Updated for this year! There are some exciting new products out there for the aspiring home chef or someone who loves to cook. Whether you are looking for holiday gift giving, hostess gifts, teachers gifts, Mother’s Day, birthday, or a housewarming gift – you’ll find the perfect present in this handy guide. These are my favorite kitchen tools and appliances, all highly rated and available online from Amazon. With this list of must have gift ideas for cooking enthusiasts gift giving is easy and effortless. Just click and ship.
Instant Pot pressure cooking is a quick and easy way of preparing meals. Mastering it can be a little tricky, though. So, I’m sharing my top 10 tips and hacks to using the Instant Pot. If you read my first Instant Pot cooking post on How to Use the Instant Pot , you already have the basics down. After learning these easy tips and hacks, you’ll be an Instant Pot pro!
I decided to start a regular blog series titled Worth the Splurge? I Review, You Decide where I’ll review items that I view as splurges. I’ll list what I like and don’t like about it and you can decide if it’s worth it.
So…what should be first? In one of my first blog posts, I mentioned that I would do a review on my kitchen appliances in a later post. I have posted a number of recipes in the past few weeks, so maybe my kitchen appliances deserve first honors.
Kitchen for the Win!
I did several months of research and made countless visits to see cooktops before I chose my range top. The difference between a cooktop and range top is that a cooktop is flat with the knobs on top, and a range top wraps around like the top portion of a commercial range with the knobs in the front.
The cooktop or range top, to me, would be the cornerstone appliance of the kitchen. Having a commercial-style range had been my dream for many years.
Our new home had the cooktop in the island, so we maintained that concept with the remodel. It was an electric cooktop, though, and my biggest desire was to have gas. I was really pleased when the contractor said they could make that happen.
I consider the Thermador range top a splurge because it was about twice the cost of a regular 36” gas cooktop. There are two reasons why I choose Thermador over other brands like KitchenAid, Viking, Wolf, and GE Monogram.
The first reason is that the burners are elevated, so they’re easier to clean under. That might not be a big deal to some, but my husband and I are messy cooks. The burners on our old stove top were really difficult to clean around.
The other reason was that the star-shaped burners allow for a wider cooking area under the bottom of the pots and pans. The other brands had definite appeal. KitchenAid was about 2/3 of the cost, I loved the look of Wolf’s red knobs, and Viking was very similarly rated.
But, the reviews of Thermador were very good. I was able to attend a lunch and learn event where I was to ask questions and sample food made on the very products I was going to buy, and they were offering their 1,2,3 Promotion.
So, what do I think after a year of use? Well, every time I see my range top it still elicits a sense of admiration. It is a beauty. And a workhorse.
I rarely use the high burner setting because the flame is wider than most of my usual pots and pans. It is great for boiling water, though.
My husband and I both use the X-LO (extra-low) setting regularly. The burner cycles on and off, and it’s adjustable for a longer or shorter cycle. At the lunch and learn I attended, they had a heavy-duty paper plate with chocolate chips warming on the X-LO burner.
Here are the top three things I like about it:
- It is so easy to clean. I’m still messy, but I just spray on a little Thieves cleaner to sit and it cleans right up. Same with the burner grates. It usually takes me just 5 minutes to clean the whole thing.
- It heats so quickly! Even a big pot of water is boiling within minutes. The oil in my cast-iron skillet is smoking hot in just a few minutes, as well.
- I didn’t even mention the griddle before, but mine has a griddle in the middle. It makes great quesadillas, toasts buns, pancakes and French toast, and heats tortillas.
The Not-So Good
Of course, there are a few things I’m not crazy about:
- The plain look of the stainless knobs. They sell blue replacement knobs, but they’re pricey.
- How long the griddle takes to heat up (it’s electric).
- When cleaning the top, which is black enamel, it is hard to avoid leaving streaks. I have taken to using Weiman cooktop wipes to leave it streak-free, though I’m afraid to look at the chemicals the wipes have in them.
So, it is Worth it?
What do you think? Yay or Nay? You Decide…post your replies below. Remember to subscribe to my blog!