Tag Archives: kitchen gadget

Sunbeam Heritage Stand Mixer

Sunbeam Heritage Stand Mixer

The new Heritage Series stand mixer from Sunbeam is a great stand mixer for cooking that uses a 350 watt motor powerful enough for most kitchen recipes and home cooking.

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

Total: 4.5/5

Sunbeam Heritage Stand Mixer

The Heritage series of stand mixers from Sunbeam is the newest line of stand mixers that use a 350 watt motor to run the traditional beater and bread dough hooks. The Sunbeam stand mixer I received is model number FPSBSM210B that is blue with red, pink, white and black colors also available that costs about $130.

The Sunbeam Heritage stand mixer comes with the stand mixer, a 4.6 quart stainless steel bowl, chrome steel dough hooks and chrome beaters with a small owner’s manual. The Heritage Series mixer has the push button tilt that allows you easy access to changing the blades with two sets of blades that are color coded to each connection.

The Heritage stand mixer has a 350 watt motor with a 12 variable speed control, a die cast body and tilt head with the steel beater that turns the bowl. The twelve variable speeds ensure you have the correct speed for any recipe and the steel beater with plastic tip rotates the bowl on a plastic turntable.

Whats in the Box Sunbeam Heritage

The Heritage stand mixers have the 4.6 quart bowl standard but a 2.2 quart bowl is also available and the turn table the bowls turn on adjusts for bowl size with a lever on the base of the mixer. The Sunbeam stand mixers have a push button for tilting the head while the beaters eject from the mixer using another push button with each beater connection color coded.

The beater blades and the dough hooks are proprietary to this model mixer while the non locking stainless steel bowl is interchangeable between previous models of mixers. You can also order a replacement turn table but I could not find other accessories for the Heritage series stand mixer other than the parts already mentioned.

The Heritage stand mixer does have a 350 watt motor for enough power for most recipes while the bowl turns when beating using the pressure of the plastic tipped beater. The dough hooks will also turn the bowl some due to the dough hooks shape and turning the dough inside the bowl while kneading the dough.

Whipping Cream

The stainless steel bowl has a wide top for easily adding  ingredients while the bottom of the steel bowls have a plastic base screwed onto the steel bowl that matches the groove on the turn table. The turn table base is made of plastic while most of the other mixer parts are metal but I am not sure what the all-important gears internally are made of.

You can buy a 2.2 quart stainless steel bowl for the mixer as well as replacement beater blades or dough hooks but I could not find any other accessories for the mixer. The mixer works well for most recipes with the soft start feature that slowly turns the beaters or hooks when you turn on the mixer due to the variable control.

While using the mixer I have had to scrape the sides more than I would like but in this price range the Sunbeam stand mixer works well. I have made a lot of recipes like simple whipped cream to the most complex like bread as well as cakes and cookies with no problems.

Heritage Mixer Making Bread Dough

The mixer does feature the soft start that slowly gets up to speed which is a little different when you are used to other stand mixers. Having to scrape the bowl more often than other mixers can be a downside to the Sunbeam Heritage stand mixer but cost does make a difference as well.

The Sunbeam stand mixer worked well for all the recipes I tried and was only slightly slower at comparison mixing for whipped cream when testing side by side with a Kitchenaid mixer. The Kitchenaid mixer I used for comparison which costs about $240 did whip cream faster but the Sunbeam mixer also had no problems whipping cream up to a stiff peak stage quickly enough.

The bread dough hooks work well to work bread dough while the beaters work for all kinds of other recipes and ingredients but I do wish they had a whisk for whipping. A whisk works well to quickly aerate and whip that will decrease the time for whipping but currently a wire whisk is not available for the Heritage series.

Cooking with Heritage Mixer

The Kitchenaid does have more attachments and beater types while the Sunbeam Heritage series is more the economic stand mixer that costs about $100 less. The Sunbeam Heritage series stand mixer may not mix or knead as well as my more expensive Kitchenaid mixer but it does cost less.

If you’re looking for a stand mixer that can handle bread dough and tough cookie dough and other everyday baking like cakes or those great whipped toppings the Heritage series stand mixer by Sunbeam is well worth a look. I highly recommend the Sunbeam Heritage series stand mixer that works well in the $130 price range with enough accessories to complement the quality mixer.

Stand Mixers @ Sunbeam

Sunbeam Heritage Stand Mixer @ Amazon

Capresso froth PRO Milk Frother

Capresso froth PRO Milk Frother

The Capresso froth PRO automatic milk frother is a unique milk frother and heater to create your home brewed beverages with hot, warm and cold frothed milk.

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

Total: 97/100

Capresso froth PRO Milk Frother

The Capresso froth PRO milk frother is a semi automatic appliance that produces frothed milk either hot or cold in a small metal pitcher. The froth PRO is an easy way to create espresso based drinks, hot chocolates and much more with frothed milk as one ingredient.

The froth PRO comes with the base unit, the metal pitcher and three heating/frothing discs along with the instructions. The Capresso froth PRO uses three settings for your frothed milk; froth, froth with low heat and froth with high heat.

The frother has the three lighted buttons on the front with a snow flake on one, a cup with three lines rising out of it for high and the low heat has two lines rising out of a cup. Once you choose your frothing blade for either frothing or just heating you snap it into place in the bottom of the frothing pitcher and set the pitcher on the base.

Whats in the Box Capresso froth PRO Milk Frother

The froth PRO comes with two frothing discs and one heating disc, the two frothing discs are the same so you get a spare with your frother. The plastic discs are easy to insert or remove and store in the bottom of the base for easy access when not in use.

The base uses a magnet to spin the frothing blade so there are no gears or sprockets connecting the pitcher to the base like blenders use. The frother will spin the blade and either froth or heat while frothing the milk with the spoked frothing blade.

The smooth blade without spokes will spin but only heat the milk without any frothing action for drinks that you want with just heated milk. The frother works by heating the area of the base where the bottom of the pitcher is and there are two small push button switches there for safety.

Pitcher and Base

The froth PRO will not heat up or turn on when the pitcher is not in place so you need not worry about a fire hazard when the pitcher is removed. The pitcher fits neatly on the base and has a recessed area that the pitcher sits in so you cannot knock the pitcher over by accident.

To warm milk you simply add milk between the minimum and maximum lines and press either the low or high heat button using the heat disc. To froth milk you simply use a froth disc and push any of the buttons to froth with or without heat.

The lid of the pitcher is clear so you can keep an eye on your milk frothing and is also easy to clean up, both the pitcher and lid are dishwasher safe in the top rack. If the base gets dirty from spills you can lightly scrub it with a moistened rag and some baking soda which takes off stains form the brushed aluminum of the heating area.

Making a Cappuccino

Cleanup is easy with the nonstick surface of the pitcher and the plastic discs that cleanup simply by rinsing and wiping out if any milk residue has stuck to any parts. I usually rinse out the pitcher with hot water and use a foam brush to wipe out any milk residue.

The Capresso froth Pro is a simple but effective way to easily warm and froth milk for coffee based drinks like cappuccino and lattes. You can also create drinks like chocolate milk from frothed milk and chocolate syrup or even with straight cocoa powder and your choice of sweeteners.

Capresso offers a wide selection of recipes for hot and cold drinks that are a great way to experiment with the froth PRO for some additional fun. Entertaining is simple using the froth PRO, I find the timing between frothing my milk and setting up and pulling a shot of espresso works well.

Making an Italian Soda

When making espresso based drinks using the  Capresso froth PRO I pour and start the frother and then setup and pull my espresso shot. If all goes well I have pulled the shot and started to clean up the espresso machine and washing out the porta filter when the frother stops with my hot frothed milk.

I have had absolutely no problem at all with the froth PRO, it has quietly and diligently been frothing milk since I received it. Cleaning the base is the only word of caution I have along with not placing the pitcher back on the base after washing it, the base heats up where the pitcher sits.

When you put any water or spill milk on the base it will sizzle and any liquid getting in and around the buttons may cause damage to the frother. I keep a silicone hot pad on my counter to set the hot pitcher on after pouring my drink and use it to let the pitcher dry after washing.

The Capresso froth PRO costs about $60 which may seem a bit expensive, this would be the only downside to the product I could find, it is a bit expensive. I highly recommend the Capresso froth PRO for a fantastic milk frother, when you consider the cost of a good grinder and espresso machine this is not that much more for a frother that will heat and froth at the same time.

Capresso Website

Polder Dual Sensor Thermometer and Timer Model 894-90

Polder Dual Sensor Thermometer and Timer Model 894-90

The Polder Dual Sensor Thermometer and Timer takes cooking to an easy level with a dual reading device that combines a single probe into a reading for your food and the oven temperature.

Ease of Use/Performance: 22/25
Convenience/Storage 21/25
Appearance/Design 23/25
How much I enjoy 23/25

Total: 89/100

Polder Dual Sensor Thermometer Timer

The Polder Dual Sensor Thermometer/Timer is a great kitchen tool for cooking and baking to ensure the proper temperature of your oven and food. To make sure your food reaches a safe temperature and to ensure the proper doneness you prefer temperature is a great indicator.

The Polder 894-90 Dual Sensor Thermometer Timer comes with the timer itself, the dual sensor probe, a AAA battery, instruction manual and cooking chart. The cooking chart has the desired temperatures for meat and a couple of other foods to help you tell when they are cooked sufficiently for a healthy meal.

The chart has the breakdown of rare, medium and well done for the foods appropriate for varying amounts of doneness like steaks and veal. Foods like poultry just have different temperatures according to the parts you’re cooking like thighs or whole birds.

Whats in the Box

The Polder Dual Sensor probe uses the probe end for the food temperature and the larger metal section of the probe where the wire goes in has the oven temperature sensor. The probe end can be inserted into food and then the whole thing can go into the oven to keep track of both the food and the ovens temperature.

The probe is six and a half inches long and has a 40 inch cable that allows for enough length to have the probe in the oven and the timer on a counter next to the oven. You can even use the magnetic pad on the back of the battery compartment to hang the timer on the oven side or door.

The wire braided cable allows you to safely use the temperature probe in the oven and close the oven door without damage to the cable. Using the temperature probe continuously in your oven makes for better cooking by being able to measure both the oven temperature and a direct measurement of the food temperature.

Checking Temps of Brats

I have used this two different ways, in a roast or other meat in an open pan with the probe reading the oven temperature and in a covered pot or pan. You can use the temperature probe for a meat or roast while inside a Dutch oven or other covered pot inside the oven.

Using the Polder Dual Sensor inside a Dutch Oven or other covered cooker you will not get an accurate temperature like you would in the oven. The meat temperature will be accurate just like your cooking inside the oven in a pan or other uncovered dish.

The Polder Temperature Timer also has the timer function that can be used in conjunction with the temperature probe or on its own just like a normal timer. The timer goes up to ten hours either as a countdown or stop watch feature with overtime counting.

The timer works well and the beep the timer and temperature uses to notify when the time is up or the probe has reached the desired temperature is decently loud. I can hear the timer go off when I am in my living room or office through my dining room but not if I have my TV or computer turned up in volume.

Dual Sensor Thermometer Timer

The timers work just fine and the overtime feature allows you to see how long after the timer has gone off so you know how long ago it went off if you missed it. The features of the Polder Dual Sensor Thermometer/Timer are ones you would expect for a simple kitchen gadget and this one worked fine for me during the couple of months I have had it for reviewing.

While performing reviews I check out other reviews of the same product along with the company to see what others are saying about the product and who made them. I found an interesting slew of reviews for the Polder model 894-90 thermometer and timer that I might be able to at least partially explain.

I am not trying to defend the company in any way but while reading the reviews on Amazon for this product I did notice several were using the thermometer and probe in smokers or barbecues. The instruction for the 984-90 reads continuous thermometers are not to be used in smokers or barbecues, I think this is a reasonable limitation.

My guess is the temp probe is getting burned because of too high temperatures or something else like smoke or fumes getting into the probe that is messing it up. I have had no problems with the probe and timer/thermometer during a couple of months of using the gadget at least four or five times a week.

The Polder Dual Sensor Thermometer/Timer works well and costs only about $30 from Polder or other websites and in stores. Polder has a wide range of timers, cooking thermometers and other kitchen gadgets and the Dual Sensor Thermometer/Timer is a great kitchen tool.

Polder Website