel, and the display is easy on the eyes and a great focal point for any kitchen. It offers significant size in its interior and is made up of ceramic enamel for easy clean and the best germ control. The microwave offers sensor cooking with ten sensors perfect for defrosting or warming up leftovers without drying them out. To top it off the one touch easy clean button rounds of a near perfect microwave functionality from Samsung.

  • Ventilation Performance-

The ME21F707MJT boasts a 400CFM ventilation system; however, tests show its air cleaning power underperforming other 400 CFM models. The ventilation system has four speeds, powerful led lights, and is a charcoal/grease filtration system.

  • Verdict-

From a microwave perspective, this is our hands down favorite model. Unfortunately for Samsung, we feel that ventilation is equally as important when judging over the range microwaves and this unit falls short in that department. If you are only looking to save some space and don't do a ton of cooking that requires ventilation then this unit is perfect for you.

How to Install an Over the Range Microwave

Before you start your install, you need to prepare a couple of items and have a good game plan for your above the stove microwave.

Over the Oven Microwave Install Check List

Size

First, you need to measure the area above the stove and make sure that you microwaves dimensions will fit into the space you will be installing.As you will notice, there are no standard sizes of microwaves on the market, but microwaves which are specifically designed to fit over a range, will all fit into a 30-inch wide space. But you also need to check the height and depth of the microwave will fit and look natural in its new location. All manufacturers have these dimensions listed on their Amazon page so you can order the right size of microwave.

Ventilation

All microwaves have internal blowers which recirculate around the venting system. On the other hand, microwaves designed for over the range installation have options for venting to the outside. While the microwave itself does not require external venting, a vent needs to be in place for transferring odors, moisture, and grease from conventional cooking from the range. The best over the range microwaves all have different ventilation options normally outside, below, and out with some models even having the option venting up. You need to know which way you want to the vent to be blowing. Then you will need to check the user manual and set up the vent system correct BEFORE INSTALLING! Nothing is worse that getting everything set up and installed correctly only to have to take it down and change the vents to blow the proper way.

Installation Height

For convenience and safety, an OTR microwave should not be installed too high, and guides specify that the bottom of the microwave should be no higher than 54 inches from the floor.Secondary to this is the space between your stove top and the bottom of your microwave; guides specify a minimum of 13 inches should be available, but many professional builders recommend 20 – 24 inches of clearance from stove top to the bottom of the microwave. Distance from the stovetop area is important as the heat from your range could cause the lower portion of the microwave to become hot during cooking processes.

Don't forget Power

Nothing is more frustrating than having a perfectly centered microwave after a mistake free installation only to forget power. Two things to remember; make sure you have a power source if not hire an electrician and make sure the power source is close enough to where the microwaves power cord can reach.

Power install for Over the Range Microwave

Preparation

Measuring and mapping out the installing will save many headaches. There are a few measurements you will need to map out.

Width- The space flanking the range should be at least 30 inches, if space is wider, determine how to fill these spaces. Some OTR ovens come with filler kits, or you may be able to buy kits that match your kitchen.

Height- If you have a wall cabinet above your range, this may have to be cut down or replaced to allow your microwave to fit in at your required height. You will need the proper height from the ground, from the microwave, and also check the height of the actual microwave will fit in your designated space.

If you have a vented hood already, isolate the power and remove the hood, you can now determine if there is a suitable power supply for your microwave. If none are present, you will need the service of a qualified electrician.
***It should be noted; some manufacturers give an optimal height for the exhaust fan, which should have the most effect on extraction. Remember microwave fans are not as strong as range hoods and getting optimal performance is key.

Standard Measurements Quick Guide-

  • Cabinet spacing width – A minimum of 30-inches (most microwaves are just under 30 inches wide).
  • Shelf or Cabinet Depth – A minimum of 12 inches and a maximum of 14 inches (microwaves vary between 12-inches – 18-inches deep).Range Height to Bottom of Shelf – The normal distance should be 30-inches.
  • You should have a cabinet or sturdy shelf above the position where the microwave will be installed; this will be used to secure the top of your microwave.

Installation

Most OTR microwaves contain installation instructions, and most come with a fastening template which will show the hole positions required in the wall and the shelf above. If your microwave comes with a built-in wall bracket, this would have to be removed from the unit and positioned on the wall to obtain the drilling positions.If the spacing between your cabinets is greater than 30-inches, you must determine the center point of where to position and fasten your brackets, and also check that the length of your power cable is sufficient to reach your power socket..

  • Wall Fastening

Hold the bracket or template against the wall in your chosen position, and mark the drill positions for the fastenings. Additionally, if you are fastening to a studded wall, try to find at least one solid stud on which to secure the bracket. If no studs are available, holes must be drilled to accommodate toggle bolts.Once you have drilled all the holes, fasten the bracket to the wall and use a level to make sure it is level.

  • Shelf or Cabinet Fastening

After you fix your wall bracket, you should then lay out the template on the underside of the shelf or cabinet where the top of your microwave will fasten. Included in the template should be the position required for the opening that you will cut for the exhaust damper (for external exhaust) and the microwave power cable. You typically want this to lead to a socket located outside of the cabinet area. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, make the required cutouts and drill holes as specified.

  • Positioning

***MAKE SURE BEFORE SETTING YOUR MICROWAVE- Your exhaust outlet, either through the roof, through the wall, or if you have recirculating venting, and you have oriented the blower to follow which option you have decided on.

Take the microwave and engage the bottom edge of the wall bracket, and slowly rotate the microwave in an upwards direction to bring the top of the casing in line with the fastening on the shelf above the unit.Thread the power cable through your precut hole ready for connection to your power outlet.

With the aid of a helper who can support your oven, carefully thread the bolts, provided with your kit through the shelf or cabinet and into the top of your microwave. Be sure to use all the fasteners provided and then check the microwave with a level and plumb once installed.

  • Ducting

The ducting for air extraction can be fastened to the microwave’s blower/ damper and concealed inside the overhead cabinet. The ducting is typically in the form of a 3-1/4 inch x 10-inch rectangular to round fitting.

***Safety is always paramount. Always lift cautiously and maintain a safe power supply during the installation process.

Congratulations now you may enjoy your new above the stove microwave!

May 7, 2016

Top 7 Best Bread Machines Reviewed

Few things are more delicious than freshly baked bread and a good bread machine allows you to make this special treat with ease. Originally invented in Japan, the bread maker made its way to the US in 1987 and has since become one of the most popular kitchen appliances. There are now dozens of models available with an impressive range of features. The best bread makers allow you to make many types of bread and come with pre programmed settings to help you make each type of bread perfect.

Best Bread Machines 2016

These are the best bread makers you can buy:

  1. Zojirushi BB PAC20 Bread Maker

The Zojirushi BB PAC20 features double kneading blades which ensure that the dough is kneaded thoroughly and allow the bread to rise higher. It makes a traditional sized two pound loaf. A heater built into the top makes sure the bread is cooked evenly every time. The Zojirushi has a 13 hour timer delay so you can put in all your ingredients and tell the machine when your bread should be finished—a great way to make sure you wake up to fresh bread every morning.

Another thing customers love about the Zojirushi is its versatility. Not only can you make any kind of bread imaginable, you can also make other baked foods that come in loaf form such as meatloaf and even liquids such as fresh jams. It is an expensive kitchen appliance at $364 but its durability and versatility make it well worth the money.

  1. Panasonic SD YD250 Bread Maker

If you frequently have guests you want to share fresh bread with this bread maker is the machine for you. It allows you to make three different loaf sizes: 1 pound, 2 pounds or 2 ½ pounds. An automatic yeast dispenser makes sure your bread gets exactly the right amount of yeast.

The Panasonic SD YD250 also features pre programmed settings for different types of bread including white bread, whole grain, French bread and banana bread. There’s also a setting that allows you to mix the dough without baking it, which is ideal for pizza dough and artisanal breads. It comes with a recipe book containing over 50 bread recipes for you to try.

  1. Oster-CKSTBRTW20-2-Pound Expressbake Bread Maker

With 9 pre programmed settings including French bread, white bread and sweet breads, this machine produces delicious 2 pound loafs. You can also choose between dark, medium or light crust. If you want to make artisanal bread or prepare pizza dough there is a setting that will just mix your dough without actually cooking it. Adventurous cooks will also love the setting for jam.

Like the Zojirushi, the Oster-CKSTBRTW20-2-Pound Expressbake comes with a 13 hour delay timer so you can put the ingredients in before bed and have it baked just in time for breakfast.

  1. Conair Cuisinart CBK-100

The Cuisinart CBK-100 can make loaves in three different sizes—1 pound, 1 ½ and 2 pound loaves—and also allows you to choose between light, medium or dark crust. 12 preprogrammed menu options allow you to experiment with different types of bread and a 13 hour delayed timer makes it easy to set up fresh bread for breakfast. The Cuisinart CBK-100 is also remarkably easy to clean thanks to its removable lid, pan and handle.

  1. Hamilton Beach HomeBaker 29882

This sleek black bread machine can make 1 ½ pound loaves as well as traditional 2 pound loaves and features 12 pre programmed settings including settings for jam and cake. You can also choose between 3 different crust settings. The delay timer makes it easy to set up freshly baked bread to go with breakfast and this bread machine is also built to keep your bread warm for several hours at a time.

  1. Breadman TR520 2-Pound Horizontal Bread Maker

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a bread maker but you still want something with a variety of features the Breadman TR520 is an excellent choice. Despite only costing $98 this bread maker comes with 8 pre programmed bread settings, 3 crust settings and a 13 hour delay timer. It can also be programmed to make loaves in different sizes. If you’re making bread with fruit and/or nuts in it a signal bell will tell you when to add these extra ingredients.

  1. Sunbeam 2-Pounds Breadmaker, White

Another great option for somebody on a budget, the Sunbeam 2-Pounds Breadmaker only costs $84.99. It can bake your bread in under an hour and you can use the delay timer to set up fresh bread for breakfast or dinner. There are also 13 preprogrammed options for different types of bread and 3 options for crust shades. Unfortunately you don’t get to choose what size of loaf you want—the Sunbeam always makes a 2 pound loaf.

The Bottom Line

All of these bread machines are high quality but the one that’s right for you depends largely on your budget, how much you want to experiment with different types of bread and how many people there are in your house. The Zojirushi’s bread will be closest in appearance to what you would get in a store but they will all make delicious bread.

April 29, 2016

Top 7 Best Wine Refrigerators Reviewed

best wine refrigerators reviewed

If you have a fondness for wine and multiple people living in the house it’s easy to run out of space in your fridge, but some wine really should be enjoyed cold. Luckily there are many different types of wine refrigerators available. These refrigerators come in a variety of sizes but most are about the same size as your freezer and come with actual bottle racks to help you keep your wine organized.

Types of wine refrigerators:

Single Zone Cooling

Designed for people with a simple wine collection, these wine refrigerators only have one cooling zone and one temperature control.

Dual Zone Cooling

These wine refrigerators feature two separate areas with individual temperature controls. This is ideal for people who want to keep whites and reds at different temperatures.

Built In Wine Coolers

Ideal for smaller spaces and design purists, built in wine coolers can be installed into any existing cabinet.

First time buyers should stick with a small single zone cooling refrigerator. Some companies also sell triple zone wine refrigerators but these are rarely as high quality.

Best Wine Refrigerator 2016

  1. NewAir AW-281E 28 Bottle Wine Cooler

Holding up to 28 bottles on its six removable chromium shelves, the NewAir AW-281E is a beautiful single zone refrigerator. Its thermoelectric coolant system is utterly silent and doesn’t use any extra oscillation, ensuring the safety of your wine. Changing the temperature is easy using the digital control panel on the side of the refrigerator. Double paned glass protects your wine collection from harmful UV rays.

This is the biggest wine cooler on the list but it does have the drawback of only providing one temperature zone. Still, most people will find this wine cooler ideal for their uses.

  1. Avanti EWC1601B 16 Bottle Wine Cooler

Perfect for the wine enthusiast who doesn’t have a lot of space, this single zone refrigerator uses curved wire racks to keep sixteen bottles properly sorted. Temperature is displayed with an LED interior light and cooling is done with a thermoelectric system that allows this wine cooler to remain pleasantly quiet. You shouldn’t be able to hear it at all in most situations.

  1. EdgeStar 21 Bottle Dual Zone Stainless Steel Wine Cooler

If you want to be able to store your reds and whites at different temperatures, this stylish wine refrigerator is one of your best options. The lower chamber has a cooling range from 55F to 65F while the upper cooling chamber has a cooling range from 45F to 65F. Unlike other water coolers of a similar size the EdgeStar Stainless Steel Wine Cooler uses a thermoelectric cooling system, using less power and creating less sound.

The EdgeStar 21 Bottle Dual Zone Stainless Steel Wine Cooler also has scalloped and removable chrome shelves, making it perfect for storing all types of liquor.

  1. Koldfront 18 Bottle Free Standing Dual Zone Wine Cooler

Looking for something a little shorter than the EdgeStar? This dual zone wine cooler features an upper cooling chamber with a range between 55F and 65F and a lower chamber with temperatures ranging between 45F and 65F. You can adjust the temperature using the central control panel which also displays the temperature in both zones at any given time.

A safety lock and soft LED lights help keep your wine safe for extended periods of time and the thermoelectric cooling system is so quiet you won’t even know it’s there.

  1. SPT WC-2461H Double Door Dual Zone Thermal-Electric 24 Bottle Wine Cooler

Do you have lots of room? Want to keep a large collection of chilled wine you can serve up on a whim? This double door dual zone cooler is perfect for keeping your reds and your whites at just the right temperatures all the time. This cooling unit also actually comes with an internal heating unit ideal for colder climates as cold temperatures can ruin wine just as easily as heat. All 10 shelves can be removed for easy cleaning.

Ideally this wine cooler should be kept in a dark space with at least 4-6 inches around it on all sides to keep it from overheating. You can adjust temperature in both zones using their individual touch pads.

  1. Sunpentown 20 Bottle Thermo-Electric Wine Cooler

This single zone wine cooler has a variable range of 55F to 65F and a tinted double paned glass door to keep everything inside at a uniform temperature. The shelves slide easily so it’s simple to choose the right wine every time and you can comfortably fit 20 bottles. It also comes with a safety lock and platinum edging. Like all the best wine coolers, the Sunpentown uses a thermoelectric cooler to keep your wine safe from vibrations. This also means it’s a very quiet machine.

Keep this wine cooler in a cool, dark area for the best effects.

  1. Whynter WC-16S SNO 16 Bottle Wine Cooler

Compact but powerful, this counter-friendly wine cooler holds 16 bottles on its detachable scalloped chrome racks(these are also great for holding other types of bottles). It uses thermoelectric cooling to keep its single chamber between 55F and 65F without making a sound. A blue LED light illuminates your wine collection without exposing it to potentially harmful UV rays.

For the cooler to work at its maximum effectiveness you should keep this cooler standing at least 4 inches away from walls/other objects and in a dark, cool room.

A wine cooler is a great investment for any wine lover. Once you’ve found the perfect wine cooler you’ll start to wonder how you ever did without it—and within a couple years you might just find that the first one you bought is too small.

April 20, 2016

Top 5 Best Under Counter Ice Makers

Under the Counter Ice Maker

An under the counter ice maker is a great solution for people who have a small freezer and aren’t prepared to upgrade to a fridge with a built in icemaker (or who don’t have room for one). These small ice makers are highly efficient, perfect for cooling a glass of water, and most will fit under pretty much any sink, though you should be sure to check the exact measurements of your sink before you start looking at under-counter ice makers. If there isn’t enough room under your sink there may be enough room in another cabinet, so measuring all your cabinets is a good idea.

Once you’ve made all the proper measurements, check out these awesome under counter ice makers:

Best Under Counter Ice Maker 2017

under counter ice maker reviews

  1. The EdgeStar Under Counter Ice Machine

This sleek stainless steel machine features computerized controls and a maximum production of 50 pounds of ice per day, making it an ideal unit for large families. It comes with an ice scoop. Unfortunately the storage area can only hold 25 pounds, so you’ll have to be using a lot of ice every single day to get full usage out of this unit.

  1. The Marvel Ada

Marvel isn’t a known brand in the world of ice makers but that might change soon thanks to the introduction of the Ada. This ice maker produces a maximum of 30 pounds of ice per day, all of it beautiful, clear and cubed. Controls are simple to use and the machine has an auto defrost as well. It’s also solid stainless steel.

Big families and people who often have large dinner parties may find the 30 pound limit too low but this is fine for the vast majority of users.

  1. The Orien

The Orien can produce 44 pounds of ice every day. Its easy-to-use controls include an auto defrost setting. With an air cooled condenser and a CFC free body, the Orien is also the most environmentally friendly ice maker on this list.

Unfortunately the customer service department behind Orien isn’t known for being the greatest so you might have issues dealing with any breakdowns, but the machine is pretty solid so it usually still a good investment.

  1. iGloo ICE 102-Red Compact Ice Maker

If you don’t have a lot of space under your sink or in any of your cabinets for an ice maker this is the best option for you. Small enough to fit in pretty much any cabinet or even to take on the road with you, this ice maker can produce a maximum of 26 pounds of ice per day. This is ideal for a single person or small family but definitely won’t be enough for a large family with a high volume of ice usage.

  1. Avalon Bay Portable Ice Maker AB-Ice26S

Another ice maker that can fit under pretty much any sink or in just about any cabinet, this ice maker still manages to produce 26 pounds of ice per day. It also allows you to choose between two different sizes of ice cubes. Lights indicate when you need to add more water or empty out the ice. Thanks to the light materials it’s made out of you can also take this ice maker on the road with you.

Your under counter ice maker may not be the fanciest machine in your kitchen but it will quickly become one of your favorites. If you’re still not sure which one to choose after reading this list take the time to read some other reviews before you make a decision—you don’t want to end up with an ice maker that’s too small or not reliable.

March 12, 2016

Top 7 Best Countertop Dishwashers

Best Countertop Dishwashers Reviewed

Countertop dishwashers are practically dishwashers on your countertop. They are compact, and you don’t have to hunch down to load it, making them ideal for any kitchen. Because of this compact nature, one important factor to consider is the capacity of these machines to take in the dishes. The bigger the household, of course, the more dishes you will have to wash in it, but the selling point of this type of dishwasher isn’t its ability to contain a whole lot, it’s the portability.

What makes countertop dishwashers sell is the ability to use this in campers, in smaller homes with less space, the dishwasher can connect to a faucet for water intake and drain it into the sink. It is not built to be permanent, and includes setting as if you were using a full sized dishwasher.

When looking for a good countertop, make sure you measure the distance from the possible top of the dishwasher to the cabinets. You would want to make sure there’s room for the bigger ones. Already mentioned above is the capacity, look for stainless steel interiors, as they will last longer and reportedly less likely to harbor bacteria build up. Find out if the machine needs to be elevated or lower than the draining point.

It is unlikely you will need a pump, but do make a point in finding out if you need one. More basic things to look for is a good water heater, how many cycles you can get and of course, water and energy consumption.

A  lot of these countertop models wouldn’t compare much to the full sized models, but don’t you worry, we’ve scooped up machines that come close to the big boys.

  1. EdgeStar DWP40S

This portable dishwashing machine has 4 place settings, a beautiful clean silver finish for a very reasonable price. Eliminate spots and sanitize your dishes with the rinse aid dispensers. This unit also has 3 wash cycles. This machine is good for very small households, possibly if you were single or couples you can wash dishes left for a couple of days.

  1. Danby DDW611WLED

This immaculate white programmable countertop dishwasher has an LED display. It has 6 place settings and 6 wash cycles, good enough to accommodate dishes for a small family. Easy to connect hose will give you no problem at all, and is compatible to most sink taps. Each cycle uses 3.17 gallons of water. This is also a unit that has a stainless steel interior, so watch out for this one.

  1. EdgeStar DWP61ES

Another Edgestar with the classic silver finish, is this DWP61ES model. With a bigger capacity, fit larger plates. The LED display allows you to check on the time remaining on the wash cycle. Easy to operate, and washes and dries dishes in half the time. Feel safe owning this machine around children with its child lock feature. One downside however is when you’ve attached the hose, you are confined to waiting for the dishwasher to finish up before you can use the faucet for something else.

  1. Koldfront PDW60EW

Despite its small stature, the Koldfront PDW60EW packs 6 place settings inside its stainless steel interior. Another easy to hookup sink attachment, the Koldfront claims to sanitize by heat, There are also less knobs and buttons to push, making this unit less complicated. Its 6 cycle settings are Heavy, Normal, Light, Glass, Speed and Soak.

  1. Sunpentown SD-2201S

Smaller kitchen with a standard cabinet that dangerously hangs low to install this unit under it? Nonsense. This portable Silver Countertop Dishwasher will fit under most cabinets. It makes use of its space so that 6 place settings are available, and the 6 wash cycles ensure you have the right clean. The unit also has automatic detergent and rinse aid dispensers. One claim this unit has is that it power cleans, although it is not clear what that means.

  1. Avanti DW6W

If you live in a small apartment, or you want to use this in an RV or a boat, this is the countertop dishwasher for you. Easy to use with the control panel visible on a black strip at the top of the machine, each label, button and picture is clear to see. The spacious stainless interior includes 6 place settings and carries 6 wash cycles. There is a bonuse silverware basket added.

  1. Fisher and Paykel DD24S

This machine’s flexibility allows you to adjust the racks to conveniently fit any utensils or stemware. The tines can fold up or out for you to load dishes  easily. An eco option allows for energy saving you have a whopping 9 wash cycles, and 6 place settings. Programmable up to 12 hours. This is the closes you can get to a full sized dishwasher in a countertop size.

Now that you’ve been provided a glimpse of different countertops in the market, we hope you can buy the right one for your home. Until next time, enjoy!

March 12, 2016

Best 6 Water Faucet Filters

Water Faucet Filter Reviews

Even if your water tastes delicious it still might be full of pollutants. Our drinking water is carefully treated at water filtration plants in every county but the pipes in many areas are old and there’s plenty of time for toxins to fill your water between the plant and your house.

There are several types of water filters but for anyone living in a small house or apartment there is really only one option: a water faucet filter. These have a much shorter lifespan than other types of water filters but require almost no space so suit any kitchen—you just attach them to your existing faucet—and are so easy to set up that almost anyone can hook them up in just a few minutes.

Brita is probably the most well known company that makes water faucet filters but there are actually many companies that make them and dozens of different models available.

Luckily a few stand out from the rest:

  1. PUR Advanced Water Filter

This sleek water faucet filter attaches to your faucet with a simple twist and click. It features 3 adaptors which make it compatible with various tap sizes but there are some faucets it will not connect to including any faucet with a pull-out handle.

The PUR Advanced Water Filter uses a 3 step process to remove 61 different contaminants including mercury and other heavy metals. It can filter up to 100 gallons of water, lasting about 2-3 months depending on your usage. This is significantly less than many other water faucet filters(the vast majority filter 200 gallons) but the PUR Advanced Water Filter is extremely affordable at roughly $25 and is one of the most highly praised water faucet filters on the market. An LED light will inform you when it is time to replace your water filter.

  1. DuPont WFFM350XBN Electric Metered Faucet Filter

DuPont is one of the best companies currently producing water faucet filters, always seeking new ways to improve their technology. The WFFM350XBN is easily screwed on to pretty much any faucet and allows you to choose whether or not water is filtered. This allows you to use unfiltered water for purposes like cleaning and save your filters for drinking water, making it possible to keep this filter much longer.

The WFFM350XBN filters out chlorine, odors, heavy metals and a range of other contaminants commonly found in drinking water. It can filter up to 200 gallons before it needs to be replaced. A simple digital counter tracks how many gallons of water the machine has filtered so you know exactly when to replace it.

This water filter will cost you twice as much as the PUR Advanced—about $50—but it will easily last you twice as long. If you’re able to fork out a little bit of extra now it’s definitely worth it.

  1. Instapure Brands F2LBCTU

The Instapure F2LBCTU isn’t quite as popular as the others on this list but it is one of the best faucet water filters out there. It is simple to screw into just about any kind of faucet and comes with filters that can also be replaced easily so you don’t have to buy an entirely new system every time. Focused more on providing great taste than filtering chemicals, it won’t filter out as many contaminants as the filters listed above but it will remove chlorine, odors and bad flavors. You can also choose not to filter certain water when you’re doing dishes or other cleaning, extending the life of each filter.

Unfortunately this filter doesn’t come with any kind of light/screen to warn you when it needs to be refilled but at $25-30 in most stores it is an excellent deal, especially if you live in an area where you’re less concerned about pollutants and more concerned with taste.

  1. Culligan FM-15A Advanced Faucet Filter Kit

Another one of DuPont’s shining stars, the Culligan has a rather bulky shape but is one of the most efficient water faucet filters on the market. It is compatible with pretty much any type of commercially available faucet and can be screwed on in a few seconds. A diverter valve allows you to push for unfiltered water or pull for filtered water, allowing you to preserve individual filters for longer.

The Culligan filters 200 gallons of water, removing a variety of contaminants including chlorine and heavy metals such as lead and mercury. A reminder sticker will help you keep track of when you have to replace the filters.

Perhaps most importantly, the Culligan is also about half the price of the WFFM350XBN, sold for $25-30 on Amazon.

  1. PUR 3-Stage Horizontal Faucet Mount

An even sleeker model than the PUR Advanced, the PUR 3-Stage Horizontal Faucet Mount is incompatible with pull-out and handheld faucets but attaches easily to just about any other type of commercial faucet thanks to 3 different adaptors. Simply pick the right adaptor, screw it onto your tap and click it into place.

The PUR 3-Stage Horizontal Faucet Mount can filter up to 100 gallons of water and comes with a built in switch that allows you to get both filtered and unfiltered water. At $27 it’s also one of the best deals you’re going to get.

  1. Brita On Tap Water Filter System

Brita is the one of the most well known names in water filtration thanks to their awesome water pitcher filters and their water faucet filter is definitely the same caliber. Admittedly the Brita water filtration systems don’t focus on as many different pollutants as some of the other systems on this list but they effectively remove chlorine, odors and bad flavors from your water. Their filter replacements are also among the most affordable and usually come in packs of 2.

Unfortunately the Brita On Tap Water Filter System only filters 100 gallons of water per filter but it does come with a simple green light that tells you when you need to change your water filter.

Your water can taste great again with any one of these water filter faucets. If you live with other people be sure to choose one of the 200 gallon filters so you don’t have to replace the filter too frequently. The filters seem cheap now but the costs can really add up.

Top 8 Best Blender Food Processor Combos

A blender food processor combo is a very useful appliance in your kitchen.  Since a blender has a powerful motor best for pureeing ingredients while a food processor has extremely sharp blades that can chop up even hard ingredients, a product that has the features of both a blender and a food processor is a great help to any home cook.  With your blender food processor combo, you’re ready to chop up or make purees out of practically anything.

Blender Food Processor Buying Guide

The blender and food processor are two different machines. Blenders create drinks like smoothies, while food processors are designed to shred, chop, or mix solid foods. It may seem to be a little difficult to find a machine that performs both functions. This buying guide will tell you everything that you need to know about blending and food processing machines.

Important Features to Consider

The first thing that you need to know would be the important features to consider, namely:

Uses

If you see the need to have both machines in your kitchen, you might have to look for a model that has one or more of these features:

  • Feed tube helps make things more efficient as you no longer need to stuff everything in the machine before switching it on. Depending on what ingredients you plan to put inside, you might need a larger or smaller feed tube.
  • Dough hook allows the machine to knead dough, which can be extremely helpful if you bake.
  • Multiple blades can be found on some machines. These blades are made for chopping, grating, and pureeing. Other models have all-in-one blades that serve for various uses.
  • Mill grinds and chops.
  • Potato Rasp grates potatoes, hard cheese, nutmeg, or even coconut.

Capacity

It is crucial to look at the machine’s capacity. If you plan to process large food quantities, then you might want to find a model with up to 7 or 16 cups in capacity to be safe. A five-cup container will work for personal use only.

Power

Blender/food processor machines should have a motor that is powerful enough to serve both purposes. A weak motor will not last long and may not even work well in cutting foods. A model with more than 500watts of power may already be adequate.

Speeds

You may not need a combination appliance with multiple speed settings. This is because food processors only have two settings for on and off. However, you may want one with variable speed settings for better control.

Pre-Programmed Settings

A machine with a wide range of pre-programmed settings could save you time and effort in the kitchen. It can also help you avoid accidentally blending something that you were planning to chop. That said, you should look for a model with the following presets: chop, whisk, grate, shred, and puree.

Additional Features to Look For

Some features are not necessary. However, they may be able to help make things easier for you. These include the micro-serrated blade, which removes the need to replace or sharpen your existing blade; the citrus press or juicer that lets you use the machine as a juicer; the straight-sided processor cup to avoid uneven chops; the whisk and spatula for mixing ingredients; and safety features like auto shut-off and auto-lock.

For a visual representation of the above information, we have created a helpful infographic that is posted at the bottom of page).

Top Blender Food Processors

You now know the important features to look for when searching for blender/food processors. Since there are plenty of options out there, finding the best one can be overwhelming. Here are the two top-rated blender food processors that you can consider:

KitchenAid KFP1333CU (Best Value Blender Food Processor)
This machine features a powerful motor with three settings, various speeds, and a four- and 13-cup bowls. It comes with multi-purpose stainless steel blades that can slice, shred, knead, or even puree. This stylish blender/food processor is easy to clean, too, and runs surprisingly quiet.

Ninja Ultima Kitchen System (Most Powerful Blender Food Processor)

The Ninja Ultima boasts a 1,500-watt motor with dual-stage technology for an efficient processing and blending. The feed tube, however, is a bit narrow. With an eight-cup bowl included, this machine is best-suited for personal use or small servings.

Looking for the best blender food processor is not as hard as you think. You only need to do your research. Take note of the tips mentioned above and you will be able to find the right one in no time.

Best blender food processor combos for 2017

  1. Black & Decker FP2620S Wide-Mouth Food Processor & Blender, Black/Silverblack-and-decker-food-processor

The Black & Decker FP2620S Wide-Mouth Food Processor & Blender offers durability and quality at a more affordable price.  It’s a 500 watts unit with 3 speed options including pulse.  Appearance-wise, it looks sleek and elegant with its stainless steel base and suction cup feet which serves to hold the unit steady when in use.  This appliance doesn’t take up too much space as well.  On the other hand, its capacity is limited to 10 cups and it’s not as powerful as other units which can blend ice.

  1. Cuisinart FP-14DCN Elite Collection 2.0 14 Cup Food Processor, Die Castcuisnart

One of the best brands in the market for powerful kitchen appliances, Cuisinart also impresses with their Cuisinart FP-14DC Elite Collection.  This 1000 watts food processor and blender features an induction motor that can chop and puree with ease.  It comes with 3 different work bowls which uses Cuisinart’s unique SealTight technology.  The speed options include both pulse and dough.  Users also appreciate that this unit is quite safe to use, no problem to clean and works noiselessly unlike other units.

  1. DeLonghi 9-Cup Capacity Food Processor with Integrated Blenderdelonghi

A brand that consistently produces top quality kitchen appliances, DeLonghi’s 9-Cup Capacity Food Processor with Integrated Blender is also an excellent choice.  Not as highly-priced as other more powerful units since it only has 400 watts, it nevertheless is quite capable of slicing and blending.  It’s also safe to use thanks to its interlocking safety system and its compact size makes it perfect for smaller kitchens.  If you just want a standard food processor that has blending capabilities, this unit should suit you well.

  1. KitchenAid KFP1333CU 13-Cup Food Processor with ExactSlice System – Contour Silverkitchenaid

The KitchenAid KFP1333CU is one blender processor combos that is both durable and stylish.  It can complement virtually any kitchen.  Though this unit is only at 360 watts, slicing, kneading and pureeing is no trouble thanks to its stainless steel blades, powerful motor, and 3 speed options.  The UltraTight seal also ensures the absence of leaks.  It can accommodate up to 13 cups.  However, greater capacity also means bigger size, which can be a drawback as some users found this unit too large.

  1. Hamilton Beach 58149 Blender and Chopperhamilton-beach

The Hamilton Beach 58149 Blender and Chopper hits the mark with its affordability and amazing power.  At 700 watts, it can blend, slice and chop most ingredients.  Even ice is blended sufficiently with no chunks.  It has two speed settings and two pulse options.  The glass jar for blending can hold up to 5 cups and the chopping container accommodates 3 cups.  It’s also convenient to use with an Easy Clean option but the downside to this unit is the lack of a locking safety system.

  1. Ninja Mega Kitchen System 1500 Food Processor Blender BL773COninja-kitchen

At the top of almost every list of blender food processor combos is the Ninja brand particularly the Ninja Mega Kitchen System.  The features are astoundingly professional: sturdy exceptionally sharp blades and a 1500 watts motor that can blend even frozen food.  The unit itself is heavy duty and long-lasting.  It comes equipped with a variety of bowls for chopping and cups and a pitcher for blending.  There are 3 speed settings including pulse.  Plus, it’s competitively priced compared to other units.

  1. Ninja Ultima Kitchen System (BL820)ultima-ninja

Another winning product from Ninja is their Ninja Ultima Kitchen System.  At 1500 watts, 3 peak HP, it surpasses even the strength and power of the Ninja Mega.  The food processor’s blades can slice and cut through tough ingredients and the blender motor produces well-blended super smooth liquids.  Users are pleased with its large capacity, 64 ounces for the chopping bowl and 72 ounces for the blending jar.  As is common with the Ninja units, the Ultima also comes with two Ninja cups for making blended beverages you can easily take with you.

  1. Oster Rapid Blend 8-Speed Blender with Glass Jar and Bonus 3-Cup Food Processor, Metallic Red, BCCG08-RFP-NP9oster

With the Oster Rapid Blend 8-Speed Blender with Glass Jar and Bonus 3-Cup Food Processor, preparing ingredients and beverages is quick and easy.  At 450 watts and 8 speeds, it meets the standard of decent blender food processor combos.  A quality product built for durability, even the jar is scratch resistant.  Small and efficient, the blender jar is good for up to 6 cups and the food processor cup has a capacity of 3 cups.  This unit is ideal for price-conscious cooks who want something basic that lasts long.

Wrapping Up

An appliance that is wonderfully convenient, the blender food processor combo can help you whip up the best dishes and drinks in next to no time.  Homemakers and cooks have found that having any of these units we mentioned instead of a separate blender and a food processor is in the long run more efficient and can help save on space.

How to find the best value blender food processor combo for you!

blender food processor combo buying guide