Category Archives: Kitchen Products Gadgets

Nesco Digital Top Mounted Dehydrator

Nesco Digital Top Mounted Dehydrator

The Nesco Digital Top Mounted Dehydrator is an excellent dehydrator to help save money and to create excellent preserved delicacies easily and quickly.

Ease of Use/Performance: 5/5
Convenience/Storage 5/5
Appearance/Design 5/5
How much I enjoy 5/5

Total: 5/5

Nesco has been making cookware since the early 1930’s with the introduction of their now famous roaster oven as well as food dehydrators. The Nesco Digital Food Dehydrator now brings features that home cooks and professionals have wanted in an inexpensive package.

The Nesco FD-77DT Digital Food Dehydrator brings digital heat control to the popular food dehydrator for better temperature control. Using an adjustable heat allows you to dry foods at the best temperatures for the best food preservation possible.

Nesco FD-77DT Digital Dehydrator
Nesco FD-77DT Digital Dehydrator

The Nesco FD-77DT is a round dehydrator that measures about 13 inches across and is about 10 inches tall when you have the base all four trays and the top. The heating element is 600 watts controlled by the digital front panel along that also has the timer as part of the controls.

All the wiring and the power cord are in the top unit so no wiring is under any dripping foods you’re dehydrating for safety. The trays are about an inch tall but you should always use at least four trays for proper air circulation throughout the dehydrator.

Whats in the Box
Whats in the Box

The FD-77DT dehydrator dries food using air flow from a fan and heat from heating elements with digital control on the front panel. The heater goes from 95 degrees to 160 degrees for different foods but the fan only has one speed when dehydrating.

Foods need different temperatures to dehydrate because of the different water content they have as well as the general thickness of foods you are dehydrating. Thinner foods like herbs have a lower water content than thicker foods like strawberries so higher heat is better.

Commercial vs Home Dehydrating
Commercial vs Home Dehydrating

With those thinner foods using a lower heat ensures you keep the color of the food so it looks better when preparing and eating. Enjoying food is a sensory experience and sight has a lot to do with our enjoyment of eating so getting dehydrated foods looking good is important.

Using the correct heat means the best drying process so you retain the color of food while getting rid of water that helps to preserve food. Dehydrating food for preserving means getting rid of water that will make the food last longer without refrigeration.

Dehydrating Fruit
Dehydrating Fruit

The digital control allows you to set the perfect temperature for drying smaller and thinner foods like herbs and leaves or flower petals. The higher temperatures work better for thicker things like fruit and meats to create dried fruit and jerky.

The Nesco Digital Dehydrator works just fine for all kinds of foods and is easy to expand with extra trays, more fruit roll sheets and screens for smaller food. You can also buy jerky seasonings, cures and a jerky gun to make jerky from ground meats.

Dehydrating Pet Treats
Dehydrating Pet Treats

The included manual and recipe book has plenty of good recipes for basic dehydrating but you can also find a lot of recipes and guides on the internet. I found several very good recipes for jerky which is a popular choice when people think of dehydrating.

I have dried and dehydrated numerous foods and have really enjoyed the better performing digital dehydrator as it really does make dehydrating easier. The Nesco FD-77DT is an excellent dehydrator and one that I can easily recommend for home dehydrating.

Nesco FD-77DT @ Nesco

Nesco FD-77DT @ Amazon

Pros
Digital control for best temperature
Older round trays work with new dehydrator
Expandable with more trays, fruit roll sheets and screens
Easy to clean

Cons
None

Vacuum Insulated 1.2 liter Thermos Bottle

Vacuum Insulated 1.2 liter Thermos Bottle

The Vacuum Insulated Thermos Bottle is a 1.2 liter or 40 ounce vacuum bottle that is perfect to carry a half pot of coffee, tea or other beverages.

Ease of Use/Performance: 5/5
Convenience/Storage 5/5
Appearance/Design 4.5/5
How much I enjoy 5/5

Total: 5/5

The Thermos Vacuum Insulated Bottle has been a staple of coffee drinkers since the early 1900’s with the company now being synonymous with keeping beverages hot or cold. The 1.2 liter vacuum insulated Thermos bottle can hold about five 8 ounce cups of coffee or other beverage.

The 40 ounce Thermos Bottle features a lid that acts as a serving cup, a sealing stopper and handy carry handle that can help strap the Thermos down. The Thermos bottle has a vacuum insulation between stainless steel to keep liquids hot or cold.

The vacuum bottle can keep hot liquids hot or cold for up to a day without losing much of the heat or cold with only about five degrees being lost in 24 hours. I tested both hot and cold beverages and saw only about five degrees change for both.

Thermos Bottle w/ Stopper & Cup
Thermos Bottle w/ Stopper & Cup

I used water that was boiling from a tea kettle that brought the water up to 200 degrees and waited 24 hours to test the temperature which only lost 5 degrees. I used cold water that was 35 degrees straight from the freezer for a few hours and tested the water the next day with only about five degrees of warming.

The vacuum bottle insulates by the vacuum inside the stainless steel walls that insulate against changes in temperature. The stainless steel ensures your beverages do not take on any flavors from the container and protects the bottle from damage.

The 1.2 liter Thermos bottle has a stainless steel and plastic cup that helps to insulate your drink while you’re using the serving cup. The cup is nice for use in the field and is handy for protecting the top of the vacuum bottle as well as keeping it with the bottle when not in use.

The serving cup screws on the top of the vacuum bottle and has a rounded lip for comfortable drinking with the insulated serving cup. The stopper has a rubber sealing ring with two side spaces for pouring without having to remove the stopper.

Thermos 24 oz & 40 oz Bottles
Thermos 24 oz & 40 oz Bottles

Pouring without the stopper is smooth and has a nice single stream of liquid but using the stopper in place and only unscrewed some means an unsteady stream. It still pours somewhat well but the stream is hitting at least some of the stopper so it does break it up a bit.

Without the stopper in the bottle the stream is nice and smooth so I have usually just removed the stopper to prevent any spills when pouring. The stopper when fully seated is air and liquid tight so the stopper does work well to keep your beverages in the vacuum bottle.

You can purchase the 40 ounce Thermos Vacuum Bottle at the Thermos website or Amazon as well as locally at Walmart for about $27. The 40 ounce Thermos Bottle is the perfect bottle to take hot or cold beverages with you whether it’s the field for camping or to work.

I highly recommend the Thermos 40 ounce vacuum bottle as the perfect vacuum bottle for more than a few drinks of your favorite beverage.

40 oz Vacuum bottle @ Thermos

Thermos 40 oz Vacuum bottle @ Amazon

Pros
Keeps beverages hot or cold for 24 hours
Solid built from stainless steel
Non coated stainless steel interior for ease of cleaning
Lid doubles as serving cup

Cons
Twist and pour stopper does not have a clean pouring stream

Thermos Vacuum Insulated 24 oz Matte Black Drink Bottle

Thermos Vacuum Insulated 24 oz Matte Black Drink Bottle

The Thermos 24 ounce Vacuum Insulated Drink Bottle is the perfect take along stainless steel thermos for beverages both hot and cold.

Ease of Use/Performance: 5/5
Convenience/Storage 5/5
Appearance/Design 5/5
How much I enjoy 5/5

Total: 5/5

Thermos is often the word used when referring to those vacuum flasks used to keep hot beverages hot and cold drinks cold. Thermos has been a popular brand in the vacuum flask products since 1904 and has been leading the field in keeping hot things hot and cold things cold.

Thermos has a wide range of containers for beverages and food in the single serving size and larger that center on vacuum insulation to keep things hot or cold. Thermos is also well known for its plaid lunch boxes and containers that go back to the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Today Thermos has continued to keep up with the times as well as continuing to bring cold and hot to the appropriate beverage and food. The Thermos Vacuum Insulated Drink Bottle comes in black, blue and cranberry red for the 24 ounce size.

24 oz Drink Bottle
24 oz Drink Bottle

The 24 ounce Drink Bottle has a locking lid that can be opened with a single hand by flipping the small locking ring down and pushing the button. The lid has a large rubber lid that seals the vent and drinking hole closed and tight from leaking.

The lid screws on and has another large sealing ring that ensures the lid seals tight to the all steel vacuum bottle from the inside. The brand Thermos is well known for the stainless steel vacuum bottles that have a vacuum space between the inner and outer walls that insulate the drink bottle.

The Thermos Vacuum Insulated Drink Bottle is advertised as being able to keep cold beverages cold for 24 hours and hot drinks hot for 18 hours. I tested this out for cold and hot and found it easily keeps hot and cold for that time and was very impressed with both.

Inside Bottle & Lid
Inside Bottle & Lid

The cold keeps cold beverages nice and cold for a day or more without using ice packs or anything else other than the vacuum insulation. The thermos vacuum insulated drink bottle also keeps hot beverages hot for at least 18 hours or more.

I was very impressed with the Thermos Vacuum Insulated Drink Bottle when I made tea and the next day it was still piping hot with steam coming off the cup when I poured. The Thermos Vacuum insulated Drink Bottle easily keeps hot liquids hot enough for a good length of time whether you’re out and about or at home.

The Thermos 24 ounce drink bottle has a smooth lip so drinking is comfortable while the easy to flip closed lid keeps your drink hot or cold. I really like the size and the insulation ability to keep my drink at the temperature I want for hours on end.

Thermos 24 oz & 40 oz Bottles
Thermos 24 oz & 40 oz Bottles

The stainless steel metal body inside and out means a tough and durable drink bottle that will take years of abuse without problems. The metal body makes it a highly reliable drink bottle for job sites but its good looks make it nice enough for an office.

The Thermos Vacuum Insulated 24 oz Matte Black Drink Bottle costs about $25 and is available at Thermos and other online sites as well as locally. I did find the Thermos 24 ounce drink bottle locally at Bed Bath & Beyond so you can save yourself shipping costs.

I highly recommend the Thermos Vacuum Insulated 24 oz Matte Black Drink Bottle as an excellent hot or cold beverage bottle that is tough.

24 Ounce Drink Bottle @ Thermos

24 Ounce Drink Bottle @ Amazon

Pros
Keeps beverages hot or cold for hours
Tough stainless steel body
Lid does not leak

Cons
None

Libre Tea 9 oz and 14 oz Travel Tea Glass Infuser

Libre Tea 9 oz and 14 oz Travel Tea Glass Infuser

The Libre Tea Glass Infuser in both 9 and 14 ounce sizes are nice glass and poly Tritan travel mugs that include a stainless steel filter for loose leaf tea.

Ease of Use/Performance: 2/5
Quality/Craftsmenship 2/5
Appearance/Design 2/5
How much I enjoy 2/5

Total: 2/5

Libre Tea Glasses

The Libre Tea Glass Tumbler in the 9 and 14 ounce sizes are both glass with poly Tritan tumblers that feature a stainless steel filter for loose leaf tea. The Libre Tea Infuser can be used in a few different ways with the filter to keep the loose leaf tea in the glass or in the basket.

You can brew tea in the filter basket by filling the glass with hot water and then screwing the filter portion of the lid on the glass and adding tea to the filter. You then screw the lid on the filter section and invert the glass to brew the tea to your desired strength.

Once the tea is brewed you turn the glass over and carefully remove both sections to enjoy your tea without any tea leaves in the water. The filter section and lid section have a thin metal outer cover which can dent easily and the tops of both glasses have a decorative insert.

9 & 14 Ounce Libre Tea Glasses

Using either the in glass tea brewing or in the filter was a good option but I did find the filter only holds so much tea so you are limited in strength. I would prefer a slightly larger filter for the 14 ounce glass as it just does not hold enough for my taste and strength of herbal teas that I enjoy.

Brewing tea was easy in both glasses and the poly Tritan outer shell of the glasses really is tough but the same cannot be said of the metal covered lids. The first time I took the 14 ounce Libre Tea glass on the road my wife dented the lid when she bumped it with her seatbelt.

A week or so later I dropped the lid when taking a drink and further dented the lid so now it has dents all over the top lid of the larger Libre glass. The smaller one has not seen as much use so it has survived relatively intact but the lid is the same thin metal which will dent easily.

Libre Tea 9 Ounce

Another issue I found is the filter is such a closed weave that it holds water as well as tea so pouring water through it can be an exercise in slow pouring. You really do need to pour the water in the glass then add the filter lid with the tea so the water is not poured through the stainless steel filter.

The Libre tea glasses work well for the most part but even cross threading the lids are a risk you have to watch out for when screwing them on. If you get the lid on wrong hot water can leak out when you tipped the glass over to brew and you run the risk of burning yourself.

I was rather surprised about the quality not being equal to the price with the 9 ounce costing $24 and the 14 ounce costing $29. Other reviews on Amazon also mention the thinner metal lids and water leaking out when tipping the glasses over so I am not alone in my views.

Libre Tea 14 Ounce

When using the Libre tea glasses and inverting them I found they leaked unless I did make sure the lids were screwed on properly every time. I just thought that a price tag of $24 and $29 for the two glasses would warrant a bit better quality and attention to design.

While the Libre Tea glasses worked fairly well I just thought the price demanded a better quality overall and just cannot recommend the glasses.

Libre Tea Website

Libre Tea @ Amazon

Pros
Poly Tritan exterior protects glass interior
Stainless steel filter for loose leaf tea
Easy to use

Cons
Thin metal on lids dents easily
Water can leak from lids if not screwed on properly
Stainless steel filter could be larger
Pricey

 

 

ClickClack Cube Storage Containers Review

ClickClack Cube Storage Containers Review

ClickClack Airtight Storage Containers are the perfect fit for kitchen and pantry storage for all your food and freshness needs.

Ease of Use/Performance: 4.5/5
Convenience/Storage 4/5
Appearance/Design 4.5/5
How much I enjoy 5/5

Total: 4.5/5

ClickClack Cubes Food Storage Containers

 

ClickClack specializes in food storage containers is a brand of Innova Products that also includes glassware, home and industrial brushewares. ClickClack Kitchenware is their line of food storage containers that have been manufactured for twenty years.

ClickClack Cubes are stackable airtight food storage containers that also come in a round version with a variety of sizes. The ClickClack Cubes comes in sizes from 1 quart up to 4.5 quarts with red, white and stainless steel colors and are sold separately or in sets.

ClickClack Cubes Large Set

 

I received the two sets of three cube containers with one set including the 1 quart, 2 quart and 3.5 quart sizes and the second set including the 1.5 quart, 3 quart and 4.5 quart sizes. Both sets make great everyday kitchen storage but the larger sizes are perfect for flour, sugar and other often used ingredients.

Flour, brown sugar and powdered sugar are in the one set that has red lids while the smaller set has oatmeal, sugar and pet treats. I can’t ignore the smaller members of our household and they deserve treats everyday just like we do so the ClickClack keeps them handy.

ClickClack Small Set

 

ClickClack Cubes are square storage containers with clear plastic bottoms that are about 3 mm thick with airtight lids. The lids have two indents on the top with two push toggles that have pivot points to make them depress the inner diaphragm.

The inner diaphragm is the seal and is a one piece flexible plastic that snaps onto the lid and when flexed using the toggles releases its seal against the body of the container. You can also remove this diaphragm using a spoon or other flat non sharp tool so you can clean and thoroughly dry the containers.

ClickClack Lid Taken Apart

 

When I first receive the two sets of ClickClack I did not read the websites frequently asked questions and just dunked the lids and containers in my sink of soapy water. The lids got water in them so I gently pulled the diaphragm apart to drain them and after a night of drying they were ready for their first use.

You can wash the containers and just wipe the lids but for occasional cleaning the lids can be taken apart for a better cleaning. You should avoid using the ClickClacks in the microwave, freezer and dishwasher as they are not made to handle heat or cold.

ClickClack Food Storage Containers in my Kitchen

 

Simple storage is what ClickClacks are all about and good looking pantry or kitchen storage is easy with the cube shaped containers. The lids are also indented to allow stacking but of course you need to put smaller containers on the larger ones.

I have been using the ClickClacks in my kitchen for a month and really like the see through design but ClickClack does have some round containers that are tinted if you prefer. The company sells a good range of round and cube shapes in a variety of colors so you should have no problem picking out the design and color you want to match your kitchen style.

The large set of ClickClack cubes sells for about $40 while the smaller set sells for about $35 and is available from online sites like Target and locally at The Container Store. I highly recommend the ClickClack Containers to keep your essential foods fresh and ready for use in your kitchen.

ClickClack Website

ClickClack @ The Container Store

ClickClack @ Amazon

Pros
Airtight and easy to use
Lids come apart for easy cleaning
Stackable and square or round for easy storage

Cons
May break if dropped

Kalorik Glass Water Kettle

Kalorik Glass Water Kettle

The Kalorik Glass Water Kettle model JK 39380 is an electric water kettle that has a separate base and simply heats water to boiling in about 8 minutes.

Ease of Use/Performance: 5/5
Convenience/Storage 4/5
Appearance/Design 4/5
How much I enjoy 5/5

Total: 4.5/5

Kalorik Glass Water Kettle

The Kalorik Glass Water Kettle comes in black or grey and is a great way to heat water for tea, hot chocolate or other uses like instant oatmeal. The Kalorik Water Kettle has a separate base that plugs into your power outlet and is a simple way to heat water in about eight minutes.

The Kalorik Glass Water Kettle has a set of blue LEDs inside the water kettle around the bottom to light up your water as it comes to a boil. The on/off switch is on the bottom of the handle with a button on the top to open the spring loaded lid.

Base and Spout Filter

The glass water kettle with plastic and stainless steel accents pours well and includes a small screen that fits into the pour spout. I did a comparison and timed the water kettle which took almost exactly eight minutes to reach 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

This kettle does take about a minute longer to come to a boil than the previous two kettles I reviewed because it holds more water. The Kalorik Water Kettle holds 1.7 liters or 58 fluid ounce which is 7 full 8 ounce cups plus a little more.

Kalorik Water Kettle

While the Kalorik Glass Water Kettle does take a bit more time to come to a boil but it also holds more water than my previous water kettle reviews. The Kalorik Water Kettle works well and is easy to use with its simple design and nice easy pouring.

The Kalorik Water Kettle does have the flat bottom without anything on it so you can set the kettle on a table or counter directly. The bottom has a hole with the contacts for the base which has a safety connection without exposed contacts.

Kalorik Glass Water Kettle at Full Boil

The base of the kettle is hard plastic on the bottom with a stainless steel band and does not get hot at all so it is safe to place on a table or counter. The handle does have a plastic strip to prevent your knuckles from coming into contact with the tempered glass of the kettle.

The only downside of the Kalorik Water Kettle I could find was the hard plastic bottom that may be a bit rough on your surfaces. Another water kettle I reviewed has foam rubber feet that I find I like a bit on my new countertop but the Kalorik kettle has not left any scratches on any surfaces.

I really like the simplicity of the Kalorik Glass Water Kettle and can easily recommend it for a stylish and simple electric water kettle.

Video of Kalorik Kettle

Kalorik Glass Water Kettle Website

Kalorik Water Kettle @ Amazon

Pros
Heats water to boiling quickly
Holds 58 ounces

Nice Pouring

Screen on pour spout

Cons
Hard plastic bottom

Capresso C100 Tea Kettle

Capresso C100 Tea Kettle

The Capresso C100 Water Kettle is a temperature controlled water kettle with settings for warming, green tea, white tea, oolong tea and black tea.

Ease of Use/Performance: 5/5
Convenience/Storage 5/5
Appearance/Design 5/5
How much I enjoy 5/5

Total: 5/5

Capresso Tea Kettle

The Capresso C100 Tea kettle is a temperature controlled water kettle that has settings for a range of teas and for warm water. The C100 tea kettle is an electronic kettle that has a base with temperature control and a short electric cord.

The C100 tea kettle from Capresso has a preset temperature that you select from the light up dial control on the base of the kettle. The temperature settings start with warming at 100 degrees and continue with green tea at 160, white tea at 175, oolong tea at 195 and black tea at 212 degrees.

whats in the box

The tea kettle has a temperature sensor in the kettle and a large domed heating element with a flip up cover and holds 6 cups of water. The kettle takes about seven and a half minutes to come to a full boil at 212 degrees Fahrenheit which is the perfect temperature for black tea.

The preset temperatures are a great way to get the right temperature for your tea every time whether it’s an herbal blend or a straight kind. The settings for the main tea types are great and from these you can use them to heat your water for any herbal teas or other blends.

bottom of c100 kettle

The Capresso C100 water kettle works well is a safe way to heat water due to the base element not being exposed and the automatic shutoff. The tea kettle will not boil dry and will shut off when it reaches the maximum temperature of the dial setting.

The Capresso C100 has a pour spout that has a nice steady stream when pouring and the lid is easy to use with one hand. The glass is from Schott glass that is a high quality glass designed for the kettle and high temperatures that the kettle heats up to.

c100 markings

The bright blue markings and maximum indicator are very clear when you fill the water kettle and especially when there is water behind the markings. The base of the water kettle has nice foam feet so the kettle will not scratch or scuff tabletops.

I had no problems using the Capresso C100 Water Kettle and am very impressed with this simple yet well designed electric kettle. I really like the Capresso C100 Water Kettle and highly recommend it as a safe and efficient way to heat water for tea and any other uses you need hot water.

Capresso C100 Video

Capresso C100 @ Capresso

Capresso C100 @ Amazon

Pros
Safe and fast water kettle
Nice pour spout and foam feet
Temperature settings for variety of teas

Cons
Water may boil out of spout if filled too full

Crock-Pot Hook Up Connectable Entertaining System

Crock-Pot Hook Up Connectable Entertaining System

The Crock-Pot Hook Up Entertaining System, oh heck, it’s a connectable Crock-Pot that comes in three models to use side by side for parties, buffets or holidays.

Ease of Use/Performance: 5/5
Convenience/Storage 4/5
Appearance/Design 4/5
How much I enjoy 5/5

Total: 4.5/5

Crock-Pot Hook Up

The Crock-Pot Hook Up is a three piece system that has three different crock pots that can be connected together for entertaining or larger meals. The Crock-Pot Hook Up is a unique system that has a cord on one side that pulls out to plug in and a socket on the other side to allow for connecting other Hook Ups.

You can connect any of the Crock-Pot Hook Ups together using either the 3.5, 2 or dual 1 quart crock-Pot units but you can also buy the same sized Hook Ups. You can connect up to six Hook Ups together using the side outlet plug and socket system that works quite well.

Each Hook Up has the same outer size and connections while the three models have three different sizes of crocks with one being a dual crock design. Hook Up’s come in a double oval 1 quart, 2 quart round and 3.5 quart oval in an assortment of designer colors.

Dual 1 Quart Hook Up

Each crock-pot Hook Up comes with a lid and a slot on the rim of the crock insert for a spoon along with a control for cooking and warming. The Hook Ups have the same 28 inch cord with a two prong end and can be connected together without extending the cord or any distance up to the 28 inches of each cord.

The directions and side of the hookups say you should not connect more than six of the hook ups together for electrical safety. To release the plug when it is retracted you push the latch that secures the plug in the Hook Up on the right side.

You can also stack the Hook Ups for storing but you probably should not stack more than three of them to prevent them from falling over. They do stack but I found that the oval 3.5 and the tdual crock does not stack well on the round one due to the shape of the crocks.

Connecting Hook Ups

They do stack decently when you arrange them with the round one on top so you just have to stack the right ones in the right order. You also need to flip the lids so the handles are inside the crocks but that is kind of obvious while the cords should also be stored by pushing them inside.

You can cook just about anything you want in the Hook Ups just like you would any other Crock-Pot but size is a concern. I did just cook a turkey but had to slice it up to fit it in the 3.5 and 2 quart hook ups but the smaller size works well for parties and buffet meals.

Full Short Rib Meal

The 11 pound bird that we used for both a nice dinner with all the fixings as well as some turkey salad sandwiches with the leftovers was very moist and tasty. The 2 and 3.5 quart Hook Ups work well when you want to cook recipes or one pot meals but makes a fantastic pair for buffets and potluck dinners.

The smaller 1 quart oval hook up is great for things like appetizers, hot dip or smaller servings of desserts or for things like gravy. I tried several recipes from Crock-Pot.com as well as other internet sites and really enjoyed all of them but of course some work better than others.

Chicken Chili with & without Beans

One really stood out as both easy and very good with such a simple recipe that it is ridiculous for a tasty dessert or even breakfast. Take two pounds of uncooked rice and after rinsing put in the 3 quart crock-pot with six cups of whole milk then cook on high for four hours.

When the rice has absorbed all the milk add a cup more and some brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and vanilla for a tasty treat. The 3.5 quart worked well but you could also use the 1 quart dual crock Hook Up for one recipe with raisins and the other without but you would have to adjust the amount of rice.

Slow Cooked Turkey

The Crock-Pot Hook Ups are just like that recipe with simplicity and good flavor coming from a simple to use but versatile set of slow cookers. The Hook Ups are easy to clean with the removable crocks and lids being dishwasher safe while the main unit should just be wiped off.

I highly recommend the Crock-Pot Hook Up as a great and versatile set of slow cookers that come in a variety of sizes and as a set. The individual Crock-Pot Hook Ups cost about $50 and you can find them at Wal-Mart, Target and online at numerous stores.

Hook Up @ Crock-Pot

Hook Up @ Target

Pros
Slow cooking with Warm, Low and High Settings
Easily connect up to six Hook Ups together
Stackable and dishwasher safe

Cons
Round 2 quart needs to be stacked on top

Ozeri Digital Kitchen Scale Touch II 11 Pound

Ozeri Digital Kitchen Scale Touch II 11 Pound

The Ozeri Digital Kitchen Scale Touch II model can handle 11.2 pounds and uses two lithium batteries with models available in white and black that has a smooth tempered glass top.

Ease of Use/Performance: 4/5
Convenience/Storage 5/5
Appearance/Design 5/5
How much I enjoy 5/5

Total: 5/5

Ozeri Digital Kitchen Scale Touch II

The Ozeri Digital Kitchen Scale Touch II comes in black or white and can handle up to 11.2 pounds for weighing food in the kitchen. You can use a digital kitchen scale for cooking and weighing food for weight loss or for selling at farmers markets.

The Ozeri Touch II has two lithium cell batteries in a small battery compartment that does not have a screw securing it for easy opening. The Ozeri Digital Kitchen Scale has a large 3/4 inch by 2 inch LED display that has the two touch button controls on either side.

The Ozeri Touch II can measure in grams, ounces, fluid ounces, milliliters and pounds with fluid ounces being only a continued measure of ounces without registering any pounds. The common measures of ounces, pounds and fluid ounces are a common way to measure food with each having a variety of uses for selling food as well as cooking.

Bottom of Ozeri Digital Kitchen Scale

Often weight loss systems have weights for food when portioning out food by calorie count so a scale can be handy for dieting. The Ozeri Digital Kitchen Scale can handle up to 11.2 pounds in any of the weight units with the tempered glass being strong enough to handle the use.

I have used the Ozeri scale for weighing items we are selling such as tea and spice mixes as well as cooking for weighing ingredients. The Ozeri Digital Kitchen Scale works well and responds quickly to weight and does not require much time to settle down to a solid reading.

Weighing food in recipes means no variations in measurements for accurate cooking and baking which may sound odd but actually is important. A comparison of numerous people measuring out flour showed people would vary the amount of flour by as much as 2 ounce difference when using the same measuring cup.

weighing apples

This difference can be this much because people can tap and shake their cup or use a knife to flatten off their flour when measuring. Using weight to measure ingredients will mean you get the same amount of ingredients every time for a recipe.

The scale will detect if it is not on a stable footing and register unSt if the base is unstable on it four runner tipped feet. The Ozeri scale will automatically shut off if not used for a few minutes to save battery strength and does include a battery indicator when the batteries run low.

The Ozeri Touch II also includes the Microban antimicrobial protection that is infused during manufacture to help keep things safe and clean. The entire top surface is one piece of tempered glass so you can just wipe the top clean with a cloth.

Perfect Weight for Perfect Recipes

The Ozeri Touch II is 9 by 6 inches with a height of a half inch but you can use the full top of the scale for weighing items. The flat top has enough surface for mixing bowls and plates for weighing food while the shorter height means you can store the scale on its side easily.

I have been storing the scale next to my microwave along with a cutting board for quick and easy access as well as a handy way to store the scale. The Ozeri Touch II worked just fine for all my weighing needs and is a handy and accurate kitchen scale.

Whether you need a scale for weighing food for cooking or for following a weight loss plan the Ozeri Touch II is a great way to measure food. I highly recommend the Ozeri Digital Kitchen Scale Touch II for weighing food for cooking and for portioning accurate weights.

Weighing Dough

Ozeri Website

Ozeri Touch II @ Amazon

Pros
Quick and easy to use scale,
Easy to zero out with empty bowl for tare weighing

Long life lithium batteries
Microban protection

Cons

None

Mastrad purefizz Soda Maker Review

Mastrad purefizz Soda Maker Review

The Mastrad purefizz allows you to make carbonated drinks without the mess and directly in the bottle that is also portable.

Ease of Use/Performance: 5/5
Convenience/Storage 4/5
Appearance/Design 5/5
How much I enjoy 5/5

Total: 5/5

purefizz system

The Mastrad purefizz allows you to enjoy carbonated beverages without the hassle of adding syrups or sugars after you carbonate the water. Many popular soda makers like SodaStream use a carbonation process that first carbonates plain water and then has you add syrup.

The purefizz comes with a stainless steel bottle, funnel and two caps as well as instructions for use but you will need to buy some CO2 cartridges. The purefizz uses CO2 cartridges that are available from Mastrad but you can use any food safe 8 gram CO2 cartridge to carbonate.

The purefizz works very simply by filling the bottle with your chosen beverage and then filling it with CO2 using the charger cap that has a screw thread for the cartridge holder. After charging the bottle you shake the bottle several times and then wait for the gas to evenly distribute throughout your beverage.

You can also use this time to cool your beverage and if you’re carbonating wine for a sparkling wine you can leave it in the fridge for more and smaller bubbles. Leaving the bottle unopened for a longer time allows more of the CO2 to infiltrate the beverage and gives you smaller bubbles as well.

Carbonated Apple Cider

You can charge the purefizz twice for even more bubbles which might be necessary for wine or other liquors which is something I have not tried. I don’t drink alcohol so I did not try wine or other alcoholic beverages but you can carbonate liquors like vodka and wine.

The costs to do this may be a bit more than store bought soda but the real advantage of this system is not the fact that it can take the place of buying soda but that it can carbonate any liquid. The SodaStream should only be used to carbonate water but the purefizz allows you to carbonate anything you like.

Carbonating juices like cranberry and orange juice can liven up a brunch or just make a great tasty treat anytime of the day. The purefizz can carbonate anything you can pour into the bottle that you want to turn into a fizzy drink.

You can create unique drinks by adding pieces of fruit or frozen fruit juice to the bottle but you do have to use liquid in there as well. You can make fruit drinks with the fruit already added but this really doesn’t affect the fruit and I found adding it directly to a glass is easier.

purefizz Root Beer

I also tried a couple of fun experiments with a favorite drink and a not so favorite drink with interesting results for both. I tried some cold coffee and found it tasted kind of bitter and had a lot of foam and little liquid when I poured it out.

I saw a video on You Tube that carbonated several things using a SodaStream and tried milk with some root beer flavoring that tasted just like a root beer float. This was great, a root beer float in taste but without the pesky clumps of ice cream but with a great creamy flavor.

Other soda makers like the SodaStream and Cuisinart soda makers do not allow you to do this as they carbonate water only due to their design. You can put syrup or liquids other than water in the bottle but it does make a mess and should be avoided to prevent damage to the soda maker.

The purefizz is a simpler design that does not include the tubing and fittings but directly injects CO2 into the bottle through one valve. The purefizz has a lot less moving parts so there are less things to go wrong or to get messed up with syrup or other sticky ingredients.

Carbonated Orange Juice

One thing you do need to make sure is that you release the pressure before opening the bottle as you may blow the gasket out of the bottle when opening by just unscrewing the cap. I know this can happen because I did just that and the rubber seal broke in one spot when I opened the cap without releasing the gas.

I found a handy replacement at a local hardware store and was ready to make more carbonate beverages like my favorite root beer soda. I have used both the SodaStream and the purefizz using the same syrup and find that there are near to identical as far as I can taste.

Both machines work well but the purefizz is a bit more expensive drink for drink with a cost comparison for the carbonators being the main difference. A box of ten CO2 cartridges costs about $11 shipped from Mastrad which equates to a cost per ounce of carbonated water at 4 cents.

Adding the natural sugar root beer syrup from SodaStream just about doubles that 4 cents to 8 cents per ounce so the cost is a bit more than store bought soda. Buying soda at the store costs about 3 or 4 cents per ounce so there is a decent price difference that is made up for in the fact that you can carbonate anything you want.

Carbnated Apple Juice w/ Apple Slices

I have tried a wide variety of juices like lemonade, lime juice, orange juice, fruit punch, grape juice and common ordinary apple juice. You can carbonate wine and other alcohol beverages for a different taste and treat wherever you want with the portable aspect of the purefizz.

It is now almost Thanksgiving so apple cider is plentiful at stores and it makes an excellent choice for the purefizz and trying some at Thanksgiving will be fun. The purefizz is very portable and only has the bottle with the two caps and the cartridges that you need to carry while the soda makers like SodaStream are less portable.

I highly recommend the purefizz Soda Maker for a unique and different way to carbonate beverages that allows you to carbonate anything you want without hassle. The purefizz costs about $80 and the CO2 cartridges cost about $11 for a box of ten.

purefizz @ Mastrad

purefizz @ Mastrad Store

purefizz @ Amazon

Pros
Can carbonate any liquid

Very portable
Easy to clean and bottle only is dishwasher safe

Cons
None