Category Archives: Kitchen Products Gadgets

Kuhn Rikon Spill Stopper

Kuhn Rikon KocheBlume Spill Stopper

The Kuhn Rikon KochBlume Spill Stopper prevents spills and messes on your cooktop from pots boiling over as well as covering your pot, pan or plate as a regular splatter guard.

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

Total: 4/5

Kuhn Rikon KochBlume Spill Stopper

The KochBlume Spill Stopper uses a unique design made from silicone for a heat proof lid and splatter guard as well as a way to prevent your recipe from boiling over. The Silicon Spill Stopper comes in two sizes for 6 to 8 inch pans or 8 to 10 inch pans with prices at $25 and $30 with various colors to choose from.

I received a larger 11.5 inch diameter Spill Stopper that fits larger pots and pans such as my two aluminum pots I use often for boiling. The Spill Stopper has two loops for using as handles and to hang the Spill Stopper on a wall or pot hook if you want to for storage.

Spill Stopper Upside Down

The Spill Stopper has a conical shape which makes the center of the Spill Stopper much like a bowl so when it is placed on a pot or pan it can drip back into the cookware. If you turn the Spill Stopper over it makes a dome shape but the vent petals will hang downward so if you push the inside of the Spill Stopper it will pop inside out.

If you have the petals on top and the top pushed upward as a dome you can use the Spill Stopper as a lid or splatter guard on a pot or on a plate in the microwave. If you push the Spill Stopper inward to create a bowl, its natural shape, the KochBlume can be used as a splatter guard and a boil over preventer.

The Spill Stopper has a central vent with six sections shaped much like a flower with six petals that allows steam and liquid to boil through. The vents have another piece of silicone over them that are much thinner but slightly larger so you have a vent with a valve using the thinner silicone petals.

boiling noodles

The design is ingenious and a great way to ensure any liquid that boils over does not spill anywhere but goes back into the pot. The silicone petals are soft and very flexible so when a liquid boils over it goes up into the bowl shaped area and stays near the center to drip back into the pot.

This works great for starch and milk type liquids like boiling potatoes, noodles and soups so if the ingredients do boil over it won’t go all over the burners or cooktop. For other types of cooking like chili, stews and spaghetti you can use the Spill Stopper as a lid to prevent splatter prevention.

The Spill Stopper can also be used to stop splatter when cooking foods like hamburgers or sausage so that your cooktop and counters do not get grease or other food on them. I have been using the Spill Stopper for many meals over the past few months and have really liked the easy way it works without having any kind of handle in the way like many of the lids and splatter guards do.

spill stopper as a lid

The Kuhn Rikon KochBlume Spill Stopper is made of silicone so it will not stain or melt but it does get hot so you have to make sure to use a glove when removing it from a cooking pot. The silicone does cool off quickly and you can place it right on a countertop without worrying it will burn or scorch the counter.

You can also use it in the microwave as a splatter guard for both cooking and heating food like when simply reheating leftovers. The dome shape when popped inside out makes a great plate guard so you can put a plate of food in the microwave so the microwaves inside does not get splatters.

The Spill Stopper is dishwasher safe and easy to clean as the thinner petal shapes part comes off which is held in place on the larger lid with a silicone tab. The tab is part of the center of the petal design that is made from silicone that fits into a square hole on the rest of the Spill Stopper.

spill stopper as a splatter guard

The thinner petal part comes off but stays put when in use so you can easily wash the parts in hot soapy water or in the dishwasher. The Kuhn Rikon KochBlume, KochBlume means cook flower, Spill Stopper costs $25 to $30 and is an easy to use splatter guard and over boiling preventer that fits a variety of pot and pan sizes.

I highly recommend the Kuhn Rikon Spill Stopper for a handy and excellent way to keep the kitchen clean and tidy when cooking soups, stews, and other foods.

Kuhn Rikon Website

NuWave Precision Induction Cooktop

Nuwave Precision Induction Cooktop

The Nuwave Precision Induction Cooktop adds a new way of cooking to your repertoire including a new cooktop if you already have a stovetop as well as a more energy efficient way to cook.

Ease of Use/Performance: 21/25
Convenience/Storage 21/25
Appearance/Design 23/25
How much I enjoy 20/25

Total: 85/100

NuWave Precision Induction Cooktop

There is more than one reason to buy a new cooktop and if you already have a stove for cooking adding a new cooktop may not make sense. Having another cooktop to help cooking big meals like Thanksgiving or Christmas really can help and the new induction cooking can help save money as well.

Whether you need a cooktop because you don’t have a stovetop or just want another burner for pots or pans while cooking an induction cooktop is a great investment. An induction cooktop can save you money by using more of the electricity to cook with instead of being wasted as heat to the room.

When using a regular electric element or a gas stove to cook you can waste up 60 percent of the energy to the room as heat from the pot or pan heating up. The stovetop around the burner also heats up and even those burner grates will waste some of the money you are paying to cook by the heat that does not go to the pan.

One of my Best Dishes

An induction cooktop uses magnetism to heat the pan and only the pan, you don’t waste money heating up the stove around the pan or the grate the pan is resting on. Induction cooking is much safer as well by not having open flames or heating up parts of a stove for potential burns which makes a lot of sense when kids are around.

The Nuwave Precision Induction Cooktop comes with the cooktop itself and a manual with recipes as well as a chart for cooking times and temperatures. The cooktop does need a steel or iron pot or pan to cook with as aluminum or copper cookware does not work with induction cooktops.

If you have cast iron cookware or metal like stainless steel pots or pans you can start using the Nuwave right away with the simple controls. To cook using any of the setting you press the setting and then the start button, you can easily change the temperature by simply pressing one of the other settings or the plus and minus buttons.

Sauteed Mushrooms and Onions

The Nuwave Cooktop has six settings from low to sear but you can also set the temperature using the plus and minus buttons to increase or decrease the cooking temperature. The LED screen has a temperature reading and the cooktop has increments of five degrees from a low of 100 to a high or sear of about 430.

The various settings give you a good range while being able to use the increase and decrease adds to the cooktops versatility from low simmers to searing for great steaks and other meats. Using the cooktop takes a little getting used to for some of the techniques and induction cooking but the cooktop is easy to use once you get past the heating time.

The main difference when using the cooktop beyond the necessary metal cookware you need to be aware of is preheating the pans when cooking. Normally a pan or pot on an electric or gas stove takes some time to heat up but an induction cooktop heats much faster than other types of burners.

Simple Eggs on the Induction Cooktop

I started cooking with the Nuwave Induction Cooktop and had to alter the way I cook, I would usually heat up the pan while preparing what I am cooking. With the Nuwave Cooktop you don’t have much time before the pan or pot is ready to use and will start to overheat if you don’t have anything in there.

I made the mistake of putting a thin pot on the stovetop and turning to get water to start boiling but when I turned around after filling a pitcher the pots bottom was cherry red hot. This usually doesn’t happen with my cooking as warming up my pans on a gas stoves takes a minute or so but the induction cooktop heats up very quickly.

You just need to take this into account when preparing to cook and you should have everything ready before starting up the cooktop as there really is little warm up time. The cooktop really is nice to use as a main cooktop or just another large cooktop for more cooking like when you’re preparing a large meal or if you have company.

Adding a Large Burner for More Cooking

The induction cooktop cooks well with the metal pans like my Farberware Millennium skillet and set of cast iron pots and pans that I have had for years. The induction cooktop works very well with cast iron pots and cooks evenly with the thicker metal of the bottoms.

I have a cast iron enameled French oven from Le Creuset that also works very well on the induction cooktop especially for long cooking like stews and soups. The induction cooktop works very well for simmering and slow cooking as it does keep a constant temperature easily just like a slow cooker.

The glass top of the Nuwave Cooktop is easy to clean with a simple wet rag or cloth when you do spill on it and the sides and even buttons can be cleaned with a wet cloth. The buttons are plastic covered without any gaps so spilling anywhere on the cooktop will not result in shocks or short circuits.

I really enjoyed using the Nuwave Precision Induction cooktop and it works extremely well for an additional cooktop or as a sole cooking surface for an apartment or dorm room. During holidays or whenever you have company an additional cooktop will really help and the Nuwave Precision Induction Cooktop really works well for this.

I highly recommend the Nuwave Precision Induction Cooktop for a great additional burner or a single burner for a smaller place like an apartment.

NuWave Website

Demarle Silpain & Roul’Pat Baking Mats

Demarle Silpain & Roul’Pat Baking Mats

The Demarle Silpain makes a fantastic bread baking mat while the Roul’Pat works exceptionally well for both preparation and baking of all kinds of foods.

Ease of Use/Performance: 24/25
Convenience/Storage 23/25
Appearance/Design 23/25
How much I enjoy 25/25

Total: 95/100

Baking Mats DeMarle Silpain and Roulpat

Demarle is a French company established in 1965 developing nonstick baking products for the food industry with subsidiaries in Germany and the United States. Demarle makes silicone coated baking mats, specialty baking mats and pastry mats for nonstick baking and preparation like rolling dough.

Demarle is known worldwide as professional quality with the brand names Silpat, Silpain, Silform, Flexipan and Flexipat. Some of the baking mats are for special baking with forms and textures for specific pastries and baked goods while others are more for generic preparation and baking.

Demarle sent me two baking mats with both mats being perfect for home baking and fits the common half sheet cooking sheets people use for baking at home. The Demarle Silpain is a cooking mat specifically for baking breads while the Roul’Pat is great for rolling pie dough’s and baking.

using roulpat to roll cookie dough

The Demarle Silpain is a silicone mat that has a fiberglass weave inside but there are holes in the mat for water and air to pass through. The Demarle Roul’Pat is a solid silicone covered mat for rolling dough’s, mixing ingredients like making noodles and for baking.

The 1/2 sheet Silpain and Roul’Pat are 11 5/8 inches by 16 1/2 inches and fits a 13 by 18 inch sheet pan nicely for baking and cooking breads and other baked goods. The Silpain baking mats are great for breads and other dough based baked goods due to the holes in the mat design that allows water and air to pass through.

The Silpain mats are a fiberglass weave that has a silicone coating but with holes through the mat in the center area except for the 3/4 inch edge around the mat. This open air weave allows air to come up under the baking goods so that water will seep out of the dough and through the mat leaving a perfect crispy crust.

cresent rolls

The Silpain is a professional quality mat and is used worldwide by bakers and cooks for great tasting and quality breads and baked goods. The non-stick silicone material covering the fiberglass weave ensures food won’t stick to the mat when baking but the Silpain works best for breads and thicker dough type baked goods.

I did some testing for baked goods and a few other things and found that cookies don’t work so well on the Silpain due to the cookie being more fats and less flour. Breads use more flour than cookies so a cookie based recipe will seep more into the holes of the Silpain baking mat and stick

They do not stick much but to easily slide them off the mat takes a spatula while other breads I have baked slide off simply by moving the mat out of the oven. I did bake some French bread pizza and baked cheese into the Silpain but the cheese simply peeled off and the leftover residue washed off just as easily.

pizza on the silpain

Breads work very well for the nonstick baking mat and even if you’re not that good at making them yourself you can use store bought dough and even those refrigerator dough’s like Pillsbury for baking. I tried some store bought dough from Fetting’s, a frozen bread dough that happens to be from the same town where my wife grew up and it worked great.

The Fetting’s dough comes as four loaf sized frozen dough’s that you thaw and can bake in a pan or just plop down on the baking mat and bake as an Artisanal or old world style. Baking breads not in a loaf pan makes the shape more varied for an interesting and crustier bread that is perfect as a side for meals.

The Silpain works well for those refrigerator breads and even for pizza from these types of bread dough’s that come straight from the fridge to the oven. I tried some crescent rolls and pizza from the refrigerator dough that worked out very well and was tasty for some great baked goods.

Silicone Roulpat with Flourentine Cookies

The Roul’Pat is a great baking mat and rolling mat for preparing baked goods and other foods like noodles that is nonstick and easy to handle. The Roul’Pat as a food preparation mat needs a little care just like the Silpain with its fiberglass weave inside.

You cannot cut either baking mat so you need to make sure you don’t use knives or other sharp utensils on either mat so you don’t cut the fiberglass inside. Being fiberglass if you cut into the mat you may contaminate your food with fiberglass fibers that are inside the mat so don’t use sharp utensils on either mat.

The Roul’Pat makes a great food preparation mat with its nonstick surface for preparing foods like pie dough and noodles as well as bread. The mat makes an easy way to clean up after working on the food but it is also helpful in mixing as you can use the mat to help.

The mat is flexible so you can lift and roll the mat to help mix the ingredients as well as to move the ingredients to the center of the mat to help keep things on the mat. I had no problem mixing noodles and pie dough on the mat and liked being able to lift the mat to keep the ingredients centered.

The mat I received does not have any marks to help make a round pie shell but it does work well for rolling out dough and making a delicious pie. I also used it for mixing homemade noodles and the mat works especially well for this as you can easily lift the mat to the sink for cleanup.

The mat is great for making noodles as cleanup is much simpler being able to take the mat to the sink but baking and cooking with the mat is great as well. You can also freeze food on the mat for future baking due to the mats temperature range of -40 degrees to 480 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can freeze dough and other ingredients on the Silpain because the silicone mat stays flexible even down to freezing temperatures. The Silpain works well for all kinds of baking and cooking like cookies were you don’t want things to stick to the cookie sheet you’re using.

The silicone mat does an excellent job with candies as well and other sticky things for both cooking and hardening candy that you can bake or drop onto the mat. The Roul’Pat makes an excellent addition to any kitchen for preparation, baking and easy cleanup for a wide variety of foods.

Both the Silpain and Roul’Pat make for a great pair of cooking and baking mats for both preparation and baking and are both about $25. I highly recommend the Silpain and Roul’Pat from Demarle for professional results in baking and cooking with easy cleanup.

Demarle Website

Kuhn Rikon Apple Knife Colori

 Kuhn Rikon Apple Knife Colori

The Kuhn Rikon Apple Knife Colori is an excellent apple corer with a built in knife that makes quick work of apples for cooking or simple enjoyment of eating but it also works for other fruit.

Ease of Use/Performance: 23/25
Convenience/Storage 24/25
Appearance/Design 24/25
How much I enjoy 22/25

Total: 93/100

Kuhn Rikon Apple Knife Colori

The Kuhn Rikon Apple Knife Colori is a kitchen gadget that makes quick work of fruit like apples and pears to core and slice with the circular corer and folding knife blade. The Apple Knife Colori is a stainless steel corer with an apple shaped handle that conceals an inch and a half long straight nonstick knife blade.

The knife blade has a straight cutting edge while the back of the blade is curve which makes sense in design for slicing and cutting apples or pears. The corer works well for fruit like apples and pears but you may need to use the corer or knife to get all the core of larger fruit.

The corer is 3/4 of an inch across and can core an average sized fruit easily but you will probably have to do a little more coring when you cut the apples in half. The corer gets a good portion of the seeds and center of apples but you will have to use the corer to get what it did not clear out when the fruit was whole.

Kuhn Rikon Apple Knife Colori

If you use a larger corer you will wind up taking more good fruit so this 3/4 inch size makes a good compromise between getting most of the center and getting too much. You can easily cut the smaller section of core out that the corer misses on the first attempt using either the corer or the knife blade.

The knife makes a great way to slice your fruit after you have taken most of the core out so you can get the rest as well as cut the fruit into bite sized pieces or for cooking. I used the Kuhn Rikon Apple Knife Colori on a number of apples for baking a pie was easy and a handy way to prepare enough fruit for a recipe.

I used the knife on a good amount of fruit including the apples and pears my family purchased from a yearly sale a youth group conducts that we are part of. The 4-H group we belong to sells boxes of fruit and we bought a mixed box and a box of pears so we have used the Apple Knife Colori on a multitude of apples and pears.

Coring & Slicing Apples

The handle in the shape of an apple makes the corer easy to hold and handle even when it gets wet and slippery from fruit juice while coring a lot of fruit at once. The knife blade and molded slot also helps make the handle not perfectly smooth so you can hold the corer well and control it easily.

The folding blade also means safety so you don’t cut yourself from the blade being exposed while using the corer but it also makes a great way to use the knife away from the kitchen. The folding blade makes the knife a safe way to take the apple corer with you when camping, on picnics or for sack meals at work or play.

The stainless steel and plastic material means no rusting and corrosion on the corer or the handle but I am not sure what material the blade itself is made of. The knife blade has a nonstick coating over most of the blade except the edge which is razor sharp when you purchase it.

Coring Pears

You can sharpen the blade easily but a regular kitchen sharpener may not work as easily due to the larger size of the apple shaped handle. I have used a kitchen sharpening steel on the blade and it does work well but a countertop electric knife sharpener may not work because of the larger sized handle.

The Apple Knife Colori is a great apple corer and slicer with the combined knife blade in the handle of the corer so you have two tools in one. This makes an easy way to process fruit for recipes and cooking as well as a quick gadget to grab when wanting to cut just one fruit.

The Kuhn Rikon Apple Knife Colori makes a fantastic apple corer and slicer in one tool so you don’t have to dirty two tools for a single job in the kitchen. The Apple Knife Colori is available from Amazon, Kuhn Rikon and other internet sites for about $16.

I highly recommend the Kuhn Rikon Apple Knife Colori for a fantastic kitchen gadget as an easy to use and well-designed fruit corer and knife in one.

Apple Knife Colori @ Kuhn Rikon

Apple Knife Colori @ Amazon

Kuhn Rikon Strawberry Huller Knife Colori

 Kuhn Rikon Strawberry Huller Knife Colori

Kuhn Rikon has a new line of fun brightly colored kitchen tools and the Strawberry Huller Knife Colori makes a great handy tool for hulling and slicing strawberries quickly and easily.

Ease of Use/Performance: 21/25
Convenience/Storage 24/25
Appearance/Design 24/25
How much I enjoy 25/25

Total: 94/100

kuhn rikon strawberry huller knife colori

Some kitchen tools stand the test of time; I still use the Epicurean Garlic Press that was a top rated kitchen gadget by America’s Test Kitchen. Simple and functional design makes for the best tools whether it’s a kitchen or handyman gadget and I am impressed with the Kuhn Rikon Strawberry Knife Colori.

The Strawberry Knife Colori is a fun colored strawberry hulling knife and a paring knife in a pocket knife design that is made from plastic and high carbon stainless steel with a painted coating for blade protection. The blade and strawberry huller blade folds into the handle for protection and safety when not in use.

Hulling Strawberries

I have done some research and found basic designs to a strawberry huller with a scoop like device such as Kuhn Rikon’s, tweezer like devices and a basic tube from Oxo. The designs have a lot to do with how you go about your daily use and I find that a general scoop works quickly and easily.

The scoop works well but the Kuhn Rikon design has little teeth to allow for a better cut through the fruits soft end while hulling. The knife also has the paring knife blade so you can simply turn the handle around and pull out the blade for slicing.

I made quick work of several quarts of strawberries and much to the delight of my family tested a lot of recipes with fresh strawberries. I used the huller on more than my fair share of strawberries over the last few weeks and was glad to see the price drop for a couple of weeks during the review.

Delicious Desserts

When I first got the Strawberry Knife Colori I thought it looked like a useful gadget as long as it worked so I ran to the grocery store but strawberries were $3.99 a quart. Kuhn Rikon sends me a fruit knife for a fruit that is out of season but all is not lost, I like to find other uses for gadgets and one was as close as my fridge.

I went home with dashed hopes of trying out my new kitchen gadget until a few minutes of searching on the internet under strawberry huller turned up a few ideas. I ran to my kitchen fridge and pulled out tomatoes from the previous weekend that were fully ripe and quickly hulled the stems and that hard little spot.

Strawberry Knife for Tomatoes

I made quick work of several Roma tomatoe ends to be used for lunch and after a few days was happy to see the price of strawberries drop. I also went to The Taste of Homes Cooking School and found a few recipes for strawberry desserts that I wanted to try hence my families delight.

I have used the strawberry huller knife for at least 10 quarts of strawberries over the last three or four weeks and can definitely say that the Kuhn Rikon knife works well. The knife is simple to use and does not take any getting used to like some gadgets, you can pick up strawberries and the knife and get to scooping out hulls without any learning curve.

The motion of grabbing a strawberry and scooping one to the next is simple unlike having to be more careful with a simple paring knife. I also had no problem with squishing the more ripened fruit so the scoop end works well on both harder and fully ripe fruit.

I also saw a huller that has a claw like device and this seems to work well but again squishing the strawberries is a problem according to some users. The scoop with teeth cuts and scoops while you’re cradling the strawberry so there is less chance of crushing the fruit in your hand.

I have not tried other hullers like the Oxo or Chef’N Stem Gem claw but the basic scoop works well and you get a slicing knife on the other end to work those berries into your favorite recipes. I find that having the knife on the other side works well and even is handy when working on a recipe as you don’t have to dirty another gadget while cooking.

The Kuhn Rikon Strawberry Huller Knife Colori is a simple and useful gadget that hulls strawberries and tomatoes quickly and easily that comes with my full recommendation. You can find the Kuhn Rikon Strawberry Huller Knife Colori at the Kuhn Rikon website and online at Sir LA Table, Amazon and other websites for about $12.

Kuhn Rikon Strawberry Huller Knife @ Amazon

Beater Blade & Beater Blade Pro

The Beater Blade and Beater Blade Pro replaces your flat beater on Kitchen Aid and other popular brands of stand mixers using a unique plastic blade to scrape the bowl and mix ingredients faster than standard beater blades.

Ease of Use/Performance: 24/25
Convenience/Storage 24/25
Appearance/Design 24/25
How much I enjoy 25/25

Total: 97/100

Beater Blade & Beater Blade Pro

Beater Blade and Beater Blade Pro are new blades for your stand mixer that adds a bowl scraping flexible plastic blade on each side of the beater blade to maximize mixing and scrape the bowl. The Beater Blade and Beater Blade Pro are both replacements with a flexible plastic blade along both sides that helps to scrape the bowl and dimple at the bottom as well as mix faster.

The Beater Blade makes mixing easier and faster as it incorporates and moves the ingredients around inside the bowl as well as scrapes the sides and bottom while using your stand mixer. The Beater Blade Pro is the institutional and professional grade Beater Blade made for frequent use at schools and restaurants with a yellow color instead of white.

The Beater Blade costs about $22 and the Beater Blade Pro costs about $30 for a great replacement for the beater blade that comes with the stand mixer. The Beater Blade and Beater Blade Pro come in models for the Kitchen Aid, Cuisinart, Viking and Kenwood stand mixers in various sizes.

I received the Beater Blade and Beater Blade Pro for my Kitchen Aid 4 quart stand mixer and am very impressed with the new blades. The Beater Blade helps to mix ingredients faster and better, incorporating the ingredients better due to the flexible plastic on the sides of the blade.

Beater Blades & Instructions

The Beater Blade and Beater Blade Pro are made from co-polyester plastic with a plastic blade that is adhered to the groove along the edge. On both the basic and Pro models the blade looks to be formed inside the groove or exceedingly well adhered or glued.

I really cannot tell any difference between the Beater Blade and Beater Blade Pro other than the color, both appear to be made of the same type of plastic. Both the Beater Blade and Pro also have the flexible plastic scraper well adhered to the beater blade seemingly made into the groove but it does look like it is well glued.

While it would be hard to get a definite time frame the Beater Blade and Pro does mix ingredients faster as well as scrapes the sides and bottom of the bowl. Both blades mix better than the flat blade that comes with the Kitchen Aid because of the silicone rubber blades that scrapes the sides while mixing.

Without & With the Beater Blade

These blades scrape the sides and move the ingredients around the bowl faster because the plastic blades increase the area of the blades and force the ingredients around the blade. The ingredients are forced toward the center of the bowl and then around the blade but not much adheres to the blades while mixing or when you’re finished.

More ingredients stuck to the metal beater blade that came with my Kitchen Aid mixer than the Beater Blade or Beater Blade Pro when using all three on the same recipe. I made several recipes and used all three blades to check performance and compare the blades by mixing with all three.

The instructions tell you that adjusting the blades to fit snuggly against the bowl may be required but my stand mixer did not need any adjustment. The blades scrape well against the bowl and really do a great job of mixing and incorporating ingredients but if adjustments are needed it is easy.

Beater Blade & Pound Cake

The Beater Blade cuts down on mixing time and makes the job of cooking easier by cutting down on mixing time and mixing better than the blade that comes with the stand mixer. The Beater Blade will not cut down time by much more than half but it will scrape and get more ingredients mixed as well as help with getting stuff out of the bowl.

You can use the Beater Blade to scrape the bowl when a mix is done using the flexible plastic side as a scrapper which is explained in several of the recipes on the Beater Blade website. There are several recipes on their site which I tried as well as numerous others and had a lot of fun using both the Beater Blades as well as enjoyed the food I made.

The blades make fast work of mixing dry and wet ingredients and really does a fast job of working on recipes that require simple folding of ingredients. I had an easy time with several recipes that required a variety of mixing and blending with both the blades that worked as well as each other.

The Beater Blade Difference

One final word on the quality for the Beater Blade, I recently attended the Taste of Home Cooking School demonstration and they use the Beater Blade in their on stage demonstration. The chef who was demonstrating the Taste of Home recipes used the Beater Blade, a better recommendation I could not give.

The Beater Blade and Beater Blade Pro are both fantastic replacements for the standard beater blade and definitely the best accessory you could buy for your stand mixer. I highly recommend the Beater Blade and Beater Blade Pro for a great beater and mixer blade for your stand mixer that works better than the one that comes with the stand mixer.

Beater Blade Website

Farberware 12″ Millenium Skillets

Farberware 12″ Millenium Skillets

The 12” Stainless Steel Millennium Skillets by Farberware is a fantastic piece of kitchen cookware that works great both with simple things like eggs to more complex foods like Crepes.

Ease of Use/Performance: 24/25
Convenience/Storage 21/25
Appearance/Design 23/25
How much I enjoy 25/25

Total: 93/100

Farberware Millennium 12" Stainless Steel Skillets

Low cost, great even heat from the aluminum core base with metal utensil safe DuPont Teflon non-stick coating and an oven safe design makes this a great purchase for any kitchen. The Millennium 12” skillet is a large cooking skillet for use on the stove or in the oven and includes a DuPont Teflon coating that is metal utensil safe.

The Millennium 12” Skillets is a stainless steel skillet with an aluminum core inside the impact bonded bottom with an oven safe handle. The DuPont Teflon Professional with Metal Guard non-stick coating is a high end coating just like those professional chefs use on their kitchen cookware.

The cooking area is nine inches across while the handle made of stainless steel is also about nine inches long, the handle is riveted onto the side of the skillet with two rivets. The Millennium skillets have an aluminum core in the stainless steel base that creates an even cooking surface for your food and recipes.

Bottom of Millennium Skillets

The stainless steel design is a nice one but the skillet can be a bit heavy for flipping food while you cook it, the skillets weigh 3.5 pounds. The weight is the only concern I have other than keeping the Teflon coating scratch free but using only silicon utensils will help in that area.

The DuPont Teflon coating is a high end coating that the company offers that includes a metal safe component but these coatings are an interesting feature. I usually learn a lot from my reviews but even before I received this skillet I learned about non-stick coatings.

Cookware companies can purchase the various levels of coatings on their pans and DuPont is one of the top rated companies that coat cookware with non-stick coatings. The various levels of coatings are usually referred to by their cost and the Professional series form DuPont is one of their higher cost ones.

Holds Plenty of Food

The coating also has a scratch resistant technology, whatever that means, but mainly the coating is a higher end so should last longer than less expensive pans. The metal utensil technology is not one I am going to test other than to try it out a few times with some metal utensils.

The pan does exhibit a few scratches but not far enough to reach bare metal, I can only see surface scratches that do not go down to the stainless steel. I have stopped using metal utensils and will only be using silicon covered spatulas and spoons so I can have the coating last as long as possible.

Using the Millennium skillets has been a joy to not only cook the everyday things like eggs and parts of meals like sautéing vegetables but for special occasions. I have gotten pretty good at crepes and enjoy making things like sautéed vegetables and omelets.

Sauteed Beans

I have gotten pretty good at flipping my food while cooking, very few times has food found its way to the floor or the stove top. Using the techniques real chefs use is fun and can make cooking easier as you don’t have to pick up a utensil to stir the food if you simply flip it real quick.

I tried some of the techniques for testing pans from the show America’s Test Kitchen like having eggs slide off the pan when cooked and seeing how evenly crepes cooked. Some things I did not do that they do because they can afford it such as cooking eggs till they stop sticking.

The pans non-stick coating has lasted just fine and my eggs still slide off with just as much ease now as the day I first tried an egg on the skillets over three months ago. I have used the skillet to brown onions and sauté vegetables, cook eggs several different ways as well as cook oddball dishes like several attempts at risotto.

Salmon in the Millennium Skillet

The skillet is non-stick and the food can really slide out of the pan with no coaxing from a utensil even with meat like steaks and chicken breasts. The pan is great and the surface area for cooking, the area that is flat in the bottom is large enough to cook a decent amount of food.

I have seared large steaks and roasts prior to slow cooking in the crock pot or roasting in the oven, I have even roasted in the skillet to try out the oven capabilities. I have been using the Millennium Skillet for all kinds of cooking and have been very satisfied with the results from my cooking.

One feature I like is the aluminum handle that does not get so hot that you have grab an oven mitt to move or hold the skillet. The Millennium skillet has been a great addition to my6 cookware and one I have really enjoyed reviewing and using for both everyday meals and special events.

The Farberware Millennium 12” Stainless Steel Skillets is a professional grade cookware that works well with its non-stick DuPont Teflon coating. I highly recommend the Farberware Millennium Skillet for cooking your favorite recipes.

Farberware Website

Totally Bamboo Puzzle Party Platter & Geo Square Cutting Board

Totally Bamboo Puzzle Party Platter & Geo Square Cutting Board

Totally Bamboo has some great party platter trays for both serving and individual use as well as the unique bamboo cutting board from highly renewable bamboo.

Ease of Use/Performance: 23/25
Convenience/Storage 25/25
Appearance/Design 25/25
How much I enjoy 23/25 

Total: 96/100

Totally Bamboo Puzzle Party Platter

Bamboo is a highly renewable resource, the grass grows to 98 feet and at an incredible rate with some species growing at 39 inches a day. This common grass found worldwide can be used to make wood products and has been used for generations in the home.

Products made from bamboo range from paper for writing to fine furniture and cooking utensils but we mainly see bamboo in the kitchen. Bamboo grows like a grass but grows large and like wood trees has a main stem that is used for wood products.

While bamboo stems or culm is small compared to other wood trees, gluing pieces together is a common method to create larger pieces like cutting boards and even furniture. Bamboo has a unique end grain that can be used to create unique and individual patterns for cutting boards and even countertops.

When glued together using differing colored or stained pieces you can get unusual and often pleasing patterns in the end grain to make attractive products. The use of bamboo has gone back thousands of years in cooking and having the modern utensils and cutting boards made from bamboo only continues the traditional use of this versatile plant.

Geo Square Cutting Board

Totally Bamboo sells a wide range of bamboo products including utensils and cutting boards but also some unique countertop products and the mineral oil to care for them. The Puzzle Serving Party Platter is a unique serving tray that has an interlocking handle to daisy chain the platters for a visually appealing table.

The party platter is about eight by six and a half inches and 3/8 inches thick with a two inch handle that also interlocks with the puzzle jigsaw hole of the next platter. Each platter interlocks with the next to create a long serving platter on your table and can be individually removed easily by guests.

You do not have to use the serving platters individually for guests to carry around their appetizers but also as serving trays at each place setting or at a buffet.  I have had a couple of parties where I used the serving platters as bread boards for sweet breads during a brunch as well as hot bread plates during a soup dinner.

You can use the party platter for appetizers, breads and snacks individually or as a center piece but the jigsaw ends have a unique use. The puzzle hole on the opposite end of the handle is designed to hold a wine glass so you have a handy way to hold you party drink.

Puzzle Party Platter with Sweet Breads

I did not use the party platters this way but I can see the use of having a handy way to hold both your drink and your appetizer or tidbit tray while standing around at a party or event. The Puzzle Party Platters make a unique party and buffet serving platter for guests or for serving and the maintenance free food safe coating means easy clean up.

The Puzzle Party Platters have a food safe coating that is not a mineral oil or other coating that needs reapplication over time. The trays are not meant for cutting so the coating is a permanent tough waterproof surface for easy cleanup.

The boards are pieces of bamboo laminated together side by side and sanded smooth so you get the definite look of bamboo on each surface of the platter. The Puzzle Party Platters look great and make a great table platter and guest platter for serving food.

I also received the Geo Square cutting board from Totally Bamboo, a 12 inch square and one inch thick tough cutting board for heavy kitchen use. This is the sort of cutting board that not only looks fantastic and can be left on the counter for quick use because of its good looks but is tough.

Dinner w/ Puzzle Party Platter

The one inch thick board is great for everyday use and has a groove around the edge of one side for collecting liquids during cutting. The groove is deep enough to handle meat or fruit drippings so you can concentrate on the food and not making a mess while cutting.

The two tone design is striking but with a nice coat of mineral or Revitalizing Oil from Totally Bamboo the board looks fantastic. The bamboo cutting board is also tough and with the cross sections of bamboo laminated together it offers a solid and dense cutting surface.

Other cutting boards I have start to quickly get nicks and cut lines in it due to the grain going parallel with the face of the cutting board. All the cutting boards I have with the flat grain show signs of wear while the end grain of this cutting board reduces these cuts significantly.

Not only does the Totally Bamboo Geo Square make a striking countertop cutting board this board is a great size for table side service for things like bread and roasts. The slight depression or groove running around the board on one side allows you to serve meats from the cutting board and still keep drippings from pouring off.

Small Turkey on Geo Square

This groove is about 3/16ths of an inch deep, 7/16ths of an inch wide and is rounded so it won’t hold a lot of drippings or juice. This is meant mainly as a drip catcher for small drips and not the main drippings like from a turkey or roast directly out of the oven.

I have used the Geo Square in my kitchen as a main cutting board for chicken, beef and pork roasts as well as a general purpose cutting board when making soups and other meals. Cutting vegetables and fruit is easy and the dense grain means less sticking from the smoother surface than my side grained cutting boards.

The cutting board works well, I especially like the dense end grain of the bamboo and how it hardly shows any signs of wear after heavy use for a couple of months. Other cutting boards I have purchased show signs of wear immediately, especially those long cuts when you’re doing hard to cut raw meats and want to really make sure you get through all the tissue.

The Totally Bamboo Geo Square Cutting Board makes a great everyday cutting board for use in the kitchen and makes a great table side cutting board for things like whole loaves of fresh bread.

Check out the Puzzle Party Tray and the Geo Square Cutting Board at Totally Bamboo for some great environmentally friendly products for your kitchen and dining room. You can purchase Totally Bamboo products from their site and from local stores such as Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Totally Bamboo Website

Crock-Pot Cook Carry Countdown Slow Cooker

Crock-Pot Cook Carry Countdown Slow Cooker

The Crock-Pot Cook Carry Countdown Slow Cooker uses a handy front panel timer along with the usual settings but with a handy locking glass lid for easy travel.

Ease of Use/Performance: 25/25
Convenience/Storage 24/25
Appearance/Design 24/25
How much I enjoy 25/25 

Total: 98/100

Crock-Pot Cook Carry Countdown Slow Cooker

Crock-Pot has a wide variety of great slow cookers, it is no surprise that Crock-Pot is also a term used for slow cookers along with the brand name. The newer Crock-Pot with locking lid is the Cook Carry line and the countdown timer adds more functionality and a convenient cooking feature.

The Cook Carry Countdown Timer model I received is SCCPVL610-S and comes with a silver stainless side along with plastic trim and a black crock insert. The six quart capacity means soups and stews along with larger roasts and even small birds will fit easily for tasty meals.

Using the countdown timer is easy, it simply has minutes from thirty to 20 hours with thirty minute intervals so you have to set the timer by thirty minute periods. The timer has a unique feature where it goes directly to warm after the timer stops so you can cook and not worry about overcooking.

Whats in the Box

You can use this feature to cook a meal while you’re at work or out and have it warm and ready to eat no matter if you’re late or just need a shorter cooking time. You can set a soup or meal to cook for four hours and then it will go to warm and be ready after a full day at work without hassles.

The large black crock fits nicely into the plastic and stainless steel base that has an aluminum interior and the stainless outer body. The base has the front control panel right where you expect and the loops for the clips on both sides that clamp the lid on.

The lid is made of glass with a plastic heat resistant handle in the center and both clips on each end for clamping the lid down. The clamp works well and keeps the lid down tight for travel and not allowing the contents to slosh and spill.

Locking Lid Clamp

The lid also has a rubber seal but also has a steam vent in the top so the Crock-Pot will not build up pressure when clamped tight. The clamps also make a handy spot to hold the power cord when not in use or when transporting to your favorite pot luck supper.

The usual Crock-Pot high, low and warm settings are available from the control panel buttons along with the off button and the timer adjustment. The crock has two side handles for the heavy lifting and the power cord is the usual short one for safety.

The Crock-Pot Cook Carry Countdown works like many other slow cookers to create meals like soups and stews, wonderful roasts or delicious chicken dinners. I have tried out several of my favorite recipes like tortilla soup and the usual beef barley soup along really good pulled pork for my sons graduation party.

Cook Carry @ Grad Party

I have a home based business so my work does not interfere with cooking, usually my work entails cooking for reviews like this one but this makes a handy appliance for anyone. The useful timer and going to warm after the timer is up makes for the perfect slow cooker while you’re at work and just don’t feel like cooking when you get home.

A sumptuous roast, pork or beef, or how about a full bodied stew or soup with lots of chunky chicken or filling ground beef with barley and chunks of veggies. Lots of the basics come to mind but how about some handy chicken or beef tacos  when you get home, prepare everything the night before except plugging the crock in that morning.

The pork and beef roasts can be prepared and cooked with or without vegetables and potatoes so you have a one pot meal if you like for a simple meal without much preparation before serving. Many know the different uses of a slow cooker and meals are just one side, you can also cook desserts and side dishes as well.

Control Panel

The Cook Carry Slow Cooker allows you to set the timer and count down to a keep warm so you can eat when you want to instead of when the timer goes ding. The Countdown slow cooker is a fantastic appliance and I found the timer function along with the easy to use clips for the lid allow the cooker to be used on the go at those pot luck suppers.

I highly recommend the Crock-Pot Cook Carry Countdown Slow Cooker as a great slow cooker that any household would be grateful to have. You can find this model at online stores like Amazon and locally at stores such as Wal-Mart and Target for about $50.

Crock-Pot Website

Dadgum Thats Good! By John McLemore

Dadgum Thats Good! By John McLemore

Dadgum Thats Good is a great recipe book for a different approach to cooking using smoking, grilling, frying, boiling and steaming methods with a southern flair.

Contents 21/25
Ease of Understanding/Practicality 21/25
Pictures/Illustrations 23/25
Additional Features 22/25
Total 87/100

Dadgum Thats Good

Dadgum Thats Good! by John McLemore is a smoker, grill and deep fryer cookbook that is filled with recipes both for appliances that Masterbuilt makes and ones you may have. The Masterbuilt company designs and is well known for the turkey fryer, a deep fryer especially designed for turkeys but also sells smokers and grills.

Dadgum Thats Good has over 120 recipes in a six sectioned book by cooking methods for an easy to navigate recipe book but the books are useful for a reference guide as well. Each cooking method has its own style but the cookbook in general has a lot of spicy southern style methods.

Dadgum Thats Good also has some helpful pages filled with the back story of the company Masterbuilt, helpful cooking tips and more for plenty of special features along with the recipes. The 200 page cookbook has some beautiful pictures of the cooked foods so you have an idea of what your creations are supposed to look like or at least come close to.

Cookbooks that revolve around specific cooking techniques are pretty good for a volume of recipes but some can also be cooking equipment specific. Dadgum That’s Good fits this category of cook books very well as it centers not only on cooking techniques but on the Masterbuilt fryers and smokers.

Deep Fried Turkey

You can use a regular pot for both steaming and boiling recipes or any fryer for most of the frying methods but some things need a more specific type of appliance. The turkey frying needs a large fryer and a few other recipes also need something a bit more unusual like a smoker.

Most people have grills and several grills also double as a smoker or you can even purchase a stovetop smoker like the nice one from Nordic that I have reviewed. Grilling is a great cooking method for many recipes and can be done on either an indoor grill or an outdoor barbecue grill using gas or briquettes to cook with.

I do have a deep fryer from Masterbuilt and will address that method as well as a couple of other methods that do not use the Masterbuilt appliances. My smoker, a Nordic Ware Kettle Smoker worked very well for the smoking recipes but the frying has a few more recipes than the other sections.

I tried Smoked BBQ beans, Smoked Onion Burgers and Smoked Salmon in the Nordic smoker using the Dadgum Thats Good recipes and they turned out very well. The beans were a bit hard, undercooked, so I tried the same recipe using canned beans and it turned out very well.

Smoked BBQ Beans

I tried a few frying recipes like Hush Puppies, Southern Fried Fish and Pumpkin fritters which all worked out pretty well but I am not a great cook. After a few experiments and some practice I have gotten some of the recipes down pretty good but a few are just not my cup of tea.

I tried a few steamed recipes and varied some recipes to the ingredients I had on hand and things worked out well, I did do a lot of variations on several recipes. Steaming can be done in a fryer like the Masterbuilt Butterball Turkey Fryer or a simple stock pot with a wire basket suspended part way in the pot.

Most of the recipes in the Dadgum Thats Good cookbook are on the spicy side but it is easy enough to use less spicy ingredients or simply substitute them for other things. My family does not for the most part like spicy foods so several of the recipes I toned down or changed out a few ingredients to lessen the spicy flavors.

Smoked Onion Burgers

I did try a couple of the main recipes like the deep fried turkey but not with the Cajun spices and it was delicious, even as leftovers for sandwiches. I also tried an oddball recipe with the Fried Scotch Eggs but this was not as good, I need to use a little less sausage so the sausage cooks all the way through.

The sausage was a little underdone near the hardboiled egg so next time I try this I will use a little less sausage per egg as well as undercook the egg just a little. The egg should be a bit less than fully hardboiled for a better taste and texture so I will try this one again.

Actually several of the recipes from Dadgum Thats Good will be used again and especially the turkey frying which was a fantastic method for cooking a turkey. Fried turkey is worth the bit of cost and effort that frying versus broiling puts you through and was well worth it.

I tried this one recipe which is also a main part of the turkey fryer I also received from Masterbuilt and it is one great recipe as long as you follow some simple ideas. The cooking methods all worked just fine I only needed a few ingredient changes to make things a bit better such as the turkey frying.

Fried Scotch Eggs

I used an herb & garlic marinade from Wal-mart which tasted very good instead of the Cajun spice the recipe book called for. Next time I will try a teriyaki marinade and I will try this again soon as the turkey deep fried was moist, tender and delicious.

Many of the recipes worked well but a few need a little tweaking such as using canned beans instead of dried ones for the Smoked BBQ Beans. A few other recipes like the hush puppies worked well enough but just buying the premade ones tasted better.

Cooking and recipes are a little bit of a trial and error but using the Dadgum Thats Good recipe book I found a few new recipes and cooking methods that worked very well. While some of the sections and methods may not be useful several such as the boiling, steaming and grilling are probably available for everyone.

Dadgum Thats Good is a great recipe book and gives a good variety to several cooking methods for main course dishes, sides and desserts. Check out the Dadgum That’s Good recipe book and the Masterbuilt appliances at their websites for a unique and different way to prepare some of those classic dishes.

Dadgum Thats Good Website

Masterbuilt Website