Category Archives: Kitchen Equipment

Which is Better: a Traditional Convection Oven or a Microwave?

Which is Better: a Traditional Convection Oven or a Microwave?

Every kitchen has at least one of them, and often both. But most people use a convection oven for certain meals while they use a microwave for other reasons. You can’t back cookies in a microwave and you can’t make popcorn in the oven. Each kitchen device has a specific purpose and a role it plays in your cooking lifestyle. But have you ever ask yourself if you found yourself in a predicament where you could only afford one of these? This is not a silly question, since people just staring out in life and buying home appliances have limited funds and can often only afford one. So which is better to have: a traditional convection oven or a microwave?

Benefits of a Convection Oven

A convection oven uses hot air to heat foods surface to cook or bake it. The chemical reaction from convection often result in more versatility in how you cook items inside. You can broil, back, slow roast or even quick sear food – which often result in different texture and taste of any recipes you use with a traditional convection oven. The chemical reaction from convection oven mean you can caramelize, glazed or make dough rise. Even better, you can be as versatile and creative as you want when it comes to cooking with an oven. There are also plenty of oven-ready meals available at the grocery store, so ovens don’t always mean extra prep time. And there are other kinds of convection ovens than just the typical large model. Toaster ovens, a counter-top rotisserie style grill that uses heating elements to cook are just other ways you can cook using air conduction. The only major drawback of an oven is time, and this is where a microwave demonstrates it’s superior cooking speed.

Benefits of a Microwave

A microwave oven uses radio-energy at a certain frequency to heat food from the inside out, cooking all the fluids and fat from the center outwards. This often lets you cook food that a convection oven would normally take 35-45 to complete in mere minutes with a microwave.

There are those who might say that this limits the kind of texture and flavor that results in cooking with a microwave since it tends to dry out last nights’ leftovers. But this isn’t necessarily true. Yes, if you take some grilled chicken breast and zap it for 45-90 seconds it may taste like chicken jerky instead. But chicken breast is already a dry portion of meat to begin with, so using a microwave isn’t the best for it anyways. Whereas if you have some left over pulled pork with plenty of fat and juice from the crock-pot, it usually comes out just fine.

This doesn’t even take into account how many microwave ready meals are now available at your local supermarket. Most major food manufacturers have taken the hint of the microwave’s ubiquity and have responded promptly, with new meals that were not available in microwavable form until just recently.

Drawbacks of A Convection Oven

Unlike microwave ovens, however, convection ovens are built more for thoroughness rather than time-saving. It’s most appropriate for creating dishes from scratch, which means raw food and a medium-to-large amount of prep time. You just can’t stick it in the oven and push start the way you can with a microwave. You have to let the oven pre-heat first and it often requires extra monitoring as you cook. Also, this makes it easy to overcook if you keep food in there for too long, as most ovens don’t have a countdown that shuts off the heating element when reaching zero like a microwave.

Drawbacks of a Microwave

But the drawbacks of a microwave often don’t balance out the amount of time you save when using one. First of all, you really can’t prepare a meal from scratch and cook it in the same way you would with an oven. This leads to another problem – you are seriously limited in the types of food you can cook with a microwave effectively. If any food you intend to prepare isn’t microwave-ready, it need to be cooked previously or prepared in advance somehow. You won’t get the same kind of chemical reactions that you would with an oven an it has no effect on bread other than making it tougher than normal if you leave it in the oven too long. It takes a little longer to reheat leftovers with an oven, but it’s still possible. It’s impossible to cook a roast or bake desserts with a microwave. It’s just not versatile enough. A convection oven requires much more time and effort, but you can do significantly more with it if necessary.

Final Verdict: Convection Oven

Must Have Kitchen Equipment and Their Uses

Must Have Kitchen Equipment and Their Uses

For many people, the kitchen is the most important room in the house. It is where much of their time is spent, memories are made, and great food is created. Not all kitchens are created equal, however, and there are some areas that are much better outfitted than others. As you consider your kitchen and how meaningful it is to you, think about the equipment that you need. Let’s take a quick look at the must have kitchen equipment and their respective uses.

Stainless Steel Colander Set

From greens to pasta and almost everything in between, food needs to be cleaned and rinsed. At the same time, it is important to thoroughly drain all remaining liquid with minimum fuss. A colander is the best way to accomplishing this objective in an efficient manner. A set that contains multiple sizes of this handy kitchen will ensure that you have a way to quickly drain away excess water, no matter how much food you might have.

Kitchen Lemon Press

Lemons are in right now. Getting the precious juice out of this fruit can at times be frustrating, however, which is why this is a must have kitchen gadget. Whenever a recipe call for lemon juice, you will be able to provide the fresh squeezed variety with minimum fuss, cleanup, and mess.

Kitchen Garlic Press

Garlic cloves tend to be relatively small and difficult to handle manually. If you have ever tried to chop up garlic by hand you understand what this means. At the same time, garlic is an essential ingredient in many dishes, so having a garlic press should be viewed as critical as well. Without a press, you might wind up with pieces of garlic that are simply too big, eliminating its benefit in your favorite dish. A garlic press solves that problem by reducing the clove to a manageable, bit sized morsel that is tasty and edible.

Kitchen Ice Cream Scoop

Ice cream is a favorite desert being served up at dining room tables across the country. At the same time, this frozen treat is often difficult to scoop out with ease. This is made much easier and manageable with a stainless steel and durable ice cream scoop. Such a gadget quickly goes through even the most frozen of treats to result in a perfect scoop each and every time out.

Stainless Steel Strainer Set

When cooking over a hot stove, there are many times when you need to quickly remove items from a pot with out removing it from it location. A strainer is a handy gadget that every kitchen must have for moments just like this. Consider a set in order to provide you with the flexibility that you need to remove large and small items alike, no matter what the size of the pot is that you are dealing with.

Sea Salt and Pepper Mills

These are handy gadgets to have. You will be able to dash some natural salt of pepper directly on your food. This will enhance the flavor and leave you looking like the culinary chef that you are.

Stainless Steel Tool Set

From spatulas to spoons, every kitchen requires a complete set of tools in order to toss and turn your favorite foods with precision. With such a set, you will have what you need within arms length, no matter what dish you are cooking up.

Kitchen Garlic Press

Garlic cloves tend to be relatively small and difficult to handle manually. If you have ever tried to chop up garlic by hand you understand what this means. At the same time, garlic is an essential ingredient in many dishes, so having a garlic press should be viewed as critical as well. Without a press, you might wind up with pieces of garlic that are simply too big, eliminating its benefit in your favorite dish. A garlic press solves that problem by reducing the clove to a manageable, bit sized morsel that is tasty and edible.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of kitchen gadgets, but having these will certainly set you up well for any cooking adventure. No matter how big or how small your kitchen may be, these are the gadgets that you need most. The beauty is that they will not take up much space at all, and you will be thankful that you have them handy when the moment calls for them.

How to Choose the Perfect Fridge for you Kitchen

How to Choose the Perfect Fridge for you Kitchen

It’s often called the most important appliance in your kitchen for a reason. A refrigerator not only keeps your perishable food item cold and well-preserved, it also functions as an extension of your kitchens style and design scheme. This makes shopping for one tricky, since you often just see an ideal model on the showroom floor – not how it would look and fit in your actual kitchen at home. This is why those shopping for a new refrigerator unit should do a little prep work beforehand. Therefore, here’s a handy guide to choosing the perfect fridge for your kitchen.

Decide upon which style you need

If you generally know where your fridge is going to go, you’re going to want to decide on what style might best suit this niche space in your kitchen. Do you want a counter depth that’s built in or do you want a side by side counter-depth or a full-depth, standard model? Do you want a bottom freezer or a top one, or even a side by side freezer. Then you’ll want to know if you want a built-in model or one that’s different from your kitchen cabinets. Which leads to another strategy for buying a new fridge….

Understanding your kitchen’s style and how a fridge might complement it.

If you plan on buying a built-in fridge that matches your cabinets, you already are trying to have it match with everything else in your kitchen. There are even some fridges that are fully integrated into your cabinet scheme and look like a pantry rather than a fridge. If you intend on buying one that’s not built-in, you need to consider the type of finish you’re looking for and how it might best complement the color scheme of your cabinets and counter tops.

Take Enough Measurements

Refrigerators get returned so often because it doesn’t fit in the space it was intended for in the kitchen. Even if you have a small kitchen, there is bound to be a unit that can suit your needs. Even obstructions like sidewalls or a kitchen island can be over come with a fridge that’s the right size. Measure the area you intend to install it two times to ensure you’re shopping with the correct dimensions in mind. Also take into account how much swinging or extending door space you have in any given area where you might put one in. Side-by-side units are always great since they often have narrow doors and less swing space, for example.

Which is the Best Configuration?

Do you want French doors, top-freezer or bottom freezer. If you eat more frozen food or often save more frozen items than fresh one, a larger freezer might be what you need instead of one with just enough space for a gallon of ice cream.

Water and Ice

Most refrigerators come with a water and ice dispenser but there are models that don’t. You’ll have to decide ahead of time if you’re willing to pay extra for these features.

Energy Efficiency

Refrigerators are always on, which can be a significant monthly electricity expense if you think about it. Choosing Energy Star qualified models often results in 20% less energy use than those unqualified as such. Energy Star models also offer rebates from certain cities upon purchase, so there is that to think of as well.

Additional Features

Maybe you’d like door shelves that can hold milk gallons, or spill-proof shelving. Maybe you’d like LED lights inside rather than incandescent bulbs or wide storage drawers and temperature control zones. There are so many innovations in fridge design that you can find exactly a solution to the kind of problem you had with your last fridge.


At the end of the day, only you are the best judge for what kind of fridge you think is best for you. You will most likely get exposed to all many of sales pitches when you go to any hardware or department store to find one, so it’s best to have a plan in mind rather than rely on someone who’s looking more for a higher commission rather than finding the right unit for you. That’s why having a good plan ahead of time and doing a little research will make finding the perfect fridge go smoothly.

7 must have tools for bakers

Baking can be a very satisfying activity. Not only do you get to make something creative, but you get a tasty treat as well. However, if you are determined to take you baking to the next levels, then you must be well-equipped. Let’s take a moment to discuss the seven must have, best tools for bakers.

1. Free-standing Mixer
Perhaps the most expensive and largest thing is the free-standing dough mixer. If you’re serious about baking, then this machine will save you a lot of time. You’ll no longer have to use a wooden spool to mix up buttercream. This mixer does all of the hard work for you. Look for one that is made of metal, not plastic. This way you know that it will last for a very long time. The mixer is great because they are versatile. They come with several attachments that all service different purposes.

2. Hand Mixer
Not everyone will be able to afford a standing mix, or maybe you just need to make very small portions of something. In this case, you would need a hand mixer. It does the same thing as the standing mixer. It’s perfect for making batter, icing and creme.

3. Sift
Most baking recipes call for you to sift flour or sugar. You won’t be able to do this without a sift. It’s best to look for one that is metal because it will last long and hold it’s shape. Also, you need to look for one that fits your bowl very well.

4. Electric Scales
When it comes to baking, accuracy is extremely important. Weighing can be much more accurate than measuring ingredients. If you tinker around with lots of recipes, it’s much easier to record things in grams than in teaspoons and cups.

5. Measuring Cups
Even though electric scales are great, they cannot completely replace the traditional measuring cups. Not all recipes offer grams. Some require cup measurements.

6. Grater
At some point you will need a cutter to grate some ingredients. In this case you can use a grater. These are great for adding chocolate shavings, nutmeg or even garnishment for a cheesecake topping. Sometime bakes use them to zest oranges and lemons.

Microplane graters are an excellent choice. This is because they remain very sharp. These are ideal if you enjoy zesting because they only take off the useful parts of the zest and leave all of the bitter parts behind. Just make sure that you are very careful with this tool because you can easily cut yourself.

7. Sugar Thermometer
Sugar thermometers are great for making candies. It makes it easy to monitor the progress as time goes on. Accuracy is essential and candy thermometers are invaluable.

Look for one that shows several different stages like, soft boil, hard boil, jam and hard. Make sure you look for one that has a clip on the back so that you can attach it to the side of your sauce pan. This prevents it from sinking into the mix. Always start with this tool inside the pan; never add it after the mix is already in the pan because it could possibly damage it’s silicone tip.

If you re interested in becoming a serious baker, then these are the things you should invest in. Take the time to look around for those that offer the best quality. The taste of your food could depend on it.

Buying The Perfect Blender

When it comes to buying a blender and that too a commercial you have a lot of options. But if quality is what you look for then its probably best to go for the below 4:



Hamilton Beach


Out of these we at comm kitchens highly recommend you get Blendtec since it is the most reliable blender in the world. Here’s a cool video of the Chef Blender blending awesome stuff: