Best Rice Cooker Brand – Zojirushi

Whenever it comes to the rice cooking, there is nothing better than the Zojirushi as per my opinion. Zojirushi tops the list of the best rice cookers. The brand offers the best mix of the rice cooker and technology. Armed with the fuzzy logic and the latest state of the art designs, the brand has a lot to offer to all the users. With a lot of options to choose from which come in the perfect mix of the quality and price trade-off, the brand has really gained not only the consumer base but also place in their hearts.

The brand has been delivering the best of the technology since 1974 and has been a constant cookware in numerous kitchens. Currently, all the devices are categorized into four categories depending on the capabilities and the features.

Category 1 – Pressure Cooker:

Zojirushi pressure cookerAs the name suggests, the pressure mechanism is used to make the rice and the cooker will resemble the traditional cookers in the cooking mechanism. The cooker has a pressurized system which raises the temperature so high that each grain of the rice gets the starch structure altered from within.

The main results of this action are that the rice is soft, fluffy and tasty. It even makes the rice easier to digest and thus is healthy too. For the people whose family size and other schedules and eating habits indicate that the rice will be consumed after a few hours of cooking, can rest assured that they will not be disappointed. As the rice cooked under pressure remains soft for a longer time as compared to the rice cooked via different mechanisms, they will find the rice still palpable and eat worthy.

Category 2 – Induction Heating Based Cookers:

Zojirushi induction heating pressure rice cookerThese cookers come with an induction heating system and millions of users and reviews say that the induction based rice cookers from Zojirushi are the cutting edge systems. The traditional and a lot of contemporary induction based rice cookers used the heating element at the bottom of the cooker. This makes the bottom hotter than the sides and the other portion of the rice cooker. But, the Zojirushi cookers ensure that the cooker insides are heated evenly for a better cooking experience.

One can say that the cooking pan of the rice cooker itself becomes the heating element and the rice is cooked evenly. This also enables the rice cooker to make the temperature adjustment more fine and accurate. The induction rice cookers from Zojirushi are also the micro – computerized or the MICOM cookers (as they are popularly known).

They are one of the most popular cookers in the market.

Category 3 – Micom or Micro-Computerized Cookers:

Zojirushi micom rice cookerThe fully armed display, a digital face and lots of control buttons will make these cookers easily recognizable from among the various others. The Micom cookers come with a computer chip which will adjust the heating and cooking duration on its own as per the calculations done by the thermal sensor.

These cookers from Zojirushi come with the intelligent cooking technology which ensures that the rice cooked in it is tasty, cooked as per the instruction given by the user and are digestive as well. These cookers can also be used to make the brown rice, sushi rice and porridge apart from the white rice. These cookers have automatic soaking and steaming time.

Category 4 – Electric Rice Cookers:

Zojirushi Conventional Electric Rice CookerThese are the conventional rice cookers which run on electricity. These cookers were discovered in 1950 and have been the first pick for the novices since then. The cooking is easy and involves putting rice and water in the cooker and pressing a button. These cookers were invented with the intent of cooking the white rice only.

But the modifications added later on made the cooking of brown rice and sushi rice possible too. they can also be used as the steamers only.

Thus, the Zojirushi offers you a lot of options to choose from. From novices to experts, there is one Zojirushi for everyone out there.

Pros and Cons of a Bread Maker

bread makerTechnology has made a hell lot of things possible for the laymen, and the homemade bread is one of them. I have been using a bread machine since past 5 years and never had a problematic day apart from the days when I was just learning to use it. But still, the experience has overall been a fantastic one. I agree that you can’t achieve the perfect texture and taste in just one go, but you can learn things as you go and will get better at making bread in your bread maker.

But, being impartial, I can say that yes, the bread making is not totally sans any glitches or initial days of problems.

So, I just thought to put down all the pros and cons of an electronic bread maker and make it a fair affair for all the people looking out reasons to buy a bread machine.

Pros of a Bread Maker:

Time saving and Delayed Timer

It goes without saying that it will help you in saving a lot of time. You don’t need to run errands to the store for JUST BREAD. All you have to do is put ingredients in the machine and wait for the bread to be ready. The bread makers come with a function of delay timer which allows you to put all the ingredients in the machine and fix a time when the baking starts in the machine. The machine will finish baking and you will wake up in the morning with the aroma of freshly baked bread.

Fruits and Nut Bread

Fruits and Nut BreadThere are a lot of models in the market which come with the dispenser which allow you to add fruits and nuts in the bread while baking. This will allow you to bake bread of different flavour. Isn’t it great that you don’t have to spend extra for the fruit bread or nut bread and that you can have at anytime you want.

Gluten Free Bread

Gluten Free BreadEvery time I purchase the gluten free bread for my brother when he visits me, I am never satisfied with any bread. I always have this nagging feeling that what of the bread is not gluten free as it claims to be and the allergy worsens. But now, with the various brands offering the Gluten Free bread machines, I can rest assured.

Easy to Clean and Handle

There are loads of models in the market which come with the easy clean options and are very easy to use. Even children can operate it. So, you don’t have to worry about the time you will be spending cleaning the machine once the baking is done.

More than Bread

You can bake pizza bread, cake, make jams, chutneys and a lot of other things in the Bread Machine. so, your bread machine is more than JUST a BREAD machine.

Cons of the Bread Maker:

Cost and Efficiency Ratio

The cheap machines are not good bakers and the REALLY good ones are not cheap. So, you have to really make a very good buying decision keeping all the things in mind. You may end up with a really bad model.

Novices

Perfect baking will take patience and time. You cannot expect to have the perfectly baked bread in the first go. You will have to invest some time in getting used to the machine and its controls.

And finally, the experience may not be such a great one with the ones who are NOT so careful while cooking. Little disturbance in water level will cause the bread dough to loosen a bit and the bread will not be that good. The baking smell may vary and sometimes the machines which are NOT sturdy or strongly built may even fall down the counter. So, the decision of purchasing a good bread maker should be taken wisely and after expert consultation.  Bread machine reviews at eco-chef can aid you in choosing the best option for you. Eco-chef is the most respected bread machine review website in the English-speaking world. Editors at eco-chef actually purchase every bread maker they review off the shelf.

How to buy copper cookware?

Are you trying to choose the best copper cookware product for your kitchen? If yes, then this copper cookware buying guide will help you in picking the best copper cookware, which will not only last for generations, but at the same time not let you down in the kitchen.

copper cookwareThe merits of copper cookware make it the most preferred cookware by professional cooks. If cast iron cookware is the king of cookware, then copper cookware is unquestionably the queen of cookware. Heavy gauge copper cookware sets heat up rapidly and evenly. In other words, this versatile cookware is excellent when it comes to heat conductivity, as it spreads heat evenly, especially, when making sauces or while using a stock pot.

Good copper cookware requires good maintenance. This best performing cookware is quite expensive when compared to other cookware materials. All-Clad, Amoretti, Calphalon, and Mauviel are the best and most preferred copper cookware brands in the market.

Characteristics of Copper Pans and Pots

Proper Thickness

When it comes to copper cookware material, experts believe that the thicker the cookware, the better its performance. Thus, it is essential that you check the thickness of the cookware set you tend to order. Always check each pan’s and pot’s weight and enquire about the percentage of copper used in the cookware. A good copper cookware set should be made of 90% copper at least. Many brands try to conceal this fact while other brands are far more forthcoming. Good quality copper cookware is available from 2.5 mm to 4.0 mm thickness. The greater the thickness of the cookware, the better and faster is the heat distribution. However, one fact that cannot be ignored here is that the thicker the pan or pot, the heavier your copper cookware will be.

Lining

Copper cookware commonly comes in with either tin or stainless steel linings. However, silver-lined and nickel linings can also be found in the market.

  • Copper Cookware with Tin Lining

To avoid copper from leaching into cooked food, most copper cookware sets are made with tin lining. Since the tin lining used in copper cookware poses no threat to your health, you can even leave cooked food to cool down in this type of cookware. One noticeable fact, with this sort of cookware, is that, since the food is not spread uniformly over the whole surface region of the cookware, it changes color over time.

  • Copper Cookware with Stainless Steel Lining

If you are looking for a copper cookware set that is more hard-wearing when compared to tin-plated ones, then you must try copper cookware with stainless steel lining. Stainless steel coated copper pots are very durable, require less maintenance, and are suited for any type of cooktops. One disadvantage of this variety of cookware is that stainless steel is a bad conductor of heat, thus reducing the advantages of the copper cookware material.

  • Copper Cookware with Ceramic Lining

As a modern alternative, today most copper cookware brands are coming up with ceramic coated copper cookware sets. This type of cookware offers a scratch-resistant ceramic coating, which is extremely hard and easy to clean.

  • Un-lined/Un-Plated Copper Cookware

Copper cookware without any lining is best suited for preparing jams, chocolates, syrups, and caramel, due to their heat conductivity. It is important to remove the food immediately after preparation from an un-lined/un-plated copper cookware to avoid the formation of verdigris. In other words, never let food cool down in copper cookware that has no lining in it.

Maintenance of Copper Pans and Pots

Always use a small amount of oil to pre-heat your copper cookware and when cooking use them on low flame. It is advisable to polish your copper pans and pots every two or three weeks. Polishing your copper pans and pots on a regular basis helps in avoiding hot spots that are caused by uneven tarnishing.

Juicer Buying Guide

juicerHaving a glass of juice is quite refreshing to anybody. They bring several health benefits. Offering a glass of juice is one of the quickest ways of serving guests at home especially when they are unexpected. Lots of us enjoy having a glass of juice over eating fruits and vegetables regularly. By consuming juice we are helping the body absorb essential nutrients that boosts our immunity, through access to digestive enzymes present in fruits and vegetables. To maintain an overall wellness of our body, we should make juice as a part and parcel of our daily food habits.

juicingFor people struggling with weight loss, juice is a big boon, making us feel fuller on the stomach, and yet not compromising on the daily nutritional requirements of the body. If consumed regularly juice not only helps us maintain our weight, but also acts as a catalyst towards achieving our weight loss goals.

After examining the various health benefits of juices, one cannot ignore the need for a good Juicer that is so handy, simplifies work in the kitchen and yet has various health benefits. To maintain overall wellness of the body with all benefits juices have, it only seems wise to purchase a good juicer. Take your time to find out the exact juicer you want and research the available options. Best Juicer Reviews 2015 provide the best brands and a guide to help you choose the right juicer your needs. Following are some important factors to consider while buying a juicer.

Points to consider when buying a juicer:

  • Ease of use: As much as a juicer offers us a quick solution to preparing juices, we need to hunt for a juicer that is easy to juice and clean as well. Once washed, putting them back together should be simple as well.
  • Budget: We may be tempted to buy a juicer that seems soft on the pockets, but in the long run we end up spending more on produce since such juicers yield less juice. With that being the case, what then is the appropriate budget that offers value and is affordable as well? Purchasing a juicer in the range of $100 to $150 should just be ideal.
  • Durability: For a juicer that prolongs the life of the machine, its size and power consumption should be considered for longevity and a good life of the machine.
  • Convenience of storage: As much as we want our kitchen to look sleek, we also want the juicer to be convenient enough to be stored and fetched back easily. So look for one that’s easy to approach and light as well.
  • Pulp vs. juice: An efficient juicer maker is one that extracts a higher yield of juice by squeezing the pulp to the best extent possible. A good quality juicer is one that leaves a residue quite dry. Also, consider a juicer that ejects the pulp externally.
  • Juice container and feeder tube: Juicing can be messy if the juice starts splashing out. Select a model with a juice container completely in line with the size of the juicer with a well fitted covering to the container. Also, a juicer with a wide feeder tube brings down the juicing time.

Different types of juicers:

  • Twin Gear juicers: A triturating concept is adopted to operate a twin gear juicer, thereby assisting in getting a fine extract of juice, rich in nutrients.
  • Centrifugal juicers: They come with a spinning basket that shreds the fruits and vegetables with a sharp disc while pushing the juice into a fine strainer using centrifugal force.
  • Masticating juicers: Being relatively slow in functioning they come with an auger that rotates at roughly 80-100RPM thereby helping to extract more enzymes, minerals, vitamins and fiber.
  • Fusion juicers: Fusion juicers have a low induction motor that quickly breaks down pulp into nutrient enriched juices.

America’s Best Food Blogs

Today, we’re ranking the top 2 food related  blogs, judged according to readership, Alexa rank and social media following.

  1. Serious Eats – Serious Eats regularly publish delicious recipes, trailblazing techniques, and innovative guides to essential food and drink.
  2. The Kitchn – The Kitchn publish 20 short articles daily related to cooking and Kitchen.

Pros and Cons of Juicing

JuicingJuicing is a convenient way to ensure you’re getting daily recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables. But juicing has both advantages and disadvantages. Following are the pros and cons.

Benefits:

  • Easier to digest
  • Easy way to consume fruits and vegetables
  • It gives you a quick energy boost

Disadvantages:

  • Juicers are difficult to clean.
  • More vegetables are needed for juicing and thus more money is spent in buying.

Features to Look for in an Espresso Machine

Before you jump into buying an espresso machine, you better know what you need to keep an eye out for. Nowadays there is a wide variety of espresso machines available in the market. You need to choose one according to your own convenience and lifestyle.

Anything we buy for our home, we can never ignore the aesthetic bit of it. Similarly while buying an espresso machine you might just want to check out how it looks. Some espresso machines come in plastic built bodies, whereas many others are made of stainless steel. The plastic ones often come in a wide variety of colors.

stainless steel espresso machineWhile we are at it, I would suggest that you try and skip the plastic ones and stick to the metal ones. An espresso machine needs to stand strong against a lot of heat. Hence it is always advisable to avoid plastic built machines. The metal, generally stainless steel, espresso machines might not come in a wide variety of color, but the metal body looks very assuring. This one actually is your call. You need to choose a machine according to your own sense of aesthetic.

To brew good quality espresso, it is essential that you reduce the amount of time between grinding the coffee beans and brewing the coffee. Some espresso machines, especially the super automatic ones, do have an in built grinder. But if you are choosing a model that does not have a grinder, buy a good quality coffee grinder first. A lot of the taste depends on the grinding prowess actually.

Espresso machines have an inbuilt water tank for storing water. If you have a big family of coffee drinkers who all need their morning cup of Joe, you might want to look at machines with a water tank of higher capacity. But if you know it is going to be more or less you, you can safely buy a machine with much lesser water tank capacity.

If you like espresso, then it is simpler. But are you one of those espresso based milk coffee drinkers? If yes then buy an espresso machine that has a milk steamer/frother. This will enable you to make all your fancy cappuccinos and Lattes.

Double boiler espresso makerSome espresso machines, especially the slightly expensive ones, come with a double boiler. In case of a double boiler machine, you can simultaneously brew espresso and heat/steam/froth milk. And thus the minute your espresso is brewed, you Latte is ready.

If you are planning to buy a bigger espresso machine, do make sure you have that space in your kitchen. In case you have a smaller kitchen/ lesser space available, then you might want to consider buying a small espresso machine.
A cup warming tray is always an additional joy as it warms your cup prior to the brewing of the coffee, thus maintaining a nice temperature. Some machines also come with a hot water dispenser. If you want one to make the tea, Find a machine that has a hot water tap.

Do check how much customization is allowed with the machine. Some machines do let you control the amount of water for each espresso shot and the strength of coffee.

Coffee pods are simpler to use for the busy coffee drinkers as they release you from the burden of cleaning the coffee muck every time after a brew. If that is the case with you, pick a machine that is compatible with pods. Also, ask your appliance seller to give you a demo on cleaning the machines. You will know how complicated or not is the cleaning task going to be. Do check out a number of machines before settling for the one. You can do the checking out and research bit online. Though I would say that I feel you should buy electrical goods only from shops, after they have given you a demo. To ensure you buy only the best and recent espresso machines, check out espresso  machine reviews. Reviews will help you choose the right one four your needs.