Featured Kitchen Appliance Review: Top 3 Convection Toaster Ovens Of 2017

Top 3 convection toaster ovensHow does an appliance that will speed up your cooking times, use lower temperatures, and save you money on energy bills sound?  If this is appealing to you then getting a countertop convection oven is something that you should think about doing.  Cooking can be a mundane and laborious task which is one of the main reasons that some us prefer to order out or just pop a frozen dinner in the microwave.  Having the right oven, however, can change the way that you think about making your own meals and get you into the kitchen more often.  We aim to shed some light on this cooking technology and give you three quality options that will help you fall in love with cooking again.

What Is A Convection Oven?

This is a cooking technology and a feature that has mostly been seen in commercial ovens for professional chefs.  Convection ovens work by having a fan that rotates and blows the heated air inside of the oven.  This air circulation allows the food to be cooked evenly on every side.  The rush of air also has the added benefit of reducing cooking times while operating at lower temperatures.  High end home ovens started adding this feature a few years ago and now it has found its way into the more convenient toaster oven market.

I Thought Toaster Ovens Only Did Toast

If you have not used one of these appliances in quite a while, then it is easy to have this misconception.  Even though they have “toaster” in their names, they have advanced light years to the point where you should be focusing on the “oven” aspect.  Today’s countertop ovens are full featured cooking machines with the ability to handle everything that your full sized range oven can achieve.  While they are indeed smaller, and probably not a great option for a full Thanksgiving dinner, they are perfect for a majority of the recipes that you currently use.

Advantages of Owning A Countertop Convection Oven

If you have the counter space to accommodate one of these ovens, there are several reasons why you should consider buying one.

  • Convenience – Smaller ovens heat up faster, clean up faster, and with a convection feature, can end up cooking faster.  Spend less time preparing dinner and more time enjoying it.
  • Savings – With the ability to use lower temperatures while operating for shorter amount of time, you will wind up reducing your energy bill.  Getting a convection toaster oven will also be a lot cheaper than getting a new conventional oven with a convection feature.
  • Easy To Use – Most of the top ovens have multiple cook settings that adjust the time and temp automatically.  In a lot of ways they are similar to the controls and settings that you see on microwaves.
  • Clean Up – Tinier ovens also require less clean up.  With accessible crumb trays and non stick coatings, these small appliances are a breeze to get looking like new.

Our Top 3 Choices

We have searched long and hard to find the top convection toaster ovens and have narrowed it down to the top 3 ovens that will allow you to best take advantage of what convection cooking has to offer.  Below are toaster ovens that should help you transform your kitchen into a more efficient area of your home and allow to you enjoy your food without having to work so hard to prepare it.

Cuisinart TOB-260N Chef’s Convection Oven

This is a relatively new entry into the toaster oven arena but it is already getting some very high reviews from owners.  Cuisinart is one of the premier small kitchen appliance makers and they do a really good job making some outstanding countertop ovens.  The TOB-260N has 1875 watts of power, which is the most in its class.  It features two separate convection settings, one for baking, and speed convection feature that allows you to skip the preheating process.  All Cuisinart ovens feature their “Exact Heat” technology that helps produce even results.  It is a very big countertop oven so you will want to make sure that you have the space for it.  It has digital control display that looks to rival Breville ovens.  Overall this is a very robust convection oven that takes our top spot.

Breville BOV800XL Smart Oven

In a very close second place comes this very highly owner rated oven from Breville.  We love their appliances because of their design quality and their advanced features.  The BOV800XL is a great example of their eye for detail when it comes to user convenience.  This model comes with 9 preset cooking functions including a convection setting.  The fan in this oven blows at an even an quiet pace and works as advertised.  With enough room for 6 slices of toast, this oven has the capability of cooking rather large meals and can replace a lot of what you may use your full sized oven for.  It also has a modern look and an easy on the eyes LCD display that we like.  The only knock on this model is that it does not have an interior light which we think is a major oversight.  It is, however, a very capable toaster oven despite some of its minor quarks.  It is also the most expensive oven in our top 3 and will cost you around $250.

KitchenAid KCO273 Series

KitchenAid stepped up their game to create an equally modern convection oven that has gotten some rave reviews from owners.  The KCO273SS is similar to the other ovens on our list in but functionality and styling.  It is a little less than the Breville BOV800XL and can be purchased somewhere around $200, which for its features and performance is a really good price.

Taking Advantage

If you are always looking for something new and improved for your kitchen or you are just looking for a way to reduce some of your workload while saving a little money along the way, getting a convection oven for your countertop is a smart option.  Not only will you save time while preparing your favorite recipes for your family, you will end up spending less time and energy while doing it.

Update: This post has been updated to include the top models of 2017.

Grooming Tips – Types Of Waxing

Waxing has been a long proven method for hair removal dating back centuries. Over time, the basic concept and practice has not changed much except for some advancements in convenience and quality. Even though there are some small differences between different types of waxing methods, all of them still involve trapping the hair in a waxy substance, and then pulling it out away from the skin ripping the hair out by the root. Enduring the process can be rewarded with smooth results that will last noticeably longer than shaving. Those who undergo this method might might use some of the following application techniques.

Waxing Techniques

Strip Waxing – This is a type of hair removal waxing in which a warmed wax is used along with strips of muslin cloth. The warmed wax is commonly applied with the use of a wooden stick or a spatula and a thin layer is spread over an area of skin. Before the wax hardens the cloth strip is applied over the wax and with the skin drawn tight, and is firmly pressed against the surface. The strip is then quickly ripped away from the skin in the opposite direct of the hair growth, taking the wax and the unwanted hair with it. This is the most common type of waxing and is great for larger areas such as the legs or underarms.

There are also various waxing kits that can be bought and used at home. They also make waxing strips that are pre-made and sold in stores The strips already have wax on them and you just have to heat up the wax, usually through friction, and apply them to the skin yourself. Some folks have mixed results with these and prefer to go to a salon and have a professional do all the work. But these types of products are convenient and can be bought locally and be done in the privacy of your own home. They are also a great way to test out this method of hair removal before having it done by a specialist.

Stripless Waxing – The wax used in this type of application is often thicker than that used in strip waxing and is great for smaller more sensitive areas. It has the consistency of taffy. It is applied to the skin and once ready to be removed, one end of the wax is usually flipped or flicked up and used as a lip to pull the rest of the wax from the skin.
Different Types of Waxes

While these are the two main ways in which waxing is applied to the skin, there are also may different types of waxes that can be used. Some salons use their own blend of resins and wax to offer their customers the best experience with the most effective results. Some are made just for sensitive skin, some work better for thick hair, some for thinner hair. The perfect type of wax, however, is one that sticks well to the hair, ensuring that when removed it yanks the hair out with it, all while not adhering too much to the skin.  This will help reduce the chances of side effects that may be seen with this form of hair removal.

Some salons that use multiple waxes may perform a test on your skin to see which one would be best for your treatment. Trying this method for the first time is often a scary proposition because of the pain usually associated with it. But knowing what to expect and how things will be done can help ease some of the normal apprehension.

For more information and a great demonstration of stripless waxing in action check out the video below.

Why You Should Consider Buying a Kuvings B6000 Whole Slow Juicer

Kuvings Whole Slow Juicer features and reviewThe Kuvings B6000 Whole Slow Juicer is typically an upright vertical masticating juicer, which uses a cold press technique to extract juice from different kinds of produce. It simply uses a slow-spinning single auger for crushing, squeezing and compressing fruits and vegetables. This auger moves quite slowly at 50rpm to 60 rpm so it doesn’t fold oxygen into the juice or heat it – both of which can easily spoil the juice. This is why the juice extracted using B6000 juicer can be stored for quite long time without losing nutrition and that is why it’s also referred to as a cold-press, slow juicer.  We touch on some of the aspects that make a masticating juicer a better choice, and the B6000 delivers on most of these.

Unlike centrifugal juicers, which operate at a very high speed of about 6000 – 13000rpm and spinning the produce using sharp blades, masticating juicers work quite differently. For instance, Kuvings B6000 Whole Slow Juicer grinds and masticates the produce, then spins it using strong and tough augers to extract quality juice from the pulp. This particular technique doesn’t need a high speed to extract juice and cold-press juicers always operate at a speed of 50 to 60 rotations per minute. Additionally, this technique retains all the nutrients in the juice and prevents heat from building up.

This upright juicing machine has received some excellent scores from owners despite being one of the more expensive models you can buy.  It has its advantages and disadvantages, but it is one juicer that comes with very high recommendation rates. Let’s see what makes the Kuvings B6000 such a special juicer.

Juicer Features

• Stronger ULTEM screw – Kuvings B6000 Whole-Slow juicer also contains a longer and stronger ULTEM screw for cutting whole vegetables and fruits while juicing, minimizing nutrient loss and oxidation from pre-cutting ingredients. The specially designed compression blade of this screw masticates the ingredients with force at optimum angles.

• 240W heavy-duty motor – this particular type of masticating juicer comes with a 240W motor designed in such a way that it produces less vibration and noise, and offers fresher juice as well.

• 3’’ wide feed chute– this is another crucial feature that comes with this great juicer. It’s always wider compared to other the leading types of juicers on the market. With this, you only need to feed whole vegetables and fruits to the chute even without cutting them.

• Low-speed masticating technology (J.M.C.S) is yet another unique technology found in the B6000 that produces a 100% pure and natural juice by gently pressing vegetables or fruits with a slow-rotating screw rather than grinding it with fast-rotating blades. This is to reduce the nutrient loss.

• Eco-friendly materials – this juicer is designed and developed with eco-friendly materials. For instance, the juice cup, juicing bowl, and pulp cup are all made of Eastman TritanTM. The strainer and screw are also made of ULTEM – an eco-friendly and semi-transparent advanced material.

Pros

1. Easy to clean – Unlike many types of vertical auger juicers, Kuvings’ B600 juicers are easy to clean. It has a good design and comes with some special tools that make cleaning quite easy. While the screen is the hardest part to clean, this particular juicer comes with a green-cleaning frame mostly used in cleaning vertical masticating juicers.

2. It’s quiet – Kuvings’ B6000 juicer operates at a speed of 50 – 60rpm and that is why it’s quiet than other types of juicers. However, when it comes to the vertical slow juicers, it’s the loudest because it has a more powerful motor that needs to work quite harder to extract juice from whole veggies and fruits.

3. Comes with a 10-year warranty – The B6000 also comes with an impressive 10-year warranty so that you can juice with a little better peace of mind knowing that if something happens your investment is covered.

4. It has a 3’’ feed chute – In fact, this is the first and the only vertical masticating juicer designed with a full size feed chute – big enough to take most fruits and vegetables whole. This means that you don’t need to pre-cut your produce. However, vegetables with long fibers still need to be pre-cut to avoid clogging the auger.

5. Compact footprint – because B600 is an upright masticating juicer, it’s ideal for small kitchens over horizontal juicers.

6. Best all-round juicer – when it comes to speed, centrifugal juicers are the best, but always produce the worst quality and yield of juice. On the other hand, horizontal kind of juicers is best when it comes to leafy greens. In that regard, Kuvings B6000 Whole Slow Juicer is the best for a mix of leafy and firmer produce and offers the best yield and quality of juice.

Cons

1. It’s slower – As its name suggests, B6000 whole slow juicer takes longer time to juice.

2. It’s not good for leafy vegetables alone –for example, if you want to make a juice from wheatgrass, spinach or kale alone, the yield would be low compared to horizontal masticating juicers.

The Kuvings B6000 Whole Slow Juicer is the best one currently available out there. It’s definitely one of the best hi-end juicers, which extracts juice from fruits and veggies with the highest efficiency, leaving extremely dry pulp.  It is not a perfect juicing machine by any means, but its new and innovative features for an upright masticating juicer make it something worth consideration when shopping.

Our First Look At The Graco FastAction Jogger For Parents On The Move

Graco-joggerGraco is one of the more reputable brands for children, and their FastAction Fold jogging stroller is another fine example of what why this company is so popular with parents.  For active Moms and Dads, finding a stroller that can stand up to the demands of moving at faster speeds, as well as being comfortable and easy to transport, may seem like a daunting task.  With many higher priced strollers that may seem like too much of an investment, this model may be the perfect alternative.  But as we almost everything, you may just get what you pay for.  This stroller promises, safety, maneuverability, and comfort.  But does it deliver?  Let’s find out.

Performance

The FastAction Fold Jogger Stroller by Graco truly combines the ease of use and performance of a jogger with the comfort of a stroller. The jogger also features a storage basket and a smartphone holder. You can even create your very own travel system as this stroller accepts infant car seats. In fact, opening and closing this jogger is very easy as well as effortless. You just have to pull the unfold/fold strap to close and open this item. With a lightweight design, this product is very portable providing a smooth ride too.

Comfort

You can even recline the seat so that you can make your baby feel more comfortable. There is also extra cushioning that will provide your child with all the support he needs during longer runs or strolls. The harness will keep your kid secure and safe. If you have toys, food and diapers that you need to carry with you, the storage basket will allow you to store them easily. Keeping everything you need within reach is very easy thanks to its storage compartment and cup holders. Lifting your kid in and out of its seat is also easy.

Awesome Ride

Rubber tires give you the smooth ride your child deserves on any terrain. If you need added stability, lock your front wheel while jogging. However, you need to unlock the front wheel for quiet strolls. The paddle seat will ensure that your kid will ride with all the comfort in the world. In addition, you can even recline the seat so that you can adjust the position. The front swivel wheel will provide the outstanding ride you have been needing for any walk or job out with your kid. And the large canopy will protect your child from sunlight.

Carry Your Essentials

You can bring any of your essentials along thanks to the FastAction Fold Jogger Stroller by Graco’s parents tray. This tray features a cradle that allows you to clip any phone in, and the large storage basket will allow you to store almost anything. You can even fold this stroller with just one hand keeping your arms free. You may also bring along a sippie cup and drinks for your child, because this stroller features a tray with storage. Even on a bumpy terrain, this stroller will take it with ease without tossing your kid around.

Lightweight

This stroller is very lightweight folding up easily too. This jogger will glide beautifully on any sidewalk or road out there. In addition, the item is very easy to handle over any intersection, curb or dip. The frame is very sturdy and the whole product well built. You can use the brakes to hold your stroller in place while on a incline. The handle of this stroller is very well positioned for any walk out there. Though a little bit heavy, this jogger has easy-to-remove wheels that re-attach securely. This stroller is also very robust.

Pros and Cons

As with just about every product on the market, there is no perfect stroller for everyone.  We have found a few points that show up over and over in customer reviews for this jogger.  Some of these include:

Pros

– The unit stands up by itself when you fold it.
– There is also a nice, big basket in the bottom.
– This product can also hold any smarphone quite nicely.
– This item’s sun shade works very well.
– Price

Cons

– The cellphone holder might not store anything larger than your iPhone.
– The sun shade might seem quite limited to you.
– Lack of an adjustable handlebar.
– Not as easy to maneuver as some other strollers.

Verdict

Reviews of this Graco jogging stroller seem to be a little mixed.  Parents give it decent scores, but there are models available from BOB, Baby Jogger, and Joovy that rank much higher in owner satisfaction.  It is hard to beat this stroller on price, especially since some other models can cost around $400.  However, near $150, the FastAction Fold jogger does offer some value for the money.  If you are in a pinch and have budget concerns, then this would be a very capable stroller to buy.  If you can afford to spend a little more, then there are plenty of joggers that may give you and your child a better experience.