Category Archives: Kitchen Appliance

Why I decided to buy a bread machine

After reading more reviews of the top bread machines, I was more than convinced that I should buy one of these appliances. For starters, I was tired of the taste of store-bought bread, and I wanted to control the ingredients that I use in my bread. I also wanted to save some money because bread has become quite expensive, especially gluten-free products. Bread machines can also do more than just make bread, and there’s the dough setting that I could use for mixing, kneading and fermenting the dough without becoming messy. I could then use the dough for various purposes, either to make pie, pizza, croissants or cake.

A bread machine also has a cake setting, which I could use for making cakes. This is great because the bread maker now replaces my oven, stand mixer and hand mixer. Replacing these appliances means that I can now save more money. I also live in a small apartment and there’s not a lot of room in my kitchen. This means that my bread machine takes up little space since I don’t have to buy many different appliances. I also realized that there’s a bread machine that could also make jam.

I have Japanese neighbors and so I could now use a versatile machine to prepare for them Japanese foods such as brioche, udon, steamed bread and mocha. Once I read more bread maker reviews, I bought a good appliance that has continued to serve me well. I now enjoy waking up to the smell of freshly baked bread, and it’s the best tasting loaf of bread too. I learnt that when my bread had finished baking, I should cool it immediately so that the optimal color and texture is maintained. I also resist the temptation of slicing the bread immediately it has baked so that I can keep it moist inside but not spongy.

More: Bread maker tips and troubleshooting – Red Star Yeast

Is an Espresso Machine Good for You?

Espresso machines produce highly concentrated ,dark and rich brew that are mostly found at the coffee shops. The coffee beans must be finely ground and packed to produce strong coffee which some people prefer to take as shots. Espresso machines can also be used to make milk-based beverages such as lattes and cappuccinos, where milk is heated separately using the machine’s frothing tube which blow steam into the milk whipping it to froth.

Drinking Espresso

Manufacturers have gone to greater lengths in designing and building exceptional espresso makers for home use and also for commercial purposes. Basically, there are two espresso machines which are steam driven espresso machines and pump driven espresso machines. Steam-driven espresso machines worked on steam pressure where steam pressure is used to pump water through the coffee grounds to produce espresso.

I don’t recommend steam-driven espresso machines because they can’t produce enough pressure or temperatures required to produce true espresso,they are just in a position to make very strong cup of coffee.However steam-driven espresso machines are considerably cheaper than pump-driven machines therefore they can be used on the entry level if you are on an extremely tight budget. On the other hand i recommend pump-driven espresso machines which use electric pump that pumps water through the coffee grounds.These machines therefore can produce true espresso.

There are two types of pump-driven machines; Super-automatic espresso machines and semi-automatic espresso machines.The difference between these two units depends on which one better suits yours needs.Semi-automatic espresso machines are perfect for best-quality espresso though it might take a little more time and effort off your schedule. Whereas if you just want a quick cup of great tasting espresso then the super-automatic machine will suit you well since there is no extra effort applied.This machine is suitable for the people on the go or those people who prefer convenience over control.

Overall, I recommend the semi-automatic espresso machine which is all about fine tuning, precise great taste,temperature and body espresso shots that you love especially if you are a “hands on” espresso expert who doesn’t mind a little more effort to ensure high-quality espresso then this is the best option for you.

more reading – history of espresso machine

Smart Electric Rice Cookers

No matter if you eat white or brown rice, long or short grain, it is not easy to get it right when cooked traditionally in a pot. Thanks to the electric rice cooker, cooking rice is a piece of cake – set it at the right settings and leave it to cook. Not only can it cook rice, you can easily cook porridge, stew and oatmeal in a pot.

Electric rice cookers these days are smart that it can determine and adjust the cooking time and temperature for cooking the fluffiest rice. They are able to do so with sensors that have the ability to detect the amount of rice and water in the pot.

There are many best rated rice cooker reviews but here are some tips to make your decision easier:

  1. Budget

The first thing you should do is figure out how much you’re willing to spend on your rice cooker. Regardless of its price, the best rice cooker should be able to cook your rice to perfection. Just remember that the more expensive the appliance is, the more extensive the extra super powers it has. Personally, I think you should not buy an electric rice cooker just because of its extra functions but not ever use them to your advantage.

  1. Capacity/Size

Rice will taste better when you cook in a cooker at its intended capacity. If you are only cooking for yourself and maybe your partner, a 3-cup electric rice cooker will be more than enough to cook for a meal. A 10-cup cooker will only be ideal only if you frequently cook for your extended family or you’re in the catering business.

Also, look for an electric rice cooker that has a steaming tray to cook your vegetable. As the water boils off to cook the rice, the released steam will cook the vegetables. Not only is this a healthy way to cook your rice but it also saves energy and time.

  1. Material

Do consider the material of the cooking pot when choosing your cooker. A non-stick aluminum or stainless steel is preferred by most people since it’s easy to clean. Some people prefer pots that are made from charcoal or clay which are natural materials that have non-stick properties. However, some of these pans do produce rice with a slight burnt taste thanks to these natural materials – some people do enjoy this difference in taste.

  1. Bells & Whistles

As I mentioned earlier, pricier models have features that would elevate the user’s experience when using the electric rice cooker. Things like measuring lines inside the cooking pot and see-through lid will allow you to easily measure the water used and monitor the cooking process. If your cooker has a warming function, it would be great to keep your rice warm until you’re ready to eat your meal.

  1. Multi-tasking Abilities

I believe that if you’re already paying so much for an appliance, it should work more than its main intended use. Other than rice, your electric rice cooker should be able to cook congee, oatmeal and crock pot style meals.

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Small rice cookers for small families
Top recommended brand – Zojirushi rice cookers
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